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Comment: Re:Legacy Support (Score 1) 729

by pipedwho (#47867801) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

VMWare Fusion runs OSX fine without any cleverness. Just tell Fusion you're installing OSX and when the installer asks, just enter your Apple ID and password. I haven't tried with really ancient versions of OSX, but it definitely works for OSX 10.7 and up (and OSX 10.5 Server and up). You don't even need the installation media as it downloads the OS from the net during installation.

Comment: Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (Score 1) 224

by pipedwho (#47626959) Attached to: The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

The GP post is more an indictment on the mob^w justice system that all too often seems to presume guilt before evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is required.

It also goes both ways. You may need to login to these systems to identify yourself, but when doing so you'd sure hope your transport stream was completely protected from the owner of the router. Otherwise, you may find someone kicking down your door when you arrive back home.

Comment: Re:Cat blog (Score 1) 148

by pipedwho (#47626893) Attached to: Google Will Give a Search Edge To Websites That Use Encryption

This is not just about protecting login credentials. The idea is that if your cat blog is ranked highly, many people will click on it. For sites like that, a DNS or other redirection hack allows me to impersonate your site with some drive by or otherwise downloadable malware.

TLS is about trusting the site your connecting with to actually be the site you think it is. So if your cat blog had a valid TLS certificate, then the impersonating site would need to obtain a fake certificate to avoid the client displaying an invalid certificate warning.

It also stops middleware proxies from listening to or interfering with/re-writing the data stream before it gets to you (ie. detailed browse history collection, advertising and/or spyware insertion, etc).

Comment: Re:Worse Than U Think (Score 1) 570

by pipedwho (#47562689) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

When considering 'worth', you forgot to factor in the value of a constant income stream. In economic terms, a person is cash-flow positive if their income exceeds their outgoings. Even though someone may have an instantaneous snapshot of wealth that is equal to or less than zero, they may still be cash-flow positive or neutral.

Business valuations are related to total potential revenue which may be far less than the outgoings for a start-up company. However, that company may still be valued at millions or billions of dollars if the earnings potential is non-zero, even though they are hugely negative on their balance sheet. Think Amazon back in the early days when it first started.

This is the same for a person. If that person dies, they may have zero direct assets at the time (or may even owe more money than they have assets), but you'll quickly realise they were 'worth' a lot more than zero as all the debts and other things that were being paid for suddenly cease to covered. At that point, cash-flow takes a huge negative hit and debt is accumulating in a way that it can no longer be repaid. That debt may be in the form of dependants that now must be paid for by someone else (or by the State), unsecured loans that must now be written off by the creditors, and other general outgoings that will stop.

Say I somehow take out an unsecured loan for a million dollars from a bank. I am now worth $1,000,000 to that bank. If I die straight away, they are out the million. As long as I'm alive and working, I can keep repaying the loan, and at 5%pa over 10 years I'll end up repaying the loan, plus an extra couple of hundred grand in interest. So if you ask the bank what I'm worth, they'll tell you I'm worth a lot more than zero, even if I took the money to Vegas and blew it all in the high-rollers lounge.

Comment: Re:Flash panic (Score 1) 161

by pipedwho (#47555445) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

It encourages you to sign up for a loyalty card in the first place, otherwise you pay 'full price'. Once you have the loyalty card you start thinking about going to one of the shops that you are 'loyal' to rather than the corner shop down the street. (This may not be individually true for everyone, but on average that is how it works.)

This sort of 'discounting' is kind of like in industries without loyalty programs where there is an RRP and a much lower 'street price'. The shops don't actually expect people to pay the RRP (with the exception of someone that is either uninformed or desperate to buy a more difficult to source item immediately). But it does allow them a lot of 'discounting' and haggle margin to make the customers feel good about what they're paying.

Once the first few chain stores started doing this, the others followed suit. So now you have a sad state of affairs where the 'chain cartel' has a huge advantage when it comes to repeat customers. Your local corner store loses business and has to jack up their prices to pay the rent, causing even less customers to shop there. Less competition from small players. Big chain stores can get away with this because they always have one or two items that the other big chain stores don't and thus you end up signing up.

As a loyalty card holder, the retailers have far more detailed (marketable/mineable) information about you than they otherwise would have. Now they can run the numbers to see where its safe to jack up the price without losing customers.

With competition reduced, once a company has significant control over a market (either geographically or in a category segment), up go the prices to the maximum the market can afford.

So you may think you're getting a discount, but the discount is simply from an artificially inflated starting price. Or in some industries funded by the fact that you are now buying more than you otherwise needed to. It is all a numbers game. The big retail giants have increased profits year over year, so at no point have they been forced to release some of that profit back to either the suppliers by paying more, or to the consumers in the form of honest price reductions.

Comment: Re:Flash panic (Score 2) 161

by pipedwho (#47555043) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The problem with most 'commercial experimentation' is that it isn't about getting better value for the consumer, but about how to to best convince the consumer to pay more for something, or buy something, that they otherwise would not have.

Loyalty cards are a way for a business to encourage a customer to return whether or not it is really in their best interest. Phone contracts, transaction 'fees' and 'licensing' are other ways to get people coming back for more of a beating. If you make the fine print and pricing structure too complicated to understand, while offering all sorts of shiny bling in the big print, marketers have found that they can significantly increase sales. Auto bank account debits are great in that the consumer starts to forget that they are continually paying for something, and may take a few extra months (and therefore payments) to cancel a service that they are no longer using - especially when you make it difficult to do.

Factory rebates are another example of sneaky marketing. They make it hard to claim the rebate, in some cases always 'losing' your first application, or finding something incorrect or incomplete in their overly complicated request form. In the end they pay out less than 1 in 5 rebates because most people give up trying to claim that $100. However, when buying the product the consumer factored in the rebate and probably avoided a more suitable competitor with a better more 'expensive' product.

All these techniques would have been arrived at by experimenting on consumers. It is simply about a business trying to get as close to the threshold of pain as possible to maximise profit. Too far and they go backwards - which is why they experiment on a small sample of their market before any large scale roll out.

Comment: Re:Switchin back to a Keyboard (Score 2) 544

Only twice as fast with "touch typing" vs a touch screen phone?

I'm easily at least 10 to 20x faster with touch typing on a bluetooth external keyboard than on the touch screen of my phone.

Anything smaller than about 2/3 size keys are too small for proper touch typing.

That being said, I only ever use the touch keyboard on the phone for short responses and scenarios where being able to type a few words at all is better than nothing. A friend has one of those fold-out bluetooth keyboard cases for his Samsung mega phone and loves it. After folding open, the keys are just big enough for real touch typing - he flies with that thing. His phone + keyboard case is about the same size as an old Palm Pilot.

Touch screen phone keyboards are a major compromise, but do provide a keyboard that takes up no space at all and is still quite useable when you're on the go. Especially when pocket space in the hipster skinny jeans is at a premium.

Comment: Re:Advantages? (Score 1) 146

by pipedwho (#47526503) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

How so?

A firewall can be set to block all incoming connections with a few inbound exceptions that the user requires (eg. port 22 on a particular box, and port 80 on another one).

The advantages are that the firewall no longer has to keep track of all NAT connections with the associated timeout issues, and that there will never be a network address collision issue when you connect via VPN from a remote network with the same subnet range. It also removes issues related to split-horizon DNS.

For certain corporate requirements and address aliasing, IPv6 can still be NATed where necessary.

But, for your bog standard user that just wants to 'feel safe' behind their firewall, there is really no difference in setup or maintenance complexity between NAT and a router with a default firewall setting of 'block all inbound connections'. UPNP/etc even works the same way to automatically open up a gaping hole whenever requested by a user application.

Comment: Re:Innovation patents are not true "patents" (Score 3, Informative) 36

by pipedwho (#47421541) Attached to: A Brief History of Patenting the Wheel: What Goes Around Comes Around

The system is not so silly when you look at how it works in practice,

The greater flexibility does not restrict innovation, and that should be the key test of it's usefulness.

This is because an "innovation patent" is not examined until it is challenged, at which point, the ones that don't meet patentability requirements will only be rejected at that point and not before. The duration of an Innovation Patent is also much shorter than a standard patent.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.