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Comment: Opportunity Cost (Score 3, Insightful) 544

You don't tell us the question you asked your survey respondents so I'm making the assumption that you asked a simple question to see if people prefer a slideout or virtual keyboard. It would have been more interesting to ask users if they would still prefer a slideout keyboard at the expense of extra thickness and cost when compared to the non-slideout model.

Back in the day, I loved my Nokia N97's slideout keyboard; it was one of the best mobile keyboards I've had the pleasure to use. But I wouldn't want to swap the thickness of my current phone for a qwerty - it's just too much of a tradeoff.

The Internet

FCC Looking Into Paid Peering Deals 37

Posted by timothy
from the and-people-trust-the-fcc dept.
An anonymous reader writes The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Friday that it has successfully obtained the details regarding paid peering deals between Netflix and Comcast as well as Verizon and is working to obtain similar information for other video streamers and their respective ISP peers. The FCC's goal is, as they pointed out themselves, not to regulate as yet but to examine these deals with the goal of providing some transparency to the American public regarding the internet services they pay for. Verizon and Comcast issued statements expressing their willingness to be open about their peering activities and stressed that no regulation is required. The peering market 'has functioned effectively and efficiently for over two decades without government intervention,' Comcast claimed at a congressional hearing. The Free Press policy director nevertheless points out that 'when the FCC required reporting from AT&T after the company blocked Skype in 2009 and Google Voice in 2012, the disclosures revealed that AT&T was indeed misleading its customers.'

Comment: Not Unique, pretty much standard (Score 1) 482

by timmyf2371 (#46891711) Attached to: Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Smartphones are like most other consumer electronic goods which need some form of service contract to get the most out of.

- Satellite/Cable box - free, but you can pay more to get a PVR.
- DSL/Cable Modem - free, but you can pay more to get a fancy WiFi router.
- Smartphone - free, but you can pay more to get a better model.

Not sure what the difference is and why this key point was missed in the blog.

The Internet

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket 328

Posted by timothy
from the everyone-should-get-the-same-amount-of-water-and-electricty dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "Back in February, after a lengthy dispute, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for network access after being dogged by complaints of slow speeds from Comcast subscribers. Two months later, it appears that Comcast has delivered on its promises, jumping up six places in Netflix's ISP speed rankings. The question of whether this is good news for anyone but Comcast is still open."
Power

$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the power-up-the-manhunt dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press reports that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has put up a $250,000 reward for 'information leading to an arrest and conviction in a startling attack mounted nearly a year ago on telephone lines and the power grid in Silicon Valley.' Besides cutting power lines, the attackers also cut AT&T fiber-optic phone lines, thereby denying some people access to 911, and fired shots into a PB&E substation, knocking out 17 transformers in Silicon Valley and causing $15 million in damage. As of this post, the perpetrators are still unidentified and continue to elude the FBI. Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday was brought before the Senate Energy Committee to explain why the FERC disseminated via insecure media a sensitive document describing where all the nation's power grids are particularly sensitive to a physical attack. FERC responded with assurances that databases are currently being scrubbed and procedures being implemented to safeguard critical data."
Technology

A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the grandma's-printed-cookies dept.
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Can 3D printing go truly mainstream? Startup M3D is betting on it, having launched a Kickstarter campaign to create what it terms the first truly consumer 3D printer, built around proprietary auto-leveling and auto-calibration technology that (it claims) will allow the device to run in an efficient, easy-to-use way for quite some time. According to The Verge, the device is space-efficient, quiet, and sips power: 'One of the main obstacles between 3D printers and consumers has been clunky, unintuitive software. Here too, M3D promises improvements, having designed an app that's 'as interactive and enjoyable as a game' with a minimalist and touch-friendly interface.' Do you think 3D printing can capture a massive audience, or will it remain niche for the foreseeable future?"
The Internet

Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S. 223

Posted by timothy
from the cover-charge-is-so-high dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite whispers of growing dissatisfaction among consumers, there are still very few ISP start-ups popping up in communities all over the U.S. There are two main reasons for this: up-front costs and legal obstacles. The first reason discourages anyone who doesn't have Google's investors or the local government financially supporting them from even getting a toe in the business. 'Financial analysts last year estimated that Google had to spend $84 million to build a fiber network that passed 149,000 homes in Kansas City, with the cost per home at $500 to $674.' The second reason will keep any new start-up defending itself in court against frivolous lawsuits incumbent ISP providers have been known to file to bleed the newcomers dry in legal fees. There are also ISP lobbyists working to pass laws that prevent local governments from either entering the ISP market themselves or partnering with private companies to provide ISP alternatives. Given these set-backs and growing dissatisfaction with the status quo, one has to wonder how long before the U.S. recognizes the internet as a utility and passes laws and regulations accordingly."

Comment: Re:fuck me (Score 1) 125

by timmyf2371 (#46576663) Attached to: Google Glass Signs Deal With Ray Ban's Parent Company

Depends how you define free.

When I'm stuck on a complex Excel or Access issue (typically involving a complex formula or macro), most of the time there is a forum thread where someone has solved the problem already and I can learn from this and integrate it into my formula or code.

The same cannot be said of Google Docs and as my time is not free, the cost of MS Office suddenly looks a lot more appealing.

Comment: Re:Stealing? (Score 1) 197

by timmyf2371 (#46536993) Attached to: Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8

The employer then essentially provides a spec (which is often just a extremely vague set of requirements) and a monthly salary. We can therefore say that most of the software is created by the creative talent and skill (the raw material and machines in your analogy) of the developers. Does the work created by the software dev still completely belong to the employer for a few thousand dollars because of a few words written in the employment contract? I think not! Most of software is written by developers with little contribution from the employer and therefore should be licensed to the employer the same way a song is licensed by the musicians to record labels, how writers license their books to publishers etc.

Isn't the developer in this case more like the builder/engineer who takes an architect's vision and merely implements it?

In most large organisations the developers are not the UI designers and although their code may well be creative, they are not the ones behind the creative work as a whole.

Comment: Re:Why is the lens still plastic? (Score 1) 70

by timmyf2371 (#46520383) Attached to: Camera Module Problems May Delay Samsung's Galaxy S5

Most people I know don't usually upgrade their phone because of the camera; they do it in spite of the camera.

Now, you might see some people in the market for a new phone decide on a specific model because it has a good camera, but these are people already looking to replace their phone for other reasons.

Comment: Re:Rewards the hacker (Score 2) 104

by timmyf2371 (#46432521) Attached to: BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

In this situation, the organisation was not merely unlucky. The data was not stored securely at all and this was made worse by the fact that they had not carried out a proper assessment of the data storage techniques. The DPA is very strict and rightly so - it is our personal information which is at risk here.

All too often there are stories of charitable organisations cutting corners and thinking they can get away with it. This fine is a message that organisations, regardless of purpose, will be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

What I find incredibly offensive is that the charity's CEO didn't even apologise to the 10,000 innocent victims whose data was lost as a result of his organisation's failings. Instead he is trying to shift the attention onto the ICO and try to portray themselves as victims.

Comment: Re:I have your conversion right here... (Score 1) 860

by timmyf2371 (#46410727) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Both of your examples include lovely tower cases, which you and I may well be perfectly happy with.

The target audience for the Mac Mini is probably looking for something a bit more refined and in keeping with the Mac Mini case. This adds additional cost, not only from the case but also from the additional cost of smaller components (e.g. small form factor motherboard, 2.5" HDD).

Comment: Re: what price increases? (Score 1) 424

by timmyf2371 (#46260709) Attached to: Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

What was the Blu Ray scam? I'm not aware of this.

I've lived through the VHS, DVD and Blu Ray eras and each technology has significantly higher quality than the last. These days I tend to download my movies for free instead of buying the Blu Ray and when I do I always look for the highest quality 1080p version because it is so much higher quality than even upscaled DVD versions.

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