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Comments

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Google Reader: One Year Later

guidryp Re:I don't miss Google Reader. I use InoReader now (132 comments)

I do use Noscript and Google Analytics (in my NS untrusted list) seems to be on most pages on the net.

I doubt running GA on a page gives Google the same level of information that they would have captured using Google Reader.

about a month ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

guidryp Reality check. (377 comments)

When I can but a Toyota Matrix for half the price, get twice the cargo space and still get 38 mpg. I think consumers are realizing that hybrids are just a clever way for automakers to tax people who suck at math.

Really it sounds like you suck at math, but full points for hyperbole.

The Matrix gets 28 MPG, not 38 MPG. (vs 50 MPG for the Prius)
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg...

The Matrix doesn't have twice the cargo space. According the same link, the Matrix has LESS cargo space than the Prius.

The Matrix wasn't half the price (It Appears the Matrix is no more), but again according to the above. Matrix was $19275 vs $24200 for Prius. Hardly half. The Base Prius is also a lot better equipped than a Base Matrix.

Also the average driver would save $850 annually on gas driving the Prius over the Matrix(if gas prices stay the same), meaning it would take 5.8 years to make up the price difference, after that it is gravy and you have a better equipped car, and more savings going forward.

about a month and a half ago
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Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

guidryp Re:Of course... (164 comments)

That actually seems backwards to me.

If you are young, then you probably don't have much of a music collection, so you will probably spend a lot to build one.

If you are old (as I am), then you probably built you collection years(decades) ago, in Vinyl/CDs, ripped them, and just keep mainly listening to this older music, spending next to nothing on new music, which you (I certainly) don't like much of.

about 6 months ago
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4K Is For Programmers

guidryp Seems like a ergonomic nightmare. (520 comments)

The width might be reasonable, but the vertical change looking up/down the screen is likely neck strain inducing.

Beyond that they are using cheapo TVs, not monitors and the minimum brightness is very high. Fine for a TV, not so hot on a monitor you stare directly into all day.

I would MUCH rather have two smaller computer monitors, than one large cheapo TV.

about 7 months ago
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Google Chromecast Reviewed; Google Nixes Netflix Discount

guidryp Re:Except that it completely sucks that way. (128 comments)

I see nothing at your link which differs from information here.

You just have people arguing about the same two Verge/Wired stories on the tab casting.

Regardless that Wired didn't notice any issues with it, it is still a poor solution. Wired used it to play a TV show MKV, likely lower resolution so they may not have noticed the problems. They spent a whole 2 and half lines of text covering the feature.

Verge has more extensive coverage, including how it works. It plays the video locally on your computer, then uses WebRTC to essentially send screen caps to the device.

This is the critical part: it needs to recompress the video again in real time to send it to the chromecast.

That is bound to destroy quality for most people and cause hiccup on higher resolution materials.

1 year,5 days
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Google Chromecast Reviewed; Google Nixes Netflix Discount

guidryp Except that it completely sucks that way. (128 comments)

That is a very poor workaround, that plays the video locally then does some messy screen casting to give you compression artifacts/chop/stutter and lip sync issues:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/24/4553368/hands-on-googles-35-chromecast-a-streaming-tv-stick

Perhaps most interesting of all, we got to try a new beta feature of Chrome that lets you stream the contents of a web browser tab itself to your TV via the Chromecast. It's not particularly impressive yet: scrolling doesn't come close to keeping up with your finger, and there's visible compression artifacts whenever there's rapid motion: it's a lot like streaming game services like OnLive and Gaikai, but with a lot more delay. ... Video plays with only a bit of chop and stutter, and lips don't quite sync up with the audio, which could be maddening for some.

WD TV, Roku aren't that expensive and handle local streaming flawlessly.

1 year,6 days
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The Man Who Convinced Us We Needed Vitamin Supplements

guidryp Questionable ending to article. (707 comments)

Here is the ending to the article:

" In May 1980, during an interview at Oregon State University, Linus Pauling was asked, "Does vitamin C have any side effects on long-term use of, let's say, gram quantities?" Pauling's answer was quick and decisive. "No," he replied.

Seven months later, his wife was dead of stomach cancer. In 1994, Linus Pauling died of prostate cancer. "

It implies Linus died a premature death from the side effect(cancer) he denied. Which is just as bad, or worse than his own assumptions about the benefits. There was no such evidence that Vitamin C increased his chances of prostate cancer. I also don't believe there are any studies that have ever suggested such a link.

It also neglects to mention he was 93 years old when he died, so he wasn't exactly cut down in his prime by his mega-dosing.

1 year,10 days
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Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

guidryp Re:Core market decline + fail to launch in new one (467 comments)

Just because IBM eventually successfully migrated to a new business model, is no guarantee that Microsoft will.

They will have declining stock values to match declining revenues, until they show some clear signs of reversing that trend.

1 year,11 days
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Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

guidryp Core market decline + fail to launch in new one. (467 comments)

The traditional PC market has had 5 consequential quarters of decline. This is Microsofts core market, where it makes much of its money.

On top of that Microsoft has essentially failed to gain any traction in the the new growth markets of smartphones/tablets.

So it is understandable that like the PC market, which is adjusting to some new smaller number of annual sales, Microsoft which makes it's income from those sales will adjust down to some new lower level of earnings, and a correspondingly lower stock price.

1 year,12 days
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Slashdot Asks: How Will You Replace Google Reader?

guidryp Re:Yoleo Reader works for me (335 comments)

I lasted about 5 minutes with Yoleo and gave up. I don't like the layout and it doesn't seem to be configurable and it failed to import many of my reader feeds.

If nothing web based turns up that is half decent I will go with "newsfox" add on for firefox which does a half decent job. But I would prefer a web based client like reader.

about a year ago
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Xbox One Used Game Policy Leaks: Publishers Get a Cut of Sale

guidryp Re:People don't complain at Steam (379 comments)

Steam is OPTIONAL on a PC. You aren't forced to use it and I don't.

Also some people do complain and choose to avoid steam. This scheme on Xbox One is Standard, you can't escape it, unless you skip the whole Xbox HW platform.

about a year ago
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Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds

guidryp Re:Actually only one "loophole" matters. (716 comments)

The most significant quote of the article: "we expect overseas cash balances will continue to grow unless tax laws encourage U.S. companies to repatriate money".

Congress needs to give up on this pipe dream that they can have 35% of the profits made off of all foreign sales. When no one else is double-taxing like this, it makes the American tax system look foolish and antiquated.

Further to this, AFAIK the only western country that taxes foreign income is the USA. If Apple was headquartered in any other country it could bring home foreign earnings free of extra taxation. So only the USA has this problem of it's companies keeping their money out of the home country.

about a year ago
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Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds

guidryp Actually only one "loophole" matters. (716 comments)

All the foreign "loopholes" actually only help Apple avoid paying foreign taxes, those aren't about US taxes at all. These seem more about adding to the political theater of the government going after tax dodgers.

The entirety of Apples foreign cash horde earned on foreign sales, is subject to US taxation. Not one of those foreign shell games protects those earnings from US taxation. In fact they make the cash horde larger, making it potentially sweeter for US taxation.

But here is the one "loophole" that really counts. US Taxation doesn't come into effect until Apple repatriates the cash, which there is no requirement that Apple (or any other US corporation) ever actually do.

This is why US corporations have 1.45 Trillion dollars parked outside the USA.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2013/03/19/u-s-companies-stashing-more-cash-abroad-as-stock-piles-hit-record-1-45t/

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

guidryp Re:Your degrees of separation from the EPA test (374 comments)

If you drive a constant 55 MPH on a calm wind day, you will get the raw EPA Highway numbers.

It is a complete waste of time to argue about individual anecdotal MPG results. Conditions/routes/driver habits are completely inconsistent, and thus results are too variable to be of any real use.

Which is why I suggested using Consumer Reports as a Sanity check. They have the largest consistent database of Fuel economy testing outside of the EPA.

But you shouldn't need to drive 55 MPH to meet EPA Highway numbers.

Consumer Reports tests at 65 MPH averaged in two directions, and nearly every car beats the EPA highway number.

Here are some Hybrids as an example (EPA ratings vs testing at Consumer Reports 65 MPH):

Toyota Prius: EPA 50 MPG, CR 55 MPG, Difference: +5 MPG
Honda Civic Hybrid: EPA 44 MPG, CR 50 MPG, Difference: +6 MPG
GM Tahoe Hybrid: EPA 20 MPG, CR 25 MPG, Difference: +5 MPG

Note that every hybrid here easily beats the EPA rating. Now the Ford Hybrids:

Ford C-Max Hybrid: EPA 47 MPG, CR 38 MPG, Difference: -9 MPG
Ford Fusion Hybrid: EPA 47 MPG, CR 41 MPG, Difference: -6 MPG

Not only does it not beat EPA number like just about every other car in existence, while competing hybrids are averaging 5 MPG over EPA, the Fords are averaging 7 MPG UNDER.

In the comparison of results, Ford stands out massively as an outlier here. More than any car ever before, more than Hyundai BEFORE they were corrected for cheating.

Ford is either cheating, or has managed to game the test to the extent that I would still consider it cheating.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

guidryp Manufacturers cheat on "Take Home" EPA test. (374 comments)

First the current 5 cycle EPA test isn't limited to 60mph, it goes up to 80 MPH:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

That isn't the real problem. The real problem is that 85% of "EPA Testing" is actually done by the manufacturer themselves. In effect this is a Take home test.
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-truth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates
"While the public mistakenly presumes that this federal agency is hard at work conducting complicated tests on every new model of truck, van, car, and SUV, in reality, just 18 of the EPA’s 17,000 employees work in the automobile-testing department in Ann Arbor, Michigan, examining 200 to 250 vehicles a year, or roughly 15 percent of new models. As to that other 85 percent, the EPA takes automakers at their word—without any testing—accepting submitted results as accurate. "

Since EPA MPG plays a big part in overall advertising campaigns, and potential EPA penalties, there is strong temptation for manufacturers to cheat.

Two years ago Hyundai had an ad campaign featuring how all models of many of it's cars got 40MPG highway without needed special models. Hyundai scored big increase in sales. But later testing a Consumer Reports showed a few of Hyundais models got less than 40 MPG in CR testing. This is ODD because CR testing is more straight forward and the vast majority of cars beat their EPA Highway rating when CR tests them on it's own test. So the CR testing is something of a Sanity check for catching cheaters. Eventually Hyundai was found to have a systemic "mistake" in their testing (AKA cheating). They had to roll back mileage claims across the board and give payouts to customers.

The discrepancy between CR and EPA for Hyundai models before they were caught cheating was 1-3 MPG.

Fords new Hybrids are now falling short by 6-9 MPG and Ford has a new (successful) Ad campaign targeting Toyota, claiming better fuel economy. These new Ford hybrids are the first to make significant sales inroads against Toyota. If anything MPG advertising has even more effect on Hybrid sales.

It isn't hard to see how Fords interests are benefited by high test scores, on a test they administer to themselves, even more than they were for Hyundai before they were caught cheating. It certainly smells like something rotten in Dearborn Mi.

about a year ago
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Will Future Tesla Cars Use Metal-Air Batteries?

guidryp Maybe for range extension, but not day to day. (171 comments)

I looked up the recycling efficiency of Aluminum in this case and found it was about 15%. This is worse efficiency than the lowest number you see for an Gas Engine. So using something like this for day to day usage seems out of the question.

But with the right packaging it might be a decent range extender in addition to a Lithium main battery pack.

about a year ago
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Fisker Lays Off Most Workers, Plans To Shop Around Remaining Assets

guidryp Re:How many times do we have to go through this? (276 comments)

And this company failed due to the current trend in American economics. Mr. Fisker wanted to invest and build to create a product to sell.

This company failed becuase it had a poorly engineered product, with outsourced drivetrain, and outsourced production. That product was one of the most unreliable cars produced in the 21st century so far in an era when cars are getting more reliable.

Mr. Fisker most likely departed because he wanted out of a sinking ship. There was no investing to save this turkey.

about a year ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

guidryp Neil Young and the Placebo effect. (749 comments)

Neil Young is an aging rocker with hearing damage. There is no way he can tell the difference except in his own mind.

Even among people good hearing, only a minority can detect a difference between lossless and properly encoded higher bit rate (~200K+) lossy.

The hubbub over this is almost all placebo effect and snobbery.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Can we create a real "Gamers Bill of Rights

guidryp guidryp writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Masked Rider writes "In recent discussions about nasty DRM in games such as Spore. Stardock was often cited and their "Gamers Bill of Rights" (GBOR) was often mentioned: http://www.stardock.com/about/newsitem.asp?id=1095

So I followed up at a Stardock Forum, but it quickly became obvious that there is a fundamental conflict of interest here, and that GBOR is really just a renaming of Stardock Policy, not a true Gamers Bill of Rights.

I suggest creating an independent, concise, and concrete list of "rights" here from Slashdot user input and perhaps a "Gamers Rights" scoring system.

Suggested rights to start things rolling:

Right of resale: Gamers have the right to sell their games or trade them when they are no longer interested in playing.

Right of independent operation: Single player games will install and play without connection to the internet, requiring no remote server, and are thus protected against the disappearance of such servers.

Right of system integrity: Games shall not install onerous DRM systems that act as rootkits or potentially interfere with other software, no components shall run when the game isn't running, all installed components shall be removed when the game is removed.

Right of Media free operation: Install shall be complete, games will operate without a disk in the optical drive.

After we have a list, we need to carry to the next step and try to involve review sites.

Basically this is a suggestion to move beyond complaining toward activism. The power of Slashdot could influence a review site to do something like this if the list was small and minimal grief to add. The site would benefit as Slashdot highlights the reviews. Consistently high "Gamer Rights" scores for companies with consumer friendly policies and low scores for companies with poor policies should create more incentive toward consumer friendly policy.

So can we create a real "Gamers Bill of rights"? Is this something worth pursuing?"

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