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Comment Often deliberately (Score 1) 141

I switched off Comcast a few months ago to a regional ISP that's deploying fiber-to-the-premises all over the place. Their current offering in my neighborhood is FTTN, which is basically fiber to a box near my house, then DSL from that box to my living room. I have two DSL lines bonded for a 50Mbps down, ~8Mbps up connection (that is, faster than Comcast in uploads) for about a third what I was paying Comcast. That's to tide us over until the ISP gets around to replacing that last mile, which they've actually been doing and not continually deferring to some distant future.

Don't cry for me and my DSL connection. Our download speed is theoretically slower, but in practice it's just as fast, utterly uncapped, and far cheaper. I somehow think we'll scrape by.

Comment Re:In before... (Score 1) 148

Also, as a server admin, having IPv6 open increases your traffic, not because more people are visiting but because a lot of bot nets are scanning IPv6 looking for vulnerabilities.

I'm very skeptical of this. What's the Venn diagram of "people who know what IPv6 is" and "people who think you can scan IPv6 space before the heat death of the universe"?

Comment I had fun with this (Score 5, Interesting) 105

I answered one of those calls that was spoofing an area code where I still have lots of friends. When I realized what it was about, I started asking questions about how it worked, what they did, etc. The guy said they had arrangements with Google to promote pages and it was guaranteed.

He asked what kind of business I have. "Oh, I work for Google. By the way, we both know this is bullshit, right?" "Oh, no no no sir! It is not bullshit! It is real!" "Well, thanks for all your company information. I'll give it to my boss this morning and you'll be out of work." "Oh, no no no! There is no need to be doing that!" You could hear his butt pucker from over the phone.

I don't work for Google, but he didn't either so I don't feel bad.

Comment Re:Is this so hard (Score 1) 110

This can be ended quite easily, blacklist numbers that receive a large ratio of complaints to calls.

First, numbers are trivially spoofed so that may not help. Second, that requires a certain percentage of users to still receive (and spam-flag) those calls. No thanks.

Wow this plan didn't take me 30 days to come up with, it took me 30 seconds.

Like most such plans forged in a moment...

Comment Re:Blackberry (Score 1) 189

If you read the article (yeah, I know), table 2 shows "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q16". Last year in that quarter, Blackberry delivered 1.15M phones to end users. Same quarter this year, they delivered 400K.

Blackberry's market share has gone down enormously since the switch, but I don't know if that's causal or coincidental. Maybe Blackberry fans are allergic to Android and refuse to switch, or maybe they love it but their sales were trending down faster than the switch could bring them back up.

Comment Sure, if you hate efficiency and the deaf (Score 1) 290

There's no decent voicemail search: "which one of these 10,000 voice messages had that information I needed?"

It's a non-starter for the hearing impaired, although the reverse text-to-speech is readily available for visually impaired people who want to hear their messages.

It's a death knell for anyone with the slightest tinge of ADHD, like most engineers (remember: hyperfocus on interesting tasks is the payoff for being unable to pay attention in long meetings).

What you have hear is an audio learner - which it is 100% perfectly OK to be! - having no empathy for others with different learning and communication styles. Again, it's far easier to convert text to speech for those who need it than speech to text for the rest of us.

Comment Re:Widely Used!!!! (Score 1) 446

Because sometimes "buying milk" is pillow talk between spouses and that's no one's damn business except for me and my wife. There's not a convenient "keep this private" vs "OH SURE GO AHEAD AND READ THIS ONE" toggle, so I opt for keeping all my interactions private.

I value messaging privacy for the same reason I have a door on my bathroom. I'm not doing anything illegal in either case, but damned if I want someone observing me while I use them.

Comment Re:First cool site was 'the liquid oxygen barbecue (Score 1) 136

Besides the LOX demo and his invention of Refrigerant R-406A "AutoFrost", George was an Alpha Hardware Hacker at Purdue who presented at Usenix conferences. He got a grant to work on multiprocessing, and so he took two VAX 780's, and connected them by the backplane, creating a multiprocessor VAX. Digital Equipment liked it so much that they made a product of it, called the VAX/782. The CPU clock was 5 MHz and there were a lot of DIP-package digital logic ICs in there, with lots of space between them on the PCBs.

Comment Classic Steve Jobs and the Nascent Web (Score 5, Interesting) 136

Steve Jobs and some folks from Pixar were going out to lunch one day. While walking out of the building, Steve said "we have to find the killer app for the Internet". Steve and I both had NeXT workstations on our desks, and they had the first Mosaic web browser for NeXTStep on them. I'm not sure I even tried that browser, but we both completely missed that this was the killer app for the Internet.

Comment Re:This is NOT a matter of trademark violation (Score 2) 247

Not necessarily. Take a look at the relevant portion of the Lantham Act. It would have to fit one of the provisions therein. It might make a false suggestion of affiliation, but it's arguable.

15 U.S.C. 1125 - False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden

(a) Civil action

(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which

(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or

(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person's goods, services, or commercial activities,

shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

Comment This is NOT a matter of trademark violation (Score 1) 247

You violate a trademark if you mis-represent a good or service as that of the trademark holder. And it has to be in the same trademark category that they registered. Having a trademark does not grant ownership of a word, and does not prevent anyone else from using that word. Use of a trademark in reporting and normal discussion is not a violation.

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