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Comment Re:Had my first order cancelled by Amazon last mon (Score 1) 68

There has to be a pick priority so when you order something for $4 overnight, it actually arrives the next day. That being said, it's clear that Amazon could ship items faster to Prime members. Over 50% of my orders with two day shipping end up sitting on the order for the day it's placed, shipping it the next day, and while it still arrives in two days, it could have been one day if Amazon wanted.

That's fine by me since I pay for unlimited two day and the value is getting the item within two days. But what they do with the free shipping now is pretty criminal, and I think a way to basically force people into trying Prime and getting addicted to the unlimited two day gravy train.

Amazon prime is a hard value prop depending on your household size. They used to allow you to share it with "four household members", which was anyone with an email that you knew the MM/DD birthday of (meaning you could split it four ways and get $25/person prime, even if they lived at totally different addresses). Now you can only share with one other account AND both accounts share all saved payment methods, which most people who aren't engaged/married/closely related aren't going to want. The music and video and photo backup benefits are nice but it's still a hard pricetag to swallow.

Comment Good for prime members, bad in some ways (Score 1) 68

Amazon is basically great if you have Prime now and sucks if you don't. Their delivery acumen and warehousing operations are nothing short of amazing in scope. A lot of the time when you pick "free two day prime shipping", they wait an entire day to ship it because it's in the warehouse a state over and they can just slap a USPS First Class mail label on it for cheap and get it to you two business days later (or same but same day for $4/next day shipping). If you don't then Amazon waits forever to pick your items and sends them from the warehouse at the other side of the country so it takes weeks to get your item.

That being said, fulfilled by Amazon is great for avoiding tax in some states and getting some third party products that are quality quickly (e.g. a third party makes some of the best USB-C/Apple Lightning cables I know of and fulfills via amazon), but it's also made buying certain things impossible because the stock gets contaminated by counterfeits. Amazon goes to Apple and buys real iPhone chargers, someone else goes to China and gets cheap counterfeits, then Amazon says "they're the same item so we can put them on the same spot on the shelf", and then you end up in a situation where 90% of "real" Apple chargers sold by Amazon are fakes. It's made buying certain items on Amazon totally not worth it. I used to get Energizer/Duracell coin cell batteries in large packs for a fraction of the price per battery you'd pay at a brick and mortar store. Now most of those are fake too (same stock contamination as the iPhone cables) and they last maybe a week or two before you throw them out. I just buy them at the store now, because counterfeits aren't worth the hassle.

Comment Sad, as a pebble owner (Score 2) 94

Numerous articles are now reporting that the Pebble brand will be phased out. Given Fitbit's history of buyouts (e.g. their acquisition of Coin earlier this year was a technology buyout, and they left everyone who bought the Coin 2.0 payment hardware SOL) I believe that Fitbit is going to drop support/development of the Pebble hardware. And my Pebble Time 2 (bought earlier this year via Kickstarter) is late, and probably deprecated before I receive it.

My Pebble Time Steel - other than the giant bezel - is my ideal smartwatch. Great battery life, intuitive controls, looks nice, price was right, battery life means I don't have to charge it daily (sometimes as little as once a week, with a lot of notifications). I thought that Pebble Time 2 would solve my main gripe. But with the buyout, I'm probably going to cancel my order. Why buy into something that's going to be dead from a development perspective before I get it?

Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 64

Fair enough for the name and record locator, but on many boarding passes (e.g. United) it's not plainly printed in plaintext (E.G. MileagePlus Gold, Star Alliance Gold, ******ABC). Just scan the boarding pass with a barcode reader (it's in the standard BCBP format, so the frequent flier # is in plaintext) and then you have a username, and an idea if the account is worth breaking into (global services or 1K [top two tiers] would have that status printed on the BP).

Combine that with United's horrible security (requiring you to have a four digit PIN = weak to bruteforce) and you end up with a recipe for disaster if you leave your BPs laying around.

Comment Unchecky helps with this (Score 1) 328

I know that many would ridicule that such a program is necessary/useful on windows, and some others might rather avoid software with bundled crapware checked by default in the installers, but Unchecky is a great, lightweight (less than 1MB RAM) freeware that watches installers and automatically unchecks the boxes for things like offers in the Java installer, Bing toolbar/bing default in the Skype installer, and other unwanted bundled installs.

I run it as a convenience to not uncheck the boxes manually, but for relatives (e.g. grandma) it's fantastic because it saves me from removing five toolbars every month.

Comment most techies will perceive it that way (Score 1) 461

I've personally found that the majority of people don't really make any judgment on having an AOL address but people who are tech oriented tend to think the person is backwards for using a really old service that's associated with old times, not as much storage or features as some newer entrants (e.g. Gmail, etc.)..

My parents and grandparents started on the internet for AOL and spend 5+ years regularly using it, signing up for sites, giving out contact info, etc. before getting cable and 9 or more years before Gmail ever existed. My grandparents actually maintain email pretty well (delete what they don't need so smaller storage amount is OK) so they just use AOL via IMAP (switched to iPads as primary internet device).

One of my parents gave up the AOL mail (used another email more) and the other still uses their AOL address - but all email is pulled via POP into Gmail on a 5 minute basis (Greasemonkey script automates the fetch on that interval, clicking the refresh button in gmail will force a check sooner) and that is how she consumes it. This system works pretty well because you can switch even formerly paid AOL accounts to the free plan and not lose anything. This may eventually not become required because all outgoing email goes out via Gmail on the personal domain (Gmail for your Domain), so most people who would care to contact her have the new email address nowadays.

Comment Re:CurrentC is all about the data (Score 1) 631

The merchants already know what you're buying. Target takes any information they can and ties it to a guest ID. You use a coupon you got emailed with a credit card- they tie the email and credit card to your guest ID. You use the same credit card and buy tobacco when they scan your drivers license - they append the info from the driver's license to your guest ID. With your physical address from your driver's license, they mail you a coupon and you use that with your debit card - they tie the debit card to your guest ID.
The big win of CurrentC for the merchants is that it gives them a platform to share this information from each other and build up this information across stores. Now Walmart knows what you bought at Rite Aid.

Comment Assumes discounts trump habits and trust (Score 1) 631

It's been said in a variety of ways, but this article assumes that the carrots offered by the retailers will trump all the problems with this system. Let's think through this:
  1. It requires you to give your bank account number, driver's license number, and social security number to a random app. Competing mobile wallets require none of these. Additionally, this is being asked by an app for a group of people who consumers have relatively low amounts of trust for right now - retailers, currently reeling after huge breaches.
  2. It requires you to unlock your device, enter a PIN, and either scan a QR code, or have the cashier scan yours off your screen. This is far more hassle than placing the phone to the reader and entering the PIN/using a biometric ID on Apple devices.
  3. It forces you to use a checking account, which many people don't want since they want the benefits of credit cards.

Beyond the obvious other pitfalls for people in the know (consumer liability is far worse, privacy is far worse with the retailers getting more data- the terms and conditions even require you to approve the collection of health related data), there are huge red flags. I just don't see it happening with sustainable "carrots" to keep consumers using the app - it's too high maintenance for it to be worth it except for massive discounts far in excess of what the merchant fees are. Not to mention one would expect the credit card companies to fight back.

Comment MX Greens are not new (Score 1, Insightful) 298

MX Greens have been used with MX Blue switches for a while. Usually the only green switch on the keyboard is the spacebar, it's meant to be a stronger (heavier, requiring more actuation force) version of the blue for that purpose.

The use of MX Greens for an entire keyboard is new though.

As others indicated, you can buy a Unicomp if you want a "real Model M" anyways. The click is not as tactile and the feel from the tactility is different between buckling springs and MX switches (a click leaf is different from the THWACK of a buckling spring buckling and hitting the wall). If you want a heavier actuation cherry switch with a lighter click, get an MX. If you want a Model M-like keyboard, get a Model M or Unicomp Customizer...

Comment Re:Only when they don't already know? (Score 2) 358

Also in Boucher's case they were able to get specific, and in Boucher's case, he only used a container, so files with names suggesting CP were there, and the defendant voluntarily decrypted them so they could be viewed.

The ICE agent examined the computer and saw a file labeled “2yo getting raped during diaper change,” but was unable to open it. After the suspect navigated to the encrypted portion of the hard drive, the ICE agent located and examined several videos or images that appeared to be child pornography. Id. The district court concluded that the “foregone conclusion” doctrine applied under those facts because any testimonial value derived from the act of production was already known to the Government and therefore added nothing to its case

The circumstances are different here, hence why a foregone conclusion was not found.

Comment Re:Third Party Addons... (Score 1) 305

The Anon I replied to alleges that addons cover extensions (ABP, Betterprivacy, Ghostery, Skype, etc.) AND plugins (Flash, Shockwave, java - anything that uses the NPAPI).

So if my initial interpretation was correct (same as yours- this is for extensions not plugins), that won't be a problem; if his interpretation is correct (keeping in mind that he challenged mine - plugins/extensions are under the addons umbrella, both appear in the addon manager, etc.) it would be.

I guess the only way to find out will be to install a copy of the beta and then a plugin or two.

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