881 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013
Amazon's prices aren't that great on electronic gadgets
I buy a lot of electronic gadgets, usually online, and I always strive or wait for the lowest prices. Amazon doesn't get very much of my business in this sector, perhaps about 2%. Their prices are rarely the lowest.
So if one is looking for a root cause of their supposed lack of profits, I don't think that it's because they're giving away electronic gadgets.
"...fix the global tax system."
When they export their untaxed profits, they pretend to "import" something to balance the books. Typically something like royalties out for an "import" of a license to use a Trademark. Or "management fees", or some other " IP" transfer.
Governments could easily, if they really wanted to, slap an import duty on such "imports".
Allow a generous deduction and link further deduction credits to income tax paid. Done right, there'd be no significant escape.
This policy change should help with government deficits. All good.
Re: All the previous commenters missing the point
From Canadsa, my last Microsoft purchase was "from" (not really) "Luxembourg" (not really). Another tax avoiding tactic.
"They won't quit"
Thermodynamics 101, Aereo style:
They won't win.
They won't break even.
They won't quit.
Reformulate themselves as a Condominium Corporation
"But Me Lord..., t'is not us that are doing these acts. The individual titled owners of each defined signal path have full ownership and control of their individually owned system. Our only role is that of the essential management of the facility. For this we charge a monthly fee, to pay for power and our Management Services."
If Aereo has all this streaming capable hardware...
New business model:
Source content from the creators and stream it to the consumers.
Change name to AereoFlix.
Appoint a VP of Continuously Whining about 'Net Neutrality'.
Re: Buyer beware. As always.
AC: "Next time, in exactly the same way as if you were stung by Microsoft's anti-piracy measures, you'll be more careful about where you buy it."
That's a deeply ignorant comment. Counterfeit MS products can appear everywhere and anywhere. If you're looking for a genuine copy of (for a carefully chosen example) Windows 7 Professional, MS isn't selling any. So one is left trying to sort the wheat from the chaff from other vendors. A reassuringly expensive price is not a perfect filter; it might be a scam trick.
Blaming the customer for buying from the "wrong" vendor is just daft nonsense. Garbage comment. Simply ignorant.
"Fake power transistors, fake voltage regulators, fake op-amps, fake capacitors... you name it..."
Define "Fake". E.g. What's a "fake" 2N2222A?
If you think you have an easy answer, then you're simply wrong.
Back in the 1970s, even the big USA semiconductor manufacturers were all building work-alike clones of each others' IC products. It was legal then, and it's mostly legal now.
Re: Never trust Windows Updates for drivers
RAM... "twice" ?
Twice? Like, in your whole life?
You need to buy more gadgets.
Re: Very dumb idea
AB: "The IP violations come from FDTI labels on the front (most don't have this, by all accounts) and using a FTDI assigned VID/PID."
Which legislation protects VIDs and PIDs?
MB: "...come to the conclusion that buying cheap, eBay-sourced devices is not a good idea, and then purchase a more expensive part..."
A reassuringly expensive replacement that will probably be just another clone with a high price applied to assist with moving them off the shelves.
Your logic of paying more will be anticipated and taken advantage of.
Re: Pretty nasty
...claiming it to be an FTDI part. That is what you are doing if you program it with FTDI's VID."
Are VIDs and PIDs and so forth legally protected? By statute, in the way that Trademarks are?
"FTDI" is obviously a legally protected trademark, but I doubt that something like "6201" in a certain register is actually legally protected.
@Filippo - you are exactly correct.
In general: Drawing a sharp lines into what is actually a continuous spectrum leads directly and inevitably to paradoxes and logical dead-ends. First thing to look for when confronted with problems like this.
Ignoring even the cooling of the reactor core...
Heat Engines (machinery that takes the heat from the reactor and somehow converts the heat energy into useful work) require a cold side as well as a hot side. If it's all hot then it'll stop.
My understanding is that this is fundamental (a la Watt et al), but I didn't take the class. Corrections welcomed.
The 'BadUSB' title distracted from an otherwise very good point on being "...certain of the provenance of that stick...".
Borrow a target's car keys (e.g. valet parking) and swap their FIDO 2FA thingy with a Trojan horse look-alike USB stick filled to the brim with zero-day exploits, then at least you can be assured that they'll bring it to work and stick it straight into their PC first thing in the morning. No more relying on human nature and scattering USB sticks around the parking lot.
Oh, so now...
Oh, so now IT security is improved with USB ports?
I told them it wasn't a good idea to fill the USB sockets with epoxy.
They've also developed a breakthrough in nuclear fusion power systems?
Re: Arrogance of humans
intrigid mentioned "...escape our blue ball..."
Blue Balls. Another reason to bring girls.
Re: KSR being predictive again...
As long as you consider the risk that the entire tiny space ship might be eaten by a small dog.
i.e. "sanitary towel mountain"
I don't think that's the sort of towel that Douglas Adams was intending.
Good arguments can be too good...
Augment the gender argument with age and race. One can probably see where this is going.
The first person on Mars will actually be... ...somebody from the NHK / Discovery Channel joint venture video crew that arrives the day before to set up. Amusingly, it'll be 14 long months until an investigative blogger even notices and starts asking who was operating the camera.
Re: Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al vice 'Net Neutrality'
AO: "The network is still a scarce resource."
It must be a case of YMMV. Here on the right hand side of the cold colony, earlier this year we were finally able to upgrade from a pathetic 1.4 Mbps ADSL to a FTTH service, and we selected the 175 Mbps option. With four people all active at once, gaming and watching videos, everything just works almost all of the time. Of course the Internet is not always perfectly reliable, but in general there's no evidence of any bandwidth scarcity in the connection from our devices to even some far corners of the web. For example, I can watch 'Periodic Videos' and such on YouTube at 1080p no problem while my lady watches subtitled dramas from Korea (can't explain it) in HD. The two gaming kidiots don't even notice.
Perhaps there's too many people living in London.
Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al vice 'Net Neutrality'
So, are CDNs good or bad? Argue amongst yourselves. See if a consensus arises. I thought that they were good. But they seem to be a subset of things that are somehow Anti-Net-Neutrality. Imagine, somebody paying money to make delivery of *their* content faster. Evil scum!! (<- sarcasm).
See if you all can even agree on a future-proof definition of the difference between any future CDN (good?) and any future Anti-Net-Neutrality technology (bad?). Keep in mind that future technology loves to straddle previously-defined boundaries. It's a spectrum of possibilities. Drawing sharp lines in any spectrum leads to paradoxes.
I think it's all nonsense. Between H.265, multicasting, and fiber optics, the back end of the 'net is going to (over the next five or ten years) simply accelerate away from any and all bandwidth limitations. All that remains is the 'last mile' (something that Bell Aliant FibreOP has cracked; solved problem).
Re: apparently cloudflare thinks zdziarski.com is undergoing a DDoS
Huh? Was there a URL superimposed over the bikini pic? I didn't notice.
"Failed to install"
I see this all the time. Usually one update per batch fails to install. Even with default settings of what to install. Next time through it either succeeds, or it decides it wasn't required in the first place. Silly.
This happens with fairly fresh-install machines. Not some old disease-ridden junk.
Perhaps I'm clicking it wrong.
Re: "Regulators want to sell as much spectrum..."
Leases. Even with 10+ year terms. A much better concept than "selling".
Automatic renewal (with another fee) assuming reasonable behaviour (customer service, reasonable pricing, efficient use). Public hearings for renewal. Warning mechanisms include a shorter renewal term.
Re: “help get around the technological and practical obstacles”
"...millimeter waves aren't very good at getting around obstacles."
Obstacles including molecules of water vapour.
Shouldn't they go after crocodiles and poisonous spiders?
Humans are probably the least scary thing in Australia.
Except Donk. Donk was scary. ("Nah. I don't need one. I got a Donk.")
Re: Turn off the engine while downhill!
"...the Nissan Leaf has solar panels to power the air-conditioner..."
You're not very good with numbers, are you? A small solar panel might be capable of powering a fan to move hot air out of the cabin, keeping it at ambient. But a solar powered air conditioner would need (much) more than a square foot of capture area of solar panel in the 10 watt class.
Ref. "The Leaf's SL trim has a small solar panel at the rear of the roof/spoiler that can trickle charge the auxiliary battery."
Re: Fuse wire
"...use 24 or 48 volts, rather than 12V."
Hopefully one doesn't end up with four car batteries in series.
Mercedes E class saloon has many of these ideas...
Aluminininnium bonnet, wings, boot lid. Flat aero panel under engine. Simplified power distribution with CAN-bus controlled switch boxes scattered about. Controllable engine pulleys. It still weighs two tons. Cd supposedly 0.26, which is good, and very noticeable how it slips through the air seemingly effortlessly.
23 MPG (Imperial gallon) daily driven normally (like I stole it). Or 33 MPG if I hypermile it down the highway. What's that? +45% by driving style and route? The most important weight to remove are your heavy boots.
Re: Fuse wire
"...those connections will fail over time..."
Perhaps Jaguar owners would consider that situation to be perfectly normal.
Re: Cruise control
"Outperforming [ABS] in snow however is essentially impossible."
My Mercedes thankfully provides a clever override to ABS. While slowly descending an icy hill, I can press the brake pedal a bit harder to intentionally lock up the wheels (feature, not a bug). This gives my studded tires a second to dig into the icy surface to scrub off speed caused by the downward slippery slope. Of course steering is more or less useless with the wheels locked, so one must pump the brakes manually with a period of several seconds (based on vehicle movements while skidding).
Normal ABS pumping is too many Hz and provides very little braking action under these conditions, while the hill slope keeps adding speed. Normal ABS can't keep the speed under control; speed caused by slope. The override is very useful as it allows one to give the brake on time more duration so the studs have time to dig in and grip.
You're probably right about snow, but damp ice on a moderately steep hill is about a thousand times more challenging. Snow is fun. With 4Matic AWD and four Nokian studded tyres, I can make full throttle starts in snow to frighten nearby SUVs, as they typically are equipped with poor 4-season tyres and can't keep up. Snow is fun. Ice is scary.
Re: Advanced Motoring
"breaks" is not the correct word.
Fig 3 says it all
One way to improve fuel mileage figures, if that's the ultimate goal, is to move house further from work.
Re: Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
That's why the legal Carry On bag and/or LapTop Bag are crammed with gadgets so that one can enjoy one's own selection of movies without being disturbed by pesky announcements. One flight from HK to Toronto, I rewatched the entire original (Carl Sagan) 13-episode Cosmos series start to finish on a laptop with only one interruption to answer 'Chicken please. Thank you.'
Best Flight Ever.
Re: Once upon a time...
@ (more than) abit (crazy): "Did you bring a CD, a tape, an LP..."
So when your wife is browsing the endless shoes and handbags, you wander around the shopping mall with an LP tucked under your arm? And a C90 cassette tape rattlling around in the pocket of your anorak, covered with lint? Dragging these pinnacles of High Fidelity Reference Samples along everywhere, just in case an unexpected Bose Factory Outlet store suddenly appears through the mountains of handbags, like a mystic apparition through the swirling clouds of estrogen.
No. I didn't. I went with pulling off the speaker grill.
Once upon a time...
I was bored in a shopping arcade full of handbags and shoes. So lacking the ambition to hang myself, and hoping to escape the clouds of estrogen, I wandered into a Bose store.
On a shelf was displayed a Bose own-brand bookshelf stereo system. I read the price tag from the distance as $349.99 (US). As I got closer, the price tag came into clearer focus: $3499.99
So I immediately pried off one of the speaker covers expecting to find that the speaker cones made from something exotic, perhaps iridium plated panda hymens; something that could justify the eye-watering price. While the sales clerk was leaping over the counter in panic, I was busy discovering that the speaker cones were made of crap cardboard. Not just cheap paper, but obviously-crap cardboard.
Re: Why does Microsoft want people to stop talking about Windows?
Solution is automatic, perhaps $100, compensation for each such false DMCA claim.
Re: The US isn't actually forbidding the export of crypto...
Maybe the BIS was getting too many of these Self Declaration confessions, and they want to discourage them. It'll probably do exactly that.
What about Apple?
When you have "strong" on-device crypto with the lengthy keys protected behind a weak 4-digit PIN (probably 7852), does that constitute an Export Controlled item?
Re: I can handle a couple more subscriptions.
J7: "I'll drop the license fee."
Canada here. I'd like to pay the License Fee and have full access to all BBC programming. The only issue I can foresee is not enough hours in the day.
Re: Broadcast and Comercial TV is dead
YouTube ads? What's that?
Translation: there are solutions for most of them.
Re: Well it's not just the hassle and faff is it?
A&W "... tells me to turn it down :/ "
Once upon a time, I was once pulled over by a police officer from the other side of a dual carriageway, I suspect because my car had four 12-inch speakers and the stereo was turned up to 11. At my car's window (with everything off and my ears ringing), he mouthed something, and I replied "WHAT!!??" Again, his mouth moving in silence, deafened me responding "WHAT!!??". This exchange repeated several more times until he realized it was pointless and wandered off. Real life comedy.
Re: Pure H2O versus Flavoured drinks
I also have some speakers equipped with Dipole Ribbon Tweeters. Quite a few actually (a dozen perhaps?) because I went around two provinces and bought up every last one when they were on clearance sale for 75% off. They're very nice, the tweeters themselves. The speakers they came bolted to are, at best, average. But the dipole ribbon tweeters themselves are 'to die for'.
For live recording classical music and ambient 'nature sounds' pieces, these tweeters get quite a few -2 point penalties for being so distractingly good.
I have a 'St Martins in the Field' CD where there's a truck gently rumbling by, outside the church, embedded in the track. When I forget, I have to pause the CD and look outside. Crazy.
Re: Physics 101
AC: "fast breeder reactor has a core ~~ 1 m^3 ... ~ the power in question."
A bit disingenuous.
1) You're comparing FB core to LM entire reactor vessel (the fusion core being a plasma).
2) You've ignored the difference in the geometry of a pressure vessel (surface area vice flow thru).
3) You've inserted more than the allowed number of "~" into your argument.
Anyway, the point has been made. How do you shove 100MW of heat through the walls of a vessel. 100MW from a little box becomes a major plumbing problem. Perhaps liquid metal cooling is the way forward. Hopefully the liquid metal in question is not their vessel walls having melted. I trust they'll be thinking of this (they're clever), but I suspect that the optimum solution might settle down to a bit less than the "100MW on the back of a truck" headline.
Re: Physics 101
"What's its surface area ?"
You may assume the 1 cc object is made from carbonized coconut, and has a surface area that is vast (Wales sized) on the microscopic scale, if you think it'll help. The area at the macro scale is on the order of 6 cm^2 (if we assume a cube for simplicity).
"Thermal conductivity ?"
Feel free to browse the Periodic Table. Help yourself.
"...in a vacuum ... or liquid sodium ?"
Help yourself. Anything you want. Your goal it bring the temperature down to, heck, 4 digits would be a major accomplishment.
The point of the 1 cc Thought Experiment is to assist those with poor conceptualizing skills to catch-on to the fact that moving power as heat implies temperature. 100MW is a lot of power. Size matters. It cannot be made arbitrarily small with practical materials.
Back to the LM example, at some point in the future the Steam Turbine folks are going to knock on the reactor room door, with their 1m diameter 100MW class steam pipe in tow, and everyone will be left wondering where they're supposed to connect the 1m diameter pipe to the wee cute little 100MW reactor.
I can sense some problems with the plumbing. It's because I tend to pay attention to numbers, such as (for example) 100,000,000 joule per second.
Canada calling. Where can I send in my License Fee?
For £150.00 per year (under Cdn$300 even now), and you give me full on-line access to all BBC TV programming in HD (as well as all BBC radio too, of course), where do I sign up? Live and Play It Again, just as if I lived down the street and had an aerial. Including Top Gear and everything. None of this 'Not Available in Your Area" crap. I'm paying, let me in.
Seriously. Please. Make it so.
Puh! You think that half-rate codecs are bad?
Rogers in Canada, at come cell sites in rural Nova Scotia, has 3G towers connected to the Internet with what appears to be a dial-up connection. Five bars of lovely 3G signal. Excruciatingly slow connection to the world. I suspect the tower is wired to the world with copper phone lines for the audio, and (being too far for ADSL) dial-up data.
I've seen it in enough different locations at enough different times to support my conclusions. Perhaps there's another explanation, but I can't think of it.
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