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Comment this is all very odd (Score 1) 22

Am I such a strange outlier from the general population that all of Amazon's devices/interfaces to make buying things easier seem strange to me?

Is it odd that I am not really on the lookout for ways to make it easier for me to be parted with my money? Maybe I'm just cheap, but I tend to think a bit before spending money, and not just want to press a button and have $ disappear from my bank account.

Comment nope (Score 1) 140

Highly unlikely for this to happen (at least in any meaningful numbers for the average person).

If you think about the level of safety performance required for aircraft today to be approved, and the inspections that have to be conducted before every single flight ---

Just imagine, those same regulations that govern aircraft would permit a road vehicle (which gets beaten up by road hazards, rattled around by potholes, and is built to consumer automotive safety multiples of reliability) to just fly at a moment's notice? With people at the wheel who get driver's licenses by barely missing some traffic cones?

Nice idea, but never going to happen. Or at least the sci-fi future that people envision with a car extending some wings and taking off from the highway -- laughable.

Comment oh cmon, don't we all understand by now? (Score 5, Insightful) 495

I am continually surprised by those who are not knowledgeable about (or misattribute) the bigger macroeconomic factors that have driven our prosperity. The American economic miracle, the American dream, is largely a by-product of a brand new territory, open for expansion, a growing population whose material needs and wants grew to match the space for it. And where demand for services and goods made by those people exceeded the supply of labor to produce it. Not to mention 2-4 major wars and post-war booms that produced a huge demand for labor and the attendant growth of wages that comes with.

So for 6-7 generations, we came to associate American success with hard work, determination, education -- where I would argue that yes, while these factors have something to do with it, we were just mainly beneficiaries of a great macro situation. Factories, heavy equipment, washing machines, cars, steel -- these were the things we needed as a society that we would pay for, and they were produced here by labor that couldn't be substituted.

Now, we find that our post-war boom is over, the demographic curve has to support an increasing number of people who are no longer in their prime productive years, and a global market for the best / traditional jobs that has sapped the domestic demand for labor physically based in the US.

And so parents look at their kids and ask, "hey, why aren't you out there getting a job and using your skills like we did, after all that college and education?" Well, Dad, I can't get a job the way you did, because people aren't hiring hand over fist just because they need bodies to fill an assembly line because people want to buy washing machines as they move into their newly constructed 3 bedroom house in Levittown.

The harsh truth many are waking up to is that not everything grows forever, and perhaps this is the aftereffect of what happens when a society stabilizes, and other peoples/countries around the world start to experience the growth that we once had (and of course helped by the internet, trade, and information).

Comment Re:how it works (Score 1) 71

Good point -- and I think there will be a segmentation of who adopts this satellite technology - between airlines that are purely domestic / continental US and those that go international (where, if you're going to equip a plane for international satellite internet, you're not going to carry 2 systems).

Actually, I am not familiar with the charged $/mb rates or royalty/license to the airline of ATG versus the satellite technology, but it would be interesting to know what numbers the airlines are weighing whether to do the retrofit.

Comment sure I believe you (Score 4, Funny) 145

Certainly trustworthy! "Since no one but people at Adobe designed this, certainly no one in the wide world of hackers, exploit finders, and data sifters would ever be able to decipher and extract anything interesting from this data. I mean, we're just sending this meaningless data back to Adobe for shits and giggles, it's useless information! By the way, I heard that anonymous means that we just don't record your IP address right?"

Comment how it works (Score 5, Informative) 71

For those who want to understand why this is happening now, it's because JetBlue a few years ago chose to install in its planes the next generation of satellite-based internet onboard wifi systems. This is instead of what some earlier adopter airlines chose - namely air to ground (you may commonly know providers such as GoGo/Aircell in this category - which generally serves only the continental US footprint). ATG was cheaper and developed a bit faster because its infrastructure was cheaper to build, so naturally it took hold first for many airlines. Satellite internet at that time (Ku band and those older generations) struggled to offer a reasonable price, at a time when user adoption was not as strong as now (recall Boeing's failed Connexion offering).

Now the cost and weight of the receivers and onboard systems for satellite internet are dropping, and more airlines are seeing it as a beneft/potential revenue center.

And of course, when you have a satellite connection, you don't have to be above a certain altitude before the reception of ground signals works reliably.

ViaSat (the provider of JetBlue's systems on their A320/321s) claims that every passenger could have 12Mbps bandwidth, though I'm sure in practice not quite that much -- and definitely blocked for voice calls.

As always, the other airlines which had installed ATG now face the cost of having been early adopters to a technology that is now being displaced, and since there is a heavy $ to refitting passenger aircraft with new hardware, it will take a while for them to change out the old systems for newer satellite based technologies.

Comment Re:cult of mac (Score 1) 168

I agree with much of what you said except iPhone's network effect. There is a huge factor in my continuing to use it, which is iMessage, Find My Friends, and iCloud sync. Pity the friend who isn't on iPhone and breaks every text conversation because it separates out the thread into green SMS chat. And being able to stay in sync with family members is huge.

Comment Re:Only remove it for California (Score 1) 218

I can give a very direct example of prohibited discriminatory speech, even if no actual discrimination in the proposed underlying commercial transaction has yet happened: housing law. You may not post apartment rental listings that state that certain races, sexes, national origins are not allowed.

The federal Fair Housing Acts apply to all aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship. A landlord may not: advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, religion, or any other protected category...

Comment surprise surprise (Score 1) 483

My surprise is that anyone is still surprised. Since the dawn of any kind of technology, people you didn't expect have taken it for the purpose of achieving the same thing that you have achieve - financial gain and security. Whether it's a person, company, university, or country. Is it really surprising that all of our innovations around knowledge work, IT, etc are being consumed by other more eager people to find jobs that they can fill for lower cost than we desire?? If anything, the new part of it is the kind of jobs that are at stake, but even that's not worth reacting to.

Comment the smell of E-6 in the morning (Score 4, Insightful) 213

I think this just reminds you that Kodak missed the boat a long time ago, and is left to ride a fad of a few hipsters / nostalgic fans who will provide some short-lived interest for an old product (an admittedly good one, in its day). Perhaps it will gain a small cult following, or sustained dedicated small fan base.

But any professional or even many amateurs know that given a good linear sensor and quality lens, you can recreate any color warmth or feeling of film you want, after taking the shot, and you don't have to wait 3 days of dunking film in a developing tank to find out how it turned out.

Heck, I (and every other smartphone user) can re-create every film response I want with Instagram or Photoshop. That was Instagram's whole point originally. Is it really worth it to pay $10 extra and several days wait for 36 shots, just to that broadcast to others that I still use film? Followed by scanning in the photo to post it on Facebook? Real analog there, huh?

Comment double edged sword (Score 3, Insightful) 157

I am as moderate as they come, and I do not believe that this is a blatant overstep of authority. There are many reasons why Congress can choose to not allow recording of their proceedings. The federal judiciary does not allow it, just to provide comparison. Now, whether this is being invoked for political convenience or as a reasoned policy, is another matter.

Sometimes, you should not wish for everything to be broadcast, recorded, and open for all to see. You may find that some things get done faster, and better, when they are not being aired for all to hear. I could argue that congressional matters, being broadcast for all to see, has resulted in congressmen playing to the cameras, holding hearings that are often public theater, taking extreme positions for publicity, voting nonsensically and against better judgement so that their constituents see them doing so. A lot more work could be done behind closed doors, where representatives don't feel the need to be so extreme for the cameras, and so shallow on real issues.

Careful what you wish for.

Comment I don't get it (Score 2) 94

Someone explain why, if you know about a large public event in advance, why you would want a blimp to serve as home base when a truck can carry more weight, more cheaply, more easily serviceable, and without specialized people to look after it?

Ideally suited for food delivery? Most food I know that people eat at sporting events is heated, requires heavy equipment to prepare/serve, etc. I don't get it.

Comment I am not going to complain (Score 5, Insightful) 181

For the amount of good that this foundation does for the public, making information and truth more accessible, and policing the content in an open and rigorous way, I say let them collect as much donations as people willingly donate. It's hard enough to get people to donate -- who would refuse if the donations kept coming in.

Sure, be transparent and honest about when you've exceeded the goal for the month (or set the goal higher), but frankly, I don't understand why you would criticize when one of the most valuable services on the internet today attempts to build more of a financial cushion for itself (and not through lying or deception or serving up users / others' content for cash, how refreshing).

Learn to understand who are your friends and who are your enemies in this world, people.

Comment side effects of truthiness (Score 3, Insightful) 385

Well, as they say, truth has a liberal bias, so if your search engine weights things that provide more credible factual information, and more credible factual information is associated with liberal news/information sources, what's the problem?

If the effect however, is that conservative opinions / viewpoints based on factual information are being deemphasized, then that's a valid point - but I don't think that's the effect going on here. Or perhaps conservative viewpoint webpages tend not to contain the same amount of credible factual information...

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