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Comment: Why Facebook wants a credit card on file (Score 1) 123

by dougsyo (#44947761) Attached to: Facebook Autofill Wants To Store Users' Credit Card Info

I would hope that Facebook protects credit card data in accordance with GLB, PCI, other regulations and best practices.

But the reason they want people to put a credit card on file with them is so they can market things - they figure you're more likely to buy an impulse purchase when you have a number on file (a la Amazon) than when you have to enter a card number for each purchase.

Which is exactly why I've resisted EVERY overture Facebook has made for me to purchase something - I don't play games, I don't give gifts via Facebook, and I won't pay the $1 fee to get an FB email into someone's "inbox" rather than "other" box.

Doug

Comment: Why I moved from Sprint (Score 1) 207

by dougsyo (#44426291) Attached to: Sprint May Have Unlimited Data Plans, But Not Unlimited Customers

I moved from ATT to Sprint the day that the HTC Evo 4G came out. I asked that day and they said "4G will be coming to this area in six months." 18 months later, WiMax 4G still hadn't come to the area, and Sprint had changed from deploying WiMax to LTE, so my Evo would never see 4G. They tried to sell me an LTE phone, and I politely advised them that I couldn't believe their deployment.
Meanwhile, their "unlimited data" users - many coming from other carriers at the time - were swamping Sprint 3G, which was the only service available to me. I ended up switching to Verizon before my Sprint contract was up (it cost me $50 since I was close to the end). My Verizon contract costs more, although I've not come close to hitting my data quota, and it's MUCH more usable and reliable.

Doug

Comment: Re:There's not a lot of incentive to update (Score 1) 257

by dougsyo (#41272735) Attached to: For Android Users, 2012 Is Still the Year of Gingerbread

I can get ICS for my phone, and in fact I have been rejecting the update. Reports are that my phone performs better on GB, and it's already rooted and working fine. I am going to leave it as it is until maybe some killer app comes along that won't run on GB. Most likely that won't happen until my next phone comes along, and by that time I may bite the bullet and get an iThingie.

Doug

Comment: Re:Is anyone surprised by this? (Score 1) 220

I don't think AT&T would try this if Steve Jobs was still alive. With him gone, and with Android as a healthy alternative (and several carriers have been pushing Android over iPhone for various reasons - lower subsidies, availability of 4G, etc), I think we'll start to see more carrier control of the platform - limits like this, crapware infestation, and the like.

Doug

Comment: VNC, and primitive OSen (Score 1) 247

by dougsyo (#41049871) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For FOSS Remote Support Software?

VNC, as others have noted, works on lots of platforms (including older ones). You'll have to configure it in their firewall, and I use a non-standard port as well.

Some VNC versions allow a form of access control, but that doesn't help if your IP or IP range changes.

And while I realize that there is an actual cost involved to fix it, letting them stay on primitive hardware and OS is not really helping them. Sadly, "because it still works" is less and less a good reason to keep an old PC running. Not too long ago I was asked to clean up a virus-infested Windows ME box - yes, it still boots ... but it had so little memory that none of the current antiviruses I had available would even run.

Doug

Businesses

Apple Is Giving Away Its Secrets By Litigating 149

Posted by samzenpus
from the letting-the-icat-out-of-the-bag dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple, by going to a jury trial to defend the patents of its most prized products, is allowing competitors and the public to see inside one of the most secretive companies in the world. From the article: 'While in court on Friday, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, pulled the curtain further back when he divulged the company's advertising budgets — often more than $100 million a year for the iPhone alone. Also at the hearing, Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, explained that the early iPhone was called "Project Purple." Mr. Forstall said it was built in a highly secure building on Apple's campus. A sign on the back of the building read "Fight Club." Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.'"

Comment: I don't want a condo association middleman (Score 3, Insightful) 257

by dougsyo (#40206965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Provisioning Internet For Condo Association?

This is exactly the kind of thing I don't want from a condo association - a middleman that takes a cut of my fees and adds no value. I would rather contract directly with DSL or cable provider. That way if it breaks I don't have to call the condo offices (during business hours only, of course) to call the internet contractor (again, only reachable during business hours) to commence the finger-pointing.

Comment: Here are a few reasons (Score 1) 627

by dougsyo (#40116337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

Enterprise management capabilities, genuine software (Office, in particular) as opposed to "compatible" or "capable" software, familiarity, upper management, vendor packages that require MS servers, and relative lack of people that can "fix things" along with their regular responsibilities, are just a few reasons why.

Comment: What about stability and known-working releases? (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by dougsyo (#35339704) Attached to: Firefox 4 the Last Big Release From Mozilla

Rapid-update philosophy sounds good for early adopters and hobbyist users (does Chrome have much traction in the corporate environment?)

But what about corporate environments that require software to stay stable and on fixed known-working versions? For example, Firefox 3.6 broke compatibility with a plugin that we have widely distributed at our site, and the solution to this issue requires another mass deployment. We've had similar issues with Java's auto-updater breaking compatibility with some applications (and no, we're not an IE6 shop).

Doug

Comment: Re:nookcolor, rooted (Score 2) 396

by dougsyo (#34808462) Attached to: When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

If you're looking for something in the 10" range and/or to spend $400+ then wait. Even then, there's going to be only a few real winners and a lot of losers.

Many of the $250-and-under tablets are junk (slow processors, older Android versions, low-resolution screens with crummy touch sensors, etc), and I don't know that that's going to change in the short term. Probably the best choice in that price range is a rooted nook color. And when you're ready to get something new/better, you can restore it and resell it, or pass it on as-is.

For what it's worth, I have an Evo (practically a mini-tablet) and an iPad. The iPad has its merits, and you can do programming on it now (there's at least three BASIC interpreters, for example), but if you want to do app development, it's much cheaper to get started on Android.

Doug

Earth

Designing Wireless Sensors To Be Dropped Into Volcanoes 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the appeasing-the-spectrum-gods dept.
Thorfinn.au writes with this quote from El Reg: "Topflight engineers based in Newcastle have hit upon a radical plan for warning of volcanic eruptions. They intend to build a heatproof sensor unit which can be dropped into a volcano's caldera and wirelessly transmit data to monitoring stations despite being possibly immersed in molten rock. 'At the moment we have no way of accurately monitoring the situation inside a volcano and in fact most data collection actually goes on post-eruption. With an estimated 500 million people living in the shadow of a volcano this is clearly not ideal,' explains Dr. Alton Horsfall of Newcastle Uni's Centre for Extreme Environment Technology. 'We still have some way to go but using silicon carbide technology we hope to develop a wireless communication system that could accurately collect and transmit chemical data from the very depths of a volcano.'"
Bug

BSOD Issues On Deepwater Horizon 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-screen-of-literal-death dept.
ctdownunder passes along this excerpt from a NY Times article about a rig worker's testimony concerning the April 20 accident at the Deepwater Horizon well: "The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated on the day the oil rig caught fire and exploded, triggering the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident. ... On Friday, Mr. Williams added several new details about the equipment on the vessel, testifying that another Transocean official turned a critical system for removing dangerous gas from the drilling shack to 'bypass mode.' When he questioned that decision, Mr. Williams said, he was reprimanded. ... Problems existed from the beginning of drilling the well, Mr. Williams said. For months, the computer system had been locking up, producing what the crew deemed the 'blue screen of death.' 'It would just turn blue,' he said. 'You’d have no data coming through.' Replacement hardware had been ordered but not yet installed by the time of the disaster, he said." The article doesn't mention whether it was specifically a Windows BSOD, or just an error screen that happened to be blue.
Classic Games (Games)

OpenTTD 1.0.0 Released 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-so-soon dept.
Gmer writes "Eming.com reports that OpenTTD, the open source clone of the Microprose game Transport Tycoon Deluxe, has reached a milestone. OpenTTD 1.0.0 has been released 6 years after work started on the first version, with the help of hundreds of contributors and thousands of testers/players. Over 30 language translations are considered complete, and OpenTTD is available for *BSD, Linux, Solaris and Windows. OpenTTD is a business simulation game in which the player is in control of a transport company and can compete against rival companies to make as much profit as possible by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea or air."

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