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Comment: Apple stole nothing (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by zerofoo (#46762923) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

The car electronics companies gave away the market. I was in car audio for years while in college. I sold and installed almost every brand you can stick into a dashboard - that was in the 90s.

Mobile electronics interfaces are still stuck in the 90s. The mobile industry has completely ignored the user interface advancements of the last 10 years. Take a look at the average aftermarket radio - buttons and dot-matrix LED displays that should have been replaced years ago.

Don't even get me started about bluetooth in car - absolutely no mobile manufacturer makes a stable bluetooth implementation. They all universally suck.

The best thing I put into my car was a bracket to hold my smartphone. After trying 5 different headunits, I finally gave up trying to find one that approaches the functionality and usability of my Nexus and iOS devices.

The mobile electronics companies screwed this up - apple stole nothing from them.

Comment: I'll tell you why Netflix caved (Score 1) 325

by zerofoo (#46760153) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Barriers to entry. Comcast and Netflix have now raised the barriers to entry for any newcomers. Comcast gets paid, Netflix passes on the costs (eventually that will happen) and any newcomers will need to have a similar arrangement or their service will never get off the ground.

This is about preserving the status quo for all involved and locking out any new competition.

None of these guys are your friends.

Comment: He's nuts (Score 1) 641

by zerofoo (#46694565) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

'I use a third-party firewall, a free virus checker, and run Housecall periodically,' says Appel. 'My Firefox browser uses Keyscrambler, HTTPS Anywhere, Ghostery, and Disconnect. I also have a VPN account (PIA) when traveling. For suspicious email attachments, I deploy private proprietary bioware (me!) to analyze before opening. All the "experts" say I am crazy.

And this is less work than installing and learning a modern Linux distribution?

I understand people not wanting another learning curve, but this guy might be better served by spending his copious amounts of free time learning something current.

Comment: We're on Google Apps/Chromebooks (Score 2) 409

by zerofoo (#46533167) Attached to: Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

And it is fantastic.

We still have microsoft in the server closet, but in the past two years we've dumped our Terminal server/SQL farm for cloud based apps, and moved off of exchange to Google Apps.

We're now rolling out chromebooks as a replacement for MacBooks in the classroom. The combination of quick boot time, instant data save to the cloud, low acquisition costs, and no ongoing costs simply can't be beat.

We can buy 5 chromebooks for the cost of one MacBook - with a lot less administrative overhead.

Sure, there are creative areas where MacBooks still make sense, but handing a child a $1000 laptop no longer makes sense. There is enough stuff in the cloud to teach kids how to research, write, and learn.

Besides, we need to stop teaching kids "Microsoft" or "Apple" and we need to teach them how to learn. The tool should be irrelevant.

Comment: Fly over the middle of the US sometime (Score 5, Insightful) 334

by zerofoo (#46499267) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

and look out a window. The last time I landed in Las Vegas I was stunned at how much of the us is completely and totally unoccupied.

Drive out to state college PA sometime - nothing but trees on either side of you for hours on end.

I heard a stat a few years ago saying the entire population of the world could fit into the state of Texas at the density of NYC. Yes, that doesn't account for infrastructure, and food production, but the point is that the entire world would be left over for that.

There is lots of room on this blue marble. Technology will find a way to support us all.

Comment: The declining suburbs....or not.... (Score 4, Insightful) 606

by zerofoo (#46334895) Attached to: 'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Almost daily I read something telling me that my car will become obsolete, my suburban house will plummet in value, and my suburban lifestyle is heading the way of the dodo. Meanwhile, the suburban neighborhood I currently live in didn't exist 10 years ago. Could it be that people actually like living in the suburbs?

The problem with this "urban utopia" concept is that cities suck. They are generally crowded, noisy, smelly, expensive, and all-around unpleasant. Sure, if you are young and don't mind having 3-4 roommates, or you are a history professor type that loves walking everywhere - they by all means - live in a city.

I loved NYC until I had to work there. Holy crap - what a disaster that place is. The experience was so bad, I ran to the suburbs to raise kids - and I'm never going back.

It's no surprise that tech companies, flush with cash, can seek better alternatives. I actually applaud these companies. There are talented employees all over the country - not just in cities. If companies want to bus in their workers - that's great. Government should just get out of the way and keep the roads paved.

Comment: Re:Oh great... (Score 5, Interesting) 417

by zerofoo (#45971567) Attached to: Microsoft Extends Updates For Windows XP Security Products Until July 2015

Or they deployed Chromebooks for the reasons we did:

1. Low hardware cost - our Samsungs cost $249 each.
2. Enough web based software to do the job (google apps plus 3rd party apps are VERY good in an education environment).
3. Central data storage that doesn't require lots of backup hardware and software or server hardware.
4. Great management tools for deploying policies and apps.
5. The big one - FREE after the initial hardware purchase - WITH SUPPORT.

Show me another ecosystem that offers this much for so little cost.

If Google is beating us with a stick, I'll take it any day of the week over the Microsoft/Apple stuff we were running.

Comment: Even mediocre charters are loved by parents (Score 0) 715

by zerofoo (#45940637) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

I work for a private school. While it is not a charter, I have seen many parents of children in mediocre schools profess their love for charters.

Why would a parent love a school that performs, statistically, no better than the school they previously attended?

The answer is choice. Parents choose to put their children in those schools, and the administrators and teachers know that if they do not bend to the needs and wants of the student and the parent, then the student placement is put at risk.

One parent compared her local school district to the phone company. She said "before charter schools, the school district was like the phone company, they didn't have to care, they were the only game in town".

Charters give parents without means choice. That means the teachers and administrators of those schools have to be "nice" or the student walks. All else being equal, a parent of a C/D student in either environment prefers the charter school.


Comment: The newest sign of a worthless CEO (Score 1) 477

by zerofoo (#45081441) Attached to: HP CEO Meg Whitman To Employees: No More Telecommuting For You

Will ending telecommuting now be the sign of a C suite that is out of ideas? As far as I can tell, Mayer at Yahoo and Whitman at HP both are scrambling for ways to justify their enormous salaries. I guess the hail-mary strategy is end telecommuting and piss off the stars in the company.

Good luck with that strategy.


Comment: Re:The concept of acceptable risk (Score 1) 1440

by zerofoo (#44937253) Attached to: Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

Have cigarettes become illegal? I hadn't noticed if they have.

Around where I live you can buy as many cigarettes as you like. No one will stop you from buying the entire store's inventory.

We tax and regulate cigarettes just enough that people won't quit. That's way different than trying to eliminate something.


Comment: Fascism is not Libertarianism (Score 1) 356

by zerofoo (#44936331) Attached to: California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum

In a Libertarian system, there would be no mandatory public schools. You would have the choice of any number of private schools. Don't like the tuition or curriculum? Place your kids in another school. Yes - an oversimplification, but no Libertarians that I know would have Government force anyone into any public school system.

What you are describing is Fascism. It's a mix of Corporate and Government rule - the worst of all worlds.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy