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Comment: 2 Problems with this (Score 1) 501

by Bytal (#29704753) Attached to: Why AT&T Should Dump the iPhone's Unlimited Data Plan

Most AT&T customers do not go anywhere near 100MB of data and are perfectly willing to pay a flat $40 monthly fee. By cutting their bill by $30 you have just thrown away $30 of AT&T's profits. You're only hope would be to recover that money by raising the prices on the high bandwidth users by the same amount or more. If anything, by restricting their bandwidth usage you'd actually be encouraging a saving behavior that by definition results in lower profits for you. You're also cutting the profits on your largest subscription base, all for a dubious increase in "goodwill". Maybe it would be a lot more cost effective to just build more towers.

Whenever I hear tiered pricing, I never imagine a $30 discount to the low level users. I see a $5 discount (in return for a 50% lower effective usage cap) to those guys and a $20 increase to everyone else.

Sci-Fi

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial? 803

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-is-your-policy-on-death-rays dept.
The LA Times is running a story about Earth Speaks, a companion project to SETI, which focuses on how we would communicate with intelligent extraterrestrial life, should we happen to discover it. Far more effort has been devoted to searching for signals or a means to communicate than the question of what we might say once contact is established, and the folks at SETI have set up a website to gather opinions on what the best questions and statements are. "So far, the messages break down into a few distinct categories. Some people want to throw a block party to welcome the aliens to the neighborhood. Others, less trusting, would warn the aliens that we've got guns and know how to use them. Another group, possibly influenced by having seen too many movies, would have us hide under the bed until they go away. 'If we discover intelligent life beyond Earth, we should not reply — we should freeze and play dead,' wrote one contributor." What would you say first to an alien?
The Courts

SCO Proposes Sale of Assets To Continue Litigation 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the know-when-to-fold-'em dept.
gzipped_tar sends in this excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune: "The embattled SCO Group Inc. is proposing to auction off its core products and use proceeds to continue its controversial lawsuits over the alleged violations of its copyrights in Linux open-source software. The Lindon company has filed a new reorganization plan with the federal court in Delaware where it sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after an adverse ruling in the Linux litigation. If approved by a bankruptcy judge, the plan could mean SCO's server software and mobile products lines are owned by other parties while SCO itself remained largely to pursue the lawsuits under the leadership of CEO Darl McBride. 'One goal of this approach is to separate the legal defence of its intellectual property from its core product business,' McBride said in a letter to customers, partners and shareholders. Jeff Hunsaker, president and COO of The SCO Group, said the litigation had been distracting to the company's efforts to market its products. 'We believe there's value in these assets and in order for the business to move forward it's imperative we separate it from our legal claims and we allow our products business to move forward,' he said Friday."

Comment: Re:lack of understanding of the biz model (Score 2, Interesting) 223

by Bytal (#26127451) Attached to: Is MySQL's Community Eating the Company?

RedHat and MySQL are in a completely different line of business, and I don't mean OS vs database.

RedHat provides a product that is better and often more functional then the alternatives (Windows, Solaris) but still requires a large amount of maintenance. Large, non-technical corporations are very likely to both use RedHat Linux for functionality and to prefer "official" hand-holding for peace of mind.

MySQL is favored by either small, startup level firms or tech firms with high skill levels. The first one is not likely to pay for support and the second one does not need it.

The the same business model for the two products offers nowhere near the same levels of revenue in each case. The only way I can see this being profitable for Sun is if they start adding high end features into MySQL that would let it overshoot Oracle and IBM for some specific use cases. Use cases that would make it attractive to the RedHat using companies. Hopefully, that is what the Sun execs were thinking when they bought MySQL.

Comment: Hey I get this in Linux already... (Score 1) 195

by Bytal (#25691517) Attached to: Microsoft Working On Its Own App Store
apt-cache search ________

apt-get install _________

That s simplifying it of course, but apt and it's relatives were always one of the majors reasons I loved Linux. Unlike windows, I didn't have to hunt apps down on shady sites, download random EXEs, etc. Everything is in one relatively simple to use place. Add some way to process payments and you have a ready made AppStore.

Comment: Re:"Propaganda" (Score 1) 1486

by Bytal (#25685729) Attached to: Obama Launches Change.gov
Ohh wow just had a huge argument with someone about this. The site is very misleading regarding the actual policies, which is ironic considering it's made for Obama.

The actual policy is a $4K tax rebate for those willing to voluntarily perform 100 hours of community service.

This is nothing new and was outlined by Obama back in March: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2008/03/27/a_legion_of_student_volunteers/ Everything is completely voluntary, the only thing he's doing is providing incentives. It's up to you to take them or not.
Government

US Government to Have Only 50 Gateways 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the e-downsizing dept.
Narrative Fallacy brings us a story about the US government's plan to reduce the roughly 4,000 active internet connections used by its civilian agencies to a mere 50 highly secure gateways. This comes as part of the government's response to a rise in attacks on its networks. "Most security professionals agreed that the TIC security improvements and similar measures are long overdue. 'We should have done this five years ago, but there wasn't the heart or the will then like there is now,' said Howard Schmidt, a former White House cyber security adviser. 'The timetable is aggressive,' he said, but now there is a sense of urgency behind the program. Small agencies that won't qualify for their own connections under TIC must subcontract their Internet services to larger agencies."
Education

Global Warming Only a Theory, Says School Board 1089

Posted by Zonk
from the i'd-think-seattle-would-know-about-rain dept.
BendingSpoons writes "A Seattle school board has placed a moratorium on screenings of 'An Inconvenient Truth', having found its subject matter too controversial. Echoing the language of the evolution debate, the school board found that students must be told that global warming is only a theory and presented with an opposing viewpoint. The ban was prompted by the complaints of a parent: '"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."'"

10-Day Gentoo Installation Agony 540

Posted by kdawson
from the rtfm-and-join-the-channel dept.
lisah writes, "The Linux distribution Gentoo has a hard-core following, and with good reason. Gentoo is known for its configurability and choices. It's not known, however, for its easy installation. NewsForge's Joe Barr outlined his painful installation experience with Gentoo in an article that explains why, after 10 days, he finally gave up and went with Debian Etch. From the article: '[B]ack in the day, Gentoo users first had to rip the source code from the bone with their teeth before compiling and installing it, but now the live CD had sissified the process to the point that anyone could do it... I exaggerated the ease of installing Gentoo.' And: 'Gentoo doesn't ask what it can do to make things easier, it asks you exactly what it is that you want it to do, and then does precisely and only that.'" Slashdot and NewsForge are both owned by OSTG.

Talking iPods 194

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-like-your-ipod-better-than-me-don't-you-dave dept.
chrisb33 writes to tell us the next iteration of the iPod may talk you through the menus instead of just relying on text. The Scotsman speculates on this new technology based on a patent filed by Apple in the US. From the article: "The patent reveals the idea is driven largely by safety considerations. It states: 'A user will have difficulty navigating the interface in "eyes-busy" situations. Such activities include, for example, driving an automobile, exercising and crossing the street." The patent also makes clear that text-to-speech technology is likely to spread to other hand-held electronic devices such as mobile phones and palm-top computers."

No Space for MySpace? 272

Posted by Zonk
from the gotta-keep-connected dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek looks at the flaws in the bill proposed by the House of Representatives that would block access to social networks and Internet chat rooms in most federally funded schools and libraries. One big problem with their bill is it is much too vague, it 'could rule out content from any number of Internet companies, including Yahoo! and Google.' What's more, DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it. That covers a wide swath of the online world, known colloquially as Web 2.0, where users actively create everything from blogs to videos to news-page collections." This is analysis of a bill we covered yesterday.

Stallman Selling Autographs 335

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the happy-hacking-should-be-trademarked dept.
UltimaGuy writes "Sports stars, musicians, and other celebrities have been charging for autographs for years, but who would have thought Richard Stallman would be doing the same? Is this just for fun, or a clever, highly effective protest? Hackers, geeks and nerds gathered together at the 7th FISL - Internacional Free Software Forum, in Porto Alegre (Brazil) last week, were astounded when they got word that Richard Stallman, the founding father of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GPL, was charging R$ 10 (about US$ 3) for an autograph and R$ 5 (less than US$ 2) to get his picture taken by free software enthusiasts at the event floor."

Previewing Dapper And Edgy 144

Posted by Zonk
from the feel-the-excitement dept.
Frank Clarkson writes to mention a ZDNet article about the upcoming release of 'Dapper Drake', Ubuntu Linux. They also give a mini-preview of Eft. From the article: "'I'm promising to impose (almost ;-) ) zero from-the-top requirements for Edgy, this release is entirely up the to development team to envision and implement,' he wrote. 'Almost everything that lands in Edgy will be driven from the development team, who get to play with whatever new technologies they fancy along the way. So that should give us a nice big bump in infrastructure and bling.'"

Microsoft To Launch 'Question' Site 123

Posted by Zonk
from the bandwagon-getting-crowded dept.
prostoalex writes "Microsoft will try to make the search process more social, Business Week reports, by creating a question-and-answer Web site. They certainly are entering a quite crowded niche." From the article: "It's one of the many ways that Web companies, including Yahoo and Google, are trying to set themselves apart with social search, a targeted pursuit of information that's influenced by the preferences of a person's peer group. Social search is a method whose time has come, Osmer says. Microsoft research shows that generic search engines can't answer 50% of queries asked, he says. The new tool, whose name he didn't disclose, will be 'one of the larger projects for us' this year, Osmer says."

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