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WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

rsborg Re:What?? (113 comments)

i am already paying $50 a month for verizon cell phone, that's a 4g lte phone with i think 1500 anytime minutes. 2gb data cap, unlimited texting costs $5 a month but i send/recieve less than $5 worth of texts a month. so no not 'everyone' has text messaging plans. my parents both have dumbphones still and they have text messages blocked to avoid unwanted charges.

and guess what, every other carrier servicing my area basically non existant. the towers used to be owned by alltel but now are all verizon and people can barely make phone calls if they aren't verizon phones.

Where do you live so I don't ever go near that place?

4 hours ago

Intentional Backdoor In Consumer Routers Found

rsborg Re:Western companies need to change (234 comments)

Right now, most of all the western electronics come from China. As such, it makes it trivial for the CHinese gov. to do whatever they like.

It is long past time for these western companies to bring back production.

At the same time, they need to OSS the firmware so that others will feel comfortable with buying these, knowing that they can get true secured systems.

If you think the NSA (and others -- looking at you, GCHQ) isn't playing by the same game as gov.cn, you're deluded.

2 days ago

Intentional Backdoor In Consumer Routers Found

rsborg Re:Pace/2wire all listen on 3479/tcp (234 comments)

The 2wire/pace (3600,3800,etc) all have TCP port 3479 open to the internet.This is what you are forced to use if you have AT&T U-verse. There is no way to block it and AT&T says its for "updates and trouble shooting".

I wonder what great backdoors are in these gateways?

While I find that's pretty infuriating, I do think that if you're forced to have U-Verse (e.g.: alternatives suck speed wise), then it's probably recommended to have another (non-vulnerable) router between you and the 2-wire and to turn off the wifi radio.

2 days ago

Intentional Backdoor In Consumer Routers Found

rsborg Apple AirPort Extreme/Express? (234 comments)

I don't see Apple in that list. However, that doesn't mean it's certainly not impacted. Does anyone have any guess about this?

2 days ago

Apple, Google Vying For Mobile Game Exclusivity

rsborg Re:As a developer who uses in-app purchase ... (50 comments)

A free but limited version and a full, paid one is completely reasonable. There's several ways to do it too, but I think perhaps the best division is between the casual and the dedicated user. Casual users are unlikely to pay if forced, but they can still be good advocates for the app, so it may be worth it making sure they still have something to use.

I also like the Carcassonne/Ascension model: DLC game expansions within the game as IAP. That's how to do IAP right, not this "buy my virtual coin" bullshit. Whenever I see an awesome looking game, I immediately check to see if anything looks "coin-like" on their IAP list. Any scent of that kind of BS puts the game into "ignore forever" state.

I'm not looking to crop-share on your farmville, developers. It's really a pity that Apple never bothered in reigning in this app business model.

2 days ago

Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

rsborg Re:Making a Safer World... (337 comments)

Sure you could buy $200 shoes for your kid, but they definitely don't need any of that stuff. My kids get plenty of enjoyment from going out for a walk in the woods, which is free, and don't need to go to amusement parks all the time to be entertained.

That's really only a half-truth. Kids cost either A) the net of the salary the parent gave up to stay at home to raise them or B) the price of the daycare so that the parents can continue to work. The presumption that there is a careerless, stay-at-home parent by default is rather quaint, so A is usually a pretty high number. If you live in a particularly populous area, the cost of B will be rather high if you want your kids to be in a well-staffed facility (and who wouldn't want that?) So, there is a specific and considerable cost to having kids, and backend-loading the cost after your earnings have risen is a very attractive proposition, especially for people who are accustomed to a pretty high standard of living, i.e. a roomy house, vacations, driving a "newer" car, etc.

Whlle I agree that CastrTroy's comment was a bit dismissive of the costs of giving up a career for the 2nd parent or the costs of daycare in any developed Metro, there are options to both: 1) Live near family (ie, grandparents) that can care for your kids and assist with transportation 2) Look for in-home daycare or other providers - often nearer, may also work with you on transportation (at one point, our bigger kid got walked back from the bus stop to the provider's daycare).

Trying to get by on one income can be fraught with dangers - losing healtchare (less of an issue now with Obamacare), financial stress of making ends meet, and frustration for the spouse that gave up his/her career. The pernicious fact is that, for larger metros, many families are double income (some with no kids), so real estate and cost of living assumes this. Lower income familes often have 2-4 jobs with one or both parents working 2 jobs to make ends meet.

3 days ago

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

rsborg Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (359 comments)

Tesla has made an electric vehicle that doesn't make anyone with a sense of style want to puke, and that's a very good thing, but there's just a handful of things they need to do, IMO, to really knock the ball out of the park for electric cars:

[... list of things that emphasize gas car and petroleum distribution benefits over electrics ...]

If or when Tesla, or any electric vehicle manufacturer, can hit all three of the above points, I'd dare say that the writing will finally be on the wall for the age of gasoline, and I think electric cars could outnumber gasoline vehicles on the road within a decade.

Here's a similar list of things that was "common wisdom" for other disruptive technologies:

1) iPads (and tablets in general) will dominate over PCs once they solve the printing and windows compatibility problem (reality: even the latest tablets suck for these tasks, but PCs are in decline while tablets sales are set to overtake overall PC sales).
2) Apple would dominate if they ever provide a mid-tower customizable Mac. (reality: Apple owns the $1000+ market for PCs and laptops, and their PC business is more profitable than the next three PC manufacturers combined)
3) How can a smartphone without a keyboard succeed? Why would anyone buy one? (reality: 99% of smartphones today have on-screen keyboards)

Common wisdom is myopic. Your points in general are all things that we enjoy today, but many folks would gladly give up one or all three of those current benefits for a car that can be bought without going to a dealer, accelerates like a bat out of hell and is smooth and silent and gets OTA software updates and support. Tesla intended to disrupt the market and looks like they're doing so very well.

about a week ago

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

rsborg Didn't Obama campaign on this back in 2008? (422 comments)

Simplified tax filings (ie, tax authorities tell you what they think you owe, so you don't inadvertently misfile and get penalized for it or worse, get an audit notification on what could have been sorted out before the filing date) - this is what other countries do, and I hear it's really awesome. Found it here:

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return.

I hope Intuit's lobbying doesn't screw this up. This is one Obama promise I'd like to see implemented.

about two weeks ago

CSIRO Scientists' Aquaculture Holy Grail: Fish-Free Prawn Food

rsborg Re:Just like food, your food itself is what it eat (116 comments)

It looks like the secret is to feed them vat fed plankton instead of similar or identical species of the wild plankton they normally eat - which was apparently much hard than that sounds. The big deal is it means a more reliable supply.

So is the vat-fed plankton as healthy as the wild stuff? Because if not, then the unhealthy part of that diet will exist in the farmed prawn. Basically take the GPP's argument "Just like food, your food itself is what it eats. " and follow that down the food chain.

about two weeks ago

Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

rsborg Slashvertizement (101 comments)

I thought I turned off ads? These product evangelists annoy me.

about two weeks ago

In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy

rsborg Abstinence (78 comments)

Can't say I blame them. What's the downside for GoGo?

As I work with secured customer data, knowing that I'm possibly getting MITM'd sounds like a likelihood I won't be able to use GoGo (now I have to go and verify if it's ok). So abstinence is always an option, despite me being gogo's captive.

about two weeks ago

Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

rsborg Apple Migration Assistant: PPC - Intel (641 comments)

The reason it isn't easy is because a lot of old drivers and software do not work on it. Otherwise you could have just reinstalled everything on it again. Or Microsoft could have made a migration tool.

This is a really shitty reason, to be honest. Apple puts a lie to Microsoft's rigidity and inflexibility by showing how (nearly a decade ago) it's possible (using Migration Assistant) to move from a PPC system to Intel - clearly drivers won't work there, but it all happens, and works well (yes it's a migration, but the tooling works and is well supported). If it's a newer version of OSX (i.e., younger than 6 years old), then you can upgrade in place.

I never understood why Microsoft didn't work harder to make this possible - maybe because they don't actually do much of the driver work - that's done by the manufacturer or part

about two weeks ago

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

rsborg Re:Why stop there? (496 comments)

What about ditching the windshield and replacing it with a 4k HD screen? Then you can embed the driver lower-down and deep inside a protective hardened shell. A no-glass car all around.

Might be interesting for fighter pilots. Hell, why stop there? Just make the entire fighter remotely controlled - all that would be left is a "droning" noise.

about three weeks ago

If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

rsborg Amen - Aint no sharing going on here (353 comments)

Uber/Lyft are purely a play to disrupt the taxi industry by getting around the medallion tax.

Don't get me wrong - the taxi medallion's cost is prohibitive due to very low supply and the only justification I can see is that the city wants to limit the number of taxis to improve air quality. However, with hybrid/electric cars around now that vastly reduce or eliminate any tailpipe emissions, I think cities need to reconsider possibly having "green" medallions that are not as limited in number, and require the car driving it to have AT-PZEV (Prius 2004) emissions profile or better (not difficult; many of these kinds of cars around that still get 50 mpg+).

about three weeks ago

Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

rsborg Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (455 comments)

I'd add that they also maintain this illusion by sometimes (often?) selling similar-but-inferior products. For instance, a vacuum that is identical to a top-rated cordless vacuum, but with a smaller motor and battery. If you run through there with a bar code scanner on your phone you can see just how many of the products are actually different than the ones available through Amazon and friends.

They are notorious for advertising they will meet any advertised price for the same product. The problem is that many of their products, while similar, are only a model that Walmart sells, at least in electronics.

This isn't limited to Wal-mart either - I've noticed that all retailers do this, and manufacturers have come to support this (except for companies like Apple) by simply having thousands of different serial numbers that share the same specific model - that's what's advertised, but YMMV apparently.

This problem results in a real lack of commoditization and alignment, and prevents customers from shopping around or even getting consistent and reliable support - hell even the support rep may not know your specific video card on your laptop.

about a month ago

Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

rsborg Not going to happen (824 comments)

Regardless of the merits of Eich's actions, or the merits of those calling for his ouster, the fact remains that all that's going to happen is that there will be a kerfuffle and Eich will either ignore it or make some pro-LGBT concession and then things will continue on, the same way things have been going.

Does anyone doubt that the Eich is capable of handling the job? I don't hear that anywhere. Perhaps this whole thing is to focus away from the fact that he may not be the best person to head Mozilla (and remove other candidates from the spotlight by hogging all the attention)? That's a bit CT [1], but I've been accused of worse kinds of thoughtcrime.

[1] http://acronyms.thefreediction...

about a month ago

In Israel, Class-Action Plaintiff Requests Waze Source Code Under GPL

rsborg Re:WTF if Waze? (75 comments)

It's basically google maps with a different skin, and you can report things like speedtraps and accidents. And you get points, so there's a game aspect I suppose.

That's it. It's one of those "tech" companies that seem absurdly overvalued based on how little they actually do. In no sane world would it be worth the billion google paid for it. And on top of that, although the interface for reporting stuff is designed to be as minimal as possible and they prevent you from typing and driving, there's no way it's safe to use. I've used it, so I'm a hypocrite there, but it is a driving hazard.

Riiiight - just a map overlay and gaming aspect. No mention of incident reporting, showing aggregated speeds of waze users, the ability to share your location/trip,nope. None of that takes coding or infrastructure I guess.

Waze is more useful than google maps, apple maps, or navigon for me in estimating my commute times - it simply works. It even noticed a traffic disruption that had only really lasted for about 1 hr, showing me an alternate route through residential streets such that I got to my freeway onramp with only a 5m loss rather than what I guess would have been much longer.

I don't like that Google bought it - I don't trust Google very much, but I can't stop using Waze (I kill the app when I get home/work).

about a month ago

Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

rsborg Mileage = not the motivating factor to go electric (282 comments)

Repair? Tesla themselves, free of charge in many cases. They'll even come get the car for you if needed, most dealerships won't do that.
Regular maintenance? *What* regular maintenance? Les Schwab or your preferred local alternative can rotate the tires and check the brakes for you. Not much else is needed... no oil, no spark plugs, no transmission (in the conventional sense), etc.

Most folks not into the electric/hybrid ownership thang just don't get this - the dividends for a hybrid (and doubly so for a pure electric) are in the small things - great acceleration "curves", quieter cabin, keyless entry, reduced maintenance, no transmission changes ever, oil changes that always came back clean even when I do them yearly, etc etc. And the Tesla takes it to a whole new level.

It's not the MPG that sold me on the Prius 10 years ago (and that I still drive daily with 50+mpg), it the fact that it felt like spaceship when it "booted" and all the other things that no other car at the time could do. The new Telsa faux-mercial exemplifies this: http://www.thecarconnection.co...

about a month ago

Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

rsborg Re:To be fair (282 comments)

You are going to need a LOT of solar panels to do this and also note most people are home at NIGHT when this is not going to work out so well ;)

Note: using solar to power your car is through offsetting your daily electricity use and powering at night - you don't actually have to use the *specific electrons collected by photonics deposits on your solar panel* to power the electric car.

The end result is the same - car gets juice (usually the cheaper variety if you're hooked up with a smart meter) and you pay less.

Hell, Musk even has a company that helps homeowners do just that - SolarCity - without all the overhead of buying the panels and installing them yourself.

about a month ago

Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

rsborg Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (164 comments)

...although I'd say the devs were on something stronger than antidepressants.

All kidding aside, Win8 does seem to be a product of "Who cares what our customers want, we'll do it our way and they can just suck it", which pretty much defines comfortable complacency.

Amusingly when Apple does it, most of their users either don't complain about it, or actually appreciate it.
Hmm - maybe execution and taste matter?

Meaning - Microsoft probably not only ignored it's users, it likely ignored it's own influential employees that were critical of it (especially those who weren't vocal because it would be a CLM). That's poor taste.

about a month ago


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