Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Did this on Verizon Airphones (Score 1) 337

Years ago (1995 to be precise), I had a modem plugged into the airphone that used to be in the headrest of the middle seat on Delta and other airplane seats. I had the phone clicked into the holder, but there was a gap that allowed the cable to snake out to the laptop. As we were waiting for take off, I idly pushed the buttons on the handset and after hitting the # key the screen displayed "dial your number" - this only showed if the modem cable was plugged in and the handset was clicked into the headrest. Although the keypad itself was disabled, it was entirely possible to dial using the modem for a data-only call. Just in case, I switched seats and tried it, connected to my internet provider at that time and everything worked great, albeit at 2.4kbps or whatever it was. I did call up the skyphone folks afterwards and told customer care about it. They were very grateful, but I never heard anything from them and I doubt the backdoor was shut. If anyone worked on that system, I'd like to know if it was left there intentionally or not!

Comment Re:The actual proposal (Score 1) 190

TLA conflates Carrier with OEM. I worked for an OEM and never saw any revenue sharing from Google or the Carrier. Nothing. Zippo. We bid on RFQ's sent out by the carriers every 6 months with the best and lowest bid for slots the carrier had (high end, mid-priced, low, specialized, etc.), competing against every other OEM from Chinese wannabes to Tier 1's. Carrier was always hoping for iPhone quality at a $250 price point and once we sold it, we were onto the next product. In the end, we couldn't compete with Apple and had no marketing budget to compete with Samsung and went out of business. The article is right that money talks, but to think they'd give any to an OEM. Ha.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 42

It's a good question, but the phone is not the Xiaomi experience.The full Xiaomi experience is all about hyper-focused customer marketing. See this paper - "Fan-centric social media: The Xiaomi phenomenon in China" (PD:


In this highly competitive century, social media offers both opportunities
and challenges. The concept of social media is top of mind for many entrepreneurs
today. Fans are assuming an increasingly active role in co-creating marketing content
with companies and their respective brands. Based on the Xiaomi success story in
China, we provide a framework for building the power of the fan base and propose a
new fan-centric social media business model. We examine the best practice case
study of an emerging company’s successful efforts to leverage social media in order to
reach an important audience of young consumers. Thereafter, we conclude with
several lessons related to the integration of social media into a new firm’s operation
strategy. We strongly recommend that businesses, and especially startups, make good
use of powerfulsocial media to develop a business model with fan demand asthe core.
This is what we call the ‘fan-centric’ social media business model.

Comment Cue the stock H1B posts (Score 1, Informative) 472

I suspect every slash dotter worth their salt has a few canned responses here they can pull out to stories like this.

The main point of the H1B visa waiver program is to enable US employers to hire skilled foreign workers. Period. The reason for hiring them, at least in Silicon Valley, is not to pay a bargain basement wage, but to enable US companies to hire the best and brightest in the world. It's got nothing to do with a shortage of US workers. Indeed, most hiring managers have no idea if the applicant has a visa, a green card, or is a citizen. They just want the best person for the job. Does that mean that us US folks are at a disadvantage when hiring? You betcha! You are going up against every super-smart wannabe Steve Jobs from India, China, Israel, Russia and the rest of the world. If the hiring manager finds her man, HR will work out how to get the visa. If it isn't an H1B, it'll be an EB-2 or 1099 contracting and business trips until all that stuff is sorted out. Now, if US employers were forced to hire based on immigration status - citizens first, then green card holders, then it would be a distinct advantage to be a citizen. It'd also probably result in US employers not having the smartest people in the world working for them.

Comment Re:Airport lounges suck (Score 4, Informative) 55

Yup. I'm lucky that my employer pays for biz class for intl flights over 9 hours, so I see a few of them. IMO, the red carpet club is the worst, usually packed with sweaty folks trying to shovel as many of the trail mix snacks and coffee they can into their gobs. The "bar" is useless and sternly managed by a crone in a vest. Don't forget the obligatory USD 1 tip or she'll get grumpy. Tokyo and SFO are the worst. If you're smart, you'll find another airline's Gold lounge where they let you pour your own and eat real food. ANA is okay and has the magic beer pouring machine, EVA is good and generous with the booze. The best are the first-class lounges though, which I've only been in rarely as a guest of a super-miler. EVA's in Taipei was really good. The best overall lounge so far was Virgin's biz lounge in Hong Kong. I ate everything they had on the menu and their martinis were great.

Comment Same problem with an ultra-niche blog (Score 3, Informative) 465

I had been using a blog to record my pond over a period of a year. I specifically wanted to have a timeline record of pictures and notes. I knew no one would be reading it for a while until I completed the year and used it essentially as a notebook that I could easily upload to using my phone. I got about 10 months in and Wordpress deleted it all. Greeeeat. I still have the photos on my phone, but not the notes I took.

Comment Google Earth Ingress Pokemon Go (Score 2) 168

This game is pretty good and much more fun than Ingress. It also has serious incentive to buy stuff in-game, like the incubator. To hatch an egg you have to walk 5K and with only one free incubator, I'm inclined to buy a couple - they're only $1.50 each. Niantic, the company behind the game is a spin out from Google, who in turn were a spin out of the Google Earth team, who were acquired by Google way back when. The Ingress SiFi game has been running for years and you can still spot the mid-20's to 30's crowd every so often in a park trying to take down or protect a portal. That said, Ingress's business model was based on putting portals at places like Jamba Juice to try and attract customers to go there. As far as I know, it didn't really work out. Pokemon GO's approach seems much more likely to pay off.
Right now, the biggest problem is that the servers keep crapping out. We'll have to change the phrase "Slashdotted" to "PK'd" or "Go'ed" or something because they are hammered. If you don't think this is a big thing, go to a park and look for teens hanging out looking at phones. Then tell them you haven't reached level 5 yet and they'll nod knowingly.

Comment Because US privacy laws suck (Score 3, Informative) 95

For comparison, while data protection and privacy are fundamental rights in the EU, there is no equivalent protection in the US.

EU data protection consists of several principles, which include, rules on data quality standards, on sensitive data, independent supervision, the purpose limitation principle, rules on inter-agency exchange or transfer of data to third states, time limits for the retention of data, effective judicial review and access possibilities, independent oversight, proportionality elements, notification requirements after surveillance or data breaches, access, correction and deletion rights as well as rules on automated decisions, data security as well as technical protection. These rights and principles are subject to restrictions, but these restrictions are limited by proportionality elements and are continually subject to judicial review. Some of these EU rights, such as notification, supervision or judicial review can also be found in certain US Acts, for instance in the ECPA, however, they only exist in a mitigated form.

Most of the EU data protection guarantees simply do not exist in US law. Good for businesses, bad for humans.

Comment Failure to Police (Score 2) 281

This is par for the course in trademark land. Trademark rights might be lost when a trademark owner fails to police its mark against eroded distinctiveness. In this case, Citigroup think that AT&T's use could lessen the distinctiveness of their THANKYOU. On the face of it, it probably does. As a result, their trademark will become weaker, and may lose its distinctiveness entirely. If it does, they could actually lose the mark. To help avoid this, the trademark owner it pretty much obliged to police its mark through legal means, up to and including going to court. This is pretty much mandatory - you need to do this, it's not really an option. Some courts have determined you don't have to prosecute every infringing third-party use, but if you have the money and the mark is worth it to you, then it's a no brainer.

Comment Follow the money... (Score 1) 257

Follow the money: After a phone is sold, only carriers and the app store owners make any from the subscriber. Manufacturers get nothing. If the carriers were smart, they would structure their purchasing contracts to include a service contract with the manufacturers, e.g., 10% of the sale price for X years of support. Then the OEM could justify keeping a sustaining engineering team going, assuming the opportunity cost isn't too high.

Comment What's the incentive in China? (Score 1) 184

I'm genuinely interested. Do Chinese start-ups give stock to employees? Or is it all cash and bonuses? I've worked for multiple US companies and stock is one of the big drivers to pay over and above the base salary. Sure, there's employees at start-ups all over the world who work night and day, but they're doing it because they have a stake in the company usually.

Slashdot Top Deals

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.