They're still getting valuable data. As I understand it, part of what they're doing is using your physical location in the store triangulated from your phone. While using a VPN does limit SOME of the information they're gathering, it doesn't eliminate all of it.
> Mt. Gox? Seriously? How do you even pronounce it?
"Magic the Gathering Online Exchange."
That should scare you.
We have this impression of the reliability and stability of the POTS network partially because it is ubiquitous and invisible. Yet, as someone who has spent most of my adult life working in and around copper twisted pair, I can tell you POTS isn't as "reliable" as you think.
You have the impression that POTS is reliable because there's a small army of men and women maintaining it. AT&T is claiming that it is costing them a fortune to maintain the copper twisted pair infrastructure to the standards dictated by the FCC for a rapidly dwindling number of customers. People are leaving copper-pair services by the thousands every day: some are going wireless, some are going to pure-play VoIP providers, and even the "cable company" (or the telephone company's own fiber).
Copper wire only lasts 20-30 years hanging from the side of a pole, on average, before it will likely need to be replaced. Especially in urban areas, where cable replacement isn't cheap, most of the landline phone companies are staring down the barrel of 50-60 year old copper infrastructure that may have as many as 75% of the pairs condemned.
Let me put it this way. No IT department for a business in a 100-year-old building facing a phone rewire job would replace all that 50-year-old 25-pair with.. more Category 2. The minimum they'd pull is Cat5e or "6", and even more likely they'd pull a significant amount of fiber, if not to the desk at least to a departmental wiring closet. That's the same decision the phone companies want to make.
From a strictly technical/engineering perspective, it's 100% the right choice. Copper loop is functionally obsolete in almost every way.
All batteries are DC.
Unless you know of some alien technology even Tesla himself wasn't privvy to.
It has already had the practical "chilling effect" of making all the large 3D-printable object sites from not having anything that even remotely could be a gun part restrict.. gun parts.
This is sort of my pet peeve with this whole thing.
It's not the SPEEDS that suck, dear FCC, it's the stingy caps. I'd be happy with 1-2Mb down if I wasn't hard capped at 1.5GB per month.
I can tell you for a fact that at least one of the "big four" is buying way more than a single T1 for their towers, at least where I live. They buy a fairly large amount of dark fiber from the company I work for to connect a number of towers on the outskirts of town.
Granted, they could be running a single T1 over every fiber. But I somehow doubt that.
I've told the IT department where I work they can have my Blackberry Bold when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
So, it's Google's fault the consumer didn't read the dialogue box that says "Turning location services on will transmit your location to Google. For more information, see our website" in a large font?
I think a lot of people take the "personal responsibility" wharrglbe a bit far sometimes, but in this case, it's hard to have sympathy for consumers that turn a feature on, are told what it does, and are surprised when told later that's what it does.
This on all three counts. Google is very transparent about what they're doing and spells it out (at least on the Android platform). You can argue the functionality of using an Android device without these services turned on, but that's the bargain. You get the cool ability to search for a tiki bar near your location because Google already KNOWS your location.
That's the glory of what they're doing. They CAN make money off of you knowing that you bought work clothes at Goodwill and a sandwich at Char-hut. If you can't figure out how, you don't completely understand what they're actually doing.
Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.
This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.
You may very well be right, but let me ask you this.
How do you propose we fix it? We tried the other approach, and as you point out downthread there's disadvantages to a monopoly carrier approach as well (it doesn't matter if that monopoly was the Bell System or the government, the results would largely be the same). I'd love to hear a viable approach for fixing things.
Well, because water and sewer lines don't need to connect to a national network, and the "hard work" of building the phone infrastructure was paid for when we had a different regulatory regime. In fact, most small towns in the US would still have small independent exchanges with poor (or no) connectivity to the national network if it wasn't for some key regulatory decisions made in the 1930's and 1940's.
It IS, in fact, too big given our current way our telecommunications infrastructure is paid for. The only incentive telecom companies have is a profit motive, and spending $10 million to pull a high-capacity fiber or build a digital microwave relay to a place like Burns, Oregon to only service a few hundred subscribers doesn't return the kind of investment today's stockholders want, even if there was a local "last mile" solution to deliver it (which there likely isn't). Burns is over 100 miles away from it's nearest big city (Bend, Oregon) which is, itself, 160 miles from the nearest city with a peering point.
I own a Pebble. The Pebble does many of the things on your list well (albeit a few of those functions are third-party apps). It lacks a camera, and with it's black-and-white transflective display doesn't have the resolution for map data. But the combination of the Pebble, the "Pebble Dialer" app, and a Bluetooth headset is the "killer app" for a smartwatch. The basic music app on the watch is "good enough", but Music Boss adds extra features that makes it indispensable. Throw in the whole way it handles notifications from other apps and it's a great augment to an Android cell phone.