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Comments

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CIA Shows Off (Formerly) Super-Secret Spy Goodies

ballwall Re:Yes, trust us. (100 comments)

Maybe there should be a limit to capitalism. For example, tax 100% of income over, say, $5M/year. That way you still have incentive to work hard, but you have to think long term. Screwing over a bunch of people to get $100M right now won't help you. You need to create something sustainable that will generate income over a lifetime.

more than 3 years ago
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Encrypting Phone Storage and Transmission? (2011 Version)

ballwall Re:Blackberry + BES Express (198 comments)

Ack, I didn't realize how crazy the system requirements were for a BES. Perhaps not the best solution. Though if you set up your own VPN and IMAPS server the devices will still be the most secure available (keys never leave the device).

more than 3 years ago
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Encrypting Phone Storage and Transmission? (2011 Version)

ballwall Blackberry + BES Express (198 comments)

Set up a BES Express server, and get a BlackBerry. I'm not sure you can find equivalent security on any other platform. The BES Express server (free) offers transparent VPN. The devices themselves are unmatched, security-wise (though you'd be stepping back like 5 years in features). Email might be a problem if you don't want to also run exchange or lotus domino, but you could easily set up an IMAPS server and use that.

more than 3 years ago
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The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

ballwall Re:What do you mean by "know better?" (154 comments)

I'm sure it's much more complicated than this, but off the cuff: You need a manual process to find cases like Penney's. Then, when you find a Penney's, you see all the sites linking to Penney's and they immediately become suspect. Not all of them will be selling links, but a lot will be. If you find a few Penney's's you start to build a spamrank(tm), narrowing in on sites that use stuff like TMX. You make outbound link weight inversely proportional to spamrank(tm, remember), and when you cross some line in your spamrank your outbound links become invisible altogether. Permanently. Additionally, the spamrank would add up like pagerank does on the target site and you make spamrank, say, 10x the weight of pagerank. You buy links, you get punished.

But it sounds like Google hates manual processes, they want to fix the algo. I don't see how that's possible without some crazy AI stuff going on (not that they couldn't go that route, mind you). Whereas I (a person) can look at a page and immediately say "link farm," doing that with a computer would likely be crazy difficult. Mostly because the best spam sites are legit sites, they just also sell links.

Speaking as a small business owner it's frustrating as hell. We've tried going to 'SEO' route, but A) there are a ton of super shady businesses out there selling this crap, and B) THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD WORK. It's annoying when Blekko has us #1 for almost every related search term, but on google we don't even hit the first page for half of them. And if I take a handful of the people above us, scan their inbound links, the vast majority are all paid links. ARG. (Not that I think blekko has a better long term strategy, I think it's just as easily gamed, it just hasn't been... yet.)

I guess we just need to get as big as stackoverflow and complain, that way we can get customized changes. /END RANT

more than 3 years ago
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How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes

ballwall Re:Tax the rich. (The rich say so.) (1193 comments)

The IRS would refund the difference. (Assuming they caught the mistake)

more than 3 years ago
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Can We Travel To That Exciting New Exoplanet?

ballwall Mars (662 comments)

Isn't mars in our 'goldilocks zone'? But because it doesn't have a magnetosphere it can't sustain an atmosphere against solar winds? (Not sure, just something I remember reading about). If so, how do we know the odds of habitability of planets in the zone? Couldn't it be that, yes, they do need to be in that zone to support life, but only 1% of planets in that zone have other factors that contribute to that support? (Like a magnetosphere)

more than 3 years ago
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'Bloatware' Becoming a Problem On Android Phones

ballwall Re:I'm Confused... (415 comments)

While I agree for the most part, the critical exception is that [most] of the android phones don't have to use the single all-powerful app store, you can still install apps from anywhere. (There are exceptions to even this, though)

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Hires Antenna Engineers. Really.

ballwall Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (417 comments)

Well, they probably did test, but their testing apparently included a case that looked like the iphone 3gs to hide the fact that someone was out using a new iPhone. I'm wondering if that's why they didn't discover the issue sooner. None of the testers were using bare phones.

more than 4 years ago
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Michal Zalewski On Security's Broken Promises

ballwall Attacks are cheap (125 comments)

I think the issue is not that we're bad at security, it's just that attacks are cheap, so you need the virtual equivalent of fort knox security on every webserver. That sort of thing isn't feasible.

The lock on my house isn't 100% secure, but a random script kiddie isn't pounding on it 24/7, so it's good enough.

more than 4 years ago
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Stanford Robot Car Capable of Slide Parking

ballwall Re:Just a few points... (265 comments)

I could see mandatory automated interstate driving. That might be a reasonable compromise, while eliminating a huge bottleneck in most cities. Plus it's probably a much easier problem to solve.

more than 4 years ago
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Is Apple's Attack On Flash Really About Video?

ballwall Re:Games too (595 comments)

But you can only play free iphone games on an iphone. You could (theoretically) play free flash games on any phone. Apple wants the lock-in more than anything else.

more than 4 years ago
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Defending Against Drones

ballwall Re:Defense? (368 comments)

For anyone that doesn't know what he's talking about: Desktop Tower Defense

Warning: Prepare to spend a lot of hours there if you've never played before

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Will Beat Netbooks With "Magic"

ballwall Re:That Explains The Updated SDK (1010 comments)

I think we're a long way from DRM free video from major content houses, and HTML5 would require all video to be DRM free. Not that I don't think we'll get there eventually, but we're definitely not there yet.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

ballwall Re:Will have to wait and see (427 comments)

A couple off the top of my head:

When I only have a couple of minutes (elevator, bathroom, waiting in line) and want to check my RSS reader it's great that it's already up to date and I don't need to spend one or more of those minutes updating all of my feeds.

When I'm listening to pandora and I get a phone call it's nice to not have to go back to my home screen, click pandora and wait for it to start up again before I can listen to music after ending the call.

When I'm logged in to IM I don't necessarily want to be looking at it the whole time.

And many more. Push can 'solve' some of these, but requires lots of infrastructure and reliability from your app vendor, and isn't necessary if your apps are allowed to run in the background. Sure, it requires your app writer to not suck at writing a persistent task, but at least it's an *option*. If it's a problem for you, and battery life is at a premium, don't install the apps, or shut them down when you're done.

When I use my phone I'm never doing it for long periods of time, only minute or two intervals, and if I have to start and update an app in that time it's not nearly as useful.

My BlackBerry 9700 easily survives two days on a charge.

more than 4 years ago
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Windows 7 Share Grows At XP's Expense

ballwall Re:Good news for Linux (412 comments)

I think the Vista name was beyond repair and they needed to move past it with or without the features to go with it. It very well could have been Vista SPx, but then it would still be 'Vista' in the "Mac vs PC" ads. It's like Phillip Morris becoming Altruia or whatever they renamed themselves to.

more than 4 years ago
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Intel's Braidwood Could Crush SSD Market

ballwall Re:fsync(fileno(fp)); (271 comments)

It's interesting that his proposed solution to this is to have KDE/Gnome switch to sqlite, which would basically be the start of a windows registry for linux.

about 5 years ago
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Pi Calculated To Record 2.5 Trillion Digits

ballwall Re:Well... (432 comments)

There's a pattern, it's just encrypted and we haven't found the key.

about 5 years ago
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An Experiment In BlackBerry Development

ballwall Re:My experiences developing on the BlackBerry. (207 comments)

Sure enough it's been there the whole time. Thanks for pointing this out! (This is one of the reasons I really wanted a slashdot discussion about it, cool things I hadn't thought of or seen).

more than 5 years ago
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An Experiment In BlackBerry Development

ballwall Re:Sounds like a lot of trouble. (207 comments)

Oh I'm sure of it. I say in the article I really envy the iPhone developers out there, the tools look really slick (though I wouldn't enjoy going back to memory management)

The only hesitation I have is precisely that it's the "number 1" platform as far as mindshare, which means there's a LOT of competition out there. Marketing is by far my least favorite part of this, and it seems like it would be even more important on a platform with so much competition.

more than 5 years ago
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An Experiment In BlackBerry Development

ballwall Re:You chose poorly (207 comments)

Yup, looks like I had old data. Probably worth noting that it took them 4 months to get in, and they had to remove features to make it happen.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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BlackBerry kills cross platform messaging app Kik

ballwall ballwall writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ballwall (629887) writes "According to a recent post on their site, Kik, a cross platform messenger, has been blocked from further developing for the BlackBerry platform (including revocation of their signing keys.) The response from RIM doesn't specify what actions other developers can take to avoid such penalties. Kik, once a RIM partner, was lauded at several RIM events. With RIM losing ground to Android and Apple, is now the time to start alienating its allies, or is there more to this story than either company is letting on?"
Link to Original Source
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An Experiment in BlackBerry Development

ballwall ballwall writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ballwall (629887) writes "We've all read the stories about how lucrative selling apps on the iPhone can be (or not), but what about other platforms? BlackBerry accounts for twice as many handsets shipped as Apple, according to Gartner, so I decided to find out. I wrote about my experiences developing my first application including sales, platform issues, and anything else I thought new mobile developers might be interested in."

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