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Comment Don't require a computer (Score 4, Insightful) 508

Are any of my assumptions wrong? Are there any other options I'm not considering?

Yes, you shouldn't design your curriculum assuming students will have limitless access to a computer and internet. Don't have paper turned in online, print out resources to pass out to the student, show the videos in class, and make the amount of typing such that it can be done on school/library computers without excessive burden. There is nothing about learning the English language that requires a computer.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 236

Yeah, I had a cop put his signal on in the middle of a construction zone where there were barrels blocking both the shoulder and the median. I pulled over at the end of the construction and he was pissed that I waited so long. I guess he wanted me to just stop in the middle of the lane. Then again he was also insistent that I must be stoned, and was interrogating me as to why I was in his city when my car is registered in a different county, all over a dead tail-light, so it was probably just him.

Comment Re: Worst of both worlds (Score 4, Informative) 93

I seriously doubt that. I only have global sales number, not US specific, but there are many online retailers that are larger. Newegg had around $2.7 billion in revenue in 2013. The same year Amazon had $68 billion, Apple had $18 billion, Staples and Walmart both had around $10 billion in online sales. Sears (a company that every talks about as dieing) and QVC (yes the website for that crappy home marketing TV station) both had nearly $5 billion in revenue. Even among consumer electronics CDW and Best Buy had more online sales at over $3 billion each. And again, while these are global numbers, most of those companies are US based, with strong US sales.

Newegg is one of hundreds of online retailers of simular size. While it is a great company, it's adoption of bitcoin is by no means an indication that something has gone mainstream.


Comment Re:Possible but rather unlikely I think (Score 1) 252

but also because autonomous cars are more likely to be shared and constantly in use, rather than sitting in your driveway 90% of the time.

I'm not convinced of this one either. Possible but hardly a certainty. A lot of people don't really like to share cars and nobody rides the bus because they like it. I can see automated cars getting abused rather badly. Trash, bodily fluids, etc. People don't tend to respect property that isn't theirs. I really don't look forward to the prospect of taxing an automated taxi that smells of urine or worse.

And it doesn't work for the borrowers either. If people make their cars available for use when they don't need them, then that will mean that most cars will only be available for use during times of low demand, and will be occupied during time of high demand. With that availability, shared cars will barely dent the existing taxi and public transportation systems.

I have seen a ton of articles lately pushing the idea that once automated cars are reality that no one will need/want to own cars. I'm sorry, but taxis have been around since before the car was invented and they still only fill a minor role in our transportation needs. There are reasons for this, and automated cars don't address any of those issues.

Comment Re:C'mon.... (Score 1) 628

Practically none would fit your scenario, but quite a few have good reasons to defer downloading and installing of updates for a short time. Like if you are on limited bandwidth, or want to finish some important work first. The new options don't allow that. They only give you a choice of when to reboot after updates are automatically downloaded and installed without your confirmation. And besides, simply having automatic updates the default takes care of the lowest common denominator. Removing the option all together only impacts people who know enough to change the option to begin with.

Comment Re:I believe it too, and also a pitch for Ghostery (Score 1) 327

I absolutely agree with using Ghostery (or something like it) for privacy reasons. That said Ghostery and AdBlock both use quite a bit of memory*, and IMHO slow things down as much as the ads they are blocking (apart from flash ads which FlashBlock or native click-to-play capability solves with much less overhead). Furthermore, I almost never see ads when running Ghostery, and conversely the EasyPrivacy filter list for AdBlock does much of the same thing that Ghostery does. So I would recommend trying them both out, and then sticking to just one rather than running both at once. Also, if you use Ghostery make sure it is configured to block new elements by default.

Lastly, if you (or someone you do tech support for) refuses to use Ghostery (or NoScript) because it sometimes break webpage functionality, Disconnect is a good option to look at. It doesn't block nearly as much as Ghostery, and isn't as informative about what it is (and isn't) blocking, but it is better than nothing. I have never had it break a website, and requires no config tweaking.

*Note, the memory usage issue may get better in a couple releases.

Comment Video Streaming is Huge (Score 1) 327

I'm surprised it's not more.

That was my first reaction too, then I remembered how much streaming has taken off. Globally, video streaming accounts for a bit more than 50% of all traffic. Excluding that means that at least 50% of non-video-streaming traffic is caused by ads.

You'd also expect that video streaming was higher among a younger demographic like a University. If removing ads decreased the video traffic by 40% and 25% of total traffic was ads, the non-ad video streaming accounted for up to 62% of the total traffic at the University (depending on what percentage of ads were video). By that number, ads account for at most 67% of non-video-streaming traffic. That number can go up more once you subtract out the 5-10% of traffic caused by Bittorent and music streaming. I was expecting to add in a factor for email, but even given the 80-90% of email that is spam, the total email traffic has been dwarfed by other traffic and is isn't worth including.

Based on all that you could expect ads to account for anywhere from 55-90% of web browsing traffic, which sounds more reasonable.

Comment Products not organizations (Score 1) 23

This organization would just be responsible for verifying that software is secure, not than an organization is secure. Just like you can still electrocute yourself with a UL listed device if you insist on using it in an unsafe manner, it will be entirely possible for organizations to use CyberUL software in horribly insecure ways. The point of the listing is just to verify that the software can be used securely, if you keep it patched and use it correctly.

Comment NOT selling Bing Maps (Score 4, Informative) 61

The headline is horribly misleading. Microsoft is absolutely not selling Bing Maps. They are selling the team that has been gathering street-view imagery. The companies haven't released many details on the deal, but you can imagine that since Uber already has a fleet of vehicles driving around they could pay drivers to capture this imagery while delivering people and save a fair bit of money.

Comment Re:$100,000,000 (Score 4, Informative) 205

From Arstechica's article:

"Although the company no longer offers unlimited plans to new customers, it allows current unlimited customers to renew their plans and has sold millions of existing unlimited customers new... contracts for data plans that continue to be labeled as 'unlimited,'" the FCC said. "In 2011, AT&T implemented a 'Maximum Bit Rate' policy and capped the maximum data speeds for unlimited customers after they used a set amount of data within a billing cycle. The capped speeds were much slower than the normal network speeds AT&T advertised and significantly impaired the ability of AT&T customers to access the Internet or use data applications for the remainder of the billing cycle."

So as a rough order of magnitude estimate "millions of customers" equates to $100's of millions of revenue a month, over nearly 5 years, so they made roughly billions to 10's of billions of dollars on these accounts over the time period. And that is excluding customers that moved to a different plan as a result of the throttling.

The FCC said it believes millions of customers have been affected by AT&T's throttling, with speed reductions that "imped[ed] their ability to use common data applications such as GPS mapping or streaming video." On average, customers' speeds were slowed for 12 days per monthly billing cycle, the FCC said.

These customers were impacted for about a 1/3 of the time, and if you value the throttled service at half the value of the promised service, that comes to 100s of millions to billions of dollars that they were overcharging. So the fine is on the low end of reasonable.

Note, that the FTC is also investigating this and may require AT&T to refund money to their customers in addition to paying the FCC fine.

Comment Re:Annoying (Score 1) 179

Oh man, it's worse than that. There are three options:
* 20gbps passive copper cable, USB-C connector, up to 2m long, supports Thunderbolt, USB3.1, and DisplayPort
* 40gbps active copper cable, USB-C connector, up to 2m long, supports Thunderbolt, USB3.1
* 40gbps active optical cable, USB-C connector?, up to 60m long, protocols not yet announced
Notice that you can't use DisplayPort on the 40gbps active cable. So in addition to having ports that look identical but support different functionality, you have cables that look identical but support different functionality.

If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.