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Comment: Re:Encyclopedia (Score 1) 40

by dsouza42 (#43589259) Attached to: Online Hitchhiker's Guide Thriving

"It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words "DON'T PANIC" in large, friendly letters on the cover."

You know... I've always wondered if by "friendly letters" he meant Comic Sans

Comment: Re:Apple lost in court (Score 1) 263

by dsouza42 (#42913983) Attached to: Brazilians Can Now Buy an "iPhone" Loaded With Android

If Apple stops selling the iPhone in Brazil, there will be massive illegal import paying no taxes for government.

Apple wont stop selling the iPhone. They will likely settle. Gradiente is a small company that makes and sells crappy products. They were big a few decades ago when electronics couldnt be imported. Now they are struggling to survive and they want money. They released their own "iPhone" (also a crappy product) because if they didnt they would lose the name. They have already stated to the press that they are open to negotiate an agreement with Apple.

Comment: Re:Akamai? Inktomi? (Score 1) 205

by dsouza42 (#36910114) Attached to: Google Announces Google CDN
It's not really the same service. Services such as Akamai serve mostly static content. Google's service optimizes the pages on your website as they are served, even dynamic pages. It basically takes over your website, which many people won't want. It will actually be competing with other similar services such as Cloudflare and Incapsula (both of which I tried and both of which still have some pretty serious issues - enough for me to leave them). If Google does a good job with a competitive price it just might run such companies out of business.

Comment: Re:And insert ads (Score 1) 205

by dsouza42 (#36910008) Attached to: Google Announces Google CDN
I agree, but they actually never said it would be free. So far they are just testing it so if you want it you can sign up to help them test if for free. But the FAQ says: "At this time, the service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge. Pricing will be competitive and details will be made available later."

Comment: Re:Can someone explain... (Score 1) 271

by dsouza42 (#36238450) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Skype For Asterisk
From the article: "...Skype have assured us that they will continue to support and maintain the Skype for Asterisk software for a period of two years thereafter..." If I had paid for the (supposedly perpetual) license as the existing customers have, I would think I was getting screwed too, even if it lasts for two more years.

Comment: Re:Typical jumping to conclusions (Score 1) 271

by dsouza42 (#36238408) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Skype For Asterisk
Skype already has a SIP solution. It's called Skype Connect... and it sucks. The only thing worse than the product itself is Skype's support. I used it in my company for a bit less than year and just recently I got fed up with it and switched to a different provider, which turned out to be cheaper and better. Everything is managed through their web interface, which always has some broken feature. The last time I contacted support because of a broken feature they told me it would take 2 months to fix it. By this "feature" I mean I couldn't renew my online numbers that were about to expire... so instead of waiting for them to fix it and having the number expire, I left. But I digress... since they already have a SIP solution for business I don't see the point of killing asterisk integration. As I see it it's just another way to piss off some of their existing customers. Even if they keep the existing customers active for two years, as they said in the article, it's still bad since the customers had to pay licenses to have this functionality.

Comment: Re:Store a backup yourself (Score 1) 112

by dsouza42 (#35974860) Attached to: Amazon EC2 Crash Caused Data Loss
I don't know if it would help if they told you exactly how everything works. I'm sure no company with an infrastructure like Amazon's takes backups and safety very seriously. The availability numbers tell you what you can expect statistically from their services. The service that caused data loss is called EBS and acording to Amazon: "Amazon EBS snapshot can expect an annual failure rate (AFR) of between 0.1% – 0.5%, where failure refers to a complete loss of the volume". So if you have your data there you have to know that it can fail and it probably will fail eventually, so you're right, it's a really good idea to backup the data yourself.

My business runs on Amazon's infrastructure and that was one of my main concerns before hiring their service. Because of this chance of failure I take hourly snapshots of my EBS volumes (which is enough for me.. I could even do it every 5 minutes) and copy the data back to my own servers periodically as you suggest. It's just common sense for anyone who deals with this type of thing. In my case, when the outage happened I just restored the latest snapshots and was up and running in a few minutes.

Now even with "proprietary SAN stuff" and "flaky things with 2k memory programmed in assembler and C with dangling memory pointers all over the place" it's still many times more reliable and many times cheaper than hosting it myself. After moving to Amazon I greatly increased my uptime and reduced IT costs by 90%. That doesn't mean I trust they'll work 100% of the time and that's because I do my due diligence and make backups.

Comment: Re:Wow, what will THAT outlet look like? (Score 1) 335

by dsouza42 (#35577816) Attached to: Experimental Batteries Charge In Minutes
I'm guessing even if your house isn't wired for that it wouldn't be a problem. Usually, when you're home, you tend to stay several hours so you can live with slower charging at home. In practice the fast recharging would mostly be needed when you're away from home and likely available at a service station that is built specifically for that.

Comment: Re:Isn't this illegal under consumer protection la (Score 1) 210

by dsouza42 (#34189866) Attached to: Amazon Patents Bad Gift Protection
Not necessarily... Many stores today allow you to exchange a gift you received (bought on their store, of course) for something else. Amazon is just removing the unnecessary steps of sending it to you and having you sending it back. As a consumer I think it's a great idea and since it's my decision to do this let Aunt Milly come ask me why I exchanged her gift.

Comment: Re:Building up Android (Score 1) 184

by dsouza42 (#33113108) Attached to: Google Adds Licensing Server DRM To Android Market

2. There are 2 modes: strict and server managed. Strict mode will always verify license every time you start an app. This is useless when no network connection is available - e.g. on airplane, and gives maximum tracking to Google. Server managed can cache the server response and use the cached response when there's no network connection available. This has 2 problems: (1) from users' perspective: you'll have to pre-open such apps that you'd want to use on a plane before taking off

Actually the developer has more choices than that... You can allow a user to use your app and delay check until an Internet connection is available (and many apps already require an Internet connection to be useful). Yes, that would mean taking a chance that some people might get to use your app for a while without paying, but it's still a reasonable compromise. This is absolutely not a piracy-proof idea (is there really any piracy-proof software?) and, as you said, there are better ways to do it. This is just so it becomes a bit harder to pirate apps. As a developer, I think investment in DRM or any other anti-piracy measures should only be enough so that the average user can't get around it easily. I also believe that, when in doubt, the app should act as if the user is a paying customer. There is really no point in implementing a very elaborate licensing/DRM system because it will only bother genuine paying customers. Those who are very tech-savvy and motivated enough to save a few bucks on an app will always find a way around it, and share it with others. Today I doubt that there is actually any popular and non-free software in any platform that also doesn't have a pirated no-drm/no-restrictions/cracked version going around in a torrent.

Comment: That's what you get for zero risk (Score 1) 1018

by dsouza42 (#33083184) Attached to: High-Frequency Programmers Revolt Over Pay
I used to work for a very large e-commerce company that made millions every day off the code I wrote in exchange for a monthly salary. If the code I wrote had made no money for the company I would still get my monthly salary. There was essentially very little risk involved for me. Today I have my own e-commerce company. I don't make millions yet but I still have to pay my programmers their monthly salary. If and when I start making millions that's what they're still gonna get because that's what we agreed to and that's my reward for taking the risk. Of course, once I have a lot I can give them bonuses for their performance if I want to, but that's my choice. If I go under tomorrow I'll be stuck with a ton of debts while the programmers can just get another job (and none of them will be giving me money to help pay for those debts). As for the bosses getting more money than the programmers, that's also the way it works. They have more responsibility, so they have to make more money. If something goes wrong in their department it's also usually their head, not the programmer's. People can always stop being programmers and pursue a management career. It all just depends on the choices you make for yourself.

Comment: Maybe it's just me... (Score 1) 286

by dsouza42 (#32666204) Attached to: Fifth of Android Apps Expose Private Data
But when I download an app which has functionality related to accessing the content of my e-mails, making phone calls or sending text messages without my intervention, it's usually a good idea to allow them to do so. Besides, you always know what the app can and cannot do before you install it. You don't even have that kind of privilege on your computer. You install new software and you just trust that the developers did everything right, even though, in practice, the software can do just about anything on your computer.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten