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Comment Good to see . . . (Score 1) 204

Good to see voting with your wallet still works. I e-mailed all of those companies informing them that I was going to boycott their products because of their support of SOPA. Hopefully my e-mail played at least some small part in their decision. It'd be nice if they publicly announced their change in stance, but I'll take this as a small victory for democracy.

Comment Re:AT&T & CDMA? (Score 1) 52

This means with 4g, US may get phone compatibility from different carriers finally. It might take them a while, though, as LTE only phones wouldn't exist for another 5-6 years.

Maybe, but I wouldn't count on it,

There's going to be so much fragmentation on LTE that likely most devices will only support a couple of the frequencies required. Plus the US cell carriers are going to do everything they can to make sure the devices are software locked to their specific service. Plus unless the major carriers agree to use the same frequencies for their LTE services, the phones themselves might not physically be capable of operating on other networks than their home network.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 52

Unlike 3G, 4G (LTE) networks can carry both data and voice on the same channel, as well as being more spectrum efficient. It would be wise for ATT to deploy LTE as fast as they can while removing the less efficient 3G phones from the market. This means eventually LTE would be deployed everywhere, and whet it does, even the dumb phones will use LTE for voice, leaving much more room for data for others.

See my above comment about no plan ever surviving contact with the enemy.

How long did it take to fully phase out AMPS after TDMA and CDMA cell phones became common place? There are plenty of people (particularly the elderly who are 'set in their ways') that are STILL using TDMA or early generation CDMA devices. While LTE might be the ultimate goal, it'll be years before it can be implemented. This spectrum purchase is a step in that direction, but at this point who knows if that's where we'll end up, or if something completely different will come along.

Comment Re:So... (Score 3, Interesting) 52

The plan is that they'll be able to provide better LTE based mobile broadband. But then no plan ever survived contact with the enemy.
If you want cheap wireless, you're not using one of the big 4 companies anyways. If you want better coverage, well voice coverage is probably already about as good as it's gonna get, the costs to provide coverage to the 1% of people who aren't already saturated are proportunately not worth the return, and Data coverage is more focused on providing faster speeds in key markets with LTE than providing even '3g' speeds in the fringe areas where it's not saturated.
Frankly the spectrum is why AT&T wanted t-mobile in the first place, and since that deal fell through this is the next best thing for them.

Comment Re:Deniable encryption only works in theory (Score 2) 575

Essentially the way true crypt handles hidden volumes is thus. It creates a container volume, of a size you specify. Using a key you specify. When you input that key you open that container volume, and you can fill it up with whatever you want, lolcats, prawnography whatever. You set the size of your container volume, let's say for example at 20gb

Now you also create a 'hidden volume' inside that container. The hidden volume is designed to occupy the free space in the volume and it is obviously created to be smaller than the container volume. For our example, we'll say the hidden volume is 15gb.

The hidden volume uses a different encryption key. There's no way since the container is already encrypted (causing all the free space to essentially look like random garbage) to tell that there's a hidden volume contained within the free space of the volume, unless you know the key to decrypt it.

I'm over simplifying it a bit but that's the jist of how a hidden container works. And since we know that the hidden volume is 15gb, that leaves us 5 gb on the container volume to fill up with stuff you want people to think you care about keeping secret but don't really. The container file will report that it has 20gb total storage space to the system and anyone looking at it, but you'll actually only have 5gb of space to work with because if you put more than that in you'll corrupt your hidden volume by overwriting the 'free space' at the end of the container.

Comment Re:To which I can only reply: (Score 1) 1070

Hey now, Chernobyl I can agree with, but Fukushima? I don't think the accident that happened there was in any way shape or form a result of human stupidity. You could make the arguement that human stupidity played a part in the aftermath and cleanup efforts (I don't think it did, but that's beside the point), but unlike Chernobyl, the damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant was not caused by the staff having no idea what they were doing.

That said, mass extinction would probably be good for the species as a whole (albeit pretty lousy for the people who didn't make it). As a species we've grown fat and lazy, we go to great lengths to preserve the life of those who carry unfavorable genes that would otherwise die out given natural selection, are instead allowed to procreate, creating further generations of people with unfavorable genes. We 'waste' our limited resources feeding and caring for the infirm, who cannot legitimately support themselves. A forest fire does a lot of damage to the vegetation, but the plants that survive are that much stronger for it.

Comment Re:I don't believe it... (Score 1) 535

Has anyone here *REALLY*, and I mean *REALLY* used bitcoin to trade anything valuable? Ever?"

I bought about $100 worth of used video games with it. I don't know if you'd consider that valuable, but I certainly enjoyed them. Frankly the only reason any fiat currency has value is because someone (usually a government) says it does. Frankly as long as people are willing to assign a value to bitcoins they have value. It's just like people who buy/sell WoW gold, as long as there's a market for it it has value.

Comment Nothing to see here (Score 1) 535

Surprise! People are using money for something illegal, that's never been done with any other form of currency before. The only thing even remotely notable about using bitcoin instead of say a prepaid visa card, is it's a harder to trace down the source/destination of the funds.

Comment I'm conflicted (Score 1) 139

Can I still blame Facebook and other social media sites for the gradual acceptance of butchered English? Since Zuckerberg doesn't seem like he goes around shortening 'cause' to 'cuz', leaving 'I' as 'i' and neglecting punctuation wherever possible; can I still put part of the blame on him when it becomes proper 'english' to open a formal letter with 'sup', and close it with 'holla back'?

Comment Re:You mean that cell phone store? (Score 1) 413

Last time I was in a radio shack (last week), their Virgin Mobile phones were $30 more than they were at Best Buy.

Frankly that's retail for you, one store won't always have the best prices, and if you're willing to shop around then generally you can save a buck or 3. I'm sure there was a time when the situations were reversed.

All the same; not everyone has the time or willingness to shop around like that. To many people the possibility of saving $30 isn't worth the time that they have to spend going from store to store (or even web site to web site), especially when there's no garuntee of how much cheaper they'll be able to find it, or how much time they'll spend going from place to place.

Plus many people value the personal touch, you go to a big retailer and even if you can find an associate to help you, chances are they know fairly little about the products. Ever try to buy a TV from wal-mart? In a smaller store like Radioshack or Ace's there's a lot more employee presence. Maybe that's not important to everyone, there's plenty of people out there who like to do their own research, and determine their own needs (and frankly these sort of people are the kind that hate sales people in general), but there are also plenty of people who have no idea of the difference between an LCD tv and a plasma, and want to talk to an 'expert' who can explain it to them.

Comment Re:You mean that cell phone store? (Score 2) 413

Frankly, it's expensive to run a store front. Especially if the only volume you do is $3 parts. Sure there may be a huge markup on parts at Radioshack, but $200 in parts sales (meaning a ludicrus amount for most Radioshack locations) per day won't get the bills paid. Even if you assume 90% profit margin, once you've paid your employees you'd be lucky to have 30 bucks left over to pay for all the other store expenses for that day. Frankly Radioshack NEEDS the cell phone business.

Consider this, on average only 1 in 30 customers at Radioshack purchase a wireless phone. Yet that 3% of customers result in 35% of Radioshack's sales. Is it any wonder that they're trying to strengthen that business, even to the detriment of the DIY crowd? Frankly I think Radioshack is willing to sacrifice $10 worth of random, generally slow moving parts sales (that are only really of interest to a niche group) in favor of $500 cellular sales that they can market to anyone.

Disclaimer: yes I work for Radioshack, and frankly I love helping DIY people build wierd shit, but frankly I understand why the company is going the way it is.

Comment Re:Benefits (Score 1) 166

For the Record, yes I do work for Radioshack, but this is legitimate advice:

If you would have qualified for the 1 year upgrade before 6/30, but lost it due to sprint changing their Premier program's rules, Sprint gave Radioshack people authorization to do a one time over ride and give you the full upgrade pricing. You have to actually go into the store, and probably have to ask about the overide but I've done it for several customers so there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get an overide too.

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