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Comment: Gross margin? (Score 3, Informative) 108

But what's finally good news for the company is that the Surface gross margin was positive this quarter, which means the company finally starts making money on Surface sales.

I think that someone doesn't understand accounting very well. Thre are all kinds of real costs that don't get factored into the gross, so this report does not show whether or not Microsoft is actually making money on Surface sales. For example, all that advertising cost.

Comment: Re:Is there a way to prevent this? (Score 4, Insightful) 196

by whoever57 (#48225701) Attached to: Verizon Injects Unique IDs Into HTTP Traffic

There has to be a way to prevent this

As a sysadmin, you should know that it is easy and cheap to rent a VPS (Virtual Private Server). Then, run squid on the server, or do some fancy routing to send all your web traffic out via a VPN to your VPS. Since most VPS services offer a minimum of 1TB of monthy data, there should not be any excess data usage charges.

Comment: Re:The saddest part is..... (Score 1) 54

If this issue were put to an actual vote, I have zero doubt that it would win by a landslide. I have yet to meet a single tech-savvy person that supports paid prioritization, even among conservatives.

There is a word or phrase for that, but I don't recall it now.

The problem is that most of the people you interact with are tech-savvy. You have an impression of how people would vote, but, in reality it is how a tiny slice of the population (tech-savvy people) would vote.

Comment: Re:$3500 fine? (Score 4, Interesting) 281

by whoever57 (#48217023) Attached to: Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

It's not clear to me that it was willful avoidance of paying minimum wage - they had a job to do, they got help from some of their existing employees from overseas, who continued to receive their regular wage (in their regular currency) during the time that they were here

It's almost certainly a violation of immigration law. I assume that these people came to Fremont on visitor visas that don't allow the visa holder to "work". Even if the foreign workers were here on H1s or L1s (which I doubt), they would have been violating the salary requirements for that type of visa.

Comment: Re:Third World America (Score 1) 290

by whoever57 (#48210147) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Ultimately what counts is economic output.

Is it? If the economy were to grow by 5%, but all of that extra money then went to a tiny slice of the population (less that 0.1%), does that growth really matter?

If the vast majority of a society gets poorer, while a tiny, tiny slice of the population gets vastly richer, has that society improved?

+ - Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage for 11 Million People

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Brian Fung reports at the Washington Post that earlier this year emergency services went dark for over six hours for more than 11 million people across seven states. "The outage may have gone unnoticed by some, but for the more than 6,000 people trying to reach help, April 9 may well have been the scariest time of their lives." In a 40-page report, the FCC found that an entirely preventable software error was responsible for causing 911 service to drop. "It could have been prevented. But it was not (PDF)," the FCC's report reads. "The causes of this outage highlight vulnerabilities of networks as they transition from the long-familiar methods of reaching 911 to [Internet Protocol]-supported technologies." On April 9, the software responsible for assigning the identifying code to each incoming 911 call maxed out at a pre-set limit; the counter literally stopped counting at 40 million calls. As a result, the routing system stopped accepting new calls, leading to a bottleneck and a series of cascading failures elsewhere in the 911 infrastructure. Adm. David Simpson, the FCC's chief of public safety and homeland security, says that having a single backup does not provide the kind of reliability that is ideal for 911. “Miami is kind of prone to hurricanes. Had a hurricane come at the same time [as the multi-state outage], we would not have had that failover, perhaps. So I think there needs to be more [distribution of 911 capabilities].”"

Comment: Re:Perfectly-timed? (Score 2) 251

by whoever57 (#48177093) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Take a look at Samsung's sales figures and profits. They're both tanking. I'm not saying that's a result of the iPhone 6 though, they'd already started doing that before the iPhone 6 launch.

For the most part, Samsung doesn't really compete with Apple, Samsung competes with the many other manufacturers of Android phones. It's only in the flagship products (Galaxy, Note) where there is competition with Apple, but I don't think that these represent the bulk of Samsung's sales outside the USA.

Comment: Re: Perfectly-timed? (Score 4, Insightful) 251

by whoever57 (#48177063) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Apple hasn't really innovated much since Steve left the scene.

And for a long time before Steve left the scene. Apple has been a success by letting other companies release new types of devices and then execute their own version of that type of device. Apple did not create the first portable music player, the first smartphone, the first WIMP interface, etc.. Apple's success has largely been down to executing arguably better versions of devices that already exist in the marketplace. Now, Apple is also benefitting from being perceived as a luxury brand.

+ - Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Many drugs that treat bacterial and fungal infections were found in microbes growing in the dirt. These organisms synthesize the compounds to fend off other bacteria and fungi around them. To find possible new drugs, chemists try to coax newly discovered microbial species to start making their arsenal of antimicrobial chemicals in the lab. But fungi can be stubborn, producing just a small set of already-known compounds.

Now, one team of chemists has hit upon a curiously effective and consistent trick to prod the organisms to start synthesizing novel molecules: Cheerios inside bags. Scientists grew a soil fungus for four weeks in a bag full of Cheerios and discovered a new compound that can block biofilm formation by an infectious yeast. The chemists claim that Cheerios are by far the best in the cereal aisle at growing chemically productive fungi."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Guardian reveals that Whisper app tracks 'anonymous' users->

Submitted by qqod
qqod (799432) writes "After visiting the offices of Whisper to discuss future journalistic collaborations, from the article:

"The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users â" including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services â" will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws.""

Link to Original Source

This is a good time to punt work.