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Comment: Re:No 9? (Score 1) 631

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48032077) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

The truth is that the Chevrolet Nova's name didn't significantly affect its sales: it sold well in both its primary Spanish-language markets, Mexico and Venezuela. (Its Venezuelan sales figures actually surpassed GM's expectations.)

The Nova didn't sell well, because it wasn't a particularly good car. There were many times it DID'T run, didn't need a name to attach that condition to the car.

I wish i could attribute properly, but someone explained the Nova somewhat as "a person hearing a furniture set had notable workmanship, but ignoring it because it had no table" It puts spanish speakers in a bad light, claiming they can't tell the difference between languages.

That said, I think Alfa Romeo DID rename the 144 to the 148, for bad sounds in Cantonese. But they didn't do a Before and After rename sales comparison, so we'll never know if it can affect sales.

Comment: Toyota was a fringe brand once (Score 1) 266

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48022949) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

So was Honda...

Hell, at one point even GM was "fringe"...

Im not saying that Tesla will grow that size. Suzuki was, and IS a fringe brand. But saying "hey they're small now" is what screwed GM back in the 80s with the Japanese and Volkswagen invasion.

Other bad (for GM) echos are the possible paradigm shift. What allowed the Japanese invasion in the 70's? They had better small car/low gas consumption cars. Here, Tesla has a huge tech advantage in electric right now. Could this be a tipping point? Dunno... But silly for GM to dismiss

As a side point, it makes me a bit sad. GM had the all-electric Impact. But like Microsoft, Nokia et al., they squandered a huge lead in tech and now are trailers.

I hope this is a "Steve Jobs says a competitor's feature sucks because he doesn't have it, but really sees it useful and feverishly puts it in his next release" Sadly, this probably really is "we don't even see them on our radar" and GM is toast. A lot of people work for GM, and whatever you think about the company (generally poorly run for years) if it goes under it's gonna hurt us all.

Comment: Re:Soft Spot for Yahoo Directory (Score 1) 115

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48016549) Attached to: Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

Same. I remember when I got my resume listed there back in the mid nineties. You had to post it, and because it had to be accepted, there was just a tiny bit of "you're in the club". It was a bit of geek cred (that and posting it to Dice back when they still had you use telnet).

Cool Yahoo, a phrase not much heard now, a term of days long gone.

Comment: Interconnected network of hacked things (Score 3, Insightful) 117

I shudder when i think about all the way these things will be hacked and pwned... I remember a Samsung fridge with a touchscreen to run Twitter, and someone put on the fridge "I'm a fridge, why the fuck am I on twitter."

That and the world scrambling to fix the Shellshock bug that was 20+ years in the making...

Comment: Re: The review ecosystem is good and truly broken. (Score 1) 249

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#47966041) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

I find the Michelin Recommends more my style. There's a restaurant in Chicago Area that feels like you were just dropped into Tokyo (Renga Tei in Lincolnwood, IL). Nothing super special, just very very solid Japanese food with very attentive servers in an inviting space, as inviting as a spot in a strip mall with drop ceilings can be.

It has no stars, but it's good stuff, and it's both our comfort food place, and our "lets take people from out of town there place." Michelin has changed their website a bit and I can't find it, but you can probably spelunk the site a bit and find the list.

Comment: Re:Just say block (Score 1) 226

If it doesn't respond, isn't that an instant "not available", why would there be a timeout? I try a connect, I instantly get nothing, browser realizes it has to skip. Also, this all happens in the kernel, not even hitting a device driver.

Why that would be slower than going to google/doubleclick, having them decide on an ad, and sending to me?

Comment: Popular Zedo? Really? (Score 4, Interesting) 226

I worked at Zedo pretty early on. I did a year there, pretty much exactly year 2000 (now coworkers now know who I am).

I was their C guy, did an apache module for the adserver, and some mild javascript work until they got a better Javascript coder than me. I also helped out a bit in Java and DB work, and most of the Linux/FreeBSD sysadmin for a bit. We were in a small live-work loft in SOMA where I walked through two slums to get to work.

In the beginning, it was about "choice". We had a small on page ad client. At first a Java one, then a Javascript one, with a GUI that let you choose your ad. It was new, different, and a way to try to get people the ads they want and not have to keep huge track of users. (You can check the patent out if you like though I can tell you this was theoretical design and it wasn't built this way). It put the emphasis on the ad, not on the tracking. Ads needed to be designed to be engaging or they'd just be skipped. We kept track of your ad choices, not your pages. It was fun, true startup culture. We were going after the (then) mighty Doubleclick, railing the fact that they stored too much info. I remember tailing the server logs on our first paying gig, cheering as I noticed the URI fragment for the first ad clickthru. We checked the guys IP address, noticed he had an ICQ run webserver on his box, and talked to him over ICQ thanking him for clicking. In hindsight, yeah, that must have freaked him out.

We didn't see Google coming to crush the ad market at all. I had already left but Im sure Google's elephant sized footprints in the market made them radically change their business plan. I didn't talk to them much, and on the web I read stories about intrusive Zedo cookies, heard them called "king of the popunder" and heard stories about "popup blocker blockers". This made me a bit sad, why do all that? But I guess you either do that, or throw in the towel and close up shop. I can't say what I'd do if it was my savings on the line.

As an aside (always a tangent!) I had an 8MM videocamera. Though I filmed some stuff in San Francisco (hey Dave, any news on the video for me?) I always wanted to film us. But I couldn't both work and film. I was actually slightly pissed when came out. Hey that was my idea! But you can't objectively film what you're in.

Comment: Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (Score 1) 162

Yeah, i'm reposting...

Though iOS Hangouts had the ability to do Hangouts => POTS lines before, it seems to now be able to go from Hangouts => Hangouts now, using gmail addy/gplus account as a key. Think "Facetime audio". In theory this could be revolutionary, you can make calls without a phone number or even a plan (Wifi phone only) to a big subset of Gmail users (those with hangouts). In practice, this is meh. So many people had this before Hangouts, now it becomes Yet Another Friend Network I Need To Worry About.

It also has the ability to take incoming calls. Not sure how this works... My iPad got some incoming calls before. I didn't bother learning how to turn this off, i just deleted Hangouts off my iPad. Also revolutionary for iPod plus users.. maybe 4 years ago. iPod + Hangouts => WiFi phone. In practice, very "hey, me TOO" at this point.

It also gets a new tone you hear during calling out. The new one is more phone-y (yes, it's a word). Its really the only reason i knew it was an updated app. Very meh on the iOS side.

Comment: Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (Score 1) 162

Same here.
Im not sure what hangouts got.

Google voice looks like an icon and UI facelift, zero in the functionality department. The biggie disappointment, no improvement to MMS support.
Know one thing i found? Multiple recipient SMS is really MMS underneath, which means Im screwed on any group texts to my Google Voice number. I've had different treatment of MMS in the same day, I really don't know how they do MMS.

Comment: Re:I need definitions (Score 1) 499

The sad thing is, the entire Democratic party may be painted as a terrorist group.

A while back, there were a bunch of protesters at Vieques, Puerto Rican naval firing range, to shut it down for ecological and other reasons. Oddly, people who stood their ground and put themselves in harms way were declared as terrorists. Hmm, you stand up to some guy with a gun, and because there is a possibility of violence, *you're* the terrorist.

Anyways, the people there were Democrats. Now painted as terrorists, anyone in the Democratic Party now has ties to them. We could outlaw the Democratic Party, have Obama investigated for terrorist ties! Jokes aside, we cant even check to see if this is true - the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act makes it possible to suspect and investigate 50% of our population for terrorism, but does not allow us to know if it's happening.

As an aside, since you can send money through the Post Office (Money Order), and therefore you may fund terrorism through there, anything you do through the Post Office is subject to investigation. Some minor function of the Post Office (i didn't know they even did Money Orders until I heard about possible investigations) means that the other 99.999% of the Post Office functions (like, actual mail) can be deeply scrutinized, I think without warrants.

This is what happens when you have a) a definition of "evil actions" that necessitate spying shifts and grows day by day, minute by minute b) a definition of "connection" that becomes broader and broader and more tenuous day by day.

Comment: Re:Deprecating the telephone system (Score 2) 162

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#47876097) Attached to: Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

I fear a world where I have to install 10 different apps to talk to people.

On my wife's phone, she has ways to talk to her folks (international)
Skype Video Call
Skype Audio Call
Skype Messaging
FaceTime Video
FaceTime Audio
Line Message
Line Video Call
Line Audio Call

That's just the free stuff - not counting SMS or normal phone calls, which have tariffs. And of course we could download WhatsApp, and all the other guys.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"