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Submission + - Paying for a Product That Becomes Useless (

cookiej writes: Back in the day, you bought something. You used this something for awhile and then it eventually wore out, became less useful or was replaced by something else.

I was one of the early purchases of the PS3. I bought it because at the time, it was the only console that openly supported Linux. It was a feature that figured heavily in my purchasing decision.

Sony decided it was too open, too easy to hack, so they removed access with a new update. Of course, I had warning and although if I did NOT install the update, the machine became useless for gaming. I was pissed that they would arbitrarily change the function of a product in my living room. But at that time, I DID have the "illusion" of the option not to do the update.

I work out of the house and do all the cooking for the family. I had scoured the net for online cooking tools way back when and settled on one called "AllRecipes". Using that site became integral to my cooking process. It was as much of a tool in my meal planning and delivery as the my pans, stove and thermapen. After a few months of using it daily, I paid for a "Pro" subscription and felt it was money well-spent.

The company announced a new version of the website was coming on Sept. 1. Previous updates have added features, cleaned up bugs, the usual things you expect. Come Sept. 1, the entire focus of the site changed. The change was so radical, it is pretty much unusable by the daily chef. Critical features were removed, others were made obscure and hard to find. Access to our recipes is incredibly hard. The system for sending a recipe via email (allowing a potential way to copy the recipes out of the system) has been "down" since the site went up. It has become a food-oriented Pinterest-wannabe. Essentially, a social-media food site. Not only that, but the "release" hardly qualifies as an Alpha release, it's so terrible.

Of course, many of the current users were up in arms and have complained to whomever will listen. But heck, it's a website and I'm sure somewhere in the legalese is some note about them owning all of our data and we have no rights to it, blah, blah...

But my question is more basic. I paid for access to this site through the end of the year. Some folks on the site have paid through 2017. How do we, as consumers (and developers,) address this sort of thing? Software is integral in our lives and how or what can be done to ensure that we get what we pay for?

Comment Re: On Its Way Out (Score 1) 221

One of the reasons Jobs did that was to cut ios users out of the huge library of free flash games on the web and force users and developers to the app store. That gaming library is still massively used and a primary driver for Flash use.


It was well known that there were security holes you could drive a truck through. Jobs was the first (ok, maybe ONE of the first) high-profile tech leaders with the clout and guts to declare the Emperor Had No Security (as well as being a huge memory hog.)

I believe he cited (lookie me, ma! I done used it correctly!) statistics from OS X showing that Flash clearly was the #1 cause of their software crashes. And realize that not only was he proven right now, but he was proven right then. Not long after Jobs' dress-down of Flash, Adobe themselves gave up on making it for mobile, saying they could not make it work. There was a version for Android that was pathetic and they couldn't fix it.

So, while I'm sure Jobs' didn't feel bad about gamers having to use the app store instead of Flash, I doubt it was a major motivating factor in his rant. Jobs' perspective started with the user. He generally felt that if you give the user the right experience, the business and money will follow.

Of course, this is all bad news for Zynga...

Comment Re:ebola stigma (Score 1) 65

Apparently you skipped over the part where he was declared "ebola free" by the same group who are declaring him not contagious.

My issue is that this "cure" appeared recently and from my (admittedly layman's) perspective, it hasn't had enough time to prove it's completely effective. And given the risks involved if someone is wrong, it seems foolhardy to just trust that it will work.

And when I read that the doctors are "stumped" as to why the disease wasn't completely eliminated, it scares the hell out of me. This isn't AIDS. It's faster and far more easily and casually contracted. Not to be trifled with. Until people have been truly "Ebola free" and not contagious for years, I think precautions are warranted.

Submission + - FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For 'Stupid' Ideas About Encryption (

blottsie writes: At a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, the FBI endured outright hostility as both technical experts and members of Congress from both parties roundly criticized the law enforcement agency's desire to place so-called back doors into encryption technology.

"Creating a technological backdoor just for good guys is technologically stupid," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a Stanford University computer science graduate. "That's just stupid."

Submission + - Apple partners with IBM and Japan Post to support ageing populations (

An anonymous reader writes: IBM and Apple have joined in a partnership today to address Japan’s growing population of senior citizens. Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced the collaborative project at IBM’s Watson headquarters in New York. The two tech chiefs were joined on stage by president and CEO of the Japan Post Group, Taizo Nishimuro – himself almost 80 years old. Nishimuro discussed the enormous pressure that his home country is under from its growing population over the age of 65. The Apple/IBM scheme will start by supplying iPads to the elderly Japanese community, containing downloaded iOS apps designed to support older citizens. For example, large typefaces and dictation features will be included, specifically developed to help those who are hard of hearing or have difficulties with their vision. IBM has also pledged a collection of custom-built apps via its Global Business Services group, which will feature medication reminders, exercise information and diet apps, as well as grocery shopping and job search services.

Comment Re:I despise the people that say NO TV. (Score 1) 244

You omitted the second date. So... maybe a trip to the Highbröw Bar and Grille or maybe the Stuffed Shirt competition at the Hipster Vapor Pub?

Look. My issue (and I think that of others here) is that the people who "Don't do television" feel the need to extoll the virtues of their choice while attempting to diminish or belittle those of us who feel differently. Any time a topic with the word "television" in the text comes up, the anti-TV gang crawls out of the woodwork to parade their elitist viewpoint.

It just gets old.

If you don't enjoy television, great! I'd rather hear about your tango-coptering which DOES sound like some serious fun.

Comment Where's my option? -1! (Score 1) 244

Being the elitist snob I am, I proudly proclaim my superiority over them asses, er "The Masses" by flaunting the fact I, do not dirty myself with the white-trash media known as "television."

Notice how I proclaim how my world view is so vastly superior to yours with my commentary. "I actually go outside!" or "My brain is not rotted!" or even "My family hasn't watched television in 20 years and now we're all brain surgeons."

Sure it's hackneyed and trite but it's SO true!

Yes. I don't watch TV and I need everyone to know my personal choice means my life is better that yours.

Comment Excerpt from BSG (Score 2) 343

"Galactica is a reminder of a time when we were so frightened by our enemies that we literally looked backward for protection..."

... and, of course ...

"... But I will not allow a networked, computerized system to be placed on this ship while I am in command."

We live in a world of Cylons.

Comment Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 558

Really? You're comparing someone stealing your credit card number to this?

No solution is completely secure because humans have to interact with it. The best solution balances the needs of security while promoting ease of use. Credit cards are easy to use but wildly insecure. Applepay is easier to use and MORE secure. Even if we had Chip+Pin active last year, it would not have stopped the (Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, etc.) breaches. The POS terminals were hacked, so the PIN data was sent to the bad guys along with the credit card data.

Since the only thing the POS terminal gets from Applepay is a one-time use token, the hacks would have been ineffective had Applepay been in use.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead