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Comment Monopolies (Score 2) 204

>"the U.S. "is the only developed nation on Earth which allows pharmaceutical companies to set their own prices."

There is nothing inherently wrong with a free market..... as long as the market really is free and isn't being controlled by unregulated monopolies. That is what we are seeing happen with things like the Epi-Pen. And in cases where patents are creating artificial monopolies, we have to examine if there should be regulation (as we rightfully regulate all other monopolies).

As for the backlog at the FDA for generics- that is just inexcusable.

Oh, and yes, I am one of the people that must have an Epi-Pen or risk losing my life if I accidentally eat a nut (which happened once and nearly did so). So yes, I have a horse in this race...

Comment They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 4, Insightful) 151

They actually want to kick appliances off. When the load is high, your blender quits working, basically.

They actually mean "the equivalent of adding a gas-fired power plant by subtracting users who can damn well wait for their smoothies.

Hopefully no one is stupid enough to buy a Nest dialysis machine...

Comment Term limits (Score 1) 58

Limit them to a single term in a specific office.

A nice idea but then you end up with a bunch of people in office that don't even know where the restroom is much less how to get anything done. If someone is doing a good job I'm fine with them serving more than one term. However I don't think they need to serve more than 4 terms in the House, 2 terms as president or two terms as Senator. Churn just for the sake of churn is pointless. But I don't think we need people serving in congress for multiple decades either.

But, we can start by removing party affiliation from the ballot.

Will never ever happen. Waste of time to even ponder. HOWEVER it would be possible to eliminate gerrymandering which would have a similarly positive effect on turnover and in keeping extremists out of office.

Comment Re:Why haven't we done Voyager 3 and 4? (Score 1) 58

Just give NASA the money, and let them decide who is best to deliver.

As much as I like and respect the folks at NASA, I wouldn't hand ANY government agency a blank check or leave them to do whatever they want with the money. Money corrupts and the good folks at NASA aren't immune. I trust NASA more than most but not that much. That said you do have a valid point that Congress is getting in the way too much. How to solve this I'm not sure. I do think increasing NASA funding and keeping them focused on science, exploration and advanced technology research would be hugely worthwhile.

Comment Here we go again... (Score 2) 41

>"will walk you through the process of using a text message to confirm your mobile device as a secondary layer of security for your PSN account"

Please realize that all this is, is a way for businesses to capture your mobile phone number and then abuse it with marketing. Almost GUARANTEED. Any "security" that requires you to disclose your phone number is a HORRIBLE idea.

Comment Can't versus shouldn't (Score 2) 60

I like it because it reminds me that technical and scientific progress cannot be stopped by morons just saying "it'll never happen".

That's quite a different breed of moron from the ones who say "it should not happen". Think stuff like stem cell research, teaching evolution, etc.

There also is a difference between saying something wont happen soon or won't happen in a particular way versus saying it won't happen at all. For example renewable energy very clearly won't replace most fossil fuels for the next several decades at least. That's a very different statement from saying it "cannot" replace fossil fuels and different still from saying it "shouldn't" replace fossil fuels for many applications. I think that renewables will replace much of our fossil fuel use eventually. I just don't think it will happen as fast as we might hope it would. I'm skeptical about the rate of adoption, not whether it will or won't happen.

I am routinely skeptical about overly optimistic predictions, unrealistic economic expectations, incomplete analysis, etc. That doesn't mean I'm skeptical scientific and engineering progress in general. It just means that I think the person has some of the specifics wrong on a particular topic.

Comment Even pros don't tinker with every possible menu (Score 1) 158

Professional photographers change their settings regularly. So do advanced hobbyists.

There are hundreds of settings on an SLR camera that even a pro photographer isn't going to touch routinely if ever. And there are settings they do use with some regularity that are hard to get at and/or difficult to customize. The fact that they've learned to use a crap interface with the greatest possible efficiency doesn't change the fact that it's still crap.

Nobody else needs a DSLR, so this is a complete non-problem.

How does this excuse having a terrible interface? Even if only pros used it a better interface benefits them most of all. Furthermore what you think non-pros "need" is irrelevant and arrogant. A well designed interface will work well for pros and hobbyists alike.

Because I need to be able to change the setting quickly, and also while holding the camera with both hands.

So make the settings that need to be changed fast easy to change fast. They've done some of this but they refuse to finish the job. Sometimes you do need to change things quickly, that is true. That doesn't describe a very substantial proportion of the menu options. Probably >80% rarely if ever get touched even by the pros.

I might need to change the setting faster than I can get my phone out of my pocket.

There are a lot of features you could not possibly change faster than the time it takes to pull out a cell phone that given that they are buried in a menu somewhere. I'm not suggesting everything be offloaded but I think it's pretty safe to take something like the filename formatting out of the camera menu. You're not going to change that in a hurry. And frankly the argument that every feature of a camera needs to be in a menu just doesn't match reality. NOBODY needs every possible feature of the camera on the little screen. NOBODY is going to change a lot of those settings "quickly while holding the camera with both hands". Some they will. Most they will not.

Comment Re:Trapped? (Score 1) 301

Yeaaah, well, given the source I'd take that with a huge bucket of salt. Even the US wouldn't do such a thing in the west, and especially not Scandinavia. The political fall out would be huge, much larger than any temporary gain that could be had from kidnapping Assange. Actually, paradoxically, the "honey trap" theory is actually much more believable, than that.

So, I can't say I'm convinced. In fact if he were ever prosecuted in Sweden, my money is on a boring he-said-she-said trial, of no real consequence. (And even as a honey trap, the damage has already been done, so there wouldn't be any need for more, and those who prefer could have that theory intact).

Comment Consistently bad (Score 0) 158

The menus on Canon cameras are actually one of the best features and one I tout when people ask me for camera suggestions. Every Canon digital camera I've owned since the late 90's, whether various models of point and shoot, or five different dSLR models (including the 5Dmk3) has a menu system consistent with the other models.

Consistently bad interfaces are still bad interfaces. I own a Canon camera (among others) and the interface is not meaningfully better than the one on my Sony or my Nikon. They all have some strengths and lots of weaknesses. The fact that they are consistent across their platform is what I consider a basic requirement. It's kind of like getting excited because all of Apple's products share a consistent interface? They'd be idiots if they didn't do that. But that's not my point. My point is that their interface is just bad. It's awkward, inefficient, unintuitive, and ugly. I could live with ugly if it was efficient but it isn't. Consistency is nice but there is a lot more ground to cover to make the interface good.

Comment A faster horse (Score 1) 158

The camera manufacturer will typically give at least two shits about what professional and semi-pro photographers think.

If anything they care a little too much. They're afraid to try anything wildly new. That's the problem. It's like the old Henry Ford line "if I asked my customers what they wanted they would say 'a faster horse'". Companies need to listen to their customers but even more so they need to figure out what customers actually need rather than what they say they need. Most people are actually rather bad at designing work flows that are different than what they are accustomed to. Sometimes that is fine but to really progress it is necessary to take some risks and try some new things that might or might not work.

Comment Checklist marketing (Score 1, Interesting) 158

What kind of menu do you want? There is a lot of information and settings that have to be presented to the use

There really isn't. Not on the camera itself anyway. 95% of the menu setting never get touched or get set once and never touched again so why do they need to be in a crappy interface at all? One could remove most of the menus on any given camera and nobody would even notice because they never get used. Those "features" exist on the camera because it provides a checklist for marketing purposes, not because it makes a better product.

Canon does a pretty good job at it on such a small screen, IMO.

Why do many of them need to be on the small screen in the first place? You are going to interface the camera with a computer at some point so why not offload the menus for the rarely/never used settings to a PC or tablet? For the interface itself take some design cues from touch interfaces like on smartphones for crying out loud. They don't give it a moment's thought. Make it seamlessly work with PCs and tablets with zero headaches. Right now it doesn't. I just bought a camera a few months ago and the software to talk with my smartphone sucks and getting it to work with my PC was needlessly painful and still doesn't work great. I disagree that Canon or anyone else does a "pretty good job" of it on the camera screen and even the bits they do well could be better. I think they put in the minimum amount of effort and the results show it.

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