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Comment Re:Missing features. (Score 1) 222

+1 to this!

I've tried the new version several times, and kept reverting to the old one for this feature alone. Drag to zoom allowed me to get from "whole planet" to "small city block" in about three steps - and under my control, and with very minimal bandwidth use. Search was only faster if you already knew either the name of your destination or the name of a nearby location. Drag-to-zoom is your special friend when you know where you want to go, but don't already have the labels for it.

Comment Re:You'll want either AT&T or T-Mobile. (Score 1) 146

Oh, and no carrier, despite having the "no contract price" on the phone will ever sell you a handset for that price unless you actually were in a contract and wanted an out-of-sync upgrade

As long as 'carrier' is 'major carrier' that is likely true. I know that many MVNOs don't limit themselves. PCMobile( ) is a small brand, with the large backing of Loblaws (a Canadian grocery empire). They have only a small selection of phones, and they are all locked. Their prepaid rides on the Bell network, and their postpaid is on the Telus network. But at least their rates are clear, and any time I have to phone support, it really appears that they have not offshored their call centre. They do have data rates for prepaid, up to $30 for 1GB (I know, I know), but at least it's there. Two potential concerns -- the phones are all carrier-locked - which is common across most carriers anyway (unlock on prepaid is available, should be on postpaid), and the prepaid cards are somewhat harder to find - unless you go to Loblaws or a related grocery store.

It's possible to roam with various options available, but watch out for the data charges -- looks like about $5/MB minimum (!!!).

As to the point of sales? For prepaid phones, you go to the store, check the display phones, pull the card for the phone of choice, and checkout which is where they actually get your phone and give it to you. That's it. The whole setup thing happens later, typically over the phone. I've seem similar results for a straight over the counter purchase from Virgin Mobile as well. Note that stores will try and get you to move to postpaid, because that way you pay more. Be polite, but firm, and if you aren't getting what your research said you should be able to get, leave.

Since it rides on Bell or Telus, coverage does not seem to be a problem. Base rates appear to all include number ID on calls, and voice mail. Watch the voicemail one carefully - some brands appear to have a good rate, until you discover that they *NEVER* include voicemail, and you're on the hook for an extra $10 a month.

In general, I would say that you want to leverage WiFi wherever you can -- it's getting to be quite common, and apps like the Android "WiFi Web Login" will often let your phone automatically reconnect to many WiFi locations in stores and restaurants. Lock down your apps so that you know for certain what is using mobile data. It's still going to be a bit of time sink to manage it -- but that's pretty much what the carriers want. Either you use the time to manage the pain yourself, or you pay them to make the pain go away.


Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."

Comment Re:Are CA's that stupid? (Score 1) 280

No, they're not that stupid.

But the standards around this aren't exactly models of clarity.

In general, *hostnames* must be characters. And DNS entries that point to websites should also conform to hostnames. But DNS strings can be *anything*. Yes, they can be arbitrary strings of bytes, as long as the top-level domain is valid. The null is legal. Keep in mind that the CA is signing a DNS entry, which may be used for something different than web security.

The problem, as actually stated in the summary, is in the clients. They think they have a character string - they don't. They have a byte buffer of a certain length, and the clients should not be using null-termination based software to process the buffer.

Comment Re:Who sez Win98 isn't secure? (Score 3, Insightful) 565

I think running Win98 has become the equivalent of owning a car so old it's now an antique.

There are certainly some ancient rustbuckets out there, shedding parts and stalling at every opportunity. But there are some that are kept clean and well maintained - which is, at this point, actually *more* work than running a newer system.

These aren't blindingly fast, they don't have modern styling, and certain newer addons will never work with them. But they'll still keep up in day-to-day use, and with a little extra smart maintenance, they're pretty reliable.

And - if well kept up, they will be hard to break into while parked.

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