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Comment Re:Who's to say? (Score 1) 107

How do we know this radiation isn't actually good for you?... - Trump's new director of the Department of Energy.

Don't laugh, it might just happen.

As far as I can tell, her reasoning is something along the lines that if you hit yourself in the forehead with a hammer, your forehead swells with fluids such that the second blow is less severe. Therefore, hammers are good for your forehead.

Comment I've used the Hearphones - very impressed (Score 5, Interesting) 55

I was at Bose Headquarters the other day trying these out - the Hearphones are actually quite amazing.

Physically they're a black torc that fits loosely about two thirds around the neck. Attached a bit back from the front opening are two tethered earbuds equipped with Bose's really good tips, which come in three sizes. On the right hand tether is a small remote. On the outside of the earbuds are subtle bronze colored microphones.

Aside from being slightly smaller then other torc-style headphones they're not immediately different. They have their control on a remote, and of course the microphones on the earbuds, but nothing screams out also-for-hearing.

Putting them on in 360 mode was like listening to a live mic through, well, very good headphones. However using the app (we were using iPods) it was easy to control the base and treble to focus on what we were listening for - voices.

It was when the Hearphones were switched into directly-in-front mode they got exciting. In a room full of simulated loud coffee shop noise, and a dozen other demo-ees having conversations with their Bose-partners, it all faded away except for whomever I was facing.

Face this way and I could follow this conversation, face that and the other table came in clearly. For years I've had to position myself strategically in bars, restaurants, clubs and conferences - watching folks to ensure I'm following what they're saying. Suddenly that wasn't a concern.

I don't need hearing aids, and while I've spent some amount of time in loud clubs I've not particularly abused my ears. However coming on 50 years my ears aren't particularly reliable in noisy environments and now, suddenly, everything extraneous was muffled.

Sometimes an advanced technology really is like magic (and a really good demo.)

There's also a everything-in-front-of-you mode (180 degrees vs 360 degrees and about 35 degrees for those keeping track.) That would be for sitting at a table of people facing multiple correspondents.

Of course there's an app; iOS and Android. They apologized several times no Windows Mobile version (nobody looked concerned.) However the remote is intuitively designed and did everything necessary so no needing to be rudely screen-peering in the middle of a conversation. Volume up/down, treble/base, and switching between customizable modes.

The other big demo topic was being able to filter a TV or movie theater. Focus on the center speaker, crank the treble, and suddenly dialog popped - no more scrubbing back for what-just-got-said?

That they're also conventional Bluetooth headphones, with the noise-cancelling Dr. Bose invented, was taken for granted.

So, did I buy them?

Not yet. Their price is reasonable for being top-of-the-line noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones + the Hearphone technology but, a bit rich for me. Right now. However after another chaotic holiday party, a conversation where I mishear something important, or a conference where I'm straining to make out the content - yeah, probably.

Oh and if you're condemned to an "open office" cattle pen oh hella yeah. Selective noise cancelling with a music alternative would almost make those hellholes bearable.

Comment Re:Snoop Doggy Dog (Score 1) 137

If we assume that government corruption is the impetus...

That was NOT a difference maker this election. Trump has a long, slimy business record such that to expect him to stop being slimy once in office is unrealistic. He even blatantly admitted to bribing most of the candidates on the stage during the GOP debates. I don't see that a pimp is holier than a whore.

I believe he won because he sold the idea that most our security and job problems are caused by outsiders. It's a simple and powerful message from a political marketing standpoint: Nationalism 101.

It's wrong and foolish, but I'm just addressing the sales angle here. Wrong but simple ideas sell better than nuanced but correct ones. Human Nature 101.

Comment Re:Mixed Metaphors (Score 1) 409

The Gendarme isn't going to break down your door and drag you to jail.

While it's true poverty in the modern USA is better than poverty back then, it's still not pleasant.

The implication I jabbed at is that most Uber drivers had plenty of immediate alternative and better income methods. It struck me as flippant and naive.

Comment Re:First world (Score 2) 170

The US economy actually depends on innovation similar to how the Middle East economies depend on oil. We are innovation addicts.

It's a myth that innovation itself is needed to stimulate consumption. There are plenty of existing things people already want, if they simply had the money.

But, anything that becomes a commodity to manufacture or manage gets shipped to cheap 3rd-world manufacturers (C3WM) where labor is cheaper. To maintain the USA's higher cost of living, we have to push the envelope to create new devices and markets that are too cutting edge to be commoditized (yet).

For example, when personal computers were new, they were mostly made in the USA. As they became more of a commodity, their production shifted overseas. Jobs himself used to assemble Apple computers in his garage.

Apple similarly knows they have to push the envelope to avoid being bowled over by C3WM who can throw labor at the problem. The expense and complexity of wireless earphones may seem like overkill now, but if they make Apple products slightly more convenient than the others, they have a sales and marketing edge over the C3WM that allows them to charge a premium.

Eventually the C3WM will catch up in wireless earphones and every phone will support them, and Apple will have to move on to the next Next Big Thing (which is probably already in their lab).

Thus, it's not just a "first world problem", but a first world survival technique (if you want to survive as a first-worlder).

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