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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

CMYKjunkie AMA: Blackberry User (189 comments)

My workplace is BlackBerry only, and thus I have had various iterations since 2003. I had a Bold 9900 until June of this year when it was switched out for a Z10. As a mobile professional, I must disagree with OP's comment about the Bold being "the best" in that the Bold's major failing was the web browser and email attachment handling. Both were pitiful (I had the BB OS 5, not the later OS 7 models) and hampered my ability to work mobile, not helped. I often had to tell customers and colleagues "you'll have to wait until I get back to the office so I can see that/look at that link." Now with the Z10, it is WORLDS better. The browser and attachment handling apps are equal to the competition.

Personally, I have an iPhone 5 and as it is now starting to suffer hardware problems (my model has both the "lock" button failure and the premature battery death problems) I had considered using the BB exclusively. On the plus side, the Z10 battery lasts all day -- ALL DAY -- the UI is very modern and usable, and the capability to use up to a 128 GB SD card is nice compared to my iPhone's locked in 16 GB which I constantly have full.

The downside which keeps me from going to BB is still apps. I don't have many iOS apps but what I realized I do have that I cannot replace on BB OS are: native Gmail client, Amtrak (I do a lot of train travel), online banking, Netflix, PBS Kids (for the little ones to use at restaurants and such), and iTunes (seamless sync of music collection). I know some of those apps have substitutes or workarounds, but I will be frank: I don't want to have to f*ck around for it to just work. That is why I left Android after having one from 2010 - 2012 for the iPhone, it was too much crapware and hassle with my music collection.

That's my story, so feel free to "Ask a BlackBerry User Anything" and I will give you my two cents.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

CMYKjunkie Re:Riddle me this Batman (504 comments)

...(by the way, the brick part is true, but it was my wife's car and she was lucky enough, and had the presence of mind, to get off the road safely).

Sounds like if you want her taken care of properly you'll need to aim more to the right side of the car next time.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon's Android Appstore Coming To BlackBerry

CMYKjunkie Re:Save blackberry? (76 comments)

When your market share in the consumer market is approximately 0% "saving" is not good, what you need to do is grow market share. So the question is whether an appstore which is as good as your competitors will grow market share for blackberry in the consumer market. And I think the answer it takes more than just being as good as your competitors in one area to gain market share. Perhaps if they just put out some decent android phones that had the old (patented) blackberry keyboard then they could regain some market share from the texters that hate on screen keyboards. That is the one feature they can offer consumers that will be better than the competition. "Saving" market share only applies to the corporate and government markets where they still have market share to lose.

I'm not sure how much an app store "saves" market share in government, but I do know cost is a factor. I am in government and just received a Z10 after having a 9900 for a few years. Our agency was looking to go iPhone, but AT&T literally gave us the devices FOR FREE and then a credit of about $32 per old device for recycling, so the net cost of going iPhone would have been $40,000 (400 devices at about $100 per) and the net cost of Blackberry was -$12,800 (technically -$52,800 if you count the "saved" $100 per device). IT described it to me as "status quo with better hardware, and we can kick the can of moving platforms down the line or until BB goes out of business."

about 5 months ago
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Vodafone Reveals Warrantless Wiretapping

CMYKjunkie Re:A number of countries?? Say it ain't so! (73 comments)

The more we hear about surveillance the more I think about this quote from the 1995 movie "Heat":
"Assume they got our phones, assume they got our houses, assume they got us, right here, right now as we sit, everything. Assume it all."

about 6 months ago
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Big Telecom: Terms Set For Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B

CMYKjunkie Re:But...how? (158 comments)

The proposed AT&T+T-Mobile merger made sense, because they both use GSM over similar wavelengths. But how would Sprint and T-Mobile combine their network services? Their voice data at least is on completely different infrastructure.

Hopefully better than Nextel + Sprint did!! As I recall the iDEN to CDMA transition was a clusterf***.

about 6 months ago
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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

CMYKjunkie Re:250,000x (239 comments)

Voyager 1 is 127 AU away, 500LY is about 31 Million AU.... so we only need to go 250,000 times further than we ever have! That seems doable.

Better get a move on then; I'll hold your beer until you get back.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

CMYKjunkie Re:Effective Tax Rate (386 comments)

CORRECTION: Effective rate would be "Total Tax/AGI = Effective rate" which gives me (a lowly common citizen) 10.5%.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

CMYKjunkie Effective Tax Rate (386 comments)

I can luckily use a family member who is an accountant. She charges us a flat $50 fee and it's worth it because in 2013 we had: two kid deductions, cashed out some (very) small investments, sold a rental property short at a horrendous loss, got a tax bill for the "forgiven" debt on the short sale, and other hijinks.

In the press a lot has been made of the Romney's and Obama's "effective" tax rate: that is, "Adjusted Gross Income/Total Tax = Effective tax rate". Romney's was something like 14.1% and Obama's was 20.4%. Populist rage ensued over both "not paying their fair share." I felt that same rage but then looked: my effective rate was 9.53%!!!! That sure surprised me.

So /.ers: look at your effective tax rate - are you higher or lower than these "greedy bastards"?

about 7 months ago
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GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

CMYKjunkie Re:Hero ? (236 comments)

The names of everyone involved are going to come out anyways....I'm *guessing* GM's goal is to scapegoat a few responsible parties as early as possible, so that when the management failures are unmasked, there won't be as much heat and vitriol.

**bump** **bump***

The sound the bus makes running over the engineers thrown under.

about 7 months ago
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Bill Would End US Govt's Sale of Already-Available Technical Papers To Itself

CMYKjunkie Funny Money (32 comments)

Not debating the merits of the NTIS' services, but let's look at the argument that they "cost the taxpayer's money" for an agency to buy from them.

If Agency X purchases $50 worth of product from NTIS, $50 of taxpayer money is simply moved from Agency X's budget to the NTIS budget. No taxpayer money was "spent" it was just a Funny Money transaction. If Agency X spends $50 at Amazon.com then $50 was SPENT (i.e. left the Federal government for the private sector).

Now if Agency X somehow finds the needed document for free and gets it, avoiding "spending" $50, does the taxpayer save money? I say no. Agency X will "use it or lose it" when it comes to their budget and will simply spend that $50 somewhere else. So is there any real benefit to such a bill?

about 7 months ago
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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted

CMYKjunkie What Twitter IS Good For (121 comments)

Since I am the nerd of the family (I'm sure many of you can appreciate that), family always asks me: should I get on Twitter? My answer is "probably not" because it is really terrible as a person-to-person communication platform. 140 char limit will do that to you.

I use Twitter and it does have some uses, and I tell the family and friends that it's useful for...

* Breaking news (it's like a wire-service for the masses);

* Closely following a product/celebrity/athlete/event/sport;

* Posting a short question on a specific topic via #;

* Posting or finding witticisms and satire;

* Posting or finding a status report (not viable to foster a discussion by any means); and

* Finding spam, click-bait, impersonators of real people, bots, pr0n, and completely inaccurate information.

I mainly use Twitter myself to follow athletes in the NFL (primarily my team, Green Bay) and the three forms of motorsport I watch: NASCAR, Formula 1, and IndyCar. I really like Twitter during one of these sporting events because posters can give you more detail/insight into the event or people involved than just the TV or radio broadcasters (Example: sideline/pit reporters or members of a team participating in the event who can tweet during the event.)

IMHO though, the spam/bots/clickbait is out of control and detracts from the platform.

about 7 months ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

CMYKjunkie Re:But I thought nuclear power was cheap (179 comments)

Oh, you mean they cannot just throw the highly poisonous nuclear waste into the sea anymore?

To be fair, it IS still legal to have a man in blue and red underwear gather nuclear waste into a gigantic net, fly it into space, and hurtle it into the Sun.

It's not a method that is popular with the public nor critically acclaimed, but it is still legal.

about 8 months ago
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Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

CMYKjunkie Re:Thanks for peptuating (164 comments)

There is some thought that those people are so depressed that they aren't even capable of marshaling the energy to commit suicide. When you give them an antidepressant, they start to become less depressed and but are still depressed enough to be suicidal, only now they have the energy to kill themselves, and so do it.

*citation needed

about 8 months ago
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Some Sites That Blue Coat Blocks Under "Pornography"

CMYKjunkie Re:Hentai Futanari Furry (119 comments)

No no no. The filter got it right! Those New Braunfels Republican Women are SKANKS!!!

about 8 months ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

CMYKjunkie Re:Been there. (172 comments)

...Everyone is *so* productive in today's world! Oh my yes! That's why it takes two people working in a household today to barely maintain the lifestyle my single-income parents had 40 years ago!...

I would guess that 40 years ago your parents had...

1 single family home, less than 2000 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms or less, 1 bathroom
1 car (maybe 2?)
1 television (maybe a second in a basement that was old?) with over-the-air programming of less than 20 channels
1 landline telephone
1 still, film camera
1 stay at home mom

Whereas today I am guessing your two incomes support...
1 single family home, greater than 2000 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms or more, 2 bathrooms or more
2 cars (or more)
3 or more televisions with pay tv programming in excess of 300 channels plus time shifting/DVR technology
1 mobile phone PER PERSON over age 13 with access to worldwide information resources; point-to-point videoconferencing; a multi-thousand long collection of music, photos, and video; still-photograph and high resolution video capability
Paid child care for dependents under 6 years old

The above situation is true for my household. If we lived like my parents did even 30 years ago, one of us could stay home AND we could sock some money away to the bank.

Our standards of "normal lifestyle" has changed.

about 8 months ago
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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

CMYKjunkie Re:how would it work in the real world? (308 comments)

Oh we are stuck to Windows for sure. Our main web-based application (that simply glosses up the mainframe app because the daily data entries dumps over at midnight each night) is IE8-only. Some outside folks have used it with IE10 and it failed. Add in custom Word scripts that have carried up from Word 95 and I think you can kiss Libre Office or any other competitors.

And don't get me started that we are still tied to BlackBerry...

about a year ago
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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

CMYKjunkie Re:how would it work in the real world? (308 comments)

Let me give you a sad glimpse into my corporate world.

Cash-strapped organization of about 1700 employees. 2009-era Dell desktops and laptops. Windows XP, Office 2003, IE 8, homerolled mainframe applications from 1970s and 1980s mixed with Access databases, homerolled mainframe feeds Oracle financial backend.

IT has been "testing" Win 7/Office 2010 but STILL with IE 8 for over 1 year. "Should" roll it out organization wide in calendar 2014 replacing all machines with Dell laptops.

The cost of machines is NOT non-trivial in my world, at least to the bean counters. They feel like they cannot drag feet any longer on getting off XP.

about a year ago
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Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60 Will Soon Be Dead

CMYKjunkie Re:Tough luck.. (923 comments)

If you think stealing a van and hitting someone warrants death, you are an unhinged individual (or more likely, an internet tough guy).

Then I stand before you an unhinged individual. There is no rehabilitation for most people like this and it costs a lot of time and money to try.

This planet's habitable surface is overflowing with humans and yet most of us manage to avoid committing violent crime. Why should we roll over and take it from those people who repeatedly demonstrate their desire to hurt others?

Well.... that escalated quickly!

about a year ago
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Monthly net electricity use in my household:

CMYKjunkie Re:No Need (327 comments)

I pretty much agree. I had my bill handy so I checked how many kWh out of curiosity, but what really can I do about it? We minimize usage as we can, but at $0.138160/kWh with no competitor, what am I really going to do about it? And sure as shit the price "must" be raised, according to said monopoly, every year no matter what. What am I really going to do about it? Like it or not, most of us are just cogs in the machine.

Our home used 654 kWh in October in the upper Midwest. We ran the heat some but it's a boiler system fed by gas. Same with the water heater. We have an electric clothes dryer so I assume that is our main consumption device.

1 year,8 days
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Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing

CMYKjunkie Safe = Slow = Low? (567 comments)

Assuming their telemetry system is limited and that "safe = slow = low prices". That isn't always the case!! Slow may very well = dangerous in many occurrences.

1 year,12 days

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BlackBerry Fibs the Future

CMYKjunkie CMYKjunkie writes  |  about 10 months ago

CMYKjunkie (1594319) writes "Remember last week when shares of BlackBerry shot up on news that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) was purchasing 80,000 new BlackBerry devices? That this was a sign that BB wasn't circling the drain as far down as we all thought? Well it turns out that's not *ahem* entirely true.

"The 80,000 BBs and 1,800 non-BB devices referenced in the release are legacy systems already in DoD inventories.”

Did BlackBerry fib on the future of what the DISA release actually meant or look the other way as third-parties ran with the story and upped their Street cred?"

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