AT&T Introduces "Sponsored Data" Allowing Services to Bypass 4G Data Caps
Interesting interpretation of the word "lost" you've got there. Right in the headline of the article you linked to it says "AT&T lost $3.9 billion in Q4 2012, earned $7.3 billion profit for the year".
But I suppose you could be referring to $7.3 billion profit for the year as 3+ billion per quarter if you're bad at dividing by four.
Nevertheless, according to page 30 of AT&T's annual report http://www.att.com/Investor/ATT_Annual/2012/downloads/ar2012_annual_report.pdf the dollar amounts (in millions of dollars) for "Construction and capital expenditures" for the past few years are:
So 17-20 billion dollars per year in construction and capital improvements. If you've got evidence to show that AT&T is NOT investing tens of billions of dollars per year in improving the network you should maybe contact the SEC or FCC. Otherwise, it's not really polite to imply that AT&T isn't investing in infrastructure without evidence to support your claims.
Disclaimer: I work for AT&T but not in wireless or in finance. But I'm well aware of AT&T's public communications of how much the company is investing.
Ask Slashdot: State of the Art In DIY Security Systems?
I haven't looked into it lately but it used to be that composite analog video (i.e. NTSC/PAL) quality was the only standard. Any higher quality video was proprietary and often required Internet Explorer. The only other option was using something like zone minder or motion to grab jpegs as quickly as possible and create videos after the fact.
Has the situation improved? Are there cameras available that provide live realtime HD quality video without a dependence on the camera vendor's software or a web browser plugin?
The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden
I think a reasonable case could be made that the NSA is the enemy of America and Snowden was operating behind enemy lines in direct contact with anti-freedom forces with great power to destroy him. While he may not have been in an armed forces branch of the US government he WAS acting at great personal risk to defend the US constitution from those who have demonstrated their willingness to violate it. The constitution must be protected from enemies foreign AND domestic. Snowden is fighting to do so even if he never actually swore that oath.
What's Lost When a Meeting Goes Virtual
Humans are social creatures so there is often business value in spending some money to allow people to socialize, hang out, and eat and drink together. That's where face to face meetings are irreplaceable.
However, if the work is well understood and there aren't personality conflicts that need to be worked out and team cooperation to be built, then teleconferencing is much more effective. In person meetings and whiteboards facilitate "winging it" whereas teleconferencing (I mean with screens sharing, not just voice) tends to encourage getting your information into at least somewhat organized electronic form. This can be harder, but it's harder because it's not allowing you to be as lazy as just sitting around talking and maybe scrawling an incomplete and inaccurate diagram on the whiteboard that you never bother finishing or archiving for future reference.
I wish my employer would spring for a bit more business travel, but I would be lying if I said it would make me more productive.
I should also mention that instant messaging with presence indication is also an essential component of working across geographic distance. I'm much more effective working with people when glance at a list of names on my screen shows me instantly who's available at this moment. The people who are never "online" in IM require a much more inconvenient phone call/voicemail/email/walk down the hall.
I have certainly wasted time at in person meetings waiting idly by while someone I wanted to talk to was busy talking to someone else about some topic that didn't require my attention.
In Praise of Micromanagement
No, he was an expert in knowing what a large number of people will think looks cool. I didn't buy anything while I was there, but when I was in the vicinity of the Apple store in NYC I certainly went inside to take a look around. The building itself is basically a work of art and the staircase is at least as much a part of the art as anything else.
A staircase alone won't sell phones or computers, but Jobs didn't focus on just a staircase. He treated buildings as part of the Apple package. If you can't see why that's important then you'll never be as successful as Jobs.
Of course that's ok. It's not necessary for everyone to be as successful as Steve Jobs. But if you're putting a lot of effort into trying to prove that he wasn't *really* successful you might want to take a look at your own life and ask why it's so important to you to find faults and convince people that he wasn't talented.
Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola
Obviously model matters, but I stopped using a dedicated GPS specifically BECAUSE of time to acquire a signal. Granted both of the dedicated GPS units I bought are now quite old, but I needed a new cell phone anyway so I didn't really feel it was worth the extra money to keep buying newer dedicated GPS units.
My phone gets help from cell tower triangulation that jump starts the more accurate GPS acquisition. Neither of my dedicated GPS units have that. This really hits home when not wanting to spend extra for the optional GPS in a rental car at an airport. Bringing along my own GPS was a total waste because it would have a lot of trouble acquiring a location after a plane flight. My phone would have a good enough location fix while still inside the concrete parking structure whereas the dedicated GPS unit would take a good 5-10 minutes of clear sky view after pulling out of the parking onto an unfamiliar highway in a strange city.
Even at home, if I start Waze while walking to the car my phone will have a good fix by the time I buckle my seat belt whereas the dedicated GPS won't get a fix for at least 30-60 seconds after I start the car.
Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?
Very few of the people who have indoor plumbing need indoor plumbing. Are you advocating a return to outhouses? Or are cell phones a special case where you feel people should only have what they "need"?
Trying to use lack of "need" as a reason why people shouldn't have things heads down a VERY slippery slope of defining exactly what "need" means.
I didn't give my four year old her own phone and now that she's six she only gets to use my old iPhone without a SIM to listen to music. But whether you think she has a "need" for it doesn't figure into my decision at all.
Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics
I think you're reading an awful lot of conviction into four words and a winking smiley. I'd interpret it more as someone who is aware of the mathematics but doesn't feel qualified to render a definitive opinion for OR against.
New Jersey Congressman Seeks To Bar NSA Backdoors In Encryption
Everyone has the right to petition the government, but I don't agree that the first amendment guarantees the right to tuck a wad of cash into the petition with a "ps. There's more where that came from if you do as I say" at the end. Interpreting the first amendment as a "right to bribe government officials" is a willful misinterpretation as far as I'm concerned.
And I don't see what the eighth amendment has to do with stocks either. The word "unusual" in that amendment is unfortunately vague. Our current system of corporate run "for profit" prisons would have been very unusual in the late 1700s whereas putting someone in the stocks would not have been anywhere near as unusual. The prohibition on "cruel" also needs some interpretation since a punishment that is entirely free of any hint of unpleasantness can hardly be considered punishment at all. I don't think the eighth was intended to entirely prohibit punishment of wrongdoing. So with regard to stocks there could be some room for discussion of whether it is cruel to restrain a wrongdoer in public view of the people they wronged. I don't believe the public should be allowed to physically harm a person confined in the stocks, but a bit of verbal ridicule might be well within the bounds of "not excessively cruel" punishment.
Ask Slashdot: Is Development Leadership Overvalued?
Are you a one man show? It seems hard to believe that any part of a fighter jet would be developed by a lone wolf accountable only to himself/herself. I would have assumed that no fighter jet ever got created without many tiers of management coordinating all the hardware/software/design/building//testing to ensure that all the pieces work together. You may be overestimating your level of responsibility if you're a one man show and you think nobody in management is taking responsibility for ensuring that your piece work, not only by itself but as a piece of the complex whole.
Ask Slashdot: IT Staff Handovers -- How To Take Over From an Outgoing Sys Admin?
I'd suggest giving GraphViz a shot. Make sure to check the source files into Git or SVN and pick out a good wiki package. Put URLs in your GraphViz input and have it generate SVG. Then you'll be able to click through your diagrams to the wiki for details.
Just getting the raw connection info into GraphViz source files will be much faster than putting it all into Visio and with them version controlled you can futz around later with layout. You can even pull the generated SVG into Visio or other graphics program for polishing if you really need too.
Ask Slashdot: Does LED Backlight PWM Drive You Crazy?
No. Why was this survey question posted as a story? Surveys are supposed to be in a slashbox, not the main section of the page.
Why the 'Star Trek Computer' Will Be Open Source and Apache Licensed
If you're looking for artificial intelligence to distill knowledge from forum posts and write wiki pages in the manner of a human author then certainly that doesn't exist yet. But if you're just looking for tools to extract knowledge from forums and other "social media" you're probably not looking in the right price range. The tools exist but are specialized and expensive. Look at Clarabridge, Attensity, SAS, Teradata, Lucid Imagination, Polyvista, as well as services from IBM, Oracle, SAS, SAP, HP, an Dell. The phrase "text analytics" might be helpful in guiding your research.
Ask Slashdot: Dealing With a Fear of Technological Change?
It's doesn't come preinstalled, but you can download the installer .exe from www.vim.org
Siri's Creator Challenges Texting-While-Driving Study
I have an iPhone 4S but I long ago concluded that Siri is useless. It doesn't understand conversational speech and requires pressing and holding the button every time you want it to do anything. Its speech recognition only gets about 50-60% of words correct. I tried dictating a text in the car about twice before deciding it was entirely reckless and dangerous.
Every example I've ever heard of using Siri has been stupid pointless stuff I would never do anyway. It would be nice if it had an AI capable of taking dictation accurately and understanding descriptive editing but as far as I can tell it is hopelessly inaccurate and not even remotely AI.
What's Holding Back 3-D Printing
Pretty, but I still can't imagine the average person paying to have a machine at home to make either of those.
I've got too much decorative crap around the house already. It's far too easy to accumulate if you just go on vacation once or twice a year. Most people have absolutely no need to invest thousands of dollars in a machine to produce decorative crap. Souvenirs pile up over time, but at least they remind you of all the places you've visited and things you've seen and done. And who really needs to fabricate ultralight fractal based support structures at home?
Depending on your job it may make perfect sense for your business to own one or more 3D printers. If you work anywhere that makes objects of any kind then somebody ought to be at least evaluating a business case for buying a 3D printer. But for the average person, having one in their house or apartment makes no sense.
Most Projects On GitHub Aren't Open Source Licensed
None of my stuff on Github has a license specified. But then the only stuff I have on Github is a random bunch of Arduino sketches that are of no use to anybody else. Github charges for private repositories but provides public ones for free. So it costs me nothing to be able to view my code from anywhere, even if I just get an urge to double check something from my phone or iPad when I'm out of the house.
I wonder how many of the projects they found without an explicit license are even intended for any distribution at all. Perhaps there are others like me who use version control for code (or perhaps even non-code) that is for their own personal use but is in no way personal or sensitive.
Higgs Data Could Spell Trouble For Leading Big Bang Theory
Because atheists have formed a conclusion, they have a belief, they merely have come to the opposite conclusion, the opposite belief.
Opposite to what? Shintoism? Hinduism? Judaism?
What's the opposite of Ford? Is it GM, Honda, or a bicycle or a good pair of walking shoes?
Suppose your favorite brand of car is Ford. You're a devout Fordist (Fordian?) and you ask me if I believe Ford is the one true brand of car. If I don't have a car, live in the city, and honestly just don't even think any car is worth the hassle would you still insist that I have come to the "opposite" belief of your Fordianity?
The word "theist" is derived from the word for god and means someone who believes in one or more gods. The prefix "a" means "not" and an atheist is simply someone who is not a theist. This is really no different than someone who is not a basketball fan. They might hate basketball or they might simply not care. The mere fact that they are not a theist, doesn't tell you anything at all about their beliefs.
The word "gnostic" derives from the word for knowledge and refers to a set of beliefs about "knowability" which is more a branch of philosophy than religion. An agnostic is simply someone who is not a gnostic and thus does not share the Gnostics' beliefs on the subject of knowability.
Python Family Gets a Triplet Of Updates
Does the percent key in vim work?
The most important thing about braces to me is that in vim a single keystroke (%) allows me to bounce back and forth between the start and end of a block.
I haven't tried python yet but it would definitely be a big minus to me if the percent key no longer lets me bounce to block start/end points.
Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine
Saving a shitload of money wasn't enough of a reason?
No, certainly not. What's the point of a shitload of money if all you do is save it? Are you going to swim in it like Scrooge McDuck?
There's no point in earning or saving money if you aren't going to do something with it. Spending money on children (and grandchildren) is something that a lot of people (though obviously not 100% of all people) get a lot of enjoyment out of.
Feel free to spend your money on whatever you like if you dislike children, but you're just ignorant if you think that raising children isn't an excellent way to make use of hard earned cash for the vast majority of the human race who like children.
Saving money so that you have lots of funds for spoiling grandchildren is also highly popular and a worthwhile way to spend money for many people, but it's a bit more difficult to have grandchildren if you don't have children (though not impossible obviously.)
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