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Comment Re:More upset about the tethering than throttling (Score 1) 211

well, after just one day of T-Mo, on the monthly plan, I see a difference with coverage. Big difference, since these prepaid monthy plans don't have Roaming.

That makes me rely on an actual T-Mo tower, which there aren't as many as AT&T. As a test, I drove around with my AT&T sim, and my T-Mobile sim (2 phones), and I watched how often Tmo dropped to Edge while ATT kept it's 3G/4G signal.

I might try a prepaid ATT card in a couple months to see if that is workable.

Comment Re:NIMBYs who don't want a tower on their skyline (Score 1) 211

If it didn't anger my neighbors, I'd put up a tower on my property. Or even just a little booster on my house will be fine.

I'd like to see an option for placement of small repeaters to be placed on people's homes, where needed. That would fill in the gaps of coverage. Also, put them on telephone poles, etc. Something low power that doesn't need to be some huge tower.

Comment More upset about the tethering than throttling (Score 1) 211

Though the throttling issue is a nuisance, it only affects a few. And they are likely the ones that are using their phone as an internet replacement at home, so there is no wifi to shift data use.
I would have no problem giving up my unlimited AT&T plan for a 3GB/5GB plan, and pay extra if I go over. But I do have a big problem with them telling me that the data can only be used by one device.

For me, I'm paying for the data. What I do with the data is my business. If I need to tether my phone to my laptop for a few minutes, there should be no penalty. But, AT&T wants to charge extra $15 for the 'right' to use the data elsewhere? No thank you.

I'm about to play with T-Mobile in my unlocked phone to see whether it will be a good replacement. If it is, good bye AT&T. I'm so glad the merger was killed, otherwise, AT&T would be one of the only GSM providers in the US.

Comment Re:what is wrong with this? (Score 1) 138

The simple metric is based on the people's knowledge and tolerance for beatings.
Thankfully, AT&T wasn't able to merge with T-Mobile, as T-Mobile is the only other big player in the GSM market.

What is going on now is nothing new. Think back (old-timers) to when we had to pay for EACH phone extension in the house! Same line, same amount of talking, but you were charged extra for what... the convenience of having an extension in another room? Monthly?

And then there was the old Touch Tone charge... yes, we had to pay extra if we wanted to use Touch Tone. Oh, wait, that was back when it was just ONE phone company. Then Bell was broken into many companies and we finally had competition.

Now, they are trying to force us to pay for each device, AND the amount of data. I'm all for data caps, but my SIM card should be used however I see fit, and the data used however I see fit.

Eventually, it will all come around to sensibility, after they have squeezed as much out of consumers as possible.

The only weapon we have is to ignore the 'free phone with contract' crap, and buy an unlocked phone (or used one). Then use a no-contract service that is priced fairly.

Submission + - Hovering isn't difficult if you're top heavy (tgdaily.com)

SageBrian writes: "This is an interesting article on how top-heavy insects are more balanced in flight. However, as described in the article, their 'testing' seems to be faulty. Not having read the actual study, it's hard to know, but as written, the test seems to act as a simple weather vane. Air Flow moving in one direction pushes the mass of the object in the direction of the flow. Hopefully, there was more to the study than what is written, or NYU is not doing a good job teaching."

Submission + - BlueStacks App Player connects Android and Windows (windowstabletnews.com)

sauchox writes: There is no doubt that the realse of Windows 8 will have a huge impact on the development of the Internet tablets and computers. But imagine the situation that you are buying your dream tablet with Microsoft’s latest software, but soon you realize that you are missing some of the applications available to owners of Android devices. What would you do? Install BlueStacks App Player.
The Internet

Submission + - Blackout Day

retech writes: Will Slashdot be participating in the Internet Blackout Day on January 18th to protest SOPA? If not, why?

Comment Re:For what (Score 1) 377

AC is dead on.
While TPB may be used for 'pirated' copies, it is also extremely useful for retrieval of data rightfully paid for.

Many times I have had to download a copy of a show that normally I would have been legally entitled to watch. OnDemand tv is great, but the networks seem to think we only need to have the last 3 episodes available. This is poor practice of the networks, as I may not have heard of a good show till it is in mid-season, and they don't allow me to catch up on the whole series. example: Walking Dead, Revenge, American Horror Story, any CBS show.

So, to catch shows that I missed, I need to download it. It is not available via 'official' channels. I catch up to the series from the start, and they now have a viewer they would not have had.

I've also had a hard drive crash full of music, and a day later the backup drive crashed. (environment heat issue). Because of the availability of .torrents, I was able to replace all of my music that I had paid for. Perhaps in the old days with CDs and Vinyl, I would have had to purchase new copies thereby giving profit to the industry. However, what kind of business model is it to rely on profits from replacement purchases due to accidental destruction?

We need sites like TPB.

Comment just like websites and different layouts (Score 1) 470

While most of the comments seem to talk about the issue of programmers vs designers, and management cutting corners, only a few of the comments hit upon the inherent nature of varied layouts.

Just as a website needs to take into account different web browsers and different screen layouts/sizes, and user-controlled fonts, so does an ebook.

Designers still hate the fact that a website cannot be controlled by the designer like printed material. How many designers embraced Flash because of the absolute control it took away from the user? The designers tend to view things as stationary, and that is the opposite of all the options available on the web, and in ebooks.

Certainly, we need designers to assist in any creative project. And designers should probably consult a little more with programmers to see if their ideas can be implemented in a more efficient way. Steve Jobs is a perfect example of creating a team of visionaries, designers and programmers.

The problem with an ebook, besides the multiple formats of epub and amazon and others, is the user options. We can read on our phones, on tablets, on computers, in apps on the computers, in browsers. And many reader applications allow for some personalization, like changing colors, fonts, font sizes. So, like a website, we are stuck with basic text formatting to allow for free-flow of paragraphs and dynamic pages.

PDF is NOT an ebook. It is a digital format of a printed page, designed as if to be printed. It certainly looks great, and if put into a flash application, can look like a real magazine with page turning, etc. But, will that work on a 3.5" screen? How will it handle zooming in and out?

I think we need to look at the overall purpose of the product. If it is a magazine, with images and multi-column layout, then certainly the "e publication" needs to be locked into it's print perspective like a PDF. But, if it is a novel, or any book where the message is in the words, then proper formatting is needed for free-flowing text in various sizes. I am not going to view Time Magazine on my phone, but I might want to read an article from Time Magazine. So, now I need two formats.... text only, and Image Layout.

Let's just learn the proper techniques for the layout output we are looking for, and use programmers where needed, and designers where needed. And get those MS Word office workers out of the process unless they learn about formatting with styles, page breaks, tabs, etc. Not many people can know everything, and do everything. Just because the person down the hall makes cool signs for the wall does not make them someone that can create a proper ebook.

Comment MIT had time to set it up (Score 4, Insightful) 114

Google announced the dropping of App Inventor months ago. And it was announce in August that MIT was taking it over.

So, why is the story about Google dropping a service, and not about MIT properly preparing their service?
Especially if classes were being prepared for this, you would think that MIT would have gotten things up and running in 3 months. Or, were they just relying on Google to keep it up for another year?

Comment Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (Score 1) 330

I don't agree with this. While Google may be a known brandname, one can say Microsoft is also.
The people I know that are using Chrome are using it for the speed of startup. I am not even talking tech geeks. Family members, having been pushed away from IE by us geeks were using Firefox. But when they saw how fast Chrome started up and loaded pages, they started using it more.

I also started doing that for the quick logon. But for my main surfing, I still want my extensions in Firefox.


Submission + - Microsoft Cloud and EU (wired.com)

SageBrian writes: I find it amazing that the USA, seen as the leader of freedom and privacy, has such contradictory policies. Here, Microsoft has to find a way to market their cloud services to the EU while under the heavy hand of the US Patriot Act.
The EU view is valid... the Patriot Act puts their data at risk if stored geographically in the US. So, this is another example of the US pushing jobs offshore, all while complaining about jobs going offshore.

Comment Re:Content Management (Score 2) 545

I agree with the CMS concept. Though, a static site generator is good also, for security purposes.

Of course, on /. you will be getting a lot of 'code by hand' comments, and those are all true, for people who code by hand. It may be better for them, but not everyone can deal with that.

As the OP mentions, they use software that makes it easier for them to create. GoLive, Apple fisherprice crap, etc. So, they are looking for graphical based software.
As mentioned by someone else, Dreamweaver has been pretty stable for a long long time. If going with a software solution, Dreamweaver may be the way to go.

Long Haul - on the web, especially in web development, long haul is 5 years or less. You have to accept that technology is changing at a blinding pace. It is frustrating, and tiring, but it's the price we pay for progress. It's frustrating when I have to deal with someone that 'does websites' and thinks what they did in 1998 is still valid.

CMS - going with one of the big 3 (arguably Drupal, WordPress, Joomla) is one way to stay focused on content rather than technical code stuff. Be sure to update and patch, and be on a quality server with it's own security. Active opensource projects like these 3 (and others) will help you keep in touch with the changing landscape.

No matter what, try to accept that whatever you are doing now will likely change in 5 years. All around the web we can instantly see when certain sites were created, some vintage 1996, others 1999, 2002, 2007, 2011. FrontPage, GoLive, crappy web templates, straight boring html with ani-gifs.

If sticking with your previous path, Dreamweaver is probably the answer.

Comment FLAC for archiving, MP3 for use (Score 1) 550

FLAC is certainly a better format. However, it is not a practical format for use.
Yes, it should be made available to those that want it. MuleTracks.com offers both FLAC and MP3 for sale, and FLAC is a little more expensive but it's likely worth it for those that want it. (remember that there is actual extra costs involved with downloading larger files, and that cost should be covered).

However, for the masses, for actual usage, MP3 is fine. It's portable and DRM free. Simple to copy and backup. Every player and OS plays it. No extra knowledge needed.

Think of how many people have no idea what formats are. Don't include your friends that know what /. is. Look at family and co-workers. They don't even know the songs are 'files'; it's just a 'song in iTunes'. They might know how to transfer a song to you, but they have no idea of files, tags, folder structure, filenames. The best we can do with them is advise them to stick with mp3 and DRM free formats.

For those more advanced creatures, FLAC is great in concept, but not worth the extra effort for basic usage. Most just want to be able to play their music, wherever and when ever they want.

FLAC is best for the purist, the hobbyist, the collector. Yes, it should be made available for them, even though it's really a small percentage. I appreciate those that feel the need to preserve the music in lossless format, especially when we can't be sure the industry will. And we need them as a backup. But they are a select few, and they will find a way to attain the best quality anyway. Having it available for download, even at a slight premium, would make it easier for them, and validate them, which is good.

Let's not bash mp3, but instead help educate the masses that they should use mp3 and not some DRM format. And teach them that mp3's should not be burned to CD format, etc. Don't try too hard... they can't take too much 0's or 1's.

mp3 for all.
flac for the select.

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