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Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

lymond01 Re:Already been done. (214 comments)

What they found, as I recall, was that there was no impact because people spend roughly the same amount on entertainment regardless of how much they pirate, it was simply that they were spending it in different areas. Someone who was pirating films, for instance, would still spend their entertainment budget but might do so on books or music or video games instead of films.

I might be misunderstanding, but unless you're talking about tax collection or those few corporations that have a hand in books,movies, and video games, I don't think that, as a movie producer, I'd be all that excited about someone watching my movie without paying, regardless if they paid for Diablo 3. That's kind of an odd argument to make.

I respect the fact that people work hard to make movies/music/games/books/paintings/etc and the best way to compensate them is with money. One could certainly argue that the amount someone gets paid to do certain things -- like Robert Downey making millions for one movie -- could be adjusted. However the "free market" seems to think it's fine -- if we didn't pay him millions, he couldn't afford that million dollar home on the coast that was so tragically lost to helicopter-borne missile fire....

about two weeks ago

How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

lymond01 Re:If people would fight their tickets... (286 comments)

Similar experience. Judge made it clear to everyone that your options were:

Guilty: feel free to explain.
Not Guilty: Choose a date for your court appearance and don't forget to bring witnesses, evidence, lawyer (or have on appointed), etc.

I was doing 80 MPH on an empty freeway but it was 15 MPH over the limit. Of course I was guilty. But it was on the way to the airport where I was out of the country for 2 months so when the fine came via mail, then the collection agencies got involved...well, when I got back to 10 letters and a dozen voice messages, I just paid the collection agency not knowing any better (Hint: Never pay the collection agency -- deal with the police). When I finally got to court I said I'm guilty and here's why I was late paying. The judge cut my ticket in half, had the collection agency pay me back. Still had points on my license.

Another thing about standing before a judge. Try not to be an asshat. People try to stare the bailiff and judge down, be surly, etc. The judge isn't an administrative form. While bound by laws, the sentence is up to him. Be polite, joke around, whatever -- but try not to be a jerk unless he gives you cause, as he's the guy who's deciding whether to say "Thanks for being clear and honest, fine reduced to $30" or "Plaintiff will pay full fee".

about 2 months ago

An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

lymond01 Re: I started with a Humanities Degree (264 comments)

Personally I'm excellent at spelling but it often doesn't come through in my writing...

I know! This is why I'm on the national spelling bee competitive tour! You too?!

about 3 months ago

Yahoo To Produce Sci-Fi Streaming Sitcom

lymond01 Revolution? (121 comments)

There are a few shows out but it's mostly post-apocalyptic stuff: Revolution's premise falls into that realm even if the writing is hit and miss. Hard science fiction a la Red Mars (book) is rare on TV. Warp drives and wormholes have some theory behind them but saying they are futuristic is a bit of a leap -- they still exist as fiction only.

about 3 months ago

Finding the Next Generation of Teachers With "Innovative Microsoft Ads"

lymond01 Re: Gates wants your children (122 comments)

Salary is very dependent on where you are. $60K for an entry level CS job was the going rate in Boston in 1993. In California near the Bay Area, high school teachers are paid in the $70k-$80K range for 9 months.

about 3 months ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

lymond01 Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

You lift the limits on campaign spending, declare that corporations have the right of political speech and are now surprised that the rich people have all the say?

I will remind you that even the summary suggests the average American has near zero say in lifting anything in terms of American policy. I'd also like to suggest that people find it easier to be angry at losing than making an effort to win. Directly related somehow.

about 4 months ago

Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

lymond01 To learn? (281 comments)

I realize that a job is generally critical to one's future, and whether you develop the education in college or by yourself is largely irrelevant. You earn money however you feel you can: start your own business, get hired by another company, or swindle your friends and family.

I don't think college should be considered a vocational school. You go there to broaden and deepen, to expose yourself to new ideas and information, to open yourself up to new things and new people. You go there to be fascinated. You shouldn't go there and expect a job afterwards, at least not one based on your degree. Without deeper learning, without more perspective, people are always less that what they might have become. This is what higher education and its environs are for.

It's too expensive. I have no argument there.

about 4 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

lymond01 Summary? (2219 comments)

With all the "fuck beta" posts leading all the other comment sections, it was interesting to hear from various folks who provided constructive feedback in this post. From the "fuck beta" posts, I thought the problem was Microsoft shilling, user data collection, invasion of privacy, and a host of other matters that would antagonize the Slashdot base.

It seems that the actual issues are more practical:
- Comment section doesn't have most of the features
- Javascript is a problem for some people

It seems like both of these just require more coding time. For my two cents, the site has a little too much white space. I realize clean looks with lots of white space is the going design, but I think there's not the right balance currently and it makes the site difficult to take in. Slightly smaller font, slightly less line spacing. Everywhere. Make it tighter.

The stories all seem normal enough: black holes, at least one Apple story a day, freedom of communication, etc etc. Users are correct in saying Slashdot is not a news site, it's a debate site. The most important content on the site are the comments. I feel that's just a matter of time.

I also feel like no one is going to read my 6 page post which would only be half a page without the idea that someone is supposed to write with a red pen between above each line of my words. And after previewing, it looks like I have 10 line breaks between paragraphs...hopefully submission fixes that.

about 6 months ago

Smart Racquets Could Transform Tennis

lymond01 Re:Reducing spin to make game more interesting (64 comments)

Players are always pushing the limits of the equipment. They string their racquets loosely, fewer crosses, with string that grips the ball more. The extra spin generated is used to generate 100 MPH forehand shots, and balls that rotate at over 3000 RPMs, generating crazy kicks upwards, outwards, etc. Players could just use the new racquet designs to make points last longer and they often do -- but that extra control they get from the spin factor allows them to do things with their bodies and ball older racquets could never do. I'm not sure it's a more athletic game than of old, but it's definitely more acrobatic.

about 6 months ago

Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?

lymond01 Other software (432 comments)

Pointing out the obvious: I update my python code to 2.7. Meanwhile, our giant contracted system that it don't manage runs only on 2.6. That is all.

about 7 months ago

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

lymond01 Re:Should be legal, with caveat (961 comments)

Seems an easy fix would be to just have a point where the government takes over the bill. If that patient reaches a particular state (such as Adams' father) and the family and perhaps living will agrees to not continue support, it's on the government to pick up the bill.

That being said, this should not be about money. Bringing that into the conversation is depressing.

about 8 months ago

Google Patents Fooling Friends With Snooping, Chatbots

lymond01 I don't care (128 comments)

But Google can make you think I do.

about 8 months ago

How Snapchat Could March Startups Right Off the Cliff, Lemming-Style

lymond01 Overvalued? (143 comments)

I'd like to see the numbers on ad revenue/data selling revenue for these services. I have a hard time believing that instagram, with its miniature, completely ignorable ads, would ever truly be worth $5 billion. This is what is terrible about "value" these days -- it is turbulent. Houses are bouncing back -- our house gained $100K in one year. Do I think it's worth that much? Not at all...but a lot of people do, so there it goes for no other reason than many people think it should be worth more. Price of wood, stucco, tile hasn't gone up 50% that I know of...

I suppose it's not advertisement so much as selling the information from the userbase to other clients. Those are the dollar amounts I'd like to see -- not so much what ads are directly bringing in, but what other companies are buying access to. "Hmm...Instagram user ou812 has a linked Facebook account under David Lee Roth with lots of pictures of banjos, cows, and hair replacement techniques. We can sell his info to [insert companies here] for $X."

Or something.

about 8 months ago

Movie Review: Ender's Game

lymond01 Re:Enders Game was ok (732 comments)

Depending on your goal, most great books don't rely on their genre to tell a story. The genre is the backdrop to the characters, plot, drama, etc. Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov was a detective mystery set in a futuristic world. Arguably the same could be said of the movie Blade Runner. The Sci-fi elements lend interest and may even have direct involvement in the plot, but the story is generally about people's interactions.

Ender's Game is still a great book in my opinion because it delivers emotion, describes strategy, and is genuinely interesting at a bunch of levels. The movie needed to be an hour longer, have less adults, more battle room, and more character interaction.

about 9 months ago

Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

lymond01 No (726 comments)

So I read and loved the book. I watched the movie have a go at satire and military-industrial complex mockery. I can see how anyone who hadn't read the book would not catch it.

It's a horrible film. It's even worse for naming itself after the book. And, kind of like Ender's Game, it removed all the good parts while keeping vague track of the plot.

about 9 months ago

Microsoft Makes an Astonishing $2 Billion Per Year From Android Patent Royalties

lymond01 Re:Gates was on the right track.. (304 comments)

It's almost like there was some Fox-newsish bias against Microsoft...

I'm still quivering from their business tactics, especially back in the 90s, but now that I'm older and wiser, I gather that in the business world, the ladder is made of other people. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it, it just means that Microsoft is likely middle of the pack on ethics.

about 9 months ago

Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service

lymond01 Re:Probably a downmod coming but.. (390 comments)


According to TFA, basically the company that Experian purchased had already been selling information to the notorious 24-year old cyber criminal. Once the company was purchased, Experian didn't review its own transactions closely enough and inadvertently sold our SSNs to the guy too. Monthly. The Secret Service found out, captured the 24-year old, and it's unknown if Experian, credit watchdog, will suffer for sleeping on the job.

I'm not sure who appointed Experian watchdog (though I'm certain someone on Slashdot will point out how ignorant I am for not knowing), but for a company with so much power over your own life in terms of credit, it would be nice if, with the power came some sort of responsibility -- and accountability. I suppose we'll need to off Experian's Uncle Ben to get our point across...

about 9 months ago

Cost of $634 Million — So Far

lymond01 Re:failure...certainly (497 comments)

+5 informative, eh? I think there was a fact in there: "it does at least give a few months before that mandate kicks in" but I'm not sure it was worth a +5.

Complex site gets overloaded by millions of interactions the first day. I'm surprised anyone was surprised. It's possible there were design issues but with all the policies the data transfer and storage need to conform to, it probably would have been easier to send out pamphlets with checkboxes.

about 10 months ago

Mountain View To Partially Replace Google Wi-Fi

lymond01 Re:ADD -- Billionaire Edition (69 comments)

The problem isn't even the 1%, it's the top 1% of the top 1% that skirt all tax and financial laws and become mega-ultra-super-filthy rich at the expense of everyday people. When people scream "raise taxes on the rich" (which even as a libertarian, I agree with the's the definition that I disagree with), they mean some schlub and his wife who manage to pull in $120k working two jobs. Those people aren't the problem, it's the people pulling in $120M that aren't paying their fair share.

Sort of. Rich people pay a lot in terms of charity, taxes, etc. Their "fair share" -- I don't see a hard percentage in the definition of fair, but someone who pulls in millions of dollars a year is likely paying out a whole lot more in donations than I ever will in my lifetime. Whatever. My problem is: how does someone wind up with that salary? A CEO is a committee, a board, whatever. And they get raises and bonuses based on the initial contract and later votes. What I'm saying is there are a lot of people on those committees who think it's just fine to pay someone millions of dollars, and give them millions of dollars in bonuses, regardless of how the company is doing or whether other people are getting raises or bonuses. Is it cronyism? Is it crazy? As part of the 99%, this is my issue more than anything else -- that the highest executives make millions of dollars a year, and increase their earnings, while others do not increase or are even laid off. Fair does have a definition -- and it isn't this.

about 10 months ago

In Praise of Micromanagement

lymond01 Agreed (136 comments)

Being a manager for a small group of varied IT folk, I think the idea is right. If you could know the requested outcome, delegate it to the experts, keep basic track of the timeline, and be done, that would be awesome. But people are not slurm. Joe and Suzy aren't getting along so Suzy refuses to commit her changes. Bob is out sick. Tom's new and while a great Java programmer is still getting up to speed on the .net framework. John is awesome, but he's just one guy. So you're kind of needed to walk people through difficult phases, keep things on track, show enthusiasm for the project, lead by example (showing up on time, doing your share of the work, being positive, etc).

Or you can just yell alot. Either way...

about 10 months ago



Dennis Ritchie, creator of C and UNIX, dies

lymond01 lymond01 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

lymond01 (314120) writes "This Internet eulogy for Dennis Ritchie compares his creations to those of Steve Jobs. While Jobs gave us the shiny windows (pun intended) and pretty billboards, Ritchie gave us the foundation and girders of the software portion of the Internet, and computing in general."
Link to Original Source

Home theatre setup?

lymond01 lymond01 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

lymond01 (314120) writes "I've got a disparate home theater setup. My TV room has an old Bose 1-2-3 system for sound and DVD and a Comcast DVR. The family room has a 10 year old receiver (which we can hook up our iPod to), 50-CD changer, and two channels — one for the room speakers and one for the speakers outside on the patio. All components are placed along the same outside wall of the house. We have a wireless router sitting next to the Comcast modem in the TV room, a laptop with cables to use with the TV, and a computer connected via wireless in the office. And I was just given a Harmony remote which can control everything.

I'm looking for ideas on improving, centralizing, etc. Someone suggested putting all components in the family room, upgrading the family room receiver (replacing both that and the Bose) to something that allows more than two channels and discrete volume settings (right now, the volume is the same for indoor and outdoor speakers, so it can get a little loud inside if we've got the outdoor speakers turned up), and swapping our 34" HD CRT for a wall-mounted LCD/Plasma which would essentially be alone in the TV room with all the RF components in the family room. I wouldn't mind a clean solution for playing any computer through the TV...the fewer cables the better."

Obama Chooses RIAA Lawyer for Justice Dept

lymond01 lymond01 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

lymond01 (314120) writes "Obama has made a couple interesting choices for his Justice Department. The article goes on to mention this shouldn't be surprise after his choice of Joe Biden for running mate, who yearned to be tough on copyright infringers. From the article:

"As president-elect, one of Obama's first tech-related decisions has been to select the Recording Industry Association of America's favorite lawyer to be the third in command at the Justice Department. And Obama's pick as deputy attorney general, the second most senior position, is the lawyer who oversaw the defense of the Copyright Term Extension Act--the same law that Lessig and his allies unsuccessfully sued to overturn.""

Link to Original Source


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