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Comment: Re:Android is what you want (Score 1) 222

by rothstei (#33990734) Attached to: Open Source-Friendly Smartphones For the Small Office?

Not for me.

  iOS 4.1 and Ubuntu 10.04.

iPhone mounts. Shows up in Rhythmbox, but try and sync music, and the process crashes. Some music will get across, sometimes. Other times the music gets across (I can see it in the mounted filesystem) but won't play via iPod on the phone. Tried a bunch of times, and never had a successful sync. Haven't tried to sync anything other than music and photos, so maybe it will work for email and contacts.

I even tried jailbreaking, but the file system on the iPhone is so weird, it really makes SSHing files over a chore. That, and no reliable alternative media players work with iOS 4.1. As you can tell, I sync mainly for media, but I can't imagine these experiences bode well for the average user with the rest of sync.

The iPhone is a great phone, but the attachment to iTunes software sucks.

Comment: Down with All Software Taxes! (Score 2, Interesting) 277

by rothstei (#33612778) Attached to: BSA's Latest Piracy Claims 'Shockingly Misleading,' Says Geist

All I hear is how taxes hurt the economy, by taking money away from small businesses, so they have to lay off workers.

So, equivalently, the software industry should stop taxing all the other businesses by charging them money at all, and give away software for free. That way, 100% of the money companies spend on software would go towards creating jobs!

Stop taxing us, software companies! Clearly you hate small businesses and the American worker!

Comment: Tabloid Science (Score 1) 393

by rothstei (#32349174) Attached to: Scientist Infects Self With Computer Virus

I heard the term "Tabloid Science" the other day, and this couldn't be a better example (unless it additionally threatened to increase global warming, discover aliens, and involved robots becoming self-aware).

This story is, as I understand it, about a guy who transmitted a computer virus using a RFID chip that happened to be in his finger. And yet, we have this all-star headline, reposted everywhere from the BBC to Slashdot. It's reminiscent of the back pages of popular science magazines ("enslave ants to grow all your woman-attractive pheromones, now only $2.99!") except this is now science reporting, on the Internet.

But I do appreciate all the sex jokes. Hell, we've got to have a place for that in the morning.

Comment: Multi-touch, Multi-touch, Multi-touch.... (Score 1) 467

by rothstei (#32342688) Attached to: Why Windows 7 "Slate" Tablets Won't Happen

A guy in my building was showing me his Fujitsu multi-touch tablet the other day. Running Windows 7. Looks pretty sweet. But here's the deal:

hot-off-the-assembly-line Intel SSD
4 Gigs of RAM
Microsoft Software ONLY

Microsoft software only, because nothing else was designed for multi-touch. Without multi-touch, your finger's just a mouse. With multi-touch, everything is "iPad magic".

I think this lays bare the reason the iStuff is so successful: everything is designed for multi-touch, and the system is designed with a processor and RAM to match what it is trying to do. You want to run a souped-up smart phone, you end up with an iPad. You want to run a laptop with a full operating system, you end up with a $2K+ laptop, running only Microsoft software.

But believe me, you make your system suit the needs, and Windows 7 looks just like an iPod. The transformation is pretty amazing. But you run it on a cast off Dell, and you get the Windows we all know.

I think the crux of the matter though, is multi-touch. If only let in apps designed for multi-touch, everything looks slick, even if you run lame little apps. You try and open it up to the widest development platform, you end up with regular programs, "regular computer style". Which is not what people are apparently looking for on a tablet.

Conclusion? I don't know, but Apple seems to have the sweet spot of hardware and operating system match, plus the market to force developers to work in their system. Microsoft can't expect Windows to fill the same OS balance with a tablet, unless they close it down.

But then again... if a browser is designed with multi-touch, any web app that works in the browser should meet the bar, and be pretty tablet friendly. I wonder if there's anyone out there designing ONLY a browser as an OS. I wonder if it will be multi-touch capable....

Comment: Take it from a Semiotician... (Score 4, Interesting) 170

by rothstei (#32064422) Attached to: "Lost" and the Emergence of Hypertext Storytelling
My academic work in semiotics pays off; finally, I'm the one with the credentials in a Slashdot thread! Basically: no. A long, winding story with many characters, capable of self-reference, does not qualify as hypertext. Hypertext is the use of the written text itself as an interface for accessing other files of text. The ability to abstract a particular meaningful concept with another (like, say, compare character A to character B) is a factor of human consciousness, not a feature of the narrative. Basically, what Lost does is introduce a wide-variety of (granted, typically unexpected) characters and and narrative elements, and just keep adding them, not always resolving them in the way we're used to. Because of all this excess narrative (read: crap) it's easy enough for a creative audience to make all of these concept abstractions themselves. Takeaway: the technology the narrative (the media, the story, and the concepts) don't enable any "hypertexting", just our good old fashioned human capacity for abstraction.

Comment: Recovery Options Slim to None (Score 4, Interesting) 139

by rothstei (#31917288) Attached to: Escalating Gmail/Spamming Attacks
Happened to my spouse. Password was more than eight characters, letters, numbers, etc. but I think her work is the likely vulnerability (these free screen savers are great!) No more of that now, obviously. The awful part was trying to get the account back. Because of Gmail's "Swiss Bank Account" set up, there is no way to prove you are the real user. She lost access to Email, Docs, Calendar. She just kept filling out the form, and getting rejected. Google advises to set a security question, but that was the second thing changed, after the password. Only after filling out the form over and over for 10 days, was she finally judged to be "real", and her password was reset. For the cloud to take off, there has to be a better structure. A local admin structure? If we were going to start using Google products again fresh, I would sign us up for a free Apps domain, and then give us each user accounts. (When I first signed up for free Webmail, not only did I not know my spouse, I had no idea much of our data-lives would eventually be linked to the account.) That way, if anything untoward happens, I can login as admin from home and reset the accounts. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to link personal accounts into an Apps set up. Not yet anyway (crossing fingers). My other work around is that I set up a proxy double email account, to which my real address forwards everything. If for some reason I need to read my email from an unsecured computer, I log in to the proxy account, where I can read copies of all my mail. If its compromised, I cut it off from the actual account faster than a zombifying limb. Still not a great solution, because all my mail is compromised, but at least I don't lose control of my email address and the rest of my Google account.

Comment: Truth for Truth Sake (Score 1) 535

by rothstei (#25025549) Attached to: Berners-Lee Wants Truth Ratings For Websites

This is an excellent idea. There could be a entire organization dedicated towards deciding what is true, and making sure that only true information is spread.

The organization can be composed of, and guided solely by some very inquisitive "questioners", because of course we believe in the notion that truth can defend itself under scrutiny. These "questioners" can bring in various parties suspected of untruthfulness, and "question", or put them to "inquisition" them to see if they stand up to the scrutiny of true truth.

And better yet, we can then archive all the websites that are the most true into one database, or Book, if you will. That way, any person who wants to help out the "inquisition" can simply check the Truth of the Book, and if it doesn't match up, they can simply burn, that is, delete the false prophets, I mean, posters. Why didn't we think of this before???

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