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Comment Re:He asked a security guard for permission? (Score 2) 376

The devices on display are set up explicitly so that the public will have access to (and in fact are encouraged to explore) their features, which includes the webcam on them.

This to me sounds like implicit permission to use the cameras, as well as implicit permission to install software. Any legal line this man may have crossed is beyond the act of simply using the camera, or installing software. He had implicit permission to do those two things.

I doubt that. You can use the webcam on them to take photos (using Photo booth, etc.), but to suggest that a customer is implicitly allowed to install software that surreptitiously photographs other customers and then displays them in public is ridiculous. If what you suggest were the case, then that would mean Apple is implicitly allowing people to install keyloggers or similar malware. Just because Apple didn't post a sign saying, "don't install surveillance software, malware, worms, viruses, trojan horses, etc." doesn't mean that people should assume they are allowed to do that; common sense says otherwise.

Apple is providing its store guests with computers to use for reasonable purposes. I can't think of any way that what he was doing could be considered to be reasonable. In fact, it was closer to harassment (for Apple's customers) and spying (and repeatedly, since he admits he had to repeatedly return to reinstall the software after it was erased). Thus, his newfound trouble with law enforcement.

Comment Re:He asked a security guard for permission? (Score 4, Insightful) 376

It sounds like he asked some rent-a-cop if he could take people's pictures, and then gained access to computers in the Apple Stores to take these pictures without the permission of someone who actually had authority to grant that permission. The article is pretty scant on details, though, and only really tells things from his side, so it's hard to tell what really happened at this point.

That's probably what he did, and I think he's trying to just cover his tracks. I think he was hoping for a "ask for forgiveness rather than for permission" situation.

He should have gone to the Apple Store manager, told them explicitly what he wants to do: "I'm going to install software on all the Macs in this store, which will randomly take photos of your customers and upload the photos to my website, which I'll then display publicly for my art project." Then when they said, "no," go find something else to do with his time.

Comment Re:the government is kind of large (Score 2) 159

Various government labs have the need for large banks of computing nodes for supercomputing purposes, so it wouldn't surprise me if the large number of PS3s were being used for that. Another proof point: there's a wide discrepancy in the xbox numbers. If they were being used as game machines, you'd think the xbox numbers would be comparable (or even higher). When the PS3 was introduced, it at the time offered a great price to performance ratio, so research labs in different countries bought them for that purpose. The software has been out for a while and has been government certified already, so it remains a solution today.

Comment Re:What? The plane crashed? (Score 2) 532

What? The plane crashed? I didn't notice. I was on my Blackberry. Neither did I notice the guy sitting next to me who was hitting me so I would get out of his way. I'm going to send him a nasty text message.

Seriously though -- maybe a passenger won't miss the plane had already crashed, but that's not the only time attendants need their passengers to pay attention. If a passenger is engaged in a conversation or playing a game, they'll likely miss the attendant giving critical instructions: there's turbulence, passengers get into a crash position or something like that. Forcing people to put their distractions away during take-off and landing makes sense from a people management/safety perspective. This is coming from someone who is annoyed that I can't read a book on my iPad during takeoff-- annoyed, but I understand.

Comment Re:Hold your Horses there SharpieMarker (Score 2) 1128

Isn't it a little early to call something like this "the most extreme and influential crowdsourcing"?

I agree. I have no idea why this is on Slashdot. It's not technology news. It's not even news at all.

Back in 2008, Rush Limbaugh tried something similar he called "Operation Chaos", where he encouraged his listeners to switch parties and vote in the Democratic Primary to get Hillary Clinton to win and later to keep her in to lengthen the Primary. The idea was that whoever eventually won would emerge weaker and would lose to McCain. Also, Republicans believed that there were more registered Democrats because of Operation Chaos, and when the election actually happened, they would be revealed as actually Republicans and McCain would win.

As we all know, it didn't work. Obama beat McCain handily. So if Rush Limbaugh, who has millions of listeners couldn't pull this off, how can an unknown website do this?

Moreover, I think it's misleading to suggest that "Democrats" are doing this. I expected to see a link to Democrats.org or to at least a high traffic Democratic Party website, such as dailykos.com. But no, this site has so little traffic that it doesn't even have an Alexa ranking In fact, searching for sites that link to this domain reveal not even Democratic sources, but Republicans (freerepublic.com is the #2 domain in results), so clearly this isn't catching on with Democrats. Whois is masked, so we don't know who actually owns the domain, but it's just as likely to be a Republican astroturfing organization.

So, how did this end up on Slashdot? Was this some sort of paid placement situation or attempt by the domain owner to drive more traffic to the site? Some lame idea of saying that "both sides 'do it' and engage in these types of silly games? Somebody has compromising photos of CmdrTaco? I guess we'll never know.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 4, Insightful) 229

> I don't think it's a matter of saying "We're better than they are" as it is a matter of saying "before you accuse us of not
> testing, take a good look at our investment in testing facilities".

I agree. They're trying to show what goes into this kind of testing. Engineers and technology people aren't going to be surprised by Apple's facilities (though it's cool to see the photos of the anechoic chambers), since other major mobile phone manufacturers will have similar facilities.

Apple's trying to show some of the ways that they control conditions while they're testing. Sitting in a Starbucks holding the phone in weird ways and watching the bars change isn't a good way to measure a problem since there is zero control of the fading conditions. The fact that they had a bug in their signal strength algorithm is bad, but one can't complain the problem happened because they weren't testing.

I think there's been a huge overreaction to the issue. However, what did Apple expect? One could argue there was a huge overreaction when the iPhone/iPad was announced (albeit, positive in those cases). This antenna thing just reminds Apple that the knife cuts both ways.

Comment Yeah, right (Score 1) 229

At one point we were told that the iPad had been in testing in this facility “for years.” Even more interesting may be that the iPhone 4 specifically had been in testing in these chambers for 2 years. You know that means. Not only was the iPhone 5 likely in the same room that we were in. But the iPhone 6 may have been around as well.

If you believe there's an iPhone 6 in that testing chamber under a black cloak, then Gizmodo has a phone they want to sell you.

Comment I think it will be a while (Score 2, Insightful) 219

Yeah, I bought a palm pilot and then one month later they announced the color version. I'm not getting bit by that again. I'll just wait for the color this time.

I think it will be a while for a color Kindle. Admittedly I skimmed the article, but they sound vague about when E-Ink will have a color version available. On one hand, they're saying the color version screen will be available at the end of the year, but then they say:

X: What can you tell me about your technical ideas for creating better color displays? Is adding color simply a matter of tweaking the company’s existing microcapsule technology, or do you have to go back to the drawing board and approach it in an entirely new way?

SP: Even if we slightly describe it, we will probably reveal stuff that we are not ready to talk about. There is more than one approach, and exactly which one we will choose in the future, we don’t know.

So they haven't picked an approach yet? That doesn't sound like they'll have something ready in the next nine months.

The question of when they would have color technology has been bandied about by E-Ink since their inception. I read back in 2005 that Intel Capital invested in E-Ink with the hopes of getting a color-capable version and customers have always been asking for it. A color version is something they've been struggling to bring to market for a while. If they're still trying to figure out approaches, they could be a minimum of 1 years away for a prototype, and even longer for a color Kindle available in volume.

So, in short, if you want a Kindle, don't wait for the color version. Or just buy an iPad :-)

Comment Re:The article says a power cord costs extra. (Score 1) 584

From the Article:

I tell a lie though. The Apple iPad isn't really $499. Just adding a power cord to the iPad will cost you $29.00. No, I'm not making that up. Really, Apple, you couldn't throw in a power cord? Shame on you.

This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. According to the tech specs 10 watt USB power adapter is included in the box.

Are we reading the same page? The 10 watt USB power adapter is listed under "iPad Accessories". You have to pay extra for it.

I think it's an accessory if you want to buy a second one. The tech specs page says that a 10W USB power adapter is included in the box.

Comment Re:The Market (Score 1) 427

Moreover, with lawnmowers, some weight is a good thing.

There are some things where people associate weight with quality(expensive watches, bar glasses, pens, etc). A low weight lawnmower may be associated with being cheap and flimsy. So having the battery weigh more is actually a good thing for the lawnmower. There's probably an optimal point where you want the lawnmower to weigh enough so it feels sturdy (and stays where you put it), but not so heavy that an average person finds it unwieldy.

In contrast, with a consumer electronic device where lighter is always better and any weight from the battery is a bad thing. So the manufacturer has to spend more money to try to get the battery to way less.

I think the spokesperson from Sony showed Mr. Ockenden a lot of patience in actually answering his question, rather than just calling him an idiot for comparing laptop and lawnmower batteries, which was fully within his rights to do.

Comment Re:Size matters (Score 1) 427

I imagine there's also some lifespan and related warranty issues.

Laptops see a lot of use and the batteries are probably going through nearly continuous discharge/charge cycles. In contrast a lawnmower would be used maybe weekly or power tools that would be used intermittently. There's probably some relationship to the number of times the battery goes through a charging cycle and the additional cost. Note that even if both items have a 1 year warranty, the fact the laptop's battery goes through more frequent charge/discharge cycles and more frequent use, the risk of a failure requiring a replacement is higher likely resulting in some additional warranty costs that need to be considered.

I think the original author should have thought through his rant a bit more before he posted it.

Comment Re:SMS? (Score 3, Informative) 39

Strictly speaking, SMS has more in common with voice than the regular data traffic (email, http, etc). SMS travels across the digital control channel within the broadcast messages for the voice channels. Within the core of the network, it's transported on the SS7 network, which is the control network used for voice. So it is segregated from regular data.

IMS-based instant messaging will adapt fine to a 4G network, but there has to be some sort of standardized SS7 and IP gateway mechanism for the IMS network. It's not hard, but it's easier for operators if there's a reference that the operators can use.

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