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Comment Re:Parallax. (Score 1) 425

I've been using Google Wallet for mobile payments. It works great. Not sure what Apple is adding to the mix other than adding a fingerprint security. With Google Wallet, I just take my phone out of my pocket, tap it on the reader, enter my pin, and tap it a second time. With Apple, I guess you make it one tap instead of two? Not really a big deal in my book.

Comment Re:ObXKCD: Passphrases (Score 1) 288

Lotus Notes has had this functionality built in since at least 2006 (when I first started using it). It was a little confusing though for end users. If I made my password complex like F*n2_b I could only have a 6 character password. Make it all lowercase, and it might take 10 characters. It didn't really tell you what you were lacking, just told you to make your password more complex if it didn't meet the restrictions. It was pretty slick how it worked though.

Comment Re:Videos unavailable on devices; Hulu for free (Score 2) 180

I built a HTPC a few years ago. I used a HTPC case, and it looks more or less like an audio receiver from the outside. When I have people over who see Windows on the TV, they often ask how I'm doing it. I point to the PC and they're shocked that it's a PC. My total cost was ~$500 for the entire shebang. On one hand, it's a little less couch friendly than a Roku or AppleTV, but I've never found content that I can't get to it. While the interface might not be simple enough to control with a 6 button remote (up/down/left/right/ok/back), it's the same interface everyone is used to with a PC, so it has a very quick learning curve. Last I checked, it drew about 30 watts running. In addition to streaming from the net, I have a dual TV tuner built in that turns WMC into a very nice DVR for my local channels. I've got the $40 comcast deal for 25mbps and HBO/HBOgo. Between our Netflix($8), Hulu (free), Amazon Instant($8), StreamPix (included in cable bill), and HBOgo, there are very few shows I can't get legally streamed to my TV. If I don't want to wait until the next day to watch a show, if it's a local broadcast, I can watch it from the DVR. For the one or two shows that I can't get legally, there are fairly simple illegal methods to attain them that I may or may not use. Total monthly cost is $16. That's not much money for the amount of content that we consume.

The part I like about the HTPC so much, is the flexibility. Not only can I view the sources listed above, but I can stream from the more specialized websites. For instance, I like watching cooking shows on I'll watch shows off It's hit or miss with these shows on Hulu or Streampix. I also like that with free software, I can easily have a VERY NICE front end to my 350+ DVD collection on my basement server (MediaBrowser 3). I can also play a real game on it fairly easily. Just nothing too graphics intensive, (It plays Civ5 pretty well. It's an i3 processor with a cheap passively cooled video card I think I paid $10 for after rebate from NewEgg). I also just love having the web browser on the TV. An example would be when my wife and I go over our finances, I can pull up the bank website on my TV and go over our finances for the coming month. It's a lot easier than trying to both look at a laptop or a small screen.

Having said all that, while I love my HTPC and I'd pay another $500 to replace it today if it broke, I would never recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a reasonible technical aptitude. There is certainly something nice about having a small box that you plug in, enter your account details, and it instantly connects you to your movies/shows. If it breaks, it's just $60 for a new one, so who cares, right? That's what end users want. It's much less complicated. My grandma can use a Roku, but she can't even use the DVR on her cable box. It's all about simplicity of design and ease of function.

Comment Re:An IM service for 19 Billion.... (Score 1) 280

Did Google do the math when they bought Motorola? Did HP do the math when they bought EDS/Autonomy? Did Sears do the math when they bought KMart? Did bank of America do the math when they bought CountryWide? M&A is a very risky business. The only people I've seen who think this was a good deal are the financial pundits who REALLY don't understand technology. Listening to them talk, they sound like they don't even know what WhatsApp is. I just don't see 19 billion of value in this purchase.

Comment Re:1 option here - Comcast (Score 1) 513

I routinely call to "cancel" my internet. I mention the high costs and my inability to pay the costs as my reason. I'll often spout off whatever discount rate the competitor will offer for new customers. I've never had my ISP not offer me a discount. I was paying half price for AT&T Uverse ($32 a month for 18mbps). Regular prices of internet service here is a scam. Just make sure you set a reminder on your calendar to call them back when your 6-12 months are up. And never agree to a contract that goes beyond the length of the discount.

Comment Wow... (Score 5, Insightful) 110

Nokia assured that the phone, excluding third-party software such as the operating system, did not violate Finnish privacy laws.

How much non-3rd party software does a Nokia phone ship with? I mean, if you aren't including the OS on the phone as Nokia's responsibility, than what exactly are they responsible for?

Comment An IM service for 19 Billion.... (Score 4, Insightful) 280

Am I the only person who can't understand why anyone in their right mind would pay 1 billion, (let alone 19 billion) for a company that pretty much just does IM for phones? I mean, there are a ton of instant messengers out there. Most have good phone integration. Whether this will break even for Facebook or not is a given. It wont. They may not loose their shirt, but there is no way they are going to make their 19 billion back from a company with 40 million in revenue. The math doesn't add up. Even if paying ~$40 a user was a good move for a company like FB, there is no reason people will stay on WhatsApp if they don't want to. It's not like FB where leaving can be tricky if you have a lot of content there you don't want to loose access to. You aren't going to see a mass exodus of FB, but within a matter of months, you could in WhatsApp. Having said that, the creators of WhatsApp get massive props. Creating a platform that does something that 50 other competitors have and are already doing, and then selling it for 19 billion dollars is massively impressive. With these numbers, I'm going to have to reevaluate Blackberry's stock price. Valued currently at under 5 billion, BBM has to be worth at least 10 billion by itself. Which means the stock should double in the next few days, as Google looks to acquire BBM to compete with Facebook.

Comment Re: How Can They Loose? (Score 1) 75

How can so many Americans, themselves living on government handouts and public assistance 'afford' iPhones that several hundreds of dollars?

Just doing a quick google search, it looks like the average single person on welfare can receive ~$300 a month. That's not including food stamps, medicaid, or housing assistance. Not to mention that a LOT of people living off welfare are defrauding the system by hiding assets, income, or additional support they receive from others. Around here, it's not uncommon for a woman to go on welfare/food stamps/medicade/housing support, while her live in boyfriend goes to work at some retail location. All of her government aid pays for the majority of the bills, while his income is enough to afford the luxuries. Around fifteen years ago, I worked at a national fast food chain while I was in highschool. I had a coworker who had a brand new F150 with all the bells and whistles. I had another coworker who was driving a brand new Caddilac. After I got to know them a bit, I found out the truth on how they could afford the cars. When you only make $7-8 an hour, it's hard to imagine how someone could afford a $35-50k car. It's not hard to spend $400 a month on your car payment, when your house, food, and utilities are all covered from your girlfriends government assistance.

Comment How Can They Loose? (Score 1) 75

How can a company as big as Foxconn think that the way to improve smartphone sales in Indonesia is to start mass producing Blackberries in Indonesia? Can't the Indonesians just skip Blackberries and go straight to Android? I'd recommend iPhones, but I doubt many Indonesians, living on $4,000 a year, could afford a phone that costs about two months wages.

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