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Comment 3 Year vs 2 Year Contracts (Score 1) 230

I've just started discussions on a new phone and provider. I don't understand the contract issues. Started with Rogers and they don't apply any penalty for cancelling a new contract and your only obligation is to pay off the outstanding amount owed on the phone that they subsidized. I assume this could be a "penalty" if they overcharged you for the phone but that cost is clear in the contract. Am I missing something?

Comment Good Enough! (Score 1) 347

Those two words generate fear in any business endeavour. Simply put, if what's out there and available is "good enough", e.g., meets enough of the consumers' needs that their desire or the pain factor is low enough, then new products face an uphill battle. When it comes to those copper loops, they continue to deliver "good enough" voice and data services that in most cases are "good enough". They'll be there for quite a long time.

Comment Words of wisdom from Machiavelli (Score 1) 614

Yes, the master of political intrigue has some words of wisdom when it comes to upgrades. "It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones." While his use of system is more generic, the general principle and sentiments remain the same 500 years later. He would have made a kick-ass CIO.

Comment Re:I'd be pretty pissed (Score 1) 134

????? At the barest minimum, if you're going to make life for your customers painful (e.g.. an upgrade imposing downtime, degraded service, h/w swap outs, etc) THEN you at least give them a heads up about what's coming and if possible, some guidance on how to minimize the pain. That said, if you can avoid impacting your customers, you perform some due diligence, hell, even do some testing before hand.

Comment Take a penny, leave a penny (Score 1) 362

Many small businesses have effectively "eliminated" pennies with a small container at the cash that contains pennies. Need a few pennies, take them from the container. Received a few pennies in your change? Drop them in the container. I don't think I've had pennies in my pocket for a long time. Government is finally just catching up.

Comment Re:On the one hand... (Score 1) 316

A real live example of the "devil you know...". Like the poster, I'm no fan of US Internet oversight but until convinced otherwise, I would not want to take a chance with the UN and more importantly, some of the despotic governments that would jump on with the ITU. If you want an example of what UN control of the Internet might look like, take a look at who's on the UN Human Rights Council.

Comment Let Free Enterprise (and Darwin) Reign! (Score 1) 223

There seems to be endless gnashing of teeth over this issue. How about we just let the market, e.g., you and I along with everyone else decide? Let papers opt out and Google just stops placing their articles on their news page. If readership and revenues drop, the papers always have the option to come back. If not, then they don't. I've always struggle with the papers' position. Google introduces their articles to a lot of people. Google gets something in return. If publishers don't like that arrangement, then there are solutions. I'm a missing something?

Comment I'll take slow access to ALL content (Score 1) 385

This is Australia right? The country obsessed with nation-wide censorship. I'll take my slower speed access here in Canada to ALL Net-based content versus super fast access to government-approved content. This sounds like a technology spin on the Time Machine with Eloi and Morlocks. Eloi are happy consumers content with their super fast access to Facebook, Youtube, etc all monitored and censored by our government Morlocks. A bit conspiratorial but really, I'm surprised someone like the Woz would be blinded by technology.

Comment Re:Behold, our huge, mighty penises!! (Score 1) 718

Dead on! (pardon the pun). Aircraft carriers extend US influence to all major ports and most major industrial areas given their proximity to the coastline. The rest of the carrier group is designed to protect the air craft carriers.

They are probably vulnerable to newer missile technologies but these reside with nuclear powers and by default, potential adversaries that would not engage the US in war.

Until there is an Exocet-like missile, cheap and effective against carriers that any country could deploy and use, carriers will be the work horse of the US navy, delivering firepower and by inference, influence where required.

Comment You are dead. No I'm not.... (Score 1) 333

This problem reminds me of the situations when the government decides for one reason or another that you are dead and declares it thus so (cue Captain Picard "Make it so"). Then the very much alive person (aka the primary source) engages the bureaucracy in a battle of wits to rescind that declaration. If we could all just write a letter to the New Yorker to resolve the problem, life would be good.

Comment It's a storefront, not an e-reader (Score 1) 383

Amazon's Kindle Fire is first and foremost a storefront for the rest of Amazon. The e-reader functionality is the tease to bring you into the store, or online to be more specific. This doesn't mean Amazon is evil but does explain their behaviour. To quote Bezos "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices," As a consumer, you always have a choice.

Comment Why do I care? (Score 1) 1154

Not trying to bait anyone but I run a small business. We have Microsoft and Apple desktops along with iPhone and Blackberries. These are all TOOLS that we use in our business to generate revenue. They are a means to an end (back to the money theme). We are definitely more technically conversant that the average consumer and I have yet to see an argument that would make me consider a Linux desktop. God help anyone trying to sell Linux to the general public.

I think what many Linux fans don't know about is a formidable market entry rule called "Good Enough". It's a killer. It's inertia squared. It's the challenge that you face when people don't feel enough pain. It's the devil you know challenge.

Unless Linux and it's advocates are able to address this challenge or Apple/Microsoft make it easier (which is highly unlikely) then the Linux desktop is a great forum discussion, but not much more than that.

Comment Re:Its not just the AI (Score 3, Interesting) 194

This is a perfect example of an arms race where one side has no governor (my hat tip to the earlier Jefferson reference). James succinctly described the rationale and process by which DCMA laws came into being. However, the fatal flaw is that DCMA enforces no penalty for excessive false positives. Consequently, as a content owner, it is in my best interest to take down first and ask (actually, they never ask) questions later. Businesses are driven to maximize the value of their product. Creating scarcity is a straightforward and easily understood concept. DCMA is just one more tool by which a business can achieve this goal.

That said, creating a monopoly was and is to a degree, another time-honoured tradition of creating scarcity and maximizing value. However, that was legislated as illegal. Likewise, there is an opportunity to amend DCMA and create a governor that addresses egregious false positive offenders. The penalties could be administrative, lose their privilege to use automated take downs (e.g., take away their toys) or even financial. Effectively, you would create a new line to quote James that balances the process.

Will this happen? Unlikely unless organizations with influence and money are consistently impacted by the current law. Other than the rare case as we've seen here, that has not happened and the status quo is likely to remain.

Comment Business Solution is Required (Score 2) 194

The fundamental problem with the current situation is that there is no "pain" (e.g., financial penalty) for these erroneous takedowns and that's the problem with DMCA. I wonder what the online world would look like if there was an equivalent "3 strikes" rule for false takedowns. After that, the escalating financial penalties kicked in, with damages going to the aggrieved party. Business understands money. Frame action and inaction in that context and business tends to behave in a predicable fashion, most of the time.

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