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Comment: Re:SMS != data (Score 3, Interesting) 319

by lancejjj (#32625596) Attached to: Verizon Hints At Scrapping Unlimited Data Plans

SMS messages are squeezed into unused space in control packets that the phones and towers exchange normally even if there's no call happening. So on GSM networks, SMS isn't data and incurs no cost at all to the operator. SMS should be completely free on GSM providers.

I agree that there is little if not zero "tower-to-handset" bandwidth cost for SMS messaging.

However, SMS (and MMS) messaging does depend on all that infrastructure that's in place, and by providing SMS services, the telcos are required to reliably route and deliver the messages around the world. That message handling and routing certainly has a cost, and therefore I believe that providers have a right to fairly pass on a portion of the cost of their infrastructure investments (plus a fair profit) to the users of SMS services.

HOWEVER, I am no apologist here. At least in the USA, providers charge very high fees for text messages. If I send a 15 character text message to my wife, we get charged $0.40. A few pennies may be fair, but far more than $0.39 of that $0.40 is profit. Furthermore, SMS is configured to be parasitic - my friends (and spammers) like to send me text messages without my authorization. That costs me $0.20 every time, and there is no way for me to stop them without giving up my wireless service altogether.

What is even more disturbing is that all the telcos in the US have generally increased their SMS rates to a new high. They now charge the same outrageous fee ($0.20 in, $0.20 out), leading me to believe that instead of competing, they are colluding.

In short, telcos have decided (individually or together) not to compete in this area, to the detriment of all telco customers. Laws should be considered to encourage fair and healthy competition in this space, which will encourage healthy SMS industry growth and efficiencies.

Comment: Re:I Have A Question (Score 1, Troll) 319

by lancejjj (#32625444) Attached to: Verizon Hints At Scrapping Unlimited Data Plans

What happens if you're using a 3G Microcell over your existing broadband connection?

Well, it depends.

If you want that 3G Microcell to connect to the Verizon network, and have Verizon route and manage the connections and otherwise provide reliable data or voice transport service through Verizon's infrastructure on the back-end, then you should expect Verizon to charge you for that service.

On the other hand, if you do NOT want Verizon to provide that service to you, you simply don't need to use the Microcell device. In that case, you will not be using any of Verizon's infrastructure, and Verizon won't charge you any per-use charge of any kind. That's right: completely FREE.

Pretty sweet, eh?

Comment: Apple: When will it end? (Score 1) 497

by lancejjj (#31930390) Attached to: Adobe Stops Development For iPhone

This is ominous to the iPhone user. Next I expect to hear that ActiveX and Real will be booted from the iPhone, and then we'll never get anything done. The iPhone simply doesn't support ALL of the web.

And it doesn't stop there. I bet that MS-Office macros will be considered a programming language, and then will be booted off ot the Mac!

This is the END! I'm tired of these control games.

Comment: Re:The 1960s called... (Score 1) 819

by lancejjj (#31102560) Attached to: Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update Phones Home Quarterly

This is not unlike IBM charging for use of their hardware and software on a per cycle basis.

Yes, I remember that too. Billing by CPU time was an IBM lease option. They'd charge you back per CPU cycle. It was a great incentive for IT departments to write efficient code. If you were maxing out your mainframe's CPU, IBM would give you a more powerful one. But your goal, as a programmer, was to minimize CPU consumption.

Of course, if you outright owned the machine, there was no such chargeback.

The IBM program was used by IT departments to manage their mainframe utilization, and to effectively lease mainframe time instead of having to take the risk of buying a $250k+ machine and running out of CPU capacity.

WAT & WGA is nothing like the IBM program. At all. In any way.

Comment: Could be worse. (Score 1) 436

by lancejjj (#31094458) Attached to: Iran Suspends Google's Email Service

An Iranian official said the measure was meant to boost local development of Internet technology and to build trust between people and the government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Well, it could be worse: they could have said "We've decided to go with Microsoft Exchange".

Given the uproar in my office when we went to Exchange, that surely would have sparked a full-scale revolution. The one good thing to get out of it: the new Exchange admins all have more attractive resumes now.

Comment: Dumb idea anyhow. (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by lancejjj (#30818540) Attached to: The Fourth Amendment and the Cloud

[T]he service provider has a copy of the keys to a user's cloud 'storage unit'

Why the hell would I want to give a copy of the keys to the service provider?

Just because you use the cloud to store bits of data doesn't mean that you'd want to store unencrypted bits of data there. Those that do risk distribution of your unencrypted data via a multitude of channels, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Cloud configuration errors
  • Service Policy changes
  • Service Security failures
  • Data theft by administrators
  • Service scanning and reselling of your data

Why would anyone hand the keys to all their important data to a 3rd party that they don't personally know? Just because they're under a contract with that 3rd party? A contract drawn up exclusively by that 3rd party? With clauses designed to exclusively to protect that 3rd party?

Comment: Clarifying the confusion (Score 1) 711

by lancejjj (#29242885) Attached to: Apple Kicks HDD Marketing Debate Into High Gear

The desktop support dude knows what's going on. He knows that GB values, as printed on the box, is always optimistic from the marketers vantage point.

The computer science dude already thinks in hexadecimal, so the casual mention of a number like 12 GB is intrinsically confusing. Is the "12" base-10? Is the "10" in "base-10" decimal? Or is it "base 0F+1"?

Everyone else just gives $127.39 to the GeekSquad weenie for installation. They think in dollars, and want to know how many pictures will fit.

Cellphones

Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution 621

Posted by kdawson
from the rocket-in-your-pocket dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It is now clear why Nokia has been so slow with S60 updates: the upcoming N900 just left everything else in the dust. Unlike Google's Linux platform, Nokia is not intentionally breaking compatibility with real distros, choosing instead to bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux on your phone. This is the most awesome device I have ever seen: MAP3 CPU/GPU, 3,5" 800x480 touchscreen, keyboard, Wi-Fi, HSPA, GPS; 5-MP camera, CZ lens, 32 GB storage, SD slot; X11, VT100 terminal emulator, APT package manager. Estimated price without credit: $780 (N.5800: $390, iPhone 3GS: $750). Developers should note that even though the current desktop is still GTK+, Qt will be standard across all Nokia platforms in the near future (less powerful phones will use Qt on the Symbian kernel). Users can download flashing software from Nokia, and patches can be submitted at the Maemo site."

Comment: Privacy Concerns? Absolutely! (Score 1) 539

by lancejjj (#28977121) Attached to: Apple Working On Tech To Detect Purchasers' "Abuse"

however the idea of sensors inside your portable devices detecting what you do with them might raise eyebrows even beyond the tinfoil-hat community

Which is a discomforting potential invasion of privacy?

  • Manufacturer knowing if a computer has been submersed in water, or subject to -40 temperatures, or experienced 100+G shock, when machine is submitted for warranty claim.
  • A car that "remembers" your speed, driving time, and radio volume at the time of a crash.
  • Cell phone company selling your detailed inbound and outbound call record + your location when call was made/received
  • Credit card company selling your detailed purchase history, knowing that you bought Pampers 24 pack on sale at a particular time and place.
  • Bringing your PC into GeekSquad for repair

All of these happen today. Your letter to your senator is WAY TO LATE.

Comment: This diamond paste project FAILS (Score 1) 210

by lancejjj (#28962649) Attached to: DIY CPU Thermal Grease, Using Diamond Dust

Arctic Silver with a fresh application: System Max load 57c
Diamond Grease with a fresh application: System Max load 38c

The author notes that the fancy diamond paste results in LESS heat at the heat sink.

Conclusion: The home-made paste is more of an insulator than the commercial stuff, as the same amount of heat is being generated, but that heat just isn't making it to the heat sink!

Comment: Re:Depressing, but not uncommon (Score 1) 1251

by lancejjj (#28940835) Attached to: Student Sues University Because She's Unemployable

Little miss entitlement got a "Bachelor of Business Administration" in "IT". What the hell does that even mean?

I wish that all people with Computer Science degrees would remove the stick from their butt.

You have an excess of hubris there buddy. Like you, I have an MS in Computer Science from a name-brand university. But undoubtably many smart and competent people have a degree in "Business Administration with a concentration in IT".

I don't feel the right or privilege to demean people that simply have a different degree than my own. I've worked with plenty of very smart and capable people with degrees in "business", "IT", political science, literature, psychology, music, etc. Or no degrees at all.

Perhaps those with a "Bachelor of Business Administration in IT" aren't required to take any compiler or algorithm courses or countless advanced mathematics courses. Then again, maybe some do take them for their program and/or as electives. Maybe people with such a degree are smart enough to pick up the essentials without taking a course on the subject. You simply can't judge a person or program based on the name of his or her concentration/major.

One of the brightest, fastest, and hardest working OS programmers I ever worked with only went through an ITT Tech certificate program. You'd likely laugh at his credentials, but he picked up a lot of the theory on his own, and he'd kick the butts of most people I know with advanced CS degrees.

Comment: No Worries! (Score 5, Insightful) 782

by lancejjj (#28909507) Attached to: The Ethics of Selling GPLed Software For the iPhone

one of the original developers of XPilot told us he feels adamantly that we're betraying the spirit of the GPL by charging for it

No, you're not.

You're betraying what he feels is the spirit of the GPL. However, the GPL was specifically designed to allow for such charging. If he didn't like the GPL, he and the other "original" developers should have chosen a different license. The fact that he didn't understand what rights he was transferring by choosing the GPL is his own fault.

I appreciate that this developer is put off by your fees. However, he is free to take your efforts (the GPL'd code you've published) and release the application for free.

I think you've gone above and beyond by hearing the guy out and expressing your concerns. However, you're following the rules HE set out.

Comment: Re:Differential + hard drive - online (Score 1) 611

by lancejjj (#28751895) Attached to: Best Home Backup Strategy Now?

All of the online backup strategies are a joke. Due to bandwidth restrictions, it would take years just to make a backup of a typical user's hard drive, and they don't offer enough space (seriously).

This is, in a word, wrong.

I have been using an online backup service for my brother's computer. I used to run rsync via cron and retain deleted files, but it was a pain in my butt, so last year I just had him spend the $60/year for an on-line backup service.

This past Thursday his PC's drive died - completely unrecoverable, unrepairable, toast.

The backup service in use had his 200 GB of user data. We popped in a new drive, installed the OS, downloaded the back-up files over the weekend, and now he's back in business. None of his documents were lost.

Was bandwidth too low to recover his data? No. Did it take years to backup and/or restore? No, but it did take a couple days to download it all. Was there space limitations on the service? No.

Did it save all his family photos, documents, email archive and music library? Yes.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

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