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Comment Just name-calling, not accusation (Score 1) 669

I'm going out on a limb here because I don't exactly what was posted, but I suspect that in context it was apparent that it was simple name-calling and not an accusation of a crime. If he would've called his teacher a goat fucker, would you really take it seriously? No. Kids at that age try to pick the most hateful thing to say to elicit a reaction. And you know what? Kids of this age already have coping mechanisms in place for when someone calls them a hurtful name.

To be honest, I think this is an overreaction by a vindictive teacher and a staff looking to make an example out of someone, and these kids will suffer a punishment that stretches far into their lifetime for a moment of expressing their frustration to their peers.

This is a rare case where I do think the parents should lawyer up. Don't fuck with a kid's life because you had your feelings hurt when you saw something you were never intended to see.


New Handheld Computer Is 100% Open Source 195

metasonix writes "While the rest of the industry has been babbling on about the iPad and imitations thereof, Qi Hardware is actually shipping a product that is completely open source and copyleft. Linux News reviews the Ben NanoNote (product page), a handheld computer apparently containing no proprietary technology. It uses a 366 MHz MIPS processor, 32MB RAM, 2 GB flash, a 320x240-pixel color display, and a Qwerty keyboard. No network is built in, though it is said to accept SD-card Wi-Fi or USB Ethernet adapters. Included is a very simple Linux OS based on the OpenWrt distro installed in Linksys routers, with Busybox GUI. It's apparently intended primarily for hardware and software hackers, not as a general-audience handheld. The price is right, though: $99."

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 853

Playing devil's advocate here, but I'm gonna say they outed him to lend credibility to their story about how the phone was obtained. A lot of people, including myself, thought Apple was employing an all-too-common strategy of co-opting news sites as a means of marketing by "losing" a phone.

To be honest, I'm still not entirely convinced this is wrong.

Comment Re:Forged Headers? (Score 1) 423

If nobody knows Steve Job's email, then how can we confirm that the headers indicate it was sent by him?

We "know" nothing, however as others have said, Occam's razor basically applies here - all the other explanations are more convoluted and require more jumps in logic.

I don't see why it's hard to believe that Steve Jobs would reply to a question like this with a "No." For one thing, it sounds like him. For another thing, I doubt he'd see it as big news that there'd be no tethering. It's not like they're planning to have some big announcement at MacWorld or something that the iPad and iPhone won't tether. Oh no! Steve Jobs just spoiled his next "oh, one more thing!" No tethering!

Also, this story has actually been around for a couple of days now and nobody from Apple has denied it.

Lastly, I just want to say that email addresses are funny. Most celebrities and public figures have email addresses that would be the first thing you'd guess. I can't remember what the exact address in question here is but when I first saw the story elsewhere, I wasn't surprised that it was something like The reason people think "nobody knows" these addresses is simply that random emails from outsiders usually get ignored, and also because most people think the most obvious address would *never* actually be real. But even most celebrities, in my experience, don't really care *that* much about keeping their email address private, especially because they all have other, *actually* private email addresses that they use for important stuff, like chatting with friends or family. The professional email address just has a bunch of filters that separate all the random stuff out into junk folders.

I actually get to work with a lot of celebrities for my work, and the first few times somebody handed me their card with an address like "" on it (that's not real - though it may be! - but just an example), I was really surprised. But now I realize how common it is.

I have no idea why Jobs would respond to this one email, but maybe he was just searching through his junk mail box and it piqued his interest for some reason.

Comment Re:It's getting ridiculous (Score 5, Insightful) 423

Are we supposed to keep paying up per device? It's highly unreasonable, specially since most people don't use two devices at the same time.

We're going through the same thing right now with wireless telcos that we did with ISP's about 10-15 years ago. Some people probably don't remember it, others may have actually been too young to really know about it, but there was a time when the cable and phone companies considered having a router on their service as a terms of use violation. They would cut you off if they discovered it. People would actually hide their routers whenever they'd have to make a service call (I remember doing this!). They charged for internet use per connection, so to them using a router was "theft" because you could use one router for many different computers.

Of course, today that sounds ridiculous, and ISP's even give away wireless routers. Verizon's standard DSL and FiOS modems are wireless routers.

So hopefully in 10 years (or less), we'll be at that same point with the wireless telcos, where they realize they'll actually get more business by simplifying and letting people do what they want with their connections. And they actually will sell their service per household or subscriber, and not per device connection.

Comment Re:This is why I'll never own anything apple. (Score 4, Insightful) 423

Maybe because the devices his company produces do what most people want, and do those things really well.

I'm not going to argue with your main point but there are a couple of statements you make that I do disagree with.

Disclosure: I just got over a 36 hour iPhone binge, where I thought my old phone had broken and it turned out that the iPhone was the cheapest smartphone I could actually get given my upgrade status, so I tried one. I returned it the next day.

I also own an iPod, and I do love that.

Given my experience with the iPhone (and the iPod), I don't believe these devices do anything particularly well. What I think is that they don't do anything badly. That's a different thing. Apple is really good at not fucking things up for most people, and at not allowing most people to fuck things up for themselves. They are not very good at doing anything that's particularly amazing, or inspiring, or whatever you want to call it.

Just one example. Turn on the iPhone and what do you see? (I mean after you "slide to unlock", which you're forced to do every time you turn the screen on.) Yep, a sea of basically random tiny icons. This is the "revolutionary" interface some people talk about - random tiny icons. The home screen on the iPhone is almost totally useless. Without the tiny little message indicator above the email icon and the date on the calendar icon, there would be no reason to even look at it.

Most people buying iPhones have never used another smartphone, or at least not another good one, so they don't know what they're missing. I'm not sure they're going to be as forgiving of the same interface on the iPad.

It is an appliance for me, and I am happy that it just does the job I want it to do.

That's fine, and my wife loves her iPhone too and I'm happy that she's happy with it.

But what's wrong with giving people options? That was one of the reasons I returned my iPhone. I am completely fine with people getting a device and then just not even bothering to touch it except for making calls and sending emails using all the default stuff that it comes with. My wife got hers because it supports Japanese natively (which Windows Mobile doesn't and I don't think Android does either), and she can easily write emails in either language using the virtual keyboard. She never even bothered with the app store until literally six months after she got it. That's okay, her priority is just to have a phone with Japanese support that works out of the box and she loves it for that.

But what's wrong with giving the rest of us the option to do more? Why limit it? I mean seriously, why? It is borderline sadistic on the part of Jobs, to basically say "our phone is really powerful but WE WILL NOT LET YOU tap that power, and you therefore must deal with the experience created for the lowest common denominator even though this device is capable of doing anything you might want it to do."

I mean, you can't even disable "slide to unlock". You can't alter the home screen. You can't replace the weaksauce email app that doesn't even seem to have a "mark all as read" function that I could find. Why not? How does it hurt anybody to put in the option to do those basic things? What, they're afraid of support calls? So you make a function that's buried in some hidden menu that says "geek mode" and you put a little checkbox next to it. And you bury the instructions on how to find that menu on some members-only web site, and then it gets distributed through sites like Slashdot that only geeks read anyway. The geeks are happy, the normals are happy, what's the problem?

My first computer was an Apple II, and I loved it precisely because it was so open. This is a different Apple these days, and it's unlikely that I'll buy another multi-purpose device from them again. I do like my iPod, but it is intended to do one thing: play media. Just not screwing up a device's intended function is enough on a single-purpose device, especially because so many other manufacturers do. But I need more than that on a device that's intended to be "smart", which to me means it's not supposed to be limited to the functionality it has when it arrives in the box.

The Internet

Time To Take the Internet Seriously 175

santosh maharshi passes along an article on Edge by David Gelernter, the man who (according to the introduction) predicted the Web and first described cloud computing; he's also a Unabomber survivor. Gelernter makes 35 predictions and assertions, some brilliant, some dubious. "6. We know that the Internet creates 'information overload,' a problem with two parts: increasing number of information sources and increasing information flow per source. The first part is harder: it's more difficult to understand five people speaking simultaneously than one person talking fast — especially if you can tell the one person to stop temporarily, or go back and repeat. Integrating multiple information sources is crucial to solving information overload. Blogs and other anthology-sites integrate information from many sources. But we won't be able to solve the overload problem until each Internet user can choose for himself what sources to integrate, and can add to this mix the most important source of all: his own personal information — his email and other messages, reminders and documents of all sorts. To accomplish this, we merely need to turn the whole Cybersphere on its side, so that time instead of space is the main axis. ... 14. The structure called a cyberstream or lifestream is better suited to the Internet than a conventional website because it shows information-in-motion, a rushing flow of fresh information instead of a stagnant pool."

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