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Comments

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The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

daviddennis Re:Maybe, but risks offending high paying customer (318 comments)

Why would Comcast mess you over more than AT&T DSL/Landline?

Down here in South Florida, Comcast is 10x faster than AT&T at about the same price, and they have always billed me honestly. AT&T, by contrast, has added huge, incomprehensible fees to their bills, making $50 or so in announced charges turn into $80.

D

about a year ago
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Electric Car Subsidies As Handouts For the Rich

daviddennis Re:Yeah... (589 comments)

Try the Leaf, which is $26k after the credit - that's about the same as a VW Golf Diesel, and is much cheaper to run if you don't drive long distances.

Admittedly I'm not sure how non-rich people are going to come up with the $7.5k to pay in advance for the full price, even if they get a tax refund a year or so later. In that sense, the rich or at least upper middle class are the only people likely to afford it.

That being said it's a lot cheaper than the Tesla Roadster, and definitely worth considering if you want to drive an interesting car without spending a lot.

D

about 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

In the market for cars, there is no equivalent to software that yanks the wheel out of your hands and changes course on its own free will. It should be very easy to use computers; all you need to do is follow the instructions on the screen. As long as you follow those instructions, you should not get into trouble.

Malware completely breaks that trust and has no connection with someone going into a car with no driver training, or driving like a madman.

Having an "expert button" might be a reasonable idea. But remember, for every Slashdot user, or person who basically believes in the Slashdot philosophy, there are at least 100 ordinary users.

It's interesting that Apple does not appear to be actively trying to prevent people from jailbreaking their iPads or iPod Touches. Apple has some obligations concerning the iPhone and its interoperability with telephone networks that make jailbreaking genuinely probematic to them.

I seem to remember iPad was jailbroken using a fairly straightforward and well known exploit; if Apple had wanted to prevent it, they could have.

Just some food for thought there ...

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

The balanced perspective is between the worlds of freedom (being able to install any application I want) and Jobsian Tyranny (being able to install only what Steve approves).

Both philosophies serve their respective devices well, which is my point.

I am glad Windows has served you well.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Palm App Catalog Glitch Locks Out WebOS Users

daviddennis Re:A beam in your eye (36 comments)

Probably because the keyboard has a fixed location on the bottom of the phone.

The main reason for rotation on the iPhone was to make the onscreen keyboard less difficult to type with.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Palm App Catalog Glitch Locks Out WebOS Users

daviddennis Re:Important services unaffected (36 comments)

So I was saying, "Gee, this is sad, iPad gets almost 1,000 comments about its closed nature and the Palm Pre can only muster 28 about the outage?"

It was worse than that. Looks like most of them are about lousy iPhone coverage!

So I should chime in. To keep this on topic, I can say that my Palm Pre's Sprint coverage didn't work at all where I live, and if I wasn't using it as a development device, I would have taken it back.

My iPhone works fine in the Pittsburgh area. It drops calls almost identically to Verizon phones in the same area. Sometimes it's actually a little better, other times it's a little worse. Pittsburgh is very hilly - its topography is similar to the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles - so truly excellent cellphone service is probably not feasible. But Verizon and AT&T are both about equally mediocre, with Sprint way behind. (I haven't tried T-Mobile in a while so I will ignore them.)

I think the real problem with iPhone is that AT&T didn't realize how geographically concentrated iPhone use was going to be, and did not plan accordingly. Last year, the AT&T network failed at South by Southwest in Austin due to the huge concentration of iPhones suddenly descending on the place. This year, no problem at all, because AT&T beefed up their network and things worked fine.

Now I wonder why on earth they couldn't do that for the Bay Area, since by now they know what they need.

So if you are in a random place in the USA, instead of NYC, the Bay Area or other hotbeds of iPhone use, your AT&T service is probably fine, as mine is.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

Apple's App Store has sold billions of dollars worth of apps, and has millions of happy customers. By any reasonable criteria it has achieved greatness.

As for iPad, yes, I think it's the best thing out there for the purpose it serves. It's a portable device to browse the web, and it lets me use over 5,000 programs designed exclusively for it, almost all of which are interesting, fun to use and available at very fair prices. Not to mention almost 200,000 iPhone apps.

Have you tried one?

What device would you consider better for that purpose?

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

Of course Apple is anticipating this with iPhone OS, which doesn't allow unsigned software to run at all. You really should be completely impervious to attacks as long as you stick to the closed world of iPhone/iPad, which makes life a lot easier for everyone save virus writers.

That's the real dilemma created by advocates of software freedom. A closed system has genuine advantages and that's what scares many of them. The fact is that a non-free system is actually better for most users.

I'm not saying I like that fact, or that it's a good thing, but unfortunately it is still a fact.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

Of course he is a little stuck if you do in fact lose the installation disks, as many of us absent-minded folks do.

I think you can just use the normal Unix passwd command to change the password in single user mode.

Or simply buy a copy of Snow Leopard, since they are available everywhere for $29.95, boot the system and change the password as you outlined.

It would be comparable in difficulty, or maybe even harder to do the same thing on Windows or Linux, so I'm not sure where this particular example gets us.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:That Super Car already exists (1067 comments)

That last paragraph is exactly why Apple devices are locked down. You can't mess up your iPhone or iPad unless you deliberately set out to do so.

It's a good deal for a lot of people. Admittedly, almost none of then are Slashdotters. In my case I have both an iMac and an iPad and love both of them for what they do.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

Should someone who is not an expert have to know and do all those things just to have a car?

Time has value. The more time you spend fixing things, the less time you have for being creative, or spending time with your girlfriend, or whatever.

You have the freedom to do those things, but sometimes the freedom from having to do them is more important.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

It was a genuine virus that propagated via Bluetooth and MMS. The phone was a Nokia 6600, a device so confusing it took me forever to figure out how to run the web browser. I remember it was an odd sliver of an unmarked button that did it.

The virus spewed advertisements for some sexual web site and was a big embarrassment to my friend, who was a middle-aged female. It was all pretty funny until she got the bill.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

Of course a Macintosh is no more locked down than a Windows or Linux computer, so there is no issue if we're sticking with computers. My primary computer is a Mac, and i run a ton of open source software on it. The great appeal of it compared to Linux is that I can also run top-grade commercial software like Final Cut Pro, Xcode, etc. In short, it is the best of both software worlds on one computer.

A few years ago, I encountered an extremely destructive cellphone virus that was spewing MMS messages out of a friend's phone until I found the eradication tool. Cost my friend a lot of money. Since that happened I have gotten a lot more sympathetic to advocates of closed systems, at least for cellphones and related products.

Of course the iPad I'm typing this on is not a cellphone, but leverages the development of a cellphone OS. So it theoretically could be open but isn't. Still, there are amazing things in the app store, and developers and customers alike seem pretty happy with the truly remarkable burst of creativity that has come with these devices. Maybe a closed platform isn't so bad ... Have you seen the music apps for this thing? Amazing.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

daviddennis Re:haha (1067 comments)

I feel your pain, I really do.

But what if your old car would go to random places all of a sudden and crash into brick walls at random times? And when you went out to browse your porn half the time your car would get a flat tire while you were out there and a bunch of punks would beat it up and you'd spend hours and hours getting it to work halfway decently.

So Steve Jobs glides up in his gleaming white Gulfstream V jet and says, "Hey, I have a cool car that drives better than anything on the planet. We make sure you can drive on this excellent network of safe roads, and leave the potholed, poorly made old style ones behind. You know, I'm sorry, but not only did those maintenance guys do a lousy job, they had no taste."

So you take a look at his roads and sure enough, everything is gleaming and works and there are no strange brick walls to be found, anywhere. But ... there is something missing ... something important!

"Where's the porn?" you ask. "And how about Rush Limbaugh and National Review?"

"Oh, the porn hurts the kids, and National Review makes fun of our sacred cow Obama(tm), You know, we are all Democrats here, even if we don't quite admit it," he says. "Don't worry, though, you can use Safari to browse any web site you want."

"And you know what, we know you want to look at porn and we're a big company and can't approve of that garbage. But all you need to do is run Safari or the movie player and you can find that junk you want, just not on our shiny roads. So you go a little out of your way for it, but your experience is still safe and when you're back you will be assured that your car will still work, instead of get banged up."

And isn't that funny, that might just be better for porn, actually, because you are always safe. How many native porn apps do you have on your computer? I would bet, none. How many porn web sites do you visit? If you are concerned with this issue, probably quite a few. The point is, the makers of porn are not stupid, and they will bring you what you want.

The App Store does have some downright sad speech restrictions. My Obama IQ game, for instance, was not approved until after the 2008 elections were safely passed. Pretty pathetic, no? Not that one anti-Obama game was ever going to tip an election one way or the other, but the sales would have been nice to get.

Complete freedom of speech is preserved on the Internet. The App Store is not a vehicle for free political or sexual expression, and to me, that's OK. As long as you can browse the web, you are free.

Some people who argue against Apple just don't realize how horrible a task it is to eradicate a piece of spyware from a Windows computer. I used to work in IT and my experiences in trying to devirus a computer were just plain horrible and pathetic. Fortunately I've been an almost exclusively Apple user for many years and since I started being one, my computing experience has become far better and smoother and more fun.

So I have a balanced perspective. Would it be nice if the new iPad was totally free? Sure.

But isn't the App Store a great invention, something that helps even small developers like me make a few bucks?

In the past couple of years I have bought far more App Store applications than Mac applications, and most of my Mac applications were made by, guess who, Apple. App Store applications are cheap, and they are easy to buy and use, and a lot of fun. And most of my App Store applications are from small developers, not Apple. So if you are looking at which business model serves the small developer, it might just be Apple's.

This is not a perfect world. It's a tragedy that evil people deliberately set out to ruin other peoples' computers in pursuit of a few bucks. But they do, and the iPhone software model stops them cold. If you're sick of having to be paranoid about evil people running your computer, you might prefer if it was run by Steve Jobs, as opposed to running it yourself.

That's a trade a lot of people want to make, and I'm sorry, I really can't blame them.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands

daviddennis Re:Oh, come on! (416 comments)

It's an open-source product, so theoretically they don't have any customers.

But realistically, anyone interested in open source is interested in technology, and anyone interested in technology has a modern browser installed in their computer. So I think requiring a modern browser, which can be installed under any OS, including historic Windows XP, is a reasonable assumption that would rarely, if ever, hurt their market penetration.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

daviddennis Re:The statistics repeatedly say (395 comments)

Nice try but only if you spend all your time in coffee shops!

I seem to remember Google offered some kind of public transport system where you are driven to work in a wifi-equipped bus. If you never go anywhere but home, work and Google, the WiFi-based phone might just work, since you would never be out of range of a wifi network you were authorized to use.

But short of that I'm afraid most cellphone users aren't going to like the idea.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

daviddennis Re:The statistics repeatedly say (395 comments)

I think one problem is that it varies dramatically by geographical area and so it's impossible to say which is best without considering where you live.

I'm in the Pittsburgh area, and my estimate is the AT&T and Verizon are about the same. Verizon might be a little bit better, but the iPhone is (in my experience) a much nicer device than the Droid. I love my iPhone more than I dislike AT&T, especially since many Verizon policies (early disconnect fees, for example) are just plain horrible.

I wanted to try app development for the Palm Pre, so I got a Pre and a Sprint phone. Sprint has almost non-existant data service, at least in the parts of Pittsburgh I visited. On the particularly memorable evening I got my Pre, I was being driven home on Route 51, the main drag sort of equivalent to Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and I got no data service at all. Let's just say things did not improve from there, and if the phone wasn't used for development, I would have returned it immediately. If you do have good Sprint service in your area, though, I noticed that the plans are significantly cheaper than rivals.

I used T-Mobile many years ago with the Sidekick. It has the advantage of being GSM, so you can use an AT&T phone with it, or use it with an AT&T phone. Verizon and Sprint use a different technology that I don't think allows you to exchange phones between carriers at all. Once you have a Sprint or Verizon phone, that's all it is. Overall, I don't think T-Mobile service is as good as AT&T or Verizon. However, since I haven't had a T-Mobile account in years, I can't really comment.

I know some Cricket users and everyone says that while it is certainly cheap, service is so awful as to be nearly useless.

Hope that helps. Maybe we should all do this for our individual city and then this could be a searchable index. But of course things are changing all the time ...

D

more than 4 years ago
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Droid Touchscreen Less Accurate Than iPhone's

daviddennis Re:Obviously... (198 comments)

You still want the device to work as well as possible on web pages not designed for mobile devices.

With its high resolution, the Droid is getting dangerously close to readability for a full web page ...

I have noticed the problem mentioned in the article. It shows up for me as jerky scrolling. I love how the iPhone always scrolls smoothly and precisely with your finger. No other device has matched that, and I think the problem described in this article is why.

I hope Apple improves iPhone's resolution in the next update, but I'm still loyal to it. I tried my friend's Droid, but iPhone has by far the best interface. It's in small details, but Apple really sweated them amazingly well.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Palm Opens Dev Program, Offers $1M For Top App

daviddennis Re:No, It's a $1M pool for the top 442 developers (91 comments)

Because the new C API will not be generally available during this period, only apps using the Web-style API (either hand-coded or through ARES) are eligible.

This is interesting because they claim at present that they will introduce the C-style API in March and that overlaps the period.

See the actual terms for details.

D

more than 4 years ago
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Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked

daviddennis Re:RealClimate has a big reply on this (882 comments)

How about S,H (Variant 1)

Global warming happens and turns out not to be so bad. People like the warmer weather, which saves over 100,000 lives each year. (Did you know winter kills more people in an average year than disasters do?)

In a heartwarming rescue effort, the world's remaining polar bears are taken captive and sent to enormous, climate-controlled zoos.

The sea level rise is controlled, or we figure out a way to take the arctic icecaps and haul them in converted supertankers to water-short Dubai, where they are actually useful.

Most people want to vacation in Aruba, not Antarctica. A warmer climate is a better climate to everyone save ski resort owners.

Global cooling, on the other hand, would be a real problem ...

D

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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daviddennis daviddennis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

daviddennis writes "According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a lawsuit alleges that Microsoft engaged in deceptive practices by letting PC makers promote hardware as "Windows Vista Capable" even though they knew it could not run most of Vista's widely-promoted features. Microsoft responds by saying that the differences have been promoted with one of the most extensive marketing pushes in company history. When I viewed PC maker web sites at the time (in December before Vista's introduction), it appeared to me that the marketing material was deliberately misleading, if not out and out deceptive, in trying to blur the lines between "Premium Ready" and "Capable", steering customers to hardware they could afford, not hardware that could run Vista Premium. In short, it's not often that I cheer on lawyers, but I'm doing it this time."

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