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Comment: I don't get it, Dropcam is 90% just a reseller (Score 1) 82

by RubberDogBone (#47294337) Attached to: Google's Nest Buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

All of Dropcam's hardware is just stuff they get from OEMs in Shenzhen. They don't make it themselves, and in fact, the exact same hardware is sold by other camera vendors. But far more significant than the direct clones, there are also lots of not identical but still competing products that are just as good that go for a lot less.

The camera market is very cutthroat and low profit. Dropcam has no advantage here, not even name, because most people still haven't heard of them.

The only thing unique about Dropcam is the SaaS side but they don't do anything that could not be duplicated by others if they wanted to do it. Mostly nobody duplicates it because lots of IP camera customers just don't need that kind of service.

So what did Nest buy and why? A camera company selling generic OEM cameras you can source anywhere, or a SaaS company selling services that can be duplicated easily? It makes no sense to me.

Comment: Re:Chicken or egg? (Score 1) 105

by RubberDogBone (#47280235) Attached to: After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

Secret about magazines: copy sales never matter as much as advertising rates. You need copy sales to drive ad sales, of course. But the real money in magazines comes from the ads. Subscriber money just covers some costs.

And actually, magazines make more money from single-copy magazine sales than they do from subscribers. So while you may feel like $30 a year is a good value, the magazine would rather sell five individual copies at $6 each. They make money on that. Not so much on subscriptions.

If you really love the magazine, subscribe and also occasionally buy some single copies, and patronize the advertisers in a way that lets them know the magazine ads sent you there. Generally, the more ad pages in a magazine, the better it's doing.

Comment: End of a niche magazine, not an era (Score 1) 105

by RubberDogBone (#47280209) Attached to: After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

When I think of "great magazines about computers" Computerworld hasn't been on that list in years. They were always the one you read after PC Mag, after PC World even, you know, if there was nothing else. Then there was Computerworld. I always suspected most people only ever read it when they got copies free at tradeshows.

Anyway, there are still great computer magazines, in my opinion. Maximum PC is currently the top of the current class, maybe whatever PC Mag is doing as a second place.

Unimpressed with the current version of CPU. PC World hasn't been relevant in a decade, reduced to lists of top-ten rankings of products already out of date before publication. Most of the others are either very specialized like Photoshop magazine or they've turned into web portals.

Comment: Knock on the door (Score 1) 90

by RubberDogBone (#47260807) Attached to: Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

Knock on the door.

So, Mister..... Steve, is it? Steve. We, understand, you've been having a rough week. You've burnt the toast now three days in a row, and that's not like normal people. So tell me, Steve? Is there anything, a load on your mind perhaps, that you'd like to share and unburden yourself and return a life of making proper toast?

No?

Well then, Steven, you'd be wise to stop burning the, uh, toast. We wouldn't want you to get burned. Would not do at all.

Comment: That's how it always is (Score 1) 346

by RubberDogBone (#47199209) Attached to: Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?

Like something out of a bad spy novel, take one disgruntled security worker who has managed to end up alone and with a lot of people out to get him, and you send somebody to be his buddy. Sometimes a girl with boobs too big and a skirt too short. Sometimes it's friendly uncle Boris, you know, how loves the foote-ball like you do, heh heh heh, on big screens of tele the vision, heh heh heh.

Oh honey, I completely understand, you just want to do the right thing for all people. And those bad old Americans just don't understand you like I do. Must be so sad being alone. Awwwww. But I know some friends who have a place you can stay, hide out, relax, have a little ffffuuunnnn, giggle, look at my spectacular rack (and I don't mean server rack) so why don't you come to Moscow with me, huh honey?

Of course the friends turn out to be really quite nice, and Boris really does have a big TV and the girl agent really wants to be his girlfriend forever. And they all live happily ever after in lives of completely moral, monetary, and sexual fulfilment.

Sure they do.

Everybody in life is trying to use you for something. Nothing is free. Some offer money in exchange for work. If you do it at desk or on your back in a bed, it's still just a trade: they use you in exchange for something. And the more they offer, the more strings are attached. When they promise exactly what you happen to want, there's going to be a very big price attached even if you refuse to believe it. Nothing is free, not even information. Nothing.

Comment: Seems unlikely (Score 1) 155

by RubberDogBone (#47192803) Attached to: Millions of Smart TVs Vulnerable To 'Red Button' Attack

TFA mentions NTSC. "t’s on the verge of mass adoption in the U.S. as it was recently added to NTSC standards used in North America." NTSC was the obsolete low-def video format that's no longer used. It's DEAD. HDTV is the ATSC standard. These *TSC acronyms are mutually exclusive. So right off the bat, the article is on shaky ground.

This "hack" seems like an uncommon scenario, as top-of-the-line "smart" TVs tend to be owned by relatively affluent and as such, the cash-stocked user is probably watching cable, satellite, or streaming signals which they can well afford to use.

The people most likely to use an antenna are also the ones least likely to have a smart TV. They might even still use one of those converter boxes.

Anyway, my TV is modern but stupid. I use a Roku and a satellite box. Never use the antenna directly -broadcast TV channels offer no content that interests me in any way whatsoever. So this is just one more reason to never watch that crap.

Comment: Re: ATL is my favorite airport (Score 1) 135

by RubberDogBone (#47175143) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

At least a dozen franchise chains are headquartered in Atlanta so they all have operations at the airport as well, as turf markers if not showplaces. And Atlanta likes to eat. A lot.

You will never starve at ATL unless you are broke.

Other airports are fine with a Sbarro and Starbucks, and an on-your-way. oh boy. Yum yum.

Comment: I reject your labels (Score 1) 1198

by RubberDogBone (#47116347) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

I may be a geek, nerd, male, hetero and perhaps other things. Lots of labels.

But don't you dare tar me with this guy's manifesto as if having something, anything, in common with him somehow convicts me as well of any of his crimes. I'll take blame for things I do, and have done, but not for one goddamn second will I take any shit or blame for something somebody else did, especially not this guy and especially not scumbags who crawl cons and paw at cosplayers.

I worked my ass off for almost two decades as a con organizer and staffer and spent a lot of that time trying to protect idiots from themselves and prevent predators from getting at their prey. And mostly it worked out. Perfect? Nope. But nobody can protect everyone from everything all the time. And I quit working at cons and attending cons because you can generally judge something by the people it attracts. Working at those events or giving them money endorses what they do. Never again.

But just generally, I reject the basic construct that I'm somehow guilty of something just for being male. I'm not guilty by association of stoning a woman to death in a country I've never visited. I'm not guilty of raping somebody in a convention hotel room and I've never, ever, EVER groped anyone in my entire life. Zero.

All I've ever been is nice to women my whole life. I treat them with respect and care and as equals. And they tend to like me. Funny how that works.

So this guilt by nerd/geek/born male/whatever association is not gonna fly with me. To hell with you. Nobody speaks for me but me, and my actions speak for who and what I am and what I believe. Both the OP and this Rodger guy speak for themselves, only.

Comment: Re:Ethanol don't seem to matter (Score 1) 432

by RubberDogBone (#47090151) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

This is true in most areas. All the fuel comes from the same depots. However, the differentiation then takes place either in the tanker truck or at the station itself when the additives are mixed in.

For example, one of the large warehouse clubs mixes in their own additive blend as the fuel is being delivered. So they can legitimately claim it's a special blend. Well, except that it's the same additive mix used by one of the major fuel chains. They're the ones who did all the R&D on it, and this is a good thing. I wouldn't expect a warehouse club to know anything about fuel, but I do expect the giant oil companies know a little about it.

Anyway, yeah, gas is gas. IF there is any difference, it's happening when the fuel is put in the underground tanks. Not all stations bother. The mom and pop stations on the corner take whatever is delivered and mix it with whatever they already had and you take your chances with it.

Comment: Bad gasoline is a bigger hazard (Score 1) 432

by RubberDogBone (#47090127) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

Modern cars can cope with ethanol just fine, even in excess of the stated amount.

The far bigger problem is bad gas from stations with leaking tanks or contaminated sources. These are the stations that get a tanker of fuel once a month or once every couple weeks.

Much better to get gas from a station that sells so much fuel, that have to be restocked every day, or more than once a day. So, warehouse clubs, chains like QuikTrip, Racetrac, Pilot truck stops, TA, etc.

Comment: Re:employee (Score 1) 60

by RubberDogBone (#47084355) Attached to: Severe Vulnerability At eBay's Website

eBay slipped on this one because they detected the compromised account as merely a misuse of employee web privileges, a minor sort of issue perhaps to be mentioned by said employee's manager at their next review. Nobody noticed the scope of the issue until much later.

Anyway, remote employees are the rule everywhere these days. They're either the boss working from home or minions unworthy to have a company desk, or all the jobs that have been outsourced.

The plenty of projects going on these days where not a single person involved is actually in a physical office owned or operated by the actual companies involved.

I recently worked on a large IT project with one the huge IT companies you've heard of. While their main project manager was based domestically where the work was taking place, the ENTIRE remaining participation from huge IT was offshored. Most of the other third-party contractors (and there were a LOT of them on this, all touching extremely sensitive data) were also offshore. The contractor I worked for, ironically, is a foreign-owned company but all of our people on this one were domestic.

Comment: There ain't no such thing as a static universe (Score 1) 255

by RubberDogBone (#47053717) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

TANSTAASU

Robots almost universally expect and assume they will operate in a static universe where fixed obstacles don't move and random things don't happen.

Robot cars attempt to convert driving into a static arena by rapidly scanning, by having good maps, by knowing what is coming.

The problem for robots is that the universe likes to drop things into the middle of roads, that people like to step out between cars, that potholes will suddenly exist where they didn't before, that some doofus pushing a bicycle up a hill in the middle of a lane will happen.

And sometimes suddenly. And all at once. So what IS a robot car to do when the choice is hit two pedestrians or take the car off road over a cliff? Forget Asimov. His laws of robotics are irrelevant and always have been. This car has a choice: hurt two or hurt one? What will it do?

The answer is, hit the pedestrians. The car will do its best to cope with a sudden situation but it can't do any better here than a human driver. People drivers, I often see, are MUCH happier about crossing into opposing lanes of traffic thus risking a head-on collision than they are staying in their lane and coping with a pothole or even just a bump. The FIRST thing they do is violate that double yellow line rather than be even slightly inconvenienced by a jolt.

Crossing that line has no immediate consequence, as the car they are about to hit is several meters away. While the bump they knew was coming is avoided. Success! No bump. Now about that 4,000LB vehicle approaching at 45MPh. We takes our chances.

Comment: Re:What a complete waste of time and money (Score 1) 203

by RubberDogBone (#46987201) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Passengers May Just Miss Going into Space

Even orbit is no big deal, really. If you lived in a house with a fenced in yard, orbit is like running around just inside the fence* all the way around the house. So you are at no point more than a few meters away from the house. Orbit is the same, just scaled up.

What we need to be doing is running down to the corner or across the street or through the woods to grandmother's house. Running around inside a fence is what dogs do, mindlessly making a path in the grass.

*why inside the fence and not outside? Because orbit means you are still in the grasp of gravity, you are just falling as fast as it's pulling. So things in orbit will eventually decay and fall down, just as the kid or dog running in the yard will eventually have to come inside. Things outside the fence could be equated to escape velocity and well, if it got that far, it's not coming back. Your kid has left for college and his/her own family. In Montana.

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