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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

dirk Re:You're still getting what you were promised (354 comments)

How long did this go on for? It seems if they were truly throttling based on usage, you would have very quickly dropped out of the high usage group if your turn around time was 8 days.

about 2 months ago

Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

dirk You're still getting what you were promised (354 comments)

I don't have any issue with this. Netflix did the smart thing and under promised and over delivered. They said it would be between 1 and 3 days and strived to always be 1 day. Now, there will be a limited time when it will be more than 1 day (really, this only affects if they get a disc on Saturday as they would have went out on Monday and now will go out on Tuesday). This is still within the limits they promised. Sure, it's not ideal, but I just don't see any reason to get outraged over a change that will only affect 1 day out of 6 and still keeps them within their promised timelines.

about 2 months ago

Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

dirk Cost of doing business (91 comments)

The thing I haven't seen addressed (and probably never will) is exactly how much money Apple was able to make from this. My guess is that they benefited far more than 450 million dollars from this. So if that is the case, why would they not do the same thing again since they came out ahead in the long run? You can't make the penalty less than what the company made by breaking the law, as it just becomes a cost of doing business at that point. If they don't get caught they make a boatload of money and if they do get caught they just make less money (but still make money).

about 2 months ago

Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

dirk Re:What the f*$# is wrong with us? (1198 comments)

Please back up your assertions with some facts. I don't buy for a second that men are more likely to be the victims of violence, intimidation and other physical threats. Men are more likely to do all of those, but they are more likely aimed at women. Was was the last time you logged onto XBox live and didn't hear some called a pussy or a girl or a faggot or some other slur? You know what every one of those are? You are basically calling the person feminine which is only an insult if you believe men are superior to women. When was the last time you worried about being raped walking home at night? Or being roofied in a bar?

Yes, not all men are like this. But all women have to worry about it. That is the point of the #YesAllWomen tag. You may not be a rapist or a violent person, but women don't know that. Th best way to put it is let's say 1% of men are violent towards women (which is probably low). You claim women shouldn't assume you are because it is only 1%. I have a big bowl of M&Ms and only 1% of them are poisoned. I happily invite you to try some, since only 1% of them are poisoned. Are you going to eat any? No you are going to worry your ass off and not touch any of them. And that is what women live with every day.

about 4 months ago

A Look at Smart Gun Technology

dirk Re: Camera gun (765 comments)

The thing is, there are plenty of restrictions on the first amendment. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater. You can't slander someone. You can't commit fraud via telling someone something that isn't true. And no one has any problems with these common sense restrictions. But the minute you mention something like background checks with regards to guns every gun nut immediately starts screaming about restricting their rights. For some reason the second amendment is some kind of sacred amendment that no one can even think about putting common sense restrictions on. They rest of them? Who cares as long as we have the second.

about 4 months ago

Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

dirk Re:It gets worse (340 comments)

This sounds great but the math doesn't work out. If most people watch 17 channels let's say it's really 13 channels they have to pay 4 (removing the big 4 over the air channels). Let's assume they watch 2 shows on each channel (which seems fair). Most shows have 22 episodes a season (yes, some have less but then you also have daily shows and weekly shows that go all year). So 26 shows times 22 episodes times 3 dollars = 1716 dollars a year or $143 dollars a month. That is more than most people spend on cable per month. And that is the average, so half the people will spend more than that (and possibly even more than half since my assumption of 2 shows per channel may be low).

about 4 months ago

Stanford Getting Rid of $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock

dirk Re:Activist investors (208 comments)

Only if you believe their only purpose to to make money. Schools are not corporations in that they have other interests besides making money. There is something called contentious investing where you only invest in businesses and industries you believe are worth investing in. You may give up a little money by not investing in coal companies or tobacco companies or for profit prisons or whatever industry you feel isn't worth your money, but you gain a small amount of leverage by taking money away from those industries.

Sometimes morals are more important than money.

about 4 months ago

"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

dirk Re:Stupid gimmick, and I even don't care about gun (1374 comments)

To me, you are the perfect person for this type of gun. Your gun currently sits at the range. With a standard gun, if it gets stolen, they can then use it for anything they want. You don't have to worry about using it in your home for self defense or anything like that. So with this type of gun you can still use it at the range when you want but if it ever is stolen, the thief couldn't use it for anything. This gun isn't a good replacement for people who feel they need protection at all times with them (of course I think most of those people are paranoid and are idiots for not keeping their gun secured). But it is a perfect weapon for someone who goes to the range once and a while to shoot. It at least starts to cut down on illegal guns by taking at least a few of them out of circulation since if these guns are stolen they are useless.

about 4 months ago

"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

dirk Re:They're nuts but right (1374 comments)

These are all very good reason why you might not want to buy one of these weapons. None of them are good reasons why we should try and harass the company to not even produce these weapons. I don't own any guns, but if I felt like I needed to buy one, I would look into something like this. This seems like a wonderful product (assuming ti actually does work as advertised) but gun nuts are too busy screaming about "don't take my guns" to bother to even see the upside. I agree it is not a full replacement for standard guns and I don't think it should be legislated to be the only option, but that in no way means it shouldn't be available either.

about 4 months ago

Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

dirk Chip and Pin cards? (210 comments)

That is great and all, but are there any banks in the US supporting chip and PIN cards for Visa/MasterCard currently? I'd love to get one even if I only use it at Target just to help push things along, but I don't know of any cards that are supporting it now (and I really don't need a Target card).

about 5 months ago

DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

dirk What is the alternative? (170 comments)

I can easily see why this would cause problems, but the one thing no one seems to address is what is the alternative? If we want someone to head the regulatory body for telecommunications (for instance) we need someone who has a vast knowledge of the telecommunications field. That means pretty exclusively someone who has worked for years in telecommunications businesses. You can't pull someone from another field because they don't know anything about what they are meant to be regulating. When these people leave the government regulation jobs, they are obviously going to go back to the telecommunications field (with the other option being lobbying for the telecommunications field since they now have telecommunications experience and government experience).

So what are our options? We can't ban them from going back and working in the field, since that is what their expertise is in no one would take the job. We can't the hiring to people not in the field, since that is just silly. We could try to limit hiring of industry insiders but that severely limits your hiring pool and potentially swings the pendulum too far the other way. The only thing I can think of that is reasonable and doable is to try and regulate the quid pro quo going on, but that is all but impossible. So what exactly is the fix?

about 5 months ago

Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

dirk Re:Uh... (461 comments)

My issue in this case is assume he didn't have weed in his car, what exactly were they going to do to him? They track him down, pull him over and then what do they do? They have an anonymous call saying he forced someone off the road, but no evidence of it. They have no video, no witnesses, not even a real person willing to say they were run off the road. So they pull him over and ask him if he ran someone off the road? And when he obviously says no they just let him go? There was nothing they could do to him unless there is some other secondary issue like in this case.

I can see now a lot of anonymous tips coming in from pay phones near where cops are hanging out. They suspect someone has drugs in their car, they just make an anonymous tip about the car doing something bad and then they have a reason to pull them over.

about 5 months ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

dirk Re:Right! (581 comments)

The problem is that we have many millions of people with NO useful skills. They are also mostly untrainable, or they wouldn't have ended up skillless in the first place. In the past, our economy had a place for these people. The future is likely to be different.

And this is exactly the reason people are pissed off about him saying that. The idea that because someone has a manual labor job must because they are stupid and useless is terrible assumption to make. Most people become coal miners because they grew up in a small town with little opportunity. That in no way implies that they can't learn useful skills and become something like a programmer, it says that because of where and how they grew up they never really had the chance. Lack of opportunity does not equal lack of intelligence or lack of passion.

To be clear, I am not saying that every coal miner could be a great coder, but I am saying that there certainly are some that could be. To simply dismiss them entirely out of hand smacks of classism. "They are poor and do manual labor so there is just no way they could ever be smart enough to be a coder."

about 5 months ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

dirk Re:Think you miss the point (405 comments)

The big difference is because of how the cities were designed, this is even an option. In most American cities, there is simply no way you could ever even consider doing this because there is very limited public transportation. That is where the design comes in handy. I live in Cincinnati, OH. If you banned half the cars from the city, that would mean half the people couldn't come to work because the only thing we have is a crappy bus system that only takes people to the downtown area. It just isn't possible to even consider this because of how American cities were designed to specifically handle cars and not other traffic.

about 5 months ago

US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year

dirk We don't need new tech, just use what is there (197 comments)

The ability to disable cell phones is already there and used in most of the rest of the world. All the carriers have to do is to ban the IMEI number of the phone when it is reported stolen and the phone can't be activated on the network. Yes, the phone isn't wiped, but it removes the primary cause of phone theft, which is selling them (since people will not be able to activate and use the stolen phone). This is used to great success almost everywhere except for the US where the carriers refuse to do it. We don't need something new, we just need the carriers to do the same thing carriers all over the world are already doing.

My guess is that carriers don't want to halt phone theft since it is a money boon for them. If someone's phone gets stolen, then they have to buy a new one from the carrier at full price, and the carriers make more money that way. If they start banning IMEI numbers and phone theft goes down, they don't get than extra money in their pocket. All the government has to do is mandate that the carriers not allow stolen phone's IMEI numbers on their network and everything takes care of itself.

about 7 months ago

Federal Smartphone Kill-Switch Legislation Proposed

dirk How about we start with banning IMEIs? (173 comments)

We really don't need another mechanism to prevent cell phone theft, we already have it. Each phone has a unique IMEI number associated with it. In most other countries if your phone is stolen, you report it and your carrier, along with all the other carriers, ban the IMEI number so the phone cannot be activated on any cellular network. This basically makes the phone useless.

We could easily implement this in the US, but the cell phone carriers refuse to do it. If I had to guess, the reason they don't want to do this is because if your phone gets stolen they get to sell you a brand new non-subsidized phone at full price, which makes them a lot of money. So why would they want to do anything that would help cut down on the number of stolen phones, since each one translates into more money for them?

So why should we set up a new system that can be potentially hacked and abused to wipe phone when all we have to do is to force the cellular carriers to ban the IMEI numbers of stolen phones?

about 7 months ago

California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

dirk Re:It already exists (341 comments)

They fight against disabling phones via IMEI number because it will lower the number of stolen phones. If a thief knows we can't sell the phone because it won't activate on a network, he is less likely to steal it. If there are less phones stolen, the phone companies get to sell less replacement phones. So why do anything to lower the rate of thefts when they are benefiting from it?

about 7 months ago

California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

dirk It already exists (341 comments)

This already exists and the rest of the world uses it. It's called the IMEI number. Simply report the phone stolen and the carriers can kill the IMEI and put it on a list so that it can't work on any of their networks. Yes, thieves could still use the phone offline, but it puts a HUGE dent into reasons for stealing a phone. But carriers continue to fight against this, IMO, because stolen phones means they get to sell the customer another phone (and at non-subsidized prices). We don't need a new kill switch for the phones, we just need to legislate that the cell companies uses what is at their disposal.

about 7 months ago

The UK's Internet Porn Filter and Fighting Censorship Creep

dirk Re:really? (234 comments)

Americans just get all hot and whimper and then bend over.

This post is now potentially blocked in the UK.

about 8 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

dirk Why is this a surprise? (804 comments)

The Mac tax has always been about the actual parts they use and that there are cheaper alternatives. For this comparison, they try to match the parts exactly. That of course is going to cost more because you are paying 3rd party markup prices while Apple is being direct from the manufacturer. The article even admits that you can buy things like a different video card that is equivalent for half the price. The question isn't if you can make the exact same system (or as close as possible) for cheaper but whether you can make an equivalent system for cheaper, and the answer to that is almost always yes.

about 9 months ago



Apple to shut down Lala on May 31st

dirk dirk writes  |  more than 4 years ago

dirk writes "Apple will be closing the Lala music service as of May 31st. They will transfer any remaining money in user's account to iTunes, and will credit user's (via iTunes) for any web songs that were purchased. It's a real shame, as Lala was a much better music service, offering songs in straight MP3 format. Their web service was innovative and ahead of it's time. And they were one of the few places that would let you listen to an entire song to sample it (after 1 complete listen, you then could only hear a 30 second sample)."
Link to Original Source


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