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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) 190

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:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 129

I like my Apple Watch (the Sport - read "inexpensive" - model). I like having notifications on my wrist, because it's a lot less disruptive to make a quick glance at my arm than to pull out my phone. Don't underestimate the convenience of seeing your next scheduled appointment at a glance! I also really enjoy the activity tracking. I used to have a Jawbone UP but I had to send it back several times for repairs; it wasn't up to the rigors of my Desktop Warrior lifestyle. My watch (plus a couple of third-party apps) is far more useful for fitness stuff than the UP ever was.

watchOS 2 went a long way toward converting the watch from a fun gadget into something genuinely useful, and by all accounts watchOS 3 sounds like a huge step forward. If I lost my phone, I'd hightail it to the store to pick up another one ASAP. It's where I keep my schedule, to-do list, contacts, and other stuff that makes day-to-day life as easy as possible. If I lost my watch, I'd meander back to the store when I had some free time. I'd be bummed and would keep glancing at my naked wrist out of habit, but I'd survive. I would eventually replace it, though. While I could certainly live without it, I like having one and wouldn't voluntarily go without.

Comment I do, or at least did (Score 4, Interesting) 142

When I was in my 20s, I was in a fast food restaurant across town from my house. Some guys started calling out a name I forget. Let's say, Mike. I eventually started looking to see who they were calling to, and was very surprised to find out it was me. The conversation from there was very surreal.

Me: Uh, sorry. I'm not Mike.
Them: LOL. What's up, man! We haven't seen you in ages.
Me: I don't think I know you.
Them: LOL. Seriously, where've you been?
Me: Uh, no, really, I don't know you. Who's Mike?
One of them, as confused as me: What are you talking about?
Me: I'm not Mike.
The guy: You're serious?

I pull out my driver's license, cover up most of it with my thumb, and show him my name. The guy mildly freaks out.

Guy: Whoa, this isn't Mike!

They all rush over to look, then stare at me like they're seeing a ghost.

Guy: We've gone to school with Mike since elementary. I swear to God you look like him. Do you have a twin?

It turns out their buddy was a year or two younger or older than me. I don't have a twin - I'm absolutely certain about that - but there's someone out there approximately my age that looks similar enough to me that his childhood friends couldn't tell the difference between us.

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