In the recent buy-back by the employees, it was said that they're looking to improve the offerings in terms of value - because obviously their quotas a quite small. I'm thinking that more details on this should emerge within 6 months.
I have a paid account ($5 a year IIRC) because I need an email account besides that of my self-hosted email so that if my server goes down I can send emails to get it sorted out (or recover passwords that I've forgotten!). I didn't want to be "the product" for some gratis service provider so I decided to pay for service from the best provider I could find (within reason)... I was really surprised that it was hard to find a decent cheap personal email provider. Decent non-gratis email seems to be aimed purely at businesses and never at individuals.
Although I believe the future of email should not lay with providers, I really encourage people to take a look at Fastmail just to see the fact that there are providers besides Google can offer awesome services.
A few days before I first heard of SQRL (a few weeks ago) I came up with a very similar proposal, which I published on my blog http://ddevnet.net/posts/anonymous-authentication-with-pk.html
SQRL works around the biggest hassle with my proposal which is linking the browser and the certificate to a session. The QR code idea really streamlines the workflow. My proposal could probably adopt this idea. Where our proposals really differ is that I believe that keeping your keystore anonymous is important. With SQRL they know your keystore location (and can directly attack it, or steal it, or whatever) because of the way it uses the keystore in an out-of-band manner. I also think that when the keystore is identified this is likely to also reveal some clues as to your identity, which sucks balls.
I also think that the keys could/should be used for encrypting messages/notifications that can be published publicly but only read by the holder of the private key. This avoids email addresses which may leak your identity.
If the advertising becomes really bubbled I can see an issue where attractive people are shown healthy products and ugly people are shown unhealthy products because that's what their respective profiles are probably going to indicate that they want... It's like the Search Engine Bubble (http://dontbubble.us/) - except for advertising.
This trend is obviously unhealthy...
Given that half of Slashdot works in corporate IT I'm sure we're all shocked by this announcement.
As a young single male my thoughts on this probably count for squat, but I think that young kids should have access to technology but *only* under direct guidance. It should never be used to "shut them up" and it should be rationed when used as a toy.
My reasoning is that while there is *huge* benefits for the child when guided through enrichment activities it is detrimental to allow your child to simply vegetate (mostly mentally, but also physically) with these devices in their hands.
Spending time *with* your child and using these devices to get a head start on reading, writing, critical thinking, general knowledge/worldwide culture is basically the direct equivalent of guiding a child through their school homework. It's bonding, entertainment and education all in one and not in a terribly lame way! (like most "educational" games). As a child that did not get the privilege of having help with my homework (but occasionally with other things) I can vouch for the difference this makes.
You should not be forcing the child to perform to a high academic standard during this time (thus making it a negative experience). Just make sure they are thinking by asking them about what they're seeing/doing and introduce stimulus material where you can.
Oops. Got mixed up.
The two most beautiful words in the English language are "Cheque Enclosed." -- Dorothy Parker