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$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India

jma05 Re:1 Billion Mobile Users? (70 comments)

> I know several towns in Western Europe that used to share a single cell tower.

You are talking about having a single cell tower. The parent and I are talking about having a single shared cell phone for the entire village. It used to happen back in the land line era when a village might have had just one or two pay phones, but not now.

3 hours ago

$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India

jma05 Re:1 Billion Mobile Users? (70 comments)

> Some villages only have one cell phone that everyone shares

You don't seem to be talking from experience and seem to be simply conjecturing. I am in India. I have never heard of any village sharing just one cell phone. It is not even plausible. Now, it used to be, several decades ago, that there were just a handful of landlines per village. But a cell tower will not be setup unless the provider is sure that there is demand for enough to make an economic case. And there always is. Mobile phones are not expensive (but not cheaper than the cheap options in US). Mobile plans are however incredibly cheap compared to US. I know poor ($13 rent for a family of 4) families in India who have multiple mobile phones, one per working adult.

> So think of it as each person in India putting out $1100 for their phone

Poor people are not buying smartphones yet (its the lower middle class and up that is driving smart phones now). They still buy Nokia dumb phones and are now beginning to shift to cheap Android phones at $100. Firefox Phone helps by further lowering that barrier of entry. The minimum monthly talk refill plan I know is 30 *cents*... very cheap. You may not get many outgoing minutes, but you don't get charged for incoming calls, unlike US. So everyone in India who needs one, can afford a mobile phone plan.

$1100 for a phone is very expensive in India. I know several people who have them, but they are all rich. And it is often a status symbol rather than for an actual need.

> which they use in lieu of land line, TV and computer

No one in India uses a smart phone in lieu of a TV. Having cable TV (60-80 channels) in India is very cheap ($3 per month in poor neighborhoods). Indian mobile data plans start very cheap ($2) but are not robust enough to be used for routine video consumption yet. They won't be replacing TV anytime soon. Anyone who owns a $1100 mobile phone already has a pricey HDTV.

Mobile phones are also not replacing computers yet since most of the phone users, unlike US, were not computer users to begin with. People here use cheap service stations nearby, to pay bills online, where the operator sits in front of an online PC, accepts cash and pays bills for a few cents of service charge. This is much simpler for most people than using data plans and mobile web apps, for now. Around here (a small town), there is such a tiny store for every neighborhood and they provide small jobs that serve populace that is not yet computer savvy enough.

5 hours ago

NVIDIA Launches Tegra K1-Based SHIELD Tablet, Wireless Controller

jma05 Re:1920x1200 1920x1080 (42 comments)

Will Scarlett Johansson break my wrist otherwise?

about a month ago

Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

jma05 Re: "The real problem..." he explained (132 comments)

Well. I do write Python. I have seen no cause for hostility. I still write in Python 2.7 (there is no reason AFAIK to still use 2.5 or 2.6 other than just not bothering; 2.5 is just too old) but intend to switch whenever Linux distros make 3.x the default.

> "if you want to start a Python 3 fork, fine, but you'll get zero recognition or help from me"

That's pretty anecdotal. Here is something a bit more objective.
Of the 197 Python 2.7 packages from Anaconda distro, 141 are there in 3.x. So it is 71.5% there among the more common packages. At large, pypi shows 3.3 at 35% of 2.7 or 50% of 2.6.

about 2 months ago

Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

jma05 Re:Fourteen years? (132 comments)

More like the baby they had 14 years ago is starting to grow one.

Yes, I know the one about hackers and beards.

about 2 months ago

India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

jma05 Re:Great for India (85 comments)

True. Indian Internet is not great for heavy media usage. It is quite adequate for posting to "forums" the OP was talking about.

The broadband plans I have seen have x speed, a relatively low cap, but an unlimited x/2 speed hence after. Not too bad. The cheapest broadband I have seen is 1 mbps for $8, 20 GB cap, further usage is unlimited at 512 kbps. I don't recall what the more expensive plans offer. Low-cost, lower-tier alternatives are more important for India. India's primary concern ATM is access, not throughput. The speeds and caps are not show stoppers for most part. HD Video and game services like Steam (or even plain game consoles) won't take off in this environment, but everything else should be fine.

about 2 months ago

Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

jma05 Re:First "OMG the common sense" post (185 comments)

Your sig: "Eat Locals!" somehow does not go well with the case you just argued :-).

> I am sure if a common person used a database to collect information on the judge or the judge's family and then wrote a detailed plan of how the family was to be murdered, we would not be getting of with a simple misuse of private information.

Which is why the law will not allow that judge to take up that case because he will no longer be able to judge objectively. That argument... what if he did it to the judge?... is never a good argument.

about 2 months ago

India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

jma05 Re:Great for India (85 comments)

He is talking about states in India, not US.

about 2 months ago

India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

jma05 Re:Great for India (85 comments)

Jokes aside, many Indians just use laptops and 3G data cards which have quite cheap and affordable plans compared to US (start at $2 a month). So power cuts don't really effect computer use. If you are middle class in India, you probably might also have battery backup or a generator subscription for the house essentials.

about 2 months ago

India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

jma05 Re:Great for India (85 comments)

> A power grid that can't be kept up reliably? That's not something customers want to see when you're trying to convince them to let you launch multi-million dollar pieces of equipment up into space.

Wanna bet? Go to Indian forums and try to find people complaining that no space projects should go on until they get uninterrupted power supply.

Don't do space projects that get us (or help get in near future) profits in foreign exchange said no Indian ever.

about 2 months ago

Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

jma05 Re:In civilized countries... (169 comments)

Civilized countries are not necessarily the same as militarized countries, just as a civilized man is not the same as an armed-to-the-teeth man. We have our gentlemen and we have our soldiers.

about 2 months ago

Parents Mobilize Against States' Student Data Mining

jma05 Re:Lack of Trust (139 comments)

> Educational research is profoundly flawed, and often reflected the biases of the researchers.
> Most education are humanities people, without the decades of training in the scientific process and statistics.

That's not true. Every one with a PhD is expected to have statistical training. You don't need "decades" of training in stats. Most hard science PhDs don't have that. 4-5 grad courses will generally do. Research projects with any quantitative component will typically consult a statistician for at least a sanity check.

Scientific process differs from discipline to discipline. As for rigor, it is mostly dependent on subject issues. Rigor is hard in any discipline where human subjects are involved and where the research question involves multiple factors that cannot be easily controlled for (often for the lack of money, since very large samples will be required, if done by the book - so researchers settle for more humble expectations of clarity).

As you said it yourself, brain research is still not quite operational for everyday use. Isn't brain research (whatever you mean by that: neuro science, psychology, psychiatry?) a hard science? Even something as basic as nutrition science is pretty poor today for the basic questions we have for it. So why have great expectations over education research? Its just the nature of the problem domain.

about 3 months ago

In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

jma05 Re:If he is such a believer of constitution... (389 comments)

Snowden did not engage in civil disobedience in the vein of Gandhi/MLK/Thoreau. But that's fine. Civil disobedience is just one type of civil resistance. Civil disobedience only works against petty laws with limited punishment.

In this case, the legal consequences were dire. Can you name any act of civil disobedience (submitting oneself willingly to punishment as an act of disobedience) that carried the maximum possible punishment of death or life in prison? Gandhi, MLK and Thoreau broke laws where the punishment was just a few days/weeks/months. I am sure Snowden would gladly accept such a punishment if that was the choice, since the current alternative is to spend his whole life, in fear, in a foreign country.

What he did was different. He broke a law with dire repercussions in his attempt to expose constitutional violations. What you are suggesting is closer to telling the members of the White Rose Movement to willingly expose themselves to the law. Yes, I know: Godwin. A better US example would be demanding the FBI burglars to submit themselves to law. I happen to think the burglars did the right thing by not submitting themselves to the law then. Do you? How do you see Snowden as different from them?

Unlike the burglars, Snowden could not keep himself anonymous after the leak, since the NSA, unlike the case with the FBI burglary (since the burglars were completely unrelated to the FBI), would have quickly identified him. They sent someone to his house, almost immediately after the leak. So he had to run and go public. And if he ran to the only places that can resist US extradition, without going public as he did, he would have been easily labelled a spy. Going public made that charge not stick with most people. I believe that Snowden, once having chosen to expose the constitutional violations, had no real choices other than the ones he exercised.

about 3 months ago

Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

jma05 Re:A Formula only an Actuary could Love (422 comments)

True, but some unintentionally end up encouraging it and some discipline against it by design.
Its not the possibility that matters, but probability.

about 2 months ago

Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

jma05 Re:So what's the alternative? (422 comments)

The problem here (Piketty, as well as Reinhart and Rogoff) isn't simple, data-intensive apps (that would be a business app developer's problem, perhaps you are one). It's demonstrating an innovative, scientific analysis in an easy to review format. These economist papers aren't that data intensive... they usually have much less data than a typical business app.
(169K as uncompressed text)

Its the analysis that is the value here. The rather short, and a computationally non-intensive analysis in Reinhart and Rogoff paper triggered financial effects to the tune of probably trillions of dollars across Europe, some would argue prematurely.

The solution for this problem is a statistical package with a notebook presentation. The ideal case would probably be R with knitr. It allows one to combine snippets of code, with data, output and documentation to discuss the analysis & results in easy to understand chunks.

IPython notebook is also an excellent alternative.
Here is a demonstration of how Reinhart-Rogoff paper should have submitted the data.
I am sure, someone will do a Piketty one soon as well.

about 2 months ago

Linux Sucks (Video)

jma05 Re:Linux doesn't really have any advantages... (293 comments)

> Meh * 2

Those are your preferences. I have mine. But they are functional features nonetheless.

> you also get a bloated semantic desktop shoved down your throat for no good reason

As opposed to Windows (the post I am responding to) not having any features that I don't need?

> What makes you so sure?

It's not a question of being sure. I said *better* trust, not absolute trust, which does not exist.

about 3 months ago

Linux Sucks (Video)

jma05 Re:Linux doesn't really have any advantages... (293 comments)

Aside from the shell, these are the things I do get with Linux that I don't with Windows, out-of-the-box.

- Virtual desktops
- Compiz effects
- KDE Activities
- A package manager with a huge package repository
- All open source libraries that just compile and work. Mingw works, but doesn't quite cut it.
- No upgrade costs
- No need to pay for each and every machine/VM
- Better OS trust in a post-NSA world.
- Ability to run the latest OS that still receives updates on the weakest hardware (with IceWM).

What I do miss
- Speech Recognition
- Better Text to Speech

about 3 months ago

KDE Ships First Beta of Next Generation Plasma Workspace

jma05 Re: KDE 3 (94 comments)

> more awesome at what

Everything. But if I had to pick one feature, I would say Activities.
Apparently, they are not still that widely used. But they are the defining feature of KDE 4 and are quite impressive once you understand to exploit them (docs could be better).

> eye candy?

KDE 4 does not look good, out of the box (Gnome 3, Cinnamon, Pantheon are what I consider to be good looking DEs, out of the box). With a little tweaking though, it looks as good or better than all my (also tweaked) desktops.

Right now, I feel that KDE 4 is a potentially great looking desktop, that is the most functional and the most configurable of the lot - just like KDE 3 was in its day.

The earlier KDE 4 releases were not good. The recent KDE editions are excellent.

about 3 months ago

$200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

jma05 Re:This has little to do with copyright law (252 comments)

Same here. I had just one prof who used his own book in his course. He simply gave the draft doc file to the class and said that buying the book is optional. I went to his book signing. He said that these academic books were rarely worth the time costs (since they cater to niche fields and so few get sold) and that his friend who writes fiction makes waaay more. Writing a book to him was more of an honor and about cementing his prestige in the field.

Now, the publishers might be profiting; I doubt that the profs are... unless the book is widely used across the nation in some popular discipline, and is generally considered a classic textbook.

about 4 months ago

Opting Out of Big Data Snooping: Harder Than It Looks

jma05 Bad idea (248 comments)

> Periodically do searches for things you're not remotely interested in

Any attempt to fight an inexpensive algorithm, with expensive cognitive activity, especially when you have no feedback on how you are effecting the system, is a losing proposition. Fight automation with automation, or just don't bother.

> Clearly, the best path for people to take is to start feeding misinformation into the system.

These systems are probabilistic, not deterministic. So, they are pretty much built with the assumption that they won't be getting perfect data. Your occasional misdirections won't mean a thing. They will just go below the threshold of significance.

about 4 months ago



UN votes to protect privacy in digital age

jma05 jma05 writes  |  about 8 months ago

jma05 (897351) writes "The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a privacy resolution introduced by Brazil and Germany, against unlawful surveillance.

"The resolution affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy". Under pressure from US lobbying, the clause that mass surveillance constitutes a human rights violation was dropped earlier."

Link to Original Source

SCO Shares Plummet to 40 Cents

jma05 jma05 writes  |  about 7 years ago

jma05 (897351) writes "From the article — "SCO's stock dropped more than 70 percent in the days following the ruling. It traded at US$1.56 Friday and opened at $0.40 Tuesday morning". Is it time for de-listing SCO again? SCOX"


jma05 has no journal entries.

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