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White House Petition To Make Unlocking Phones Legal Passes 100,000 Signatures

sycorob Re:You know, you can buy an unlocked phone (317 comments)

If I do that, which carrier will give me a lower monthly rate because I don't need them to subsidize the phone? Maybe a little guy, but will Verizon or AT&T do that for me? Nope. So, if I buy an unlocked phone, I'm basically a sucker, because I'm paying for the phone twice.

about 2 years ago
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What You Can Do About the Phone Unlocking Fiasco

sycorob Re:Don't buy subsidized phones (416 comments)

Who do you buy your service from? And are you getting a discount because they're not subsidizing your phone?

about 2 years ago
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Obama and Romney Respond To ScienceDebate.org Questionnaire

sycorob Re:Here be no surprises (608 comments)

8 out of the top 10 largest PAC's fund Obama

Cite? I looked up http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php, and it looks like all the PACs give to both D and R. Of the top 10 in that list, 4 gave mostly to D's, 6 mostly to R's. Is there a different list you meant?

more than 2 years ago
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How Google's Autonomous Vehicles Work

sycorob Re:But... (295 comments)

A system like this will be written by a team of programmers, some of them very experienced, backed up by quality assurance folks and thousands of hours of experience.

On the human side, you're only as safe as the least safe driver. Older people with slower reaction times and diminished sight, brand new drivers with only a few weeks of experience behind the wheel, intoxicated drivers, and the whole slew of distracted drivers out there on their cell phones. Stand at an intersection sometime and count the number of drivers using cell phones, it's horrifying.

I believe that people who think computers will never drive better than humans are today's version of people that thought a computer would never beat a grand master at chess. It may take awhile, but it will happen, believe it.

more than 3 years ago
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Shady Reshipping Centers Exposed

sycorob Re:Blame big corporations. Really (143 comments)

US companies want it both ways, though. They want to sell Windows to the US for one price, and to China for a different (lower) price. Right there, that's fine, but if a guy in China wants to sell his Windows copy to me for slightly more and make a profit on it, it's illegal.

Arbitrage is apparently fine when investors do it, but illegal when the rest of us want to balance out the crazy price differences that exist in the world right now.

more than 3 years ago
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Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds

sycorob Re:I like Tesla's (426 comments)

The coal power plant is still more efficient than your tiny internal-combustion engine. Even with power losses from lines, etc, the electric car is still more efficient overall. So, that's present state.

For future state, if we had mostly electric cars for commuting, running to the store, etc, we could replace coal plants with wind turbines, for example, and suddenly our cars are green. If all cars are internal combustion engines, we're stuck with using oil, or using up valuable farmland to grow vegetation for bio-gas. Just because electric cars aren't 100% green right now, doesn't mean they're not better than what we have. We have to start somewhere.

more than 3 years ago
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The Cable Industry's a La Carte Bait and Switch

sycorob Re:unintentional humor alert (447 comments)

That doesn't make sense to me. Let's assume the cable company won't outright gouge you (big assumption, sure). They'll want to keep overall revenues the same. The ESPN family is more expensive per user, so they can break that out into its own package. Every other channel that pays to be put on cable (to get ad revenues) will be cheaper. The people that absolutely must watch live sports will have to pay more, or ESPN will have to get cheaper. People not interested in sports will not have to subsidize ESPN any more just to get a couple of premium channels.

Cable is getting real competition from Over the Air and streaming content. They know they have to offer something compelling to get me to stay. If they can get me the basic channels + all of the science channels that are hard to find on streaming for a reasonable cost, I'll stay. If they can't, then I might leave. OTA is free, and free almost always beats better.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Kindle Fire Surfaces

sycorob Re:So... (521 comments)

I'd be shocked if this couldn't be hacked into a CyanogenMod tablet by the end of the month. And today's the 28th.

more than 3 years ago
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Groupon Loses COO, Drastically Cuts Reported Revenue

sycorob Re:Never used Groupon (131 comments)

Beautifully said. The businesses also get over-crowded with new (one-time) Groupon customers, and their regular customers suffer. I've never seen a restaurant in Chicago offer a Groupon more than once.

more than 3 years ago
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IBM's Watson To Help Diagnose, Treat Cancer

sycorob Re:subject (150 comments)

That's OK, Judge Watson will blaze through that backlog in no time! And we can all get back to watching Jeopardy.

more than 3 years ago
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After Firing CEO, Yahoo Puts Itself Up For Sale

sycorob Re:Moral of the story.... (264 comments)

Yes and no. I'm sure Jobs wasn't digging into the accounting paperwork, or corporate tax preparations, etc as much as he was the actual products. He's good at the product side, and I'm sure he knows it. I could be wrong, maybe he micro-manages every part of the business, but I never heard anything like that. Many founders, on the other hand, DO want to be involved in every part of the company, to the point where everything comes to a screeching halt since every little thing needs their sign-off. And then they get replaced by the board/investors, or the company dies.

more than 3 years ago
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Coming Soon, Shorter Video Games

sycorob Re:I guess this beats making the game interesting (637 comments)

The thing is, if the article is correct, 90% of people think that games are not worth finishing. So game companies can either cater to the super-gamers who want super-long or super-hard games, or they can tune the games to the 90% of people that don't have the time or energy to battle through these super-games.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikipedia Losing Contributors, Says Wales

sycorob Re:Some info belongs on a specialized wiki (533 comments)

Is Wikipedia running out of disk space all of a sudden? Why do topics have to be "notable" to be included? One of the great things about Wikipedia originally was that it wasn't limited to a certain number of pages, so finally there were articles on topics that never could have been included in a paper encyclopedia. Why is it the standard that topics have to prove themselves "notable" or die, given that it angers people that spent time and effort adding information to Wikipedia and often removes topics that people were interested in reading about? In effect, it seems like the Wikipedia organization is working hard to make Wikipedia less useful to many potential users and actively pushing away potential contributors.

From your post it sounds like you have inside knowledge about Wikipedia, so if you can help me understand this, I would greatly appreciate it.

more than 3 years ago
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Oracle's Java Policies Are Destroying the Community

sycorob Re:Alternatives? (314 comments)

I've never understood why a virtual machine is, in any way, better than an intermediate language that can be compiled to native code for a particular platform.

Garbage collection. GC makes people angry for some reason, but I'm personally happy not having to malloc memory all the time. Also hardware and OS independence. It's nice to just open a file and read and write from it, and not really care what the OS is, or what filesystem it's using, and so forth. Same with inputs and outputs, memory management, thread handling, etc. You could add all of these things to your hypothetical intermediate language, but in the end you'd just be recreating the JVM.

A fair number of languages besides Java run on the JVM. Others have been "ported" onto the JVM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_JVM_languages

I think the JVM is here to stay. We're moving more and more towards high-level, interpreted languages. Hardware is fast enough, and with things like JIT there's no real performance loss anyway. Why not write on a JVM, which does so much for you?

more than 3 years ago
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Swede Arrested For Building Nuclear Reactor

sycorob Re:another attempt (410 comments)

That is the craziest thread I've read in a long time. Thanks for destroying my morning's productivity! :-)

more than 3 years ago
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Crowdsourcing Ancient Egyptian Scrolls

sycorob Made for Crowdsourcing (94 comments)

I heard about this on RadioLab awhile ago - a trash dump full of fragments of old scrolls. I believe it was the "Detective Stories" episode: http://www.radiolab.org/2007/sep/10/

They were saying it would take centuries to match up all of the pieces, because they only had a few people working on it, and so many scraps to go through. My immediate thought was that they should scan them all and put them on the Internet, and some bored 17 year old would write a program in Scala that would run in the cloud and match everything up in a weekend. Sounds like somebody else had the same idea ...

more than 3 years ago
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Former Google CIO Suggests 'Do Dumb Things'

sycorob Re:Wealthy advice (202 comments)

Do you mean Dale Vince?

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/utilities/article5438441.ece

Assuming the article is correct, Mr. Vince built his first windmill himself like you said, and then borrowed money from a bank to build more, and now solely owns Ecotricity, worth 10M GBP. He seems like a neat guy, talking about how he absorbs good stuff from other company cultures "like the Borg." His favorite movie is Aliens 2.

more than 3 years ago
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Atlantis Lands, Ending the Shuttle Era

sycorob Re:America.... (256 comments)

Ha! That would be hilarious.

Or just put a much bigger Chinese flag ... right next to the little US flag. Start up WW3!

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Apple to Refurbish Chicago Transit Station

sycorob sycorob writes  |  about 5 years ago

sycorob (180615) writes "The Chicago Transit Authority has confirmed that they are in talks with Apple to receive $4 million to refurbish the North and Clyborn station in return for first refusal of advertising in the station. The station is close to their popular Michigan Avenue Apple store.

"We're exploring different ways to improve our stations, and we're also exploring the best way to do naming rights. This is one approach, and we're looking at others as well," said CTA spokesman Noelle Gaffney.

As a longtime CTA rider, I welcome anything that will help get CTA stations renovated. Many stations haven't been maintained in decades, since the underfunded agency often has trouble meeting basic expenses like payroll and track maintenance. Do other readers think this is a good idea?"

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