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Comment We Left AT&T for similar reasons (Score 1) 175

My wife and I were on the AT&T unlimited data plan which got grandfathered once they dropped that plan. AT&T was very interested in pushing people off of that plan which they achieved by throttling people who used too much data. My wife received notice that her data was going to be throttled for the remainder of the billing period for going over around 3 GB. This happened right around when T-Mobile started their "un-carrier" plan which included unlimited data, voice and text. We left AT&T shortly after and never looked back. Thanks to AT&T's shortsighted push to get people off of their unlimited plan, we found T-Mobile which has kept improving what it offers customers (we recently visited Canada and, thanks to their new plan which was added for a few dollars, we were able to use 4G /LTE data, make and receive unlimited calls and use text without worrying about data caps and ridiculous international overage charges). Verizon is doing ht same thing here. Is it really worth losing customers just to drop this unlimited plan? They lose out on added lines (we added another family member to our plan plus a couple of iPads which get data through T-Mobile now).

As long as AT&T and Verizon continue to treat their customers with contempt, people will continue to leave for greener pastures.

Comment App Developers may have good intentions but.. (Score 1) 82

The App developers may have good intentions around this and never contemplate using their pipeline from enduser's devices. The issue then becomes how solid they are in terms of security as this opens them up as a big target for others to compromise the user's traffic and device. This becomes a very weak point in the security walls and efforts which Apple has been building and would most certainly become a focus of parties interested in compromising iOS devices. We can't put that level of trust into just anyone who puts an ad blocker up on the App store and even if it were a well reputed company, we have seen how some companies who have this level of access to computers (anti-virus programs which install root certs) fail to be bullet proof.

IOS App store is a curated environment and everyone knows this and counts upon it to keep their devices as safe as possible. Apple identified this content blocker as a problem because of how it is structured and pulled it.This is a good thing. It's no different than Apple force disabling Adobe Flash on OS X when vulnerabilities are discovered in it (for example).

Comment A Better Solution (Score 1) 236

Web sites can offer two tiers of service.
1) Paid access. Pay a nominal fee to support the website operator. This means you are free of ads AND tracking. (most people are creeped out by tracking).
2) Selective Ad supported access. Select from a list of ad categories (more granularity, the better) and be allowed access to the site. The site serves up only those ads which you are interested. Once again though, tracking needs to be addressed here in some manner. Ad companies need to know the number of impressions but there should be a policy of not tracking users across other sites. Also, the amount off ads is limited so that access to the site is speedy.

If this kind of approach were implemented, I think more people would be less hung up over ads. I personally never watch ads or intentionally click ads so it's wasted money from advertisers but it helps pay the bills.

Comment Re:Microsoft Has to do this.. (Score 1) 867

Microsoft has been pushing out downloads to users so that number will include these pre-staged downloads for later installation. My comment was aimed at the fact that Microsoft is essentially opting in everyone to Windows 10 and pushing the files onto their devices. They do this (in part) to be able to showcase the large download numbers and tell the world that the uptake on Windows 10 is exceptional. The fact that they are reporting number of downloads and not total installed base further solidifies this position. These upgrades should be opt-in and not automatically downloaded to every computer which has automatic updates enabled as those were for security and stability updates, not full operating system updates).

As for my opinion of Windows, I do use Windows 7 (disliked Windows 8) and I support a work environment which has Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 computers (along with various versions of Server). I did not say that Windows 10 sucks, I said that Microsoft really needs this to be a success and will use every tool at its disposal to do so and that starts with marketing (via boosting the number of downloads which implies actual installs). I do not like this approach but understand why they are doing this and for some people, it will help them to upgrade as they probably want to do. I am not storage or bandwidth constrained so it doesn't impact me as it may others. It's just this philosophy of shoveling it onto every device possible is pretty disingenuous when they market those figures as an early sign of success.

Comment Microsoft Has to do this.. (Score 5, Insightful) 867

Microsoft has to do this in order to boost figures which they spread around via marketing. Look how many times Windows 10 has been downloaded by users! Have a look at THIS headline as proof..
The Appeal of Free: 75 Million Users Download Windows 10 in First Month

Obviously the intent here is to inflate their numbers and make the deployment look better than it really is. While I have no doubt that many are taking advantage of the free upgrade option (which apparently expires in a year or so), not all who download are going to install (shoveling the upgrade onto systems) or stick with it.

Comment Re:And another on the ban pile (Score 5, Insightful) 289

When a company pulls this kind of trick, they are dead to me. I don't understand why companies think that they will get away with such actions. It may slip through once but it only takes one time getting caught and then people will start looking back at past hardware releases to see if they did the same thing before. The damage to a company's reputation can be devastating, all to earn some extra profit.. Such a shame.

Comment Re: 50MB = 750$ (Score 2) 321

Yep.. T-Mobile is awesome in the USA. The tethering works great. No ridiculous prices to add SMS. Free international roaming (slower speeds but I'll take it! Also can buy data at a faster speed). I was on AT&T's plan for years. I had a grandfathered unlimited data pan with them. Once they sent me a notice for exceeding normal use (wasn't that much to be honest, I think the phone hit 3 Gigs of data due to our son watching some Netflix videos) and slowed my connection down (actually it was my wife's phone) we decided to leave AT&T for T-Mobile and are so glad we did. I tell everyone I know that they should leave AT&T and use T-Mobile..

Comment Funding for Better Buildings? (Score 1) 187

I have never understood the mentality of throwing out these portables for students to use as a classroom. I see many schools here in South Florida using these portables as a permanent solution to inadequate classrooms. Before anyone says "but the school system can't afford to build new ones" keep in mind that in Florida, the lottery proceedings which the state takes in are supposed to go towards the school system. If the government would properly fund school sour of the normal budget and then allocate lottery revenue AFTER instead of including it as a part of meeting the budget (thus allocating the other funds elsewhere). If the school system actually got the lottery revenue after the base budgets were met, the school system would be a lot better off and these portables would not be a permanent structure.

Comment Re:Hell Yes! (Score 1) 251

I absolutely loved playing multi-player Descent. The death match sessions were fast and furious. It's funny because several days ago, I had wondered if people still host servers to play Descent and Starsiege: Tribes (another great game). So many great games just don't get played any more I guess. Threewave CTF Quake was another amazing game which I spent so many hours playing.. (oh, so many hours)...

Comment Re:Autism is the new ADD (Score 1) 558

Watching TV, ipads, whatever has zero to do with Autism. If you really do think that you really need to read up on it and perhaps speak with parents of a child with Autism. My daughter was not stuck in front of a TV or screen much at all and I have seen many kids who were. There's a marked difference between a kid with no social skills / experiences and a kid with Autism. Kids with no social skill still are curious about people around them, want to communicate with others, can smile for pictures, etc. A child with Autism wants none of those things. Your theory is laughable and that you'd sit there spouting on like this is pathetic. Go back to speaking of things which you have knowledge of and avoid commenting on things for which you know nothing.

Comment Re:Autism is the new ADD (Score 2) 558

As a parent of a 4 year old with Autism, I can safely say that you have no clue what you are talking about which is fine (hell I knew very little about it before having my daughter diagnosed at the age of 2). I do take issue when you make such idiotic comments as Autism is the new ADD. There's a difference between "throwing a huge tantrum" because a child had a toy, tablet whatever taken away and not having your child want to look at you, smile for pictures and be oblivious to everyone around him or her. I'd be very surprised honestly, if any parent ever jumped to the conclusion that their child must have Autism because they are misbehaving or are "nerdy".

"Increased screening sensitivity"? What does that mean? Do you even know what you are talking about? Have you ever attended sessions with doctors and specialists with a child to see how they determine if a child shows signs of Autism? No? Well, have you even read up on it? No? Perhaps you should before you continue to show your ignorance and insensitivity to others even more than you already have.

Trust me on this. Autism is not ever diagnosed because a kid has tantrums or is nerdy etc. The professionals know what they are doing. My daughter most definitely has Autism (on the lower end of the spectrum) and should lead a normal life provided she receives therapy and treatment as she grows up.

Comment Re:Not autonomous? (Score 1) 356

I think Drone / UAV can be interchanged.. I think the big differentiator should be the autonomous flying capabilities. Otherwise, I think of the stuff that individuals fly around as RC Aircraft even with a camera onboard which provides the person flying it with the ability to see from the aircraft in real time. Drones, as the term is popularly used these days, tend to refer to a military use UAV which packs weapons or sensors used for military reconnaissance.

Unmanned Areal Vehicle: A powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles. Also called UAV.

Comment Re: I have mixed feelings about this. (Score 5, Interesting) 225

It's apparent that the whole patent system is in dire need of an overhaul. The question is who will finally step up in the government to fix this mess.. It's something I hear of almost daily (patent trolls killing off innovation and screwing people out of money).

The double-click ads never land on my systems. I use a hosts file to block their stuff along with other ads. I did some searching around and found a few places which provide hots files which you can use on your computers. Here's a great site which maintains a hosts file which you can use in your computers..

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain