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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.

Comment: Re:makes sense, meh (Score 1) 576

by rthomanek (#25737911) Attached to: Lego Loses Its Unique Right To Make Lego Blocks

If Lego's products are better, they'll win on quality and be worth the price. Or perhaps the general public doesn't value the difference, in which case the public gets what it wants. This is capitalism working well: competition, with competitors competing on quality and price and consumers having options.

No.

First of all, you did not consider the fact that the general public is often unaware of the quality difference; what the general public sees is (1) the price, (2) the ads saying that (in this case) "our bricks are just like Lego, just cheaper"; any serious thoughts about quality usually come several years later (and it's usually way too late for the original company which is floating belly up by that time). In general, it's naive to think that competitors really compete on the quality plane.
Lego is a perfect example of this; actually, given the current price of these toys, it's a low hanging fruit every toy producer in the world is or has been thinking of.

And, don't get me wrong: I think Lego (the company behind it) deserves a good ass-kicking, if not for the exorbitant prices (that I doubt is only high enough to make up for the high quality), then at least for the dumb marketing practices (who the fsck needs Star Wars sets with only a handful of bricks, most of them custom at that? where are the generic bricks?).

I am just pointing out that it has nothing to do with "beneficial" effects of capitalism.
And, Lego is unlikely to survive it, at least as we know it today.

Internet Explorer

+ - Microsoft's Silverlight & "Priority Boost&

Submitted by terry0100
terry0100 (763503) writes "We have noticed that Microsoft's "Silverlight" IE control boosts the priority of the hosting IE process to "Above Normal". This is probably done to enhance the graphical experience.

But we also noticed that you cannot modify it. The Silverlight control actively keeps the IE process at "Above Normal" in the operating systems scheduler. You can reduce the process priority, but the Silverlight control will simply boost the host IE process up again. This has killed several laptops by exhausting the battery because the user could not stop the IE process in question.

IMHO, I feel that this is a very poor design decision. Enforcing their idea of what priority the process should run at is borderline virus like behavior."
Privacy

+ - Protection from Quantum Cryptanalysis?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We frequently hear how present computer security depends on the difficulty of prime factorization, which quantum computers perform instantly. Already we see a trickle of news stories showing progress on developing quantum computers and predictions of when the researchers will produce a useful computer. At that time, anyone will be able to decrypt intercepted or cached encrypted data such as credit card, medical, backups, and personal communications. Which ciphers depend on prime factorization? Are there ciphers which a classical computer can encrypt/decrypt but which a quantum computer cannot break? How do you envision the switchover occuring?"
The Courts

+ - Why does Slashdot use the DMCA?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act contains a controversial provision. Website owners can protect themselves from monetary damages for the copyright infringement of users by registering a service provider agent and taking down materials when a copyright holder notifies the that agent. Website owners can boycott this controversial provision of the DMCA very easily by not registering an agent. Surprisingly, Slashdot is not a boycotter. Browsing through the U.S. Copyright Offices Directory of Service Provider Agents for Notification of Claims of Infringement reveals that Slashdot.org has had a registered agent since 2000. Why doesn't Slashdot.org take a stand and boycott this hated provision of the DMCA?"
Networking

Netgear Introduces Linux-Based NAS Devices 128

Posted by kdawson
from the backup-and-archive-with-daring-and-whimsy dept.
drewmoney writes "A LinuxDevices.com article introduces several of Netgear's Linux-based NAS devices, technology they acquired with the purchase of Infrant earlier this year. (Here is Netgear's product page.) There are models from 1.5 TB, at about $1,100, to 4 TB, topped by a 4-TB rack-mount version. They are geared towards the professional home user and small and medium businesses. The NAS devices come complete with the usual RAID features, file-system access, and a built in USB print server. All are controlled through a Web GUI and some even offer SSH access."

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