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Comment Re:I don't like this at all (Score 1) 175

When did Verizon ever promise not to increase the cost of plans?

The question (that the fine article doesn't address...) is whether or not they're waiting until the next contract cycle to add this increase.

The story I read earlier this morning quoted someone or other as saying that customers currently in a contract won't see a change until the contract is up. If they renew, it will be at the new price.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 191

This seems to be a recurring theme on /. There's a HUGE difference between a liberal arts education and a liberal arts degree.

A liberal arts education is something you generally get from a liberal arts college, typically involves taking classes in a variety of subjects outside one's major to be more well rounded, and requires that you're able to think. A degree in liberal arts on the other hand is something that's usually obtained by those who have accumulated enough total credits to graduate but don't have enough in any one subject for a real major, often obtained by a certain subset of athletes at large universities who obviously didn't get in based on academics. This is usually those schools that have just enough pride to not give out a degree in "general studies".

Submission + - Apple's 16GB iPhone 6S is a Serious Strategic Mistake writes: Matthew Yglesias writes at Vox that Apple's recent announcement of an entry level iPhone 6S is a serious strategic mistake because it contains just 16GB of storage — an amount that was arguably too low even a couple of years back. According to Yglesias, the user experience of an under-equipped iPhone can be quite bad, and the iPhone 6S comes with features — like the ability to shoot ultra-HD video — that are going to fill up a 16GB phone in the blink of an eye. "It's not too hard to figure out what Apple is up to here," writes Yglesias. "Leaving the entry-level unit at 16GB of storage rather than 32GB drives higher profit margins in two ways. One, it reduces the cost of manufacturing the $649 phone, which increases profit margins on sales of the lowest-end model. Second, and arguably more important, it pushes a lot of people who might be happy with a 32GB phone to shell out $749 for the 64GB model."

But this raises the question of what purpose is served by Apple amassing more money anyhow. Apple pays out large (and growing) sums of cash to existing shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, but its enormous cash stockpile keeps remorselessly marching up toward $200 billion. "Killing the 16GB phone and replacing it with a 32GB model at the low end would obtain things money can't buy — satisfied customers, positive press coverage, goodwill, a reputation for true commitment to excellence, and a demonstrated focus on the long term. A company in Apple's enviable position ought to be pushing the envelop forward on what's considered an acceptable baseline for outfitting a modern digital device, not squeezing extra pennies out of customers for no real reason."

Submission + - Federal Court Invalidates 11-Year-old FBI gag order on NSL recipient

vivaoporto writes: The Calyx Institute reports that a federal district court has ordered the FBI to lift an eleven-year-old gag order imposed on Nicholas Merrill forbidding him from speaking about a National Security Letter ("NSL") that the FBI served on him in 2004. The ruling marks the first time that an NSL gag order has been lifted in full since the PATRIOT Act vastly expanded the scope of the FBI’s NSL authority in 2001.

For more than a decade, the government has refused to allow Mr. Merrill and other NSL recipients to tell the public just how broadly the FBI has interpreted its authority to surveil individuals’ digital lives in secret using NSLs. Tens of thousands of NSLs are issued by FBI officers every year without a warrant or judicial oversight of any kind.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s decision invalidated the gag order in full, finding no "good reason" to prevent Merrill from speaking about any aspect of the NSL, particularly an attachment to the NSL that lists the specific types of "electronic communication transactional records" (“ECTR”) that the FBI believed it was authorized to demand.

It is worth noting that this is the same judge that struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act in 2007 forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter.

Submission + - Google teams with CDN providers to speed up rich media access (

An anonymous reader writes: Google is planning to join a group of Content Delivery Network (CDN) providers in a new initiative called CDN Interconnect, through which it hopes to reduce costs and boost rich content distribution speeds for its cloud customers. The search giant has so far teamed up with four CDN firms including CloudFlare, Highwinds, Fastly and Level 3 CDN. The initiative enables effective load sharing across partnership data centres around the world, lessening the strain caused by rich file transfers between cloud operators and web content providers.

Comment Re:Sure it's expensive (Score 1) 177

A quick followup, but I largely observed the same thing in Paris in the late 80s. In the most "touristy" parts of the city, say along the Seine, near the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmartre, the Louvre, etc., it was very clean. Off the beaten path, however, within 2-3 blocks things were just as dirty (if not more so) than anything I ever saw in New York City.

Submission + - Revisiting how much RAM is enough today for desktop computing (

jjslash writes: A hotly debated subject year in and year out, TechSpot is testing how much RAM you need for regular desktop computing and how it affects performance in apps and games, and as it turns out, there's not much benefit going beyond 8 GB for regular programs, and surprisingly, 4GB seems to be enough for gaming in most cases.

Although RAM is cheap these days, and they had to go to absurdly unrealistic settings to simulate high demand for memory outside of virtualization, it's a good read to confirm our judgment calls on what is enough for most in 2015.

Submission + - State Of Georgia Sues for Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State's Laws ( 1

schwit1 writes: The state of Georgia has sued sued Carl Malamud and his site It is about as ridiculous as you would expect focusing on the highly questionable claim that the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is covered by federal copyright law — and that not only was Malamud (*gasp*) distributing it, but also... creating derivative works! Oh no! And, he's such an evil person that he was encouraging others to do so as well!

Submission + - Microsoft Launches Office 2016 For Mac: Office 365 Subscription Required

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft today launched Office 2016 for Mac. Office for Mac is now “powered by the cloud” so users can access their documents “anytime, anywhere, and on any device.” More specifically, the productivity suite integrates with Office 365, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint so that you can access documents across personal and work accounts from various devices just by signing in with your Office account. Microsoft released an Office 2016 preview for Mac back in March. Since then, testers have provided 100,000 pieces of feedback, and Microsoft has released seven updates in four months with “significant improvements in performance and stability.” While the test version of the productivity suite was free and didn’t require an Office 365 subscription, neither is true for the final release.

Submission + - Supreme Court Upholds Key Obamacare Subsidies writes: Retuers repots that the US Supreme Court has ruled 6 — 3 in favor of the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president. It marked the second time in three years that the high court ruled against a major challenge to the law brought by conservatives seeking to gut it. "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," wrote Chief Justice Roberts adding that nationwide availability of the credits is required to "avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid." The ruling will come as a major relief to Obama as he seeks to ensure that his legacy legislative achievement is implemented effectively and survives political and legal attacks before he leaves office in early 2017.

Justice Antonin Scalia took the relatively rare step of reading a summary of his dissenting opinion from the bench. "We really should start calling the law SCOTUScare," said Scalia referencing the court’s earlier decision upholding the constitutionality of the law. SCOTUS is the acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Comment Re:Exactly. NEVER change your email address. (Score 1) 269

As best I can tell, many colleges and universities do indeed offer a free e-mail address to alumni. Most of the ones I'm aware of cost the institution nearly nothing and don't have much overhead. I'll note that very few of these actually host your email - they do indeed can your student account within a fairly short time of graduation. Instead, they'll provide you with a permanent address, usually of the form, that is really just an alias/relay that forwards to your choice of email account. Of course, you have to figure out how to set your return address correctly, but this can be useful because if and when you change your "real" email provider for any reason you just need to log in to the alumni server, update your preferred email address, and don't need to ask all of your contacts to update your information themselves.

Submission + - This Is What Happens When A State Seriously Invests In Clean Energy ( 2

mspohr writes: "Solar farms are blooming across California’s deserts, wind turbines are climbing the Sierra, photovoltaic roofs are shimmering over suburbs, and Teslas are the Silicon Valley elite’s new ride. A clean energy rush is transforming the Golden State so quickly that nearly a quarter of its electricity now comes from renewable sources, and new facilities, especially solar, are coming online at a rapid rate. Last year, California became the first state to get more than 5 percent of its electricity from the sun."
This is a big turnaround:
"It’s difficult to remember that just 15 years earlier the state was experiencing an energy meltdown. Electricity prices skyrocketed, supply crashed and blackouts rolled, due mainly to a disastrous deregulation attempt and unscrupulous market manipulation. "

Submission + - Obama lawyers ask FISA court to ignore 2nd circuit's decision on spying (

schwit1 writes: The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months.

But Justice Department national security chief John A Carlin asked the Fisa court to set aside a landmark declaration by the second circuit court of appeals. Decided on 7 May, the appeals court ruled that the government had erroneously interpreted the Patriot Act's authorization of data collection as "relevant" to an ongoing investigation to permit bulk collection.

On Friday, FreedomWorks filed a rare motion before the Fisa court, asking it to reject the government's surveillance request as a violation of the fourth amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. Fisa court judge Michael Moseman gave the justice department until this coming Friday to respond — and explicitly barred the government from arguing that FreedomWorks lacks the standing to petition the secret court.

Submission + - Windows 10 to Force Updates on Home and Pro Users 3

BronsCon writes: It seems as though Windows 10, the long-awaited Microsoft operating system, will not allow "Home" users to determine which updates to install and will, at best, allow "Pro" users to defer installation of updates, only allowing corporate licenses the right to decide which updates to allow on their systems. With their history of bad patches, does anyone think this is actually a good idea?

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain