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Comment: Why Kozmo sort of succeeded (Score 1) 33

Ok, the company as a whole tanked rapidly, as one might expect, but according to friends who lived in its territory at the time, one reason the service was so popular was that one of the things it delivered was weed. The company itself didn't sell it, but the drivers did that themselves, so they were happy and the customers were happy, and there were an awful lot of deliveries that had only one random item on the books (plus weed.)

Comment: Skype Call Setup and Media Path Protocols (Score 1) 71

by billstewart (#48673601) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

Skype used a server-based system to set up calls, going through supernodes if possible (so it was semi-P2P), which handled subscriber lookup functions and also NAT transparency (which was the big thing that Skype did better than standard VOIP protocols such as H.323 and SIP.)

For the actual media path, if it could go directly, it would, but otherwise it would carry the call through supernodes (again, the NAT traversal problem.)

These days it seems to be mostly central servers, partly as a result of Microsoft buying them and partly because there was a lot of corporate pushback against supernodes using your corporation's bandwidth to complete somebody else's call.

Comment: Instant failure (Score 0) 36

by Lumpy (#48673245) Attached to: Nokia's Back In the Tablet Business, With the Android Lollipop-Based N1

Nexus tablet is better in every way, and they price this thing at Mini ipad pricing? are they nuts?

Dont buy any of this crap, Nexus7 or Samsung Pro tab 12.2 are the only two real android tablets at honest pricing.

Yes that 12.2 tablet is sexy as freaking hell and the most business usable tablet out there. it lets me view CAD files perfectly with clients.

Comment: Re:power (Score 1) 36

by drinkypoo (#48672877) Attached to: DARPA Wants Help Building a Drone That Flies Like a Hawk

I'm sure that it will use a lookup table, but it's also going to have to build those tables dynamically because due to the nature of mechanical devices. 1) no two are identical and 2) they wear while in use, especially while running near the edge of materials technology, further exacerbating point #1. You really do need a learning control system if you're not in a perfect world, or doing something hilariously easy — which this isn't.

Comment: Privacy indépendant from beacons (Score 3, Informative) 48

by SuperKendall (#48672521) Attached to: How Target's Mobile App Uses Location Tech To Track You

What matters is not if an app can tell where you are in the store, but if and when the app shares that information with a server. I don't care what information an application collects, if the data stays in-app.

Of course the great likelihood is that an app that collects that information will probably send that to a server, at the very least to query for specifics around you... but a smart app developer could provide a privacy option for users while still gaining benefit from iBeacons and the like.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 183

by drinkypoo (#48672249) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

One thing about your earlier example is that generators are not normally a necessity.

Unfortunately, even the furnace won't function in most places without power, so electricity is a necessity. Most of our equipment is very poorly thought-out like this. When I installed a replacement on-demand water heater in this house, I could get the same model with different suffixes corresponding to three different ignition systems: a plug-in, on-demand spark ignition; a dynamo-based, on-demand spark ignition; or a tradtional pilot, with a piezo igniter. I chose the piezo igniter because I know I live in the boonies and the power can go off here, and I still want to have hot water if that happens. Of course, having flow takes a generator, but it doesn't take a whole-house generator and the pump house is significantly distant from the house.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 183

by drinkypoo (#48671941) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Plus, how do you codify a house able to withstand a high tide 12 feet above normal?

You don't. You just expect it to be washed away, and you don't expect help. And anyone who expects to be able to depend on you in situations with heavy weather is a tool who deserves to fail. We keep propping up idiots and we wonder why the world keeps looking more and more like Idiocracy. Nobody but farmers should be living on a flood plain, and we should be farming it. Nothing but disposable (and once fallen, biodegradable) summer homes should be built on the beach. No flammable structures should be built in wildfire zones. No fragile structures in common quake zones. Yet we still have all of that. Yes, even that last one, California is still building shit-shacks made of nothing. They might not fall down in a quake, but they will slop themselves apart, and they're highly flammable even though this is wildfire country.

In short, we are not even using the most basic common sense when siting and building. It's all for profit, and there is no sense to the system whatsoever. In fact, people who try to do the right thing are usually hampered so as to continue to produce more business for the system, ye olde broken window fallacy in action.

Comment: Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 1) 121

by gl4ss (#48671545) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

how do you deal with people just writing their name on a piece of paper and putting that on the copyright page? manual verification, including manually reading the copyright page and checking that's the copyright page? just by that it would be too tedious to cheat that way?

(it's already pretty tedious to have to write the name on every book, that kind of takes away the getting the entire library in a snap as I find that it's pretty unlikely for many people to have _any_ public domain books)

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