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Submission + - magicJack moving to smartphones (businessweek.com)

robo45h writes: The late night infomercial VoIP company magicJack is moving into the smartphone space. The competition there is really going to be interesting. We have the likes of Skype and other VoIP companies competing against the wireless carriers still selling over-priced voice calls. It's such a big battle that the recent Verizon / Google Proposal specifically excludes (provides a loop-hole for) wireless. This has been brewing since cell phones added data capabilities, but it's coming to a head now.

Comment Navteq DOES apply updates (Score 1) 312

For awhile, the company I worked for had an office in an office park but the road on which the building was located was not in any map database. So every map system would direct people to the wrong place. Limo drivers would often call to get directions. Secretaries had to tell people to disregard the directions from online map systems like Mapquest or Google Maps. I checked and saw that the Google maps for our office were (at least at the time) copyright Navteq. So I went to the Navteq website, found the "report a problem" page, took a screen shot of the bad map with the missing road, and went into a paint program and drew the missing road and added the proper location of our building's address and submitted the report. Then several months later (maybe as many as six) I received an email reply from Navteq the their people had verified my submission (they didn't say if it was via drive-by or satellite photo inspection) and that their map info was updated -- but that it might take awhile to appear in the systems that utilize their data. I think it took another 3-6 months to percolate into Google. I just checked the address in Google maps, and the "missing road" is still there, but the street address location, while close, is no longer correct (and it's a "different" incorrect place than before). The map data copyright is no longer Navteq -- and not Teleatlas either. It's Google. There is a handy "report a problem" link right there by the map data copyright that wasn't there in the Navteq days.

Comment Re:Free trade not free property (Score 3, Insightful) 441

Free trade is where I say 'hey, I've got this widget, you want to buy it?' and you say 'sure, here's $10' and we exchange cash for widget, without the government interfering at any point.

You don't need huge treaties for free trade, you just need governments to get out of the way.

Sounds nice but is completely incorrect. A huge percentage of the present US economy is based on intellectual property: computer software, television shows, movies, music, the designs of complex things (computer chips, etc.).

The only way to generate money from IP is to use governments to create and enforce laws. Otherwise, people will just make free copies of things.

Now, note that if you want to say that this is OK, that is fine, but it's a completely different argument. You would be destroying the present US economy and our present bad economic situation and huge US debt would be made much, much worse. The argument at hand is the /. author's comment of whether IP should be part of a free trade agreement, and the answer is an unequivocal "yes." Since one of the biggest things the US exports ("trades") is IP, it can only be "yes."

Also note that there are different flavors of IP: trademarks, copyrights, patents. Mostly what we're talking about here is copyright, so let's not get into the software patent quagmire.

Comment iPhone AND Palm Pre / webOS app (Score 1) 233

If you look closely at the video, there were TWO versions of the app demo'd. Neither were on Windows Mobile. One was an iPhone app. The other was a Palm Pre / webOS app. Alas, the guy who demo'd the webOS version didn't have a microphone and you can't hear him talk in the video. Also, instead of using a live Palm Pre, he used the free Palm Pre emulator environment (running on a MacOS laptop), employing the Pre / webOS emulator which uses Sun's (Oracle's) VirtualBox platform. But it's not an iPhone-only app. They have a webOS version. Not a Windows Mobile version, though.

Comment Wrong question (Score 1) 75

The question now: Is the Linux driver that good or the Windows driver that bad?

Wrong question. In fact, that's not even a real question; it's just two sides of the same coin. The real question is whether the Linux driver performs better because it's coded better than the Windows driver, or whether it's because of some deficiencies in the Windows driver architecture, Windows graphics stack or the Windows OS itself. In other words, is this truly a case where Linux is better than Windows? Or is this just a case of one driver being better than another. If it's the latter (as the "question" above implies), they could just write a better Windows driver. Not all that interesting in that case.

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