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Comment Because it worked so well in 1981 (Score 3, Insightful) 298

The Last One (software)

As someone else said, it sounds like it mimics the type of programmer who spends all his time gluging together copypasta code snippets from StackOverflow without understanding them. So it will clearly put the hack (in the context of "hack writer") contractors from India with fake degrees out of a job first. The kind of coding I do doesn't have snippets to put together.

Comment Re:infrastructure (Score 1) 55

I'm sure it will make sense to plenty of non-google engineers.

Unless those non-Google engineers have already heard of ftp, scp, rsync, etc.

The only real problem with sharing on home connections involves NAT, ISP ToS, etc: being findable and connectable. Rent a VPS and install OpenVPN on it, have your home fileserver connect to it, and it's solved.

Comment Re:Can Uber really make money at this? (Score 1) 114

Does it really make sense economically for Uber to get 100% of the cost of a ride this way but having to spend money to buy main, maintain and insure cars?

If you hypothesize that robot drivers can really do the job sufficiently well, the conclusion is an extremely strong and obvious yes. Taxis, limo services, etc are already viable business models even when you have all those same expenses plus a driver to pay. Remove the driver expense and it only gets more viable.

Or is this another sign of a company that doesn't know what it is doing, perhaps most recently suggested by the recent charges of sexism and sexual harassment?

It's possible they don't know what they're doing, but this certainly isn't a sign. It all comes down to whether or not you think robots perform as well as humans, and this story merely works from the conclusion that they can; it doesn't show any strengths or weaknesses of the premise itself.

Comment Re:Broadcast/Security/Medical CRT monitors worth $ (Score 1) 274

Yep, any monitor that does 15KHz (TV sync) analog RGB is quite desirable to retro-gamers, particularly for use with '90s stuff. Note that most VGA monitors did not support TV sync rates, and CGA monitors generally did not support analog RGB. Also, consumer TVs that support analog HD use YPrPb color, not RGB.

Comment Re:Just get volunteer help (Score 3, Informative) 274

You cant really do this with CRT's because of the gases contained in them.

Um... what gases? A CRT is a vacuum tube. If you crack the nipple, it sucks in air from outside. (and then becomes inoperative) If you know something that I don't, then please link to this new information. The only problem with CRTs is that the glass contains lead, to shield bystanders from the X-rays that get generated.

Also CRT's are prone to keep a charge long after they've ever been used.

For days, weeks, maybe months. But not for years, and it's unlikely that you'll find any that have even been plugged in in years. It is also not hard to discharge the CRT with some wire and a 1 megohm resistor.

Comment Re: Sneer today, gone tomorrow (Score 1) 133

Really, I can't think of any time when I ever thought "I wish I had a 64-bit data type". Neither integer nor float, but we've had 64-bit floats for a long time anyhow. Back in the '80s, I did many times wish for a 32-bit integer data type. I just don't see much benefit to go to 64 bits other than the extra address space, or in the case of Intel, the better instruction set and CPU model.

Comment Re:Our machines do that sometimes, unfortunately. (Score 1) 170

I'm not saying it happened here, but many people do not understand that you have to put things in appropriate packaging for the machines to process.

This. I have seen too many things shipped in inappropriate packaging. Just a few months ago, I ordered a $400 replacement board for some equipment, and the company I ordered from took the sub-box (the one made of inferior East Asian cardboard, and meant only to be used to put the item on a shelf), slapped a label on it, and gave it to USPS. Hey, it's a box, right? Just ship it! It arrived very battered, and the mailman basically ding-dong-ditched it (I was expecting it, and by the time I got to the door, he was already back in the truck!) The only thing that saved it was its anti-static bubble-wrap packaging.

I have also received a box crammed into another box with no padding on the sides, when the original box was itself part of the value of the item. It was literally slid into another, slightly larger, box with zero clearance on five sides, then foam peanuts poured into the top nine inches or so. Naturally, the box landed hard and a bottom edge was crushed. Just putting a couple inches of foam peanuts on the bottom would have been enough to save it.

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 3, Insightful) 207

The point is, the actors and actresses feel the need to make way too much and anyone in economics would tell you they are trying to optimize their profit. The problem with that is it inherently creates people who are not willing to pay the market rate for the content and since it is "free" to copy it - they do.

This is one area I feel the entertainment industry just doesn't get it. The general attitude often seems to be "I cost us X to make this thing, therefore it is worth X".

Unfortunately, that's not how any other markets work. Things are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. This goes for virtually anything that is bought and sold -- toys, comic books, computers, cars, stocks, collector coins, individual pieces of art, gold -- the price is based completely off what people are willing to pay for an item, and has little or nothing to do with how much it cost to produce. This is actually a good thing -- items with a high perceived value can command higher prices and reap more profits, while at the same time there is a push to find ways to lower prices to enhance the perceived value vs. price ratio.

I view media piracy along these lines. It's part of the markets way of telling the media companies that the perceived value of what they produce is lower for many people than what they charge.

Now admittedly in the last few years better pricing models with (legal) streaming services like Netflix have helped to improve the situation for many consumers. TV in particular seems to have done a really good job of coming up with ways of putting content online for free (TV shows are highly advertising supported anyway). But other parts of the industry seem to be fixated upon fixed pricing, especially for new media, that is above the value much of the population would put on it. People willing pay for things when they perceive the value as being more than the price; but when you price things above that perceived value line, you just drive piracy. It doesn't matter how much something cost to make -- if you want to charge more than the market is willing to pay, people simply aren't going to pay.


Comment Re:They're onto something. (Score 1) 107

2-6 weren't "retired", though they proved to be mostly unsuitable for ATSC. There is a local station near here on channel 5. (They were previously on 2 in the analog days.) Also, ATSC allowed adjacent channel frequencies to be used in the same market area (with analog it caused too much interference), which resulted in a similar number of usable TV channels as before.

Comment Re:Tools and movements (Score 1) 216

There is a pretty easy middle ground: multiple signatures per identity. You could then have authority(s) vouching for your identity, plus other people too. This makes it much easier to catch a defector. "Hey, how come the Turkish intelligence service (a CA that almost everyone trusts on the web) just signed this guy's brand new key, but Verisign hasn't?" (or better: "how come the federal CA and this guy's state CA disagree?")

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