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Comment Here, there, and everywhere (Score 2) 55

When Nokia bought Navteq they bought one of two global mapping companies, for about US$ 7.5 billion. For that they got, almost immediately, free maps for every Nokia handset. Around the planet. Also data sets for some industry leading augmented reality. Those services were, and are, huge. They sold lots of handsets and led the way to lots of Microsoft collaboration (Windows Phone et al comes with Nokia Here built-in.) That eventually led to Microsoft buying the phone unit outright. Did Nokia lose money selling Here off? Maybe, maybe not. They sold lots of handsets around the world featuring Here. That augmented reality wowed lots of folks and sold some more, plus positioned Nokia products as forward looking. They sold some online mapping to websites, though that was probably not a big revenue stream. They eventually sold the failing phone unit (and kept Here!) So they got a lot of milage out of Here, maybe US$5 billion. Going forward, I hope the new owners keep the consumer editions of Here. I'm off to Glacier Nat'l Park next week, and have Here loaded on all my handsets. The iPhone has just the states I regularly visit preloaded. One of my Android handsets has all of North & Central Americas preloaded, for fast travel convenience. I'm used to sering legions of befuddled tourists wandering around national park attractions confused their smartphone maps (Google Maps & Apple Maps, both largely dependant on streaming maps) aren't working. I used to bring a Windows phone along explicitly for those situations, now I just load Here. Oh, and why not carry a dedicated GPS unit? They don't come with cameras, translators, phones, email, etc. Their maps? Likely sourced from, yes, Here.

Comment Wrong number (Score 4, Interesting) 158

Many years ago a buddy got some new phone lines. One had just been a reservation number for an extremely large restaurant. After a few days of folks trying to make reservations through him he called the restaurant and offered them the number back if they'd pay the transfer fees. They declined. So he started taking reservations. "Four for the Ponderosa Room at 7pm? Under 'Caruthers'? Not a problem; please check in with the Hostess when you arrive." After a week of this he called the restaurant back, and offered them their reservation number back. For just the fees? Oh no, assholes, now it's gonna cost something! He got some nominal amount, just 'cause he was pissed about his time & trouble.

Comment Re:Examples (Score 2) 523

A job seeker can create a piece of software with the intent of it being an example of good work. Ideally, the project should look professional and have some useful purpose. The person can then point at it as an example, put it on their resume, mine it for code samples, and if all else fails maybe it'll make money on its own.

Comment Re:They did it to themselves (Score 1) 443

They outright contracted out their online sales to amazon for a long while, so if you wanted to buy from borders online you were actually doing it through amazon, so with every transaction Borders was giving money directly to their competitor. The general consensus about this practice was "they're either high or just plain insane."

Comment Re:Certifications don't impress... (Score 3, Interesting) 444

I am a senior software engineer with 23 years of professional experience. I've built web sites and web applications for Fortune 500 companies and major nonprofits and for the air force and joint chiefs of staff, and my past clients included all but one of the top 50 largest financial institutions in the country.

When I'm looking for work, the #1 thing that generates the most calls about my resume (by a long shot) is the one product certification I have, which is (and all of this is indicated plainly on my resume) something like six major versions behind on the software I was certified in, was 11 years ago, and I've never done a complete installation of the product. Even knowing that fact, people are desperate to get me to do work for that product because I was certified in it and hardly anyone is.

So, while smart companies look for experience and a track record of successful projects, it remains true that if you get the *right* certification, it will still get you more work anyway.

Comment Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (Score 2) 221

Even as merely a proposed injunction by plaintiffs, it's absolutely insane and the plaintiffs' lawyer should have his right to practice questioned for even proposing it.

I used to be an IT director at a small university. If this proposal landed on my lap, I would tell the university lawyers and the university management that I would immediately quit, and advise my entire staff to do the same, if that injunction was issued by the judge because it would involve giving the publishers access to all student records without the students' permission, which is illegal (federally), and I'd rather be out of work than go to jail.

It's my professional opinion (as an IT professional) that if a judge issued that order, Georgia State would have no choice but to cancel all classes and close its doors.

Comment Sue 'em. (Score 1) 379

Wait till they insert their own ad into a web page and then get the page owner to sue them into the ground for violating their copyright by altering the content.

Or sue them for violating your privacy by monitoring your communications with other parties. Would that constitute wiretapping? Perhaps you could report it to the FBI, and maybe after they go to jail they'll stop interfering with your net connection.

Comment Jail time (Score 1) 1307

As a medical organization, your IT director has to make a legal certification that all systems within the organization are HIPPA complaint. If they do so and you set up a rogue server and someone places patient medical information on it and it becomes compromised, your IT director could go to jail. Or possibly you, you'd need to consult a lawyer to find out.

Comment Re:Handheld scanner (Score 1) 235

For that matter, why not use a digital camera and some stitching software?

Or, if you've got a good way to align a map against the lat/lon grid (which you'll have to have or you won't be able to use the maps anyway), why bother stitching it at all? Just photograph the map in sections, and use your alignment method to align each section separately.

Comment Re:Kindle (Score 1) 684

If that's your only comment on the Kindle, then you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

Yes, Kindle ebooks purchased from amazon usually have DRM. Not always, but usually. However, the Kindle works perfectly well with ebooks not purchased from amazon, if they are in MOBI, PDF, or several other formats. And before you start complaining about its lack of EPUB support, I'll point out that you can get the free Calibre software and convert your EPUBs to MOBIs effortlessly... unless you bought them from Sony, B&N, or Apple, in which case they're probably crippled by DRM, in which case you can't say they're any better than Amazon.

But if you want to live in a DRM free ecosystem, the Kindle is a beautiful piece of hardware that is entirely capable of reading DRM-free books. It's just your problem to acquire DRM-free books. But then, that'd still be your problem with some other reader too.

Comment Re:T-Mobile (Score 1) 395

Um, no.

T-Mo TOS don't appear to allow tethering to 3G. They do allow tethering on Edge at no additional charge (so back down your device.) Their happy helpful customer support (really, I think they pump drugs into their air) will happily walk you through tethering on a BlackBerry, no additional cost. Tho >10GB in a billing cycle you get throttled.

That said T-Mo plans are cheapest, win JD Powers for service, are great about supporting random phones, coverage has improved considerably in the past few years, and T-Mo does lead on Android.

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing