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Comment Bandwidth considerations? (Score 1) 983

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure my ISP would flip out if I tried to transfer even 1TB in a month. Even if they didn't care about the amount of data being backed up, it would still take me around 231 days to upload that much. Any kind of online backup would be infeasible for the initial dataset, but it's also probably not a great option to ship in a box of hard drives.

Let's be honest: any large dataset like that is going to cost some serious coin to backup. You can probably "cheat" by incrementally backing stuff up to Crashplan (with its "unlimited" storage), but it'll take so long to seed that initial dataset that you're likely to experience some kind of data loss before it's done.

Comment Re:One word. (Score 3, Insightful) 348

You're right on the money. Traditional consoles are terrible at pricing elasticity on their games, something Valve has mastered. They could definitely make the pitch that the console may be $800 with all the controllers, but most of the games are under $20 instead of $60-80 a pop. It wouldn't take too many holiday/summer sales before you're ahead on the deal.

Comment Something other than a phone (Score 1) 682

My nephews and nieces are doing just fine with an iPod Touch. It's basically just an iPhone without a cell radio, and they have WiFi anywhere they'd want to use it. You can pick those up for $199.

My 4-year-old has his own 7" Kindle Fire HD. The 8.9" is a bit too bulky for most little hands. It has excellent parental controls and, with a subscription, a large variety of books, apps, and shows he loves to explore. Best of all, you can set a daily time limit on each kind of media. I know I don't care how many ebooks he reads. I installed Skype on it and gave him access so he can call Grandma, any of his uncles or aunts, or me when I'm on the road for work. It's about the same as an iPod Touch.

Whatever you get, make sure you set rules and limits. It can't just be a free-for-all.

Comment The wrong solution (Score 1) 555

Google's making the same mistake that so many ISPs make, except they don't have the same excuses to fall back on. DSL and cable can experience congestion at such a level as to render some nodes near-unusable. But 1Gbps fiber (with likely 10Gbps or 40Gbps backbone)? There's no excuse. You have excess network, so start acting like it.

So you're experiencing congestion. Why not sell QoS to the people who really need their VoIP trunk or Minecraft server to be zippy? Cutting to the head of the line for a few bucks a month seems like something that would fly off the virtual shelves. If your bandwidth bills are too high, start selling packages for high-bandwidth users. On-net transfer is practically free, and off-net transfer for someone of Google's size can't be more than $0.012 per GB. Charge $0.02 per GB and make a small killing selling at reasonable rates. Heck, set your month caps at 2TB (XMission does 1TB on UTOPIA) and ding both Comcast and CenturyLink for their 250GB monthly caps. ISPs often leave this kind of money on the table for what I think most of us would consider reasonable add-on services.

And for those of you saying to get commercial connections, are you daft? Google doesn't offer business connections. (They keep saying Real Soon Now(TM), but I'll believe it when I see it.) Anyway, you're saying that if the Civic isn't meeting your needs, you should go buy a Porsche. What if what I really need is a Lexus? Too bad, so sad.

It's really hard to define a server anyway. If I run CrashPlan and let friends back up to my NAS, am I running a server? If I let my mom stream media from my Plex box, am I running a server? If I choose to seed the latest Ubuntu ISO on bitTorrent for any length of time, am I running a server? We can hope that Google is kind enough to look the other way if our usage is light enough, but that's always risky business.

For how much they've sold Google Fiber as being innovative, they sure are doing a lot to clamp down on novel uses. My how the tune has changed in just three years.

Comment This is why I rarely buy new releases (Score 1) 469

After getting totally burned on the train wreck that was Master of Orion III, I swore off buying any title when it was first released. (I made a special exception for Borderlands 2 and I REGRET NOTHING.) This has since proven to be a smart move. Not only does the game end up getting properly vetted by the gaming public, it also gets patched, comes down in price, and runs exceptionally well on newer hardware.

Arkham Asylum? Fantastic game with a great story and top notch voice acting. My patience saved me $52. Borderlands? Same deal. Civilization V? Half off and I got a bunch of DLC that otherwise would have been much, much more. I've enjoyed a lot of games more by making sure the value proposition is more in my favor.

On the flip side, it's also saved me from some gaming agony. I'm glad I waited to see how Diablo III would pan out because none of my friends play it anymore and I doubt I would enjoy it based on their feedback. I'm having similar feelings about SimCity and have even gone so far as to dust off my old Rush Hour discs to play that instead.

I've gotta wonder what any of you gain by buying every game as soon as it drops. You're paying more and getting less certainty about what experience awaits you. Who needs that?

Comment For most folks, it just doesn't matter. (Score 1) 601

I'm a tech support guy for PGP (now owned by Symantec), so I have some unique insights into email encryption. I think the vast majority of people using email encryption are doing so for regulatory reasons. For the most part, they are financial institutions or deal with financial institutions. Very few individuals are worried about personal privacy, but rather the security of corporate and financial data. Even if they are worried, storing it behind a password is sufficient for them.

Even without using PGP or an OpenPGP-compliant software (like GPG), there's still a fair amount of security built into email these days. All webmail uses HTTPS. SMTP uses STARTTLS to secure the session before any useful data gets sent. When we use a mail client, many of us are using POP3S or IMAPS which, again, adds in SSL. The transit layer is encrypted from end to end, even if the data stored on a mail server or in our mail client is not. Encrypting the individual messages is only really necessary if you're concerned about the messages being obtained from your local hard drive or a mail server. For most of us, I imagine that really isn't the case.

Comment Overstating the Case (Score 1) 770

A lot of the phones listed as abandoned now comprise an ever-shrinking part of the Android market. Many of them are first-gen devices on-par with the G1, the first Android phone. Most 2nd and 3rd gen Android phones have been getting updates to FroYo and Gingerbread from the manufacturers because they learned a lot from those 1st gen devices. For reference, consider Google's numbers on which OS each active phone is running: http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html

The reality is that a developer can likely create an app for FroYo and up that will still be mass market. People running Eclair, Donut, or Cupcake are in an every-shrinking segment of the Android ecosystem. And honestly? Those of us who bought those 1st gen devices kind of knew what we were getting into or probably should have known better. I have a Moment and recognize that I'm bleeding a bit for being an early adopter. (That said, the updates from SDX for FroYo have been awesome. They're also working on Gingerbread.)

Current Android phones are better able to handle updates than their predecessors, so they get better updates. This article is kind of a non-news item.

Comment Re: You need a minimum of a Cortex A8 to run Flash (Score 1) 273

Adobe's the one requiring a Cortex A8 and they've said that getting it to run on older ARM11 architectures is dicey at best. Just passing along what the OP didn't know. Whether or not the older ARM11 processors are capable of running Flash is certainly open to debate, but it doesn't matter if they are capable if Adobe won't port to it.

Comment Re:Late, and innaccurate (Score 1) 222

Another good application would be for PMPs and other mobile devices. Who cares if you have one pixel decoded improperly? Odds are you won't notice on that tiny screen and you'd happily trade that for doubling your battery life. Power consumption is, at best, a tertiary concern on a desktop or server.

Comment Re:um (Score 1) 667

Not to mention Blackberry, a platform with a commanding (for now) 44% of the smartphone market. Combined with Android and various dumbphones, the odds are that if you're doing mobile development, you're using either Java or Objective C. It's also used in a significant number of middleware projects and for server backends. You know, stuff that's really important that you don't see. Anyone dumb enough to discount Java as dead just because its use on the desktop is limited deserves to march themselves right into irrelevancy in the job marketplace.

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