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Comment Re:Thankfully, I can do more than one thing (Score 1) 194

Oh, totally. Now when I have a few minutes to kill I get out my phone and roam around rather than just sitting in the car bored. I've found interesting stuff in my town I never knew existed. The other big magic is that it drew my eight year old out on 95+ degree humid summer days to go to the park and get some exercise rather than saying it was too hot and having to drag her there.

Comment Thankfully, I can do more than one thing (Score 2) 194

I like playing Pokemon Go. It's something I can do when I have a few minutes to myself. I can also go walk around local parks and attractions with my wife or the whole family. Even my mom thought it was fun. We had a great time on vacation with it, whereas the kids might have complained about "being bored" on a hot day, they loved to go to the park and wander around catching Pokemon. It's a scavenger hunt that you can play alone or with others. I've spent a grand total of $5 on it, which is pretty good for something that provided hours of entertainment.

It's harder to play when I've got to work, and the kids are going back to school so we don't have as many opportunities to play. I'm betting less people play in the wintertime, anyway, since in many temperate zones you aren't going to want to be outside for hours when it's raining, snowing and generally unpleasant.

There are many directions they can take this game, and they can add new features like trading, PvP, etc. When new features come out, people can dust off their old accounts and re-engage, just in time for the spring/summer -- or maybe they roll out the features in the winter when there's likely to be less people playing.

Comment What narcissist bullshit. Learn to communicate. (Score 1) 290

"The practical benefit of saying an awful lot without having to turn your slightly inarticulate thoughts into an articulate email is obvious"

No it isn't. It's the same bullshit justification for meetings that go on far too long. I had a manager who was a big fan of the broadcast voice mail who would blather on and then send his incoherent rambling to the whole department, wasting everyone's time. I've had other people who hold meetings that have no structure, purpose or actions that result from them. If you want a social hour, meet at the bar after work. If you want to get things done, get them done.

Being an effective communicator takes work and effort. Effective communicators come to the point in a voice mail, organize their emails with the most important information first and run meetings with ruthless efficiency because they respect the time and attention of their audience. A ten minute inarticulate voice mail broadcast to your team is just a waste of everyone's time, as no one is going to grasp your most important points and any necessary actions they might need to take from it.

Comment Re:Google rips off Apple (Score 1) 41

Prior art: My YMCA has a family membership plan, so does my insurance company. Spotify does, too. Amazon has it. So did the mom and pop video store we used to rent videos from when I was a kid. Parents could set up an account and then you could ride your bike to the video store with a few bucks and rent a movie without having to hassle mom and dad to go with you.

Comment Re:People pay for music streaming?? (Score 0) 67

Because spending (now) $3.75 a month means I can easily find the music I like and listen to it everywhere as well as syncing it to my phone.

Compared to the $20 I used to spend on a CD that had two good songs, it's a bargain. Even at the old price it was a bargain. I've listened to more new artists than ever since I got Spotify as there are effectively zero barriers to entry for me to find new music and up and coming artists. This has also translated into much more regular concert attendance, as up and coming bands generally play smaller venues with ticket prices I can more easily afford. I can catch 3-4 small venue shows and actually feel some connection with the people on the stage versus spending $100+ a ticket and being so far away I might as well watch it on a screen.

Comment Re:welcome to 1993 (Score 2) 67

As a fellow dad, this just saved me $10/month. I like being not tied to one platform only, or having a platform be so obviously be second fiddle -- "Apple Music runs on Android". We also avoid the hot abortion that is iTunes.

Wife: has Android phone, a Kindle, a laptop for work and we have a shared desktop. Spotify has all her playlists on all those platforms.
Me: I listen using the Spotify web interface at work, sync albums to the phone for driving so I don't burn through data plan. Whenever the corporate Linux distro catches up to something modern I can go back to the Linux native player.
Kid 1, the tween: She has a Kindle and an iPod. Spotify works on both. Whatever tweens are listening to.
Kid 2, the elementary schooler: She has a Beatles fixation. I can't complain, but she listens on her Kindle.

Comment Should I feel bad? (Score 1) 175

We have two kids, 11 and 8.

We set up a old smartphone as a "house phone". It's shared on my Ting account. We let the kids use it when they go on walks in the neighborhood. Yesterday we had to leave the 11 year old in the house for the morning so we told her to text us every hour that she was OK. She's been left alone for shorter periods so we were thought she could handle it, but she is right on the cusp of the responsibility to be home alone for a few hours. She's not old enough to be home with her sister, though.

In terms of a tablet, they both have Kindles and the older one has an iPad the school district owns. The Kindles are dirt cheap, and both kids use them to check out library books. We also use the parental controls so they don't play games all day and have unrestricted Internet access. The Kindles also replaced the portable DVD player we used to take on trips. Now for long car trips we load up their favorite movies on their kindles, unrestrict the apps and they sit in the back of the car with headphones on watching movies, playing games, reading books or listening to podcasts. For those worried about them not having time to bicker and "learn how to share", they do plenty of that at home, where they are not in a steel box hurtling down the highway at 70 MPH distracting the driver.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 183

I have a Samsung Galaxy S4. It's mine, I paid for it, it's unlocked on Ting. Bill runs about $30/month. I use it to check email, text, make phone calls, play music and be a GPS with Waze. I do use it every day.

What does a S5, S6, S7 or latest iPhone offer that would make anything I do *that* much better? I went from a iPhone 3GS to the S4, which was a huge leap in screen size, processor power and other things. That 3GS is still used by my kids. But my wife has the S6, and yes indeed it's a little prettier and a little peppier but it's not worth even a dollar a day.

I mean, if it gets run over in the parking lot, I'm going to get something newer for sure, but honestly, why spend money if I don't have to?

Phones are rapidly approaching where PCs are ... the new models look like the old models and are only marginally better. Much like other things sold as fashion, you can tell that the newest phone is a "want" rather than a "need" by the amount spend on flashy and sentimental advertising spots. You don't see ads for lettuce, carrots or cucumbers because there isn't a need to create a market for those things, as they actual needs. With phones (like cars) you pick up last year's new model for a fraction of the cost and let someone else take the depreciation.

Comment VR is cool, but convergence is better (Score 1) 314

My Xbox 360 has logged more hours streaming Netflix, Amazon and HBO Now than playing games. We also have a TiVo and a Chromecast. Each one of the devices does some things well, but not one of them does everything.

In the spirit of asking for everything for free, my ideal game console would play games, but could also be a DVR (recording OTA signals, or acting as a cable box), in addition to streaming services (all of them, not with some of them removed for one reason or another) and VR. Naturally it will also work with Steam so I can pay once and keep game progress if I play on a laptop/PC or console. While we are at it, it will do 4K video, make my lunch and be reasonably priced. And of course, run Linux so I can tinker with it.

Yeah, I won't hold my breath.

Comment Re:Sleeping with the enemy (Score 2) 321

You can't have a pattern of one ... it would take at least twice. But probably end up in the same place.

Honestly, though, if OP can't tell his wife to shut off her phone because it's damned rude and inconsiderate to other theater goers, it speaks volumes about how they communicate and what she thinks about him, since by extension, he's "that rude woman's husband". That's not an "otherwise wonderful woman", that's selfish behavior that takes her husband down with her. Then she withholds sex.

OP, seriously, in a relationship you need to stand up for what you need / believe in and be able to have frank conversations with your spouse, and not be held hostage by sexy time. That's unhealthy in so many different ways.

Comment Re:Sleeping with the enemy (Score 5, Insightful) 321

You should tell her you need to take a piss, complain to the manager that someone is using their phone during the movie and then let them deal with it. Even though movie tickets are pricey, they are cheaper than divorce or hookers. If you feel bad, slip the manager a twenty and tell them not to recognize you.

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