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Comment Re: It's Come to This (Score 2) 100

The problem with your argument is that the demos today are exactly the same as the demos from 15 years ago (seriously I was doing this same basic automation commands for light on/off with off the shelf x10 equipment and perl web interfaces at university in 2010 - and that want even in the CS program).

Voice recognition libraries were available even then with Dragonspeak integration. Add the contextual understanding and there might be something here - but as of right now he's bragging about problems solved since before we had iPhones.

Comment Re:Yeah... (Score 1) 34

You are no longer the norm. My teams build and support a web ecommerce platform for 9 name-brand apparel companies (names you'd recognize) that all are under one parent publicly-traded corporation. The platform does a huge amount of online sales every day, and individually the brands hit $1m days on a regular basis. The brands have very divergent market segments and product lines, from high-income outdoor enthusiasts, to midwest soccer moms, to teenage punk rockers.

Want to know what's common across all the brands we manage on our platform? For at least the last 2 years, they have all seen over 50% of online sales coming from mobile visitors.

Comment Re:SO? (Score 2, Insightful) 259

Actually, it's less about having access to the underlying code (what MS was guilty of with Office), and more that they build to the APIs their OS provides.

Adobe has to build it's video editing products with an extra abstraction layer because they want the same application code to run on multiple platforms. The same premise applies when building something on GTK/Qt for cross-compatibility with Linux/Win/OSX, or when building something in Unity3D for iOS/Android cross platform support. That extra abstraction layer introduces overhead, and there's always performance-related features that you can't leverage because the functionality of the APIs underneath aren't 1:1.

If you only target a single hardware/OS platform, then you can focus on best using the APIs that platform provides.

Granted, there is some additional benefit for Apple's software teams because they get early access to what's coming and are pressured to actually use the new features that a 3rd party might be too conscious to implement.

Comment Re:Is it really a war? (Score 1) 135

"The Internet" hasn't meant the physical network for at least 2 decades. Since at least the early '90s and the "internet superhighway", average people have used "The Internet" to refer to the collective set of interactive services and activities made possible by the network, rather than the underlying network hardware itself.

What good is the physical link if nothing intended to run on it is actually functioning?

Comment After over 15 years ads force me to leave slashdot (Score -1, Offtopic) 149

As a max karma poster who's been here since 1999 or so, I give up.

The last couple weeks, every time I open an article I get a hijacked redirect to the App Store.

Since you can't be bothered to police your ad network, I'm leaving for someone less intrusive (ArsTechnica)

I suffered through John Katz, pink ponies, multiple acquisitions with cross promotion, the infamous Beta and 2.0 redesigns, multiple attempts to modernize. I was here when this was almost the only site still responding and active during 9/11. I was here for the marriage proposal. I was here when making a /. story meant your little site had "made it" and the first you found out was that your server was hosed by the /. effect. I was here for the community and insightful (and inciteful) discussing.

I'm leaving because of the ad abuse.

Comment Re:Sales Tax, Use Tax, and the Internet (Score 1) 347

You don't calculate your income tax 5-10 times a day. And income tax involves a crap ton of work to do every year and even two different programs can spit out wildly different results using the same data based on different interpretations and order-of-operations.

Your analogy is flawed.

Comment Re:Enormous tax and administrative burdens (Score 1) 347

And now your "simple" solution is complicated because the carriers don't know what's inside the box they are shipping (unless it falls into a prohibited or dangerous class of goods that require special handling).

And you still haven't solved the classification problems. Biologists debate the taxonomy of known species all the time (see bison bison bison vs. bison bison athabascae) and you think there's some simple way to classify manufactured products? Even Amazon hasn't solved that problem.

Even if you could come up with some magic taxonomy for manufactured products it still wouldn't work for taxation because the tax laws in even a single jurisdiction are riddled with exceptions for certain buyers, or for different types of use. For example, buying a sandwich at Subway "to go" is not taxed in CA because it's considered groceries and not a served meal. But if it's a hot sandwich, you eat-in, or you opt to have the sandwich toasted, and it's taxable as a meal. Buy the same sandwich at the grocery store deli, and it's not taxed because it's groceries. Unless they package it as ready-to-eat and have picnic tables and suddenly it might be taxable and depends on how they wrap/package it. In some jurisdictions the soda that came with your meal has a tax, but not if you got ice tea or lemonade out of the exact same fountain.

That's just one state, with just a simple fast-food meal. And isn't even including the counties, cities, special taxation districts, etc that all complicate it further.

The only way to make this work is to rip it all out and replace sales tax with a Federal standard (see Europe and VAT), and that's not gonna happen.

Comment Re:Encrypting the Link is only part of the story (Score 4, Insightful) 57

I think it's exactly the opposite. For so long PGP and other security features were email were ignored because you can't communicate with users on email providers that don't enable it. Same thing with various spam controls - we've always bitched that we can't turn them on because the big vendors ignore it.

This is a GOOD thing by Google. By turning it on, and making it blatantly obvious to their users, they force the industry as a whole into better practices. They've done the same thing with HTTPS (now mixed-mode errors invalidate your "lock" status) and also spam control (reverse DNS lookups, etc). They are using their position of influence to encourage improvements across the industry and should be applauded.

It's going to take multiple steps to get to the final goal of end-to-end encryption. You can't jump to the end overnight. Give credit where credit is due.

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