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Comments

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Motorola's XOOM Tablet To Cost $799; Wi-Fi Requires 3G Activation?

Protonk Re:The price might seem a bit high (429 comments)

Let's see, for that price I can get a 17" laptop with a triple core CPU, 4GB RAM, 640GB hard drive, lightscribe DL DVDRW. Oh, and I can watch a movie without having to hold it, read an ebook without having to hold it, and use full fledged applications on it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157424&cm_re=17%22_laptop-_-34-157-424-_-Product

Why folks would buy a tablet they have to hold with way less functionality, for more money, I just don't get.

I think if your operating philosophy requires that you conclude tens of millions of people making a specific purchase decision must be idiots you should re-evaluate that philosophy because it obviously provides little to no predictive power.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola's XOOM Tablet To Cost $799; Wi-Fi Requires 3G Activation?

Protonk Re:The price might seem a bit high (429 comments)

Right. 799 is a low end of the estimates people had for the iPad last year. Now that flash memory and display technologies have had about 12 months to mature from the introduction of the ipad, prices for competitors should at least be lower than Apple's price point for the low end 3G ipad. I don't think it is completely fair to judge the XOOM against the wifi ipad since I think all of the XOOMs will have 3g, but 150 dollars more than Apple is nuts.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola's XOOM Tablet To Cost $799; Wi-Fi Requires 3G Activation?

Protonk The price might seem a bit high (429 comments)

The $799 Android 3-enabled tablet will be available starting Feb 24th.

Wat

That is not a bit high, given that an already shipping competitor is priced at 629.

more than 3 years ago
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Finding a Research Mentor?

Protonk Re:There is such a thing as too much technology (162 comments)

Meh. That really depends on the person, the field and the program. I know there are plenty of fields which expect first year PhDs to have a research plan plotted out for the next 5 ish years, but there are more which want them to get through methods courses and comprehensive exams first. The structure of graduate work (in the states at least) is designed to force students to be researchers, not to exclude students who are not already researchers.

more than 4 years ago
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Finding a Research Mentor?

Protonk Re:"Is this a common problem across all fields?" (162 comments)

I'll second this. In economics, where there is a (nominally) unified classification code for both jobs and research, most filled positions don't match the stated classification code. A professor may be hired to do time-series work but end up teaching only one time series course and supervising quantile regression work. Plenty of long-term faculty are hired under classification codes which described their early-career research interests but no more describe their current work than would your 4th grade movie tastes describe your current library. And the faculty don't bother changing that crap on the website because nobody really cares. No one who matters is going to search for faculty by the classification on the website. Press will go through a press office, colleagues will know the research and students will twist in the wind. :)

more than 4 years ago
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Finding a Research Mentor?

Protonk Scour the literature, or just don't bother (162 comments)

One way to determine what professors might share interests of yours would be to review books and articles you have read on the subject and pay close attention to the cited works. Who writes recent and interesting articles on a topic which excites you? Who has unpublished works in progress which are cited in current literature? If you have a clear conception of your research interests this should not be hard at all. Google scholar can help you here, as you can search by citation and by author (though the author search fails gracelessly when faced w/ abbreviations and authors with the same name). Alternately you can search Web of Science if you have an institutional account or look around for a recent lit review article. When you find a potential match, look for a few things. First make sure they are actually teaching at that school and not on some long term sabbatical or recently moved to some fancier university. Second check their current PhD students to see if they are already supervising a bunch. They don't need to be on your committee in order to mentor you, but it helps. Third (and this relates to the "don't bother"), make sure they are at a good school. Pedigree matters a LOT in academia, don't believe anyone who tells you different. A good dissertation is critical, but an average dissertation from a Harvard PhD gets you a lot further than an above average dissertation from State U. (assuming State U. isn't a public ivy)--that doesn't even begin to touch the non-signaling benefits of going to a good school. Of course "good school" is field dependent. But in most cases the top 10 and even the top 20 are usually the same.

This is all assuming you want to get that PhD in order to teach someplace or do fieldwork. If you just want to learn, disregard all that stuff above about good schools. A lot of those top schools are pretty miserable for grad students if your goal is to learn.

However, if you want to get placed somewhere good, then you can avoid this tedious search and simply apply to the best schools out there and hope you get in a top 10-20 institution. It's really mercenary, but that's how it works.

more than 4 years ago
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Cisco To Challenge iPad With Cius 'Business Tablet'

Protonk Ok... (217 comments)

Like the comment above says, "under 1000" is corporate speak for ~999. If the iPad sold for 999 dollars, you wouldn't see 3 million sent out the door in three months. As for the other features. Great. I hope they succeed. I hope they manage to make a tablet which can compete against the April 2010 release of the iPad by early-2011. Of course, by then they will be competing with the next refresh of the iPad.

Even then, the touch tablet ecosystem needs some competition so that consumers on the margins can actually switch platforms without switching device classes. I don't plan to drop my 16GB iPad for a netbook, but I might buy an android touch tablet if they made one worth a damn.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Protonk Re:Um, and this is surprising, how ? (395 comments)

No, that's horseshit. Journalism isn't fee for service. You don't WANT your game reviewer to get a review copy. You don't want your car reviewer to get a review copy. Companies give those things to reviewers in return for favorable coverage. You, the consumer lose out when this deal happens, because the company will only give when it is in their interest to do so and eventually the press org. will learn that and adapt. Coverage then suffers. If obviously makes sense for apple to give tickets away to favorable press, but it isn't in the consumer's best interest. So we can only get so high and mighty when complaining about Giz's free ride.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Protonk Re:Gizmodo Alternative? (395 comments)

engadget? Or just drop Giz from the rotation. You can also just add some slow burner single issue sites to your RSS feed. way I see it is that Giz (and sites like Giz) provide 3 kinds of coverage: detailed coverage on subjects everyone and their mother are after (new product launches), rehashes of general comments or rumors floating around, and rare scoops like the iphone business. the first two can come from anywhere and when the third pops up, you won't need to read giz regularly to know about it.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Protonk Re:I do not have a problem with this ... (395 comments)

Slate isn't changing their tune due to pressure. Slate gets clicks by writing a story which is contrary to whatever prevailing wisdom is out there on any given subject--regardless of whether or not that contrary position is consistent with their past articles or has a shred of credibility regardless.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Protonk Re:Um, and this is surprising, how ? (395 comments)

Apple could simply refuse to sell Giz the tickets. Even if Giz bought the tickets from someone else Apple could still deny them entrance to the event. By purchasing a ticket the buyer is implicitly agreeing to a whole phone-book worth of disclaimers, which usually includes the line "We reserve the right to remove you from the premise at any time without providing a reason.".

That's all hypothetical. Giz didn't buy a ticket, so we aren't talking about them being refused at the door, 7 thousand dollar ticket in hand. And generally, shouldn't we WANT press orgs. to pay for shit themselves instead of being given it?

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Protonk They are welcome (395 comments)

They are welcome, they just don't get their tickets gratis. If they bought a ticket they would be at the keynote. You can construct whatever narrative you like. Either this is apple imposing their iron fist on dissent or this is Gizmodo getting their comeuppance for buying stolen property and attempting to extort apple for it. In both cases apple (presumably) has the right to refuse to extend a welcome to a press organization. That may be unseemly, but it is true.

I don't think either party comes out looking good, but Gizmodo is really milking it. You bought a leaked phone, attempted to get confirmation that the phone was real to get a scoop, and you got burnt. Oh well. that shit happens. If you don't want to get burnt, don't play with fire. This isn't the pentagon or the white house, where some public service is gained through continued access by all parties--Apple is not a government agency. They are a private company. We may feel (As I do) that Apple SHOULD allow press to attend regardless of their orientation, but apple is under no mandate to do so. If we feel strongly enough, we should refuse to buy the products and/or own the stock on the basis of our reservations. Beyond that, we don't have much sway.

more than 4 years ago
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Wikimedia Confusion Swirls In Wake of Porn Charges

Protonk Re:You have to wonder (267 comments)

Considering that he's been making these kinds of comments on various subjects for a few years, no I don't think Larry saw it coming. I'm always amused by the deference granted to Sanger. He left a successful albeit chaotic project to form a total failure. He didn't fail because he lacked startup funds or media attention (he was funded and the newspapers ate up the Citizendium breakoff). He failed because he misjudged the nature of the internet--badly. What makes you think he has some grand strategic vision?

more than 4 years ago
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Wikimedia Confusion Swirls In Wake of Porn Charges

Protonk Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (267 comments)

It's not CYA. Sanger hasn't been involved in wikipedia for almost half a decade. Sanger had hoped that his new project (Citizendium) would have taken off, but it didn't, so he spends his time making random comments about Wikipedia. Trolling and nonsense mostly.

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Throws Privacy Advocates a Bone

Protonk Re:Security, not privacy (126 comments)

Meaning that the problem is central to the nature of the beast. If you take issue with facebook's privacy conventions, adjustment of various settings isn't going to cut it. I didn't say it would doom fb. This privacy thing will get a lot of people to cancel accounts, but you aren't going to see a real exodus until something new comes along, and I don't think that will happen for a while.

As for the solutions you mention, sure. You can leave facebook just like you can leave google. But I'm not interested in dichotomous breakdowns where bad policies can only be compelled and surrendered rights aren't worth complaining about. Take most EULAs, for example. You have to click "yes" to agree--if you disagree you can choose not to use the product or service. But what does that really say about consent? Can you modify the EULA if you have a complaint? Fuck no. Can you impose a similar restraint on the company for the right to have you as a customer? No. :) The resulting "agreement" lies in a large gray area between full consent and compulsion. It gets worse as products become more ubiquitous. Who in this thread has NEVER clicked an EULA for windows? For Flash? Likewise Facebook (and to a lesser extent google) demand an implicit contract in return for their free services. We can say that users have to agree, but does that even really compute? Do most facebook users understand the tradeoffs? Do they share the idea that people should have "one identity"? Do they think it is duplicitous to have more than one face in the online world? I doubt it. More importantly, are they empowered to make changes apart from cutting off their friends entirely?

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Throws Privacy Advocates a Bone

Protonk Security, not privacy (126 comments)

Insofar as those two things are separate. Both of these measures are security measures. The former a convenience measure designed hopefully to get people to use better passwords in exchange for not having to remember them on a half dozen mobile devices. The latter for damage control of sorts.

The fundamental problem remains: facebook's founder and corporate elite have a specific interpretation of privacy, identity and self. Their service is built around this interpretation and so their users are forced to share it, operationally. That is the problem which eats away at the core of facebook. Small feature changes only shore up the edges.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

Protonk Re:Watch the messenger (457 comments)

My point was that the first statement ("I do/don't like product A") does not at all lead into the second statement ("Product A will/will not succeed commercially").

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

Protonk Re:Watch the messenger (457 comments)

But we're just dancing around the term "pc". I don't want to be able to rewrite the BT stack on my computer, FFS (which I can on a jailbroken iPad). I mean, a modern car won't let you at many of the internals that cars even 15 years ago would, but you still call it a car, right? The definition revolves around using it for it's main purposes. Granted you couldn't learn how to be an auto mechanic on a modern car, nor could you teach your son/daughter the fundamentals of a combustion engine simply using a modern car as an example. But it gets you from point a to point b. It doesn't cease to be a car because you can't tinker with certain parts. We can denigrate it all we want, but most people want a computer to be able to write, check emails, surf the web and watch movies (or play games). To a large extent, the ipad does that,

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

Protonk Re:Watch the messenger (457 comments)

Expect an iPad is not a "small pc", not even by the "I-am-a-Mac(not-a-PC)" standard set by those ridiculous Apple Ads. I don't consider a machine a PC (Personal Computer) if I don't really own it, i.e. if I am not able to legally install whatever software I want to and use its computing abilities to its fullest just because their manufacturer decided to intentionally cripple it.

So?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Keylogger found in laptop, Dell and DHS involved.

Protonk Protonk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Protonk (599901) writes "Geekologie reports a man was repairing his laptop in order to replace a PCMIA card and found a hardware keylogger. when this was reported to Dell (the manufacturer), a representative only said "the integrated service tag identifier is there for assisting customers in the event of lost or misplaced personal information." A request for help from the police department led to a FOIA request to DHS, which was denied. Scanned copy of the FOIA response is included. He has 60 days to file an appeal."

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