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Comment Full of bad reporting (Score 4, Interesting) 662

While I generally support him, the media has been TERRIBLE at reporting this story. The LA Times had a very popular article that kept comparing him to Steve Jobs. JOBS!??! Don't they mean Woz?! The police also release misleading photos making it look like it was the size of a suitcase (it was waaaay smaller than that). I guess once the mass media gets their hands on something their only concern is ad clicks...

Comment Re:However, in special ed, they do keep them engag (Score 1) 283

Only a small handful of technologies help. Having a recorded lecture that you can replay helps A LOT. Posted pdf's are way better than paper handouts (much more difficult to lose). However, almost everything else is an inferior tool. Smartboards write terribly and illegibly. Powerpoint has removed instructor/student back-and-forth and becomes a one-way broadcast. The list goes on. Oddly enough, the useful technologies have been around for 20-30 years and still aren't being effectively used.

Comment They should make use of dormant DVDs (Score 1) 294

Netflix should make use of dormant DVDs. Keep track of how many DVDs are in the warehouse and allow those to be "rented" via streaming. No more content deals. Just buy the movie, keep track who's streaming it at any given time (being very careful to not go over), and profit. I'm sure it will piss off Hollywood, but at this point I think the tech industry could beat Hollywood in a large court case like this. No more turnaround time. DVDs rented for literally 90 minutes.

Comment Heavy hand vs Light touch (Score 5, Interesting) 279

Circles was a great idea. Google should have made plus a very lightweight site with circles and a couple of other features and an amazing API. Let the developers do the work for you. At that point, everything is sorta opt-in. No privacy issues. If I don't want my plus profile to have pictures, I just never download a picture app.

Google's name is too tarnished with regards to privacy and will never be able to launch a social media site again. It's like McDonald's trying to launch a health food line. About all they can do at this point is a spin-off type company that is far far away from the Google name.

Comment My experience (Score 2) 279

In early 2013 I had an idea to make interacting between social media sites a little bit more seamless. So I started hunting down the google plus API (in addition to all the other popular social media sites at the time). The google plus API was by far the most anemic. To say it was even a serious API is misleading.

I was able to hunt down a Google engineer and speak with him in a slightly non-corporate exchange. Basically, they seemed to have no interest in apps or extending the site. The site is the site, no more no less. A few publicist type conglomerates could have access to a private API that let them manage their celebrity and corporate profiles from a single piece of custom software, but mere mortals only had the extremely basic API. I just did a quick search and it looks like nothing has changed since then.

Ever since that exchange I realized Google had no grand plan for Google plus and even in early 2013 was already on life support.

Comment Re:I'll wait for service pack 1 (Score 1) 317

This isn't really true anymore. I think a lot of companies used this technique to decide when to roll out Windows versions, so Microsoft started putting out SP1 sooner to increase sales. There doesn't really seem to be an industry metric for determining stability either. I guess the best option is really "when all your friends say it seems stable."

Comment Local authority the greatest (Score 1) 298

If the Federal government tried the things local government can get away with, there would be mass revolution. In many places you can have a lien put against your property because your lawn was too high and you didn't pay the fines. Imagine if the Federal government tried that.

Local government can pretty much shut any event down based on zoning, noise ordinances, permits, incorrect paperwork, or any other number of technicalities. There's really no such thing as free speech when it comes to the city level of government. Maybe in principle, but in practice they have so many tools to shut you up it's sheer luck if you ever get your message out.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.