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Comments

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Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

gwstuff Psychological trick (161 comments)

"I worked day and night on my taxes. Now that they're done I'm going to give myself the gift of Google Glasses. I deserve it."

2 days ago
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New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

gwstuff Re:I don't think this is going to fly... (269 comments)

Why wouldn't you fly with pilots you know, who are presumably qualified and licensed?

about a week ago
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Tesla: A Carmaker Or Grid-Storage Company?

gwstuff Stock price too high? (151 comments)

Facebook could have bought them instead of buying WhatsApp and Ocular, and spending just a little bit more.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

gwstuff Inaccurate summary (641 comments)

First the idea of "Suspending" a kernel developer is inane. Kernel developers don't work for Linus. Anyone can fork the kernel and work on his own version of it. Furthermore, Kay can write code that other people audit, modify and submit further.

Secondly, it's not an 'indefinite, unconditional ban' as suggested by the summary. Here's the specific line from Linus' email:

Greg - just for your information, I will *not* be merging any code
from Kay into the kernel until this constant pattern is fixed.

In other words he might start accepting patches from him if he changed his style of operating.

about two weeks ago
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Did Facebook Buy Oculus To Counter Google Glass?

gwstuff Watch out Google! (108 comments)

Facebook is coming after your ass with fashionable headsets to make your nerdy looking glasses look even nerdier. What's more.. they're DEPLOYING BTRFS!!! Be afraid.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

gwstuff Re:2 billion vrs 19 billion vrs 1 billion (535 comments)

I thought of the same thing when I saw the 2 billion figure. We know that these deals involve pay offs mainly in stock. I wonder then what the valuation is - is it current stock value, or is it projected value at the time that the stock will have fully vested i.e. 5 years down the line. I bet it's the latter - and the big billion dollar figures are a publicity stunt that ensures that everyone comes to know of the purchase event.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

gwstuff Re:GitHub Source (224 comments)

"Someone" :-)

about three weeks ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

gwstuff Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

If it's their 'road' then Netflix is a bright, shiny city in the distance. It (and others like it) ARE THE REASON that people are on the road in the first place. Asking them to pay is like charging a city to pay for road usage just because it is a source of traffic. It is inevitable for companies that thrive at one time to decline and give way to others at another. For the system to continue to function, small, new destinations (startups, duh) that are detours from the main road need to be given a fair chance to succeed in an environment in which they can compete with the big players.

Without this process of constant replenishment, when the bright cities become old, dilapidated and defunct, people no longer have the reason to use the road. Everyone loses, except for selfish executive ass-holes who screwed everyone, all but knowing what was going to happen and sailed away with the money on their yachts laughing.

about three weeks ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

gwstuff Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

Exactly. But now could you phrase this in a way that blames someone, rubbishes something someone else says, and most importantly appeals to the vested interests of someone influential. Then you might have chance of being heard.

about three weeks ago
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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

gwstuff Looking for a marketplace... (156 comments)

It seems that the missing link between blogging and conventional journalism could be a marketplace that enables bloggers to publish content in the mainstream media. Major media sites commonly link to blogs, and some bloggers do op-eds from time to time, but this cross-pollination seems to be the exception, not the rule. A Google Play-like marketplace in which bloggers sell their written pieces (or make them available for free), and from which news service purchases such pieces would eliminate the distinction between 'freelance journalist' and 'blogger.'

On an unrelated note, the article (outside of the title) doesn't waste much time comparing blogging and conventional journalism.

about three weeks ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

gwstuff Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (206 comments)

Using an unknown encoding scheme is obfuscation, not encryption. So you're suggesting using obfuscation as a cheap substitute for encryption. That might be fine in some situations but 1) It really is very, very easy to crack - you don't need human intervention - there are tools that let you compute polynomial mappings between two data sets. 2) You can encrypt the data using a powerful algorithm using off the shelf free tools, so why not just go one baby step further and do it so that even in the unlikely case that one day the stakes to get to your data are high, there's no way to get it.

about three weeks ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

gwstuff Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (206 comments)

All good points. Just a quick note about (1): you can encrypt all your email by using a passthrough email address in a domain that you trust. So me@myname.com received all your email, encrypts it and forwards it to gmail or wherever.

about three weeks ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

gwstuff Don't store unencrypted email online (206 comments)

While this story is crazy, and MS should be spitballed for it... I don't buy that other companies that let your store your data online don't give access to your data to their employee, if only for "debugging and administrative purposes." If you want to store your data online encrypt it.

about three weeks ago
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Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage

gwstuff It's a tradeoff... (144 comments)

It's no surprise that cutting down on sleep has negative effects. The short term effects have been evaluated experimentally - people without sleep are less capable of resisting junk food, irritable and less alert.

The strange thing is that there's *never* been an attempt to characterize the advantages. I saw some notes in the posts above about experimenting with radios, listening to the BBC, etc. which are things that probably hone your mental abilities. If you pull all nighters studying to get into a good school and succeed, then you spend the next 4 years interacting with smart people and good professors.

about a month ago
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Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US

gwstuff Re:My story with Alibaba (93 comments)

I lacked information at the time, so I explored a number of fronts. It was clear that shipping and handling was going to be the biggest overhead in the business. Something like - 50 cents / pen, $5 -- $15 for shipping and handling, depending on the route I would take. There was also the question of whether to sell to retailers or to end consumers -- I opted for the latter and simply listed my product on Amazon. Shipping and handling would have been much easier today because nowadays Amazon offers managed plans for merchants. So you ship them boxes of your products, and they'll manage your inventory and pick 'n pack them on the way out. You can even qualify products for Amazon Prime, which as anyone who has Prime will guess is a big purchase incentive. At the time, you had to deal with shipping on your own, even though Amazon would actually reimburse a shipping cost (determined by them based on market rates) from their cut of each product sold. The alternative to Amazon was to make a web page and hook it up with a Paypal account, which would have been equivalent. Remember that the premise of this whole exercise was the hunch that there was going to be a supply shortage of pens. The whole plan was predicated on that hunch - I wasn't planning on trying to make a business out of this through aggressive Adword advertising, branding, or other type of marketing. I was reasonably confident that I would at least make my investment back over the next few years.

In today's world, you would also have the option of using something like easypost.com for managed shipping or shipwire.com for managed warehousing.

about a month ago
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Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US

gwstuff My story with Alibaba (93 comments)

When Steve Jobs gave his first iPhone demo, I had my doubts when he claimed that you didn't need stylus pens with touch screens. Seeing the frenzy with which people wanted iPhones in the coming months, I decided to make an investment and buying a large quantity of stylus pens, whose price I expected would rise. I approached several vendors on Alibaba. The process was surprisingly smooth - most of the vendors seemed to have communication reps who were nice to talk to/interact with and knew their stuff very well. The prices were insane. I could buy pens that could be purchased for $30 in the US for 10 cents a piece, if I bought then in bulk. For another 5 cents I could brand them, and for another 10 I could customize them. So I ended up buying 100k of them and having them shipped to a warehouse in Philadelphia, where I rented some space out for ~$50/month. My most memorable feeling from this experience was not the profit I made (not that much, it looks like a lot of other people had the same idea as I did...) but realizing how easy it was to get something custom-manufactured half way across the world, have 100s of thousands of pieces hauled across on boats to a few miles from where I live. Something Marco Polo would have marveled at... Alibaba is only the front end to an unbelievable system of proxy manufacturing.

about a month ago
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Study: Happiness Improves Developers' Problem Solving Skills

gwstuff Re:or, alternatively (91 comments)

My first reaction to this comment was "certainly not, not in a competently executed experiment..." But looking at the methodology these guys use, their SPANE test thing grades people by general happiness, rather than a temporary state that they are steered into. So yeah, you cannot rule a general correlation between the two things, or even more generally that the problem solvers report their SPANE scores higher (which doesn't strictly mean that they are happier...)

Most good experiments that deal with emotional state rule out such associations by deliberately steering multiple control groups into a 'happy' or 'unhappy' state.

For example, in one experiments, people were brought together and asked to participate in a general group discussion. They were then told that they would be interacting in pairs, and had to anonymously write down the name of their preferred partner on a chit of paper. The experimenters collected these chits in a box, and quietly took them to the back and DISCARDED THEM in the garbage.

They then took each individual aside one by one, and for one half of the group, told the individual that he had been chosen by every other person but was the odd man out and had to work alone. For the other half, the person was told that nobody chose him and so he had to work alone. All of the participants were given logic puzzles to solve.

The experimenters found out that the 'happier' group of people who thought that they were cool and popular generally performed better, and even more ostensibly were less likely to binge on the cookie jar placed next to them while doing the puzzles. The dejected group of supposedly unpopular people ate twice as many cookies and generally fared worse at the puzzles.

Studies that make this conclusion (happiness => more productive) are pretty common.

about a month ago
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Apple Demands $40 Per Samsung Phone For 5 Software Patents

gwstuff Re:This is why I'm leaving IT (406 comments)

And the crappiest part is that you are perpetually around people who are pissed. Husbands mad at their wives, companies mad at other companies for getting sued, people mad at each other respectively for making the other guy look stupid. What a life...

about a month ago
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Apple Demands $40 Per Samsung Phone For 5 Software Patents

gwstuff Re:for the record (406 comments)

I disagree with your analogy in which you compare stealing a car with patent grabbing. The person stealing the car has no perceived threat from the car's owner. By stealing it, the only effect is his own gain. In the corporate world, everyone is perpetually under threat from everyone else.

This also makes up my response to your comment. Even if Apple were to have freed every one of their smartphone inventions, there would still be lawyers arguing that those inventions are not comprehensive, that their client has patents that fall between the gaps.

Under such attack, being able to dismiss the vast majority of your antagonist's lawsuits is not good enough - even one or two slipping through might cause a lot of damage. Having your own patents though with which you can fire back can provide enough of a disincentive. So the analogy here is a defense system vs having weapons of your own.

All this, of course, is just insane... Companies should compete by making good products and improving people's lives, not by throwing patent bombs at each other. But to return to the original point, you can't blame one company for doing it in a world in which everyone has the bomb.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Apple Loses Motion against Lodsys

gwstuff gwstuff writes  |  about 6 months ago

gwstuff (2067112) writes "In 2011, iOS developers everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when Apple sued Lodsys in response to the company's patent lawsuits against individual developers. Now seemingly well in time for Halloween, a Texas court has rejected Apple's motion presumably re-exposing devs to the front lines of the legal battle. Is it time for devs to suck it up and resign to the ugly one, or is there still hope that Martha Stewart will succeed where Apple failed and save the day? As a developer myself I find it bizarre and sad that a company can use the legal system to enforce patents that it itself does not use in any of its own products."
Link to Original Source
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Dotless domain names prohibited, ICANN tells Google

gwstuff gwstuff writes  |  about 8 months ago

gwstuff (2067112) writes "Last year, Google had filed applications for about 100 top level domains. These included .app, .cloud and .lol, but perhaps most prominently .search, which they had requested to operate as a "dotless" domain. Today, ICANN gave their verdict on the idea that would make this URL valid : NO. Here is the formal announcement from earlier today, and a related Slashdot story from last year.

So that's that. But it may still be granted the rights for remaining 100. Is prime .COM real estate going to become a thing of the past?"
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MIT researchers use Wifi to see through walls

gwstuff gwstuff writes  |  about 8 months ago

gwstuff (2067112) writes "In this year's ACM SIGCOMM conference two MIT researchers present a paper describing WiVi, a wireless technology that uses WiFi signals to detect and observe human movement through walls. From the paper, "In contrast to previous systems, which are targeted for the military, Wi-Vi enables small cheap see-through-wall devices that operate in the ISM band, rendering them feasible to the general public. Wi-Vi also establishes a communication channel between itself and a human behind a wall, allowing him/her to communicate directly with Wi-Vi without carrying any transmitting device." Other highlights from the conference include a slew of papers on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Larry Peterson's keynote acceptance of the SIGCOMM lifetime award, whose previous awardees include Bob Kahn, Jon Postel, and Van Jacobson."

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