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Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 39

Gigabit LTE means that you'll be able to use up your entire high speed data quota in less than a minute, unless the carriers finally update their data pricing models.

How is it that we've ended up with $10 for 10Gb or less of data now for about ten years? In the meantime, we've gone from inefficient EDGE to unbelievably efficient LTE, with HSPA+ available now for, what, the last five years on most GSM family networks?

Yet the data prices haven't budged. The carriers have more bandwidth than ever, more efficient ways of using it than ever, but they still think they're running ancient EDGE or cdma2000 networks.

Easy - profits.

Remember just a few years ago when people paid 25 cents per text? And some even paid another 25 cents to RECEIVE a text? Same reason - it was a massive profit center

Then texting stopped being a thing - with many ways to avoid it been iMessages and IM apps and Hangouts etc which used much cheaper data instead of SMS. Plus competition made it such that carriers started offering unlimited text plans for $20 extra. And of course, they realized they had a new profit center - data. Even better, they charge by the kilo and not kibi, and for good measure, they toss in the OTA headers as well in the byte count.

So yeah, they're charging because they can because it makes them massive amounts of money. On the bright side, they do adopt the new technologies quickly in an attempt to make you overuse your data plan and pay even more outrageous overage charges.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 473

Stupid truckers routinely follow their GPS up Tail of the Dragon.
They blindly drive right by the BIG YELLOW signs that basically say

"If you take your semi past this sign, you are an idiot, you will get stuck, please don't kill any motorcyclists with your stupidity."

They do get stuck way more often than that.

The solution is a truck specific GPS, which they do make What makes them special is they contain height information - before you start route planning, you enter in the height of your rig - the GPS will actually route with that information in mind - avoiding tunnels and routes where overpasses are too low to make it. (This may even entail taking an exit just to get back on the onramp).

The problem is, truck-specific GPSes are expensive and their map data even more so, so truckers often buy much cheaper car GPS units, or just use their phone's GPS system. None of which take height into account.

Of course, getting stuck and the subsequent tow, damage repair and other stuff suddenly makes the extra cost of a truck specific GPS a relative bargain.

Comment Re:How do they know (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Or Nissan Motor Company Ltd invokes the right for "Nissan" to be forgotten for just long enough to affect Nissan Computer's business to the extent that it goes out of business and/or agrees to sell the domain name to the automotive company.

That's not how Right to be Forgotten works.

Right to be Forgotten is an application of traditional meatspace record-keeping. Remember how in many places, after you've been convicted, after so many years that conviction is no longer on the books?

Or take your credit history - it only covers the past 7 years with older records, including things like bankruptcies and all that simply "forgotten" and expunged.

Right to be Forgotten is just like that.

First, it does not delete anything - it cannot. It merely breaks the link between a search term and the link it would point to.

Let's say you went to jail a decade ago and served your time and are completely free. You've lived a virtuous life since then, and a criminal record check would basically show you to be clean because your crime was wiped off the books. But a site archiving imprisonment records still lists you as being in prison. Right to be forgotten means you can break a link between your name and that site - you've done your time, and the state considers you to be clean and you can pass a criminal records check. But then an employer Googles you and sees that you were in jail. Is that fair? By law you did pass and such ancient history should be wiped. But the site showing the information has done no wrong either, so it would be bad to demand that they remove the information.

Or say you declared bankruptcy a decade ago. Since employers are doing credit history checks now, your bankruptcy is no longer shown to them for several years. But if they Google you, because some site archived news like that, you show up.

That's what right to be forgotten is all about. It only applies to individuals and only when the legal limit for such news has expired and is no longer relevant. So if you have a bankruptcy in the past 7 years, you can't invoke right to be forgotten to remove it off the internet - it's still relevant after all.

Or think of it another way - without right to be forgotten, a bunch of children are going to learn the hard way about the repercussions of their indiscretions. After all, in most jurisdictions, once you turn 18, your record is wiped and you start afresh - this includes any run-ins with the law (unless you were tried as an adult). Well, right to be forgotten lets you break all the links between the bad stuff you did as a adolescent teen and also start afresh

Comment Re:So What (Score 1) 85

anyway I like white text on a black background

Actually, white-on-black makes things worse - it makes skinny fonts skinnier and the black "creeps into" the white and makes fonts appear smaller.

So much so if you're doing it, you must increase the size and weight of the font you're using to make it look "normal" again.

Comment Re:how about other third-party tracking? (Score 1) 83

For example Doubleclick and those kinds of networks track me across the web even if I've never signed up for an account with them or otherwise accepted their ToS.

Are you sure? I mean, you probably did, probably for GMail or YouTube or some other Google thing. Or an Android phone.

I know Google loves to hide the fact that they own the majority of ad networks out there so everyone THINKS they only do the text ads, but no, Google owns the major ad networks like DoubleClick (they acquired them so many years ago it may even be when /. was "better").

You probably did accept DoubleClick and many other ToS by simply having and using a Google account (and didn't Google a few years ago unify their ToS across everything?)/.

Comment Re: Seriously?? (Score 1) 146

There are a dozen use cases for not full headless and not full desktop. I'll name you one: a laboratory workstation that you both physically sit at and occasionally check up on from your desk or your home by sshing in and running a graphical thingie to monitor to test equipment it's plugged into.

Which works fine if your equipment supports multiple sharing sessions. If not, starting the new monitor may disrupt the existing process, screwing you over. Which is why X and remote desktop are NOT mutually exclusive - sometimes a view-only session is all you need to quickly view a setting without running something that could disrupt your long-running process.

The other reason is if you're on a flaky connection. Do this and X becomes a poor solution because the moment your connection burps, your applications are force-quit and you lose your work.

There are situations where one solution is better than the other. X forwarding is great, but it's not the be-all-end-all solution, especially if something you're doing is single-session only or you're not on a reliable connection (e.g., mobile) where you don't want all your programs to abort because you lost your cell signal.

Comment Re:Advertising ROI (Score 2) 281

It seems like advertising is backing away a bit, with the notable exception of the web. Ad-supported cable is dying but the no-ads premiums channels like HBO are doing well, and zero-ad subscription services like Netflix are cleaning up. The tech industry does seem to have more than it's share of advertising companies masquerading as something else. And the number of multi-billion dollar acquisitions for things like chat platforms, many that have subsequently been sold at a fraction of their purchase price, is suggestive of a bubble.

Ad supported cable is dying because a la carte is forcing what was once subscription based revenue (and thus concentrating on programming for a niche) is turning into ad-based revenue (and thus programming must attract eyeballs). So programming that could count on steady subscription revenue and concentrate on the topic at hand must now switch models and alter their presentation to go after what attracts eyeballs. This is a complete change and it's why ad supported cable channels added a bunch of "drama" and other things to formerly fact-based documentary programming. That drama (faked or scripted) attracts eyeballs. The more eyeballs, the higher the ad revenue.

Subscription based services like HBO and Netflix only care about growing subscription revenue, which means they don't care about eyeball quantity - they care about attracting subscribing eyeballs only. Their programming will be directed at what their subscribing public wants and what kind of subscribing public they want to get the dollars from.

So Netflix and HBO will be making programming aimed towards that demographic. You and I feel they're "winning" because we currently are in that demographic - the people who will likely see that programming and subscribe to the service.

But the market is still ripe for ads - the Superbowl for example, gets so many eyeballs its ratings are stratospheric. Which is why it costs over $100K per SECOND of ad time during it (that's $3M for an ad spot). For comparison, a prime-time 30 second ad spot generally commands $80-150K.

Sports, in general, are the highest rated programming on TV which is why they generally pre-empt other programming - the ad dollars spent is immense.

Comment Re:Found out lots of things as a sys admin (Score 2) 142

I've believed for years that the worst thing you can ever find out is what kind of money your colleagues actually make. I've seen really gross discrepancies at every job I've ever had with idiots being paid too much and good workers being paid too little. Finding out exactly how bad this is in reality is just terrible.

Actually, the reality is the complete opposite - the worst thing to do is keep everyone's salary a secret. By making it open, you actually allow for honest discussions to take place.

Employers love keeping salaries secret because it allows for all sorts of differential salaries - keeping a good person underpaid is easy. And employees often fear revealing their salary because others may think they're overpaid, so everyone is compliant and the company saves money.

The reality is actually much different - employees who share their salaries don't think someone is overpaid, but see who is actually underpaid.

More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Wasn't the C64 just a BASIC interpreter anyways (Score 2) 119

GW-BASIC and especially QBASIC had their own way of doing things, but they were essentially backwards compatible with the the 8-bit Microsoft basic found on Apple, TRS-80, and many other microcomputers of the era (as long as you didn't do machine specific graphics and sound).

it's funny, but when you think about it, all those BASICs were written by.... Microsoft.

Microsoft BASIC was built-in for most computers of the 80s, the exception being Apple which was a separate product and distinct from integer BASIC by Woz.

GW-BASIC was provided by Microsoft for PC clones which did not have ROM BASIC that the original IBM PCs had - it was a standalone interpreter.

And QBasic/'QuickBasic was its successor, again, a Microsoft product.

And which became Visual BASIC and now is the bane of developers everywhere.

Other than graphics, I think most of these BASICs were compatible mostly because one company was behind them all - Microsoft.

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 564

But my new car that I just got is an auto, because they finally fixed all the problems with autos: the fuel economy is noticeably better than manuals, they shift nicely now (both in smoothness and in responsiveness), and they're reliable now

Actually, that's apparently the problem with the new autostick transmissions (the manual transmissions that are servo-controlled) - especially the double-clutch ones. Because they are essentially manual transmissions they have shift points and even though modern ones can shift in about 100ms, they still produce a noticeable jerk when they do.

Apparently customers who buy those transmissions are reporting annoyance because unlike an automatic, this is very crude and jerky and they really wanted the smoothness at which a modern automatic shifts.

And yes, autosticks are an attempt to get the convenience of an automatic with the peppiness of a manual, and has been around a long while (it's been used in racing for a long time - drivers haven't actually shifted or clutched).

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 564

If they want to change the UI for a shifter, they should make it completely different, not make something that looks, and superficially feels the same while in actuality it's quite different. What they did is akin to wanting to have a joy-stick instead of a steering wheel, but instead of just putting in an obvious joystick, they made it look just like a steering wheel.

If you look at the picture, you're supposed to "upshift" it into Park, so you'd hit up to go from D to N, then up again to go from N to R, then up again to go from R to Park.

Which is pretty stupid, since it's just a quick shove to get it into park in every other vehicle. And even in joystick shifters, they make full use of the joystick - push IN to park (from anywhere), push UP to reverse, push DOWN to drive, push AWAY for neutral. This still leaves a pull towards you for an action - low gear, for example. The beauty of this is it's the same action to go anywhere to anywhere - if I want to go park, I push the joystick in. If I want to go from park to drive, I pull it down. If I want to reverse, just push it up. And neutral is just shove it forward away from me.

But a shifter is generally assumed that slide it away from you all the way to park it - push the button, shove all the way forward, it ends up in park.

And if you really know your car, you know which shifts don't require pushing the button - park to reverse requires it (and vice versa), reverse to neutral no (try it! most vehicles will shift from reverse to neutral without the button), but obviously, neutral to reverse requires the button. Same as neutral to drive, but some vehicles don't require drive to neutral to have the button pushed. And from drive to low gears requires the button pushed, but going from low gears to higher gears and drive, no (which requires careful shifting if your car doesn't require pushing the button to go from drive to neutral!)

Comment Re:The downside (Score 4, Informative) 84

Like the HTML5 video tag, that was supposed to free us from evil Flash, but just brought forth the unblockable autoplaying autoloading multimegabyte video ad, this isn't as great a piece of news as it might seem...

Upgrade your browser or your adblock plugin - autoplay disabling has been a staple since they started. (It is after all, just rewriting the DOM). Doing the same in Flash required blocking the entire thing.

And really, any DOM editing plugin should be able to see an ad and completely nuke it from orbit.

And if there's any sites that block visitors with adblockers (Forbes, Wired), a little DOM rewrite can have it so just enough runs to get you through but not load the ads. NoScript has replacement scripts for blocked domains, so similar technology can be created.

And most ad blockers work by blocking ad javascript (used to load flash objects). They probably already work for blocking ad javascript in HTML5.

Comment Re:The stuff is just too expensive (for now) (Score 2) 88

You could see what happens on TV sets. Now almost all models are "smart". Finding a "dumb" TV is harder and harder, and normally the firmware and the SoC are using is the same of the smarter models, only the extra features aren't enabled when on the boot the harware is not found. Being normally the "dumb" TV with smaller panel they're considered low end models are priced less. but when the "smart" and "dumb" models with the same screen size are sold, the price difference is small.

You can thank smartphone technology for that - TVs need SoCs too and while they could get by with a low end SoC, a low end SoC doesn't cost all that much less than a higher end multi-core multi-GHz one used in a smartphone. (Even the low end ones are dual core 1GHz units0.

Manufacturers love having the extra power - it makes the UI more "snappy" and it can boot faster, and the video processing can be done on the GPU rather than specialized video processing hardware controlled by the CPU (with very little increase in lag - it's still roughly a frame or two).

And when you're at this point, "smart" features are really just a software thing manufacturers can do to add value to their products for basically free. After all, the processing power is there.

Using a lower end SoC with video processor on the side costs about the same price, and they lose out on the ability to run a standard high level OS like Android on their SoC.

Qualcomm was going to introduce a video chipset at one point with all the TV inputs and a low end processor - perfect for TVs, but abandoned the plans when there was little interest

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 1) 248

Who knows? Are they going to know what features they need to add in 2017, now? What if a critical bug crops up? Wait 6-8 weeks? Why do they have large backlog of features? It is a browser.

Given I seem to get Firefox update notifications every 2 weeks or so, I'm not exactly sure what's the entire point of these 6-8 week releases.

Each update is still as disruptive as ever, so is it every 4th update now is even more disruptive or what?

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