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Comcast Offers To Shed 3.9 Million Subscribers To Ease Cable Deal

WPIDalamar Worth of a cable subscriber (154 comments)

Does this mean a cable subscriber is worth ~ $5000 to a cable company?

about 9 months ago

Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

WPIDalamar Markup (218 comments)

>> $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance.

Whoa whoa whoa... If every person got insurance, that's over an 8x markup for insurance. Since many don't, it's even a higher markup.

Here's an easy way to save $4.3B - Stop buying the insurance.

about 10 months ago

AWS Urges Devs To Scrub Secret Keys From GitHub

WPIDalamar In related news... (109 comments)

In related news...

Google suggests you don't post your username & password to GitHub.
The locksmith's union suggests you don't tape your key to your front door.
The TSA suggests you don't write your combination on your luggage.

about 10 months ago

Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

WPIDalamar Re:No clawbacks (695 comments)

That is an interesting thought, but may be difficult in practice.

A theft occurs coins are transferred...
> Mt Gox -> Wallet X

Some time goes by and the coins are moved around

> Wallet X -> Wallet Y -> Wallet Z

Finally, the coin is moved to somewhere we can track, like a well regulated exchange.
Wallet Z -> A regulated exchange

FBI would have to backtrack from that point. There might be some significant cost for each step.

I also wonder how well coin mixing services work. For huge volumes like this, I can't imagine them being effective. But for smaller amounts, maybe over time, they may prevent that backtrace from being feasible.

about a year ago

Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

WPIDalamar No clawbacks (695 comments)

One of the key "benefits" of bitcoin is one of the biggest problems with it in situations like this, the inability to reverse transactions.

If someone digitally steals a shit ton of cash for a regular bank, there's a good chance those transactions can be reversed and, at least some, or the money can be recovered.

Not so in bitcoin world where you would have to find the perpetrator and get his private key.

about a year ago

'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty

WPIDalamar Rate (251 comments)

Just rated several of king's games 1-star, no idea if that helps, but made me feel better.

about a year ago

Oil Companies Secretly Got Paid Twice For Cleaning Up Toxic Fuel Leaks

WPIDalamar Re:Oh my GOD! (113 comments)

No, it's analogous to a software firm that releases a virus and gets paid to clean it up.

about a year ago

California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

WPIDalamar Re:California (374 comments)

Hack Reactor claims 99% placement?

If true, maybe this really is an innovative education environment that aggressive regulation should stay away from.

about a year ago

Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

WPIDalamar Before death? (241 comments)

Can I get this before I die? I hate talking with people sometimes.

about a year ago

IE Drops To Single-Digit Market Share

WPIDalamar Re:More reprsentative stats please (390 comments)

Looking at logs I have access to, I see

Between 50% and 65% for a series of education related sites.

6% for a highly technical site.

Clearly what the site caters to has a big impact.

I bet apple.com is even lower ;)

about a year ago

Facebook Puts 10,000 Blu-ray Discs In Low-Power Storage System

WPIDalamar Write once? (153 comments)

Anyone know if these burners are write-once drives?

If so, it pretty much guarantees that Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete" it.

about a year ago

Hacker Says He Could Access 70,000 Healthcare.Gov Records In 4 Minutes

WPIDalamar What data? (351 comments)

What data was he able to access?

Two ends of a possible spectrum I see...
- Being able to tell 70k accounts exist by some numerical ID
- Getting full personal information for 70k accounts including name, address, ssn, payment details

1 year,7 days

Google Makes It Harder For Marketers To Collect User Data

WPIDalamar Makes it easier? (195 comments)

As long as you're giving a unique url to each user who you email, this actually makes open-rate calculations a lot more accurate, doesn't it? Instead of a large percentage of your users never seeing the image, they'll all get loaded.

Sure you can't track cookies, get IP addresses, or any of that anymore...

I'm assuming Google is only downloading images of emails that people open. If Google is downloading every image of every email they get, then never mind.

about a year ago

RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

WPIDalamar Re:Pros vs Cons (549 comments)

Even the Q50 has a mechanical fail-safe.

about a year ago

Zuckerberg Shows Kindergartners Ruby Instead of JavaScript

WPIDalamar Inconsequential (144 comments)

Did anyone watch the video? The code was completely inconsequential to what was talked about and only shown for a brief few seconds as a "ooooh look at code". It wasn't really meant to be read or understood.

about a year ago

Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time

WPIDalamar What are they being used for? (371 comments)

Presumably, people want Bitcoins for some reason, otherwise the price wouldn't go up. I can think of 2 reasons that could be driving it...

1. Pure speculation in a rising market and wanting to make money by investing.

2. BTC actively being used for something so they have actual value.

I've seen some minor gambling sites. And a handful of sites that accept them for services/products. There was silk road, but that's gone. With the bust, I have to imagine that people are skittish about the new silk road, so I have to believe those volumes are way down. But all that just doesn't seem to be keeping up with the extreme increase in value. Make me really think #1 is the more likely scenario.

What am I missing? How are these being used?

Side note... I've got 0.34 BTC from when I played around with it a year ago. Wasn't worth cashing in then and forgot about them. Glad I didn't lose the keys.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Spending In Engineering?

WPIDalamar Accounting tricks (146 comments)

This almost certainly came from some sort of "how much do you spend on IT" survey. Split your normal IT spending from your Engineering hardware budget. Then compared to other industries, your IT is in line.

about a year and a half ago

Can $60 Games Survive?

WPIDalamar Re:HotS (435 comments)

Splitting the game into 3 to tripple their profits was one of the smartest things Blizzard has done recently. They know how to make a good game, and then get you to pay a ton for it.

more than 2 years ago

Google Working On Siri Competitor Majel

WPIDalamar Re:Google versus Apple (360 comments)

Google has less real world usage?

Matching a search with useful information is kind of what google does best. For voice recognition, they've been doing voice-search on Android for a long time, plus their now defunct goog-411 and that's a lot of voice recognition experience.

Siri/Majel is really just a UI layer on top of those two things.

Google may be behind in the integration, but they're probably way ahead in those two things.

more than 3 years ago



Cheap in classroom devices for students.

WPIDalamar WPIDalamar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WPIDalamar writes "I work for an educational software company and have been tasked with finding a cheap solution to allow two way communication between students in a classroom and a centeralized software application. The device should allow students to respond to questions posed by the teacher and give some minimal feedback. The input could be in the form of buttons, swtiches, or some other simple mechanism. The feedback would ideally be in the form of a 2 or 3 line LCD text display. The devices should be battery powered and communicate wirelessly to a base computer (802.11b, bluetooth, or a custom RF or IR signal). There would often be 20-40 of these devices operating concurrently in a single classroom. We'll likely partner with a device manufacturer to get them produced. But here's the tough part, they should be in the $10-$20 price bracket. We'll also need a way to identify which student is using which device. Any ideas there? A barcode scanner (with some sort of student ID card) is one idea, and thumbprint scanner another but those will both likely be cost prohibitive. Perhaps more interestingly, imagine you had such a device. What purpose could you see it put to use in a school classroom environment?"

What are the next steps in a software business?

WPIDalamar WPIDalamar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WPIDalamar (122110) writes "Last year I created a new project scheduling application that's since gotten some great reviews and even won a fairly large contest. I'm currently selling between 1 and 10 copies of it every week, all with very minimal advertising or PR. Unfortunately, I don't know what to do next.

One of my options is trying to build a larger business around it. Currently, the program has a list of features on the drawing board and it has some bugs in it (both known and probably some unknown). Right now, I'm developing software alone in my spare time and it is starting to get to the point where that just doesn't cut it anymore. It could really use a full time developer/QA team working on it (QA is sorely lacking right now). It could also really use someone to put in more time and effort into advertising, customer service, sales, website design, etc. But unfortunately at it's current sales it wouldn't be able to support me, never mind a staff I'd want to hire.

Another option is trying to get the application acquired by an organization large enough to bring it to it's full potential. That's awfully appealing since it could mean a single large payoff, but I'd hate to see my creation completely leave my control. Unfortunately, I don't know how to start looking for such an opportunity.

A big problem with both of those solutions is I'm a software developer, not a business guy. Either way I'd have to find a smart person interested in the success of the product that could bring it from where it is now, to that next level. How do you attract someone to help you figure out the business model when you only have an idea?

In the past, Slashdot has helped me with a question about how much copy protection was appropriate for such an application. The input from that was most valuable so I'm hoping you guys can help me out again. So, answer me this....
  1. Build a software application people want.
  2. ????
  3. Profit

What is step #2?"
Link to Original Source


Developed an application, but now what?

WPIDalamar WPIDalamar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WPIDalamar writes "I have a common story that I'm sure a lot of people out there have. I had an idea for a software application, I wrote that application, and a lot of people ended up liking it. After asking you guys what types of copy protection make a good balance between customer and owner rights, I started selling copies. So now it brings in a meager income, nothing I could quit my day job and live on yet. But I've come to the realization that writing software is fun, but running a business isn't. What's next?

I guess there's a few options. I could find a business partner willing to deal with the "business" issues of selling, advertising, etc. Or I could try and find a company willing to acquire the application. Or I could go all-out and try to find some investors so I could work on this full time, hire employees to do the stuff I don't want to do and get some real advertising. But I just have no idea on how to go about any of those options. I know some of you will say to just open source it, but those dollars are just too tempting, how might an open source plan end up creating revenue? If you found yourself in this type of position, what would you do to figure out the next step (besides asking slashdot!)?"

AgileAgenda wins Adobe's AIR Developer Derby

WPIDalamar WPIDalamar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WPIDalamar writes "Marc Hughes (Me!), the author of AgileAgenda has won Adobe's AIR Derby best in show award. He has won a $100,000 travel voucher and an amazing assortment of prizes. You can read more about it at Adobe's site. Marc's an avid reader of Slashdot and will be sure to follow the story answering any questions. AgileAgenda is a project management software suite for people who think like developers instead of managers. It was started because of the author's hate of that other project application."

What's the right amount of copy protection?

WPIDalamar WPIDalamar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WPIDalamar (122110) writes "I'm currently working on a piece of commercial software that will be available through a download and will use a license key to activate it. The software is aimed at helping people schedule projects and will be targeted mostly to corporate users. With the recent Windows Vista black screen of death, it got me thinking about what sort of measures I should go through to prevent unauthorized users from using the software. While I don't wish to burden legitimate users, I do want to prevent most piracy. How much copy protection is appropriate? Is it acceptable for the software to phone home? If so, what data is appropriate to report on? The license key? Software version? What about a unique installation ID? Should I disable license keys for small amounts of piracy, like when there's 3 active installations of the software? What about widespread piracy where we detect dozens or hundreds of uses of the same license key? Would a simple message stating the software may be pirated with instructions on how to purchase a valid license be sufficient?"


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