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Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 2) 113

So, they are acting like any other company when faced with the same market situation?

Actually, no. Most corporations that size, in the rare cases where they're faced with competition, look for unethical ways to stop it.

Google's made some effort to be ethical, but the ways in which they fall short are becoming harder to overlook. They're one of the few companies with the resources to resist the NSA for example, even if only to fight the gag order that's been placed on them regarding the level to which they have been served national security letters. If Google doesn't fight, what chance does a smaller company have? That's one of the areas in which Microsoft has actually acquitted itself pretty well.

Which reminds me that Doctorow recently recommended that web companies use "dead-man switches" to respond to NSA spying. By putting up a single sentence, "We have not been contacted by the NSA to turn over data" and leaving it up as long as it's true, they could fight against the despicable practice that the NSA, DEA, even the CFPB has, of demanding companies play ball and then forbid them from telling customers about it.

A company like Google could get a whole lot of public love if they just took one small step in fighting back against the encroaching police state. Other, smaller, companies have done it. Now it's their turn.

Comment Re:Ah the post-iPhonenote planted stories (Score 1) 166

Sure, Spotify is great - provided you don't mind:

1) A lot of music is still not available there, so you're stuck with either "super popular" pop music or "huh?" bedroom recordings from self-styled DJs.
2) Bankrupting the musicians who put their music up there. Presumably you like their music, but if you're just streaming it from Spotify, you're doing them no favors to encourage them to continue making music you like.

1. Spotify has by far the best deep catalog of any of the online services. I was just looking over the collection of Earl King recordings - stuff I didn't even know he had made. If you like music that was made more than a few years ago, it's all there. And if you like music that was made recently, it's all there. There are some notable absences, but I've got all that music in my own collection, playable through Spotify.

2. No artist is forced to be on Spotify.

Comment Re:Ah the post-iPhonenote planted stories (Score 0) 166

So we had the 64 bit "story" yesterday, and now an even less believable claim which relies upon the notion that the iPhone is the most common phone platform, used by nearly all music listeners.

Hey, show a little respect. Apple just announced a new iPhone, so the Internet is bound by convention to celebrate all things Apple for the next few weeks.

Personally, I can't run iTunes on my phone, so it's probably not going to be my standard. It's on my Mac at home, but I use that to get work done, not to consume media. Unfortunately, I can't play Arma III on it, and my game machine runs Spotify, where for a few bucks a month I can get a high-quality stream of any music I want, including an amazing back catalog of stuff going back to the earliest days of recorded music. If I want to hear a specific song, I just ask for it. No "radio" involved. No "thumbs up, thumbs down", hoping it will play something I like.

iTunes radio is late to the game and it's on a platform that stopped being cool in 2011.

Comment genre fiction & "influential" (Score 1) 116

Timothy Zahn, one of the most influential Star Wars Expanded Universe authors (creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade)

If he's "one of the most influential Star Wars Expanded Universe authors", how many others are there? On whom did he have influence?

Personally, I'm known as one of the most influential three-toed green bunny with superpowers short-novel authors (creator of Pukey the Mighty Bunny and Horrible Emperor Zfnjor) . Not THE most influential of course, but one of the top 500 for sure. However among the four-toed green bunny with superpowers short-novel authors, I'm considered little more than a hack.

You can get my books on Amazon for $2.99. I tried to put them up for $1.99, but I guess people expect be paid more than $1.99 to read a short novel about a three-toed green bunny with superpowers. For some reason, the four-toed green bunny with superpowers short novels sell like hotcakes.

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 1) 332

Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by Verizon Communications and Vodaphone. Vodaphone owns 45% of this joint venture. Verizon Communications is buying the part of Verizon Wireless that is currently owned by Vodaphone.

Clear now?

Clear as mud.

No matter how you spin it, there is one less entity with interest in the wireless space. Like it or not, Vodaphone and Verizon Communications are not the same company. If you own stock in Vodaphone (at $212/share) it is not the same thing as owning stock in Verizon ($47/share). They each have their own board of directors, they each have their own CEO, which means, they are not the same company.

When Verizon purchases Vodaphone's 45% share in Verizon Wireless, pay attention, there is a further concentration of the wireless market. Verizon no longer has to make Vodaphone happy because Vodaphone will no longer have an interest in Verizon.

The good thing about public corporate governance is that there are greater checks and balances. Corporations have to make shareholders happy. By taking their biggest shareholder off the board, it's one less very large, powerful interest that they have to make happy. Since they've already made the decision that making their customers happy, this probably is not a good thing for the wireless market generally. Whether you are competing for customers or shareholders, competition is a good thing. Less competition is a bad thing.

Comment Re:64-bit BS (Score 1) 512

Apple did not write the speculation in TFA.

So, you believe that this is something other than an Apple marketing press release. I don't.

Anything you read in the tech press immediately after an Apple product announcement is suspect, to me, since there is absolutely no original reporting in any of it. The only information that a journalist has at this point is what Apple is putting out, complete with Apple spin. That's the whole purpose of the secrecy surrounding these things.

Nothing about making the Mac more like the iPhone.

See above. Except for the fact that the story is about iPhones becoming more like Macs, except spun to make it sound like this was somehow going to make iOS apps run on Macs, which have had 64-bit address space for years now.

Remember, the only information that anyone, including the press, has at the moment is what Apple has spoon-fed them.

Comment Re:64-bit BS (Score 2) 512

Right, because there are no algorithms, none whatsoever, not mmapped in-memory databases, not modern runtimes, which benefit from having a large address space that will not be exhausted by fragmentation. Yep, none at all.

So you would think that this new large address space will allow more complex and productive apps brought to the iPhone.

But, if you read the article, you'll see this:

'The ultimate prize, of course, would be to bring the million-plus iOS apps to Macs.

But it's the iPhone that's being brought up to the same address space as the Mac, not the other way around. Interesting that Apple puts this in terms of making the Mac more like the iPhone instead.

Macs are already technically capable of running iOS apps.

Plus, and this is not a small concern, I think there are plenty of Mac users (like me) who see the notion of OSX becoming more like iOS as something of a big step in the wrong direction. Maybe Apple's purpose is not the same as the purpose of people who use Macs.

Comment Atlantic and the Kaplan Test Prep (Score 2) 169

Atlantic's article has some big flaws. The issue with what you want out of a classroom depends on the criteria. If your goal is to charge as much as possible for students who will fail to obtain degrees, while increasing the size and salaries of administrations, then yes, having minimum wage adjuncts teaching everything and reducing tenured teachers is great.

If your goal is to have the maximum percentage of your students actually finish their degrees, then it's a very bad plan. And The Atlantic is hardly an objective party in this discussion. They have a vested interest in online, for-profit education replacing the model of universities as centers of academic excellence and research. It's basically the "school reform" argument transferred to higher education.

Think about the professors that had the greatest impact on you as a person and professionally. How many of them were tenured and how many were harried adjuncts teaching 8 courses per semester just to be able to afford to live?

The enormous growth in the cost of higher education has not been because professors are making too much money or because they've got too much job security.

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 1) 332

Verizon is buying the part of Verizon Wireless that Vodaphone currently owns.

So, you're saying that Verizon is paying $130billion for something it already owns? And if it's "part of Verizon" then why does Verizon have to pay $130billion for it? If I was a Verizon shareholder, I'd be pretty pissed that my company is spending so much money on something that's already theirs.

As you say, "hah, hah, that's a good one."

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 1) 332

A good start in the US would be to separate the infrastructure and content provider aspects of the business.

That's the key. Our laws do provide for that separation, and except for the fact that we've had extremely weak regulatory enforcement over the past 30 years, it would have been done already.

There is no way that one company providing infrastructure and content complies with anti-trust laws. But we've had such weak Attorney Generals who don't want to upset the corporate sector that nothing's been done. That's why telecommunications in the US is in such shoddy shape compared to other developed countries. My European or East Asian friends can't believe how bad it is when they come here.

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