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Comment 'bout time!! (Score 1) 292

The last time I flew on an airplane I took out my Android phone and turned on an app that uses GPS to track your elevation, speed, direction, pitch etc. It was a blast to watch how fast the plane accelerated down the runway, pitch as we would turn, and what the take-off, cruising, landing speeds. I then switched to google maps and watched as I zipped across states. It was a ton of fun.

And guess what? No ill effects on the airplane.

Comment They're thiefs.... sorry (Score 3, Insightful) 336

If you copy media you purchased, you're smart.

If you copy media you didn't purchase, you're cheap.

If you copy media you didn't purchase AND you make a profit off of it, you're a thief.

We do have to be careful that this doesn't turn into a slippery slope but, c'mon, making a profit off of other artists material which you don't have the rights to is just good old fashioned stealing no matter how you slice it.

Comment Re:Compared to what? (Score 2) 226

I learned this lesson the hard way with the Motorola Cliq XT. I bought it a while back (2 yrs?) despite it only having 1.6 on it because I was told they were already working on a 2.0 upgrade that would be coming. I waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually they canceled the upgrade and sent an email out recommending a new phone (quite the slap in the face).

Once I saw that no upgrade was coming, I rooted my phone and installed cyanogen mod. I have 2.1 on my phone and it works great (only minor bugs). Plus my phone doesn't have that CarrierIQ spyware on it. I figure that they broke their contract when they canceled the upgrade and left me hanging.

This experience taught me:
1) Cell phone makers simply don't care about software. They have almost zero incentive to put effort into it and often have incentive NOT to invest in software.
2) Never run the stock install from the phone maker. Root it and install a custom mod that is much closer to vanilla Android as possible.

Comment Do the math (Score 4, Insightful) 611

My wife owns her own photography business (just her and an employee) and she had been toying around with the idea of using Groupon and LivingSocial. As much as she hates spreadsheets, I made here sit down and model what the deal looked like and what her break-even points were. Talk to your Groupon/LivingSocial rep. to get stats about similar deals (as much as they can give you)--quantity, conversion rate, customer conversion, etc and be conservative since the rep will definitely paint a rosy picture. After doing that, she made some very important changes to the structure of the deal she made with LivingSocial that protected her against some run-away scenarios that would have cost her money like this person ran into and the LivingSocial deal has been a great success.

The other thing, hinted at by the owner of the bakery is your brand. If all you're concerned about is pushing product and volume, then a low-end price for the Groupon/LivingSocial deal is the way to go. But be aware that the lower the barrier to entry the less the customer values you or your services. For service-based businesses (like my wife's photography company), a higher price for the deal is more likely to bring customers who value service and quality. You can still offer good discounts while having a higher price point by carefully choosing what you discount and what they are purchasing up front.

Bottom line: know who your optimal customer is and do the math or you're likely to get burned.

Comment College should = work (Score 1) 768

I left college with $5000 in student loans (2006). I also worked full-time every summer as well as all of my junior and senior year (part, to 3/4 time freshman and sophomore year). My social life consisted of dorm-LAN parties, on-campus complimentary student body activities, and splurging once in a while to go to the dollar theater to see campy movies or movies that were already out on DVD.

What surprised me when I went in to get a loan for my last two quarters is that I could borrow as much as I wanted (way more than anyone would need just for school) and the restrictions and accountability about how the money was spent seemed way too lax. I'd be curious to see studies about how much students spent in total on school vs. how large their loans are.

Not saying the way I did it was best, but I wouldn't trade the work ethic and freedom I've got from how I did it.

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