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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

jeffmeden Re:The memo you are about to see (145 comments)

Why would that be better?

Bahahaha. Satire much?

But seriously, lots of large companies don't think employees need mobile devices in the first place but employees who feel pressured to be high value contributors will do it anyway because they feel it gives them a leg up on the other employees. Paying 1,000 more phone bills isn't a tempting proposition for most large orgs, so there will be fallout from this.

5 hours ago
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

jeffmeden Re:The memo you are about to see (145 comments)

I can't remember the last time I saw a payphone in the wild.

The ghetto. Seriously, you know when you are in a bad neighborhood when you see a payphone. Probably explains why so many people say things like "gee all the payphones are gone!" thanks to their relatively privileged existence. I'm not judging, but that's how the class system in the USA works.

6 hours ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

jeffmeden Re:That's it? (403 comments)

Even worse, how is the money distributed? Who determines the "worth" of a web site or other online resource, and then allocates them their cut?

The current free-market system with sites supported by ads isn't perfect, but it's like democracy - Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

One can imagine (but probably not implement) a system where an ISP would maintain a "client access system" that signaled to compatible web sites that the user was willing to pay for content services. The signal would provide how much the user is willing to pay (to allow for ISPs to maintain different tiers) and the web site would, in return, defer ads and other annoyances for users who were willing to pay enough. Leave it up to the sites to say how much that threshold is, and leave it up to the ISPs to set the tiers and track the usage (like they dont do these two things already?) and lastly, divvy up the money. The free market still has a say in what sites are visited and what users are willing to pay.

But then the problems roll in: malware that forces site usage in the background. Sites that take your money but don't give a higher quality of service... And last but probably not least: users who have no idea how a system this convoluted works at all, and make very poor spending decisions with their capital.

6 hours ago
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

jeffmeden The memo you are about to see (145 comments)

"From now on you are NOT to use your personal cellphones or other mobile devices for any work purposes. You will not be reimbursed. Use a payphone instead, and present all receipts to accounting for prompt reimbursement. Thank you for your help as we prioritize our cost metrics and structure our teamgroups toward innovative human-centered investment"

7 hours ago
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No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

jeffmeden Re:Actually... (120 comments)

If a doctor recommended surgery, and the mortality rate was 1 in 4000, I'd make damn sure the benefits outweighed the risk. And I'd update my will.

Boy are you in for a rude shock. Even a common place apendectomy has a mortality rate of about 2% last time I checked.

Have fun never having surgery for anything!!

You think the odds of surviving the appendectomy are low? Try surviving without one...

3 days ago
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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

jeffmeden Re:What kind of fish? (180 comments)

Yeah, except the one guy who was paid to read the summary didn't.

What better way to have truly objective reporting, than editors who have no idea what's even in the story before they greenlight it! It's the ultimate in fair and balanced journalism.

3 days ago
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Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

jeffmeden Re:$200MM (107 comments)

My balls it is. The only place I've ever seen it as such is on slashdot, and here twice.

Want to see it in action? Look no further than the home page of the world's sixth largest bank:
https://locator.chase.com/

Hover over "Business" and "Commercial" and you will note that their definition of those two classes relies on the MM suffix. I don't blame you for never having even imagined a context where millions of dollars was relevant, but you will find that it's a big world out there.

about a week ago
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Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

jeffmeden Re:Let developers respond to a review ... (249 comments)

Moderation would work better if you could hear both sides. Let developers respond to a review like on Google Play.

Many people seem to use reviews as an alternative to contacting customer support. For legit problems there is some fairness in doing so. However there are times when a user is confused and the develop has no way to contact that user. It would also be useful for developers to respond indicating when a real problem is fixed.

Letting the developers worry about it seems like the only fair solution. Should there really be a market for apps that recreate other apps just a tiny bit better/shinier? If an app is really noteworthy, some venue outside the app store (blogs, tech news outlets, etc) will take notice and promote it.

about a week ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

jeffmeden Re:Bullshit (453 comments)

Its not worse now than it's ever been in the past. Get the fuck over it

Everyone is waiting for this to be "Solved" just like 13 years ago, they were waiting for spam to be "solved" as the ratio of junk email to desirable email kept going up and up and up. Well, put everyone (just about) on the same email platform and presto, you have no more spam! A solution like that for trolling is perhaps forthcoming, but still a ways off. That doesn't stop people from sitting on their hands and wishing for it, though.

about a week ago
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How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier

jeffmeden Re:Huh (213 comments)

http://thebulletin.org/making-viruses-lab-deadlier-and-more-able-spread-accident-waiting-happen7374

Reading comprehension is such a lost art these days. It was the H1N1 virus that caused the pandemic, which the Chinese scientists used in their research; not the results of the Chinese research that caused the pandemic.

From the cited article:

a team of Chinese scientists to create a hybrid viral strain between the H5N1 avian influenza virus and the H1N1 human flu virus that triggered a pandemic in 2009 and claimed several thousand lives.

For those challenged individuals, this sentence fragment should be parsed as:

(a team of Chinese scientists) ... (create a hybrid viral strain) (BETWEEN) (the H5N1 avian influenza virus) AND (the H1N1 human flu virus that triggered a pandemic in 2009 and claimed several thousand lives).

There aren't enough modpoints, they should just let you edit TFS. Good thing the Slashdot moderators fact checked that juicy little detail. Apparently "Lasrick (2629253)" is beyond reproach.

about a week ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

jeffmeden Re:I don't get it (220 comments)

Modern phones are extremely durable.

I used to think so, and then I started paying attention to the screens of those around me while traveling (airports should be renamed for the most common activity there... "stareatyourphonefor90minutesports") and it's appalling. Among those aged 16-24 (guessing) I counted 2/3 of them have phones with shattered screens. Not just a hairline crack or two, I mean a huge bulls-eye shatter covering most of the face, observable from a good 20 feet away. And they text and twitter and snapchat like it's not even there. Modern phones are indeed durable, if only for their ability to keep all those glass pieces together and somehow not cut up the fingers of the operator. Amazing, really.

about a week ago
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Sniffing Out Billions In US Currency Smuggled Across the Border To Mexico

jeffmeden Re:Sniffs out.. (158 comments)

... the traces of cocaine that can be found on every single U.S. treasury note.

Presumably the cocaine traces are thanks to this exact smuggling operation; someone gets clean money from their bank, buys some coke, the bill gets handed up and up and up the drug hierarchy and ends up in Mexico to be used mostly to pay gun runners for premium US goods, which then ends up back in circulation in the US. I wonder if they could not only find the money but deduce what kind of drug ring is behind it...

about two weeks ago
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Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

jeffmeden Re:Semicolon (275 comments)

Last sentence. Semicolon, not comma.

hooked on semicolons; semicolon addict!

about two weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

jeffmeden Re:Most of us have some weakness (267 comments)

If you passed the standard screening test in school, you probably thought you were perfect in this regard. Actually, most of us have some weakness and there are tests for that. Try this one. It was rather tedious for me; one of the hardest perceptual tests I've taken. You need patience, so set aside some time. I got a TES (Total Error Score) of 12. YMMV because of monitor quality and other factors. The official version of this test uses actual physical tiles, and specifies what kind of lighting to use in the room.

Good news, everyone! The results of the color blindness test are in, and we also have a new policy regarding who is no longer allowed to change the tail lights on the ship...

about two weeks ago
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Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

jeffmeden Re: Other explanations (72 comments)

I've found that MANY hotels (as of two years ago anyway) seem to only have a t-1 line (symmetrical 1.x mbps at 4am being my best speed tests).

Many hotels (or at least the company they pay to manage their network, like Windstream) have at least a slight sense of service management, and cap single hosts to about a T1 worth at any given time. These days a 1.44Mbit downstream would be crushed after 2 users tried to get on Youtube at the same time.

about two weeks ago
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Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

jeffmeden Re: How much is due to Congestion (72 comments)

I've found this matches my experience flying too.

Southwest charges very little, and it's not even worth it. But us air charges 2-3x as much and is a decent value ($4/hour about on a cross country flight).

Its a joke on Southwest because they are busy piping DirecTV to all the passengers (as a paid advertisement for DirecTV service) so even if the backhaul isn't saturated, you will have to fight for bandwidth on the WLAN.

about two weeks ago
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With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

jeffmeden Re:Panama Canal took 33 years, 4 countries (322 comments)

France, US, Columbia, and Panama. Jungle diseases of workers was a huge problem at beginning.

What they dug the panama canal with:
http://www.corbisimages.com/im...

Modern version:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

See your mistake?

WTF? They dug the canal with rigs like this (posted in anther reply): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

And to be true, the current equivalent is this beast: http://ritchiespecs.com/specif...

A pretty stark comparison but the Panama canal was not dug (the bulk of it anyway) by hand.

about two weeks ago
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Open Source Pioneer Michael Tiemann On Open Source Business Success

jeffmeden Re:Still a hurtle (41 comments)

The unspoken assumption behind your comment (and much else on the page) is that it's important for 'open source' to be accepted by big business.

Why?

Because some things (for this thesis let's say it's a crypto algorithm) work much better when they are visible to all parties, and those with a vested interest commit themselves via development time instead of cash. If you need a good crypto algorithm and you pay a closed source company for it, either you or the company you paid had better employ an army of mathematicians in order to validate that the process is secure, otherwise it could have (probably does have) a flaw just waiting to be exploited. Your investment, as a business, can only go so far. With an open source solution, everyone can see the algorithm and offer their input on its efficacy.

Open Source is the ultimate economy of scale in the information business (driving cost per unit down while selling/utilizing more) so every business with even a modest investment in software should care. There are plenty of ways to innovate in closed ways (at least, ways proprietary to your company) while taking advantage of open source technologies. The problem (to expand on the original summary) is that most uninformed decision makers jump to the conclusion that if the software was developed for nothing, it's worth nothing and furthermore that anything they do with it will be worth nothing because their innovations will somehow get gobbled up by the open source monster, too. For someone who doesn't really add anything (companies trying to get by in niches, strongarming markets, exploiting cronyism, etc) there is plenty to fear. Meanwhile Google, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Cisco, etc would casually disagree (and gladly sell you some open source software).

about two weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

jeffmeden Re:Where are the buggy whip dealers? (544 comments)

The old Henry Ford saying goes (not that he necessarily said it) "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".

Of course faster horses weren't an option. And what were the early cars, other than bare-bones "horseless carriages"? It's not as if the Model-T was a Ferrari in an age of wagons.

Consumers almost always choose "cheaper" when the price is significant. Designing the cheapest possible car, within the confines of the engineering of the day, seems like an obvious choice, and basically what they did.

That's based on the premise that the model T was less expensive than a horse (even after a few years of TCO) yet, they weren't... Consumers could have kept using horses, but chose to switch to cars in huge numbers because of other advantages (they could do things like travel farther distances, ignore daily maintenance, etc) that were not really obvious at the time. Sure, it's easy to look back and say "of course the car was popular, its *the car*" but that was not a sure statement in 1908, otherwise Ford wouldn't have been the only one in the USA doing it so cheaply/successfully for the better part of 10 years.

about three weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

jeffmeden Re:Where are the buggy whip dealers? (544 comments)

What specifically do you think was the "wrong question" and what do you think would be a "right question"?

To be true the issue is that they were inadequately specific questions and of an inadequate variety for regression, on top of a heaping dose of selection bias. Since you didn't post the questions, only the answers, I will go ahead and Jeopardy! it... "What is your Age?", "what is your gender?", "do you prefer slide-keyboards or virtual keyboards?", "essay portion worth 2/3 of your final grade".

Then there's the premise in your comment that the survey was "seeking out respondents who had used both a phone with a slideout keyboard and a phone with a virtual keyboard" which tells me that your survey may very well have gone in front of 10,000 respondents and found the 49 that even knew what a slideout keyboard was, skipping past the 9,951 that had never used one and were quite happy with their virtual keyboards. This is a bit of selection bias which will skew your statistics to the point of worthlessness.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Motorola sticks to guns on locking down Android

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes ""These aren't the droids you're looking for" proclaims Motorola, maker of the popular Android smartphones such as the Droid 2 and Droid X. At least, not if you have any intention of loading a customized operating system, according to Motorola's own Youtube channel used to show off upcoming products. Motorola:"@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we'll continue with our strategy that is working thanks." The strategy they are referring to is a feature Motorola pioneered called "e-fuse", the ability for the phone's CPU to stop working if it detects unauthorized software running. More information available via a story at Android blog site AndroidCentral"
Link to Original Source
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Hosting Provider The Planet offers 500 free hosts

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "The folks over at The Planet are into recycling, but are giving it quite a twist by putting 500 retired servers back into use for the first 500 developers to come to them with a worthy idea. A nice server and 10mbit of bandwidth are up for grabs, apparently perpetually (or at least, we would hope, until the idea starts turning a profit). Data Center Knowledge describes it this way: "The program, known as Sand Castle, was conceived by Chairman and CEO Doug Erwin of The Planet. The company has a stockpile of recycled servers that are no longer being used by its dedicated and managed hosting customers, but still have useful life." Additional info available directly from The Planet."
Link to Original Source
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Smartphones receive holy blessing

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "Plow Monday is normally for blessing laborers and their tools; as the name suggests it is aimed at those that work the land. A church service in London, England Monday decided to go after a more modern audience: office workers and their modern communication gadgets. From the Times article: "The congregation at St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London raised their mobiles and iPods above their heads and Canon Parrott raised his voice to the heavens to address the Lord God of all Creation. 'May our tongues be gentle, our e-mails be simple and our websites be accessible,' he said.""
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft order to pay $388 million in patent case

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "BusinessWeek reports today that Microsoft suffered a loss in federal court Monday. The judge rendering the verdict ordered Microsoft to pay $388 Million in damages for violating a patent held by Uniloc, a California maker of software that prevents people from illegally installing software on multiple computers. Uniloc claims Microsoft's Windows XP and some Office programs infringe on a related patent they hold. It's hard to take sides on this one but one thing is certain, should the verdict hold up it will be heavily ironic if the extra copies of XP and Office sold due to crafty copy protection end up not being worth $388 million."
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AMD semiconductor sales fell 22% for 2007

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "TGDaily is reporting that the new numbers from the semiconductor industry are in, and AMD has dropped 22% in sales for 2007, ranking them #11 worldwide. This is likely the result of a major push by competitor and #1 ranked semiconductor supplier Intel, which has been aggressively producing dual and quad core chips. This is a major turnaround for AMD, who up until now had been making steady progress in winning market share away from Intel."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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-1 overrated

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Last week a few of my extremely accurate and well on-topic posts relating to the X-box got moderated, from the 1 which i post at, to 0, due to a -1 overrated. What tool motherfucker mods a comment at 1 'overrated'??? for extremely valid posts??? if you have something against me you better say it, hiding behind mod points will get you nowhere (i can post way more than you can mod, i guarantee). that's all.

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