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For the first couple years, you're right, but they've coasted on that success for far too long. They've been dragging their feet on fixes and features since then. The fact that they haven't been as bad as MS in the IE6 days is hardly worthy of praise.

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The counter-point is how PR folk have been learning to master the art of viral, distributed propaganda. While it's harder to control than broadcast (memes have a life of their own), active manipulation of public narrative for profit remains alive and well on the Internet.

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It is worse and simpler than ideology: self-interest demands collusion. Media conglomerates benefit from political ad revenue and "access"; political figures benefit from corporate news channels that won't rock the boat. Individuals who buck this trend from either side are filtered out, usually before they set foot in the door. Those who remain are only too happy to believe the narrative that benefits them.

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I experience this phenomenon on a less immediate time scale: in the days following a new episode of Breaking Bad, etc, there is discussion and camaraderie with other fans. With the "binge-only" model of House of Cards, that same social experience is not possible.

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Netflix needs to release batches of episodes every Friday. Over the course of a weekend people can watch 4 episodes and then chat about them on Monday. A little space and anticipation is a good thing.

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And that social experience is something an internet streaming service should be able to exploit. Though maybe Netflix doesn't want to get involved in social networking.

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> With the "binge-only" model of House of Cards, that same social experience is not possible.

Maybe that's why they're releasing just one episode/week of their new TV series "Better Call Saul".

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I think that's because Better Call Saul is originally broadcast on AMC, which airs it weekly.

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As a naive layman, I'd be very curious to see numbers on inefficiencies of non-tracking panels vs. typical transmission loss.

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25-35% more efficient for single axis tracking panels vs. non tracking. Distribution losses are ~6%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_tracker#Basic_concept

http://energyinformative.org/solar-panel-tracking-systems

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Like so many things, security is a spectrum. Just because an intruder can break your window, doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your front door.

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One of the flaws of conventional school systems is the assumption that learning can be reliably quantified. While measurement can have value, something ineffable is lost when looking only at the numbers. How does one test for critical thinking, or broadness of worldview, or emotional intelligence, or general creative problem-solving?

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When someone offers to sell you unmeasurable benefits, guard your wallet.

I don't deny that there are things of value that are hard to quantify with precision. That doesn't mean they can't be measured at all. For something to be of value, it must have detectable consequences, at least statistically or eventually. The detection of its consequence is a measurement, and that consequence, even if roughly measured, can be compared to the cost to achieve it. If it has no detectable consequences at all, though, it is not worth paying for.

If the schools tell you that they are teaching "critical thinking", for example, ask them for a demonstration of something a child can now do that he couldn't before his critical thinking instruction. If they can come up with something, they've figured out a way to measure it; if not, it's either just a meaningless buzzword or they don't know enough about critical thinking to be paid to teach it.

When they tell you that your past increases to their pay have produced no measurable improvements but lots of unmeasurable improvements, tell them that until they can find a way to measure those improvements, their future compensation increases will be in the form of unmeasurable benefits.

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Fault is not a useful construct in this context. I would say rather that "it is your responsibility".

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Hypothesis: Habits are the highest-yield form of discipline.

We humans seem to have a sort of behavioral inertia, whether it's showing up at a job, maintaining an MMO addiction, or brushing our teeth. The ideal state is to develop positive habits (writing for an hour every morning, cooking a healthy meal every day after work, practicing the bass every Saturday afternoon), that reflect one's deepest desires. Deviating from existing habits, good or bad, is expensive in terms of willpower (brain glucose); but once a new habit is established, maintaining it becomes the default, and suddenly it requires very little energy.

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You have an interesting take on the issue. The question then becomes how do you form and stick to habits?

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Speaking from personal experience on Yosemite: slow UI, constant beachballs and stutters (despite lots of RAM and no platter drives), paint/refresh bugs while scrolling, 100% CPU usage to play tracks (without FX/EQ), years of mission-creep, and a general conceptual mess since version 12, with its multiplicity of modes and sub-modes.

As an iTunes apologist and power-user since 1.0 (my huge library admittedly is not helping), 12 has become the last straw on using iTunes as anything but a sync tool and database. As a media player, it's a disaster.

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> paint/refresh bugs while scrolling,

Good to know I'm not the only one. I've become used to scrubbing the pointer up and down over the list of podcasts until the part I'm looking at is legible, and plugging my iPod in twice to get it to show up. But IMO iTunes is actually one of the less-bad recent Apple software screw-ups. At least it doesn't have enormous memory leaks, like Safari and Keynote, which regularly beachball my poor laptop with "only" 4GB of RAM long enough to go make a cup of coffee.

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> But IMO iTunes is actually one of the less-bad recent Apple software screw-ups

I would argue the peak in bug severity was 11.0, which randomly deleted podcasts: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5324634?tstart=0

For me that meant 30 GB of podcasts gone, most of which I can't download again (publisher went broke, original download required payments etc.) Sigh. I used to be a big fan of iTunes as well.

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Podcasts used to be simple: follow an RSS feed, download the audio files, listen to them, delete them when you're done. Now they're "cloud," so your computer is just a cache, and God only knows when you have those files, or when some program lets you use them.

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Find a place where you can actually download them and do so. You're still drawing from the cloud, albeit just not dynamically.

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This one bit me too, and I was/am livid that an assumption would be made that user data is merely an expired cache to be deleted without warning.

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