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Comment Re:example of "dork" thinking ruining tech (Score 1) 194

Wow, now fully in namecalling mode... Argument Won!

BTW, when you were panning the one *possible* COTS solution I provided, amidst the Anti-Samsung tirade, you missed the point that it was just Skype - all the famlies could use whatever they want.

in all seriousness though, when dealing with self-supporting users, KISS principle applies. I get you were advocating that with the "maintenance-free" kiosk, but you were totally overlooking the server maintenance (patches, etc, not physical maint.), and the same to the kiosk.

And with the rate of change of some sadly-named standards, one security-driven library update could break the whole thing. Then OP gets the 2am call, or they pay someone $100+/hr to troubleshoot the bugs. Thus why fully-COTS is best in this scenario

Comment Re: WebRTC, Asterisk/FreeSwitch and a JS SIP clie (Score 3, Insightful) 194

I know I'm gonna get modded down for this - so be it:

Typical /. radical evangelism for open source, at all costs (metaphorically, not $$), without regard for the whole of the circumstances.

If there was a dedicated IT team, fine. If this was just OP and his grandma only, fine. Any of several circumstances, fine. But that's NOT the case!

Here we have lot of users, you MUST have dedicated support, and OP can't (trust me, I've been in this situation) provide that 24/7 long-term. And keep that server running, but that can be outsourced very cheaply is a delusion. Who's gonna pay for the next X years?? IT Consultants aren't cheap, and any upgrades that break things will be costly to repair, while being an outage for the users.

In a situation like this, COTS, with consumer support available and used to dealing with non-technical users (you know, the helpdesk script monkeys that piss US off...), is the way to go.

Comment Re: WebRTC, Asterisk/FreeSwitch and a JS SIP clie (Score 4, Interesting) 194

Actually, my suggestion is in a separate comment down the page...

But to answer why the above is still a bad idea, it leaves OP on the hook for regular/recurring maintenance. Moreover, it creates a single point of failure if he gets hit by a bus, or just goes on vacation.

When dealing with highly nontechnical users, especially under a high-stress environment such as distant family wanting to talk to failing relatives before they die or can't usefully communicate anymore, any delay or breakdown leads to massive tension- and gets OP called at 2am on Sunday!

Therefore, a 100% COTS soltution is ideal.

Fronkly OP needs to learn to use freakin' google, I found COTS solution, in stock at Best Buy, in ~45sec... There are still supported, stable solutions out there

Submission + - YouTube Creator Studio app available on the App Store (

An anonymous reader writes: Video management app launched by Google few weeks ago, available now for iOS devices.

YouTube Creator Studio is an app for managing channels on the video platform from a mobile device, designed for video creators. After Android devices, it can now be downloaded on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, with iOS 7 at least.

Submission + - Cheap Printer Ink – College Students Leak Secret to the Internet (

An anonymous reader writes: Why is it that the price of printers keeps dropping all the time, but nobody is selling cheap printer ink? Faster and cheaper printers, but never cheap printer ink, why? Is there collusion by retailers or even the printer manufactures themselves artificially keep the cost of printer ink high? These questions were answered durning a class project. Also the students learned a trick that cut their ink cost up to 85% and leaked it to the internet.

Submission + - White House responds to petition to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consu (

devloop writes: White House posts an official response to this petition, already with nearly 140,000 votes in favor, to allow direct sales to consumers in all 50 states. "We believe in the goal of improving consumer choice for American families, including more vehicles that provide savings at the pump for consumers. However, we understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress."

Submission + - Rocket Scientist Designs 'Flare' Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster (

An anonymous reader writes: Oxford University engineering professor Dr Thomas Povey just invented a new cooking pot that heats food 40% faster. The pot is made from cast aluminum, and it features fins that direct flames across the bottom and up the sides, capturing energy that would otherwise be wasted. The pot is set to hit the market next month in the UK.

Submission + - FAA Intimidates Coldwell Banker, Other Realtors Into Shunning Drone Photography ( 1

mpicpp writes: For months, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been investigating realtors who use drones to film their properties. Now, Forbes has learned that the FAA’s investigations have succeeded in intimidating NRT —the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company — into advising their members to not only cease flying drones as part of their work, but to also cease using drone footage.

This is a troubling development in an ongoing saga over the FAA’s rules which punish the safe commercial use of drones. Currently, the FAA does not prohibit the use of drones for a hobby — flying over your home and taking pictures of it for fun is allowed, but because real estate drones take pictures for a commercial purpose, the FAA prohibits their use.

Submission + - HDMI 2.0 reaches the stores, delivers 4K UHD but not totally nor anything else. (

tafinho writes: Although HDMI 2.0 was released in September last year, first TVs with HDMI 2.0 have only reached the market over the last few weeks. This meant finally people can enjoy their 4K Ultra Super Hyper High Def content from something into a TV. Unfortunately, there aren't as many devices outputting 4K content. This article compares what HDMI 2.0 promised, what it really delivers, and what about that HDMI 1.4 cable compatibility, or not...

Submission + - FBI Issued 19,000 National Security Letters in 2013

Trailrunner7 writes: The United States federal government issued more than 19,000 National Security Letters–perhaps its most powerful tool for domestic intelligence collection–in 2013, and those NSLs contained more than 38,000 individual requests for information.

The new data was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday as part of its effort to comply with a directive from President Obama to declassify and release as much information as possible about a variety of tools that the government uses to collect intelligence. The directive came in the immediate aftermath of the first revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s capabilities, methods and use of legal authorities.

The use of NSLs is far from new, dating back several decades. But their use was expanded greatly after 9/11 and NSLs are different from other tools in a number of ways, perhaps most importantly in the fact that recipients typically are prohibited from even disclosing the fact that they received an NSL. Successfully fighting an NSL is a rare thing, and privacy advocates have been after the government for years to release data on their use of the letters and the number of NSLs issued. Now, the ODNI is putting some of that information into the public record.

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