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Comment The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 55

The Verge's advice focuses on value in a packed market, and explicitly recommends against attempting novelty. This is crap advice, the kind of numbing pablum that Walmart gives to reps with a new product. "You want to make jeans? Sure, you have to make them in a way that fits on the existing shelving and matches the existing pipeline of ass-coverings, and don't come to us in the spring without lighter weight stuff and shorts." The message is that innovation doesn't sell, which is completely wrong, you can still sell the hell out of yoga pants (high volume/moderate margin) and utilikilts (high margin low volume) if you are careful. Innovation doesn't sell in volume right away. Was Tesla thought to be a competitor to the big automakers? Puhleez. But they put out an innovative niche product and did it goddamn well, and now as they ramp production and solve nontrivial production problems, they are becoming a serious threat to a super-defined market dominated by a few big players.

Also, the Verge article mixes up the use of the word "value" between low-cost+performant product vs premium product, and implies you must choose one end of the spectrum or you are fools. This is also complete BS; it's entirely possible to put out a mid-market device that eats the premium product's lunch (with the exception of the 1% of the market that buys Kardashian-style gold-plated iPhones just because of the logo and the gold). This is how Samsung arrived at its current market position. Let's not forget that along the way to it's current dominance, Samsung put out versions of the Galaxy phone that had stylii, projectors, card slots, display adapters, etc etc. Some of those are still highly profitable products at high volume today, and there's certainly room for improvement -- particularly with respect to flexibility. To dismiss as "high school science fair" and unaware of the global market is profoundly ignorant of the history of this market.

Not only is this a viable play-book for Moto, it's exactly what they should do in order to not become part of the "value" market on the clearance shelf.

Comment Re:How convenient (Score 2) 180

A trade group for the software industry claiming there are a quarter million software jobs open around the country. Yet oddly, when people with years of experience apply for these positions they are routinely told they don't have the experience the company is looking for.

Indeed. This is part of the "have to find a pink unicorn" philosophy of corporate hiring brought about by the disposable worker phenomenon. That is: Companies only want to hire the special snowflake that already has 100% of the skills and knowledge they want because they are willing to invest $0 in training them to do the job. Once upon a time, experience in related (but not identical) skills and tools were considered a good measurement of whether you could learn something and be good at a job involving it. Nowadays, you're totally disqualified if you're not an absolutely exact match.

Not coincidentally, this same philosophy leads to the endless import of H1-Bs willing to work for 40% less than an American, and is espoused by a very strongly correlated and overlapping group of folks. Most of the people preaching "skill shortage!" also are the ones proposing the solution is to import cheap labor from abroad.

Comment No. This is an unprecedented shit in nothing. (Score 0, Flamebait) 983

It is a remotely-controlled device, jury rigged for a purpose that is not at all its use.

I know people will become uncontrollably outraged about this, but it's a standoff weapon. Just like a spear, a bow and arrow, an explosive tossed through a door or window, a gun, or even a vehicle employed as a weapon.

The legal standard for lethal force is the same. Beware of academics or other commentators who will claim this is some kind of new territory for which there is no legal standard and that we have no idea how to approach.

But by all means: pretend this is an "Unprecedented Shift in Policing" instead of an improvisation under nightmarish circumstances.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 72

The unprofitable areas are those areas with low population density. Do you know what you don't find in areas with low population density? That's right, municipalities that have money to invest in wireless broadband.

You're thinking too 1:1. Although it is unlikely that every little podunk town will be able to have their own municipal wireless system, the frequencies in question are utterly pristine, and we have a long history of broadcast engineers sharing these frequencies and not interfering with each other, despite having stations blanketing the country. By positioning a tall enough/correctly engineered station in a central location, many rural communities could share one "system" between them.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 3, Interesting) 72

It's something of a flim-flam, though--they're not "buying" anything, merely purchasing the right to apply for a license that can be revoked. Granted, license revocation is a rare thing, but it's out there does to some degree constrain the operators of licensed broadcast/wireless systems on every band.

Think of it like this: Any way you issue the licenses, they're valuable. By charging for them, you at least raise some money in exchange for this valuable license, rather than just giving it away for the $295 application fee.

That said, I'd be thrilled to see a significant portion of this allotment reserved for municipal wireless broadband in "unprofitable" areas. We have to close the internet gap to give our rural neighbors the chance to enjoy the development and growth that connectivity enables.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 3, Insightful) 355

The average pay for the work increases with every immigrant.

Um, no. There's something called a saturation point, beyond which adding in more programmers drives down wages. This is nothing more than employers trying to rig the supply and demand equation and save a buck. Any crowing about "shortages" of skilled STEM talent are mostly B.S.--the problem is they won't raise wages to attract someone to the job, and would prefer the government allow them to import cheap H1-B labor, or saturate the market by granting permanent residency to anyone who goes gets a STEM degree here. Both practices dilute wages, because both practices allow employers to defy the laws of supply and demand--they want to monkey with the available supply of these workers to keep wages down.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 2, Insightful) 355

It only becomes a problem if we don't pay any attention to how it's done.

This idea is a non-starter. We already discourage students from pursuing STEM degrees by allowing companies like Facebook and Microsoft to import cheap labor in the form of H1-B visas--are we now to add a further disincentive by saying that anybody who can slither under the wire to get accepted to a U.S. university (and graduate) is now your permanent competition inside the United States? That's so self-destructive it's ridiculous. Policies like this are why the idiots in Britain voted to shoot their country (and themselves, directly) in the foot with a "Brexit" vote--because of the perception that their government serves "outsiders" ahead of them.

This policy would make that even more the case in the United States and might push even rational Americans to consider a Trump vote.

Comment "Why?" Because corruption (Score 1) 441

And why is the US still throwing money at the F35, unless it can be flown without pilots.

So the same criminals that we're paying a king's ransom to in order to develop an aircraft that may not be able to dogfight effectively in real life (limited ammo supply for machine gun = don't miss!) will be able to charge us a second king's ransom to add the AI flight capability later.

Military Contractor Business Plan Principle #1: Don't "volunteer" anything. If the customer wants a feature after the contract is already in progress, don't suggest that it be added. Make them come back to the table and ask for it so you can renegotiate and demand billions more dollars.

Comment Re:posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

Battery life is good. ---- By that I mean I'm an extremely heavy user, and a charge lasts me all day on most but not all days. I run probably 2hrs of voice calls and 4hrs of video calls a day on average, w/Google hangouts, Starleaf, Zoom, and Webex. There's a constant flow of email, handful of document downloads every day for review (tho I edit on laptop/not a complete masochist), and Hipchat is constantly running in the background which is a total battery hog. On top of that there are a few personal items; vlc, spotify, duolingo, etc for about an hour a day. Many of these are total power sinks, and the Priv handles all of this adequately, almost as well as the Passport held up and I have far more running on the Priv. TL;DR: I would rather keep this form factor than have them make it fatter.

Out of the box, battery life was terrible, but it improved markedly after the first 3-5 days. I don't know if that's because it finished a bunch of background updates, or if the battery optimization algorithm needed time to figure things out, but instead of starting at 6am and dying at 3pm, it started to last until 9-10pm. if I'd based my judgement on the first day or two's battery life, I would have returned the phone. Glad I didn't.

Comment Re:posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

Passport is not running Android at all, it is running BB10 based on QNX

Incorrect: Android apps run on top of BB10 in a proper Android runtime subsystem, not in emulated functions within BB10/QNX. This provides a proper architecture for sandboxing*, and allowed for them to smooth things out in later versions -- e.g. direct appstore support with Amazon in 10.3. The integration is really smooth, though -- to a casual user, BB apps and Android apps run identically, task switching between different-OS apps is quick and seamless swiping back and forth, and it's unexpectedly pleasant to use.

*I wish they'd done more with this on the PRIV. AppOps works with a few glitches on the Passport, since the Android runtime is 4.3 iirc, but not always. With the PRIV, I've actually lost ability to control info-harvesting apps, which means you have to root the device to make it more secure. Go figure.

Comment posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

This is a fabulous device. Seriously. What's tragic is that Rim seems unable to market a fire hose to a man in a burning building.
For years and years, I see people posting here lamenting about missing a good physical keyboard wanting a good touch screen, and to mitigate crap security on Android. After a series of halfway decent Android phones, I bought the passport and was extremely pleasantly surprised. Android support, a great keyboard, surprising innovation with touch support across the keyboard surface and exceedingly good build quality. On top of all that, a default configuration that includes mildly sandboxed Android with much better security. Not quite the detailed control I wanted, but a damn sight better than you get with default Android without rooting.
Then I picked up a Priv. It's a different set of trade-offs and certainly far from perfect. But it's pocketable, fast, great screen, and carries many excellent features over including a decent version of Hub. And the keyboard is very good, if a little small.
What I find most telling is that my kids want it. These are the same teenagers who referred to the Windows phone as "the punishment phone" and have been very picky about their other Android devices. A surprising majority of their school work is now completed and submitted through Google Docs, so this device totally fits the bill.
How the hell you market to this weird amalgam of people who want a serious piece of hardware that doesn't look like a frosted iPastry is Beyond me. But clearly the money and desire is out there, it's just that RIM is unable to communicate or put their hands on it.

Comment Re:it wuz haxx0rz! (Score 1) 192

He forgot to repeat "I didn't think it through" when he called Valve, told them he hacked into their server, copying the source code to their product, resulting in the source code for their main product being released publicly, and then asked for a job.

Is there any company where that situation would happen and it ends with "you're hired!"

Never underestimate the naivete and gullibility of a young person with a dream. Even as we speak, there are tens of thousands of kids across the country taking out huge student loans to get degrees that will barely qualify them for barista jobs at Starbucks--all because someone told them to "pursue your dreams" without adding the vital addendum "But have a realistic backup plan."

Plus, there are a number of tales of "former hackers" hired for security work. The part of the story that usually gets left out of discussions of this phenomena is the amount of jail time or legal charges the person had to sort out before they got that job. Very few of them jumped from "I totally committed a felony you were the victim of" to "I'd like $150k and a car allowance."

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