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Comment: Re:Since last move (Score 1) 120

by erice (#49608103) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...

For US residents this approximately equals to asking "when did you move into your current home" (except for those lucky ones who have both cable AND a decent offering from a phone company, they have *two* options). Where I live now, there is only cable FWIW.

I've had Sonic continuously for 12 years at two residences. In this time period, I have actually lived at three locations and it includes two periods where I did not live anywhere in particular (no fixed address).

So far, the need for service that supports a server in a practial fashion has trumped the desire for speeds faster than 6-7Mbps that DSL can provide. I've never used AT&T, though I did have Comcast for a few months at my residence while my server was hosted at a friend's house.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 126

by erice (#49597721) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

How does this work with checked luggage? Presumably your stuff won't be pulled from baggage if you aren't expected to get off in Chicago, but instead in LA.

Obviously, if you only have carry on luggage, that works fine.

It doesn't work with checked luggage. It doesn't work with route trip tickets either. The airlines fixed that a long time ago. If you don't get on the second leg, they cancel your return flight.

What really the trick doesn't work for the kinds of flights most people actually take.

Comment: Re:But "bad" guys can break the law, right? (Score 2) 173

by erice (#49590917) Attached to: FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For "Stupid" Ideas About Encryption

The best part about legislating what kinds of technology people can use is that only legal entities must abide by the law.

So, the "good companies" or "good individuals" who agree with you are now penalized by having back-doors while anyone "bad" is "free" to use solid and effective tools.

Bullet, meet foot.

Actually, this is useful from a law enforcement perspective. Much in the way that Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion rather than racketeering, anybody caught using illegal encryption could be arrested and convicted for that without having to prove that they were doing anything else nefarious.

Bad idea for other reasons but definitely useful.

Comment: Ice *cap*? (Score 4, Insightful) 60

by erice (#49581721) Attached to: NASA Probe Spies Possible Polar Ice Cap On Pluto

I would expect the whole surface of the (dwarf) planet to be ice, much like all the other outer system objects too small to be gas giants. It would not necessarily be water ice and TFA did not suggest that it was water. In a region where methane and co2 freeze there are lots of options and water ice would not be favorite for a polar cap.

Actually, the only information so far is: "There is a spot that is brighter than the rest. We don't know why."

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 223

by erice (#49580165) Attached to: Windows 10 Can Run Reworked Android and iOS Apps

Why would anybody want this? I can't think of any mobile apps that would be useful on a regular computer. Most of the really useful mobile apps are only really specific to the fact they're being run on a mobile device, and/or are really only helpful for bridging a gap between a phone and a computer.

While "really useful" is not the word I would use to describe them, Hinge and Tinder are mobile only. Neither has a web site that does more than point to a mobile app.

As I recall, some Craiglist scraping apps had features unavailable on any web site or desktop application.

Waze finally has a useful web interface after years of only being able to check routes on the mobile app.

Comment: Re:Yeah.... (Score 5, Informative) 192

by erice (#49574143) Attached to: Massachusetts Governor Introduces Bill To Regulate Uber, Lyft

Lyft and Uber call themselves Ridesharing, but they are actually a taxi for hire service

Last week I took Uber to SFO. I shared the car with another guy who was also going to SFO. The UberDude picked that guy up, then picked me up.

That's a share-taxi. A ride share would be if the UberDude dropped you off at the terminal, then parked the car and got on a plane.

Comment: Re:Let's Have This Argument Again (Score 1) 124

by erice (#49558081) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary

You are incorrect. At the time of the Amiga, the Apple II, the Commodore 64, and other such machines, only the IBM PC was a "Personal Computer." It was a brand, not a generic term. The "generic" term was "micro computer".

Microcomputer and "personal computer" (no caps) were used almost interchangeably. They did not mean the same thing though. A personal computer was simply a computer dedicated to a single person. A microcomputer was a computer built around a microprocessor. In principle a microcomputer could be a multi-user and a personal computer could have a multi-chip processor. In this era, though, both were rare.

What you did not encounter was the acronym. Any machine could be a "personal computer" but "PC" was shorthand first for IBM PC and later for "IBM PC clone".

Comment: Re:Good for them (Score 2) 148

by erice (#49542575) Attached to: Groupon Refuses To Pay Security Expert Who Found Serious XSS Site Bugs

(if one out of 30 bugs were released in violation of their guidelines, why aren't they paying their promised bounty for the others?)

Maybe there is only one bug and the remaining 29 are just trivial exploit variations of a single error. Of course, if that were true, it would help if Groupon actually explained that rather than hiding behind generalized and opaque "policy" reasons.

Comment: Re:These days... (Score 2) 892

It exists because you've got two parties with two different goals. One wants to get paid as much as possible, the other wants to acquire something for as little as possible.

All monetary transactions are like that. Yet we don't negotiate for toothpaste, gas, etc.

Negotiations helps both sides find the middle ground that is acceptable in transactions where the stakes are high enough to be worth the trouble. Which side of that middle band the deal lands on depends on the skill of the negotiators. In the case of hiring, "no negotiation" means the employer needs to make a better first offer than with negotiation because there is plan B if the candidate refuses the first offer.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 4, Interesting) 83

by erice (#49432903) Attached to: Patent Case Could Shift Power Balance In Tech Industry

Can't say I'm rooting for either party here, but I hate the idea of SEPs in general... If a method is literally the only permitted way to do a thing, should it be patentable?

If there is only one way to do it, then it is a fact of nature and can not be patented. Also, if the standard has been published, that counts as prior art so no new patents can be applied there. However if I choose to create a standard that requires your existing patent, why should that give me the power to invalidate your patent?

Standards bodies usually try to avoid patents but this is often not practical because there are so many patents and the best solution is often patented.

Comment: Re:What the fuck sort of unit.. (Score 1) 143

What the fuck sort of unit is an Oklahoma? Or a square mile?

A perplexing one for those who know anything about Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not known for heavy tree cover. Most of it is naturally grass land with quite few trees. According to Wikipedia, forest covers 24% of Oklahoma in the present day. I've heard it claimed (having difficulty finding authoritative sources) that this is consequences of numerous artificial lakes changing the climate and that originally there were fewer trees.

Comment: Limited 3D, limited scaling (Score 4, Informative) 42

by erice (#49358251) Attached to: Toshiba Announces 3D Flash With 48 Layers

It is excellent tech but they can't stack the cells indefinitely. The approach uses pillars of cells with no cross wiring. All the control circuitry is in one plane at the bottom. This makes it cheap because they only have to mask and etch once: all the way down to the planer circuitry on the bottom. The downside is you can only go so high before the control circuitry can no longer detect the signal from the top layers They could add another layer of control circuitry but the principle cost of making a chip is the masking and etching so it may be just as cheap (and definitely easier) to just make two chips.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos