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Comment Re:Use .country-code for almost everything (Score 1) 265

I'd do exactly the opposite. Go back to .com, .org, .net, .mil, and .edu, and if you need to classify by country that's your own problem. and would work fine for that.

Well, maybe I would kill .net. It's just a second banana .com now anyway.

Let's start a Kickstarter campaign for .dotdot

Comment Re:Not going to happen. Here's why. (Score 1) 303

You're mostly right with your reasoning, but I don't think that will stop it from happening.

The original discussions between Apple and Verizon broke down because Verizon wasn't willing to give "ownership" of the customer to Apple. Verizon leverages (or used to leverage) its channel to nickel and dime its subscribers (e.g. disable bluetooth file browsing so they can charge you 25 cents to export a photo via an email to yourself or extort a monthly PictureMail package from you). Apple wanted none of that; they wanted a different uncluttered experience for iPhone users, and AT&T was more than willing to let them have it in exchange for exclusivity.

With Android, Verizon has started to loosen its grip on the subscriber a bit: a non-Verizon app store (The Marketplace) was a huge step for them. Remember, a few years ago, Verizon phones were much more limited. In fact, as a policy, Verizon refused WiFi capability for any phone on their network. I remember having discussions with their enterprise sales teams where they'd say things like, "Why would you ever want to waste your time and money building out a WiFi network when we've built the most reliable 3G network with coverage everywhere?" Umm... simultaneous voice and data, best path call routing with fixed-mobile convergence, coverage sucks in some buildings, etc. They've since realized that WiFi is a great way to offload some data traffic and maintain a more constant QoS for their customers. Anyway, this, along with attitudes toward Bluetooth and VoIP have changed, largely due to the influence of Android and Google.

On a side note, Google has been slacking a bit as a partner for Verizon. Verizon has been pushing and pushing them to make certain changes to the platform to make it more "enterprise ready" (e.g. device-wide policy enforcement, encrypted storage, for a couple), and it's taking too darn long. So, MOT and VZW have started to take some of this into their own hands, because their enterprise customers are telling them "no droids until they are at least as secure as the iPhone, but ideally as secure as Blackberry". Perhaps bringing another Android competitor into the stable will spur Google into action.

Anyway, my point is that Verizon is much more "open" than it used to be, but don't mistake "open" for FOSS in this discussion -- Verizon doesn't give a crap about that. They are simply more willing now to allow customers and partners to do more with their network, because they've proven to themselves that their network quality is enough to maintain retention and grow sales. So whereas before Verizon wanted no part of the Apple/iTunes/iPhone experience for fear of dilution of their brand and services, now they've "grown up", you could say, and they are willing to just Be The Network for some of their customers. Because, in the end, customers are customers.

Now after I've said all that, all my contacts at Apple and AT&T remind me that it was a 5 year deal for exclusivity, and that takes us into 2012. However, what they don't know is whether the iPad 3G deal modified that original agreement or not.


Gamers Are More Aggressive To Strangers 227

TheClockworkSoul writes "According to NewScientist, victorious gamers enjoy a surge of testosterone — but only if their vanquished foe is a stranger. Interestingly, when male gamers beat friends in a shoot-em-up video game, their levels of the hormone plummeted. This suggests that multiplayer video games tap into the same mechanisms as warfare, where testosterone's effect on aggression is advantageous. Against a group of strangers — be it an opposing football team or an opposing army – there is little reason to hold back, so testosterone's effects on aggression offer an advantage. 'In a serious out-group competition you can kill all your rivals and you're better for it,' says David Geary, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, who led the study. However, when competing against friends or relatives to establish social hierarchy, annihilation doesn't make sense. 'You can't alienate your in-group partners, because you need them,' he says."

A Geek Funeral 479

We've recently talked about a geek wedding, and now reader Sam_In_The_Hills writes in with news of his brother's geek funeral. "I've not seen this topic covered here before even though it's one that will concern us all at some time: what to do with our corporeal remains after we've left for that great data bank in the sky. For my recently departed brother (long illness, don't smoke!), I thought this nice SPARCstation would be a cool place to spend eternity. Yes, he's really in there (after cremation). I kept the floppy drive cover but for space reasons removed the floppy drive, hard drive, and most of the power supply. I left behind the motherboard and power switch and plugs to keep all openings covered. The case worked quite well at his memorial party. His friends and family were able to leave their final good-byes on post-notes. Anyone who wanted to keep their words private could just slip their note into the case through the floppy slot. All notes will be sealed in plastic and placed within the case. There has been one complication. His daughters like the look of it so much they aren't now sure if they want to bury him. One more thing: the words on the plaque really do capture one of the last things he ever said. Of course as kids we watched the show in its first run."

Obama Makes a Push To Add Time To the School Year 1073

N!NJA sends in a proposal that is sure to cause some discussion, especially among students and teachers. Obama and his education secretary say that American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage in comparison to other students around the globe. "'Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas,' the president said earlier this year. 'Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.' 'Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. ... 'Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,' Duncan told the AP. 'I want to just level the playing field.' ... Kids in the US spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the US on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days)."

Comment Re:So this is Google's dirty little secret (Score 1) 152

Good analogy, but it's no secret. Google is more than happy to take your open source, contributed works and use them for profit. It's free engineering work on components that just aren't very useful without all the proprietary other parts, and as long as there are corporate fanboys out there willing to do it, Google and Apple would be stupid to not take advantage of it.


Android Modder Tries To Outmaneuver Google 152

itwbennett writes "Google recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Steve Kondik, the creator of Cyanogen, a popular souped-up version of Android, asking him to stop distributing applications such as Gmail with his modified software. 'We make some of these apps available to users of any Android-powered device via Android Market, and others are pre-installed on some phones through business deals,' wrote Dan Morrill on the Android developer blog. 'Either way, these apps aren't open source, and that's why they aren't included in the Android source code repository.' Now, Kondik thinks he's found a workaround. He plans to release a 'bare bones' version of Cyanogen without the applications, leaving it to modders to make a backup copy of the Google applications that shipped with their phone for later reinstallation before hacking away at the Android software. 'The idea is that you'll be able to Google-ify your CyanogenMod installation with the applications and files that shipped on your device already,' Kondik wrote."

The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission 332

MBCook writes "Jamie Zawinski, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, wrote two free software programs for the phone: a Tip Calculator and a port of Dali Clock. In trying to get the apps published to the App Catalog, he has had to sign up to be a developer twice; fax contracts around; been told (apparently incorrectly) that he was not allowed to release free software for the phone; and told he had to give PayPal his checking account number. 'It's been two weeks, and I have received no reply. In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.'"

Comment and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (Score 5, Insightful) 221

I am a little disturbed that I cannot find reference to any way that the site owner can "opt out" of having a sidewiki hooked to their pages. At least with Microsoft SmartTags, there was a way to disable them with a meta tag in the html header, and unlike Microsoft, Google has enough geek fanboys who think Google shits gold out there to make this feature take off.

I used to have comments enabled on my Flickr photos, but jokers kept on leaving suggestive remarks about my wife (she's pretty hot, IMHO). So, I turned it off. When talking about this with a colleague yesterday, we came up with the "ugly kid" scenario:

Imagine you have a family site with pictures of your kids on it and some jerk writes, "man, you have ugly kids" on the sidewiki. What do you do? You can't remove it. Will it be filtered out automatically by Google with their so-called "quality algorithm"? Just because there will be no anonymous posts, don't think that people won't do things like this.

Seriously, has anyone seen anything about a way to turn this off for your site? I'm not against free speech and all that, just don't add it to *my* content without my permission. Whether sidewiki is considered part of the page content is academic: the visitor will see it attached to your page.


Is UML Really Dead, Or Only Cataleptic? 156

danielstoner writes "Recently UML was pronounced dead as a tool for all programming needs by an article posted on Little Tutorials: 13 reasons for UML's descent into darkness. The author suggests UML was killed by, among other causes, greed, heavy process, and design-by-committee. Is UML really a fading technology? Is it useful beyond a whiteboard notation for designers? Is there any value in code generation?"

FCC To Hold Hearings On Early Termination Fees 184

Isaac-Lew sends word of an article in the Washington Post reporting that on June 12 the FCC will hold a hearing regarding cellphone early termination fees. The Commission may look at early termination fees for TV and Internet service as well. The wireless carriers are taking a Bre'r Rabbit approach toward possible FCC regulation of early termination fees — the FCC's intervention would pre-empt a number of class-action lawsuits going forward against Verizon, Sprint, and others. These suits, stemming from state regulations, could cost the carriers billions. "...the carriers have renewed a lobbying effort in recent weeks to persuade the FCC on a legal definition that would stave off the state lawsuits on cancellation fees. On May 6, 2008, Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam and the company's chief lobbyist, Tom Tauke, met with [FCC Chairman] Martin, urging him to adopt a federal policy, according to FCC records."

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