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Comment Re:"Anonymous platform moving away from anonymity" (Score 1) 46

I think that it was more text based(and obviously included vastly more overhead, being a smartphone 'app' and all); but your summary is chillingly accurate. Take the awesome power of an internet connected general purpose computer and carefully emulate a moderately obscure, insecure, and kind of noisy short range communication medium. I can't imagine why it wasn't more popular.

Comment Re:So.... Yik Yakked? (Score 1) 46

In a sane world, their body would have been cold ages ago; but given how big the hype for "social/mobile" is, and the chatter about "zOMG did Facebook/Google/etc. 'miss mobile???" the VCs probably figured that it was a worthwhile bet just because it had a chance of scaring one of the incumbents enough to get bought out for stupid money(not entirely implausible, given things like instagram and tumblr somehow being 'worth' a billion dollars each).

It's annoying; but a really stupid investment can be sensible if somebody even dumber is available to take it off your hands for more than you paid. In this case, it looks like that won't be happening; but I can see why somebody would be willing to make the bet(as part of a diversified portfolio, anyone who invested more than they could afford to lose in one company, especially something dumb like this, is denser than most rocks).

Comment Re:Of course they do. (Score 1) 53

The real problem is that companies feel like they can do pretty much anything as long as they bury it in a 90 page EULA somewhere. No need to put "this toy transmits everything you say to us, and we use it to sell you more shit, and sell your details on to other companies" on the box, just hide it on page 36 and most consumers won't even find out about it.

IoT is ripe for some strong regulation. I'd suggest mandatory notifications when vulnerabilities are discovered, unpatched firmware = full refund, and mandatory icons on the box when the device violates your privacy in any way. Oh, and the EULA must be printed on the outside of the box in minimum 16pt font.

Comment Re:"Anonymous platform moving away from anonymity" (Score 3, Interesting) 46

I suspect that their plan to move away from their core business is totally doomed; but I would also suspect that they came up with that plan because their core business was totally doomed(and they couldn't find some idiot to aquire them for silly amounts of money, maybe Yahoo was busy when the called...).

The world is pretty full of message boards and chat apps; and the combination of proximity filtering and 'anonymity' produces a really, really, low-value environment. Because of the geographic boundaries, it's useless for any of the 'connecting with other enthusiasts of my weird and potentially embarassing hobby/fetish/etc' applications of anonymity, since you can only interact with people in a fairly small area around you; but since it purports to be anonymous(obviously, an application running on your phone with location data mandatory isn't anonymous at all from the perspective of the company operating the service) it mostly attracted the...high quality comments... that people wanted to make about each other; but weren't willing to say to your face.

Shockingly, people's appetite for that appears to be limited; and the most enthusiastic users are the people most likely to drive the rest of the users away and generate enough unpleasant stories to spook potential advertisers.

Comment I may be old, but... (Score 3, Funny) 53

At least my Lincoln Logs never spied on me.

And I'm so old that when I was five and told my dad I wanted Lincoln Logs for Christmas, he handed me a hand axe, a piece of flint and some beef jerky and dropped me off in the woods. I was out there in my little jammies in the middle of December and let me tell you, it got so cold I had to kill a deer and crawl inside to keep from freezing to death. It was like something out of The Revenant.

Yeah, I had a rough childhood, let me tell you.

Comment Re:AI will replace your children (Score 2, Funny) 53

AI will replace your children

At least the AI won't bring some fruity hipster with a man-bun over to the house for Thanksgiving like my daughter recently did. I mean, he was a nice enough guy and all, but he seemed a little low-T if you catch my drift. I tried to get him to watch football or go out back and play mumblety-peg or strip down to our briefs and try out some wrestling moves, but he demurred. He also wouldn't eat any of the turducken, saying that he was some kind of vegan or something. I mean, what the fuck is that all about? When I was his age, I lived on raw hamburger and Skoal Long Cut.

I guess my dream of my daughter marrying a first-round draft pick out of Alabama or something is just about gone. Well, it is what it is. Kid's will break your goddamn heart. you know?

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 3, Interesting) 209

Kansas, BTW, is firmly middle of the pack on both measures. Kansas is #25 of 50 in terms of GDP per capita, and according to the Mercatus rankings, they're #27. So Kansas isn't a perfect example.

Kansas is a perfect example. Forget GSP (the state version of GDP) and Mercatus. Look at the trendlines. Since they've had this experiment in extreme trickle-down economics, they're rapidly heading into the shitter.

http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ks....

http://www.kansascity.com/opin...

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 209

Or Texas which has been doing better than California for the last twenty years.

I'm living in Houston now, so I can have an opinion on the "Texas miracle".

It's horseshit. First, Texas is not "doing better than California". Second, one of the ways Texas has attracted businesses and jobs is by deregulating and lowering taxes. But see, those chickens are starting to come home to roost. The real economic engine of Texas is the Houston/Gulf Coast area which had a big boom when gas was $4/gallon. At $1.85 (which is what I paid to fill up earlier tonight), there are a lot of oil folks out of work, which is hurting everything from trucking to local businesses like restaurants, drug stores, groceries, etc. The big boom in Houston now (and the reason that Houston is still the economic driver for all of Texas), is health care. We have the best medical centers and medical schools around and are building more. And even though Texas is a low-tax state, the state makes up for it by loading up its citizens with fees and licenses and surcharges galore.

By the way, Houston is a liberal city. Blue as blue can be. It's got more in common with Austin and San Antonio than it does in more backward places like Dallas-Ft Worth or the panhandle. Hell, until recently, the mayor of Houston was a lesbian. Think about that. A lesbian mayor in Texas. Up in Dallas, they'd force her into a re-education camp and treat her with electric shock and the Bible.

Without Houston, Texas would be sucking as bad as Kansas, which has the worst economic trend in the United States thanks to one-party Republican control of Kansas state government.

Comment It must be nice... (Score 3, Interesting) 28

It must be pretty cool to be in a position where you can commit fraud against ~2.8million people, sit on the proceeds for several years; and then settle the whole matter for 'compensation' that, at worst, might wipe out your original profits on the fraud.

Not quite as good as impunity; but perhaps an even better mockery of the perception of 'justice', since the whole process gets to play out as a pitiful farce, rather than just being ignored.

Incidentally, why is it that, given the American propensity for a good spree killing, you never hear about unpleasant things happening to the people behind schemes like this? Occasionally somebody shoots up their workplace and kills an immediate supervisor or the like; but nobody ever seems to go any higher up the food chain.

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