Forgot your password?

Comment: I don't have a problem with that (Score 1) 261

Customers must pay more if they exceed limits â" but it's not a cap,

That's fine with me, if they'll also give me a refund if I don't reach my limit. After all, fair's fair, right? They estimate how much data I'll use when I sign up, and if I exceed it they charge me extra, if I don't reach it they charge me less.

Comment: Re:Why hasn't it happened already? (Score 1) 223

by Solandri (#47758765) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

iPhones have had the ability to be remote wiped for a long time. Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones. Dirty hipsters and their iPhones have been at the center of a lot of protests yet we haven't heard of mass iPhone shutdowns by the police in response to demonstrations.

I believe Apple implemented their wipe The Right Way and only the phone's owner can initiate it. There's no way for the police or government to shut down iPhones without knowing the users' iCloud credentials. There have been spurious cases of hackers locking phones by getting those credentials.

I think this just finally cuts off the ability of the cell carriers to encourage and profit from theft by activating stolen phones.

Too many people try to project their personal viewpoint onto the carriers as "evidence" of malfeasance. Your phone got stolen and you have to buy a replacement. You have to spend more money, therefore the carrier must be making more money.

It's totally different from the carrier's perspective. Person A bought a phone. Person B somehow gets person A's phone (stolen or bought, does not matter). Person A buys a new phone from them, but person B does not buy a phone from them. The net result to them is that they have two customers, and have sold two phones. It's a zero-sum game - theft does not result in the carrier making extra sales. It may lead to them selling more high-end phones (i.e. Person B could not afford a current iPhone but steals one; person A buys another current iPhone). But smartphones depreciate so quickly I suspect they make far more money from people replacing their phones for newer models, than from upsells due to theft. i.e. If person B would've bought the old iPhone model anyway, and person A would've bought the new iPhone model anyway, then the carrier hasn't made any extra money from the theft.

The carriers have resisted tracking and disabling stolen phones because they are not a law enforcement organization. If Bob and his wife get into an argument about who owns the phone, the carriers don't want to get involved. Why risk getting sued by Bob's wife because they bricked her phone when Bob called them and told them it was stolen? They want to sell the phone, and be done with it.* Anything that happens to the phone after it's sold is between the buyer(s), their insurer, and law enforcement. (*Not that I particularly agree with this stance since the carriers were simultaneously trying to claim rights to keep your phone locked.)

Comment: Re:No different than emission standards (Score 2) 223

by Solandri (#47758453) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch
California has a GDP just shy of $2 trillion. If it were a country, that would put it at #10 in the world, just behind the UK, Russia, Brazil, and Italy; just ahead of India, Canada; bigger than Spain, Austrailia; nearly twice as big as South Korea, Mexico; and four times as big as Sweden, Norway.

That said, I seriously doubt this will have repercussions outside of California other than the capability being there if other legal jurisdictions should choose to require it. This isn't like a new formulation for gasoline, or an entirely new engine emissions system which needs to be designed from scratch. It's basically software, and it'd be trivial write to a PROM upon delivery or sale to permanently enable/disable the functionality. In this case, the cost of "manufacturing" two different devices for different markets is trivial.

Comment: Re:Not worth it (Score 1) 234

by JaredOfEuropa (#47757217) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
Just get your PC from a reputable OEM. I get mine from a local shop who build machines to spec or provide one of their predefined configurations, and they give knowledgeable advise on tuning, configuring, noise management, etc. They install Windows for you with no crapware (but with the right vendor-supplied drivers, and with any additional software you specify), or without Windows if you so prefer. By the way, over here any shop will sell me an OEM version of Windows if I buy a PC component (motherboard, processor or even just a mouse) at the same time.

Without crapware, Windows is a decent enough OS, except the unbelievable usability choices they made in Windows 8. I'm hoping Windows 9 will fix those mistakes, and that they will not hit me for the full amount when upgrading.

Comment: Re:Public cynicism about fusion (Score 5, Interesting) 146

by MyLongNickName (#47747211) Attached to: Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

You seem to be perfectly willing to sell out the long term future for the medium term, which is the weirdest case of short-sightedness I've ever seen.

And at this point, I think you are deliberately misstating my argument. Fusion is a dream at this point that the most knowledgeable in the sciences say is at least 60-80 years away from economic viability. Don't believe me? Look at the ITER roadmap, publically available. And the reality is that the visionaries are usually overoptimistic. You and I will be dead before it becomes viable and our children as well. And that is assuming this becomes viable as there is always a risk when talking about advanced tech like this. Even if you are convinced the science will work out, political upheaval could mean that we can't see the project through to the end. Just imagine a more indebted US and Europe having to cut science and a China that no longer has a market to sell to and collapses on its own centrally managed bureaucracy. Insert your own worst case scenario and you see why century long, multi billion dollar research projects are risky.

So, fund it? Sure. But not at the expense of something that is a sure thing and will have a huge benefit now. You state that solar is somehow selling out the long-term... unless you mean over a billion years from now when the Sun goes nova, I'm not sure how this is remotely accurate.

Comment: Re:Public cynicism about fusion (Score 2, Interesting) 146

by MyLongNickName (#47747047) Attached to: Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

It may be cynicism, but it is well placed cynicism. I'm all for funding fusion research, but the reality is that we are decades away from seeing anything remotely economically viable.

And the other reality is that we do have solar which is already economically viable but still behind fossil fuels (if you forget about externalites). If I were king of the world, I'd fund solar heavily because it can do good NOW. Serious good. World saving good.

And, yes, it is a false dichotomy to say we can only fund one. But the other reality is that we have only so much money for the sciences and one dollar spent on one project is one not spent on the other. If I were King of the world I'd also cut military spending and fund sciences much more heavily.

But, alas, I am not King of the world.

Comment: Re:Dropbox use AWS (Score 4, Interesting) 270

by Solandri (#47745115) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
I was going to post that too. But while googling to make sure Dropbox still used Amazon S3, I came across this article. Apparently the problem for Dropbox is the price volatility. Amazon can lower or raise its prices on a whim because they don't have much competition. Dropbox doesn't have that luxury.

Comment: Re:Things (Score 3, Interesting) 190

by JaredOfEuropa (#47743441) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?
It's all about degrees of disaster. If there's a real disaster, I wouldn't give a rodent's behind about my electronics and I too would be happy with my emergency stash of food and water. But even so I have taken some precautions... My router, server, NAS etc sit in the basement, but they are mounted as high as possible in case there's a flood, and there's a flood detector as well. No use against a real flood (we live below sea level), but if the water mains bursts or if a minor dike breaks, my stuff will be reasonably safe and I will be notified in time to move it if the flooding continues. The same level of protection that people arrange in hurricane areas, I suppose, like having sheets of wood handy to board up the windows with. Not sure how you'd protect your things against a minor earthquake, though. Not mounting them in a wobbly cabinet is probably a good start.

Comment: Re:Congratulations, India ! (Score 1) 65

by JaredOfEuropa (#47743327) Attached to: Mangalyaan Gets Ready To Enter Mars Orbit

So it's an excuse for not doing these things at all?

They are doing both the space program and doing something about living conditions. The problem is that fixing poverty is hard, and like the problem of travelling to the moon or Mars, you don't solve it merely by allocating a budget, that's only the start. If fixing poverty was easy, a lot of other countries wouldn't have any. Hell, perhaps the USA wouldn't have any. And fixing their poor living conditions probably costs a multiple of what it costs to run their space program. According to their 2013 budget, the Rural Development Ministry alone receives over 16 times the ISRA budget. My point is that I think it would be a big mistake to shift the +- 1 billion $ space budget to further rural development.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the parasites! (Score 1) 314

by bmo (#47742487) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it.

>modded insightful

Yeah, well moderation here isn't perfect. Because you are wrong, and I will demonstrate how in the next two sentences.

You are perfectly free to spout inane bullshit.
Other people are perfectly free to call you on it.

That's how free speech works.

And your post was complete bullshit supported by toddler logic.

Have a nice day.


Remember the good old days, when CPU was singular?