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Comment Re:Wait... (Score 1) 67

They charge you for owning a router that connects to it?

No. The summary says, "Verizon will charge you a $10 per month router charge unless you pay $150 for the Verizon router." So, you can pay $10/month to "rent" it indefinitely, or you can pay $150 to buy it once. This setup is pretty common for cable and DSL providers in my area and presumably througout the US, though the option to buy your own is usually not as clearly advertised (especially for cable, in my experience), probably so they can keep making money off you long after you've paid off what an outright purchase would have cost. Not sure how other fiber-optic providers work (we don't have much where I live for residential customers), but the fact that Verizon is doing this for theirs doesn't surprise me, nor does it seem particularly sketchy given that it seems to be the norm.

Comment Re:Still Don't Get It (Score 1) 65

But wouldn't that mean if you had a Mac that came with all this stuff and for whatever reason added a second user to it, you'd have to buy it all for the new user?

No, Mac App Store does system-wide installs, but the purchase and download are tied to one specific Apple ID. If that Apple ID is in use on a specific computer and there is another user on the computer tied to a different Apple ID, they can still use the app.

Or that if you went through a breakup and let your ex keep the iTunes account (I did), you'd have to buy all the stuff you got for free?

Yes, given that the purchase is tied to a specific Apple ID (e.g., iTunes account). I have, however, seen reports (or at least one; not sure if it was here or another forum) lately of people getting prompted if they would like to transfer the iWork/iLife suite licenses to another user, but I'm not sure what the conditions are under which it prompts. In any case, now that seems irrelevant.

Comment Re:Still Don't Get It (Score 1) 65

I still don't get it. What else would you run these apps on if not a Mac or iOS device? (To me, they've always been free so...what changed?)

You don't have to purchase a NEW iOS or Mac to get these apps anymore.

That's what's different. Of course, given that Apple has had this thing going on for years now, I'd be surprised if there was someone that wasn't already eligible for them. You'd have to be toting around a really old iPhone (probably around the 3GS era) or a really old Mac (over 10 years old) to not qualify.

Please try your arithmetic again. Apple announced the previous change in 2013, as stated in the summary. Specifically, that was October of 2013, but the iPhone 5s was released in September. Thus, early adopters could have a device that was only recently discontinued and still fully supported by the latest version of iOS that is ineligible. Additionally, since Apple did, indeed, manufacture iMacs in 2013, there is no need to go back to 2007 in order to find a Mac that would not have been eligible for this, either.

Comment Re:Still Don't Get It (Score 1) 65

>> all of these apps were provided for free to customers who purchased a new Mac or iOS device

I still don't get it. What else would you run these apps on if not a Mac or iOS device? (To me, they've always been free so...what changed?)

They were free to download for you because you purchased a new Mac and/or iOS device. If you have only purchased Apple devices on the used market in the last four years or so, this would have excluded you, which I think is the part you're missing (besides the fact that a 4-year-old Mac would still be pretty good at this point and a four-year-old iPhone wouldn't be the worst thing, either, so it's not necessarily the case that everyone would have purchased a new--or used, though previously ineligible--Mac or iOS device by now).

Comment Re:Yet another reason... (Score 1) 37

I never go with that sort of 3rd party vendor. Not eligible for Prime shipping, not worth the risk in general. Not worth it on the off chance I'll save a buck or two to have it take far longer than I want, and perhaps not show up at all.

What "sort" of third-party vendor would it be that you avoid? Non-Amazon sellers can and do sell with Prime shipping via the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program. This is an option any seller has for each item/listing (not necessarily something they will do for all their items). The amount of protection you as a buyer receive is more or less the same under Amazon's policies. If all you're looking for is Prime, you've undoubtedly ordered from third-party sellers a lot without realizing it.

Comment Re:Roll your own (Score 3, Interesting) 69

It's not difficult to roll your own VPN solution if you have some knowledge of BSD/Linux. This is really and truly the only way to ensure trust and even then it is not 100%. OpenVPN is not hard to install and configure but I am sure it is not immune from would-be intruders.

Umm, how does that help? I do have a VPN server to remote in to my home network and access services, shares, and other resources I don't make publicly visible (which is almost everything--that I don't, I mean), but you seem to be missing the part where the type of VPN this article is talking about is for people who wish to disguise their network traffic from home (and elsewhere) by sending it over a VPN to a remote server, often in another country--the problem being that it's not always apparent if you can trust that server.

Comment Re:Amazon will have the upper hand (Score 1) 467

... and only available for $6.99 from CVS in the country.

Uhh, what part of the "country" do you live in where there's a CVS? As someone who grew up in the rural Midwestern US, I assure you that we had to go "to the city" for any store, so I assume you might actually be just talking about small towns (albeit, ones large enough to have something fancy like a CVS; yes, I said it).

That being said, you make an interesting point if the data hold. I'm actually starting to shop online more with Target (I never shopped at WalMart and was/am a big Amazonaholic). I can't speak for other stores, but their prices seem to be consistent online with what I can find locally--and sometimes a bit less for things like paper towels that you might reasonably want to "subscribe" to, an idea they probably hijacked from Amazon.

Comment Re:You're the idiot who keeps using that software. (Score 1) 327

If you're ever pissed off about how oil and power companies are ruining the environment, you can get rid of your car and get a bicycle.

You will have trouble getting to work, picking up the kids, buying groceries and getting around, but BY GEORGE you stuck to your principles and the oil and power companies ... didn't notice at all.

Look, I know you weren't necessarily striving for accuracy and were just trying to make a point, but as someone who commutes to work (and the gym, the grocery store, and almost everywhere) by bicycle, you're wrong about most of those things. It's actually easier for me to bike than drive to work because otherwise I'd have to worry about the parking nightmare that is most downtowns, and if you don't think you can do groceries you might want to look up "rear rack" (and rear panniers). Don't ever plan on having kids but it's certainly possible to transport them, as well (I see lots of dads and the occasional mom doing so here). You might be right about the oil companies to some extent, but it's certainly been noted that younger generations are less interested in car ownership than older ones were at that age, so somebody's noticing.

Comment "Came up" with pi? (Score 1) 133

Jones came up with the Greek letter and symbol for the figure in 1706...

Umm, the Greek letter is the "symbol." The summary (or actually the Times article that the summary, as usual, plagiarizes, though this time they at least made an awkward attempt at attribution) makes it sound like the Greeks had this letter "pi" but no "symbol" to actually use to write it, which is as absurd as claiming, for example, that Gosset (aka Student) came up with the English letter and symbol "tee"/t to represent the result of his test of statistical significance.

In other news, this article can be much more succinctly summarized as follows: Greeks did not use the letter "pi" to represent this value; William Jones, obviously much later, was apparently the first to do so, and this usage was later popularized by Euler. The selection of this particular letter is likely due to it being the first letter in the Greek morpheme "peri-", 'around' (a bit more general than the article suggests as it seems to be overly simplified compared to other sources on the subject).

Comment Re:lol amazon prime (Score 1) 244

So if the problem is that prime-eligible items have their prices jacked up by the cost of shipping, thus negating the value of the service, the solution is to ignore the problem? Do you work for Amazon?

(Not the original poster, but...) I don't think that Prime eligibility, even when the item costs the same as a non-Prime item plus shipping (usually a fixed amount per category, not per item), is necessarily "negating the value of the service." Unlike a random shipping method a third party might choose, Prime shipping is usually two days and gives you the option to upgrade to next-day for a per-item fee. If you don't care how fast it ships, Amazon has also been doing a promotion lately where they let you choose super-slow shipping in return for a $1 digital video/music/book credit or occasionally a Prime Pantry credit that basically covers shipping, so you can build up enough of those to save on other products/services you might use. (I basically get an MP3 album or Kindle book for free every few months.)

This is saying nothing of Prime's other benefits. While there is video streaming (the topic of this article), I think many people find the free options kinda "meh." Amazon Prime Music, however, is quite nice--not as vast as Spotify (which has the same music available at all tiers; you can pay more to get more on Amazon), but convenient if you have an Echo (or access to a web browser or the Amazon Music app) and just want to stream something it has. There are Kindle things as well, but I don't think anything quite compares to the music streaming in terms of usefulness for me--besides, of course, shipping. (Now *I* probably sound like I work for Amazon. I don't, and let it be known that free RedCard shipping for items on target.com is often cheaper than Amazon these days and often just as fast if it's from a nearby warehouse.)

Comment Re:Facebook? (Score 1) 149

I don't know specifically about those apps. But many apps do it as a natural result of them being little more than web-apps running in web-view.

Yeah, I think Facebook tried that with their early iOS app (or at least they said it was "HTML5"), but I believe a few years ago they rewrote it to be "native." Not sure if they've gone back or what (or just hybridized), but both it and especially Messenger keep changing more than you'd expect for a typical app.

Comment Facebook? (Score 1) 149

The description of "hot code push" sounds like something Facebook and Messenger are doing on iOS. They both change the location of buttons (and occasionally some functionality)--like moving the Messages icon in the Facebook app to the top left and replacing it with a useless Marketplace icon--without needing to submit a new app, among other continual and usually annoying changes in Messenger itself. (Or at least the change isn't obviously correlated with a new app version; they don't write real changelogs, instead using a generic "we continually update this app" nonsense, and the app continues to function like it did before...until one day when it doesn't.)

I'm sure there are potentially malicious uses of hot code push rather than just annoying ones like certain apps seem to be doing, but if it makes them stop doing it too, I'll be happy enough.

Comment macOS browsers (Score 1) 205

In the last 24 months, Mozilla's Firefox -- the other major browser alternative to Chrome for macOS users...

Umm, Safari, anyone? I guess that's probably true if we ignore Safari, but that would be like ignoring IE on Windows. (This makes a bit more sense in the context of TFA, from which the editor and/or submitter carelessly plagiarized this paragraph, as the article as a whole is talking about Safari's recent 13% decline on macOS...but you think someone might have read this before posting.)

Comment Re:not useless, but not revolutionary. (Score 1) 139

it's just a move towards back to windows 2000 gui rules.

you know, like input text boxes looking like input text boxes and buttons being distinctly buttons.

Really? I read the article and looked for additional information elsewhere (because the article is lacking) and it looks like it's taking the "Metro" ideas even farther, with lack of window borders and and no discrete title bars. Some vast spaces of solid color have disappeared, but only because they're apparently encouraging the use of photos (e.g., as the main "background" image in an app) instead. This doesn't look better to me.

Comment Re:Surveillance culture (Score 1) 155

Are you this paranoid about your smartphone, too? You say it's different, but an iPhone has pretty good mics ("Hey, Siri" can also hear me from across the room) and I'm sure there are comparable Androids. Sure, it won't listen unless you meet the conditions and enable the feature, but neither will Alexa--as far as we know about both if we trust the manufacturer as yo do for the phone. You can always unplug (or turn off with a "smart plug" so you don't have to physically do it, assuming you trust those) the Alexa device when you're not using it, but 99% of what I say when I'm at home is "turn off the lights" or to play Pandora, so it doesn't really bother me.

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