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Submission + - Copresence - Google's Cross-Platform Sharing Service? (

Zagrash writes: Sharing between Android and iOS? Dogs and cats living together? Might be closer than it seems with a recently uncovered Google service. Patents have been filed, Chrome API's seemingly unleashed. Will they really call this service "Copresence?"

Comment Re:Too bad. (Score 3, Interesting) 798

I'm with you for the whole thing, until the last 2 sentences.

My contract with my carrier consists of (roughly--there's lots of legalese in there) the following: Carrier provides A, B, and C services at X service level agreement, and I pay Carrier $YY for the privilege.

Nowhere in the contract I signed does it say that I give the carrier permission to change the services provided or add additional services without my express permission, nor does the contract say that they can charge me extra for any additional services that they may deem I 'require' at some point in the future. If you wish to make a unilateral change to my contract, I consider that a breach or a "material change of contract" that allows me to quit without penalty or ETF.

If the policy is "If you bring your own smart phone to our network and put our SIM in it, we will change your services and costs," that had damn well better be in the contract I originally signed, or it is immaterial to the agreement we have. End of story.

Comment Re:A very old elephant in the room (Score 1) 154

8th grade. I honestly don't remember if we had the math to figure out things like confidence or error intervals at that point in our education. Probably should have done, but I have no idea. But the prof wasn't even in the range of "That's wrong, but within the error range given $Factor." It was simply, "I don't care what results you got, you are wrong."

And looking back, the methodology wasn't great -- tube physics do funky things to sound, so measuring through the PVC wasn't a good thing; the 1 meter length of the aquarium made the interval between echos really uncertain; the microphone was only sampling at 0.01s intervals, so the echo wasn't particularly distinct all the time; etc. But to simply be written off because I was "book wrong" was pretty disheartening at the time. And in retrospect, horrific of a college-level prof to be expecting that kind of result from an 8th grade kid.

Comment Re:A very old elephant in the room (Score 1) 154

That reminds me of (aeons ago) my 8th grade science project. While most of the other kids were testing "Which battery lasts the longest?" I decided to test the effect of humidity on the speed of sound. Seemed relevant to my 13 year old mind, I couldn't find a lot of information on it, and I had 3 possible outcomes: H0 was that higher relative humidity has no effect; H1 was that higher relative humidity made the speed of sound faster; H2 was that higher relative humidity made the speed of sound slower.

The experiment involved a trip to a nearby college's physics lab, a big old aquarium, some PVC pipe, a humidifier, a microphone attached to some old Apple computer of some sort with audio software, and a wimshurst generator (the only thing that could produce a brief enough noise so the echo could be differentiated from the continuing reverberations). The result was that H0 was disproved and the evidence pointed toward HIGHER speed of sound in higher relative humidity.

I loved the whole thing. Physics! And testing! And math!

And then the judging came. Most of them loved my experiment and gave the whole thing high marks. But one happened to be a college physics professor who walked up, took a look at my results, and said, "You did a lot of fine work, but your results are wrong." And despite my protests of "But those are the results I got," proceeded to give me essentially a 0, making my experiment one of the few that failed.

I still hold a grudge against that physics prof. Not for crushing all the fun out of experiments, but for trusting the 'right' answer over the experimental one. If that's the kind of scientists we're pushing out these days, we've got some serious issues to deal with.

Comment Re:Doesn't the Tolkien estate... (Score 2) 211

Copyright != Patent != Trademark

Patents do not need to be defended in order to be considered valid. It is my understanding that the same holds for Copyright.
Trademarks, however, are more often deemed to be valid only if they are consistently defended. That is, if your company name is "Slashdot" and you let "Slashdot Wines" exist, but then you decide to go after "Slashdot Fruit Snacks", you will have a much harder time claiming the Slashdot trademark since it can be demonstrated that you failed to defend your trademark.

I am no lawyer. I am certainly not an IP lawyer. And I would NEVER be YOUR lawyer. Go find some expert, and let's all stop trying to be one on teh internet.

Comment Re:That is cheap (Score 3, Insightful) 299

Facebook users can post and their posts will get to everyone who has not muted them

False. Facebook filters individual pages too. If you make a post, only about 15-20% of your friends will see it on their News Feed if they have their settings for you set at the default (How many updates? "Most Updates"). For friends that have you set to the most visible setting ("All Updates"), you will still only reach about 50-75% of those people.

Now, FB tends to be pretty good about knowing which 50-75% of your friends are most likely to notice that they're missing your posts (the people who are labeled as 'family', those who most often show up in photos with you, and those who are all more active are MUCH more likely to find themselves in the % that SEE your post). But they are NOT transparently passing your message along to all of your friends. And you are not necessarily seeing 100% of the posts that your friends make, even if you have your settings made for "All Updates" for a specific friend.

Comment Re:That is cheap (Score 5, Insightful) 299

Yes and No.

If you (as an individual personal-account user) want to get any message out on FB to 100% of the people who follow you, you now have to pay for it. If you do not promote a post, it will reach approximately 15-20% of your friends who have you set to the default (How many updates? "Most Updates"; What types of Updates? "all are checked"), and about 50-75% of your friends who have you set to the max (How many updates? "all updates").

If you are a business page or other 'professional' account, any non-promoted post will reach 15-20% of your followers/likers/subscribers. Only if you PAY to PROMOTE your post will it reach the News Feed of 100% of your followers.

This from a friend who does a TON of work with Facebook's API and has made several requests for documentation directly from the powers-that-be at Facebook. So my source is secondhand, but he's getting it direct from the horse's mouth and I trust him--especially because this change is directly harmful to his business and he's pissed about it.

Comment Re:Serves them right (Score 1) 578

I've got Karma to burn, so it doesn't bother me too much. (Not that I was TRYING, mind you.) But I'm confused like you. Perhaps I should have linked to things? Let's try this again...

increased warrentless wiretapping of Americans, by giving retroactive immunity to telcos who aided in breaking the law, by fighting for punitive laws that would cripple the internet, by negotiating lousy treaties that would reduce freedom, by sending the FBI to foreign countries to seize property ...

There, that ought to satisfy the g^Hmods out there...

Comment Re:Serves them right (Score 1, Offtopic) 578

Yes, because Obama/his administration hasn't curtailed freedom at all through increased warrentless wiretapping of Americans, by giving retroactive immunity to telcos who aided in breaking the law, by fighting for punitive laws that would cripple the internet, by negotiating lousy treaties that would reduce freedom, by sending the FBI to foreign countries to seize property ...

I'm with you. The Republicans of the past 12 years have not been supporters of technology or freedom by any means. But neither have the Democrats.

Comment Re:Better rescue the coke machine (Score 1) 269

I'm not sure that they're the biggest source of BPA exposure--there's LOTS of BPA in our every day environment, from heat-printed receipts to dental sealants to toilet paper. See this article for details.

But yeah, as far as food/beverage packaging is concerned, a lot of companies did away with BPA-infused plastic bottles when the 'scare' came through back in 2009/2010. But the metal can manufacturers stayed under the radar and so had very little reason to do away with the BPA in their products.

IIRC, even the SIGG (and similarly-styled) aluminum water bottles had BPA linings even after Nalgene recalled all their water bottles made with BPA. At the same time, people were buying SIGG instead of Nalgene in an ironically misguided attempt to avoid BPA.

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