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Comment Second verse, same as the first (Score 2) 47

The article shows nothing new from an analytics angle, except how to apply common techniques to the online gaming industry. For quite some time, grocery stores to airlines to web sites have been modeling user patterns, and exploiting them by adapting the product to what works the best. Anti-churn algorithms and targeted educative emails are cool techniques that work. Not every company needs or can use this style of analytics. Some companies stumble upon "gut-feel" brilliance and just do everything right. Others have to work at success and modern analytic techniques make that possible. As the article points out, insight can be misused. Those that become overbearing will suffer, and others will take their place.

Comment Charge for retransmissions? (Score 1) 538

So if I have 10% packet loss and incur a lot of transmissions, will that be counted in my cap? Hopefully they will only charge for data truly received at the application layer and not for the overhead. I also don't want to pay for SPAM or any random address pinging me, even if this is all just noise compared to my Netflix and Vonage use. If there must be a cap, let it be for usable data where I initiated the request. Hopefully this move triggers an invalidation of contracts with every town where they do business. Its time to bring in competition.

Comment Learned it over the Intranet (Score 1) 236

A computer networking show, probably Interface, was underway in Washington DC and in our booth we had a live network connection to our corporate intranet. I was running the tech support for the booth and got an instant message from one of my co-workers back at the office telling me what had happened. This is in the days before cell-phones, so the buzz spread from our booth very quickly. The show just stopped for a while until people could take it all in. It was a shocker. The report that followed was good insight into the workings of NASA and flight operations. In the history of discovery, space is still a lot safer than the early days on the ocean were.

Comment Still too complicated (Score 1) 173

Opt in won't work. Not enough people will do it to keep contextual ads flowing. Opt out might work, but not one that is all-or-nothing. Tracking is done by the site you are visiting and across sites by the ad networks. The former is critical to make the site suck less. The latter is the problem people are concerned about. Products you look at on site A turn up as ads on site B. The online ad market is worth 10's of billions and is not going to be quieted easily. Ads in context work so much better, and are therefore worth much more. It is hard to fight the strong flow of money, especially when it has a chance of helping the economy. Admit it or not - advertising works.

Comment IT policies get the respect they deserve (Score 1) 1

Business users have a job to do - and there is plenty of external sources for tools to excel at the job (no pun intended). IT teams are often too focused on SLA and cost cutting, not agility and user productivity. The IT organization needs to realize that it is part of the solution, and no longer has a monopoly. Well run IT departments provide value that is respected, not barriers to jump around.
The Internet

Information Rage Coming Soon To an Office Near You 201

digitaldc submitted the latest excuse to get a few days off: "A survey released this week revealed the latest affliction to hit white-collar workers. It's called 'information rage,' and almost one in two employees is affected by it. Overwhelmed by the torrent of data flooding corporate workplaces, many are near the breaking point. The aftermath of all this is the deterioration in quality that occurs when flustered employees — unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough — end up submitting work that's substandard. Almost three quarters of the survey's respondents declared their work has suffered as a result."

Comment Re:Great news! (not) (Score 2, Informative) 414

>This year we are going to see a new record low for arctic sea ice --- surpassing even the dramatic 2007 decline.

Another source, the Arctic News, differs with your conclusion. See link here: and the main site at

It is still bad. This year will be the runner-up, not the new record low for arctic sea ice. Perhaps, as before, the moisture in the arctic air will swirl down and result in a good snow year for the northeast US ski areas.

Comment Re:Cost of Labor (Score 5, Interesting) 115

I had a good look at the US Census hardware and used it in the field with a census taker. It did nothing a smart phone couldn't do, but appeared to be an over-engineered yet poorly featured military industrial complex piece of crap. I'm SURE it cost way too much money, especially compared with the cost of an LG smart phone.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Time for Universal Data Plans?

theodp writes: Molly Wood is tired of multiple data plans, artificial caps, and arbitrary monthly usage charges. Not to mention paying the same companies multiple times for the exact same 'service' — data. Between multiple cell phones and their add-ons, high-speed Internet connections, and digital TV subscriptions, most households are paying for data delivery at least three times over, often paying the same provider twice. It's time for a universal data plan, Wood declares: 'I want to pay once for data, I want that data to be unlimited, and I want to be able to use it in any fashion I choose.' Still, she has hopes that the-times-they-will-be-a-changin': 'It's only a matter of time before regulators catch wind of just how many times we're being charged for the exact same thing. Everyone's usage is going to start to increase, and this parsing and nickel-and-dime-ing and 'plus' and 'pro' plans is all just a smoke screen. And, frankly, a rip-off.' Michael Weinberg also notes that we're at an AOL-fork-in-the-road moment, but the jury's still out on whether competition will force a consumer-friendly path to be taken.

Submission + - Soon We'll All Be Data Hogs

Hugh Pickens writes: "Jeff Bertolucci writes on PC World that the demise of ATT's all-you-can-eat unlimited offering is bad news for the small percentage of bandwidth hogs who are slowing Ma Bell's robust network to a crawl but with the expected surge in video applications for wireless devices, we'll all be data hogs before long. Consider the 3G iPad, an entertainment device tailored for video-viewing (among other things). Before the demise of AT&T's unlimited data plan, Netflix subscribers who own an iPad could use the the Netflix app for the iPad to watch streaming movies and TV shows on the tablet. But with AT&T's new tiered data plans, the new $15-a-month DataPlus plan would offer a stingy 200 MB of data each month — enough to watch 20 minutes of streaming video or with the $25 a month DataPro plan, enough for 200 minutes of streaming video. Then there's the likely addition of a video camera to the fourth-generation iPhone that can be used for video chat, allowing real-time wireless videoconferencing, a feature that opens the door to a new generation of smartphone video apps including video social networking, video games, and augmented reality applications. "Yes, soon we'll all be data hogs," writes Bertolucci. "If AT&T is punishing bandwidth hogs by ditching the unlimited plan, it'll soon have a lot more unhappy porkers on its hands.""

Comment Will reducing CO2 fix the problem? (Score 1) 1046

Why can't we get past the question if and why - and on to the more important question, now what? There is little science that I've seen showing that anything we do will change things. Perhaps we are past the tipping point and just have to ride out the results. The economic costs of stopping CO2 emission are very high - and there is no guarantee it will do any good. Why not invest billions in fixing whatever climate change brings. Perhaps a carbon tax could go towards this, but my fear is global corruption will take control of this and we'll all get screwed.

Comment Suggestion (Score 0) 180

Brazil's market stock has a "kill switch" that turns off trading in cases such as these. If the stocks take a nose dive because of a computer glitch or
because of a human typo, the kill switch automatically closes the market for that day.

That would be a great feature to add to our stock markets here in the US.

Comment Re:always the loudest wins. (Score 0, Troll) 1046

They get away with it because of the extreme polarisation of opinions. If i write up an article detailing how the atmosphere will balloon and aerobreak the moon down on our heads because of man made CO2 sources then i'll get immideate support from the CO2=Bad crowd, atleast from the journalist and non-scientist segment of the crowd even though the science behind the argument is fraudulent. That it have turned into a political alignment instead of science is my main problem with it.
My secondary problem is the hubris of the climate modellers, predicting there will be rain in 12 hours or snow this winter is at best guesstimations, yet people tout their multi decade global predictions as for sure to be really accurate and a reason to ACT NOW because in twenty years it will be too late, never mind waiting five years to see if the model have any accuracy. And if we do wait five years we'll have the new and shiny and untested climate model 5.0 which more accurately reflected the last five years as an indicator of increased accuracy yet still is untested for predicting real future.

Comment Re:No mention (Score 1) 1046

You do realise the papers talked about in the climategate emails were published and did make it into the IPCC reports, right?

There's still the sticky matter of intent. Those emails make the intent clear. Now, maybe the people in question cooled down after the heat of the moment and didn't carry through on their threats. Or maybe they did, but failed due to obstacles in their path. We don't know from the emails, but it's showing more of that blatant and emotional anti-scientific bias that colored their thinking and probably their research.

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