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Comment Re:RIM is already dead (Score 2) 180

From where I sit I saw one of the strengths of RIM turn against them - the BES server and all the administrative control it allows.

For many years I worked closely with the team that ran the blackberry infrastructure at my company. Whenever a new blackberry came out, users started asking for it. When I asked them about it, the answer could often be summarized as follows:

"Yes people want them, but that model has X. Our current version of X does not allow us to administratively disable X. On (date) we will be upgrading our BES servers and will be able to disable X, at that point we will allow people to use them here."

So all the users who got new devices found that they didn't do anything that the old ones didn't. They blamed this on RIM, even though the real culprit was in fact that the company was locking them down. But I've heard this from numerous people at work.

I still have my company issued BB though, because I don't want them and their remote wipe capability anywhere near my real smart phone. Apart from the keyboard though, there isn't anything special about it.

Comment Re:poor (Score 1) 1027

Let's put it this way. I work for a company based in London. Whenever we have to fill out forms that ask for a region, the regions are UK, Europe/Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Americas.

Mind you the UK is a lot closer to France than Toronto is to Sao Palo Brazil. But the first two are in separate "regions" under their nomenclature and the second two are in the same region.

Comment Re:Troubling signal, why? (Score 1) 471

How is that troubling? That is part of the market making job the bank signed up for when it agreed to be an underwriter in the first place. Of course, the underwriter can under-price the issue, and then the stock will shoot up after it starts trading. This does save the underwriter the potential risk of having to buy shares to support the initial market. Of course, that means the selling shareholders lose out on that. I bet if that had happened instead, people would also complain that it was troubling that the banks had taken that profit away from the shareholders and given it to the people who the IPO shares were allocated to.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 270

The rates carriers charge for SMS just shows how much strong, strong regulation is needed. If I were in charge, I would mandate that each carrier send a letter to every former and current customer who had pad an SMS fee, stating that the SMS fee represented price gouging because the SMS messages don't actually cost the carrier anything, as well as illegal monopolistic practices, since all the carriers colluded to raises these prices. I would then mandate that each carrier refund any and all SMS fees paid, with the amounts to be multiplied by a factor of 3 as a form of punative relief. I would further change the regulations such that if the carrier ever wanted to apply for spectrum licenses again, they'd need to multiply by a factor of 100 instead of 3.

Of course this would put the carriers out of business, but someone could buy the spectrum and infrastructure in bankruptcy court, and hopefully they'd learn a lesson.

Comment Well, I do not work in the advertising industry (Score 1) 283

And while I do not like most advertisements I understand the need to pay for things.

Not to worry in the case of /. though. For a ridiculously low fee you can pay /. to not serve you any ads. Frankly I think this is great and wish I could use it to get rid of ads in many other places where I have to endure them.

Comment Re:This Is A Bad Idea (Score 2) 516

Am I the only who still doesn't use a GPS? I got one for my wife because she got lost all the time. She still gets lost!

Personally, before I even had a license to drive a car I had learned to navigate. If I'm going to a new place I've never been before I draw a pencil sketch of the relevant streets around where I'm going and what the relevant landmarks are. When I get off the highway nearest the destination I pull that sheet out and glance at it while I'm stopped at the traffic light.

I find the navigation to be provided by a GPS unit to be a poor compromise at best. For instance, to travel to a friend's place up in the mountains, the GPS will have you go up and down the side of this one mountain twice. Anyone who lives there would laugh at the route and send you down a slightly narrower road that runs along the ridge.

Directions to this place are always sent with the admonishment not to use your GPS.

But someone always uses their GPS when there is an outing there. You can identify them the moment they get out of their car because the roller coaster up-and-down route the GPS provides has left them nauseous.

Comment Re:Bad summary: the airline, not the government (Score 2) 624

American Airlines: The same company that decided to remove the baggage handling fee from the ticket price and charge it as an add-on so that even when you do pay it, you're forced to wait on the tarmac as dozens who tried to cheap out and not pay it try to squeeze an oversized bag into an already full overhead bin.

American claimed when they did this that it was more "fair" since travelers who checked bags would pay for the service, and ones who didn't check bags wouldn't be subsidizing them. Of course most other major airlines followed with this nonsense.

The reality in my experience has been I pay their overpriced check bagged fee, and then suffer because of those who didn't, but should have.

I'd already decided because of their origination of that fee that I would never fly on an AA plane ever again. This behavior just reinforces how rotten AA is. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy would be too good for them.

Comment I avoid AA Like the plague anyway (Score 1) 93

Remember, AA was the first airline who wanted to be more "equitable" about distributing the fees and started charging fees to check bags.

Ostensibly they did this to be more fair to the people who didn't check bags.

Of course the other major carriers quickly followed suit.

My experience has been that the whole flying experience was heavily degraded by this misguided decision. Even when I pay the fee to check my bags, I'm forced to wait while people who were too cheap to do so try to shove their bags into overhead compartments they just won't fit in. Thus, the checked bag fee slaps me twice - once when I pay it, and again when I have to deal with people who should have, but didn't.

American Airlines came up with that idea, and I don't think I will ever set foot on one of their planes again as a result.

Comment I don't get it, really. (Score 1) 346

I've worked at several different banks that had software in place to disable the USB ports to prevent this exact sort of thing from happening. In one case they built the software in house so that certain USB devices that were issued by the firm could be unlocked, but nothing else. CD writers, if available on the host, were also locked down by the software and could only be used with prior approval. From what I know of the banking industry, this is pretty standard practice.

But computers holding sensitive government data don't even have that level of security?

Comment Re:Don't know what () means (Score 2, Informative) 1268

That's because the US educational system is so bad at explaining variables.

I struggled with Math for the entire time I was in the educational system. At the end of each struggle, when the light bulb went on, I almost always thought 'This is so incredibly simple, why didn't they just explain it this way?" I've never seen a math textbook from another country as the article compares to, but I can certainly state that I think the ones written in the US are about at the level of a man page - if you already know the content and just want a quick refresher on some infrequently used bit - they're fine. If you're trying to learn something new for the first time - forget about it!

Comment Re:Ice Giants (Score 2, Interesting) 260

I remember seeing on a TV program about the Voyager project how serendipitous the timing of the launch was - where you could hop from planet to planet to planet using the gravity well of each planet to jump to the next one. Basically the alignment of the planets when Voyager launched made this possible, and such an alignment isn't going to come around again in our lifetime. So you'd need to build seperate probes to go to each planet, instead of being able to send one probe to many of them.


Sumo Wrestler Steals Cash Machine From Moscow Shop 43

timothy writes "Anyone skeevy and devious enough can buy online an ATM skimmer from some underhanded maker of same, but why not cut out the middleman, and just take the cash directly? (Also, if you're going to attempt to stop him, can I have your watch when you are dead?)"

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