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Comment: As a dad, I really like minecraft == LEGO (Score 2) 206

by goombah99 (#49172605) Attached to: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

While I do wish the kids would go outside and play, it's not minecraft that's the problem, it's just the way kids are in the time of "playdates". Minecraft however is such a great game for them. It basically replaces the hours I spent with lego. I find hardcore first person shooters psychically disturbing so I'm greatly relieved when they find shooting sheep with enchanted diamond bows or building cat fountains amusing. Its similar to the way I used to build lego things that I could smash. Even better with things like raspberry pi, you can write in your own python code to build stuff or launch other people in the air when they come into your house.

The very best feature of minecraft is that there is no objective at all. Again like lego. it's up to you and your imagination. It just gives you an organized platform for creating.

What will MS do? I was afraid they might shutdown the python API on raspberry pi but they just released Windows for free on the new raspberry pi, so it looks like they might embrace it even more. I think Microsoft is finally re-learning how they became successful by being the low cost alternative to apple and IBM. they want the love again. Market share uber alles.

I suspect they might pervert it the way lego has been perverted by selling specialized kits that just build one thing. So they might sell pre-built minecraft worlds with various happy-meal like themes. Or hook it into microsoft live where you gotta pay the man a subscription to live in the microsoft amusement park. I would really resent that because kids come and go from their toy interests and so a subscription for something they are not using would hurt.

Comment: liquid metal? (Score 1) 231

by goombah99 (#49160631) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

Speaking of style over function, I take it the new phone is not using LiquidMetal for it's metal. They teased a liquid metal ad last week. But it looks like just polished metal to me. Or is it? Apple's exclusive rights purchase for liquid Metal technology I beleive ran out a week ago, making it possible this could be a liquid metal phone case.

Comment: Can't be enforced. (Score 0) 631

by goombah99 (#49140119) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

I can think of a zillion loopholes by which this will be evaded.

Is there a definition of what is THE internet? surely comcast can create a parallel construction and sell however they wish like a private toll road. It could have discrete points where it could tap into the "real" internet. Thus amazon or netflix or whomever could connect into this autobahn on the goes-into side and pop out into "the" internet at some Comcast hub in the customers town.

Picture it like FED Ex, transporting a package 90% of the way, then mailing it. the postoffice might not charge differently for different customers and Fed Ex might not either (or they could) but only customers with valuable deliveries would be willing to pay the cost of the combined service, which would be dominated by the Fed Ex high speed service.

That's effectively what companies like Akamai sell already and those are not part of the discussion of Net Neutrality.

It might be easy to regulate comcast if comcast is the parent company of both halves of this real and shadow internet. But if these services are split into two companies then what? Even if the shadow company is privately held by comcast this is going to be hard to regulate.

Eventually the shadow compaines won't even bother with their own hardware. They will lease a certain number of dedicated switches from Comcast for their own uses. these will be cut out of the real internet.

An alternative way around this is by selectively enforcing the tragedy of the commons. In principle Netflix could prioritize its packets on a neutral interenet by emitting 100 times as many packets where each packet is sent 100 times. the receiver ignores all but the first one of the redundant packets. This of course would be retaliated by others now squeezed out doing the same thing resulting in 100x the traffic for the same data and no gain for anyone. COmcast would come down hard on these miscreants but would it be selective?

Comment: or not (Score 1) 186

by goombah99 (#49127745) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Since no on knows who owns VitnetX, it would be surprising if you did. The Technology appears to have been developed by SAIC under govt contract and has been licesenced to Microsoft and others. Now that jury award has been nullified on appeal. So either by liscening or not, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping people from using the technology. So if that's the NSA objective here it seems to have not succeeded or perhaps there nver was an NSA agenda and it was simply about making money off invented technology?

Comment: They should charge their customers for the removal (Score 1) 266

by goombah99 (#49094949) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

That's ATT's new model. In Kansas you can get a $70, gigabit connection from ATT but if you want to opt out of the customer abuse plan they charge you $30/mo extra. No I'm not making that up, but they don't call it the customer abuse plan, but that's what it is. The $30 is so they don't track you and monetize you with the scrutiny that only an ISP can do (see Verizon's tracking cookies).

Lenovo should just say the truth: the laptop was $200 cheaper than it would have been because of SuperFish. If you want to opt out of da'Fish then you gotta pay. Nobody gets hurt okay.

Comment: Don't forget samsung (Score 5, Informative) 266

by goombah99 (#49094849) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

Samsung also got caught this month injecting ads into TV viewing. They only got caught because they screwed up the algorithm and injected ads into people's personal ad-free videos. And then samsung's genius engineers biffed again by sending the TV microphone pickups back to samsung (which is okay--that's what siri, alexa, cortana, and google do) but doing so unencrypted.

Obviously parasitic ad injection is the the single most lucrative way to earn money on the internet. Your doing it just like google does for nearly all its revenue, selling ads and harvesting click-thru data, but your doing it without the associated cost of attracting customers with a product. No wonder Lenovo wanted this action.

Comment: Links on how to scam chip and pin (Score 1) 449

by goombah99 (#49084571) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

EMV is hacked not because EMV is theoretically secure but the implementations of it are botched. Predictable unpredictable numbers, transactions not testing cypher validity or the incrementing number are hacks in widespread use right now. The easiest hack of all is to move the card number from europe to any country that does not yet use EMV. all the EMV cards work in those countries by reverting to just mag stripe signature cards. yeah you could implement geo-locking but once again, they haven't done the implementation right. Chip and pin on ATM cards is also being exploited by card snatchers in false facia of ATM machines (they video your pin, then physically steal the card unlike the mag stripe which don't have to be physcially inserted all the way into the machine to work).

Comment: Env is hacked, story is wrong (Score 1) 449

by goombah99 (#49084319) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Chip and pin is an obsolete solution. Sure point of sale in person fraud went way down in Europe but online and telephone fraud went way up making total fraud almost the same. Meanwhile merchants lost the ability to contest fraud and had to pay for card readers. Bits expensive to replace lost cards. And it's been hacked multiple times already so it's not secure .

The only silver lining here is that forcing merchants to pay for new point of sale terminals will force an upgrade that can slipstream in apple pay which is the right solution. Tokenized one time payments that can be used for Internet sales or provided with parental controls and instantly replaced by the end user if lost are the safe modern aproach

Comment: Patent trolls are useful arbitragers (Score 4, Interesting) 126

by goombah99 (#49080565) Attached to: Patent Troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth

First, yes some patent trolls are evil. But some are very good.

The key service a Non-producing Patent holder provides is that they purchase patents from inventors. This allows the inventing company to convert their Ideas into cash. When companines die they may cease producing but their IP is still valuable. And it can be sold. It's that value that the shareholders of the company were investing in. So they were entitled to sell it. Patent "trolls" create this marketplace for Ideas and the money they pay goes on to be re-invested in other good things. Hence it maintains a market that funds spending on ideas.

The patent trolls are arbitragers because they profit from non-liquidity of the market for ideas. IN doing so they do make it liquid. So that's good. they are creating real value where there was only theoretical value and keeping prices in balance.

Then there's the evil patent trolls that take lame notions and therough legal machnations extort money from people who can't afford a legal challenge or rely on throwing darts and hoping for a big win.

It's sometimes hard to tell these apart because sometimes a cherished technology we all love really does have a legitimate patent holder not an ogre behind it. The Eolas patent on all web browser plug ins seems like a reasonable case. If they can really show that the basic concept of the web browser plug in was not obvious and had no prior art and that they legitmately patented it with sufficient breadth of description then it really doesn't matter that this catches everyone by surprise. It's worth a fortune obviously but that too is not a reason to say it's wrong. It would be wrong if they got lucky an patented as trivial idea and then tried to extort people with it.

It's these rare paydays that actually can keep the good arbitragers in bussiness. they may buy up lots of patents that never make them any money. All that money goes back to investors who created the IP and hopefully invest in more IP development in the future. The arbitragers get paid big once in a while for their investment in buying those worthless unmarketable patents.

This sort of sounds like maybe that if they really did come up with the basic protocol and immplentations from which blue tooth was originated and the makers of blue tooth didn't have the right to sell that then this could be legite even if it's a big paybat for a non-produycing patent holder.

Human resources are human first, and resources second. -- J. Garbers