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Comment: Should we be surprised he's from Arkansas? (Score 1) 297

by keefus_a (#42911925) Attached to: Congress Takes Up Online Sales Tax
If I'm not mistaken, then you are only exempt from sales tax for an online purchase if the retailer does not have a local presence. So, is it any surprise that the guy is from the state where the world's largest retailer is headquartered?

I'll leave the debate about lost revenue for another day. But this is nothing more than WalMart taking a shot at Amazon.

Comment: This is already happening (Score 5, Informative) 102

by keefus_a (#42467627) Attached to: Khan Academy Will Be Ready For Its Close-Up In Idaho
My brother is a math teacher who convinced the board of his school system to let him try it in two of his classes. Now the entire school system is moving to Khan for the math program.

The major change in his teaching format is that learning a new concept is now homework (through Khan Academy), rather than him droning on about it in class. Then every morning he gets a report for each student and can see who did well and who didn't. That allows him to concentrate on the students that didn't get the concept in class. Overall he has seen a major improvement in the class as a whole since fewer kids get left without a good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

Comment: Re:I had the exact opposite experience (Score 2) 285

by keefus_a (#41290837) Attached to: The Problems With Online Math Classes
My brother is a math teacher at a junior high and does this, sort of. He assigns the new concept and practice questions as homework (via Khan Academy), rather than spending the entire class teaching it. Each day he gets a progress report for each of his students and can then work one-on-one with students that had the most trouble with the lesson, or break the classroom up for group work and spread out students that did well and students that didn't.

Overall he says he has seen a tremendous difference. More students are grasping concepts and those that would have done well anyway are actually doing better.

It certainly doesn't replace a good teacher, but it could probably do just as well as a bad one.

Comment: Re:Does Windows 8 have an opt-out feature? (Score 1) 489

by keefus_a (#41116297) Attached to: Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install
I have an Android phone. At some point I installed a game from the Amazon app store that was also available in the Google app store. At a later date I noticed that the Google app store indicated that there was an update available for that game. I got an error when I tried to update the app, and then I realized that I had actually installed it from the Amazon store and that's what caused the error.

Based on that evidence, can I assume that Google is doing the same thing? Either they are collecting data about what applications I have installed, or the phone checks individually for updates and doesn't care about the source from which I installed it (in which case Google could easily build an inventory of what is installed based on those queries). Or perhaps that was a one time event due to a bug or glitch.

Comment: Re:Hope MS does well with this phone (Score 1) 195

by keefus_a (#39577961) Attached to: Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews
This is where Palm missed their opportunity. Had they built a central command and control feature into WebOS I firmly believe they could have unseated RIM as the goto choice in the enterprise (given that they would have also had to release enterprise acceptable hardware). WebOS is still the best multitasking environment on a mobile platform. Add to that the ease with which enterprise web based apps can ported to and developed for the platform, and they'd have had a pretty strong argument.

Comment: Re:Good or Great is not enough (Score 1) 195

by keefus_a (#39577799) Attached to: Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews
I would add a Zune Pass to the list of killer features. I know that anything with "Zune" attached to the name is mostly assumed to be a joke with its own punchline, but for the price I don't think you can beat the deal. I hear that Spotify has a pretty good argument against that but I wouldn't know because I don't have a Facebook account, which is required to sign up.

Comment: Re:What is he smoking? (Score 2) 203

by keefus_a (#39063491) Attached to: HP CEO Says Google-Motorola Deal Could Close-Source Android
That's an awfully presumptuous statement. One might have said the same thing to several generations of mobile manufacturers. After all, there was Palm and Windows Mobile. Then along came RIM. Who could have predicted the extraordinary collapse of Blackberry just 5 or 6 years ago?

I think people too often underestimate the instability of the mobile market. There was at one time a very compelling reason to stick with any given mobile OS because of the investment that was made in purchasing apps. Now, most of the important pieces are moving to "the cloud" which effectively removes the OS tie-in. All a developer needs is a GUI and perhaps a little bit of local storage for almost any non-game app.

To say WebOS was doomed, I think, gives users too much credit. There are plenty of brand loyal folks out there that won't be convinced of anything that doesn't fall in line with what they already believe. But for the most part, people just want the "best" device which is up to the marketing. That's where WebOS failed; they went with a creepy ghost woman who did here best to imply all of the capabilities of the OS instead of showing off how much more usable the OS is in a productive capacity. Palm had plenty of brand loyal people in the business community that they shoveled aside in favor of the consumer market. Had they gone straight after RIM instead of trying to compete with Apple everything would be different.

In other words, they weren't "doomed regardless." Hell, they weren't doomed at all until marketing failed.

Comment: Re:Why Apple is good (Score 1) 715

by keefus_a (#38886729) Attached to: Apple Forcing IT Shops To 'Adapt Or Die'

Frankly business is small fry compared to the worldwide consumer electronics market

I will assume you meant that the "worldwide" business market is small fry compared to the worldwide consumer market. But I keep hearing this and nobody ever posts numbers to back it up. Do they exist? Perhaps I'm just naive, but I don't see how that's remotely possible. I could be convinced that the consumer market for computers is marginally larger than the business market due to the fact that a lot of households now have more than one PC/laptop. But "small fry"?

The consumers I know buy a PC/laptop and use it until it dies. While the majority of the medium to large businesses I work with are constantly refreshing their PCs and laptops (in chunks, not all at once). Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning the validity of focusing on the consumer market. It is clearly working for them. But how does that make the business market "small fry"?

Comment: Re:Abandonware open source (Score 3, Informative) 94

by keefus_a (#38348874) Attached to: Tizen, webOS, & the Future of Mobile Open Source

piss-poor home-written state restore

The thing I miss the most about my Palm pre was being able to open an email, tap to dial into a conference call, flip back to the email to get the conference pin, and flip back to the phone app to dial it. On Android, swapping between apps is a crap shoot on whether the app will actually be in the state that I left it. The same thing goes for typing an email or text message and needing to flip over to a web page, or god forbid another email, to reference information and trying to flip back and seamlessly pick up where I left off.

My only issue was with the original pre hardware. Had Sprint picked up the pre+ or pre2 with the added RAM and storage I would likely still be using webOS. I'm using an Evo4g now and the entire experience has been a compromise. Sure the updated innards are nice, and there are certainly benefits to the Android Marketplace. But I've tried iOS and Android and in my opinion, for day to day use of the device, nothing comes close to webOS.

Comment: Re:What to buy? (Score 2) 169

by keefus_a (#38318434) Attached to: HP Making webOS Open Source
As a huge WebOS fan that only moved away from it because Sprint never got updated hardware, I am partial to the vertical slider. When I first saw the Dell Venue Pro (http://www.dell.com/us/p/mobile-venue-pro/pd) hardware I longed for that phone running WebOS (if you replace the dedicated smiley key on the keyboard with @). Add in a dash of microSD slot and upgrade the innards to more recent specs and I'm sold.

The catch is that nothing outside of existing Palm/HP devices fits the bill. One of the great things about WebOS is the touch area below the screen. Outside of the hardware specifically built for WebOS, nothing has that.

The Touchpad didn't have the extended swipe area, so I see no reason that any tablet (specs permitting) couldn't be a sufficient platform for WebOS. But I'm far less concerned with the tablet platform than I am with the phone platform.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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