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Comment: Why this suit has legs to stand on... (Score 0) 578

by Pathway (#40106923) Attached to: Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature

Fox (and friends) makes money on TV shows in two ways: You buy their channel on [insert TV provider here]. Otherwise, they make money from advertisers. If they have a show that has 1 million viewers, the ads that are played during and around that show are worth 1 million possible ad views. That's worth some money, and Fox (and friends) will extract the value of good programming in this manner from the advertisers.

So there is a reason why Fox (and friends) are not interested in you skipping their commercials. If the box automatically skips the commercials, the advertisers can claim that there were no ad-view from that viewer, effectively lowering the overall value of the ads on the show.

Let's say that Fox (and Friends) win. No big deal, we have to press a button to skip commercials, just like we have done for years.

Now let's say Dish wins. One or many of the following may occur:
a) Fox (and friends) start to insert their advertisements directly into their shows. They already do this, in a limited fashion. Imagine much more invasive ads.
b) Dish (and their competitors) starts to skip commercials on a ALL channels, all the time. (The current version only hops adds automatically the next day, you can't do that the day of.) This leads to...
c) Advertisers reduce the amount of money they give to the channels. Because of the decreased revenue...
d) Fox (and friends) start to charge more for upfront for their channels and/or...
e) Fox (and friends) start making cheaper to produce content.

Is that what will happen? Maybe. Is that what we want? Maybe not.

--Pathway

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Disclaimer: I am a long-time customer of Dish Networks. I do not currently own the Hopper, but I have followed its' release. I am an advocate of IPTV, and I feel that Dish currently provides the best IPTV solution with their Sling purchase. I do not watch the TV show "Fox & Friends." The repetitive use of the term was intended as a joke. Laugh, it's funny. Especially since you have read this far.

Comment: Why can't we fix this? (Score 1) 121

by Pathway (#33889086) Attached to: US Reigns As Most Bot-Infected Country

Forgive my ignorance on the subject matter, but why can't we fix this?

Is it because the infected machines have no anti-virus or anti-malware? Would a free AV program installed on the maxhine fix the problem on an individual machine?

Is it because it is too hard for most AV programs to detect a Bot?

Is it because there are too many older computers that don't have a supported AV solution?

Could a free AV check on the most popular homepages (google.com, yahoo.com, live.com, etc) inform users that they are potentially compromised? This would only check to see if an up to date AV program was installed, not a full AV check...

Is it something else all together? Do we even know?

Thanks for helping me understand the problem.

--Pathway

Comment: SIP Phone (Score 1) 289

by Pathway (#32721310) Attached to: Best Phone For a Wi-Fi-Only Location?
You want a SIP phone. Have an iPhone 3GS or 4G? I'm sure there is a paid for app that will allow you to make SIP calls. Hopefully there will be one that is iOS4 compatible that allows you to receive calls, too. The free LinPhone app works well enough, but only while the app is open.

Have an Android phone? I think there are SIP clients for Android as well.

Don't have either, just want something that's a WIFI SIP phone? Check out VoipSupply.com. They have a WIFI phone section. I'd either go cheap with the QuickPhones GA-342 or spend a little more for the Hitachi IP3000.

You'll need a SIP VOIP service. Check out Voip-Info.

Of course, test before you commit to something! There are free "toll-free-only" sip providers, which will allow you to test to see if it really works.

--Pathway

Comment: Not Bait and Switch, Not Evil. (Score 1) 670

by Pathway (#32431856) Attached to: iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan

When the Apple iPhone was released, Apple managed to get a carrier to provide internet access to it's users for a flat rate of $20 a month. As Apple/AT&T moved to 3G, that rate "upgraded" $30 a month. Admittedly, there were plenty of slashdotter's here who felt this was completely unfair at the time, but I'm sure many of them do enjoy the speed difference from EDGE to 3G... (I'm curious if there are any $20 Unlimited EDGE plan users still out there?)

Now, AT&T is looking at this model and realizing that they are backing themselves into a corner: Users are using more and more bandwidth for the same $30 a month. This is a natural occurrence in all uses of the Internet. Unlike a wired network, the Cell network can easily be over-saturated, and if they can't compensate for users who download huge chunks of data they will begin to falter on delivering reasonable data rates to the rest of their customers.

Metering is the answer. Is this the right price? We will have to wait and see. I for one just checked my "Cellular Network Data" usage, and I have downloaded 1.0 GB, uploaded 200 MB. Last Reset: Never. I've owned this iPhone for 6 months. So 2 GB a month doesn't sound unreasonable. In fact, I think most of my downloads come over WiFi. I bet most of yours do too.

--Pathway

Comment: I think this guy doesn't undersand the Wii... (Score 4, Insightful) 310

by Pathway (#32122898) Attached to: Wii 2 Delay Is Hurting Nintendo

but the simple fact is that the publishers have to develop completely separate games for the Wii because its CPU is not powerful.

When I think of Nintendo, I think of their tier 1 titles. That's not to say there aren't any good 3rd party titles, but Zelda, Mario, Metriod... These games are a driving force which the big-N uses to drive sales. And the strategy has worked for them for the past 25 years. Now, who is Nintendo marketing for? The answer is simple:

Everyone. Let me do a little hypothetical for you:

Think of your favorite game on an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Got that game in your head? Now, imagine you were playing that game at Thanksgiving time in front of your whole family, including your Grandma. 9 games out of 10, I'm thinking that at best your grandma will simply not understand, or at worst be offended.

Now do the same thing with the Wii. 9 times out of 10, it's a game you and everybody you know can at least appreciate, if not be interested in.

That, and the revolutionary easy to use controls (which are now being emulated), make the Wii a killer social platform focused on games and having fun. That's why it's been a big success.

And the idea that "The CPU is too slow" is the reason for the Wii not making yet-another-year-of-record-sales... That doesn't make sense. As we all know, Super Mario Brothers (the original one for the NES) is fun despite having ugly graphics. It's not how the game looks, it's how the game _plays_.

--Pathway

Comment: Re:The Cloud is cloudy. (Score 1) 121

by Pathway (#28778589) Attached to: Lost In the Cloud

Less important: It appears that Google Docs does support SSL. See the Following: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=100181

More important. If Google sold an appliance, much like the Google Search Appliance, that allowed you to run Google Docs from your own network... or anywhere on the internet, that's bringing the cloud to your business. I see things going that way.

Google already does something like this with Google gears, but I haven't tried it yet.

--Pathway

Comment: The Cloud is cloudy. (Score 1) 121

by Pathway (#28773799) Attached to: Lost In the Cloud

No, I did not RTFA... but about Cloud Computing and all the conserns that come with it:

First, let's define the Cloud. If you have your backups "In the Cloud", my understanding is that you have your data hosted by somebody other than you. You reach them over the internet. You're using the internet to access the services. Because you're receiving this service from an outside network, you're getting it from the "Cloud".

Traditionally, you would be doing this yourself, within your own network. This is defiantly not from the "Cloud".

But what if you were running a business with multiple offices? What if the services you want are only at HQ? If you allow access to these services over the internet, isn't this "In the Cloud" for branch offices? Isn't that just a self-hosted cloud?

Hopefully, for anything you wish to keep private, you encrypt your data.

--Pathway

Comment: The MACK(TM) Truck Rule (Score 2, Informative) 528

by Pathway (#28091947) Attached to: Documenting a Network?

Ah, you're not following the MACK(TM) Truck Rule.

The MACK Truck Rule (MTR for short) is a measuring stick which we use do determine if a solution is good for us. Basically, it's an objective measurement of the level of expertiese required to do something. Basically, the MTR has you ask yourself (Or your team) the following question:

If the person(s) responsible for a task was suddenly hit by a MACK(TM) truck, How much time would it take for somebody else, untrained, to complete that task if needed?

If that amount of time is unreasonable*, It doesn't follow the MTR. Notice the caveat for unreasonable; this is the subjective part. What' unreasonable for one may be reasonable for another. This needs to be decided for yourselves.

Documentation always helps difficult tasks pass the MTR. So can good support. I try to leave a readme in the place where the installer is for a difficult program. I'm now begining to use FreeMind to map out networks and servers. I have a good ticket system for all our repairs. Hopefully these things will make things easier the day I want to take a vacation.

--Pathway

Comment: DVR and skipping ads... really? (Score 4, Interesting) 220

by Pathway (#27721937) Attached to: The Economist On Television Over Broadband

I'd like to point out something I've observed over the years I've used my DVR: I watch the commercials.

I'll be watching my show, and I'll be using the 30-second skip feature to skip commercials during the show... but in the act of flipping through the commercials, If I see something that looks interesting to me, I'll actually go back and see what the commercial is about.

Reasons I skip commercials include: The commercial is annoying, I've seen it several times, or I am defiantly not the target audience.

I've also experienced where I am watching with somebody else, I skip a commercial, and the other party asks to go back to see it because they were interested in it.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this observation. So, I think all commercials get a fair showing in most cases with DVR.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS

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