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Comment: Re:Skin deep, but that's where the money is ! (Score 1) 175

by Anubis IV (#48626087) Attached to: Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

Oh, no doubt there would have been additional tests necessary, so a delay of a few years would certainly make sense and would be warranted. What we saw instead, however, was a delay well beyond when the tests would have been completed, and which was in place simply due to marketing reasons. After all, if you're already ahead of your competition, why tip your hand for what's still two generations out? Why not instead simply dominate the market for two generations?

Comment: Re:Skin deep, but that's where the money is ! (Score 5, Interesting) 175

by Anubis IV (#48618109) Attached to: Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

A few decades back, I knew a researcher/university professor who had developed a ready-for-market, one-day yeast infection treatment when seven-day (or longer) treatments were still the norm. A major pharmaceutical showed extreme interest, purchased the rights from him, then sat on it for the better part of a decade, much to the consternation of the researcher, who was hoping society could benefit from the treatment more rapidly.

What he didn't know at the time was that the pharma company had already developed a three-day treatment that they were getting ready to introduce within the next year or two. They stood to gain a significant competitive advantage in introducing the three-day treatment, since they'd be the first-to-market with it. When they saw the researcher's one-day treatment, they realized that a competitor could leapfrog them if it got ahold of the treatment, so they knew they had to buy it out, but rather than introduce the one-day treatment immediately (i.e. leapfrog themselves) and give up any advantage the three-day treatment could have afforded them in the market, they decided to sit on the one-day treatment for several years. Doing so allowed them to benefit from being first-to-market with the three-day treatment, giving them a few years of market dominance, and then as their competitors started to catch up, they were able to be first-to-market with a one-day treatment which they could sell at a premium price. In essence, it allowed them to double the length of their lead in the market and command a higher price for the faster treatment.

All of which is to say, these aren't conspiracy theories. You're absolutely correct that these companies want to make even more money than they already have, but there are plenty of sound, financial reasons for them to sit on better technologies rather than introducing them immediately. I've highlighted merely one of them here.

Comment: Re:Like there weren't any other competitors around (Score 1) 39

by Anubis IV (#48598767) Attached to: Apple Antitrust Case Finds New Consumer Plaintiff

Neither of those are issues for me.

As I said, because I'm pushing my pictures and videos off my phone immediately, they aren't taking up any space on it. Apps are basically the only thing taking up any space, and it's easy to clean a few out if necessary, though I've never had to purposefully do so (I do delete apps that I don't expect to ever use again, such as games I've beaten already, but I can't recall the last time I deleted apps just to clear up space).

As for a botched upgrade, I still have backups, so I don't see what the problem is there. Just restore the phone to factory default, punch in your Apple ID info, and it will immediately restore everything, just the same as if you had a new phone. Easy peasy.

Comment: Re:Like there weren't any other competitors around (Score 1) 39

by Anubis IV (#48590121) Attached to: Apple Antitrust Case Finds New Consumer Plaintiff

At this point, for most people, there's really no need to use iTunes if you have an iDevice. For my part, I still use iTunes for listening to audio when I'm at my desk, since I'm used to it at this point and don't want to bother learning something new, but even for me all of the tacked-on iDevice management stuff has always made it feel like a bloated piece of crap, so I eagerly ditched using those to manage my iDevices as soon as it became reasonable to do so years ago.

Backups: Use iCloud Backup in Settings > iCloud > Backup. It automatically backs up in the background when you do your regular charging of the device and have WiFi access, meaning that you never need to remember to do it. The 5GB free option was always enough for my backups, but the upgrade prices are reasonable ($1/mo. = 20GB, $4/mo. = 200GB, $10/mo. = 500GB, $20/mo. = 1TB), and that space can also be used for iCloud's other services, like iCloud Drive (their alternative to Dropbox/Box/OneDrive/Google Drive/whatever that can be used on iOS, Windows, and OS X). If you buy a new iDevice later, all you need to do is give it your iCloud login info and it can automatically restore from the latest backup. Makes getting a new device super simple.

Apps: Buy directly from the App Store app on iOS. No need to ever use iTunes to sync apps.

Music: If you've already made the move to streaming services (e.g. Pandora or Spotify), this is a non-issue. If you're someone like me who prefers to own his own music, then you can use something like Amazon Music, Google Drive, iTunes Match, or a similar service to sync your music from your PC to the cloud, then from the cloud to your iDevice (either with streaming or downloading). I use iTunes Match ($25/year), which, despite its name, only requires iTunes to be used for the uploading process (e.g. the initial upload, then any subsequent uploads of music you purchased from places other than iTunes). After that, you can uninstall iTunes on your PC and continue to use the service just fine. For me, it won out since it's built into iOS (Settings > iTunes & App Store), and once you enable it and tell iOS to Show All of your media, you can play any of those uploaded tracks directly from the cloud (freeing up all of that space on your device), or else download them to keep locally. Amazon Music and Google Drive can do similarly, I believe, though they run in their own apps. I'll let others provide details regarding them.

Photos: Use IFTTT or one of a number of other services that can run in the background and automatically upload your pictures to your Dropbox/Instagram/Flickr/Google Drive/whatever. You'll never need to remember to back them up again since they'll automatically be wherever you want them.

Video: Between all of the sources for streaming video (e.g. YouTube, Netflix) and all of the ways to load your own video onto an iDevice (e.g. VLC), there isn't a need to use iTunes at all. You can still rent/purchase stuff from the iTunes Store vide your iDevice, without ever launching iTunes on your PC, if you're so inclined.

Of course, all of this stuff is specific to iOS devices, so it won't help you at all with the non-touch iPods. I don't have an answer for you when it comes to those.

TL;DR: Ditch iTunes, but keep the iOS device and use third party services or built-in iOS functionality to provide those features. You should be able to do everything just as well or better.

Comment: Re:Oh, the entitlement... (Score 1) 246

by Anubis IV (#48502915) Attached to: 10-Year-Old iTunes DRM Lawsuit Heading To Trial

I'm going to make this a double-response for both of your comments, just to keep things simple. ;)

You're not off-base at all, though I do agree that our viewpoints seem to diverge.

As you said, were the iPod not dominant, it would indeed have been a VERY bad business decision on Apple's part. That said, if the plaintiffs want to assert that they were harmed by Apple's anticompetitive behavior, they need to demonstrate that Apple's anticompetitive behavior made it impossible/difficult for them to find music for their devices, which simply wasn't the case at all. There was zero friction preventing them from using any one of the innumerable competing services that provided them with the product they wanted.

As far as your analogy goes, if I understand it correctly (cars=MP3 players, nozzles=file formats, gas stations=music retailers, GM=Apple), I rather like it, but it helps to highlight why our viewpoints may differ, since I feel that your analogy has one critical flaw: it states that the new cars are exclusively using the proprietary nozzle (which necessarily comes at the expense of compatibility with the standard one), but that isn't an accurate representation of what was going on with the iPod. Had it been true, I'd agree with your viewpoint entirely.

Since iPods have from day one been fully compatible with standard, non-DRM'd file formats, such as MP3, WAV, AIFF, and AAC, it stands to reason that the new GM cars wouldn't be restricted to using GM's proprietary nozzle, as your analogy suggests, but rather that they would support the proprietary nozzle in addition to all of the standard ones already out there. As such, existing gas stations wouldn't want to replace their standard nozzles with the proprietary one even if it weren't patent-encumbered, since it'd mean switching from a nozzle that worked with 100% of cars to one that only worked with GM cars. Similarly, Ford owners would still be just as capable of getting gas as they had always been, since the existing infrastructure would continue to work just fine, and that would remain true even if GM cars controlled a massive share of the car market. GM cars having compatibility with a proprietary nozzle is in no way a threat to anyone unless the supply side of the market (gas stations) is also dominated by GM, hence my focus on retail music market numbers.

So, regarding that topic and to extend your analogy a bit, if GM opened up gas stations around the country that exclusively used their own nozzle (perhaps because they wanted to gain a competitive advantage by providing additional value to their customers), it may steal some business from the existing gas stations, but it wouldn't become a problem for Ford until GM's stations ran the other gas stations out of business, since up until that point Ford's customers would be fully capable of buying gas the same as they always have. But for that to happen, the GM gas stations would have to have a dominant market position, and 15-20% could hardly be called dominant.

All of which is to say, while it's true that Apple was only able to have a profitable music store because the iPod had a dominant market position, being profitable is not the same as being anticompetitive. So long as the iPod's compatibility with Apple's FairPlay didn't come at the expense of compatibility with other formats, people using other MP3 players would have been fully capable of going to one of the competing store and purchasing from there, rather than knowingly purchasing an incompatible file from the iTunes Music Store.

Comment: Re:Oh, the entitlement... (Score 1) 246

by Anubis IV (#48502087) Attached to: 10-Year-Old iTunes DRM Lawsuit Heading To Trial

I completely agree, hence why I stuck to generalities when I started discussing the legality of the topic.

But, bringing this back around to the topic at hand, talking about monopolies is only worthwhile if monopolies were at play in Apple's dealings, which would be a pretty hard notion to sell. The iTunes Music Store peaked at around 30% of the retail music market, and even that wasn't until 3 years after the events discussed in this lawsuit. In the 2006-2009 period during which this was all going on, I don't believe they ever had more than a 15-20% share of the retail music market. And the iPod's market share (which peaked around 70%, IIRC) doesn't come into play, since the plaintiff's complaints (that they couldn't play their iTunes music on their non-iPod MP3 players) are not related to a misuse of the iPod's market position.

Which is to say, it's hard to argue anticompetitive practices when the other 80-90% of the retail music market were perfectly valid alternatives that would have been compatible with their non-iPod devices. It'd be like suing a BMW dealer for selling me a part that is only intended to be used with BMWs because it doesn't work in my Toyota, even though the analogous part my Toyota uses is a standard, non-specialized one that can be picked up from any retail auto parts shop.

Comment: Re:Oh, the entitlement... (Score 1) 246

by Anubis IV (#48500743) Attached to: 10-Year-Old iTunes DRM Lawsuit Heading To Trial

So, I guess he has a case then, given that Zune Marketplace music was sold in a DRM'd Windows Media Audio format as recently as last year and couldn't be played on non-Microsoft devices without some form of hackery?

Moreover, even the Zune itself was incapable of playing music from its predecessor MSN Music Store, since the music from that store was provided in a DRM'd format that the Zune couldn't handle. Microsoft has a long history of locking content to their platforms and forcing people to repurchase stuff they already own. Suggesting otherwise is to ignore (recent and ongoing) history.

Even so, the OP's larger point was that this practice is commonplace in the industry and is nearly always benign in nature. While Microsoft may be doing things of this sort, that doesn't mean they've engaged in any illegal or illicit conduct. In most cases, it's perfectly legal, sound business to engage in these sorts of practices, despite the personal feelings that most here (including myself) have towards such practices.

Comment: Re: Saving an hour? (Score 1) 525

by Anubis IV (#48498747) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

It was probably a weekly commute, not a daily commute, and you can punch it into Google Maps yourself if you want to check, since he said what his starting point (Bozeman, Montana) and destination (Bakken oil patch) were. Most of the work on the Bakken oil fields is in North Dakota, and 7.5 hours at 75mph from Bozeman would get you just across the border into North Dakota, while 8.5 hours would get you close to the far end of the oil fields. Increasing the speed to 85mph would shave 54 minutes and 60 minutes off the commute, respectively, either of which we'd colloquially refer to as "an hour".

So yes, that really was his commute, and it really does make sense.

Comment: Re:Tailgating (Score 1) 525

by Anubis IV (#48498517) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

I've done 90mph in the left lane on I-10 through Houston before when traffic is light and the conditions are good, since, as you said, it really is built for high speeds along most of that stretch (i.e. great lines of sight, gradual curves, wide lanes, well marked), rather than the 60mph it's marked as. That said, I was driving back home last night and was heading out of town on 290 West, a bit outside Beltway 8 on the north side of Houston, and nearly had a very painful reminder of why tailgating is such a bad idea.

As I was coming up to the crest of an overpass, everyone was doing the standard "we're all braking because there's a hill" thing that Texans do, and I was braking as early and gradually as possible because I wanted to give the guy who had been tailing me too closely for the last five minutes every opportunity to slow down (he instead used it as an opportunity to close the distance between us even further), when I realized that the car three ahead of me had suddenly gone from gradually slowing down to slamming on their brakes for a reason I couldn't see. I managed to pump my brakes once or twice in an attempt to warn the car behind me that we were about to brake hard, before I had no choice but to slam on my own brakes since otherwise I would've rammed the car in front of me, but the car behind me still couldn't stop in time. Thankfully, that stretch of 290 West is no longer under construction, so we had a shoulder there that he was able to yank the wheel to get into, but he ended up 2-3 cars ahead of me by the time he managed to come to a screeching stop, and the car that had been behind him ended up next to me by the time it could stop.

(Near as I can tell, what had happened is that a car somewhere ahead of me and in my lane hadn't been paying attention when everyone else did the "Texas hill braking" and rear-ended the car in front of them. Unfortunately, they did it just barely over the crest of the hill where we no one could see them until the last moment, and then they didn't clear their vehicle out of traffic, so it was sitting there in a horrible spot where people didn't have much time to react, which was what led to all of the slamming on of brakes.)

All of which is to say, I'm totally in favor of higher speed limits since the roads are built for them already, but first we need to make/enforce laws regarding tailgating and then do the same for people occupying the passing lane without passing. The cops started enforcing the latter along parts of SH-6 towards Bryan/College Station after signs regarding it went up a few years back, and it's really helped to improve the flow of traffic through there while reducing the number of accidents I've seen. Without them, you get a crowded situation rather quickly, which significantly increases the risk of an accident occurring. With them, you have less accidents and faster speeds.

Comment: Honest question (Score 1) 112

by Anubis IV (#48393167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's the Doctors Without Borders of Technology?

Doesn't the FOSS movement fill this need when it comes to programming? Unlike engineers, who may need to go into remote areas in order to help build wells or other pieces of infrastructure that are necessary for survival, most of a programmer's work (though admittedly not all) either can't be done on-site or simply needn't be done on-site. Rather, you're more dependent on the people having reached some minimum threshold already (e.g. have a computer, have an Internet connection, etc.), at which point providing free and open source software would mean not only allowing them to benefit from your efforts, but could also potentially benefit others in similar circumstances.

I'm not even a big FOSS proponent (i.e. never contributed anything to an OSS project, still don't have a github account, work for a consulting company that does custom applications mostly for oil and gas clients), but to me that seems like the obvious question to ask. When it comes to technology, the borders aren't there, so you don't need a group in order to reach people halfway around the world.

Comment: Re:Worthless degrees (Score 2) 438

by Anubis IV (#48353607) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

When I was in grad school, my research group had a round robin seminar each week, in which we'd take turns presenting conference papers that had just come out in our field (Computer Science). Given that we were all busy with other things, we mostly just skimmed through the list of recent publications, looked for interesting titles, read through a few abstracts (maybe some introductions too), and then picked a paper to present based on those facts alone.

I recall picking one that sounded extremely interesting based on the title, and its abstract and introduction promised some great, new techniques with solid results, so I e-mailed my research group the paper I'd be presenting, then proceeded to actually read it. It was authored by a professor at an Indian university, a PhD candidate, and a Masters candidate, and had recently been published in a local IEEE conference's proceedings.

The only problem? It had a blank spot where the methodology was supposed to be. And another blank spot in the paper where the results were supposed to be. Not just that it was light on details. It was wholly empty. Nothing. I managed to find a revised version of the paper on their website that had a paragraph in each section, but it was, as you'd imagine, rather light on any useful detail. But the conclusion stated very conclusively that their results were extremely good, and the introduction made it clear they had done something great. And it was published!

That was the last time any of us in that research group (several of whom were Indian) bothered looking at papers published in Indian conference proceedings. And I never lived down the fact that I hadn't noticed it was entirely blank under the headings for those two sections.

Comment: Re:As a Federal Inmate... (Score 1) 79

It's unfortunate that someone with my education and my level of life experience had to experience federal incarceration

It's unfortunate that anyone needs to experience incarceration, but we live in a world where people continue to cause criminal harm, and as such, incarceration or some other form of consequence/reform program is necessary. Someone violating the rights of others should expect to have their own rights abridged in order to ensure that they will not continue in their criminal behavior. From your own bio, it sounds as if incarceration was an appropriate response to your criminal activity, and the only thing unfortunate was that you engaged in the behavior to begin with:

Mr. Klatch was indicted in 2011 by the federal government, and he subsequently accepted a guilty plea to four felony counts: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Securities Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering. Mr. Klatch acknowledges that he engaged in deceptive marketing tactics, which led to some investor losses during the 2008-2010 financial crisis. However, he accepted responsibility for his actions, and successfully served a five-year federal prison sentence.

That said, none of that is intended as a slam, but merely as a statement of fact regarding the state of our society and your specific case. It does sound as if you are trying to take responsibility for your actions and provide restitution to your victims, though, understandably, some will doubt your motives or question your methods.

Comment: Re:nfl forced to use surface (Score 1) 236

by Anubis IV (#48327247) Attached to: CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

This is the first season that any electronic device could be used by coaches and players during an NFL game. They weren't using iPads before...they were using steno pads.

You're arguing a technicality. 30 seconds of Googling turned up a 2012 article on the NFL's own website with the subheading How the iPad is revolutionizing playbooks for NFL players and coaches .

While it's true that this is the first year they're allowed on the sidelines, suggesting they weren't using iPads before is patently false and doesn't address the previous commenter's assertion that they'd be using iPads if they could. iPads have been in use in the locker room and training facilities for quite awhile, not to mention the announcers, officials, and others who have been using them during the game, both on-air and off. The iPad was announced in 2010. Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the league went from having two teams using iPads in place of paper playbooks to having 14 teams using them, with the prediction being that all teams would have switched to iPads by last season (I haven't found confirmation one way or the other for if it actually happened).

All of which is to say, it's a bit silly to refute a "[g]iven a choice, they'd still be using iPads" argument by suggesting that because they couldn't use them for 3 hours each week "[t]hey weren't using iPads", while failing to acknowledge that they were using them for the other 165 hours of the week.

Comment: Re:Good for them (Score 1) 558

by Anubis IV (#48288667) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Fair enough on Paywave and Paypass. I had forgotten about those.

But I guess I just don't understand the rest of your points. It seems like you're moving the goalposts a bit.

Why is the inability to change a fingerprint in any way relevant to this discussion? A PIN is much easier to compromise than a fingerprint, and even if my fingerprint is compromised, it only because a threat to me if the thief has the sophisticated means necessary to lift and reproduce my fingerprint, whereas anyone at all can reproduce my PIN with the greatest of ease.

Moreover, my inability to change my fingerprint only becomes a problem if the same thief targets me multiple times. By the time they'd manage to reproduce my fingerprint after stealing my device the first time, I'd have de-authorized the device for making transactions, meaning that the only way those fingerprints they potentially acquired would ever be useful would be if they targeted me again and stole a second device that I had configured in the same way. But at that point, we're talking about someone who not only has some pretty sophisticated techniques, but is also engaging in some pretty sophisticated attacks. It's not something that 99.9999% of us will ever have to deal with, and for those among us who do have to deal with those sorts of attacks, chip-and-PIN would fare even worse at protecting you, since you'd be immediately compromised after the first theft if they had merely looked over your shoulder at the store.

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