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Comment: Re:Is there an counter to this? (Score 2) 234

by david_thornley (#47716255) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

When going in, you don't know whether politeness or rudeness will work, really. However, if you start polite, and get nowhere, you can get rude. If you start rude, and get nowhere, you're not going to have much luck getting polite.

I have moral and social reasons to start polite, too, but I think the tactical advantages are convincing on their own.

Comment: Re:Newsflash: mobile doesn't actually matter. (Score 1) 140

by david_thornley (#47715565) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Smartphones offer email and messaging (they mostly also can make phone calls). They also offer all sorts of PDA functions. What more do you expect something that size to do? There's plenty of money to be made there (at least for Apple and Samsung).

I'm not as sure about Netbooks. Chromebooks have possibilities, and they haven't been out all that long, so I'm not calling them a failure. Not now, anyway.

Tablets have succeeded in the market. Apple has sold a whole lot, and you don't get Apple. They sell an experience, not hype, and no significant numbers of people (in the sales sense) get quasi-religious. The fact is that you aren't Apple's target audience, and you fail to understand what might appeal to other people. I've seen lots of people making good use of iPads. I believe Samsung has also been doing well, although I've not seen many general-purpose Android tablets. Amazon has been selling massive amounts of them, many of them fundamentally Android tablets with special links to Amazon. Nor are tablets too locked down (the walled garden has a lot of advantages for non-technical people), and they are convenient.

Fundamentally, you need to either stop making sweeping statements, or get out more and hang out with people different from you.

The market for desktops and laptops is not going away, but for a great many people they can be replaced by tablets, or even phones. I don't want to get my mother-in-law online with her desktop or laptop, but I'd love to see her using an iPad for that purpose. It'll do everything she might want to do with a computer. (Not everything you or I might want to do with a computer, but people like my mother-in-law are a pretty big market in themselves.)

Comment: Re:Everyone spies on everyone... (Score 1) 165

There are two things about the NSA I find unacceptable.

The first is their mass surveillance in the US. This can't be stopped by security. I can encrypt my email, and the NSA still knows that I sent email, to whom, and when, and the rough length. If I had a phone scrambler that would actually stop the NSA, they'd still know who I was calling. This can only be stopped politically.

The second in their disregard for our security. The NSA has been trying to put NSA-specific holes in encryption. This not only hinders me from protecting myself against the NSA, but is a security risk for me if the NSA's corresponding key information gets out. Good thing the NSA never has any leaks, right? And we all know that Snowden's the only person who's gotten secret information out of the NSA this century, right?

Comment: Re:High Horse (Score 1) 165

Here's a hint: They don't WANT to spy on you. You don't matter.

On the other hand, we have FBI infiltration of peaceful groups and idiots who vaguely want to do something jihady but couldn't come up with a plan until the FBI suggested one. "They" are looking at an awful lot of people, and seem to have a considerable ability to get people in trouble. As long as I don't rock the boat, they don't care about me, unless they get a false positive result in surveillance. Once I start being politically active in an inconvenient way, I am explicitly a target of surveillance.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers