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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:Really? (126 comments)

At that high level, the line between corporations and the government becomes blurry, no matter which country you live in. Just look at Standard Oil, Boeing, Halliburton... The list goes on.

For sure, but are there differences in degree? For example, in Chinese dominated Singapore, the government is an explicit shareholder. I wonder if anyone has done a study of explicit ownership of stock by US companies --- e. g., does Haliburton own stock in Standard Oil?

about 2 months ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:Comparable? Not really. (126 comments)

The post discusses the nature of Chinese corporations, not the structure of this particular stock deal.

about 2 months ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:Comparable? Not really. (126 comments)

It's not the same thing as share of Apple at all.

The post discusses the nature of Chinese corporations, not the structure of this particular stock deal.

about 2 months ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:US investors don't have shares in Alibaba ... (126 comments)

I agree. Asking the question indicates ignorance of this arrangement.

I am asking about the nature of Chinese corporations, not the structure of this stock deal.

about 2 months ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:Style (126 comments)

You missed my point -- I was wondering if a US company is and sees itself as more isolated and independent of others than a typical Chinese company -- wondering about cultural differences, not about the Cayman Island structure of the offering.

about 3 months ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

lpress Re:Style (126 comments)

Are all Slashdot comments self-referencing?

about 3 months ago
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

lpress Re:Split up Google (99 comments)

What content does Google produce?

YouTube

about 6 months ago
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I Want a Kindle Killer

lpress Re:Dead wrong (321 comments)

Don't you think a good UI could keep those features out of sight for the reader who does not want them? The current typed note taking is "out of the way."

about 6 months ago
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I Want a Kindle Killer

lpress Re:It's a reader, not a writer (321 comments)

If everyone were as passive a reader as you are, the Kindle would not provide for marginal notes. Some of us are more active readers and would prefer better integrated note taking.

about 6 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:the phone is pure profit (206 comments)

90 000% profit

A few years ago, I did a similar back-of-the envelope calculation and concluded that if Apple charged as much per bit to download songs as telcos charged for text messages, a song would cost more than $5,000.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:I cut my cable bill by 100% (206 comments)

Based on the email address and the info on the blog, it puts you right in dense Los Angeles suburbia.

The email address is my school. I live in West Los Angeles, but in a house built in 1946 that is and pretty far from my C. O. That being said, they may be lying about the distance and old wires -- it may be that they have under-provisioned the C. O.or backhaul. I don't trust them any more than I trust TWC. It would be nice if there were some viable competition. Maybe Google Fiber some day -- LA is shopping around for a municipal network partner -- but even Google may become "Comcastic" at some point.

FttH

I agree 100%. You might even own the line coming to your house -- the way you own your water, gas pipes and sewer pipes.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:I cut my cable bill by 100% (206 comments)

Nope, you still get cable TV. At least the several places I've had TWC Internet in NY, I also got free(ish) basic cable. It's only ten or twelve channels, but it includes the major networks and the local news.

Right -- same in Los Angeles -- a bunch of local channels -- many foreign language. I even got a $5 gift card from TWC because they mistakenly (?) blocked the Super Bowl (which I watched anyhow using a rabbit ear antenna).

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:I cut my cable bill by 100% (206 comments)

Why didn't this guy cut his telephone service too?

I could not do that while in the store -- had to talk it over with my wife and may still do it. However, I wish I had tried it just to see if the rep could have found yet another promotion!

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:Common Knowledge (206 comments)

Can someone explain the Slashdot scoring algorithm to me? This egotistical boob is saying the same thing several others said and they got scores of "0." Why does this egotistical boob get a higher score than his/her predecessors?

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:Speaking of monopolies... Comcast (206 comments)

Good advice -- I am not sure what would have happened if I had just been on the phone. I will experiment next year -- they've got my interest now.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:It's all rigged. (206 comments)

Thanks for the inside story! Do the retention agents take your alternatives into account? If the girl had checked with Verizon and AT&T she would have seen that she had me.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:I cut my cable bill by 100% (206 comments)

On the phone -- I could not drop it on the spot without talking to my wife ... plus lazy inertia. But, I do have telephone alternatives, which is more than I can say for Internet connectivity.

Verizon DSL is another weird story. I was their customer many years ago, getting around 5 Mbps down on a plan that promised up to 7. One day, they throttled it down to 1.5. When I complained, they told me that at my location with my geriatric wiring, I could only get 1.5. They were not willing to un-throttle it in spite of the fact that I had been getting 5 Mbps the day before. That is the day I became a TWC customer.

I just rechecked my Verizon DSL availability. They say I can get "high speed Internet enhanced" -- 1.1-3.0 Mbps down and 384 Kbps up.

In general, many people are like me -- busy and lazy -- and it takes something big like Verizon throttling my DSL or hearing that I was paying $40 for phone service to get them to get our attention.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:the phone is pure profit (206 comments)

The only thing I can think of that is more pure profitable than telephone service is telephone company text messages.

about 10 months ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

lpress Re:I cut my cable bill by 100% (206 comments)

Read the post -- I'd dropped Cable TV long ago -- this was Internet and telephone only.

about 10 months ago
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New Unix Implementation Turns 30

lpress Earlier free software (290 comments)

Not to take away from GNU, but it was not the first freely exchanged open source software. In the batch processing days, every IBM branch office had a file cabinet full of shared software and organizations like SHARE did what the name suggests. Share was formed in 1955 and is still going.

about a year ago

Submissions

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A survey of RAND's contributions to computer science

lpress lpress writes  |  about three weeks ago

lpress (707742) writes "RAND Corporation was formed after World War II to do research and development for the Air Force. Perhaps the first "think tank," RAND was instrumental in many computer science developments. They did important early work on communication satellites, artificial intelligence and operations research and RAND's JOHNNIAC was one of the first stored program (Von Neumann architecture) research computers. IPL, the first list processing language, the SIMSCRIPT simulation programming language and JOSS, one of the first interactive time-sharing systems, were developed at RAND. The RAND tablet was the great grandfather of the iPad and its graphical input language (GRAIL) featured object-oriented drawing and character recognition. Paul Baran's work on the design and feasibility of large, distributed, packet-switched networks was RAND's most important theoretical work — leading to the ARPANET.

In 1957, RAND spun off its research division, creating the System Development Corporation (SDC) to build the SAGE air-defense system. SAGE was the first computer network and a huge project that trained most of the system programmers in the US. Those programmers invented many programming and project management techniques and went on to productive careers. SDC also developed the most advanced time-sharing and software development system of its time, which was used in dozens of man-machine research projects."
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Routers in orbit – can Elon Musk and Greg Tyler connect the other three bi

lpress lpress writes  |  about a month ago

lpress (707742) writes "In the early 1990s, cellular pioneer Craig McCaw, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal founded Teledesic with the intention of providing global Internet connectivity using low-earth orbit satellites. The satellite and launch technology were not good enough and the company failed. Today, entrepreneurs Elon Musk (launch technology) and Greg Wyler (satellite technology) are working on a constellation of 700 low-earth orbit satellites to provide Internet connectivity to rural areas and developing nations and Google has several related projects. Will they realize Teledesic's 1990 vision using 2020 technology?"
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Cuban and American collaboration -- against ebola and on the early Internet

lpress lpress writes  |  about a month and a half ago

lpress (707742) writes "Cuban doctors and nurses are working in ebola treatment units funded by the U. S, Agency for International Development and Sprint, a U.S. corporation subsidized by funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation, provided Cuba's first Internet link.

In the days of pre and early-Internet networking, Americans were welcome as visitors to Cuba's National Center of Automated Data Exchange, the organization responsible for Cuban networking at that time, and at Cuban computer science conferences. Cubans, Americans and others worked side by side in the Internet Society Developing Nation Workshops and Conferences. We were not politicians seeking power or representatives of corporations seeking monopoly profits, but technicians and others who believed that computer networks were fascinating and held great potential for improving the world."
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A review of CBS All Access online video streaming

lpress lpress writes  |  about a month and a half ago

lpress (707742) writes "I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies."
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Nobel laureate Jean Tirole has advice for Internet companies and regulators.

lpress lpress writes  |  about 2 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Companies like Apple and Google face complex pricing decisions since they are in "two-sided" markets and telecommunication policy makers need to find regulatory strategies that will incent network companies to invest, while keeping end user prices low. Tirole has advice for both. European regulators have heeded his advice, but not those of the US.

http://cis471.blogspot.com/201..."
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Annals of sleazy domain name squatting

lpress lpress writes  |  about 2 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "The domain name ebola.com is for sale. In the meantime, the folks who own it are redirecting to ebola.org, where you can read frightening articles and purchase BHT, a nutritional supplement that could help with ebola. I don't know which is more depressing — the fact that someone would try to exploit the ebola epidemic this way or that there are enough people who would pay for BHT to fend off ebola to make squatting on disease domain names a profitable business."
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There are now over 2,900 Cuban public interest blogs

lpress lpress writes  |  about 3 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Yoani Sánchez launched her blog, Generation Y, in April 2007. (Her first post contrasted the freedom Cuban's had to display posters saying “Go Santiago!” during baseball playoffs with their inability to display a poster saying “Internet for all!"). Today there are over 2,900 blogs dedicated to debate and discussion of issues related to the public interest in Cuba. It seems that, even in Cuba, Information wants to be free."
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Is Alibaba comparable to a US company?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 3 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Alibaba is this weeks hot news — they have had a lengthy PR campaign (preceded by a documentary film) followed by a record-setting stock offering. After a day of trading Alibaba's market capitalization was comparable to that of established tech giants.

But, there are cultural and structural differences between Alibaba and US companies. Alibaba is tightly woven into a complex fabric of personal, corporate and government organization relationships. The same can be said of information technology companies in Singapore. Is owning a share of, say, Apple, conceptually the same as owning a share of Alibaba?"
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A visit to podcast Mecca -- the TWiT Brickhouse studio

lpress lpress writes  |  about 4 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "I recently visited the TWiT studio in Petaluma, California and watched Leo Laporte broadcast an episode of Windows Weekly. The atmosphere is friendly and laid back, but the studio is hi-tech and the production highly professional. Leo is a podcasting Zen master. He multitasked during the entire podcast, yet remained mindful and focused on the on-air conversation. (He says he has ADD and that it helps him). I've posted pictures and a description of my visit here. If you are interested in podcasting and tech journalism, you will have a great time if you get a chance to visit the studio."
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NBC's Tour de France coverage -- three stars and five suggestions

lpress lpress writes  |  about 5 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "NBC covers major sporting events like the Olympics on line and this review looks at their coverage of the just-completed Tour de France bike race. At first, new media mimic old media and NBC's earlier attempts at covering live sporting events online was shaped by their traditional TV coverage — shoot video and insert commercials. This year, they have developed good ancillary data capability to go along with the video and dropped the commercials for a flat fee. Once they get the video and data synchronized and archived, and I can lean back and watch the video or lean forward and play with the data, I'll give them five stars."
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High school students are using online instruction sites on their own.

lpress lpress writes  |  about 5 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "UCLA conducts an annual survey of first-time, full-time college freshman and this year they included questions about the use of online education sites like Coursera and The Khan Academy. It turns out that over 40 percent of the incoming freshmen were frequently or occasionally assigned to use an online instructional website during the past year and nearly 70 percent had used online sites on their own. Students enrolling in historically black colleges were much more likely than others to have used online teaching material. They also compile a "habits of mind" index, and conclude that "Students who chose to independently use online instructional websites are also more likely to exhibit behaviors and traits associated with academic success and lifelong learning." The survey covers many other characteristics of incoming freshmen — you can download the full report here"
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My next desktop will be an LG Chromebox -- will yours?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 5 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "My primary computer is a laptop, but I've already abandoned my tablet for a chromebook (as has my ten-year old grandson) and my next desktop will be the recently announced LG Chromebase or someting similar (like a Chromebox with a nice keyboard and display). I've got three desktops at home — used for game playing, an occaisonal personal document or spreadsheet, email, surfing the Web and making Skype calls and Google Hangouts. For those applications, a Chromebase will be as fast as my desktops, boot way faster, be more reliable, and, most important, be locked down. (My grandchildren regularly download some cool-sounding program that turns out to be crapware or worse). Not convinced? What if Microsoft were to release a decent browser-based Office suite? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg each predicted that the time would come when browser-based applications would significantly displace installed prorams, but they disagreed on the timing. For LG and me the time is near."
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Why did Eric Schmidt (and Jared Cohen) go to Cuba?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 5 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Eric Schmidt traveled recently to Cuba, where he visited members of the Internet community, the University of Information Sciences and unspecified government officials. The object of the trip was to "promote a free and open Internet," a laudable goal, but might there have been a more substantive reason for visiting Cuba? Might the trip have been to feel out the possibility of a Google "moonshot" — providing Internet access to Cubans. Google is experimenting with extra-terrestrial connectivity and Cuba, which has very poor domestic backbone infrastructure, could afford to extend Internet connectivity via satellite. To pursue this "moonshot" Google would need the permission of both the US and Cuban governments — tougher obstacles than the technology. Maybe that is why Google's Director of Ideas, Jared Stone, came along. Before joining Google, he was a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and an advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton."
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Could Google provide Internet access in Cuba?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 6 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Eric Schmidt and other Google executives travelled to Cuba where they met with members of the Internet community and the government. Cuba has very little domestic backbone infrastructure, but they could afford to extend Internet connectivity via satellite. Google has a geosynchronous satellite project that could serve Cuba. Might Google be thinking about providing connectivity in Cuba? Doing so would require the approval of both governments. I believe that would be harder to sell in the US than Cuba, but Schmidt did say a number of the people he spoke with said "the eventual model of Cuba would be more like China or Vietnam than of Venezuela or Mexico." If those were government people, there may be some hope. (Raul Castro fought the Cuban Internet when Cuba first connected in 1996, but he and Cuba are changing)."
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Universities are failing at entry-level training - will industry take over?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 6 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "When I graduated from college, employers provided entry-level training. (IBM sent me for 8 weeks of training before starting to work). When companies began cutting back, that training role shifted to universities. That worked fairly well while tuition was low, but today many students go into debt and end up with dead-end jobs. We've seen a wave of innovation in online educational technology and pedagogy and companies like AT&T, IBM and Starbucks are investing in online education for entry-level and ongoing vocational training. Will industry take over vocational training again? If so, what will the consequences be?"
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Can Google connect the unconnected 2/3 to the Internet?

lpress lpress writes  |  about 6 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Google, along with Facebook, is a founding partner of Internet.org, which seeks "affordable internet access for the two thirds of the world not yet connected." Google is trying to pull it off — they have projects or companies working on Internet connectivity using high-altitude platforms and low and medium-earth orbit satellites. These extra-terrestrial approaches to connectivity have been tried before, without success, but Google is revisiting them using modern launch technology (public and private), antennas, solar power, radios and other electronics, as well as tuning of TCP/IP protocols to account for increased latency. For example, they just acquired Skybox Imaging, which has a low-earth orbit satellite for high resolution video imaging. In the short run, Skybox is about data, video and images, but the long range goal may be connectivity in developing nations and rural areas — substituting routers for telescopes. Skybox plans to operate a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites and that sounds a lot like Teledesic's attempt at providing connectivity in the mid 1990s, using the technology of 2014."
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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts opens his mouth and inserts his foot

lpress lpress writes  |  about 7 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "At a recent conference, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts rationalized charging Netflix to deliver content by comparing Comcast to the Post Office, saying that Netflix pays to mail DVDs to its customers but now expects to be able to deliver the same content over the internet for free. He forgot to mention that the Post Office does not charge recipients for those DVDs. The underlying issue in this debate is who will invest in the Internet infrastructure that we badly need? Comcast has a disincentive to invest because, if things bog down, people will blame content providers like Netflix and the ISP will be able to charge the content provider for adequate service. If ISPs have insufficient incentive to invest in infrastructure, who will? Google? Telephone companies? Government (at all levels)? Premises owners?"
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I want a Kindle Killer from Apple, Google or Microsoft

lpress lpress writes  |  about 7 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "Amazon's Kindle is a good e-reader and they've sold around 40 million units, but it is far from perfect. It could be significantly improved with speech recognition for commands and text entry, a well-designed database for marginal notes and annotations, and integration with laptop and desktop computers. Google, Apple and Microsoft all have device design and manufacturing experience as well as stores that sell books and other written material. A Kindle-killing e-reader would be low-hanging fruit for Apple, Google or Microsoft — think of the competition if they each built one!"
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BASIC and Computer Literacy Courses are 50 Years Old

lpress lpress writes  |  about 8 months ago

lpress (707742) writes "May 1 will mark the birth of the BASIC programming language. BASIC was developed by professors John Kemeney and Thomas Kurtz to support their pioneering computer literacy course at Dartmouth College. Developing BASIC was a key step toward achieving their broader goal — introducing all students, regardless of their major, to the skills and concepts they needed for success as students and after graduation as professionals and citizens. IT literacy courses are common today — the skills and many (not all) of the concepts have changed, but the goal remains the same. You can read more about BASIC and their computer literacy project here."

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