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Comment: Amazon can go F itself (Score 1) 55

by rsborg (#48421831) Attached to: Nielsen Will Start Tracking Netflix and Amazon Video

So the two remaining purposes are to let Amazon know which parts of Netflix library are valuable enough to fight for versus not bothering [...]

So Amazon outbid Netflix for the Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. content (Dora, Peppa Pig, etc) that my kids love and then stuck it behind special monthly additional service (Freetime unlimited $5/mo without Prime and $3/mo including it). For now I can get the PBS content Netflix, and there are other options for the adventurous watchers that are great.

So this is the future, folks - yes, they'll bid for content, then essentially create another "channel" on their service.

Fractal balkanization, each layer costing the user more (and in the case of Amazon Prime - still not available on my Apple TV so requiring another device).

What's a non-pirating parent to do?

Comment: More context on fakes (Score 2) 178

by rsborg (#48389371) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

I would almost guarantee for that price it's a fake card. It's a pretty common practice. It's either smaller than it says (Try a write test for the full 128gb) or slower than stated etc. Assuming you have an android phone that has the unauthorized sources turned off by default I would think your relatively safe. I would not say it's not possible of an attack though. To my knowledge there is no such thing as autoplay on android.

http://www.ebay.com/gds/All-Ab...

Comment: Why limit ourselves? (Score 1) 168

by rsborg (#48282383) Attached to: Smart Meters and New IoT Devices Cause Serious Concern

Which means, unfortunately, that any technical fixes are attacking the wrong problem. What we need are behavioral/legislative fixes to make inappropriate access to these surveillance systems prohibited and punishable with real teeth. Punishments that breach the corporate veil, and are stricter in cases of official abuse than for 'ordinary hackers'. I wouldn't commence holding my breath for those laws, if I were you.

At any rate, go vote next week, and vote for 'less bad'. It's the best we can do.

We need to do more things at once. Vote against those who would aide and abet the personal info merchants. Have a router that's paranoid and only interacts with specific sites. Hardware with uncomfortable "features" disabled - even if it's a physical hard-hack (i.e., screwdriver to lens).

Furthermore there needs to be a marketing effort or social movement against privacy invaders. Unfortunately, government psyops will do everything they can to demonize and prevent any such movement from taking hold.

Comment: Google's Segway moment (Score 1) 357

by rsborg (#48281739) Attached to: MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

Segway did not consider the implications of being a pioneer in electric scooters and the mish-mash of local laws. Google is likewise pioneering more seamless wearable/camera based device, but didn't consider (or with hubris, thought they could muscle through) the implications of having folks walking around with cameras potentially on all the time. There isn't even any surefire way to be sure that a Glass user is or is not recording.

The really frustrating part, is that I would really love Glass if I could only get a version that didn't have the camera. I don't want to be part of any panopticon, but having a heads-up display with latest emails, texts, weather (or hell, anything you might have on your lock screen widgets), etc - I'd have been all over that.

Comment: What about prescription corrective Glass? (Score 1) 357

by rsborg (#48281281) Attached to: MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

You got mislead by the trollish title. They didn't ban people from bringing in a Google Glass, you just have to put it away and not wear/use it during the movie. Just like a cellphone. The theaters forbid you from holding up your cellphone and recording currently also.

Those folks who happen to have foolishly put Google Glass onto a prescription set of corrective lenses (and not carry a non-Glass set) will no longer be able to enjoy the movie now. Whether the Glass user was wise to attach their device to prescription lenses is an question left for the reader.

Comment: Re:How big a fuss is it, really? (Score 1) 415

by rsborg (#48275855) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Years ago, when I wore watches, they had to be waterproof because I never took them off. One less thing to have to f' with in the morning.

I love my Pebble. It's trouble-free and light enough to leave on my wrist even when I sleep.

But gawd it smells after more than 30h on the wrist. How do you stand that stench? Even washing it while I shower, removing and drying it doesn't seem to help. It feels as if the skin under the watch simply doesn't like to be covered for days at a time. Leaving my wrist skin to breathe at night is perfect.

Comment: USB VID is meant for a specific organization (Score 1) 572

by rsborg (#48223479) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Actually, it is not. "Their" USB VID/PID can legally be used by anybody, it just means that the USB logo may not be used. AFAIK (and just checked on some FT232 I have), there is no USB logo on these chips.

Oh really? Not according to this FAQ:

Because a USB VID is specific to a particular organization, derivatives shouldn’t use the VID and PID of the original hardware.

Regardless of the fact that it may be legal for others to do so, it's unethical and clearly misrepresentation. It's like when Palm tried to use the USB VID of Apple so iTunes would think the Palm Pre was an iPhone - great for Pre users until that causes crashes or data corruption for users and Apple could be held liable.

Rightly so, Palm was slapped down for their "reuse" of Apple's VID.

Comment: Re:Home Depot backfired if that's the case (Score 2) 163

by rsborg (#48223185) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

Except that I can reject the product if it isn't what I thought I ordered, or even bring it back to the local HD for a refund if I don't like it. Amazon involves shipping, fees, and waiting for the credit to appear.

Not a big fan of Amazon, but it's often a bigger pain to bring an item back to a physical store. Their return process is pretty streamlined and trouble-free. I haven't had fees on returned items and they credit the account very quickly.

I've since moved on to Google Shopping express as my go-to for whatever I can find there first, but I definitely prefer Amazon over Home Depot.

Comment: Re:Prices change based on how you get there (Score 3, Insightful) 163

by rsborg (#48223053) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

An example of this price-adjusting practice is when we needed to order an advertising banner for my wife's business. I did a little Google searching and found halfpricebanners.com had what we wanted at a good price so we used them. A couple months latter we needed another banner so I went to their website and was surprised by the price it quoted for exactly the same kind of banner - about double as before. Being the Internet nerd I am, I surmised something was going on so I went back to Google and did the same kind of search I had done before which again produced their link. Sure enough, if I go to their site from Google (not just from their ad, even the organic listing) then their prices are half of what is offered to people who go straight to their website. From then on we always used Google first to get the "Google discount".

See, that's what gets me - the situation should be reversed - if you're a loyal customer you should be paying the same or less. The store should invest in upselling the loyal customer on upgrades or volume purchases, but double price for the same item just because you are using their site - that's just rude.

Comment: Re:Wonder if their time hasn't already passed... (Score 3, Interesting) 167

by rsborg (#48216785) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

In the case of a general social networking tool, there kinda can be only one.

You're again... making assumptions. What precludes Ello from occupying a target niche of social networking? Have you not heard of LinkedIn? Did Stackoverflow *have* to beat out Yahoo Answers in order to gain traction and meet it's need?

It's a massive simplification to assume that a dominant player in a space where network effects reinforce their position is unassailable. How do you think Google and Apple were able to make any inroads against the Windows ecosystem? By addressing an area where Microsoft simply could not compete (mobile). Facebook likewise simply *cannot* compete where strong privacy is a key requirement. Their entire business model goes against it (similarly Google to an extent). Diaspora was a failure simply because people don't want to self-host, though technically their proposal had merit. Also 10 years ago, Friendster and MySpace were dominant - where are they now? Not to say that Facebook is doomed, more to say the market can and will evolve.

What is more interesting than competing with Facebook, IMHO, is to assail the entire concept that personal (sometimes PII) user data is a business asset that should always be sold, licensed or exploited. Legally preventing themselves from profiting from that data poses a very interesting business limitation and a possible template for others to copy - sometimes you gain more by leaving something on the table.

Comment: Re:Wonder if their time hasn't already passed... (Score 3, Interesting) 167

by rsborg (#48214627) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

It's already started... Ello has failed to learn the lesson of G+ and odds are, it will suffer the same fate. Gatekeeping at launch is just shooting yourself in the foot - people want to try your system, and if you lock them out... they aren't coming back

There are scalability issues that need to be addressed. It's simply impossible without an incredible risk and cost, to have the same scale as an established competitor, so gate-keeping is one option.

but as a Facebook killer, or even serious competitor, it's already dead.

Why does everything have to kill what's already there? Did Ello ever claim to be such? Talk about a strawman.

Comment: Re:"The Right Choice"? (Score 1) 370

by rsborg (#48184207) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

I built my current desktop last year, and it's the first machine I built with no floppy drive. But I darn well still have a CD/DVD reader/writer, which is useful periodically. Do I use it everyday? No. Could I get along without it? Yeah. But once every few months I have a task where it's still a useful thing to have around.

Yeah, I stressed hard about my new MacbookPro Retina not having an optical drive... for about the 5 minutes it took for me to order an external USB3 DVD drive online. Oh, then I also remembered that I removed my previous Macbook's DVD drive and replaced it with a 2nd SSD, and hadn't missed it at all during the 3 years it did me proud. Plenty of choice - just not dumbass ones like having optical disk on a portable computer (or even a desktop) anymore, when you can get it with a $40 extension module for those one-off times.

Comment: School != Parents, in any way shape or form (Score 1) 323

by rsborg (#48166601) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

While the kid is at school, the school is the parents for the child, legally.

This is not true, at least where I live (California). They have to get permission for the smallest thing. I have to jump through hoops to get my daughter's inhaler stored at the Nurse's office (doctors letter, signed, verified) just because she could become asthmatic when heavily exercising. They have to get all sorts permission just to share the kids personal information with the doctor. They need parental consent forms for field trips... the list goes on and on.

School most definitely doesn't have anything near limited power of attorney, much less full parental discretionary powers.

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