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Comment My trick: (Score 1) 638

Start telling people it'll cost them up front. I do a little side work in helping coworkers with their home computers (we're 99% mac at work, so a little PC on the side keeps me "fresh") I tell them up front that it'll cost them a bit to get me in the door. But I generally just charge a flat fee. Its way easier for them than working with the Geek Squad who will just take their money and load them down with "solutions" that just cost more money.

I also have started having them sign a waiver.

Comment Re:What a great way to die (Score 1) 600

THIS, a million times.
Lazy/apathetic consumers have themselves to blame. I have a phone that lets me tether right out of the box. It was no magic trick, do the research and refuse to settle because someone, somewhere probably made the product that fits your needs.
Whenever people ask me about phones they usually just phrase it along the lines of "iphone or Droid" (implying Verizon and Motorola). They really are not that aware of the range of devices out there.

Comment Re:Send all the volunteers (Score 1) 475

If they were sent in waves the development could happen in a measured but reliable span of time. Presuming that the crews were mixed gender, it is not improbable that we would eventually see the first extraterrestrial human birth... what a day that would be.

/I don't actually want to SEE the birth, just tell me if its a boy or girl, I've got a box of Zubans for the occasion.

Comment Umm, most of the above? (Score 1) 459

I haven't bought a tablet because of a lot of the reasons on the list. I think the underlying issue is that I already have devices that do what I would want from a tablet.
I just bought the Nexus S, and that is holding up quite well as my "everywhere" mobile companion, and I can even write fairly easily with it so some of my work and email can be handled there. If I'm sitting down for "serious business"(gaming, extended media consumption) I hit my desktop with a big (ish) screen and the keyboard and mouse that I love.

The things I like about tablets is that they are generally "instant on" and have a big (ish) screen. I still think that a laptop of the current generation would serve these purposes much better than a tablet. Especially when you take price into consideration.

Comment Think of the fans (Score 1) 304

I've never understood how ebooks, even compared to other media are so rigorously DRM'd. You should WANT people to share the content. Believe it or not, the concept of properly compensating someone for their work is an agreeable idea to many people. The trick of it is that getting it legally should be easier than trying to get it for free- I think both Apple and Amazon have shown that it is now much easier for most people to drop some coin and purchase books instead of trying to "pirate" them.
But what the publishers and the sellers still don't get, is that they should respect people who will become their most valuable asset: the fans. Imagine the ability to share that one book you love to five friends, not even five friends at once, just share it like you would with that physical book you bought at the store. I can share that book with anyone, and while it is shared I cannot read the book since its with someone else. When that person (hopefully) gives it back, then I will pass it on. Maybe that person will have loved that book so much that they will go out and buy it (or its sequel). Its the one thing that makes it seem like, "no matter what you think or do, we do not trust you as a person". Hell, I'd be OK with even keeping the "two week" limit on, just let me loan out the book to as many people as I want to share it with. Its amazing how DRM has that effect of essentially declining money from honest people to protect some perceived 'future value' to your intellectual property.

Comment Its a different kind of freedom (Score 1) 483

I also have an n900. I find its response to be respectable for the kind of phone it is. Yes there are faster phones out there now, but what a difference a year makes. Its quite impressive how much has changed, though not that much has improved. I think the best thing about my n900 is that I can configure it however I want. Hell, I can even run it without a SIM card or a cell phone plan (it would still be quite good at making skype calls). The N900 is certainly not for everyone, or even most users. I am constantly frustrated about the kinds of apps the phone lacks, but at the same time, on the hardware side I can use the device how i see fit. I will hold on to the N900 since it works without a SIM even after I change phones. I think using it as a "micronetbook" is rather appealing and I want to be able to play with Meego when that finally becomes more usable.

Comment Re:I know it's called WikiLeaks, but... (Score 1) 385

Unfortunately one of the biggest facts of the matter still seems to go unrecognized, or is perfectly accepted by many citizens, and it is this: the USG only applies rules to others and cannot be held responsible for any actions it takes. What makes me sick to my stomach is that in all of this the United States government has been completely unrepentant in its desire to destroy WikiLeaks and its stores of information by whatever means they can get away with. This is not really new information, but its a foregone conclusion within the halls of the White House, Pentagon and Capitol. Quite simply we have betrayed ourselves: The United States is no longer a nation of laws, it took 234 years but there it is. We're not even a nation of men, we're a nation of profit. Empty, soulless profit and domination.

WikiLeaks is screwed, because it does not enjoy the actual protections guaranteed to US citizens but if it did, they would have been rounded up and sent to prison as "enemy combatants". I hope Assange and his cohorts are on the move and safe. Julian, look me up on (that is, if you're crazy enough to drop in to the US...)

Comment Re:quit with the gossip (Score 1) 469

But whats truly interesting is that the website is designed to "crowd source" the thousands and thousands of pages of information. Users randomly read reports and can vote them up and down to help raise the truly interesting stuff.
On the one hand, it is a large dump of largely meaningless information, but the collective work of many eyeballs and minds will find the truly interesting stuff.
The fact that they are smart enough to work the media is merely a benefit to garnering attention. I think WikiLeaks in general has done a very good job of managing information and gaining and keeping people's attention.

I hope all the Wikileaks folks are some place warm and uninteresting right now.

Comment Re:Wrong approach L3 (Score 1) 548

Whats really screwed up is that people are paying for services that they assume they can access, when in fact that is clearly becoming a questionable circumstance. If I pay for Netflix, why can't my (supposedly) internet capable device access it? (Linux users already know this frustration with Netflix using Silverlight for DRM with streaming video) Who is going to compel either the provider or the carrier to accept the wishes of the end user?

Quite frankly, the fact that companies are willing to get in the way and stop people from paying money and legally accessing content is an amazing predicament in modern capitalism. Comcast is already getting paid by customers... Netflix users are paying Netflix... the end users have done absolutely nothing wrong in this instance. Neither company are losing money in the current arrangement, so why are they even fighting over this?*

*This is called a rhetorical question, it does not require a response.

Comment Re:Won't work (Score 3, Informative) 647

That's about it. My wife and I tried taking amtrak. Its like how air travel used to be. There was an obvious security presence, but not even a metal detector between you and boarding- and this was at Union Station in Chicago. Not to mention the seats were larger and you had more legroom on board, plus there were two three-pronged outlets so i could keep my phone charged and watch some videos on it.
For us, if its domestic travel, rail is a no-brainer now. Even if high speed rail takes a while to finally come to the US, I'd rather ride comfortably for five hours while I can just relax and watch movies or sleep than spend two hours in the air with all the hassle of at least an hour before AND after being treated like a criminal, sitting in a cramped tin can with stale, dry air and generally hating life and humanity.

Comment Re:I understand the concept (Score 1) 210

You have a really good point. I think the idea of "converting" a gift into a gift card or other un-intended gift (from the giver's perspective) is inappropriate except under the most distant relationships, which case, why isn't the person just giving you an "i don't really care" gift card anyway?

  However, the "size converter" would be awesome for buying people gifts. Instead of hemming and hawing about which size might work, you just hit "buy" and the proper size is sent to the recipient. This would make fitted hats, shoes and jewelry even more appealing to give.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 278

Limewire and Myspace are two things that instantly signal that you're on the "shortbus" of the internet. Its like people who have email addresses and type "Facebook" into google... just facepalm-worthy stuff.

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