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Comment Sad, as a pebble owner (Score 2) 92

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.

Comment Re:wow (Score 1) 305

The development cycle is better but using major numbers is stupid and has rendered it meaningless IMO. Chrome ratchets up the version number similarly, they just don't trumpet it and instead silently update (which Mozilla is deeply opposed to).

Honestly I think the default option should be default stealth update like Chrome and, during install, ask if people want continuous silent updates. Let the nerds opt out if they have concerns and let everyone who doesn't like to know about every update get it.

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

If that's true, then it's as comprehensive as I'd hope. I just wonder if Firefox will whitelist certain addons at the risk of seeming to play favorites (if people don't check to enable Flash and then try to go to Youtube, it won't work).

Either that or prompt when a plugin that's present but default disabled would be used and ask if they want to enable it with a notification. Not sure of the handling code for that, but I can't imagine it being impossible.

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