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Comment: Re:NY Times can do it, can your paper do it? (Score 1) 488

by rthomanek (#30806194) Attached to: NY Times To Charge For Online Content

Many (but definitely not all) big-name columnists' opinions are in fact "better" than almost everyone in the blogosphere, for a few key reasons:

  • They have access to decision-makers
  • They have more to lose if they fuck up

[...]

But that's exactly the point! They grew so dependent on this 'insider access' that they realistically cannot write anything that goes against the flow. If they do, they'll lose their insider access immediately.

If they ever write something negative then it is usually something that is so big that the respective company they are reporting on can't ignore it anyway; the columnists become a tool of their PR departments working towards defusing the problem by providing a 'balanced' opinion by the columnists.

Comment: Re:how much is it? (Score 1) 484

by rthomanek (#29221603) Attached to: Nokia Releases Linux Handset

Shame you did not really understand what the AC said and chose to nitpick instead. The AC was right and pretty precise in his description.

There is no real GPS in iPhone. There is a real GPS in this Nokia device. If you are still having a hard time understanding what the difference between them is, go check some navigation software for mobile phones. Take a close look at its accuracy (or lack thereof).

Even funnier: check some recent Ericsson phone (C905), they have Google Maps installed -- a special build that can use the internal GPS. If you download Google Maps from Google website, you get a different version that is unable to use the GPS.

BTW, "A-GPS" means exactly nothing. It's a marketing terms.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 2, Informative) 257

by rthomanek (#28516249) Attached to: Standard Cellphone Chargers For Europeans

My girlfriend and me have both a Sony-Ericson phone, bought 3 years apart. Guess what ? Both chargers and connectors are proprietary, fragile, weird and different! Of course if you lose it you'll have to spend an arm to get a replacement.

While I am more than happy to have the proprietary chargers replaced by a common standard, the statement above contains at least misinformation, if not ill will.

I've been using Ericsson phones since nearly 15 years now. For the better part of it, they had one standard of charging port. Some three years ago they decided to change it to a new standard. Yes, both were proprietary, but neither of them was weird nor fragile (they are not as trivial as a simple jack is but you quickly come to appreciate their actual solution when you notice it is just the right balance between stiffness/ stability of the connection and the protection from doing damage to either the port or the connector).

And no, they are not expensive to get. New chargers on Ebay cost some 3 EUR, if you are afraid they are not "genuine" you can go to a phone dealer and get one for twice as much (my estimate, given the cost of other accessories from SE).

Comment: Re:You Don't Know Anything About Homelessness .... (Score 1) 287

by rthomanek (#28157047) Attached to: How American Homeless Stay Wired

Most people in the military , especially men, go into jobs that involve killing people.

Well, yes, this is what I expect you can tell about a significant part of army employees (?) -- they like shooting, they don't mind killing (it's "patriotic", and plenty of other excuses). I mean, I imagine it works this way, given that guns, army, etc play a big role in the American culture. And, there are not that many jobs you can do with this kind of mindset after you leave army.
However, I suspect there's another group of people that simply don't have any better idea on what to do with their lives. They like that fact that army gives them a job, that they don' t need to think about minor daily problems most other people have. And as soon as they quit army, they are in trouble: they don't like what they see, and they are accustomed to being cared for (in every aspect of their lives) by the army. But that's just my suspicion.

Comment: Re:You Don't Know Anything About Homelessness .... (Score 2, Interesting) 287

by rthomanek (#28156375) Attached to: How American Homeless Stay Wired
This is something that strikes me in many stories about homeless people in the US:

Comment above:

I left home at 19 and an Ivy League University - joined the military to continue college.

Article:

Mr. Ross figures he has been homeless for about 15 years, surviving on his Army pension

What is it about this correlation between being in the military in the past and being homeless later? Forgive my ignorance, I am not from the US and I have not been in the army (any army). What does army do to people that they have problems living "normal" lives later? Or, were these people "different" from the very beginning and army was an interesting option for them (unlike "regular" jobs & lifestyle)?

Comment: Re:What about VMWare Player? (Score 1) 218

by rthomanek (#26723879) Attached to: VMware Releases Open Source Virtualization Client

[...] VMWare Player. Is that program also going to become free? (If not, I guess it should be replaced with VirtualBox, but VirtualBox doesn't seem quite as polished.)

Care to elaborate on that (VirtualBox being less polished in this scenario)?

I seem to have exactly the opposite impression; I used to work a lot with VMWare but I was forced to check other options when VMWare failed to run on one of my PCs and since that time I am using exclusively VirtualBox.

Comment: Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (Score 1) 386

by rthomanek (#26256133) Attached to: Study Abroad For Computer Science Majors?

I'm (hopefully) going to be in a similar situation as you in a year. [...] Nothing in the english/spanish world has the same opportunities in CS as the US, with few exceptions.

So let me summarize:

  • you haven't actually been anywhere outside the US (assumption, yes, but most likely a valid one), in particular you did not *study* in Europe (for example),
  • yet you say that the "opportunities in US" are unparalleled.
  • given this last statement, I can safely say you also did not bother to compare (1) the curricula of some US/ other (English, let's say) universities, (2) career chances after finishing some specific non-US universities.

This is, yes... reasonable. And so non-surprising.

Comment: Re:data/voice usage balancing (Score 1) 570

by rthomanek (#26256107) Attached to: What Carriers Don't Want You To Know About Texting

That's the reason for the pricing model. SMS has to be priced high enough to make sure its use doesn't grow faster than voice.

No, that's not true. The sole reason for SMS prices is the economy, i.e. how much the carriers think they can charge the users. Since SMS usage is not falling (it's growing, actually), they see no reason for lowering the prices.

Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Commits Auditory Mayhem

Submitted by
Hell Square Residents Association
Hell Square Residents Association writes "A Zune branded SUV — promoting Microsoft's Zune media player — rolled through a densely populated (and trendy) residential area in Manhattan. They proceeded to pump music from a competition grade car stereo into the neighborhood, while parked in front of a bar at 3AM. The incident was caught on camera. Residents of the area are outraged and start a website. The residents are organizing and calling for restitution from Microsoft for the massive disturbance of peace. They even suggest playing loud music at Microsoft's HQ during a work day. Thank you for your help in spreading the story."
Software

+ - eLibrary - an ebooks collection manager

Submitted by
Allad
Allad writes "Hi. I just found this software. It is called eLibrary. It is an application meant to help you organize your ebooks collection. If, like me, you prefer electronic versions of books and you have a bunch of them, then you got to check this out. It does it all : ebooks indexing, table of content retrieval, ebook metadata and cover image downloading... And last but not least it's a freeware. You can get it on this website : http://www.ycsoft.org Enjoy"
Networking

+ - Dreamhost down nearly 24 hours, thousands affected

Submitted by
dgtlmoon
dgtlmoon writes "Following a planned power outage that went for an unplanned amount of time due to some burnt out cables discovered during the maintainence dreamhost.com hosted websites are down, some estimates are between 100,000 and 250,000 domains are affected, further-more when the power came back on they found a bunch of core routers to be dead and are having difficulty resuming normal operations, this is issue is just about to tick over to 24 hours open."
Security

+ - What Makes For Good Bank Security?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "West Coast Bank recently enacted a new set of security measures to their login system augment their previous username & password only system. The new enhanced login security system(PDF) uses a scheme of cookies to identify known computers, and additional personality questions such as asking users about their favorite food in order to identify users coming from unknown computers. Upon first glance this seems to be an effectively trivial system that can be defeated by stealing cookies or personality answers, while still making the system harder to use for flaky customers such as myself that don't keep consistent answers to personality questions. However as I don't belong to any other banks I have no idea of how this compares to how other banks handle their security. Compared to other banks, is this system any good or is my bank just giving me the flim-flam on security in lieu of a real security system?"
Television

Award-Winning Ad Taken Off Air In Australia 471

Posted by kdawson
from the nanny-state dept.
bol_kernal writes "An award-winning advertisement on Australian TV for the new Hyundai 4WD has been pulled from being broadcast after stations received 80 complaints from concerned parents. The ad consists of a small child, age around 2 years, cruising down the road, window down, arm out the window, in his new Hyundai 4WD. He sees a girl of the same age standing on the side of the road, pulls over picks her up, and they go to the beach together. All in all it's cute, funny, and very well done. The ad aired late in the evening (8:30 pm or later), but it was pulled due to concern from parents about the copycat risk. What I want to know is, where has the responsibility of parents gone? Is the world becoming so serious — or so frightened — that fantasy is no longer allowed?"

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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