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Comment Re:You may have heard of this thing (Score 1) 236

Or you could decide to be a hardware maker instead of a software maker. Don't customize Android, but use the free OS and spend more money making awesome, solid, fast hardware with great signal quality, etc.

Maybe it doesn't differentiate you much, but it wouldn't be a bad reputation to have, either. "Makes a really solid Android phone and doesn't muck with how the OS works."

Comment Blaming the victims (Score 1) 332

Look, I don't lend my car to strangers, either. But your position is a bit sociopathic.

Just like what these people did. They gave over samples apparently with no written guaranty of how they would be used, and now they're stunned that they have been used for other things.

Yes, they were naive. But they were misled, too. Why are you blaming the victims? If somebody tells you they're doing something to help you, whether that's analyzing your DNA or installing an internet connection or doing your taxes or removing your gallbladder, then they violate your trust, that's wrong. Whether you should have been suspicious of them is a different question.

Universal mistrust doesn't scale. I can't get through a single day without trusting a bunch of strangers not to veer into my lane and kill me, trusting my landlord's employees not to go into my apartment with their maintenance keys and steal my stuff, and trusting my bank not to steal my money. These are calculated risks, but I can't be right all the time. I'd say that trusting researchers from a legit university to do what they said is a pretty reasonable thing to do. But these people got burned.

Yes, we all have to be careful, and try not to get suckered. But traditionally, we don't punish suckers. We punish deceit. I don't know how you can have a sane society otherwise. And I think you'll want more sympathy than you've shown here on that distant future day when you make a mistake and find that you're the sucker.

Comment Re:Damn them! (Score 0, Troll) 332

So if I say "may I borrow your car to go to the grocery store?" and we don't sign an agreement saying "and nowhere else," then it's OK for me to take a cross-country road trip? Your fault, eh?

Also, after that, you and your neighbors would continue to trust me, right?

(Slashdotters, take note: I used a car analogy.)

Comment Early Christian != Catholic (Score 1) 1131

um, wasn't Catholicism the original christian religion from which all denominations of christianity derived?

As a Protestant, I'd say that early Christianity wasn't Catholic, and after it became so, some people protested and branched off. Which is why that event is called the Reformation - saying, "this church has strayed from its roots and must be reformed."

Comment Re:Space Invaders (Score 1) 238

Hahaha! So true.

My *favorite* thing about Halo for PC was that there were places where you could bypass part of the board by doing something unexpected. There's a bridge in one place, for example, were you are supposed to fight your way across, into the mountain on the other side, and emerge in the valley underneath the bridge, then fight your way up another mountain at the end of the valley. OR you can steal a banshee, if you're fast enough, and fly straight to the other mountain. OR you can slide down to the valley and get slightly hurt, then grab a health pack.

Non-linear play is awesome. I'd love to see more of that, and less "you must get item X in order to do Y." More exceptions and clever workarounds, please!

Comment Legitimate caller id spoofing (Score 1) 171

I've got a Google Voice number which forwards calls to my actual phone(s) based on rules I set up. One rule is "do you want to see the caller ID as the actual caller's, or as your Google Voice number?"

This is useful, but only because of the limited nature of caller id - it can only display one number. If it had slots for things like "original caller # and name" and "name of routing service", I wouldn't need to make that choice.

Also, it's unique in that *I* am deciding what information *I* want to see. I don't see any reason why someone should be able to call me and disguise their identity from me.

Comment Re:Seems perfectly reasonable to me... (Score 1) 449

A very interesting point. There have been stories lately about Google offering cheap fiber service in select areas.

It sounds to me like the same tactic they used releasing Chrome: not to get everyone to switch to their product, but to shame the the other browsers or ISPs with their superior quality, generate buzz, and make the other guys improved. End result: better browsers, better ISPs, and more Google traffic.

Comment In other words... (Score 2, Funny) 449

"How dare you provide the interesting, high-bandwidth content that help us sell our high-priced internet connections! We want a piece of that action!"

Yes, ISPs, it's time to demand your rights! And the movement is growing:

  • Electric companies are suing air conditioning manufacturers for creating demand for electricity. "Our power plants can't keep up with these cooling freeloaders," they complain.
  • Beer companies are suing bars for creating demand for beer. "If you didn't push beer so hard, our drivers wouldn't have to make so many trips," they say.

Justice will roll like a mighty tide!

Comment Verticals (Score 1) 155

...leading to the question of whether more such small Wikis should be created for certain verticals.

The first time I heard a sales guy use the term "verticals," I stopped him because I had no idea what that meant. He said that verticals are markets - health care, construction, etc. I said, "so a vertical is an industry?" Yep, he said.

I still hear the term a lot and think it's useless. To me, "vertical" implies a chain of processes leading towards a finished product. For example, the old railroad tycoons would get vertical monopolies by buying up the mines, the steel forges, the rail car manufacturers, etc, so that no competitor could threaten (or access) their supply of railroad ties and trains.

Competing businesses in the same field are not in the same "vertical" in that sense. It's easier for me to visualize them side by side.

But the main thing is, we already have a perfectly good word for this: "industry," or in certain contexts, "market." I'm preaching to the wrong crowd, I know, but please, let's avoid useless business jargon.

Comment Re:Next step: Apple bans HTML Canvas (Score 1) 166

Animated banners in HTML5 are not better than in Flash. But with a better model, these will be more easy to control, limit, optimize.

This is a great point. Flash is obtuse - you can tell what domain it comes from and that's about it. It's hard to write smart blocking for it. HTML is much easier to figure out and deal with, from a user/browser point of view.

This is why HTML is preferable to Flash fonts and image fonts, and why HTML animation is preferable to Flash animation: it's more webby. The web has a philosophy that the user can control their own experience and see the source for what they're viewing. This is a Good Thing for developers and users alike.

Comment Not new (Score 2, Interesting) 135

I work in the cellular industry, and this isn't new, other than being kinda small like the MiFi. If you wanted WiFi with a cellular backhaul in your car, you could have gotten that from Linksys, Cradlepoint, or JBM (now Sixnet) and others anytime in the last few years that I've been in this industry, probably much longer. If you were content to get an Ethernet connection and add your own WiFi hotspot, the list expands to Airlink, Bluetree, Digi, etc. And that's just off the top of my head.

Of course, geeks will always find a way. A friend of mine in high school created a dash-controllable MP3 stereo system for his car in 1999. He had an entire PC running Linux in the trunk and the display was re-purposed from a home security system. But that's not exactly a consumer-friendly setup.

Comment Re:Available only to subscribers (Score 1) 115

Product for free, support for $. Lots of companies solely thrive on this concept of support ( of others products ).

Why isn't this self-defeating? If you're supporting someone else's product, what's the incentive for them to make it? If you're supporting your own product, what's the incentive to improve it?

The more you improve your product, the less support you can sell. Doesn't that make you want to have an enticing, yet difficult-to-use product?

Unless all your support involves customer-specific modifications that can't be merged back into the trunk... which would be a huge headache in itself.

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