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Comment Re:You gotta love Larry's self-serving hypocrisy.. (Score 3, Interesting) 486

“Computer science has a marketing problem." That's what Larry said. And his presentation was about marketing more than anything. He was trying to sell the world view that works great for his company, and he certainly put his sour grapes on the table.

He talks of "resistance to technological change", which is code for Google Glasses and the glasshole syndrome. He talks of how people should should be more relaxed with their medical records, which is code for Google Health. They had a clear plan how they were going to make money with Google Health (selling user data). The problem was that, on the user side, they had a solution that was in search of an actual need. But Google has made it clear that they're not going to learn that lesson.

You know, I kind of like his idea of a mirror universe where more avant-garde ideas can be tested out, in small scale, in the real-world. He wanted a Burning Man type of environment for new technology. Actually, Eureka (the town from the TV show of the same name) might have been a closer fit (although the reference would have been lesser-known, and is almost synonymous with disaster). Being able to try things out (on the small scale and a limited geography) and work out the problems there is great for allowing a company to iterate on a product without the marketing backlash for failures.

In theory, I'd love to live in that Eureka town. But only if it was about the product and about the science. The only thing Google Health did for me was to convince me that Google's products and services aren't about what they deliver (search, ubiquitous health records). They are about Google's real customers (advertisers, health care industry) and Google's real problem is finding a way to get everyone to jump on board so they can make money. That's what he is saying, in code, when he says "computer science has a marketing problem".

Comment I'd think they'd pursue and advanced CST-01 (Score 2) 291

The other sites talk about Apple also pursuing a device with curved glass. I have to wonder if they've taken a page from the CST-01 design validation unit on KickStarter. Could they be pursuing an iDevice in the wrist bracer form factor? I'm looking at the pictures and I'm telling myself that Apple has got to be exploring some sort of electronic device in this form. If so, it is going to be significantly more complex than a watch.


Submission + - FBI documents offers new insight into the death of the old Atari Corporation (atarileaks.org)

AtariDatacenter writes: "Newly released evidence suggest that Atari Corporation's decline (ending in 1996) may have been greatly influenced by two factors. Atari's investment in Federated Department Stores was a major financial disaster that was far worse than the public was aware of at the time. The depth of the injury by Federated was partially concealed by a DRAM import and resale operation which was determined by the FBI to be an illegal operation. Federated had financially crippled Atari. Both Federated and the DRAM resale operation kept management distracted. Atari limped along, but never recovered."

Comment Nice to see good design, but what about $$ value? (Score 1) 141

I am very pleased to see some good case design. I really like having a case that is fun to look at. (The odd thing with non-computer types is if they see a really snazzy case, they assume you've got some sort of super computer under the hood!) This one is a little interesting, but I don't think it is $400 worth. Myself, I recently got a lot of bang for the buck modding some NZXT Phantom cases. They've already got a very nice sci-fi design and look like props from Mass Effect. They are $90 shipped at TigerDirect right now, which is tough to beat. Large as hell, too. I think the only thing I really didn't like about it is that some of the older NZXT Phantom cases have USB 2.0 built in. The newer one I picked up had 2.0 and 3.0 built into the case. But back on topic, PLEASE, encourage cool case makers. I just don't think this one is $400 cool.

Submission + - Secret Atari DRAM Resale Operation Revealed by FBI (atarileaks.org)

AtariDatacenter writes: Years ago I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for documents regarding Atari Corporation. What I received back was amazing. At a time when the tech industry was dealing with a DRAM shortage and trade restrictions to protect American semiconductor manufacturers, Atari was circumventing that agreement to earn some badly needed cash. Its acquisition of Federated Department Stores was bleeding it dry.

Comment Re:As a TiVo owner, even I look forward to TiVo dy (Score 1) 93

I would probably only know that the second core had finally been enabled for non-UI tasks if I had read an unofficial changelog (because TiVo does not produce one) in an unofficial TiVo forum. I believe you mean here:


I will disregard your underlying message that missing an announcement that never came from TiVo nor actively pursuing an unofficial TiVo forum signifies that one does not actually own a TiVo. That's fanboy behavior. I do, however, congratulate you on your problem-free experience. I don't know how you small minority of users manage it.

Comment As a TiVo owner, even I look forward to TiVo dying (Score 4, Interesting) 93

My latest... no, my last purchase of a TiVo was the Premier with lifetime service. The unit is riddled with bugs.

I never expect them to get the second CPU core enabled. It is short of RAM. It bogs down. It ignores the remote for a while when you sit back down in front of the couch (which I suspect is because the OS swap out the remote control's handler process during a memory shortage). It crashes. It has a bare-bones Netflix interface that likes to crash. The high definition user interface is STILL incomplete, with many screens dropping back down to standard definition. The Amazon Video interface can't do free Prime movies. Only purchases. The non-discrete directional buttons on the remote makes for regular menu selection mistakes. If your Internet connection goes down, your locked out of much of the unit's functionality until you return.

I could go on and on about all the problems with their product. And I see that other people have their own observations. TiVo isn't in the game of producing a product/service that consumers want. We are actually just what they're selling. Collecting eyeballs for add space. And then adding bullet points for new features with minimal functionality and playing the patent race game.

Admittedly, the only good thing to come out of them recently was the iPad TiVo remote control. Nicely done. But then, they weren't doing it for their customers, I'm sure, as much as they were trying to beef up their patent portfolio, probably vs Apple.

If TiVo dies tomorrow, I won't be sad. I'll go back to the cable company's DVR and I'd enjoy it. Having all the pre-paid hardware and service is the only thing keeping me holding on. TiVo once put the customer first, but they lost sight of us. Too bad. These days, TiVo owners don't make great evangelists for their product.

Comment I rooted my Kindle Fire a few days ago (Score 3, Interesting) 103

The instructions were brand new and horribly incomplete at the time, but it was fun to hunt down all of the pieces to the puzzle on an environment I was completely unfamilar with. I was mostly interested in learning more about the Android platform, and also to enable Google's Android Marketplace and other Google apps.

I unrooted the Fire (so that Amazon Video on Demand would continue to work), and used the Marketplace to download a better video player app (MX Video Player) and a number of decent games. I didn't go with the Dolphin browser or the GO Launcher for my defaults. (Not that I'm excited about Amazon's launcher.) So basically, I have what acts like a stock Kindle Fire, except I've got Android Marketplace access. I think that combination makes this a winning device. I'll still purchase from Amazon when it makes sense, but I'll go to Google for selection.

The only significant snag I've seen so far is that the pop-up menu bar onto the Kindle Fire slightly confuses apps by a number of pixels about screen size or placement. Some apps will chop off the top of their app's display. Of course, others will use the bottom of the screen for their own menu bar, leaving you with scant pixels (in landscape mode) to hit their buttons. That, and a few apps like the VLC Direct player seems to get me into situations which lock my Kindle from time to time, so I mostly don't use it.

At least when I download Marketplace apps, I can delete applications now and now worry about them haunting my 'cloud applications' screen forever. If I download Angry Birds Free, and then pay for Angry Birds (and remove the free version), do I really need to see two different Angry Birds icons on my device forever, Amazon? Well, I asked, and you apologized that I couldn't delete it. You hinted that you may allow this in the future, and you gave me a $5 credit for my inconvenience. You're not so bad.

Anyhow, rooting and installing the Amazon Marketplace is a little bit of a bumpy road, but it seems to be totally worth it.

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