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Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

rwade Love the Q10 (303 comments)

My Nokia E5 was similarly out of date. Since I use my phone generally for texting, email, twitter I didn't need a big screen but do need a keyboard to be happy. I was not enthused about committing to the BlackBerry platform due to the perceived financial issues, but BBRY has already released a few updates and app support is good enough for me. BlackBerry has taken care of me so far.

And the keyboard is incredible - not just passable, but enjoyable to type on.

about 10 months ago
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Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers?

rwade What is your point? (223 comments)

Where!?! I'll move! (And I'm only half-kidding.) Right now, to watch GoT when it airs, I'd have to subscribe to my local (monopoly) cable provider at their full rate (or agree to a contract for 2 years to get the service I only want 4 months out of the year)

There is no such thing as a pay TV monopoly. You can watch GoT as it airs on Dish or DirecTV. Just saying...the fact that one company owns the cable franchise in a given town is not the reason that prices for pay tv are exorbitant.

You allude to satellite in your post (Ie. the 2 year contract bit) but I just don't see what your point is.

about a year ago
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Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers?

rwade $6 per month JUST for ESPN (223 comments)

You obviously haven't taken a look at Comcast's balance sheet if you think that $80/month is going to the studios.

I heard a stat that cable companies pay $6 per month for ESPN/ESPN2. That's just two channels. Most channels are not that expensive, but if you have 100 channels....it is not hard to see how you're going to get a lot of that money going to content providers.

Other note I would make is that it is not exactly new to have "dry" cable internet. There are millions out there with cable internet and no TV -- and the cable companies do it willingly; I don't think they would do it if it really caused significant price pressure on the TV side of the house.

about a year ago
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The Non-Profit .Org Registry Works Behind the Scenes (Video)

rwade NGO vs NPO (21 comments)

So part of this expansion that I was talking about with 2000 new domain names coming is .ngo. It is a term that most Americans don’t know. But if you work in the non-profit non-governmental, you actually would have heard of NGO, which stands for non-government organizations.

Indeed -- for the lay man not briefed into this kind of world, the distinction between an NGO and an NPO is highly irrelevant. I think the addition of the .ngo TLD is a solution looking for a problem.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?

rwade Use Workrave to remind you (279 comments)

If you have insurance, no reason not to get a doc's advice. That said, I have been using the workrave app for about 5 years now and I think it has saved me from significant deterioration. It has both 'nix and Windows implementations. Basically reminds you to take a micro break every 5 minutes and a coffee break every ten. I manage to keep working during these breaks. Usually it is a phone call or a convo with the boss or a colleague. And you can always count on a meeting as a good opportunity for a break.

Best piece of nagware out there IMHO.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?

rwade Carpal tunnel prevention break (279 comments)

If it is me - and this guy sounds just like me - he needs to take that time and do anything but be on a computer. Take 5 minutes for longer breaks to grab a coffee or make a phone call you have been putting off. Or if you need a short break, sort out your desk or stare out the window for 30 seconds.

Your wrists will thank you - if you are an information worker, you are at risk of being seriously debilitated in mere years if you don't take steps now.

about 2 years ago
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AT&T: Don't Want a Data Plan for That Smartphone? Too Bad.

rwade THIS +++ (798 comments)

Yeah, MVNOs are really the best way to get away from such corporate policies.

about 2 years ago
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JSTOR an Entitlement For US DoJ's Ortiz & Holder

rwade Perk of an elite education (287 comments)

Rather than a crime, it would be considered their entitlement, a perk of an elite education that's paid for by their alma maters.

The list that is linked to does not include Stanford...but that is where Swartz started college. The suggestion that he did not have access to an elite education is rediculous under the circumstances. So not only is the premise of the idea that people as alums of certain schools would not be prosecuted for pulling every journal off JSTOR and putting it out on the web laughable but the particulars not really compelling. Stanford is a pretty good school.

about 2 years ago
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The Story of Nokia MeeGo

rwade Thanks! (125 comments)

You do understand that the interviewed current and ex-employees of Nokia had to speak generally and under the condition of anonymity because they are subject to very strict NDAs? Talking about anything specific could make it possible to identify the individual.

So you're saying you agree that it is a surface-level write-up. Okay. Thanks!

more than 2 years ago
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The Story of Nokia MeeGo

rwade What a surface-level article. (125 comments)

In other words, this article is crap. It's not even an article -- it's a write-up. You see a multi-page write-up and expect some actual information and facts; instead, you get nothing but what could only honestly be called whining:

From TFA

Products were mostly made by subcontracting without a top organization or support from certain sector’s professionals. No one intervened with the process and it resulted in quality problems in finished products. Considering the small resources and the subcontracting, lowest price was always the first priority in choosing components, space requirement was second and poor hardware performance was patched up with software optimizations as well as possible. Cutting expenses from the software developers didn’t particularly motivate anyone, considering the fact that savings were made in material expenses by using poor components, which then meant stress for the next couple of weeks in performance optimization.

Most of the people we interviewed from Nokia said that Nokia used too much subcontracting. Building specific knowledge from scratch inside the company is expensive and time consuming, and the OSSO team’s resources were limited.

There were a lot of problems, it was difficult to keep hold of the quality of the subcontractors’ work and the contracts weren’t supervised properly. The subcontractors could cheat in the contracts by changing the best experts, who were there in the beginning, to less qualified people. Examples given included bad code written in India and the communication problems with the Chinese and the Japanese because of their poor English skills. All this resulted in more additional work and delays for the project managers in Finland, when they had to take measures to repair the errors and poor quality.

Okay, so the development contractors were chosen based on low price. That is one fact.

Okay, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian coders were used. That is another fact.

But beyond that...no other facts. The article alludes to "bad code written in India and the communication problems with the Chinese and the Japanese because of their poor English skills." But what bad code?

It alludes to "project managers in Finland, [taking] measures to repair the errors and poor quality."

Examples of errors? No where to be found.

more than 2 years ago
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We Don't Need More Highways

rwade Anecdotal argument against dense (244 comments)

No, we end up with sprawl because living the American dream includes a home with a yard and not high density housing. And even when planners are forced to create HDH to reduce or slow sprawl, Americans would rather continue to spread out to get their piece of the dream than live in a 'Pass the Sugar' neighborhood or HDH communities.

My wife and I have lived for years in a apartment in the middle of the city. It's not high-rises block after block -- but it's dense enough to have some of the most frequent bus service in the region outside of downtown proper and everything is walking distance. (Light-rail exists here, but for whatever reason does not flow through the core of the city. Makes no damn sense since the entire neighborhood was built in the 1910s as a Streetcar suburb, but whatever. On-street light rail would probably conflict with parking, which is all the business interests that run the show in this neighborhood here care about.)

Where we live now, we walk to any restaurant we want and have a $10 cab ride to downtown to catch baseball game or whatever else. There is a small market walking distance and the grocery store is a 10 minute bike ride through a very comfortable grid-patterned streets with 25 MPH speed limits. It is basically paradise for the carless.

Unfortunately in the United States, people do not know how to live in apartments in a civilized manner. Growing up, I assumed I'd be living in dense developments forever -- never was a fan of long drives and I've had an environmental streak. I enjoy being able to walk to grab a latte and running into people randomly in the streets, etc. But to do that, I have to deal with noisy neighbors constantly. The place where I live is not cheap -- the people that I live with are mature adults who are wholly normal people. But they have no respect for the impact of what they do on people that live 5 feet above/below their head. My upstairs neighbor loves having friends over to play Xbox connect on their wood floors with shoes on. They also love to run laundry at 11 at night.

Neighbors downstairs a few nights ago started BBQ with friends with the pit 10 feet below my bedroom window. This -- in a town going through a heat wave where no one has A/C. So I'm having to close the window and keep the house at 80 degrees because he wants to BBQ.

None of these things are anti-social behaviors. These are thoroughly normal people and if I asked them to cut off the BBQ'ing and the X-Box Connect because I want some peace and quiet, they would probably do it -- but it's awkward to walk down and ask. People in the US just don't know how to live dense.

So...we are now ditching the apartment life in this great neighborhood a 10 minute walk to anything to move to the other side of the city where buying a single family home is affordable. We can walk to exactly 0 restauraunts, our only option for a stroll for coffee is 7-11 brewed black coffee a half-mile away, and the closest grocery store 2 miles away. The bus theoretically runs through the neighborhood, but we'd be looking at four connections to get me to work. However, I will have some peace and quiet.

We are just back from short trip through Europe -- staying in a hotel for half the trip and with a friend in another. The guy we stayed with lived in one of the major "brand name" cities in a 10-story apartment building that your average 20-something with a job lives in. I swear -- we didn't hear a peep from others that lived there unless we were on the elevator with them. Later, we were on the train running through Germany and everyone whispered to each other, even on phone calls. Some cultures know to be polite with the understanding that someone is always within earshot -- we just don't have that sensitivity in the US yet.

High gas prices will probably fix that.

more than 2 years ago
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T-Mobile Merging With MetroPCS

rwade MOD UP Parent (86 comments)

MOD UP -- lots of people defend T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger by citing ATT/Alltel, but this key qualifying detail isn't easily found. Thanks!

more than 2 years ago
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T-Mobile Merging With MetroPCS

rwade Please cite sources on network technology (86 comments)

The maintenance of four different networks isn't really even a big deal. With the tower equipment that T-Mobile is using and deploying is capable of running all four with either a software update or very little hardware changes. I feel that you are also being a bit disingenuous with this argument since 2GSM UMTS/HSPA and LTE are in the 3gsm family and were designed to do handoffs with each other, cdma and lte were not so much.

How do you know this? Please cite sources on how the "tower equipment T-Mobile is using and deploying is capable of running all four with either a software update or very little hardware changes." I am not doubting your assertion; in fact, I logged on here looking to see someone make exactly this assertion because I assumed that most cellular technology was very similar from the hardware dimension. Can you expand a little and point us to a link on this?

more than 2 years ago
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T-Mobile Merging With MetroPCS

rwade They claim CDMA gone by 2015... (86 comments)

I was wondering the same thing all yesterday when this popped up on the wire. In fact, I had a similar concern back a few years ago on the ATT-T-Mobile linkup. After all, although ATT and T-Mobile both use GSM, they use different frequencies to do so. T-Mobile phones will work on an ATT network and vice-versa for regular calls, texts, and slow data -- but not at 3G speeds. (For the record, that is now changing: T-Mobile is now doing some 3G on the 1900MHz band that is compatible with most phones, namely the iPhone. It used to do 3G on 1700MHz, which only phones sold by T-Mobile are configured to use. But that was not happening at the time. See this article).

Moving on: PC Mag reported on a presentation the two companies released indicating that the MetroPCS CDMA network will be largely turned-off and dismantled with all customers transitioned by 2015. The brief seems to claim that customers replace MetroPCS devices so quickly as it is, there won't be a difficult public relations situation:

This means that all existing MetroPCS users will need to get new phones by then, but that's likely to happen anyway, the companies noted. "Rapid handset turnover (60-65 percent per year) facilitates MetroPCS customer migration," the slides said. "MetroPCS customers [are] anticipated to be completely migrated by 2H 2015."

From what I have read about MetroPCS, most of its customers use cheap feature phones. The idea then is that they'll tire or break their cheap phones and T-Metro will be able to take advantage of that trend to shift them over to equally cheap GSM phones to run on the legacy T-Mobile network. There are certainly a share of customers that use more expensive phones that they expected when they purchased them to be more durable and last longer than 2015 -- I would suggest that that number is small given the focus of MetroPCS on those that want what is now considered to be bare minimum for cell phone service. (talk/text/30MB BREW/WAP web).

All of this said, I will note that when AT&T/Cingular acquired Alltel, Alltel also used CDMA. I don't know how AT&T was able to make that acquisition work, but they did manage to do so -- T-Metro looks to be pursuing this transaction with a page out of that playbook.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: A Cheap US Cellphone Plan With an Unlocked Phone?

rwade More on Straight Talk (288 comments)

The great thing about Straight Talk is that is uses the AT&T network. Because most unlocked phones are built to use AT&T frequencies for 3G, you'll generally get faster data speeds than T-Mobile -- if your phone is built to use the AT&T frequencies. This would generally be an argument against using Simple Mobile.

It's $45 a month for unlimited everything.

more than 2 years ago
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GUI nostalgia draws me back to ...

rwade Re:Window Maker (654 comments)

Yes, I had a similar progression. fvwm to Window Maker -- still use WM when I boot into BSD.

more than 2 years ago
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6 IT Projects, $8 Billion Over Budget At Dept. of Defense

rwade Use of SAP (113 comments)

SAP was around 18 years ago, but not well-known. And plus, being a German company, it probably would not have been the choice then for a US Defense Department project.

Well, so much for that. From the Navy's "About Navy ERP" page:

The Navy ERP Program uses a product from SAP Corporation, which allows the Navy to unify, standardize, and streamline all its business activities into one completely integrated system.

more than 2 years ago
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Chicago Tribune Stops the Journatic Presses

rwade Enthusiasm from Journastic CEO (62 comments)

I highly recommend review of the This American Life Episode referenced in TFA.

Although broadcast only a few weeks ago, I'm not sure when TAL recorded the interview. That said, the enthusiasm of the company's CEO was striking given the strong line of questioning posed by the This American Life Interviewer. I would imagine the interview was fairly recent.

Although conceding that the stories sometimes lacked full detail on the things going on on the community being covered, with base material consisting often of only a quick phone interview to get a quote and a press release to provide the story -- Journastic CEO Brian Timpone did clalim a degree of passion for enabling some form of coverage for stories that may simply go unreported on.

This kind of enthusiasm for idealistic coverage of Norman Rockwell's Small Town America really files in the face of the general approach of the company to the job at hand -- which included a policy to use falsified (read: made-up) by-lines. That is to say, the off-shore reporters writing the stories for Journastic and then syndicated to newspapers like the Chicago Tribune had a field in the story submission setting for a name to associated with the story. Amazing.

more than 2 years ago
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EA Outs Battlefield 4, Plans To Charge $70 For New Games

rwade BF3's video card requirements are vey reasonable (323 comments)

BF3 required an investment of 500eur for a GPU to just make the game playable.

You can play the game easily with a nVidia GTX460 or with the ATi 4870, either of which you can get for less than $150 in the US. I'm confident that even with the Euro markup, you can do it for under 200 euros.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Apple iPhone 3G S $199 cost dissected

rwade rwade writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rwade (131726) writes "PC World reports on third-party estimate of the new iPhone 3GS. After summing up estimated component prices and developing a cost estimate for assembly of $6.50, the total cost comes to $178.96. The retail price of $599 leaves a pretty hefty gap for shipping, marketing, R&D, and discounts to AT&T, none of which are included in the estimate."

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