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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

goombah99 because half the people with iphones (252 comments)

don't need 16Megs. People on slashdot criticize apple for forcing you to buy features you don't need. Now you critize apple for making the base model something not geek worthy. they are offering what their customers need. Chances are the number of songs or photos you want to keep stored on your iphone at any time isn't geoing with time. and that's the majority of the space usage on most people's phones. With icloud and beats streaming that need is going to dramatically shrink as well. The only thing likely to really be a space hog is more tricked out games and things that use the greater pixels of the large phones. But as I said, at the moment it's photos and music that dominate the storage needs and those will be going down not up.

3 days ago
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Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

goombah99 Re:Alibaba's AliExpress store is ripe with fakes (190 comments)

Yes alibaba is a theives market. Alibaba does little to root this out too. Moreover the entire china small items trade competiveness relys on the rediculous postage rates (low) that allows delivery in the US for a mere $1 worth of postage. Finally all the small vendors lie about the item in the postage to evade customs charges.

Amazon could make great noises and will.

On the other hand who owns Alibaba's 120 billion? Americans now. If the congress sicks their dogs on ALibaba it's the same as pilfering 120 billion from investors.

Meanwhile amazon has a PE nearing 1000 (who are they kidding?). AMazon's 1000 PE is justifed only on the basis of their growth rate not their earnings. If their growth is threatened (enter alibaba) their stock price crashes. if it crashes to a P/E ratio of 30 or 100 then 90% of the stockholder calue is whiped out. Gone. Not transfered. Gone.

So what's your poor bribed congressman to do. Act on alibaba's theivery to save Amazon, or not?

tough choice.

Alibaba's stock price over the next year will be a race between their growth in value, and the trees Amazon and E-bay fell in their path. I predict it goes up for 1/4 then down in response to regulatory pressure after the elections. THen eventually back up if their revenues grow,.

3 days ago
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Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

goombah99 Re:There is no "almost impossible" (232 comments)

This is one of the most informative and insightful comments I've ever read on slashdot. thanks!

4 days ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

goombah99 Re:Embracing the bird (72 comments)

I love his Geraldine character.

5 days ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

goombah99 Re:This won't amount to anything... (122 comments)

I was going to say the same thing. It's total rubbish in it's claims. Being just yet-another-linear combination of MiMo modes it provides no additional channel capacity. But there is the possibility that the demodulation/modulation methodology is easier to implement than other fast modulation schemes.

5 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

goombah99 Clippy sings a Beatles song (541 comments)

Rather than creeping you out by peering over your shoulder waiting for you too blunder so he can offer unsolicited advice instead He just sits there and serenades you with the Beatles song "Number Nine" until ask him a question

about a week ago
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Who Is Buried In the Largest Tomb Ever Found In Northern Greece?

goombah99 Markakis Xuckerberapolis (92 comments)

Markakis Xuckerberapolis the founder of faceForum and the issuance of worthless shards of pottery as shares

about two weeks ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

goombah99 Re:The definition of life? (211 comments)

Since I seem to be dismissing that paper for trying to use thermodynamics to define the probability of a living system I wanted to quickly add that I am explicitly not dismission it. I'm dismissing the summary that conflating the definition of life with a lower bound on it's thermodynamic probability. Often times thermodynamic bounds are very useful in ruling out how something did not happen and to identify the high probability way something could have happened.

Take for example, the observation that most complex living systems are beautiful as well. Why are they beautiful to us. I think it is because they visually have organization. And the single most obvious facet of organization are symmetries at large scale. For example, atomically speaking your eyes are very far apart. Yet your body has this beautiful bilateral symmetry.

THe obvious question is whether symmetries in living systems occur because living systems select for symmetry because there is an evolutionary advantage to it or because of thermodynamics.

to see this take something simpler. The packing of seeds in a sunflower is optimal in some sense (fibonaci) yet one might believe there's a chance it's just a thermodynamic accident not a careful selection.

In fact drill down a little more and consider the fact that nearly all proteins in your body form homo dimers that are symmetric.

an interesting paper
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

comes to the stunning conclusion that this symmetry is not from evolutionary selection! it's overwhelmingly improbable that function can arise from random collisions between proteins, and the only likely way two proteins can collide and form a low energy conformation that last long enough to perform a function is for collisions that form a symmetrical arrangement. Almost all other collisions wont last long enough for the dimer to perform a function (such as catalyzing production of a useful metabolite). Since Natural selection cannot operate on anything that doesn't do something to increase fitness this means that assymetric collisions are completely invisible to the organism. Therefore thermodynmics can rightfully claim that nearly all protein symmetry arrises simply from thermodynamic probability not from natural selection having a prefernce for symmetry. This is not to say that symmetry has no selectable characteristics. It's just that at the molecular level, those selectable characteristics are not required to explain the emergence of symmetry as we observe it. The frequency that we observe symmetric versus asymmetric homo dimers of proteins is exactly the frequency we would expect at random due to thermodynamics.

Thus the interesting thing about this new work in thermodynamics is it sets a lower bound on the conditions needed for life to emerge. It does not however define the probability of life emerging.

about two weeks ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

goombah99 The definition of life? (211 comments)

If we define life as the ability to organize and propopagate information then the highest form of life is a salt crystal or any self propagating organization of atoms with long range order. A diamond has far lower entropy than any living system. Like wise if we define it as system that processes energy to propogate itself then we have Fire as the ultimate for of life.

clearly gasses (disorded are dead) and crystals are dead. SO is life a liquid (in the middle of the two)? Again obviously not.

The best definition of a living system in terms of information tehory concepts I have come across is the one by David Wolpert who coined in the term self-dissimilarity in reaction to the vogue study of self-similarity in self-organizing systems. For example, a pile of sand is self-organizing system that is ever changing but also ever-self simmilar. it's not alive either

so solids, liquids, gasses and self-simmilar self organizing systems are all bankrupt as a informational definition of life. What's self-dissimilarity then?

It's the concept that the organizational principles of a system can suddenly change as one crosses scales.

imagine one zooms out from a microsope from the atomic scale. at first you see the atom and it has some interesting symmetires in the way the electron oribits have some simmilarities. at a higher scale we see the molecule. then the collection of molecules. soon we see the patterning of molecules.
we observe that this is infact cell. then many cells. then it's an organ. then its many organs. then an animal. then a school of fish. then zooming our we see schools of fish separated across the ocean.

the key insight is this. at each scale everything you infer about the information content and predictibitly of adjaceny in the pattern works to predict the patterns propoagation at a slightly larger zoom. Up until it suddenly fails. you reach the edge of the liver or the edge of the cell or the edge of the animal. then the lower scale is useless in predicting how the next scale up is organized.

these abrupt steps in dissimilarity is a halmark of living systems. the degree of information gain at the step is phenomenal. this is different than saying for example that a composite rock is alive. the difference is that the system is processing information and energy across these organizational boundaries. that's pretty much the best definition of life interms of a single defintion that can be plotted on a graph. the x-axis is the zoom, and the y-axis is the predictability of the next larger scale from the lower one. you see steps. that plus the processing of information across steps is a living system. If you accept this you might feel like their are non-traditional defintiions of life as well. for example, if a bacteria is living thing, is it possible that a community of bacteria is also a lvifing thing. Perhaps the earth is too.

What's intriguing here is that systems with this property may imprint themselves on other systems. you might for example be able to spot radio emissions or atmospheric molecular composition that displays the imprint of dissimilar steps in it's self organization.

SO unless this theory considers this, I'm skeptical about it. Salt is self organizing but it's not alive. It is however highly probable. Indeed eutectic separation is highly propable but it's just physics not life.

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Using JavaScript Injection To Serve Ads On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

goombah99 comcast is where googles evil goes (230 comments)

conservation of evil. It has to go somewhere. Comcast seems to be at the root of every bad deed these days. I think we figured out that google is dumping its evil quota on comcast.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

goombah99 my solution (819 comments)

I just bring a car jack, and jack the seat in front of me right off it's rails.

about two weeks ago
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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion

goombah99 Ali Baba and the fourty theives (97 comments)

Ali Baba and it's sister consumer site, Ali Express, are aptly named to recall the famous arabian theives. I've bought lots of items on ali express and my experience is that anything above $40 for sale is going to involve you losing your money to a thief. Things like Suunto watches sell there under $100 but guess what, they are either counterfeits or you never get what you order. Same with Seagull brand watches. It's a theives market. Sure Ali baba has dispute resolution mechanism but the theives know how to work this to their advantage. A typical transaction goes like this. You buy something and you get a tracking number. The item never arrives. You check the tracking number and it's a real tracking number and it shows the item arrive but was deliver to some other city. You file a dispute. The thief ("merchant") offers you a $20 discount for your inconvenience and promises to reship it. If you accept this offer then you close the dispute and cannot re-open it. Needless to say the item never arrives. The tracking number is just one the thief recycled from some other past shipment to satisfy the alibaba purchase tracking. If you are clever enough not to accept the $20 offer then what happens is the dispute goes back and forth with the theif saying he's out his product and could you please agree to split the cost. If he's lucky you walk the time for the transaction past the Alibaba protection period. If not you remeber to escalate it. Then theres a month or more of incommunicado with the Ali baba site where they weigh your claims of non-arrival with the theifs attempts to seem conciliatory. Perhaps alibaba refunds your money but you don't know till one day it just happens.

I've been down this road so many times with "almost but not quite too good to be true" that this is the norm not the exceptions. The theives know that you know that somethings are too good to be true. so they price they scam appropriately. For example, often one theif will have a dozen different IDs on alibaba and then will sell the same suunto watch for a spectrum of prices. He's effectively titrating for the chumps wariness level. Exactly how much below MFG retail do your antennas go up verus your own greed to get the best deal. So you fool yourself by picking the seller with the price you are willing to believe. But they are the same guy.

Alibaba closes down the theif sometimes, but a week later they pop up with the exact same scam.

about two weeks ago
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

goombah99 Re:Time to travel 11 light years (89 comments)

Something I've wondered about is why we don't see more relativistic protons hitting earth or the ISS. Is the relative velocity of everything in the universe extremely low? I don't think so. So where are these missing showers on earth right now?

about three weeks ago
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

goombah99 Re:Time to travel 11 light years (89 comments)

Let's see if I can work this out correctly;
First assume the spaceships weight negligibly different than the mass of the fuel. The thrust needed to push the weight at a steady 1g will be proportional to the mass of the ship at each interval of time. SO the rate of mass burn is proportional to the mass which means the mass is a decaying exponential.

M = Mo * exp( -g * time / thrust_to_weight )

If you think about this for a moment it becomes clear that any amount of mass would do since as the mass gets lighter it takes less fuel so the ship could go indefinitely at 1g. The problem is the assumption that the ship weighs nothing. so let's fix that.

dM/dt = -g*(M+Ms)/thrust_to_weight.

where Ms = mass of ship and M = mass of fuel.

I'm spacing on how to solve that equation so I'll approximate it by saying that until M = Ms we can mostly ignore the ship mass. therfore for a 6.6 year flight time the fuel required is about:

Mfuel = Ms * exp( g* (6.6 years)/thrust_to_weight )

Mfule = Ms * exp( +303,800,000/thrust_to_weight).

So you need a rather high thrust to weight ratio due to the coefficient in the exponetial.

Let the pillory for my "obvious" math errors begin!

about three weeks ago
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

goombah99 Re:Time to travel 11 light years (89 comments)

it's a matter of fuel with sufficient thrust to weight ratio (unless you want to start thinking about using the interstellar gases as the propellant--- that get's dicey because they will be approaching your craft at near the speed of light)

about three weeks ago
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

goombah99 Time to travel 11 light years (89 comments)

traveling with a 1G acceleration:
1/2g t^2 = 1/2*11*3E8

so t = 3.3 years to half way. 6.6 years to go all the way and thus 13.2 years for the round trip.

Thus you could easily go there and come back in your lifetime.

Note that this is also Faster than light can make the round trip. However that is not any violation of relativity. THe people on earth would have aged a lot more than 13.3 years during your trip. But you would only have aged 13.3 years.

about three weeks ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

goombah99 How to make a telephone solicitor mad (251 comments)

Last century, I worked for a magazine sales company that did telephone soliciting. We loved it when people slammed down the phone because it meant no wasted time. The worst was when someone wanted to chat. One time a kid answered the phone and I asked for the dad. She said, "He's out in the garage under the car" and ran off to fetch him. It was a dillemma what to do next. Hang up? wait?. Another time the person on the other end kept repeating only the word yes during my sales pitch and then 5 minutes in switched to "can you please speak chinese". Even when I said "goodbye".

These days, I tell them I'm really glad they called and I need to move to the phone by the computer so I can purchase what they are selling. Then I set the phone down and go about what I was doing.

about a month ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

goombah99 Sony (116 comments)

Nah this is just Sony Electronics wanting to leverage their entertainment holdings to sell TVs and PLayers with proprietaty formats while Sony Entertainment wants to maximize sales. Or maybe I got it backward. Anyhow lots of diversified companies have internal conflicts. The IBM PC which uses all non-IBM parts was not made by the primary Computer division at IBM. Samsung also has internal competition with conflicting objectives,

about a month ago

Submissions

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Netflix quietly ending saturday delivery

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  about 2 months ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "The USPS may not have gone forward with its plans to kill Saturday mail delivery, but Netflix isn't waiting. A few customers have noticed it's no longer processing shipments on Saturdays, opting for a five day schedule instead. Company spokesman Joris Evers tells Engadget that it's been transitioning in that direction over the past year and ended Saturday processing (usually a low volume day) entirely in early June."
Link to Original Source
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Peak Copper: The end begins in 30 years

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  about 7 months ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "If electrons are the lifeblood of a modern economy, copper makes up its blood vessels. In cables, wires, and contacts, copper is at the core of the electrical distribution system, from power stations to delicate electronics. As consumption has risen exponentially—reaching 17 million metric tons in 2012—miners have met the world's demand for 10,000 years. But that might soon change. A group of resource specialists has taken the first shot at projecting how much more copper miners will wring from the planet. Results of their model, described this month, show that production peaks by about midcentury even if copper is more abundant than most geologists believe. That would drive prices sky-high, trigger increased recycling, and force inferior substitutes for copper on the marketplace."
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What parts of a game can be copyrighted?

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  about 10 months ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "We've all seen how game makers copy each other's hot game, sometimes slavishly. Just when does a reimplementation become a copyright violation? Recently to learn objective c I implemented from scratch code for old Atari and Apple II games. As placeholders I initially screen grabbed some icons and sound effects from the original. The goal was to make it look and feel the Same not to improve it. The results were great and since I can't find these games anymore I thought I'd make them available. I got nervous about the copyrights in the icons and sounds so I replaced them with imitations that were intended to be similar. But that got me wondering if that was necessary and if it was what other aspects I might need to change? The game window layout? The scoring scheme? The game play? Would something as generic as pong be copyrighted? If not then what would make a game worthy of copyright ? Or Is copying games only something that rich folks with lawyers to stall C&D letters can do?"
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Online Banking Scares Me. How do you safeguard your accounts

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Brokerages where I keep my mutual funds are just password protected. They do sometimes ask extra security questions but these seem tissue thin (like "what's your favorite food?"). I can use above average passwords but then I need to write them down or put them in a key chain so I don't lose them. I fear key loggers or someone stealing my home computer or it's contents. Is there anything to stop people from draining your account if they have your password?"
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Google goes full court evil.

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "According to developers, executives and investors in mobile gaming and payment sectors , Google warned several developers in recent months that if they did not switch to Google Wallet or continued to use other payment methods — such as PayPal, Zong and Boku — their apps would be removed from Android Market, now known as Google Play. In one email sent to a developer in late August, Google said the developer had 30 days to comply, otherwise the developer's apps would be "suspended" from Android Market. Reuters obtained a copy of the email this week. "They told people that if they used other payment services they would be breaking the terms of use," said Si Shen, founder and chief executive of Papaya, a social gaming network on Android. "Whether it's right or wrong, we have to follow the rules.""
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iphone 4s benchmarks: A successful failure?

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "The initial response of geeks to the iphone 4s was a sort of Mehh. Which is odd considering one rarely hears of a computing device 2x faster than its nearest rival. Anadtech benched it and found the overall performance was about 2x faster than the new Galaxy S II phone. Indeed it's tied in speed with the ultra speedy Galaxy tablet yet runs at a slower processor speed for long battery life. The graphics boost is 6x that of the iphone 4. Then there is Siri, which how hard usefully accurate voice command is, ought to at least evince rubber necking to watch either a spectacular Apple boast fail or a surprising breakthrough. Then there's the fact that it not only sold out a rather large pre-release inventory but it managed to sell a million in 24 hours (to real people, not just into "channels". Yet various news organizations have called it a "letdown," a "dud," a "stumble," and a "gaffe." Geeks sometimes deride apple as nothing more than a pretty case, and yet here the only thing that didn't change is the look and feel. Are we geeks guilty of judging the book by the cover?"
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Iphone 4S is almost 2x faster than galaxy IIs

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Benchmarks from Anadtech show that on both graphics and overall benchmarks the iphone 4s is about 2x faster than it's nearest competition: Samsungs's Galaxy S II. In graphics frames-per-second it is more than 6x faster than the iphone 4. Indeed, it is essentially equal in speed to the larger Galaxy II tablet, while running at slower clock speed for extended battery life. The apple A5 strategy looks like a category killer."
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What's right and wrong with software patents

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Nilay Patel makes a very cogent argument that software patents are not a bad thing at all. He argues that the problem is the Trolls. And his solution is not only simple, but actually exists and is well tested in other countries, such as Germany so it's pretty easy to evaluate if he's right. He squarely puts down common strawmen like "software algorithms are just math and you can't patent math". And he points out that patents bring methods in to the public domain, unlike the bad old days of trade secrets. In a few years even those seemingly "obvious" patents will be legally obvious and free to all, so in a way there is a clearing house process in effect that is de-encumbering entire fields, such as Amazon-like stores, in the long run. And when people are forced to work around patented methods they explore new more diverse methods, broadening our knowledge. His solution is mandatory licensing at reasonable rates of all patents not in active use by the holder. This allows universities to continue profiting from patents while encouraging people to license widely rather than sit back and wait to litigate when someone succeeds. The end of trolling is within reach."
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What alternatives to Net Nanny do slashdotters use

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Net Nanny is the well known software to shield young children just getting started on the internet. But I figure that maybe computer savvy folks have other solutions or things that can be layered on top. If there was a list of naughty sites one could of course toss that in a Host file but, having tried that approach, those lists can be pretty long (and thus slow) despite being incomplete and they don't filter by content just IP. The other problem is that they are not per-user so mommy and daddy can't browse freely. I don't mind paying and don't require an open source solution. But I do need one for a mac osx computer. All this goes without saying that supervision and participation are important but you can monitor every key stroke and page load even when you are in the same room. Almost every google phrase you can think of has some close by salacious analog: My 5 year old like Ben 10, and I encourage him to use logic to form his own search phases, but there are some naughty Ben's in the world apparently. What do slashdotters do?"
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slashdot Poll: There is No...

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "There is No...
1) try
2) spoon
3) sunshine when she is gone
4) Third rule of fight club
5) Devil, it's just Cowboy Neal when he's drunk."
6) option 7"
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Victorian Postal Service Resembled E-mail

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Written mail in Victorian London was delivered and picked up 12 times in a 12 hour day. It also resembled e-mail in the way it was used. Messages often sought replies by the next postal pickup. And even the lazy practice of sharing links rather than writing a thoughtful letter became commonplace as people would send copies of previously read newspapers instead of writing. Like now, newspapers saw their circulations plummet as their content was shared freely this way. And as the price of mail droppped to negligible, junk mail was invented along with the 409 solicitations from strangers. All in all it seems like a good evidence that charging more for e-mail delivery would arguably cure its worst tendencies."
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Victorian post closely resembled e-mail

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Written mail in Victorian London was delivered and picked up 12 times in a 12 hour day. It also resembled e-mail in the way it was used. Messages often sought replies by the next postal pickup. And even the lazy practice of sharing links rather than writing a thoughtful letter became commonplace as people would send copies of previously read newspapers instead of writing. Like now, newspapers saw their circulations shrink as their content was shared freely this way. And as the price of mail drop to negligible, junk mail was invented along with the 409 solicitations to strangers. All in all it seems like a good evidence that charging more for e-mail delivery would arguably cure its worst tendencies."
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Is the free VOIP business model sustainable?

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "VOIP provider ooma offers no-charge, no-strings-attached, commercial-free, VOIP to anywhere in the US. While the service is free forever, you do have to buy their unit. Unlike Magic Jack or Skype, this is a stand-alone unit so it does not need your PC to operate and behaves like a regular hassle free phone. Moreover, reviews say the voice quality is consistently as good or better than Vonage, my current carrier. Since the price of the unit on Amazon is less than about 7 months of Vonage+taxes & fees, I'm thinking of making the jump. But somehow this seems too good to be true: given the quick payback period why is everyone not using this? So I'm asking Slashdot users about their experience. A summary and links to reviews can be found here and the most in depth ones are on Amazon. They claim there is no catch: it will stay free forever as long as ooma stays in business or your voip modem does not need to be replaced (e.g. you break it or want to upgrade it) I note that since 2005, there have been regular unfulfilled predictions they would shortly be out of business, but webmeters show their traffic has grown 450% in the last year and they are now up to about 1/8th Vonage's website traffic, so it seems like they have taken root. On the otherhand ooma's bundled services (voicemail, local calling, etc...) have changed from year to year so what you get depends on when you bought into it. Is there a catch?""
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What is your experience with ooma, the free VOIP?

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Back in 2005,I heard about the free voip phone service ooma, but their peculiar business model at the time let them make local calls on your local land line in return for free long distance VOIP turned me off. That business model is gone now and they are simply offering no-charge, no-strings-attached, commercial-free, VOIP to anywhere in the US. Since the price of the unit on Amazon is less than about 7 months of Vonage+taxes & fees, I'm thinking of making the jump. Unlike Magic Jack or Skype, this is a stand-alone unit so it does not need your PC to operate. Moreover, reviews say the voice quality is as good or better than Vonage, my current carrier. But somehow this seems too good to be true: given the quick payback period why is everyone not using this? So I'm asking Slashdot users about their experience. A summary and links to reviews can be found here and the most in depth ones are on Amazon. They claim there is no catch: it will stay free forever as long as ooma stays in business or your voip modem does not need to be replaced (e.g. you break it or want to upgrade it) I note that since 2005, there have been regular unfulfilled predictions they would shortly be out of business, but webmeters show their traffic has grown 450% in the last year and they are now up to about 1/8th Vonage's website traffic, so it seems like they have taken root. Is there a catch?"
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Your experience with ooma, the free voip service.

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Back in 2005,I saw the free voip phone service ooma a few years ago, but their wonky model of using your conventional land line in return for free voip turned me off. But now they are simply offering no-charge, no-strings-attached, commercial-free, VOIP to anywhere in the US and cheap rates outside the US. This will stay free forever as long as ooma stays in business or your voip modem does not bust. Since the price of the unit on Amazon is less than about 8 months of Vonage+taxes & fees, I'm thinking of making the jump. (The only recurring charge from ooma is $12 in E911 fees per year.) All reviews say the voice quality is as good or better than Vonage, my current carrier. I note that since 2005, there have been regular unfulfilled predictions they would shortly be out of business, but webmeters show their traffic has grown 450% in the last year and they are now up to about 1/8th Vonage's traffic, so it seems like they have taken root. But somehow this seems too good to be true: given the quick payback period why is everyone not using this? So I'm asking Slashdot users about their experience. Unlike Magic Jack or Skype, this is a stand-alone unit so it does not need your PC to operate. A summary and links to reviews can be found here and the best ones are on Amazon."
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DVD Piracy temporarily legal in UK now

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  about 5 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "TGD Daily reports that due to a notification glitch dating back to 1984, the UK laws governing DVD piracy are said to be unenforceable until the European Union Commission can meet to accept the UK law. This is said to be unlikely to happen before 2010. The problem arose in 1984 and was repeated in 1990, when the laws governing pornography and DVD piracy in the UK were not, as required under the EU agreement, sent to the the EU commission for approval."
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U.S. Judge halts sales of MS Office

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes ""On Tuesday, a U.S. district court in Texas issued a permanent injunction that bars Microsoft from selling recent versions of its Word software." reports many news outlets. Sales must cease in 60 days. MS will appeal to a higher court, however in addition to the judge's ruling, previously a jury as well upheld the patent infringement and awarded 200 million dollars. The ruling also bars not just Office 2008 but also any translation of documents between docx to word 2003 and later. The patent itself is for a specific way of serializing an XML document. Instead of putting markup tags amidst the text, you simply write the text out raw with out any inline tags. Then in a separate storage area you list each xml tag followed by a pointer to the character position it should be inserted into that bulk text. Since the tags and raw content can be stored separately, the claim is this encoding has the desired feature that changes to format tags won't require re-writing the whole document body, and you could associate many different format tags sets with the same raw text for different "views". The regenerated document inverts this to produce XML which can then be handled normally."
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Now as many Iranain as Chinese Users of Freegate

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "NyTimes Columnist Kirstof reports that the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, an organization that creates freespeech internet passages for China and other countries saw a surge of 200 million hits from 400,000 unique visitors on Wednesday. Since the release of the Farsi version of Freegate, a firewall evading anonymous browsing system, there are now almost as many Iranian users than Chinese. Note the Global Internet Freedom Organization is concerned about their servers overwhelming so I'm not supplying a direct link to quash the slashdot effect. Kristof notes that a pending bill in congress would support funding of block evading software platforms and it needs your help."
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Affordable 300mpg car on sale next year

goombah99 goombah99 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

goombah99 (560566) writes "Aptera is making all a hybrid powered car it says will get 300MPG on gasoline or 125 miles on a plug in electric charge and be priced in the range $30,000 . There's YouTubes of it driving around Carlsbad Colorado from CNN and Aptera's promo. It's been road tested since 2007. The "Typ-1" model looks looks like a stylish 3-wheeled airplane fuselage (think beechcraft). A four wheeled 5 passenger Typ-2 only exists on the drawing board still but the target selling price is even less (mid 20K). It's not the goofiest looking electric vehicle on display."

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