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Comment: Yahoo! is cool again? (Score 4, Interesting) 394

Once upon a time, when we talked about things like "Web Portals," and people knew who Jerry Yang was, Yahoo! was cool, and offered a lot of useful curating and information. Also some good times playing hearts and backgammon on Yahoo! games.

Then there was babel fish.

Then there was Google beta.

Then Deja News was no more.

And now Yahoo! is cool again?

Comment: Re:Lame (Score 1) 730

by fortfive (#47874755) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

The problem with your theory, at least in my case, is that I knew why I wanted a portable mp3 player before I ever had one. I saved my pennies to get that first Jukebox. And with the first iPod, I was like, Perfection! (although it would be until 2d generation before I could afford one.).

The same with iPad, although it still doesn't really function the way I want it to. It is the best option, however, and when it came out, miles beyond anything else, like the iPod.

The iPhone, of course, was truly revolutionary.

The wearable I want is something akin to a TNG communicator, plus the Enterprise computer, plus a floating display a la Star Wars.

Alternatively, they could build in watch functionality into a watch band that I could attach to my existing watch, using its crystal as an HUD. But even then, it would mostly be a toy kind of thing, with limited utility.

Comment: Re:Lame (Score 5, Insightful) 730

by fortfive (#47865315) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

I get the joke.

But the truth is, the thing is, in fact, lame. I had a nomad when the iPod came out. And my next device was an iPod. Because it was *awesome.* The interface was awesome, way easier to use in the car. It looked cooler. It was more portable. It had better sound quality and a better shuffle/random function.

The watch I wear, when I wear one, is 60 years old. It tells accurate time, but it's largely a fashion accessory for me. I knew why I had, and wanted better, portable mp3 players. I have no idea why I want a computerized watch. The *only* use which as been at all seemingly valuable is that it might alert me to notifications I might miss when my phone is in my pocket. But I check my phone frequently enough that it's not really an issue for me.

Now, when a watch can *replace* my phone, well, we'll really have something. As in, those holo-phone things in Star Wars. Even if the floating display was just 2D.

Also, while I'm ranting, I'm sore displeased that both iPhone options are bigger. It's fine to have the big one, I get why people like that. But have the smaller one be truly smaller. Heck, I think the iPhone 5 is too big.

Comment: Re:They're Monopolies (Score 1) 368

by fortfive (#47657177) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

I would hope there would be conditions in [the contract that benefit consumers]

I have a great bridge to sell you. I will throw in some unicorns for the right price . . .

Seriously, I'm pretty sure that in most places the only consumer benefit in the contract is the price of basic cable and free or discounted service for a school or government office.

Comment: It's about Design Specs, I Would Think (Score 2) 431

by fortfive (#47255491) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

Most of my apple kit is manufactured in China, and is as good a build quality of any electronics I own, as far as I can tell.

It seems that the quality is determined by the design; that is, the Chinese manufactures build it as awesomely or as cheaply as you tell them to.

The fear is that unscrupulous manufacturers will substitute inferior inputs, I suppose, but it appears that, at least for premium brands like Apple and Lenovo, that is not happening. As for labor inputs and standards, well, scruples seem to be lax everywhere but Germany. Personally, I try to be aware of the social impacts of the products I buy, but when I have purchased stuff produced under questionable social conditions, said stuff has never seemed to have suffered any performance degradation. Rather, unfortunately, the opposite is sometimes the case.

Comment: Re:Is this HIPAA data? (Score 1) 62

HIPAA only applies to protected healthcare information disclosed to a statutorily defined health care provider. I doubt Samsung or your carrier qualify.

The issue you raise is important, however.

Most of us have traded away much of our privacy, sometimes for services (gmail), sometimes by happenstance (, so that I doubt heart rate information will matter much.

But if we are entering a techno-dystopian future, and as our phones become more capable of registering our biological condition, it becomes easier for the shepherds to corral us according to their algorithms, and ensure the red-bloods don't mix with the blue's.

Perhaps it is my age, but I have to admit this kind of really personal data gathering makes me a little uncomfortable. Ignorance is more comfortable, too. I noticed that the terms of my health insurance coverage require my consent to let my provider turn over HIPAA data to various third parties, with no stated requirement that my provider ensure HIPAA awareness (let alone compliance) of said third parties. I figure if I am not going to go "dark," (which at my age, I'm too slow to pull off), I best learn to accept the death of privacy. Old age is the ultimate indignity . . .

Comment: Re:Is this an ad ? (Score 1) 304

by fortfive (#47083481) Attached to: Is LG's New Ultra Widescreen Display Better Than "Normal" 4K?

If you use a retina macbook pro for any length of time, the appeal will dawn on you. 4K enables pixel doubling, which makes text amazing to look at. All the other details, too.

It's a first world problem, mind you, but I find it quite unpleasant to view a non-pixel-doubled display, now. I mean even the Apple cinema display* looks outdated and primitive.

I kick myself for buying the retina machine before it could drive/I could also afford an external 4k display.

*I referenced the Apple display not because of any inherent superiority, but rather it's the nicest display I've viewed while actually doing stuff (as opposed to viewing an in-store demo video, which, incidentally, are not any less unpleasant to view post retina).

Comment: Re: Don't care (Score 1) 154

by fortfive (#46872159) Attached to: Comcast Offers To Shed 3.9 Million Subscribers To Ease Cable Deal

Hard to compare costs for dissimilar services over an undetermined time span. How did you come to the conclusion that Ma Bell was expensive?

First, I don't fully know, which is why asked for the old-timers assistance. May I conclude from your statements that you do not agree?

I think we could probably identify some sort of social equivalence. Say, late '70s, one residential line, two-three phones, touch-tone, per minute long distance service. How would that compare to a bundle of low- or mid-tier internet service + phone service (which now probably includes unlimited long distance)?

Also, I wonder how that price (and actual cost) breaks down going back in time? I would expect slow price increases and cost reductions as we move forward in time from the aughts.

Comment: Re:Don't care (Score 2) 154

Indeed. Also, content distribution at the levels above last-mile/individual subscriber.

On the other hand, it seems reasonable to accept that content distribution, and internet/TV service providing, are natural monopolies, and we may as well turn it over to a single company with tight consumer-interest regulation.

On the third hand, and way old-timers help me out here, it seems that telephone service under Ma Bell was somewhat expensive when compared with today's prices (even accounting for inflation). I suppose a better analysis would be to look at actual costs of providing equivalent service, and consumer price to cost ratios then and now.

But your essential point is accurate: it's really is not about competition for subscribers.

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 4, Insightful) 869

Isn't this the Bill Nye v. Creation Guy debate?

Bill Nye made the point repeatedly that no, of course we can not observe directly with our biological sensing apparatuses the world of 1000 years ago, but we can create a fairly educated surmise of the reality based on what we observe today, combining bench studies with field observations, etc. Ken Ham's argument, repeatedly, was "We weren't there, so we can't know to any useful degree (degree, get it?) what it was like."

Science may be wrong about the anthropogenic nature of global warming, but science is quite clear and confident in its conclusion. Given Science's track record so far, I'm going to bet on it.

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.