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+ - MagicJack Inventor Dan Borislow Dead at Age 52->

Submitted by Nightwraith
Nightwraith (180411) writes "Dan Borislow, whose “MagicJack,” peddled in television infomercials, helped pioneer free phone calls through the Internet, has died. He was 52.

His death was confirmed by Brad Shewmake, a spokesman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., the maker of the device. Borislow was the founder and former chief executive officer of the company, based in Netanya, Israel, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

He died yesterday of a heart attack after playing in a soccer game in West Palm Beach, according to an e-mail today from his friend, Douglas Kass, founder of Seabreeze Partners Management Inc. in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Dan was a true telecom pioneer whose vision, creativity, energy, passion and single-minded focus was the driving force behind the success of MagicJack,” the company’s CEO, Gerald Vento, said today in a statement. Vento replaced Borislow as the company’s chief executive on Jan. 1, 2013."

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Comment: Re:I think you're thinking of the B1B (Score 1) 190

by drjzzz (#47118513) Attached to: B-52 Gets First Full IT Upgrade Since 1961

The B1 was a huge waste of money -- about $100 billion back then, probably over $200 billion in today's dollars. It was obsolete before it was built because low-level (below radar) bombers were impractical. Carter cancelled it and pushed the stealthy B2 but Reagan wanted to buy toys for his "Defense" Department and needed to pay off contractors, mostly in SoCal. The B1 has hardly ever done anything and never anything that couldn't have been done by another plane.

Comment: Re:Right. (Score 1) 379

by drjzzz (#47068369) Attached to: With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

How many Macbook Airs are used as business machines? Less than 2% at a guess..

Yippee! I'm in the 2%!

(Mostly I use Citrix to connect to the corporate environment but also Word and Excel on the Air. Mine is over 3 years old -- (still) a great laptop; instant on/off with the cover, reliable, good keyboard, very light weight.)

Comment: Re:Cheaper beer (Score 1) 264

Yep, higher cost, but the money stayed in the local economy. IMHO, that's the most important aspect of all, even if it had cost more after 5 years.

Companies like SAP, a giant German company that sells software to thousands of American firms, might worry about where that argument leads....

Comment: Ben Franklin was joking... (Score 1) 310

by drjzzz (#46440261) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

...when he proposed to tax shutters and wake people at sunrise by ringing bells and firing cannons. In his recounting, he had gone "home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject" (of artificial lighting), as well as probably a few bottles of French wine. The premise is that he is surprised that the sun comes up so early and doubtful that anyone gets up before noon ("it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon").

Translation here:

Thus, Franklin demonstrated the challenge of using satire to communicate your ideas; even a genius will be often misunderstood (QED).

Comment: Re:Wikipedia is utterly broken anyway. (Score 1) 112

by drjzzz (#46218901) Attached to: IBM Employees Caught Editing Wikipedia

...The second worst thing is that it tries to pretend that you can eliminate biased people, rather than acknowledge that bias exists and tackle how to be open about it.

Doesn't the fact that Wikipedia "tries to pretend that you can eliminate biased people" necessarily include that they "acknowledge that bias exists"? Full disclosure: my bias is that I love Wikipedia (and send them money every year).

Comment: Re:in other words... (Score 1) 341

by drjzzz (#45900891) Attached to: The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Similarly, I would recommend David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter" about the Korean War. Only a few years after the WWII triumph on two fronts, the US was completely unprepared in Korea and woefully led. Military reductions played a role but careerism within the military, and particularly toadyism within MacArthur's staff, was even more to blame. The book helped inform me about this little-remembered war and political era in the US.

NY Times review:

Comment: Re:High Certainty. (Score 1) 324

by drjzzz (#44971731) Attached to: Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

You say it's not science because "Science has data and experiments". Permit me to add "hypotheses", which crucially guide the experimental design and the collection and interpretation of data. These elements are obviously integral to the climate change findings. Just because you cannot replicate their "data and experiments" on your lab bench doesn't mean they are not present.

Comment: Re:High Certainty. (Score 1, Insightful) 324

by drjzzz (#44971515) Attached to: Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

Ok, let's posit that very few of us are climate scientists or in positions to evaluate the raw data. We have to take things on faith to some extent. Should we believe (1) the vast majority of professional climate scientists who have accumulated terabytes of data and analyzed them with many sophisticated models that all lead to a similar conclusion, i.e., anthropogenic global climate change is dangerous, or (2) a few who disagree, with seemingly little factual basis, whose minority opinions are massively promoted by businesspeople with obvious financial interests in stopping or at least slowing the acceptance of the professional's conclusions and recommendations?

Skepticism is healthy but group (1) seems unbiased, very reasonable and well supported by the data whereas group (2) is clearly biased, unsupported by facts, and unreasonable. From first principles, it seems reasonable that rapidly reversing the millennial-long carbon sequestration (producing oil and coal and gas) that changed the atmosphere from reducing to oxidizing *would* cause climate change and ocean changes.

One picture is worth 128K words.