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Comments

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What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

speedlaw varies by age (118 comments)

My teens = 100%. They've not done appointment TV in the last three years other than to watch an "amazing race' ep with the old folks. The old folks = 50%. We still have some stuff OTA, which we watch on DVR, rarely 'real time'. I'm currently loving the 50's B movies on Hulu and various Youtube fan fiction episodes. (we are still learning :) ) I cut cable when they raised rates and added a $5 "sports fee" to the bill. I don't care about sports on TV and the idea that I was paying $60 for something I NEVER use just galled me.

2 days ago
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Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators

speedlaw appear ? (63 comments)

appear ?

about three weeks ago
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Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

speedlaw What does it cost to build a car ? (431 comments)

The one secret that even the internets don't know is...what does it cost to built a car ? That 18k small runabout...The 35k "near luxury car"...the $60k statusmobile ? I'm sure the spread between the 18k car and the 35k or 60k car isn't massive, but the profits are. If the Chinese can make a 20k car for 4k, whereas the US maker will need 8k, quality being equal, then there is a problem here. What does it cost for GM, or Ford, or even BMW, to build that car ?

about a month ago
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Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

speedlaw Re:Volvo or any other for that matter (431 comments)

Oh yes. German made VW owner here. Just look at the quality of the plastics and rubber. It is clear one VW is made cheap to be sold to Americans and one VW faces Opel, Peugeot, and low end BMW and Mercedes cars we don't get here. I drove a Mexi Jetta and a German Golf, both diesels. The German car was just better, and worth the slightly higher price.

about a month ago
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Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

speedlaw Re:A bit of a red herring.... (431 comments)

The Captiva is designed for rental fleets only-they want cheap. They get it. It isn't sold new to "people".

about a month ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

speedlaw Lots of Miles, calculated (377 comments)

I do 30k per year. Back in 03, I bought a car with 25 mpg. It was fine at $2 per galllon. In 08 I bought a car that got 17 mpg. Joke was on me, gas doubled shortly thereafter. New car time. Euro diesel experience, rental and relatives, at $10 per gallon, was instructive. Here in the US, though, cheap is VW, moderate BMW, expensive MB. Hybrid is great for short distances and city. I considered and drove the Volt, but it was going "gas" at 40 miles.... A VW TDi diesel gets close to 40 mpg at 80 mph. I'd love the e90 320d I rented in Berlin, but that never made it over to North America. Diesel has great torque....pulls constantly, and other than winning 0-60 drag races, is a better overall package for the normal driver. I'm only limited by tires around town. My 3 series wins on a highway, but for city or normal commuting, the less horsepower diesel with more torque is more useful than the bigger horsepower car. We drove around bavaria with a 320d and a 316i. The diesel spanked the gas car on the autobahn. At the end of the same trip at same speeds, the gas car used a tank and a half more fuel, which meant $180 in fuel costs. (they are same price in Germany-not in US). Different tools for different jobs. I've had a few different cars, and a diesel car is like the old big block two barrel version of the big American car. Huge pull off the line, just don't spin it up. (The diametric opposite of the Euro car-like my Mk. 2 16v GTi) I'm still amazed that in Berlin I saw Chrysler minivans with 4 cyl turbodiesels but none in the US...on the very same school run.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Snowden Did Right

speedlaw So, if they are listening to everything (348 comments)

Business deals...monitoring encrypted financial transactions. Congress critters. The President ( don't doubt this for a second ) oh, and maybe a jihadi or two. This makes NSA the most powerful player in the loop. Who runs it ? Who appointed them ? What are the internal checks and balances, if any ? Snowden is a hero, because, while he did break a trust, he did so to warn us that there is a new player, more dangerous than even oligopoly-america, spying in a way the KGB or Stasi could only dream about. If he is ever arrested, he will spend the rest of his life in solitary....so he is smart to stay away, and I hope he lives a long and happy life in exile.

about 2 months ago
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Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

speedlaw Ethanol is for drinking, NOT driving (432 comments)

Two Jetski carbs...fill with brown gunk...also hoses dry out and get hard. Lower energy value. I got real gas on a road trip recently and could feel the difference. If it wasn't a boondoggle for connected Agribusiness, I couldn't see any reason for it-not that that is a "reason", but here in the US of A, it is often why (see, Corn syrup and why it is not illegal for food use). Here in the NYC area, there are NO options for real gas.....

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

speedlaw 24/7 coverage (408 comments)

dog - also happy to see you come home

about 2 months ago
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$200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

speedlaw extra douchey (252 comments)

Law School is a huge profit center, as lawyers sit with books. No labs, no electronics, just old school learning of a set course load. Get used to it, with the WEST publishing monopoly law books are stooopidly overpriced.

about 3 months ago
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Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

speedlaw For a Legit user, still a PIA (477 comments)

I'm not a pirate, yarrr... but Blu Ray sucks. I've had issues with newer discs not playing on my legit player. The mandatory previews, etc are just bogus. The only reason for blu ray is because the netflix streaming catalog is so limited. This and the HDCP nonsense. DVI should have won, but as open source, it never had a chance.

about 3 months ago
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F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

speedlaw Re: Well, what did we expect? (410 comments)

Reasonable assumption, but Verizon got some wireless frequencies and agreed not to build out. The cable cos got noncompete on broadband to the home. Fios build out is limited to only those places they are contractually obligated. Sorry.

about 3 months ago
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NYC's 19th-Century Horse Carriages Spawn Weird, Truck-Size Electric Car

speedlaw Real Estate Grab, nothing more (204 comments)

Lived in NYC for quite a while..saw the horses every day. A Carriage Ride isn't cheap, and the horses looked healthy...I don't think they were abused, and the load pulled was a cart of tourists on flat ground. I too used them a few times for dates and such. Nope, the real reason is some prime real estate is zoned "stables". Get rid of the horses and a few very, very valuable lots become "residential". Buy up a few bits of "air rights" and the 1% get another choice. Leave the horses...it is a bit of old NY and isn't hurting anyone, including the horses.

about 3 months ago
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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

speedlaw How it is done (220 comments)

You want to hire an H1-B. You then write a description for the visa that can only be filled by the prospective applicants (must speak Mandarin and Portuguese, code COBOL, have a C++ degree and play good lacrosse) You advertise. Many poor saps, thinking it might be a real job, apply. None of them fit your cookie cutter description. (or, want to work for the offered salary). You get visa. The visa lives or dies at the employers' whim. Gives a whole new area of control over the employee.... I'm amazed. Kids summer camps. Ski areas. In a nation of folks who need jobs, I see a lot of H1-B in certain industries.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

speedlaw Sony HDD 250 (702 comments)

Now, I know Sony justifiably gets no love on Slashdot, for good reason, but.... One of the last products built by "old Sony" is a DVR called the HDD 250. They built it for about six months before being patent trolled by TiVo. Near indestructable. Would record 25 hours of HD, tuned all OTA, analog and digital, was/is fully cablecard compatible. I have two, still working. 2006 devices, came out when HDTV was still a new thing..part of the problem was that they were too ahead of the analog shutdown. Until the scumbags at Rovi (nee Macrovision) shut off the listing service, it was the free OTA DVR with a huge WAF that everyone claims to want but that the Cable co makes sure you cant buy

about 3 months ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

speedlaw One Damned Button ! (130 comments)

No matter how much you try, there is always one button that each remote has, you need, and that cannot easily be duplicated on a universal. This is the same problem that we have with e-payment. A system that works for all cannot arise as each player wants to be the only game in town.

about 4 months ago
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FCC Orders Comcast To Stop Labeling Equipment Rental a Service Fee

speedlaw Re:Okay, so they have to explicitly state charges. (97 comments)

Buy them ? You can get a tivo, but there is a rental. The last "non rental" box was the Sony HDD series, which lasted six months in 2007 or so. I surmise there is some sort of "must be individually addressable" rule under the Cable card rules. There have been DVR since then, but they either are OTA only, or rental basis (TiVo). The companies have lobbied successfully to get all signals scrambled-save the OTA local market. Since they used to stream in analog the change to digital was used to restrict things...there is zero reason the QAM signals can't be open, and read by most HDTV sets with no issues...save the desire to bang everyone $8 per box, or more for a DVR.

about 4 months ago
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FCC Orders Comcast To Stop Labeling Equipment Rental a Service Fee

speedlaw Great business model (97 comments)

I'm amazed that they sell you a signal. They scramble the signal. They then make you rent a box to descramble it. What a scam.

about 4 months ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

speedlaw Re:Overcomplicated junk.. (496 comments)

It doesn't really interfere with that...it is more a background noise. I'm still more concerned with sharing the road with people who need a gadget to tell them they are tailgating.

about 4 months ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

speedlaw Overcomplicated junk.. (496 comments)

I'm perturbed, as my Valentine One goes off all the time. Always a low level K band hit. Always near a Mercedes, Volvo, or sometimes new Caddy. It comes from a small radar transmitter, which if it senses a car in the blind spot, lights up a triangle in the mirror of the car to alert the driver as to a blind spot issue. A small tweak to the mirrors (see new Fords, or any euro mirrors) allows you to see blind spots with zero tech. These guys and the morons using laser cruise control, such as Volvo or infiniti, deserve cosmic abuse. I worry about folks who need a reminder they are too close to another car, or are swerving.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Sony DVR useless after Rovi stops TV Guide OnScreen

speedlaw speedlaw writes  |  about a year and a half ago

speedlaw writes "Rovi has just announced that they are stopping the TV Guide OnScreen service as of April 13th, 2013-this was announced via the service itself. This is an on air listing service that provides listings over the air, as part of an OTA TV signal. Many devices, notably the Sony HDD 250 and 500 Digital Video Recorders, will no longer function without the clock-set data this stream provides. When Microsoft decided to stop supporting Windows 95, they didn't "brick" everyone's system. Worse, Sony never came out with another DVR in the US market. Why do we have to rent them ? How do we get Sony or Rovi to provide at least a software patch to set the clock so the DVR can at least retain 1980's VCR functionality ?

https://forum.sel.sony.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=15646&p=42468#p42468
Sony admits no fix.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/537711/sony-dhg-hdd250-500-official-thread too much information on TV Guide OnScreen.

The TV stations who broadcast the data have been ordered by Rovi to disconnect the data inserters and ship them back. I have a TiVo, and yes, I know all about HTPC, but this data stream was "lifetime listings" like TiVo has "lifetime listings"....now that Rovi is looking to cut, my two DVR units are about to brick....Slashdotters, help !"

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