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Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

rsborg Re:Wonder if their time hasn't already passed... (159 comments)

In the case of a general social networking tool, there kinda can be only one.

You're again... making assumptions. What precludes Ello from occupying a target niche of social networking? Have you not heard of LinkedIn? Did Stackoverflow *have* to beat out Yahoo Answers in order to gain traction and meet it's need?

It's a massive simplification to assume that a dominant player in a space where network effects reinforce their position is unassailable. How do you think Google and Apple were able to make any inroads against the Windows ecosystem? By addressing an area where Microsoft simply could not compete (mobile). Facebook likewise simply *cannot* compete where strong privacy is a key requirement. Their entire business model goes against it (similarly Google to an extent). Diaspora was a failure simply because people don't want to self-host, though technically their proposal had merit. Also 10 years ago, Friendster and MySpace were dominant - where are they now? Not to say that Facebook is doomed, more to say the market can and will evolve.

What is more interesting than competing with Facebook, IMHO, is to assail the entire concept that personal (sometimes PII) user data is a business asset that should always be sold, licensed or exploited. Legally preventing themselves from profiting from that data poses a very interesting business limitation and a possible template for others to copy - sometimes you gain more by leaving something on the table.

8 hours ago
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Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

rsborg Re:Wonder if their time hasn't already passed... (159 comments)

It's already started... Ello has failed to learn the lesson of G+ and odds are, it will suffer the same fate. Gatekeeping at launch is just shooting yourself in the foot - people want to try your system, and if you lock them out... they aren't coming back

There are scalability issues that need to be addressed. It's simply impossible without an incredible risk and cost, to have the same scale as an established competitor, so gate-keeping is one option.

but as a Facebook killer, or even serious competitor, it's already dead.

Why does everything have to kill what's already there? Did Ello ever claim to be such? Talk about a strawman.

13 hours ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

rsborg Re:"The Right Choice"? (369 comments)

I built my current desktop last year, and it's the first machine I built with no floppy drive. But I darn well still have a CD/DVD reader/writer, which is useful periodically. Do I use it everyday? No. Could I get along without it? Yeah. But once every few months I have a task where it's still a useful thing to have around.

Yeah, I stressed hard about my new MacbookPro Retina not having an optical drive... for about the 5 minutes it took for me to order an external USB3 DVD drive online. Oh, then I also remembered that I removed my previous Macbook's DVD drive and replaced it with a 2nd SSD, and hadn't missed it at all during the 3 years it did me proud. Plenty of choice - just not dumbass ones like having optical disk on a portable computer (or even a desktop) anymore, when you can get it with a $40 extension module for those one-off times.

4 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

rsborg School != Parents, in any way shape or form (323 comments)

While the kid is at school, the school is the parents for the child, legally.

This is not true, at least where I live (California). They have to get permission for the smallest thing. I have to jump through hoops to get my daughter's inhaler stored at the Nurse's office (doctors letter, signed, verified) just because she could become asthmatic when heavily exercising. They have to get all sorts permission just to share the kids personal information with the doctor. They need parental consent forms for field trips... the list goes on and on.

School most definitely doesn't have anything near limited power of attorney, much less full parental discretionary powers.

about a week ago
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"Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

rsborg Going out of business sale (259 comments)

> "For existing companies, there will be provision for a transition period until the end of 2020

Why? Isn't that just leaving the loophole open but closing?

Also known in consumer circles as creating a sense of urgency. I mean, you have a few short months in order to setup your new company such that you can take advantage of the double Irish, or you'll be playing against an unlevel field for the next 5 years.

Talk about land rush.

about two weeks ago
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Google Threatened With $100M Lawsuit Over Nude Celebrity Photos

rsborg Who has opt-out 2-factor auth? (225 comments)

There's the second issue that Apple's two factor is opt in, with very likely a low take up rate

For basic accounts, please name a major cloud provider that has 2-factor auth as default. Google definitely doesn't, and neither do Facebook, Microsoft, or Amazon.

2-factor auth is simply a pain in the ass - especially for the non-digerati out there.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

rsborg Re:T-Mobile (209 comments)

There's no downside to T-Mobile. There's no contract, no overage fees, no nonsense. If they have LTE coverage in your city, check them out.

I second this. I also benefited from only paying $40 for using my phone as normal while traveling in France - making calls to the US, making calls to my relatives - for 2 1/2 weeks - and the bill was only $40 more... oh and that's for both me and my wife.

Also I don't have bill anxiety anymore - with AT&T and Verizon, every month I was checking my bill to see if my wife's data quota went over (she refused to pay for 2-3GB, and insisted on the 250MB plan) or if one of my calls went over my monthly quota or if my wife accidentally called her mom's mobile number instead of her home number in France (big rate difference).

Now I pay +$15/mo per line and can call mobile numbers in Europe for free. No worrying about anything. My bill has been constant for the past year and much less than we were paying with either AT&T or Verizon (oh, and we have 3 more lines for relatives on the bill too).

T-mobile has disrupted mobile carriers like Google disrupted webmail in 2004 with GMail.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

rsborg T-Mobile (209 comments)

You could definitely get cheaper UNLIMITED DATA elsewhere. But would you be happy with the COVERAGE? At some point you may want new EQUIPMENT, to which Verizon will tell you that your new phone isn't compatible with the "grandfathered" rate plans. The real questions to ask are "am I happy with the coverage" and "Will I be happy with this phone forever?" If the unlimited data works for you now, keep it for now. But at some point, you'll be forced to make a decision. All the other arguments about "unlimited" data are irrelevant. There are much better UNLIMITED deals elsewhere for the money.

I have gotten comments and run into situations where my T-mobile data and voice coverage in major metropolitan areas are better than Verizon. If you're in a big city or dense areas, it's not clear to me that Verizon is better. T-mobile has also been looking to improve their non-metro coverage [1]. And they've purchased 700Mhz spectrum from Verizon also good for non-dense coverage [2]. Finally, T-mobile "uncarrier" push is constantly striving to improve customer features and services. They are setting the pace with which other carriers follow.

I currently very rarely go outside of big metros so T-Mobile is a great choice for me - and I've had HD Voice for the past year and absolutely love it. Welcome to the club, ATT/VZ - glad you are finally rolling that out.

There is at least one carrier making it their focus to improve their coverage both voice and data significantly over the past 2 years, and T-mobile is definitely on that list.

[1] http://www.fiercewireless.com/...
[2] http://www.telecompetitor.com/...

about three weeks ago
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LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

rsborg Forget ads, what about security implications (153 comments)

So this is in effect, a way of bypassing the carriers? If not, then would we need to have Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-mobile branded LTE-Direct spots?

I sure see this as a way for warehouse-like stores like Ikea and Costco to offer cell services and have a captive portal for web users (and potentially voice users as well - ugh).

But what is preventing a rogue actor from setting up their own LTE direct hotspots and MITM-ing a large group's entire communications? Especially if said actor were doing so with tacit approval from the carriers?

about three weeks ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

rsborg Re:How does the quote go...? (267 comments)

Only a grade A moron arrives in America and says to himself "I have arrived in India!".

Is it really the case, or was this justification for conquest of the new world - I don't think the business world has changed significantly in the past few centuries - we put a new name on some business model, but the underlying goals and direction is the same.

In this case, I can clearly see it as "something to tell the people and our competitors" - if the mission fails, no hint is left that it is the "new world" that was failed, only what others have failed at before (ie, faster route to India). If the mission succeeds... well, again we want exclusive access the plunder and possibilities.

about three weeks ago
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

rsborg Re:The "old boys' club" (335 comments)

The law says that a dealer in Iowa can't be the manufacturer. The federal law (should trump Iowa law) says that states can't restrict interstate commerce.

This isn't interstate commerce though.

Iowa says it's illegal for a Californian company to sell to an Iowan buyer. Iowa is violating US law to block these drives and sales.

No, the law says t's illegal for a Californian company to sell to an Iowan buyer _in_Iowa_. ...

Are you sure you understand the interstate commerce? What you're describing sounds exactly like interstate commerce. Are you saying that Iowa could prevent a California-based internet company from selling products over the internet to be delivered in Iowa?

about three weeks ago
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Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

rsborg Re:Laser? Try Gummy Bears (70 comments)

About 10 years ago...

Clearly technology in fingerprint scanners could never have improved since then.

about 1 month ago
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Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

rsborg Re:Law Enforcement (70 comments)

This will likely make life even easier for law enforcement as they can easily get the owner's fingerprints to unlock the device as opposed to a password which requires cooperation from the suspect (or a back door or password cracker).

Exactly - those prints they have on file for you from many years ago should perfectly translate into TouchID-compliant proofs. They likely already stocked up on latex milk and the various things that CCC used.

about 1 month ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

rsborg Wifi Sense sounds cool (545 comments)

Basically sounds like the OSX keychain, but using your name/credentials/etc to login to public wifi spots automatically - I wonder what kind of coverage they'll have?

Other than that, though - seems like they're de-mobilifying the desktop OS part. Such a waste of money, attention and marketshare - all because Steve wanted to be more like the other Steve.

about a month ago
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A 16-Year-Old Builds a Device To Convert Breath Into Speech

rsborg Re:IP Stolen (67 comments)

I don't think morse code practical in this case, unless the "speaker" wants to communicate in short words and sentences. Verbal English can consume 2-3 letters at a time, whereas morse code can require up to 3-5 dots/dashes per letter. It's a very slow medium. For example, just saying "No" requires 4 dashes and 1 dot; "yes" requires 3 dashes and 5 dots.

What would you recommend? Morse is well understood and standardized in many contexts like HAM radio. Perhaps an adapter that can the breaths and turn them into phonemes that then get converted into text? A cloud NLP application tying into such a device (simple as querying Google with the output and seeing what it suggests) could result in some very useful (and maybe even tailored) responses.

Just wondering, though, how would backspaces be handled...

about a month ago
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Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

rsborg And this is why Open Source is goodness (129 comments)

Plenty of time to switch to Firefox. Probably they'll keep offering 32-bit for a while yet, and when they stop a third-party project will come along that will, a la TenFourFox.

All hail open source - Chrome is not (completely) open source, Firefox is. Google doesn't want or care if you want 64bit (or don't want it).

about a month ago
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Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

rsborg TV used to be a social medium (108 comments)

I posit that the rise of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and the like allowed people to share and discuss about things they actually care about, rather than TV shows or even movies. Hell, I spend more time on /. than watching TV - and I'm increasingly feeling like most of my family is the same (not on /., but you get the picture).

For those who still watch TV, TiVo and Netflix have set the standards too high for many to really give a crap about last century's TV model anymore.

about a month and a half ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

rsborg So could this mean EULAs are reined in? (275 comments)

This law applies specifically to consumer goods. How many consumer goods require an NDA to purchase?

Many EULAs contain something that is NDA-like.

Some consumer products even forbid you from publishing performance metrics or the results of comparative performance testing.... if I recall correctly, VMware used to be known for this, specifically.

Maybe this law has *good* unintended consequences?

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

rsborg Re:Scan here for a free 'whatever' sucker. (730 comments)

Wasn't the fingerprint scan cracked 45min after it was released last announcement? Is that ample evidence of foolproof authentication?

How feasible was the CCC method of cracking? Has it been reproduced? What was the time investment to perform the cracking - I remember them using a 2400 dpi scanner and latex milk.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

rsborg Re:One day battery life in Apple Watch too? (730 comments)

I would settle for 3 days

I think this is just the 80/20 split. Almost everybody goes home and sleeps almost every night. For the vast majority of cases, taking your watch off to charge it once every three days is no better than taking your watch off to charge it every night. And the tradeoff to get to three days is either a) a battery three times larger, b) a watch that is three times more power efficient, or c) lesser capability. A three day battery life isn't worth the sacrifices you'd have to make to get it.

I don't want to charge a watch every night!!

Why? What's so much better about taking your watch off every three nights instead of every night?

Actually, something that you don't do every day (at the same time) you won't build a habit around. I kept forgetting to charge my Pebble and so didn't use it much for the first few months (well, to be honest, not really until iOS7 and better notification support) - one of the big reasons is I didn't have the habit of charging the device every night. So I'd forget on day 4, then day 6 it would run out of battery and stay unused until the weekend when I'd be like - why TF did i buy this thing?

Now I charge every night. And I use it every day - it helps me not miss calls (phone is always muted b/c meetings) or important texts (did you know that some daycare centers charge like $1/min for being late? If wife can't pick up the kids on time, I better not miss the call/text/voicemail).

about a month and a half ago

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