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I use a screen protector ...

mhocker Re:Never (194 comments)

+1 this.

I started my (pusher, Rotax 912) airplane engine, did a run-up (4000 rpm), taxied out, flew back and shut down.

Only then did I wonder where my fully glass fronted phone was. (I won't name the brand!)

Answer? On the table where I left it. Right behind said chaos that I had unleashed. Well, it wasn't exactly on the table, it was in the corner on the floor having been thrown around a lot. With everything else!

Undamaged, unhurt. Pretty darned impressive.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Near Deal For Radio Service

mhocker Re:It's not radio, it's a jukebox (143 comments)

That's a surprisingly good point about what makes good radio, and well taken. However, I'd like to offer a counterpoint, and a rebuttal. Ha, I said rebuttal.

What happens when the time of day is no longer important? The Internet is global. I'm someone who goes between GMT-8 and GMT+1 on a regular basis. That's 9 hours of difference. Should we all keep zulu time for our playlists?

And what if we don't want to hear the "segues" and actually just listen to the music? My understanding is that commercial radio requires the chit-chat so that people can't just record the music. I've always resented it and it is a big part of the reason I don't listen to broadcast radio.

Finally, about "spontaneity". Again going on my unlikely-to-be-exactly-correct understanding, but isn't commercial radio the exact opposite of spontaneous?

Personally, I don't care about who brings it to me, but since I've left university, I really appreciate services that let me try and then buy (or not - I'm a paid monthly streaming subscriber) rather than being out of the economy entirely. I spent more last year in my streaming subscription than I had in the previous 5 years on CDs.

Maybe this type of service isn't so bad after all.

Just my opinion.

about 2 years ago

Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

mhocker Panama has already minted $1 USD coins (943 comments)

A little background first: Panama uses the US Dollar but calls it the "Balboa". 1 Balboa = 1 Dollar and they look exactly the same because they are actually US dollar bills. Doing this has given Panama an economic stability unheard of in Latin America and contributes to the consistent annual 9% economic growth that the country enjoys, all while keeping inflation low.

A couple of years ago, Panama started to mint their own $1 coins. See here: http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_17/issue_02/economy_12.html. Now granted, they can't be used outside Panama and were actually minted in Canada, but the "Martinellis" as the Panamanians call the coins, named after the president, have some significant advantages over dollar bills:

- In a country where dollar bills do not get replaced frequently and are usually filthy, Martinellis are clean and durable.
- $1 in Panama can get a lot done for you: groceries bagged and carried to your car, a parking space from a "bien cuidado", and two of them will get you a taxi ride in the city. So dropping one or two coins is a convenient way to pay.
- Martinellis represent money that stays inside Panama and can only be used to pay for goods in Panama, thus reducing capital outflow (but of course, not by much as there aren't that many in circulation)

However, this money is minted independently of the US, so it actually represents Panama's own currency. I'm not sure if this is good or bad though.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Releases iOS 6 Beta 3 For Developers

mhocker Yes there are release notes (145 comments)

... you just have to be a developer under NDA to read them. There are lots of changes and improvements but it's still beta software.

more than 2 years ago

RIM CEO On What Went Wrong

mhocker Re:RIM, you're not paying attention (299 comments)

There is a company that already does exactly this - Good Technology. I investigated using it for our company and it seems to offer exactly what we would need to replace Blackberries with iPhones. But there are some problems that are preventing us from switching:

1. PIN to PIN messages. Unbelievably, these insecure messages are very popular with some users. No other platform supports them because they are the native protocol of the Blackberry.
2. BBM. WhatsApp is a good alternative but you have to convinced all your contacts to get it.
3. No integration of Good with the rest of iOS. So no Siri, calendar integration, etc. It lives in its own little box. Really not ideal.

So between the network effect (1,2) and lack of integration (3) some customers are not yet switching.

more than 2 years ago

American Cellular Companies Clamor For Fresh Spectrum

mhocker Smaller, Denser Cells? (103 comments)

Is it not possible to make the cell sites closer together? Or would this require actual capital investment on the side of the carriers?

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft 'Hut' Opens Outside Seattle Apple Store

mhocker Sounds convenient to me (262 comments)

I can pick up my new 27" iMac at the Apple store and go get a copy of Windows to run on Boot Camp or VMWare, all without leaving the mall. I think Microsoft has this all figured out!

more than 3 years ago

US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth

mhocker Wouldn't this actually INCREASE bandwidth usage? (164 comments)

My first thought about what it would be like to be a user in this situation is that, upon seeing the "site blocked" message, I would simply go hunting around for a similar site - maybe MSNBC instead of CNN for example. It's the content I'm looking for after all - news in this case - that matters. I might have to Google around a bit to find that content of course and try a few alternative sites. So wouldn't this approach actually increase the bandwidth usage? As noble as the cause is, this approach doesn't seem very effective to me.

more than 3 years ago



In Space, Cambridge Will See If Someone Can Hear You Scream

mhocker mhocker writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mhocker (607466) writes "Science is all about testing theories to validate them and students at Cambridge University are doing exactly that with a long-held theory that "In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_(film). The team from the Cambridge University Spaceflight (CUSF) society are launching a smartphone into orbit that will play videos of members of the public screaming in a variety of ways. As the videos are played, the team hope to find the answer to the question of whether or not anyone can hear you scream in space. More here: http://www.screaminspace.com./"
Link to Original Source

mhocker mhocker writes  |  more than 8 years ago

mhocker writes "Is it just me, or has the level of moderation on Slashdot started dropping precipitously? Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that the usual ratio of postings modded over 3 has dropped to below 10% of all postings, when before it would be 25-50%. More worrisome, the postings that make it above 3 are often "funny", adding little to the discussion level. What could be causing this?"


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