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Comment Roku, Amazon Fire, etc? (Score 1, Insightful) 80

So are they going to consider the Roku and Amazon Fire and similar devices to be "mobile devices"? Because a lot of people use these devices to output via HDMI to their TVs. That doesn't seem right to give these users different content just because they're not using a computer as their primary output device.

Comment Biggest obstacle to NFC (Score 1) 24

I am not a user of Samsung Pay, since I have an iPhone. But I do use Apple Pay whenever I get the chance. It's basically the same NFC technology in the end, and most places that I see the NFC wireless logo, I have not had a problem paying with Apple Pay even if it doesn't explicitly have the Apple Pay logo on it. From my perspective, the biggest obstacle to the acceptance of NFC-based payments is getting the retailers to adopt it. The banks are on board, because if the increased security, and many early adopters seem to like it's ease of use. Most of the time, when I go to an establishment and pay with my phone, I get the, "Wow! That's cool!" So people do seem to like the technology. However, the problem is that the store clerks accepting payments should not be reacting to the technology this way when people pay using their phones. Just last week, I was at a restaurant in Frankfort, Kentucky, and paid using Apple Pay, and the server as totally shocked and surprised that someone could pay with their phone! Seriously, it's your POS checkout system. You should be familiar with all forms of payment that are accepted. Why is NFC being adopted on various POS devices yet there is no training of the front-end clerks as to the fact that NFC-based payments are being accepted?

Comment Buying stuff? (Score 1) 102

If you thought buying stuff was hard on a cell phone, try doing your homework on your cell phone. You laugh. But I seriously see an increasing number of college students today trying to finish their online homework assignments using their cell phones. Interestingly, usually these are the ones that score rather poorly on assignments. I cannot imagine how someone can possibly think that doing homework on their cell phone is a good idea.

Comment OS X / Ubuntu / Windows 7 (Score 1) 326

My primary desktop system in the office is a 2015 Retina Macbook Pro 15" (El Capitan), with dual 17" external displays connected (total of 3 displays counting the onboard screen). I also have a separate Windows 7 Lenovo Thinkpad that I use for teaching (since it has the stylus and touch screen that Apple does not support). I also administer a small computing laboratory consisting of five Dell Optiplex workstations running Ubuntu 14. At home, I have a 27" iMac running El Capitan, with about 10 TB of external disk storage.

Comment How many of us are actually calling tech support? (Score 1) 209

I think most of these complaints about tech support being "unbearable", while legitimate complaints, are things most of us that are fairly technologically literate don't have to deal with often. Why? Because the methods most of us geeks use to solve problems are the logical ones -- if something doesn't work as expected, as Google it and see if someone else experienced the same thing, or check the manual (gasp!). If something is defective, we RMA it back to the manufacturer and get a new one, and don't waste hours on tech support calls. If the product is something we use for business, the company will probably have a service contract and we'll talk to someone right away if needed. If, for some reason, we have to call tech support, we'll call and put the phone on speakerphone while the annoying advertising muzak plays in the background while we go about our business solving other problems, so when somebody finally picks up the phone, we start talking. 95% of the people that call the mainstream tech support lines are mainly the technologically illiterate folks that couldn't identify an SD card from an HDMI cable if it hit them in the face. The people that have the unfortunate task of having to talk with these people, realize that the process of actually educating them is futile, and make every effort to get them off the phone as quickly as possible, so that they have more time to solve the problems of the 5% of the people calling that actually know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Comment Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 65

My car automatically connects to my phone via Bluetooth every time I get in. I can listen to mp3 music over the car stereo, talk to someone via hands free, or even listen to pandora over the phone's LTE connection (though I have enough mp3s that I don't have to). I can even use the phone's GPS to tell me where I am and give me instructions through the car stereo on where I need to go. I don't need an extra monthly bill so that the car has its own connection. But capitalists love connected cars because the auto manufacturers can advertise the next generation "connected automobile" and the wireless companies get another monthly revenue stream. They're also hopeful on marketing this to parents so that they can have an internet connection available for their kids to watch Netflix or play games on long family trips instead of actually having to ***gasp*** socialize and interact with them.

Comment Copyright infringement vs. Extortion (Score 4, Insightful) 56

Sci-Hub is clearly engaging in copyright infringement by the definition of the law as written. But one could make a very good argument that Elsevier is also engaging in Extortion as well, by charging as much as $30-35 per paper to download a PDF. Is there any data out there on how many people actually pay these fees? Most people with access at a Carnegie Research I institution don't need to pay the fees, but there are a lot of smaller academic institutions whose libraries don't have the resources to subscribe to everything. The options are either email the author and ask for them to send you a copy (most of the time, this works), contact a colleague at another institution and ask them to send you a copy (many academics will do this for friends and collaborators), visit Sci-Hub and download it yourself, or pay the extortion fee and obtain it. Three of these options violate copyright laws as written, but the first two options have the advantage of maintaining contact with other researchers in your field and increasing communication, which can help your career. Do we really want to stifle this all in the name of making a few extra bucks for the publishing companies so that their stock can go up a quarter of a point?

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