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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

diamondmagic Missing the headline (176 comments)

Why would you have to have city council approval to start a new ISP? How dare they kill competition, stifle innovat... Oh, it was going to be a taxpayer funded, government run ISP?

My local DMV can't even keep their computers running for more than a few hours at a time. Seriously, good riddance!

8 hours ago
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Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

diamondmagic Re:bad for standards (194 comments)

Code implementing software patents can still be Free/Open Source Software. I mean, isn't that what x264 and VLC is? The un-FOSS-like restriction is one enforced by the government and patent trolls, not the software project.

Just because one country makes it illegal means you should, or even have to, spread it all around the world.

Mozilla isn't even offering people the option to enable h.264 in some alternative fashion (maybe a user could provide it themselves, maybe Firefox searches the OS or hardware for an h.264 implementation) - which they could legally do - no, they're just saying "Haha, screw you".

5 days ago
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Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

diamondmagic Re:false choice (192 comments)

Who the hell are you to tell other people which movies, or any products for that matter, they must and must not like?

about two weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

If the manufacturer loses revenue for mispricing their product, that's their problem, not the developer's, or anyone else's.

The warm fuzzy feeling of sending your money to the manufacturer instead of someone who helped you get the product in your hands in the first place is worth exactly $0.00.

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

The price wouldn't be as high if it weren't for them in the first place.

That's a good thing though. A higher price encourages people who have one to sell it, ensuring that they don't just sit around idle.

If a low price were an end unto itself, why not just hand them out for free?

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

The market for dev kits can't expand in time to meet consumer demand, nor would it be cost-effective to try to do so. It takes a lot of capital to ramp up to full consumer production capacities. And, any dev kit taken out of the hands of actual developers will tend to limit eventual dev support at launch time. It's crucial to get those devices into the hands of actual developers in order to ensure there is actual support for the product at launch time. There's no need to expand access to this particular product, because it's not a consumer product.

All these are reasons to continue selling the product, at a higher price, and to resellers (if they'll still buy).

Higher market prices expand access to a product... period. That's called the law of supply.

The amount of capital consumer production would take is irrelevant. They're selling one product, it's designed for developers, and at the manufacturer price, there's a shortage.

If the kit is being resold, it's still getting into the hands of someone who wants one, and it ensures that they have guaranteed access to one, which is something Occulus isn't doing! (And if discriminating between developers vs. others is a stated goal, they've already completely failed at it. However, who else but a developer would pay the higher price for hardware that's supported by no games?)

So do you want to ensure that developers can get their hands on this, but you don't want to expand access? That's mutually contradictory.

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

If Oculus wanted to collect that revenue, they'd have raised the prices on day one. Most markets work perfectly fine without auctions...

That's not to say that reselling adds "no value." It ensures that someone willing to pay the higher price gets one, whereas they might not get one at all otherwise. That certainly adds value! Profit, by definition, means taking scarce, valuable, resources; and selling it as something more valuable.

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

Except now nobody in China is buying one. How is that better? That sounds worse!

If there's a limited quantity, there's a limited quantity, it doesn't matter who buys or resells, the same number of people are getting one. The higher price simply ensures those who want it the most get one: you don't "wait" for a scalped unit, the whole purpose of reselling so that people who want one now can get one now guaranteed, without risking losing out or waiting.

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic Re:What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

Yes they're developer kits, and nearly everything in the world is limited in supply, how does this change the situation? Secondary markets like this expand access to the product to those who want it, not limit it. It encourages people who have one to sell it, and it makes it possible for those who need one now to get it now.

about three weeks ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

diamondmagic What's wrong with reselling? (131 comments)

There's nothing wrong with "scalping, plain and simple." It's just a secondary market for goods - the very kind we like when we talk about books or music. You have a right to resell things.

If there's a very active secondary market for something, that suggests people are having a hard time getting it from the primary source, or there's just not enough to go around to everyone who wants one, so a higher market price forms. It encourages people who have one to sell it for the new, higher price (increasing supply); and it ensures that those who most urgently want one can get one if they so choose.

about three weeks ago
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Famo.us: Do We Really Need Another JavaScript Framework?

diamondmagic Re:Do we need HTML+Javascript at all? (104 comments)

HTML is accessible and portable. Any device can read it. The most common use-case by far is graphically rendering it in a Web browser, which can be done on a desktop or mobile device; also rendering to printed pages, or multi-channel audio. And of course, spiders/robots.

In short, Web browsers are only one kind of user-agent. HTML is accessible and satisfies the needs of all user-agents.

If you don't use the features of HTML that allow you to do this (such as link relations), you may as well just publish from Photoshop to a JPEG.

about three weeks ago
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Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

diamondmagic Re:"any communications about its targets as well" (242 comments)

A distinction has to be made between passive intercepting and decoding of transmissions - which arguably could go under military - and forcing companies to install wiretapping devices against their will, under threat of force.

The former is something that any old person could legally do, given enough money.

The latter, no. Or at least not without a warrant.

about a month ago
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Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

diamondmagic Re:"any communications about its targets as well" (242 comments)

The US Constitution is what charters the US Government, and so binds it for everything it does. What part of "make no law" do we not understand? And if Congress has no law authorizing the action, the executive branch can't act, except take the census which the Constitution authorizes without any act of Congress.

Otherwise, look what happens: The US can't spy on its own citizens, but Britain can spy on US citizens, so let's go ask the British government for what data they have on our target citizen!

about a month ago
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The Computer Security Threat From Ultrasonic Networks

diamondmagic Re:Hardware sampling rates (121 comments)

A good pair of headphones and analog signal generator says I can hear a difference.

The Nyquist limit, if you weren't familiar, takes energy out of waveforms, canceling it out if you're lucky, but usually turning it into a lower frequency. Try it yourself, generate a sine wave sweep from 1kHz to 22kHz and take a listen to all the noise that appears even at two octaves below the limit.

Two octaves below the Nyquist limit of a CD is about 5.5kHz, as you very kindly point out, which I would call rather audible.

The process of making a high-quality recording involves adding an analog low-pass filter before ADC, or making a high-quality recording (192kHz sample rate) and applying a low-pass filter before downsampling, so as to make sure the high-band signals don't show up as lower-frequency noise (though still rather high pitched, commonly like someone forgot to disable their snare drum). It is audible, and it does make a difference.

about a month and a half ago
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The Computer Security Threat From Ultrasonic Networks

diamondmagic Re:Hardware sampling rates (121 comments)

48kHz (98kHz sample rate) is only one octave higher than 24kHz (48kHz sample rate). I most certainly can hear that difference.

And even if we couldn't hear it, audio engineers still need it. Even one octave below the Nyquist limit, you can still lose up to 30% of your original signal.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

diamondmagic Re:Irresponsible (354 comments)

Of course every state "accepts some limitations" on weapons -- armed people are a threat to tyrannical governments and states in general, and this fact is entirely a result of one's self-preservation, whether good or not. (And a tyrannical government is most certainly not good.)

We won the American Revolution because the general population was armed as well as or better than the British military. The Second Amendment isn't there for hunting, it exists explicitly to protect your right to shoot at the government.

Suddenly, you logical extreme doesn't sound so illogical. (And it was always sounded logical, perhaps you mean "reasonable"?) Most people don't have nuclear weapons because they're nearly impossible to manufacture. But suppose you could 3D print a bomb or machine gun, mass killings are virtually always a losing proposition for organized crime - instead, it's typically a sole actor or very small group. These people are going to cause chaos with whatever they can get their hands on, laws be damned. Are we going to ban kitchen knives and fertilizer too, now?

about 2 months ago
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3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

diamondmagic Re: Irresponsible (354 comments)

You have a right to say "we should punish people who sell guns." But neither you nor anyone else has a right to actually carry that out.

How do we enforce these laws? Police, prison time, and the threat of violence in general. The very violence you claim to be against.

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

diamondmagic Re:Even higher! (1040 comments)

If you're retired and living off savings, are you better or worse off? All you are doing is helping one class at the expense of another.

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

diamondmagic Re:Even higher! (1040 comments)

Well then answer my question: Where is the "correct" number?

None of these politicians even bothered to ask an economist. There is no correct number, they would say. The city council picked a number out of thin air that would get them political support, but not so high that there would be rioting from businesses (though that comes awfully darn close).

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

diamondmagic Even higher! (1040 comments)

If it works at $15 why wouldn't it work at $100?

Of course, it doesn't work at $15, or any other price. Sure, it helps those who manage to keep their jobs, but everyone else... well... http://reason.com/blog/2014/05...

about 2 months ago

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