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Comment Re:First Sale (Score 1) 321

This has nothing to do with First Sale; it doesn't affect your ability to sell the phone. In-fact, there are specific exception in place for used phones. It even opens a huge loop-hole for unlocking. As used phones are exempt from this decisions all you need to do it "sell" your phone to the person unlocking it for say $1, let them unlock it, and then "buy" it back for $1.

oddly enough, the FAQ linked in the summary states it applies only to phones bought from a carrier - so if I buy my iPhone from a Apple or a reseller who get sthe subsidy it seems the rule does not apply. IANAL but that seems to be another loophole.

Comment Re:Isn't banning unlocking anti-competitive ? (Score 1) 321

In the UK you can buy phones on contract unlocked, and usually cheaper too

You can in the US as well - Sprint and Verizon sell phones with GSM SIM unlocked; and you can buy it at the contract price. You can't take a Verizon Phone to sprint (and vice versa) on the CDMA side even though you can roam on each other's network; but that's not due to locking, in the GSM sense, but do to the way they register phone serials in their database.

>Apparently the free market has failed in the US, because it was able to buy laws designed to distort it in the phone company's favour.

I'm not sure how you come to this conclusion - I can buy an unlocked phone at full retail, a subsidized but locked phone at a discount, or a CDMA phone with the GSM SIM unlocked. Nothing in a free market says someone has to sell you what you want at a price you want; or that failure to offe ryou what you want is a failure of a free market.

Comment Re:The phone books of the past.... (Score 1) 185

You couldn't automate calling every number in the phone book. I agree with you that this is vastly overhyped, but digital storage can't be directly compared to paper storage.

You could also buy databases of all listed US numbers - I've used them in the past to help company's analyze business opportunities by identifying the number and types of businesses in various locations. When I did, it was trivially easy to dump the entire database into Excel or Access and build queries to return the needed information.

Comment Re:funny how everyone 'wants' your phone # (Score 2) 185

last time I went for a haircut, the first thing they asked me was my name. fine, they can call me when the next haircutter is open.

then they wanted my phone #. really? for a date, maybe? ;) (some of they are definitely cute).

reminds me of a rental app I was once asked to fill in. it had the usual ss#, date of birth, full name - but they also asked mothers maiden name. now, I realize that with some work, you can get that from public records, but you have to work for it and its still partially a password of sorts that banks use to verify your ID when you call on the phone (or lost your password for online). a housing rental that wanted pretty much all the info that the bank would ask me to verify my id. yeah, sure, I'll just give you that (not!). when I called the realtor on this, he simply said 'good luck in your search'. basically, he knew he was asking more than he had a right to and simply avoided admitting it.

watch what you give out, people. think about every bit of info and if they don't need it, don't give it to them.

Why do people assume you have to give everyone real info? They have no way of knowing what your mother's maidan name and simply picking something you can remember such as some random street name you like. Unless you pick something truly bizzare, like West 52nd or Avenue of the Americas, Lindy or Ruby should be fine. Oddly enough, the only person I know who has had an issue is because her maiden name only has a few consonants (thanks to the immigration guy at Ellis Island when her grandfather emigrated) and gets questioned when she gives her name. I've done that, along with giving a long defunct corporate phone number and never had an issue; in fact 555-1212 with a random area code works fine for affinity cards.

Comment What do people really want? (Score 1) 398

Intel seems fixated on the idea that users want some sort of convergence device that combines a tablet with a traditional PC. They see the iPad's sales numbers and think: "If only it had a keyboard and ran a PC OS..."

Adding a touch screen to an ultrabook doesn't address the fundamental flaw in such an approach: users interact differently with touch screen devices than PCs. Slapping a touchscreen on top of an OS that isn't really geared to the way users interact with a tablet device won't address that; all you wind up with is a device that does many things poorly, For example:

You wind up with a UI designed for keyboard and mouse; with programs that primarily rely on a keyboard for input. Sure you can navigate with a touchscreen but will still be forced back to a keyboard for most work unless software developers add in touch input capability beyond just an onscreen keyboard. Without that, you have a big touchpad that needs a keyboard anyway.

Screen resolution is more important on a tablet than a PC. The iPad's Retina display makes it really good as a reader; to do a similar display on a PC quickly drives up the cost. So you wind up with a cost vs quality issue; making the tablet part less compelling.

Portability suffers as well. Tablets are nice because of their size; which makes them ideal for casual reading, email, watching video or web browsing. You can easily carry an iPad around all day where a PC quickly gets cumbersome.

Along with portability is battery life. Most tablets have really good battery life relative to PCs. A tablet that goes dead twice as fast as those on the current market is not very compelling; or you have to add expensive batteries to get reasonable useful run times which drives of cost. Alternatively; you could add big batteries but that then hits the portability issue.

Is convergence possible? Sure, and I think it will happen but it will be driven by software, not hardware. Once the software delivers an experience that lets people use a PC less and less the transition will occur. At that point, however, your less likely to see a laptop with a touch screen than a tablet that has a wireless external keyboard / trackpad for times when a finger on screen just won't cut it.

Comment Re:learn basic entrepreneurship... (Score 1) 313

s>looking at the converse question is rather illuminating: why aren't more programmers entrepreneurs? a meritocratic mindset is very inefficient if what you want is to make money in a society which does not directly appreciate merit.

While I agree it is mindset, it's not a meritocratic one but rather an unwillingness to leap from a known and relatively safe position into the unknown and much more risky situation.

Comment Re:I dunno... (Score 1) 776

I never believed the whole "95% of interviewees fail the FizzBuzz test" until I started interviewing candidates. People with 15 years of "experience" on their resume would regularly fail or give up. I also encouraged googling, including just searching for the exact problem, and I encouraged questions and told them that both behaviors were seen as a good thing. IDK how someone could possibly get through a CS program and still fail this test, but it happened regularly.

Ok, but you could do that with a single BASIC print command and some pencil and paper work and a quick google of "Multiples of 3 color chart." Should take about 2 minutes or so; and I have no coding experience beyond Fortran in college. If you are looking for problem solving skills it might be a good exercise ; come to think of it I might use it next time a do a round of consultant new hire interviews. Break up the "Why are manhole cover's round?" monotony.

Comment Re:Read the PDF (Score 3, Informative) 412

Well it kind of is perjury. The badges do indeed "work" off campus, in that if pinged by and RFID scanner they respond with their unique ID code.

Not really - perjury is a willful act intended to deceive. Disagreeing about what constitutes "working" or making a statement you believe is accurate based on your knowledge - i.e. work means able to identify a particular student using data stored in the system's computer and so they don't work to track individual students by identity even if you can still read a RFID code - would not be perjury.

Comment Re:This is a trademark battle (Score 1) 194

If you read the article, this is basically a trademark battle, with some copyright FUD thrown in for good measure.

Trademark is basically about fraud - would a reasonable person think that they have bought an official Batman car, or just a unofficial replica? So, Warner may or may not have a case, depending on how these are marketed and sold. However, what I think Warner is really trying to do is to spend Mr. Towle under the table, and they are likely to be quite successful in that.

I would hazard to guess that certain items are protected - the distinctive Batman emblems, for example and many be the paint scheme - assuming they were trademarked. An interesting comparison is the Cobra replicas - you can copy the original AC shape but can't use Cobra emblems (unless you buy them from the trademark owner).

Comment Re:High risk, low return (Score 3, Insightful) 98

I think if Beanie Babies have taught me anything, it is that toy collecting is extremely volatile, and if people think they can buy something for collecting or investing, chances are, it will never increase significantly in value. As for this article, being that it came long after many "investors" have bought their stocks, it smells oddly like just a run-of-the-mill pump-and-dump scam. Except that instead of posting it on obscure investment "advice" sites, they used the Lego brand nerd attraction to post this BS somewhere mainstream.

The real problem with the strategy is not someone trying to run a pump and dump but that there is no liquidity in the LEGO market. Just because a set went for $400 on Amazon doesn't mean your set is worth that; you still have to find a willing buyer at that price. There is simply too little volume to accurately assess value. Add to that the limited size of the collector's market and it's not a real scalable solution - just because LEGO sells xx sets at $100 and a year later a few are sold at $200 doesn't mean the rest could be sold at $200.

Finally, returns should not be calculated based on a few sales and the estimated value of the rest of the sets; rather look at the actual cash received less outflows for insurance / storage/ etc. divided by the invested capital. Compare that ROI to other investments and see if the potential is worth the risk.

Sure, you can make a few bucks off of LEGO, especially for high end limited editions, but it's not a strategy that would work for any sizable portfolio. When you add in the risk of LEGO deciding to reissue a piece or continue to make it so there is no secondary market and the risk/reward ratio may not be so favorable.

Comment Re:Summary implies that tablets are not a fad (Score 1) 243

I don't see how tablets are any different from netbooks. They're semi-useful devices that have a limited place but are outclassed by more capable machines which have been around for a long time. Acer may now be willing to get on the bandwagon for the sake of some short-term profits, but that doesn't make Mr. Wang's declaration any less correct.

It really depends on how you plan to use the device. As a laptop replacement tablets have many limitations that make then a less then viable alternative, for example despite the availability of word processors and presentation software they really don't work well for creating anything beyond basic content. However, if you view them as a viewing device they make a very compelling adjunct to a PC. It's easy to keep a significant amount of searchable documents on one, as well as video content for viewing while traveling. While I have found it difficult to take a significant amount of notes on one, they do work for light note taking and using teh camera to capture handwritten notes for filing.

Sure, some people find a tablet a viable laptop replacement, but they are not a significant percentage of the tablet using population. I'd hazard a guess many have a very specific need that really didn't require a laptop but until the tablet came along they had no alternative.

We tend to view things in the context of what we already have and use; which limits our ability to see the potential in things.

Comment Re:So That's Opt In, Right? And That Goes to Chari (Score 1) 325

Seems to me that I should be able to let anybody contact me and I can opt in to people being charged a dollar to contact me. I don't want to make long lost friends pay to send me a message but I can see how some people might appreciate this. Also, Facebook isn't doing anything worth $1 to get this money and it's an (in)convenience fee so this money should go to a charity.

Or, let the recipient decide wether FB should refund the fees if the message is useful. If not, the fee stands.

Comment Re:Why is it different? (Score 1) 74

Did you even read what the GP said? "Coolant leak" implies that the coolant has gone, so no amount of natural circulation will help.

It emerged a month or two ago that in fact the cooling system at Fukushima was damaged by the earthquake, so even if power had been available it was compromised. We don't fully understand what happened there yet.

I did, and the design of the AP-1000, unlike Fuku's BWR design, is designed to recirculate a coolant leak within primary containment and the core. Even in Fuku's case the real issue was not the loss of coolant accident but the lack of power to recircualte it via pumps.

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