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Comment none of the above... (Score 2) 391

Surveillance happens today at the server level: the Feds claim that, under the PATRIOT act, they can get the records of all visits and all 'cloud' data straight from the server - this is the "PRISM" project, but shades of it have been going for the past decade.

They don't need your client end. They get the server logs, they get the server history of visits, and reverse-lookup you and then collate all visits to as many web services as they can from the particular IP and MAC address, and that's how they put together your history.

Cookies, SSL, HTTPS, none of that matters. The only thing that would escape it is to route through anonymous proxies.

Comment except...Romney wasn't the problem: apathy was. (Score 1) 166

The Obama concern was never that 2008 Obama voters would "stray" to Romney. The Republicans moved so far to the right that even Romney was having trouble following his base (and that was one reason he lost: he showed clearly that he would follow the conservative base, not lead the country).

The Obama concern was that 2008 Obama voters *wouldn't show up at the polls*. Turnout was key. If those that disliked Obama (but disliked Romney more) just decided to stay home, he would have lost. In fact, in some regions he DID lose vs. his 2008 wins for that very reason, such as Lynchburg, VA.

Comment Re:Prior art (Score 2, Interesting) 322

What can be patented isn't the invention, but the process for making it en masse for modern needs. The quantity involved will far exceed the Roman usage.

The complications is that most volcanic rock today is protected by national or regional parks (partly to protect people from being too close for a long time). Etna, Vesuvius, Hawaii, Iceland - many of those aren't going to just let corporations come in with the same giant trucks they use for coal mines today and rip away 3/4s of the mountainside or lava flows to get the stuff.

Comment She'll Lose... (Score 1) 442

...on the issue of the song's copyright. The law, under the Sonny Bono extension act, has already been upheld by the Supreme Court, so the lower court only need look at the publisher's claim and call it.

HOWEVER, if the whole point of her film is to point out the ridiculousness of all of this, she's got a very strong claim for 'Fair Use', since the work is being addressed in a critical commentary.

(crud, I meant to post that as me and not as anonymous...stupid new machine with no cookies...)

Comment No amount of retail makes up for the hidden costs (Score 1) 646

It cost this country *millions* to get all their software working and tested during the last change in the Bush era. I personally had to manage my company's conversion and testing, as we had to work with 3 versions of Windows, 2 versions of SunOS, 2 versions of Java to keep up with, 3 JDBC drivers, plus 2 versions of Oracle, each being patched every week in the lead-in as each had to determine if the other wasn't adapted/patched and had to work around it.

$150,000 for a simple 150 employee company to assign 5 people in development, QA, and IT, to keep up with it all for 2 months and hope like hell everything worked on the other side. And during all that time, none of the 5 of us could do stuff that really benefited our company and its product line.

Multiply that by every single small company, nevermind the huge companies like Microsoft and Oracle that had to eat all that cost of writing all those patches in the first place, and you get a wasted dollar figure so large that retail sales going up by 2% will NEVER make up for. We will never get that money back - the stock market slumped for a month in recovery.

And you want us to go through that again?

No offense, Mr. Johnson, but go to hell. I am not going through that again...

Comment find a case first (Score 1) 311

Little ones tend to toss phones aside when they get them, so be sure that you can fit the phone in some kind of protective case. The better ones out there, at least for iPad and iPhone (and iPod Touch) even have a blocker to prevent pressing the home button. However, they are all standardized for ipods, so be sure to try one on your android device first to be sure it fits and is secured and stable.

I can't speak for pre-toddler apps on android, as for my little one we opted for an iPod touch instead, since we knew it would 1) fit in those kinds of cases, and 2) be easier to secure vis-a-vie the home button, shopping sites, the settings panel. Fisher Price's apps have been good for our little one in the IOS. Some of those might have been ported.

The other important thing to watch for is the free preview apps - those are *entirely* for adults to try. When they reach their time or step limit, they may take you to the app store to purchase the full version. Make sure it doesn't do that before you hand it over to the kid to try.

Comment Re:CNET overviews the removed features (Score 1) 295

That part of DJ is still there (from what I read). What is missing now is the way in which anybody (if you opened up your iTunes folders) could request tracks from the outside. Either they got rid of that for lack of use, or more likely because it opened up security holes that they didn't want to keep playing catch-up on closing.

I do like the fact that you can have it generally shuffle, but prioritize (weighted shuffle) those with higher ratings.

Comment Re:CNET overviews the removed features (Score 1) 295

I hadn't really noticed the distinctions in winamp, but winamp is usually what I'm playing at work so I'm only barely paying attention.

The lack of gapless more sticks out on the music players of my tablet, and the cd-rom player in my car, which are the two times I'm more likely to listen to classical. If the CD broke the tracks up (a-la most recordings of Rite of Spring and Firebird) the gaps are very frustrating and I'm going to slowly re-rip most of them to be single-track (at least iTunes hasn't gotten rid of the 'merge these tracks when ripping' feature, which is very useful).

Comment Ideal solution - wifi the system to the phone? (Score 1) 445

Perhaps they should consider automatically updatable system (at least as far as software goes, hardware and moore's law is a different beast entirely), but automatic over the 'net. In particular, just like connecting to a phone via bluetooth, there's no reason the dashboard can't connect to the phone via the phone's ability to serve as a wifi hotspot to your cell network. For GPS, they could continue to have the flash memory and/or dvdrom (its still less than 4gig compressed) in the system to serve slightly out of date data 'til the phone and google maps is back in network. Otherwise you get all sorts of apps available (internet radio) all built into the dashboard but available because the dashboard is networked.

Granted, on city-wide wifi networks it can be a bit of a stressload on those routers...'til 5-10 years from now when most cities have better and wide-spread networks.

But by going 802.11, it totally avoids any network specialties and patents by letting the phone deal with them. It just assumes a hotspot is in the car and goes from there.

Or another option is to build the capabilities into the phone and just have the screen serve as an additional monitor and touch-screen for it...but that requires Android and Apple agreeing on a few standards and not patenting any of them (and Microsoft following them), and how likely is that in the lawsuit land we live in today. Hence, let the dashboard designers just do what they want to do without caring about the source of the network and avoid a lot of patent issues that might never get resolved by the time the car is obsolete.

Comment Re:Just block all ads and don't worry about it (Score 1) 716

"micropayments"

We have heard this word as the great content rescuer come from on high for well more than 15 years now.

Where is it?

When will we get it?

it isn't going to happen, for the same reason so people won't pay for a $1.99 app (yet buy a $15 album just to get one song). the choice to pay or not pay is itself more stressful than just not reading the content or getting the download. And we've known this for years.

subscriptions help, but in the paper world, subscriptions are a means to more targeted advertising (guaranteed eyeballs, tighter demographics analysis). if you really paid what an advertiser covers in a magazine subscription, you'd be paying 4-10 times as much for the same content.

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