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Comments

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Windows 8 Roundup

tabdelgawad Re:I can answer that! (474 comments)

This is still idiotic. It's like saying how much of a disaster it was to make the WinXP 'candy' (or whatever it's called) desktop the default, when everyone wanted to keep the 'classic' desktop. Well guess what? I'm sure there will be a checkbox to make your system boot into the Win7 UI every time.

Seriously, people are just grasping at straws to hate this thing!

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Reveals More Windows 8 Details

tabdelgawad Surprised by the Negative Reaction (538 comments)

We're getting an OS that:
1) is a superset of Win7 (everything on Win7 will run on Win8),
2) easily switches from a touch UI to a classic desktop UI,
3) will work on various CPU architectures for phones, tablets, and PCs,
4) will allow seamless connectivity, application, and data sharing between all your computing devices,
5) and will run on a crappy atom CPU,
and people here are complaining?!

Slashdot is now officially full of luddites! Go read the engadget review of the developer preview to get a sense of how this OS fits in the modern world.

Obligatory hedge: "I have karma to burn, so go ahead and flame away"

more than 2 years ago
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Google Uncovers China-Based Password Collection Campaign

tabdelgawad Re:excellent PR by Google (186 comments)

True, but it does highlight the danger of the government and enterprises moving their email service to Google and the 'cloud'. My company requires me to use an RSA token to log in to corporate mail or VPN, so simple phishing won't be successful. I'm aware of the recent RSA hack but in some ways, that's the point of two-factor authentication: you can completely compromise one factor but still have time to fix things before the other factor fails.

more than 3 years ago
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The Death of BCC

tabdelgawad Re:BCC still existed? (366 comments)

As someone who has worked in a corporate environment for a number of years, I would say bringing someone's boss into a spat is childish enough. Bringing someone's boss in via bcc is downright shitty.

more than 3 years ago
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The Monopolies That Dominate the Internet

tabdelgawad Re:Slashdot Economics (342 comments)

First, oligopoly is a far cry from monopoly. Barring collusion (which is illegal under anti-trust law) oligopoly markets can be extremely competitive, leading to razor-thin profit margins, low prices, rapid technological change, and consumer choice: compare the current mobile OS market to Windows in the 90s, or even the cell phone service market to pre-1980s AT&T.

Second, successful companies continue to grow to achieve scale efficiencies, but at some point, 'bigger' starts to bring its own problems of lack of agility and innovation and uncoordinated management. Anyone who watched Microsoft or Detroit's big three stumble can see this. So there's a limit to how large a company can/should grow based on the nature of its business.

Third, whether a market becomes an oligopoly or not depends on the overall size of the market relative to the efficient size of a company. The extreme case of a natural monopoly happens when the size of the market is smaller than the efficient size of the company (so there's room for only one), but in most cases, the market is large enough to accommodate several firms of efficient size.

Finally, just because a market is an oligopoly doesn't mean the same players remain successful and continue to control the market. Changing technology and innovation create a lot of churn (Schumpeter's creative destruction). This is particularly true in the IT world where leaders can quickly lose their edge to small upstarts and the game is changing at break-neck speed. A few years ago, Asus was a name known only to geeks, now it's a household name churning out millions of netbooks each year. A year ago, nobody gave a shit about 'tablets', now it's the rage with a few unlikely names poised for success (Samsung?!). There's still plenty of room for 'garage' innovation here, and lots of venture capital to see it through to commercial success.

more than 3 years ago
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The Monopolies That Dominate the Internet

tabdelgawad Re:Its not 'internet'. its 'free market'. (342 comments)

Ever heard of venture capital? In a normal economy (perhaps not right now!) a garage company with a proven idea and a serious business plan would have no trouble raising the necessary millions to grow.

more than 3 years ago
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The Monopolies That Dominate the Internet

tabdelgawad Slashdot Economics (342 comments)

Only on slashdot would such economic bullshit (and the socioeconomic bullshit referenced within) get modded +5 insightful and repeated ad-nauseum. Free markets do NOT tend towards monopolies eventually. The vast majority of markets are not monopolies and are in no danger of becoming so, regardless of government intervention or regulation. The evidence on this is so overwhelming I wouldn't know where to begin. In fact, there are so few examples of natural/existing monopolies (where the efficient scale of production exceeds the size of the market) that we tend to use the same examples over and over in classrooms and textbooks (public utilities).

The internet and information goods have some interesting characteristics (e.g. network effects) that tend to encourage consolidation, but even in this area, changing technology and consumer preferences tend to overthrow dominant firms (e.g. Microsoft).

And yes, I'm an economist.

more than 3 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

tabdelgawad Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

I'm not asking you to give me examples of what *you* consider vanishingly small. I'm asking for references that "vanishingly small" probability is the same as "zero" probability. You've provided none.

Just because "almost surely" and "almost everywhere" are precise mathematical concepts (which they are) doesn't mean "vanishingly small" also is. Ditto with "infinitesimals".

more than 3 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

tabdelgawad Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

From a Google search on "vanishingly small", you can see that the phrase is used to describe something very small, but not equal to zero. In this case, the probability *is* zero, so "vanishingly small" is incorrect. Of course, you're free to prove me wrong and provide a credible reference where the phrase is used the way you describe.

We're having a discussion about mathematics. Let's not screw things up by using language incorrectly!

more than 3 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

tabdelgawad Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

Just because you were caught posting with your pants down ( -- allusion!) doesn't mean you have to be rude to me :)

Enjoy getting the final word in after this post. Bye.

more than 3 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

tabdelgawad Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

If you're trying to provide better intuition, don't increase the number of doors to infinity! Most people don't understand or intuit infinity. In fact, the parent doesn't understand infinity, because with an infinite number of doors,, the probability that you picked the car is exactly zero, not "vanishingly small", and the odds are not "very, very high" but exactly 1 that you picked a goat to start with.

Stick with about 1000 doors - that usually delivers the intuition without confusing people!

more than 3 years ago
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HDCP Master Key Is Legitimate; Blu-ray Is Cracked

tabdelgawad Side Effect (1066 comments)

Perhaps they can now stop worrying about plugging the analog hole.

more than 3 years ago
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Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04

tabdelgawad Guaranteed Current and Future Plug and Play (702 comments)

I think the reason people will continue to use Windows rather than Linux is the relative certainty that any peripheral you buy will work with Windows. This is because if you're a hardware manufacturer, and you're only going to build one driver, it's going to be the Windows driver.

I use Windows XP. I can plug in the newest blackberry, the newest iPhone, my Hauppauge HD PVR, my logitech webcam with integrated mic, my canon camcorder and point-and-shoot, my son's speaking bear that downloads custom songs, my eSata card interfacing with external hard drive enclosure, my network all-in-one HP printer/scanner/fax, and anything else I choose to pick up off the shelf from Newegg or Best Buy.

Before you post telling me how you can run all these things on Linux, please understand that with Windows, I get to use the manufacturer's drivers, which is what the hardware was probably developed and tested with. I don't have to wait for the reverse-engineered open source version, or the crippled Linux beta driver from the manufacturer. I don't have to worry that the integrated mic on my webcam won't work, or that all the fancy features on my wireless mouse and keyboard are not supported by the driver.

Again, it's not that you can't get any single one of the peripherals above to work with your chosen flavor of Linux, if you try hard enough (maybe). It's the fact that I *know* that any current or future peripheral (with all its features) will be immediately supported by Windows. There's no such guarantee for Linux.

more than 3 years ago
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Court Says First Sale Doctrine Doesn't Apply To Licensed Software

tabdelgawad Re:Yay! (758 comments)

You're certainly free to resell the book. But depending on the license for the software code in the book, you may not be free to type that code and use it any way you want.

more than 3 years ago
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Court Says First Sale Doctrine Doesn't Apply To Licensed Software

tabdelgawad Re:Yay! (758 comments)

The problem is that [censored] matters. For example, if [censored] = movie DVD, even though you own the movie DVD, you do NOT have the right to stick it in a DVD player and display the movie in a public place. You certainly can't sell tickets to that movie. But if [censored] = bread, you're free to display that loaf, even sell sandwiches you made with it.

What if you never walk into a store and never buy something off the shelf, but you download the software instead? What if they make you click the EULA before you download the software. Would it be more legitimate to claim you're only buying a license in this case?

I don't think it's at all obvious whether you're buying the software or buying a license to use it.

more than 3 years ago
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Video Appliance For a Large Library On a Network?

tabdelgawad Re:Appliances may not be upgradable (516 comments)

Or a laptop with HDMI out capable of 1080p. Pricier, but more attractive than most nettops and also doubles as a laptop :)

more than 3 years ago
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Barnes and Noble Bookstore Chain Put In Play

tabdelgawad Re:The last physical media to fall? (414 comments)

You're much more likely to drop your paperback in the tub or leave it lying on your chair in the laundromat *because* the thing costs $6. You'll just be more careful with an ebook reader, same way you're careful with your $200 smartphone or camera wherever you take them.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft's Ad Team Trumps IE Developers' Privacy Aims

tabdelgawad Re:Poor argument. (149 comments)

Wrong analogy. More iPads sold now means fewer Win7 tablets sold later and a harder time for MS to catch up to Apple - Ballmer's position is perfectly sensible. This is different from being opposed to something that helps both iPads and Win7 tablets, which would be irrational.

more than 3 years ago
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Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training?

tabdelgawad Re:Wi-Fi-only Kindle (134 comments)

I agree. When B&N launched the nook (supports epub!) sans 3G a couple of months ago, I took the plunge ($149). It made sense that Amazon would follow. $50 is not bad for lifetime 3G, but I personally wouldn't use it - at least with the current state of eReader hardware. Of course, when the predicted 'tablet convergence' occurs, free lifetime 3G will disappear, to be replaced with iPad-type monthly data plans.

more than 3 years ago
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A $20 8-Bit Wikipedia Reader For Your TV

tabdelgawad Not Worth It (167 comments)

With Kindles and Nooks headed below $100, probably by Christmas, this is not worth the eyestrain and massive headaches!

about 4 years ago

Submissions

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Search Neutrality and Google's Dominance

tabdelgawad tabdelgawad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

tabdelgawad (590061) writes "Ignoring the sour grapes, this New York Times op-ed still raises an interesting point: is Google leveraging its search near-monopoly to strong arm its way into all aspects of the internet? The parallels to Microsoft in the 1990s seem obvious. Is "search neutrality" a principle worth embracing?"
Link to Original Source
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How old are you?

tabdelgawad tabdelgawad writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tabdelgawad (590061) writes "It might be interesting to have a slashdot poll that simply asks "how old are you?" The answers would be age buckets with appropriately amusing descriptions. In fact, that ought to be a periodic poll (once a year?) to see how the readership changes."
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tabdelgawad tabdelgawad writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tabdelgawad writes "Many Slashdot readers will have heard of the FBI abusing its subpoena power under the USA Patriot Act to issue tens of thousands of National Security Letters (NSLs) demanding information on phone, internet, and sensitive financial records without judicial review. Because NSLs come with a gag order, the Washington Post went against its policy of not publishing op-eds from anonymous authors, and printed this article from one of the recipients of an NSL who runs a small ISP. From the article: "I resent being conscripted as a secret informer for the government and being made to mislead those who are close to me"."
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tabdelgawad tabdelgawad writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tabdelgawad writes "The BBC reports that Vivendi Universal, the world's largest music group, has signed a deal to make its music catalogue available on a free legal downloads service. Under the agreement, signed with New York-based SpiralFrog, Universal's songs will be available for free download and supported by ad-revenue. The service is expected to start in December 2006. Details of exactly how the artists are to be compensated are still to be worked out."

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