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Comment: Re:No alternatives. (Score 1) 89

by tlhIngan (#47732389) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

The only way to flee is to have an alternative. And despite all of the wanna-bes, there are no real quality alternatives.

Or network effects make alternatives less attractive.

Take eBay for example. The network effect makes it such that despite its fees and policies, it remains the #1 site for buy and selling goods.

Sure other sites have started up and are better in many ways, but you see complaints from buyers along the lines of "If I wanted to pay eBay prices, I'd use eBay!" and complaints from sellers of "Buyers are always lowballing me - they refues to pay what I'd get on eBay!". Well, yeah, the network effect is such that buyers KNOW they're using a lesser site so they hope to get bargains (or else they'd just save the effort and use eBay) and sellers are using it hoping to use the lower rates to make more money (but expecting the same prices as eBay). This ends up with auction sites basically dying because sellers want eBay prices despite lower demand, and buyers want cheaper prices because of relative obscurity (again, if they wanted to pay eBay pricing, they'd just use eBay).

Facebook and the others are the same thing - you want me to use your network, but all my friends are on Facebook, so I'd just be making extra work for myself to use your network. You'd better have a compelling reason for me to do twice as much work. (See G+).

It only works if you have the network effect going for you. Something like Amazon doesn't, because I can buy a DVD from them, or a DVD from, so the two are fungible.

eBay is not fungible with any other auction site. Facebook and G+ are not fungible (for most people) - you cannot take a user of one site, transplant them to the other and expect things to go just fine. Amazon and Walmart are, since it doesn't matter where you get your product from - you just use free shipping and pick the one that has the lowest price.

Comment: Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (Score 3, Insightful) 89

by bmo (#47732271) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

It's almost like large organizations have voting rights.

What do you mean "almost"?

They have more voting rights than you, me, or anyone.

And you know what? We've got "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" who will fight you tooth-and-nail to defend that, in spite of their own interests.


Comment: Hey, great idea here, guys... (Score 2) 44

by pla (#47731723) Attached to: Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers
"USB mass storage".

I know, mind-blowing, eh? Instead of supporting fifteen different incompatible protocols to get people's phones to talk to your massively sub-par onboard electronics, you just treat everything like a dumb ol' external HDD, and they all just work like magic. Who'da thunk it?

Comment: Re:Must be an alternate earth. (Score 1) 322

by pla (#47731679) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers
Oh, I just graduated top of my class from Calcutta University.

Fair or not, quality of education correlates highly with median income. Poor areas have poor education systems, plain and simple.

Particularly in any tech-related field, good luck in the modern world after graduating at the top of your class with all that experience you have working on 486 PCs, 20khz scopes, and textbooks that still refer to transistors as an exciting new technology.

Now I want to work for $0.40 an hour and live in a shanty because a college education is about coming home to dirt floors and non-insulated tin roofs!

What you "want" has no relevance here.

Comment: Balanced for a different velocity (Score 1) 115

by tepples (#47730971) Attached to: It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

Your city's stoplights are balanced for a different speed.

Or they are balanced for the same speed in a different direction. On a two-way street whose signals are timed for 30 mph eastbound at a particular part of the day, westbound traffic is going to have a problem.

Or perhaps they are balanced for a different speed, the speed of the type of vehicle driven by the majority. Most signals are timed for people who drive cars, which means cyclists tend to hit more reds.

Comment: Specialist periodicals (Score 1) 228

by tepples (#47730785) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Notability on Wikipedia requires a non-dedicated source to notice it.

Where does that appear in policy? All I see is "independent of the subject". In your example, so long as Fountain Pen has developed a reputation for fact-checking in the field of fountain pens, and Fountain Pen's publisher isn't owned by the maker of Nemosine's pens, this counts as an independent reliable source. Two more of those and you have notability.

it's a fountain pen magazine; it's dedicated to the topic, thus not notable.

I haven't seen that. Articles in scholarly journals and in other specialist periodicals get cited all the time.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne