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Microsoft Previews Compiler-as-a-Service Software

Valen0 Bad Article Title (171 comments)

The title on the article is misleading. The author is confusing the "Software as a Service" distribution model with the "Just In Time" (JIT) compilation model. The article subject is about how Microsoft, through the Roslyn architecture, is allowing SDK level access to the JIT compiler that runs the .NET applications on the host computer.

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon Customers: Say So Long To Unlimited Data

Valen0 Re:Data Caps: The Future of Revenue Protection (303 comments)

Unintentional error. Google Voice is just one (bad) example of how phone companies can use data caps to monetize "free" usage of unlimited data plans for VoIP usage. As technology advances, VoIP over cellular data will become increasingly more common.

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon Customers: Say So Long To Unlimited Data

Valen0 Data Caps: The Future of Revenue Protection (303 comments)

I think that the data cap moves we are seeing in the data communications sector represent a market-wide trend to protect the existing profitable "value added" services such as voice calling and premium television services. Companies seem to be afraid of becoming just another "dumb pipe" as connection speeds get fast enough to handle third party "value added" services (e.g. Netflix and Google Voice). These companies believe that, by using data caps and unregulated third party data usage meters, they can ensure the protection of their highly profitable "value added" service sector. In many respects, this practice represents a trend of "predatory pricing" and "refusal to deal" in the communications industry.

For example... In the cellular world, the 5 GB data cap effectively tolls previously "free" services such as Google Voice. On the broadband side of things, a 150 to 250 GB cap effectively limits the ability of Netflix and Hulu to compete with the first party in providing premium high definition video content.

In many ways, these data cap moves are representative of an anti-competitive protectionist oligopoly. They also represent an end-run around the principals of network neutrality. By using unregulated meters that only bill for third party network usage, these companies have effectively "rigged the pump" to ensure that they can charge almost any rate for almost any service. Better regulation and oversight is needed at the Federal Government level to ensure fairness and competition in this otherwise anti-competitive industry.

more than 3 years ago
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TSA Investigates... People Who Complain About TSA

Valen0 Re:Like Chechneya... (379 comments)

The Stanford Prison Experiment would probably be more relevant to the TSA situation than Milgram's experiment. However, both are great examples of the failings of humanity in a scientific context.

more than 3 years ago
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GNOME 3 Released

Valen0 Gnome: iPhone Edition (353 comments)

The GNOME 3 UI looks very similar to the Android 3 UI. Maybe the GNOME team is trying to "bridge the gap" and bring a smart phone style user interface to the general purpose PC market. Unfortunately, this strategy will most likely fail due to the differences in input method. The PC keyboard+mouse system is vastly different than a smart phone multitouch screen system.

more than 3 years ago
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Piracy Is a Market Failure — Not a Legal One

Valen0 Not Surprising (591 comments)

Example One.

John Doe is an amateur (non student) photographer and graphical artist who wants to use professional level tools. John decides to grab Adobe Creative Suite Master Edition. He has several choices:

1. The legitimate route that will cost Joe $1600 plus all the activation B.S. from Adobe's licensing and activation department.
=== or ===
2. The sketchy quasi-legitimate route that will cost Joe $200 plus grief from Adobe's activation department since he did not buy from an "authorized retailer."
=== or ===
3. The illegitimate route that costs a day and a half of time (and no money) to download, configure, and install.

All things being equal, most Joes will probably pick Option 3. A day and a half of time costs less to Joe than the $200+grief or $1600. Nothing was lost to the economy because Joe values the software at $150 and had no way to acquire it except through illegitimate means which cost Joe about $50 in lost time. In Economics classrooms, this whole concept is referred to as "Opportunity Cost" and "Price Elasticity of Demand."

more than 3 years ago
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UN Considering Control of the Internet

Valen0 Just Say No (402 comments)

Let me get this straight: The Emperor was caught with his pants down, some people took pictures and posted it to etc.com, people started learning via etc.com that the Emperor has no clothes on, and now the Emperor wants to ban all knowledge of the incident by destroying the greatest communications invention since the printing press. I think the approach in this situation is completely wrong. Several common sayings such as "we had to destroy the village in order to save it," "shoot first and ask questions later," and "shoot the messenger" all come to mind and none of them should be encouraged.

I propose the following solution to the problem: Do a comprehensive security audit of the information and everyone that had access to it. Find out who leaked the information, how they received access to the information, and how they removed the information from secured storage. In addition, do a comprehensive audit on the classification of documents. Having a minimal amount of classified material will cut down on the risk of loosing it. Document classification should be used to guard national security interests (e.g. the keys to the castle) instead of hiding potentially embarrassing material or promoting a political agenda. When you have successfully identified the responsible party and method of attack, fix the glitch and prosecute the offender to the fullest extent of the law. The Internet does not need collective punishment for the actions of a select few individuals.

more than 3 years ago
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Web Coupons Tell Stores More Than You Realize

Valen0 Re:Barcode Anonymizer (125 comments)

This is a nice idea but it is too easy to circumvent. To circumvent this idea, you need to generate a globally unique identification number for each coupon. That globally unique number would reference an entry in the master customer database that would contain redemption status and the other biographical information that is being tracked. You do not need to have all the data on each coupon. All you need is a unique identifier (i.e. the globally unique number) to link the coupon with the other database data.

more than 4 years ago
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Android Copy of Young Woman Unveiled In Japan

Valen0 Pygmalion (264 comments)

I certainly hope this story doesn't turn into a modern day retelling of Pygmalion .

more than 4 years ago
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Windows 7 To Include "Windows XP Mode"

Valen0 Cut Out The Middle Man (364 comments)

Maybe they could cut out the virtual machine and offer Windows XP SP3 as a separate product? It would eliminate all of the virtual machine overhead.

This move to bundle this with Virtual Server seems analogous to the bundling of Internet Explorer in Windows 98. I wonder if Microsoft is trying to kill VMWare and Parallel's market share like they killed Netscape's browser share.

Finally, it is pretty sad when your operating system requires a virtual machine to emulate what the operating system should do natively. I would have preferred it if Microsoft went all the way with this option and did a complete revamp of the Windows executable and security architecture with the implementation of this virtual machine architecture (Apple implemented this during the OS 9 to OS X transition). As it is implemented right now, the virtual machine seems like a waste of resources as it is duplicates existing functionality while requiring more overhead and a separate configuration.

more than 5 years ago
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Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers

Valen0 Re:Mr. Reality Check Here (740 comments)

I watched a video a couple years ago of a camera system installed in a patrol car that automatically read vehicle tags from nearby vehicles and compared them in real time to lists of stolen and BOLO'd vehicles.

I saw a television series about the technology. In the series I saw, the Philadelphia Parking Authority goes around with a van that scans vehicle license plates for outstanding parking tickets and other infractions. I did not connect the two concepts together until after I posted this article.

more than 5 years ago
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Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers

Valen0 Re:Mr. Reality Check Here (740 comments)

Thank you for the Chicago civics lesson. I did not name any of the internal players because the (non-Chicago) news does not bother covering it. However, they had a lot of coverage of Blagojevich during his impeachment trial.

As for the "two strikes" rule... I can see that help the collection rate. However, I am sure that the "frequent" offenders will find yet another way around the automated system.

more than 5 years ago
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Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers

Valen0 Mr. Reality Check Here (740 comments)

Hello. I am Mr. Reality Check. Let us examine this proposal in detail.

Chicago, the shining star of all good and right, wants to install a sophisticated network of cameras to (a) track every motor vehicle in operation in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, (b) record the license plate tag, location, and time of motor vehicle operation, and (c) cross reference the license plate tag information with a comprehensive insurance coverage database in in order to (d) send out $500 citations via mail to potential offenders.

Unfortunately, this system is not realistic and poses some massive privacy concerns. While it may be feasible to create the network of cameras described in (a), it is substantially difficult with current technology to implement the optical character recognition required to implement part (b). Furthermore, the privacy implications of tracking every motor vehicle in the Chicago Metropolitan Area are enormous. This network would take public surveillance to United Kingdom levels.

Assuming that (a) and (b) were implemented successfully, there are major jurisdictional and scale issues with (c). In order to assure a minimum of false positives, the State of Illinois would have to implement a comprehensive insurance-to-registration tag database that would be automatically updated by the insurance companies within seconds of issuing or changing a policy. The cost of this type of project are enormous. The coordination of all involved stakeholders is extremely difficult given the various processing cycles, business policies, cross jurisdictional politics, and potential for error. There is also problems with the handling out of state registration tags. The system must be able to effectively deal with the tags of every state in the United States. If this system only processes Illinois residents, there may be some serious constitutional repercussions under Amendment 14 (equal protection of the law).

Finally, after gathering the data in (a), processing the information in (b) and (c), we get to the collections portion of the process, (d). Now, assuming for the moment that this system works and is accurate, we can now send citations to every uninsured vehicle driving on the road way. However, since most citations carry the weight of a parking ticket, most people tend to ignore them. Since these uninsured motorists usually (i) can not afford the cost of insurance or (ii) do not want to pay for insurance, it is logical to conclude that they will not pay for their automated traffic violations. While the "more than $200 million" figure is impressive, I would be even more impressed if they managed to collect 10% of that number.

In conclusion, this system will not work. It is technologically, politically, fiscally, and logistically unfeasible given today's technology and political climate.

This is Mr. Reality Check and I am signing out.

more than 5 years ago
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Film Piracy, Organized Crime and Terrorism

Valen0 In Other News... (198 comments)

In other news, a petroleum industry funded study revealed that electric cars are responsible for terrorism, the economic crisis, pollution, global warming, and sunspots.

Is it April 1st yet?

more than 5 years ago
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Illinois Declares Pluto a Planet

Valen0 Stop the Press! (512 comments)

I can see the revised textbooks now:

"Pluto is the second largest dwarf planet* in the Solar System's Kuiper Belt.

* Except in the State of Illinois."

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Brings 36 New Features To Windows 7

Valen0 Re:In other news... (509 comments)

A public beta, minus GUI changes that are not significant, then the general release? That does not live up the standard definition of Beta, certainly not the one endorsed by Microsoft Publications. Do they even glance at the software development model books they publish?

This falls under the philosophy of "do as I say, not as I do." Microsoft is a frequent user of that philosophy.

more than 5 years ago
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Worlds.com Sues NCSoft Over MMO-Patent

Valen0 Prior Art (261 comments)

From my experiences in mid-1990s technology:

Doom - 1993 by ID Software

AlphaWorld (now Active Worlds) - 1995 by Knowledge Adventure Worlds (developed in 1994)

Meridian 59 - 1996 by 3DO (developed in 1995)

more than 5 years ago

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