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Comment: It IS possible to compete against "free" (Score 2) 275

by Tony Isaac (#47745343) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

This article actually points it out: When the big players drop the prices to below cost, it is possible to still compete, by offering add-ons specific to certain types of customers, or better customer service, or in some other way differentiating yourselves from the big players. This applies both when the big guys are Amazon and Google, or when they are Walmart and Home Depot.

Comment: All software is full of bugs (Score 4, Insightful) 150

It doesn't matter if it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Linux, all software is full of bugs.

For that matter, all of everything constructed by human beings...is full of defects, or potential defects, or security vulnerabilities. Your house, for example. You have a lock on your front door, but it takes a thief just a few seconds to kick the door in. Or your car...a thief can break into it in seconds, even if you have electronic theft protection. I'd call those "security vulnerabilities."

It's the nature of all human creations, software or hardware, electronic or mechanical.

So what do we do? We improve security until it becomes "just secure enough" that we can live with the risks, and move on.

Comment: Re:You make it... (Score 1) 519

by Tony Isaac (#47211857) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Job insecurity is a good thing. It has a way of motivating people to do what they have to do, to keep their job. Sure, some schools will have stupid expectations of teachers, and will fire them for the wrong reasons. But there are SOME schools with leadership that is insightful and wants the best for their children. These schools will try hard to keep good teachers, and let bad ones go. The old system tied the hands of administration at these schools, meaning they had to keep the bad teachers. Tenure rules made sure that ALL schools would have to keep bad teachers, even the ones that do have good leadership. The schools that have bad leadership...the children at those schools are screwed regardless of tenure.

Comment: Try getting free technical support for your car! (Score 1) 253

Your check engine light comes on. See how much help you get calling GM! They'll tell you to take it to a dealer (which, by the way, is not part of GM).

Oh, so you got a "free" 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty? Oh yes, you paid for that, and it wasn't cheap. You just weren't allowed to opt out.

Why do we expect free technical support for computers?

Comment: Google is just giving people what they want (Score 1) 108

by Tony Isaac (#47080955) Attached to: On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google

Personally, when I search Google for something, I get what I want on the first page of listings, Usually, what I want is the first or second item in the list. Google has gotten really, really good at figuring out what people want.

And it's not MetaFilter.

In this case, I think MetaFilter's problems are more related to their own inability to stay relevant, than anything Google did.

Comment: Only a few big names (Score 3, Insightful) 154

by Tony Isaac (#47062977) Attached to: Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

Yes, there are crazy amounts being paid for certain lucky tech companies. SnapChat turning down $3 billion, for example. Sorry, the company simply isn't worth more than half of the S&P 500. So in the sense that some social media-related companies are being bought by the giants for huge dollar amounts, there is a bubble.

But the bubble isn't extending to the bottom of the food chain. In the 90's, anybody who could say "Java" could get six figures, and any guy with a hair-brained idea and a few programmers, could get VC money from rich guys who did random things to choose where to sink their money. It's not like that now. These days, you have to actually be able to write software, to get a good job, and you have to have a viable business, to get VC dollars.

Comment: Computers already deal with slow humans (Score 1) 189

by Tony Isaac (#47029823) Attached to: Understanding an AI's Timescale

In terms of processor cycles, it takes a LONG time to type any kind of command for the computer to execute. It doesn't mind, it just spins happily, waiting for the end of our slow key presses.

Just as we can interpret input that comes in the form of visual cues, speech, or written words, any future AI is likely to have all of these capabilities as well. And that AI, being built by humans, is going to be well-adapted to human speed. Why would we make AI that was NOT suited to interaction with humans?

Comment: Re:Incorrect Timescale (Score 1) 189

by Tony Isaac (#47029785) Attached to: Understanding an AI's Timescale

Great point. Interestingly, speech recognition is also a massive undertaking for the human brain, we just don't notice, because our brains don't have just one processor, or even eight or sixteen cores, but millions of neurons processing audio data at the same time. It's going to take a while before inexpensive computers can match that kind of processing power.

Comment: Re:Anti-competitive (Score 1) 238

by Tony Isaac (#47025439) Attached to: Apple To Face Lawsuit For iMessage Glitch

This assumes that Apple engineers are smart enough to do this intentionally. I suspect the problem is more due to incompetence than evil intent.

Domain registrars are another story. If you've tried lately to renew a domain name registration even with Network Solutions, the original registrar, you'll find it really, really difficult to just renew, without buying some additional service you didn't want. And once you do, good luck trying to get your money back!

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