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Comment Should we be surprised he's from Arkansas? (Score 1) 297

If I'm not mistaken, then you are only exempt from sales tax for an online purchase if the retailer does not have a local presence. So, is it any surprise that the guy is from the state where the world's largest retailer is headquartered?

I'll leave the debate about lost revenue for another day. But this is nothing more than WalMart taking a shot at Amazon.

Comment This is already happening (Score 5, Informative) 102

My brother is a math teacher who convinced the board of his school system to let him try it in two of his classes. Now the entire school system is moving to Khan for the math program.

The major change in his teaching format is that learning a new concept is now homework (through Khan Academy), rather than him droning on about it in class. Then every morning he gets a report for each student and can see who did well and who didn't. That allows him to concentrate on the students that didn't get the concept in class. Overall he has seen a major improvement in the class as a whole since fewer kids get left without a good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

Comment Re:I had the exact opposite experience (Score 2) 285

My brother is a math teacher at a junior high and does this, sort of. He assigns the new concept and practice questions as homework (via Khan Academy), rather than spending the entire class teaching it. Each day he gets a progress report for each of his students and can then work one-on-one with students that had the most trouble with the lesson, or break the classroom up for group work and spread out students that did well and students that didn't.

Overall he says he has seen a tremendous difference. More students are grasping concepts and those that would have done well anyway are actually doing better.

It certainly doesn't replace a good teacher, but it could probably do just as well as a bad one.

Comment Re:Does Windows 8 have an opt-out feature? (Score 1) 489

I have an Android phone. At some point I installed a game from the Amazon app store that was also available in the Google app store. At a later date I noticed that the Google app store indicated that there was an update available for that game. I got an error when I tried to update the app, and then I realized that I had actually installed it from the Amazon store and that's what caused the error.

Based on that evidence, can I assume that Google is doing the same thing? Either they are collecting data about what applications I have installed, or the phone checks individually for updates and doesn't care about the source from which I installed it (in which case Google could easily build an inventory of what is installed based on those queries). Or perhaps that was a one time event due to a bug or glitch.

Comment Re:Hope MS does well with this phone (Score 1) 195

This is where Palm missed their opportunity. Had they built a central command and control feature into WebOS I firmly believe they could have unseated RIM as the goto choice in the enterprise (given that they would have also had to release enterprise acceptable hardware). WebOS is still the best multitasking environment on a mobile platform. Add to that the ease with which enterprise web based apps can ported to and developed for the platform, and they'd have had a pretty strong argument.

Comment Re:Good or Great is not enough (Score 1) 195

I would add a Zune Pass to the list of killer features. I know that anything with "Zune" attached to the name is mostly assumed to be a joke with its own punchline, but for the price I don't think you can beat the deal. I hear that Spotify has a pretty good argument against that but I wouldn't know because I don't have a Facebook account, which is required to sign up.

Comment Re:ask a mechanic (Score 1) 672

I've actually been told that the first oil change is the most important. It makes sense logically that the majority of the little bits of metal from the engine would wear loose fairly quickly. I know that's what filters are for and everything, but it makes sense.

Comment Re:What is he smoking? (Score 2) 203

That's an awfully presumptuous statement. One might have said the same thing to several generations of mobile manufacturers. After all, there was Palm and Windows Mobile. Then along came RIM. Who could have predicted the extraordinary collapse of Blackberry just 5 or 6 years ago?

I think people too often underestimate the instability of the mobile market. There was at one time a very compelling reason to stick with any given mobile OS because of the investment that was made in purchasing apps. Now, most of the important pieces are moving to "the cloud" which effectively removes the OS tie-in. All a developer needs is a GUI and perhaps a little bit of local storage for almost any non-game app.

To say WebOS was doomed, I think, gives users too much credit. There are plenty of brand loyal folks out there that won't be convinced of anything that doesn't fall in line with what they already believe. But for the most part, people just want the "best" device which is up to the marketing. That's where WebOS failed; they went with a creepy ghost woman who did here best to imply all of the capabilities of the OS instead of showing off how much more usable the OS is in a productive capacity. Palm had plenty of brand loyal people in the business community that they shoveled aside in favor of the consumer market. Had they gone straight after RIM instead of trying to compete with Apple everything would be different.

In other words, they weren't "doomed regardless." Hell, they weren't doomed at all until marketing failed.

Comment Re:Why Apple is good (Score 1) 715

Frankly business is small fry compared to the worldwide consumer electronics market

I will assume you meant that the "worldwide" business market is small fry compared to the worldwide consumer market. But I keep hearing this and nobody ever posts numbers to back it up. Do they exist? Perhaps I'm just naive, but I don't see how that's remotely possible. I could be convinced that the consumer market for computers is marginally larger than the business market due to the fact that a lot of households now have more than one PC/laptop. But "small fry"?

The consumers I know buy a PC/laptop and use it until it dies. While the majority of the medium to large businesses I work with are constantly refreshing their PCs and laptops (in chunks, not all at once). Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning the validity of focusing on the consumer market. It is clearly working for them. But how does that make the business market "small fry"?

Comment Re:Abandonware open source (Score 3, Informative) 94

piss-poor home-written state restore

The thing I miss the most about my Palm pre was being able to open an email, tap to dial into a conference call, flip back to the email to get the conference pin, and flip back to the phone app to dial it. On Android, swapping between apps is a crap shoot on whether the app will actually be in the state that I left it. The same thing goes for typing an email or text message and needing to flip over to a web page, or god forbid another email, to reference information and trying to flip back and seamlessly pick up where I left off.

My only issue was with the original pre hardware. Had Sprint picked up the pre+ or pre2 with the added RAM and storage I would likely still be using webOS. I'm using an Evo4g now and the entire experience has been a compromise. Sure the updated innards are nice, and there are certainly benefits to the Android Marketplace. But I've tried iOS and Android and in my opinion, for day to day use of the device, nothing comes close to webOS.

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