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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

cant_get_a_good_nick Toyota was a fringe brand once (221 comments)

So was Honda...

Hell, at one point even GM was "fringe"...

Im not saying that Tesla will grow that size. Suzuki was, and IS a fringe brand. But saying "hey they're small now" is what screwed GM back in the 80s with the Japanese and Volkswagen invasion.

Other bad (for GM) echos are the possible paradigm shift. What allowed the Japanese invasion in the 70's? They had better small car/low gas consumption cars. Here, Tesla has a huge tech advantage in electric right now. Could this be a tipping point? Dunno... But silly for GM to dismiss

As a side point, it makes me a bit sad. GM had the all-electric Impact. But like Microsoft, Nokia et al., they squandered a huge lead in tech and now are trailers.

I hope this is a "Steve Jobs says a competitor's feature sucks because he doesn't have it, but really sees it useful and feverishly puts it in his next release" Sadly, this probably really is "we don't even see them on our radar" and GM is toast. A lot of people work for GM, and whatever you think about the company (generally poorly run for years) if it goes under it's gonna hurt us all.

9 hours ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:How does the quote go...? (221 comments)

Probably really the case. Remember that his crew very nearly mutinied because he underestimated ration needs for the first trip.

9 hours ago
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Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Soft Spot for Yahoo Directory (113 comments)

Same. I remember when I got my resume listed there back in the mid nineties. You had to post it, and because it had to be accepted, there was just a tiny bit of "you're in the club". It was a bit of geek cred (that and posting it to Dice back when they still had you use telnet).

Cool Yahoo, a phrase not much heard now, a term of days long gone.

yesterday
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World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

cant_get_a_good_nick Interconnected network of hacked things (114 comments)

I shudder when i think about all the way these things will be hacked and pwned... I remember a Samsung fridge with a touchscreen to run Twitter, and someone put on the fridge "I'm a fridge, why the fuck am I on twitter."

That and the world scrambling to fix the Shellshock bug that was 20+ years in the making...

yesterday
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

cant_get_a_good_nick Re: The review ecosystem is good and truly broken. (249 comments)

I find the Michelin Recommends more my style. There's a restaurant in Chicago Area that feels like you were just dropped into Tokyo (Renga Tei in Lincolnwood, IL). Nothing super special, just very very solid Japanese food with very attentive servers in an inviting space, as inviting as a spot in a strip mall with drop ceilings can be.

It has no stars, but it's good stuff, and it's both our comfort food place, and our "lets take people from out of town there place." Michelin has changed their website a bit and I can't find it, but you can probably spelunk the site a bit and find the list.

about a week ago
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Just say block (226 comments)

If it doesn't respond, isn't that an instant "not available", why would there be a timeout? I try a connect, I instantly get nothing, browser realizes it has to skip. Also, this all happens in the kernel, not even hitting a device driver.

Why that would be slower than going to google/doubleclick, having them decide on an ad, and sending to me?

about two weeks ago
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

cant_get_a_good_nick Popular Zedo? Really? (226 comments)

I worked at Zedo pretty early on. I did a year there, pretty much exactly year 2000 (now coworkers now know who I am).

I was their C guy, did an apache module for the adserver, and some mild javascript work until they got a better Javascript coder than me. I also helped out a bit in Java and DB work, and most of the Linux/FreeBSD sysadmin for a bit. We were in a small live-work loft in SOMA where I walked through two slums to get to work.

In the beginning, it was about "choice". We had a small on page ad client. At first a Java one, then a Javascript one, with a GUI that let you choose your ad. It was new, different, and a way to try to get people the ads they want and not have to keep huge track of users. (You can check the patent out if you like though I can tell you this was theoretical design and it wasn't built this way). It put the emphasis on the ad, not on the tracking. Ads needed to be designed to be engaging or they'd just be skipped. We kept track of your ad choices, not your pages. It was fun, true startup culture. We were going after the (then) mighty Doubleclick, railing the fact that they stored too much info. I remember tailing the server logs on our first paying gig, cheering as I noticed the URI fragment for the first ad clickthru. We checked the guys IP address, noticed he had an ICQ run webserver on his box, and talked to him over ICQ thanking him for clicking. In hindsight, yeah, that must have freaked him out.

We didn't see Google coming to crush the ad market at all. I had already left but Im sure Google's elephant sized footprints in the market made them radically change their business plan. I didn't talk to them much, and on the web I read stories about intrusive Zedo cookies, heard them called "king of the popunder" and heard stories about "popup blocker blockers". This made me a bit sad, why do all that? But I guess you either do that, or throw in the towel and close up shop. I can't say what I'd do if it was my savings on the line.

As an aside (always a tangent!) I had an 8MM videocamera. Though I filmed some stuff in San Francisco (hey Dave, any news on the video for me?) I always wanted to film us. But I couldn't both work and film. I was actually slightly pissed when Startup.com came out. Hey that was my idea! But you can't objectively film what you're in.

about two weeks ago
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Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Well, if you're going to push... (159 comments)

I know in some places (southern US mostly)...

"what do you want to drink"
"a coke"
"what kind of coke, cola, sprite...?"

about two weeks ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (162 comments)

Yeah, i'm reposting...

Though iOS Hangouts had the ability to do Hangouts => POTS lines before, it seems to now be able to go from Hangouts => Hangouts now, using gmail addy/gplus account as a key. Think "Facetime audio". In theory this could be revolutionary, you can make calls without a phone number or even a plan (Wifi phone only) to a big subset of Gmail users (those with hangouts). In practice, this is meh. So many people had this before Hangouts, now it becomes Yet Another Friend Network I Need To Worry About.

It also has the ability to take incoming calls. Not sure how this works... My iPad got some incoming calls before. I didn't bother learning how to turn this off, i just deleted Hangouts off my iPad. Also revolutionary for iPod plus users.. maybe 4 years ago. iPod + Hangouts => WiFi phone. In practice, very "hey, me TOO" at this point.

It also gets a new tone you hear during calling out. The new one is more phone-y (yes, it's a word). Its really the only reason i knew it was an updated app. Very meh on the iOS side.

about two weeks ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (162 comments)

Same here.
Im not sure what hangouts got.

Google voice looks like an icon and UI facelift, zero in the functionality department. The biggie disappointment, no improvement to MMS support.
Know one thing i found? Multiple recipient SMS is really MMS underneath, which means Im screwed on any group texts to my Google Voice number. I've had different treatment of MMS in the same day, I really don't know how they do MMS.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:I need definitions (499 comments)

The sad thing is, the entire Democratic party may be painted as a terrorist group.

A while back, there were a bunch of protesters at Vieques, Puerto Rican naval firing range, to shut it down for ecological and other reasons. Oddly, people who stood their ground and put themselves in harms way were declared as terrorists. Hmm, you stand up to some guy with a gun, and because there is a possibility of violence, *you're* the terrorist.

Anyways, the people there were Democrats. Now painted as terrorists, anyone in the Democratic Party now has ties to them. We could outlaw the Democratic Party, have Obama investigated for terrorist ties! Jokes aside, we cant even check to see if this is true - the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act makes it possible to suspect and investigate 50% of our population for terrorism, but does not allow us to know if it's happening.

As an aside, since you can send money through the Post Office (Money Order), and therefore you may fund terrorism through there, anything you do through the Post Office is subject to investigation. Some minor function of the Post Office (i didn't know they even did Money Orders until I heard about possible investigations) means that the other 99.999% of the Post Office functions (like, actual mail) can be deeply scrutinized, I think without warrants.

This is what happens when you have a) a definition of "evil actions" that necessitate spying shifts and grows day by day, minute by minute b) a definition of "connection" that becomes broader and broader and more tenuous day by day.

about three weeks ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Deprecating the telephone system (162 comments)

I fear a world where I have to install 10 different apps to talk to people.

On my wife's phone, she has ways to talk to her folks (international)
Skype Video Call
Skype Audio Call
Skype Messaging
iMessage
FaceTime Video
FaceTime Audio
Line Message
Line Video Call
Line Audio Call

That's just the free stuff - not counting SMS or normal phone calls, which have tariffs. And of course we could download WhatsApp, and all the other guys.

about three weeks ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (162 comments)

In short, Hangouts will not use your call minutes. It does use data, so may eat up your data plan if you're not on Wifi. It's a fairly efficient protocol, so you may not notice the hit to your data cap.

Wow, even "in short" is too long....

Longer explanation:

Google Voice and Hangouts are two separate things stuck together, with a little bit of GooglePlus paste. It makes things a bit confusing, since they both do "voice and text communication".

Google Voice was a purchased product, Grand Central. Grand Central grew up before smartphones and the cell plans back then were very different than we know today. As such, it's very phone number centric, and there are features to optimize costs based on rules that are no longer current, so the features make less sense today.

Think Grand Central/Google Voice as "product for geeks to do cool things for dumbphones" It did for phones what every programmer wants to do always; it created an abstraction layer, or in English, a virtual manipulable phone number. For incoming calls, that meant: trying any of possible multiple "real" phones to find you, call screening, and voicemail. For outgoing calls, it allowed calls from any of your "real" phones to look like it came from your virtual (this was clunky, oy!) and also helped with long distance - you called a "local" number and typically got better rates than from your phone company. Also, when you made a call, you were calling "cell" numbers out, back when carriers price differentiated on that. Or you could have outgoing calls look originate by a call to YOUR phone, from your virtual number. This helped when you could get the "5 friends I talk to for free" or whatever plans. All of this kind of clunky and confusing. I juggled all this, because it was worth it for me to have a personal virtual number mapped to my work phone, and then had only one device to carry.

For Google Voice, to make an outbound call on a smartphone, you'd go into the Google Voice app, tell it to call some number. Google Voice would contact Google servers, and (depending on settings) Google would call you and make the outbound call, or you would dial out (to yet another virtual number, hosted at Google). THIS IS WHERE THE VOICE MINUTES YOU READ ABOUT CAME FROM. All these calls used cell minutes, either inbound or outbound.

Now, Hangouts was invented as a Skype competitor. To really compete, it needed to be your messaging app. SMS? Sure, lets bake that in, and tightly integrate with both SMS and Google Plus, two very different beasts. What could possibly go wrong? Skype out? Well, we can do that. Lets have data only, VoIP dialing to POTS lines, and lets use the Google Voice number.

So, now my phone has a Google Voice app and a Google Hangouts app. Both can make calls out, in different ways, looking like the same number. Both can make SMS out. Google Voice has SMS as data out, but incoming can come in as "true" SMS as well. How can that be confusing? Oh, and Incoming SMS for "classic" Google Voice came from a "virtual Google phone number" not from your friend, so you could text back to the virtual number and they'd get from your Google Voice number. But.. incoming calls always came from their real number, unless you configured it to come from *your* virtual number... As I write this out I marvel at how I kept this in my head straight for so long. My Phone Book is littered with "GVoice" entries, the virtual numbers that every contact you get an SMS from or dial out to gets mapped by Google. Confused yet?

So, Google Voice still does the normal phone line juggle, so uses cell minutes (this is what you asked about). Google Hangouts uses VoIP, probably using WebRTC. It's a new protocol, and last time i checked, most VoIP apps (including Asterisk) haven't been able to connect with it. On iOS/iPhone, outgoing calls on Hangouts are VoIP only, no audio minutes. Incoming calls are through normal cell service. And all of this can change without notice. Confused? :)

about three weeks ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (162 comments)

Just to clarify - the iOS hangouts app had VoIP => POTS capabilities before this. I think the Android app is catching up.

Calls to US POTS lines are free. I haven't looked at SkypeOut in a while, but that may be an advantage. No per-call charge, no monthly fee, just free. International calls are decently cheap.

I've used the Hangouts VoIP capabilities a lot. I was on vacation internationally, and I made a phone call to a US phone line over WiFi, no long distance charges.

Also, I have TMobile. I have a dead spot around my house. All the shiny shiny metal shiny at my work office makes a nice Faraday Cage - our corporate account is Verizon and they had to install an antenna interior to the building - and it makes a nice dead spot at work. Most of my outgoing calls in either place tend to be WiFI, either Hangouts or Audio-Only FaceTime as appropriate. Of course the TMobile Wifi calling on iOS 8 will reduce the need for this shuffle significantly.

about three weeks ago
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Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Fire = Zune (134 comments)

Err, not quite like any Android phone. You don't get to install a lot of apps.

Google/Android has two tiers of "openSource" when it comes to Android. If you play by their rules, you get cool stuff like the Play Store, Google Maps, and Google Now, and others. If you fork (FireOS, Tizen to a lesser extent) you get none of those, and you need to build them out, since those are the expectations (especially maps) for a modern smartphone. This is why Samsung is licensing mapping data itself - it doesn't want to feel beholden to Google on everything.

Remember, it's not just that you can't use the Google Maps app. You can't use any app that uses the Google Maps API. Foursquare (or whatever it is this week), unusable - unless they come out with a FireOS version. Smaller developers won't target FireOS because of lack of resources for the porting.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:The ones who grew up using MSN? (127 comments)

When I started college, the Internet was pretty much just college to college, and there was no web yet.. that was a few years away. Files? You searched FTP space with Archie. Or glued stuff together with a Netnews/Usenet client.

As far as chat goes, our first chats were on our mainframe, a program called tell, You could message folks, and evel leave messages (though the "answering machine" was lossy, you couldn't assume delivery). In theory tell could work to other Universities over a network called BITNET which existed just a bit pre-TCP/IP Internet. In practice, neither I nor anyone I knew had any contacts at other BITNET UNIs. Then everyone got on IRC. It was a bit odd to see all these non-technical people stare at a computer all day over IRC. I had friends that literally sat next to each other for hours, not turning around to talk to the person 2 feet away from them, but talking on IRC.

I have a soft spot for ICQ. My first contact with the woman now my wife was over ICQ random chat. No romance at first; both of us were dating people at the time. We just BSed for a bit. But once we met face to face, we started dating pretty fast after that.

about a month ago
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Mozilla To Support Public Key Pinning In Firefox 32

cant_get_a_good_nick I hope you can turn this off (90 comments)

We've had some source code theft recently at my job, so we have an SSL MITM proxy that generates a work SSL cert for everything. At first I hated it, but it is a work comp, and they provide a dirty LAN, so just bring your device if you want to browse your mail.

But, this would break Google searches for me. I wouldn't be able to look at any Google site, no Google searches, no wikipedia, no stackoverflow on my work comp with this. Make this a hard to find, no normal person would be able to find it, only geeks can flip the switch, config to turn this off please.

about a month ago
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Stability improvements? (113 comments)

Though I'm sure there are other reasons (maybe better 64 bit tools?) you self answer a bit. Your Point #2 means Chrome crashes early and obviously, making any pointer bugs quicker to be squashed. This means the bugs get fixed fast, fewer make it to Release builds, and you should crash less.

Another reason may be heap size. Even if you don't fill free memory, you can fragment it. Picture what you can put in one 5 gallon bucket, vs what you can put in 5 x 1 gallon buckets. Much less flexible. So if 32 but chrome gets tight on memory becuase of web pages seen and closes, seen and closed and memory fragmented, it may just give up and crash/exit.

about a month ago
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Chromium 37? (113 comments)

:) sorry, no mod points today.....

about a month ago

Submissions

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How Do I Secure Windows XP for my Mom?

cant_get_a_good_nick cant_get_a_good_nick writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) writes "As the family tech geek, everyone asks me how to get rid of viruses. As I explain malware and the difference between the infection vectors of worms, trojans, and viruses, their eyes (understandably) glaze over. And I can't even tell them what's the best freeware anti-virus + anti-spyware + anti-malware-of-the-day for Windows (I'm a Linux geek myself). I moved my sister from a public IP to a private IP, and saw her eyes wander the room when I tried to explain why it's better for her.

Faced with the choices of getting a family that just understands tech (not gonna happen) getting them to move off Windows (not gonna happen) or letting them get infected (I don't want to happen), what are the best resources for getting a Windows machine relatively safe, and keeping it so? The more i look at this, the more I need to explain malware, DHCP, firewalls, rootkit, Windows update (but avoid WGA), the more I hear them ask for a magic bullet to make it all go away. How can I make Windows security as simple as possible?"

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