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Comment: Reminds me of IBM's golden screwdriver (Score 1) 129

by bgfay (#46817777) Attached to: AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

I remember reading in _Big Blues_ how IBM mainframes were throttled when first installed. That way, a tech could be sent into the locked room with the golden screwdriver and magically upgrade things to incredible speed. The customers didn't know that they had been using hobbled systems and were happily impressed that the thing was now so much faster. Sounds like the same trick AT&T is trying to pull.

Comment: I care some and think there's a solution (Score 1) 285

by bgfay (#46775173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Our local Syracuse paper was bought up by the same folks who are running the Times-Picayune into the ground. We used to have two daily papers (certainly don't need that now), but are left with a non-daily paper that is primarily AP wire and NY Times stories.

What I would like is to see Syracuse University buy the paper, use the press to print a daily for both the university and the city (keeping with the Town & Gown movement). The paper could be the Journalism department and also be an outlet for the business department. It seems a win-win. I wonder what the downsides are.

Comment: Re:Interesting point on HBO's potential revenue. (Score 1) 360

by bgfay (#40886043) Attached to: Why Internet Pirates Always Win

And as with piracy, aren't the methods for eliminating ads going to increase? I tape delay the Olympics when I watch because I HAVE to have the ability to skip the commercials. I honestly can't stand them and won't watch. YouTube has become polluted with them too and I go there less and less. Have we reached the tipping point when a half hour network show is less than 20 minutes long?

Comment: Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (Score 1) 246

by bgfay (#35092204) Attached to: News Corp's <em>The Daily</em> Is Doomed

This comment is right on the mark, but I wonder if Murdoch will wait for the money to happen. I would give this less than a year. (BTW, I have been wrong about every technology related prediction I have ever made.) Mostly I keep thinking, would I use this thing (if I had a tablet/iPad to run it on)? The answer is no, because for now the NYTimes is free. When their paywall goes up, I'll have to see how that works out and what other sources I might read. But it has been so long since I paid for news that I find it difficult to imagine going back to that. If nothing else, I'll send a hundred bucks to NPR and turn the radio on. Maybe I don't need to read the news at all.

Comment: People still watch commercials? (Score 1) 408

by bgfay (#34434374) Attached to: House Passes TV Commercial Volume Bill

Wow, I can't remember the last time I watched much of anything live on television. The price I pay for commercial free television is that I wait until it's over before starting the TiVo. Even my parents don't watch commercials anymore, they flip through the rest of the channels until their show is back on. It amazes me that companies still pay the price for commercial spots. They must still work, but it's hard to imagine. It's also hard to imagine that 1/2 hour show is shorter than 20 minutes long. When will businesses learn that when they make their practices onerous, people find a way around. Too many commercials leads to TiVo. Too high a price for music leads to bittorrent. And so on.

Oh well.

Comment: Re:LINUX rounds numbers fine (Score 1) 764

by bgfay (#33176186) Attached to: Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus

I would think that the rise of Macs is actually the reason fewer people are using Linux. The Macs just work for people and solve the Windows problems that so many of them have had. Besides, and this may sound curmudgeonly, I think that students are less and less interested in how things work and just want to get stuff done. Ten years ago, there was a real need to know html. Now, not so much. That translates to other things. When you don't need to know how to work under the hood, Mac makes sense.

For me, playing under the hood is half the reason I use Linux (though I'm typing this on Windows 7 right now) and most of the reason why I find the Mac so unsatisfying. But I'm old and toothless, so what do I know.

Comment: Re:silent, or totally invisible (Score 1) 287

by bgfay (#33173254) Attached to: Like Google's Chrome, Mozilla To Silently Update Firefox 4

This is smart thinking. The process should be easy but not invisible. I like that Chrome does a lot of things easily, but don't like that I don't know about those things. It leads to the sudden "this thing doesn't work anymore" syndrome where things break with no seeming reason.

That said, I hate that Firefox has to be restarted to install add-ons. Things like that aren't good enough. I should be able to install the add-on and use it immediately.

Combine the two ideas: tell me that my program is being updated but do it for me when I push "OK".

Comment: Re:Agreed, 3G Value Is Not Clear to Me (Score 4, Interesting) 134

by bgfay (#33100694) Attached to: Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training?

I agree that the 3G is not necessary for my experience and that this thing should sell for $99. Amazon has just moved to selling more eBooks than hardcovers, why not just keep going with that.

As for the full tablet experience, an incremental approach sounds right to me. Next, how about an audio player for Amazon MP3s. Then color screen and the ability to download Amazon video. That way they keep generating revenue and utilize it as a tool for selling more stuff which is all it was ever designed to be.

Me, I'm sticking with my Netbook as well. I watched a few people during a summer course I took trying to make it with just an iPad. It's not there yet. Hell, I like a keyboard and there's that whole printing thing and...

But if it comes below $100, I might get me a Kindle.

Comment: I would feel bad about this... (Score 2) 356

by bgfay (#31724266) Attached to: Songbird Drops Linux Support

...but I tried Songbird and it was slow, prone to crashes, and generally not very useful. Compared to Banshee, it just didn't work well enough. I don't like to see any company stop supporting their software on Linux, but I'm hardpressed to find anyone I know who uses Songbird anyway.

This is a sad thing at the general level of Linux software, but so far as usefulness goes, not that big of a deal to me.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig