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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

tlhIngan Re:So in the future ... (114 comments)

It's already being used for items like old tail-lights, that cost too much from suppliers because of scarcity.

As with everything, economies of scale and increases in technology will bring the per-unit cost down.

When a body shop has the choice between ordering a whole assembly for $250, or printing up just the cracked lens that the dealer won't sell them separately for $50, they'll print to order.

Replacement parts, where the OEM won't sell just the tiny plastic gear (you need to buy the whole fuser unit) are a good example. Switch housing got cracked? Sorry, we don't sell just that ... No, we only sell that in mininum quantities of 4. New knob? Sorry, you have to buy the whole timer.

This will allow for a lot of "unbundling", and could result in a revival of do-it-yourself repairs. And less waste.

No, it's not scarcity. It's low demand. The car is old, and parts are long depleted. Few people want to carry the parts because they don't move. Even if you're Alibaba or, having a part sit int he warehouse for years until one customer buys one costs a lot of money - most of it is in just costs used to hold it in the warehouse.

So yeah, 3D printing is great for niche items that few people will actually ever need is an ideal use case. Because it's uneconomical to store and hold products that few people will actually buy.

So yeah, printing a part for your pinball machine that was custom made back in 2003? Perfect use. 3D printing say a standard triangular lens cover for same? Less so because it's a standard part used in many machines and which sell in decent quantity every month.

Yes, it's great for do-it-yourself repairs if the items are long discontinued, especially consumer items where parts are deprecated weeks after the product is manufactured. But if you're trying to buy say a set of wheel covers for your steel rims, 3D printing is unlikely to enter that discussion - it's less economical.

5 hours ago

Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

tlhIngan Re:Well, that's how they faked them to begin with (223 comments)

Problem is, technology fast enough to talk to a PCI-Express card wasn't generally available in the 60's. Or 70's. Or probably even 80's. Even with supercomputers of the age.

More likely, nVidia has a wormhole through which they took orders for images to fake, then sent them back into the past.

Had to be that - didn't you see the comparison between the real and the generated? That looked a bit TOO close, and we know the second image was faked, so the first one must be too.

13 hours ago

Google Partners With HTC For Latest Nexus Tablet

tlhIngan Re:Playlists and MTP (71 comments)

Don't people just drag MP3's from their computer to their phone in Windows Explorer? I don't understand the need for music transferring software.

If you want to transfer only the subset of your MP3 collection contained in a specific set of playlists, then you may need software to construct the copy job, even if it's just a shell script that parses the m3u files. And until very recently, you needed to install software to connect an Android 4.x phone to a PC because some operating systems didn't come with MTP automounting.

Actually, it's more like to get around Android's broken MTP implementation. Yes, MTP on Android is horrendous, as in "it barely works" Look at it funny on a Windows machine (to which it appears to be coded for) and it breaks, requiring a unplug-plug to get it working again.

Unfortunately, it was coded pretty much to work just for Windows and how the Windows MTP driver and Explorer operate. Try other OSes and they can do funny things that'll wedge the Android MTP gadget driver.

OS X supports MTP just fine, provided it's a proper implementation. A half-hearted implementation like Android gets both ends into interesting states. And Linux a couple of years back required patches to the MTP host side to work with Android.

As for Explorer to copy music - well, that's fine and all, but having a program that syncs everything is far more convenient. It's why people do use iTunes to manage their music collections.

13 hours ago

Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

tlhIngan Re:Only cost them 25 percent of customer bills? (236 comments)

Yelp is fighting back by removing hundreds of the one star reviews.

It's actually a lot harder to do this as it requires a human to actually read and understand the review.

They can't get rid of all the 1-star reviews like they can with 5-stars (because getting rid of 1-stars makes the business look better).

if they automate it by removing new 1-star reviews, they run the risk of getting rid of legitimate 1-star bad reviews that got filtered into the mess.

The only way is to have a human manually go through all the 1-star reviews and get rid of the ones that seem fake. Which is expensive ,and you can bet more restaurants will be doing it in the future so now Yelp will have to hire people to filter reviews.

Either way, Yelp loses


NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

tlhIngan Re:Which is why you shouldn't be on such systems (184 comments)

God forbid the courts rule you can serve someone via a Slashdot reply, if that happens I'll never be able to communicate with anyone again.

If the other party sees you posting to /. and you're not reachable by other means, it is acceptable to try.

People seem to forget that a lot of "serving" doesn't actually lead to positive receipt - given the types of cases courts handle, doing so in person is reserved for the largest of cases criminal defendants typically.

After all, if you're suing someone in small claims, you still have to serve them, but using a process server's services can be expensive.

Yes, you can contest the method of serving, if you can show that the other party didn't use reasonable efforts to serve you (but moving without a forwarding address, etc., and purposely trying to hide from the courts is generally frowned upon).

And this would be after multiple attempts too - eventually the judge got sufficiently annoyed at not being able to serve notice, couldn't issue any orders to obtain details for service and was willing to try alternate forms. Remember that final notice of serving happens as a classified ad in the newspaper. (Hell, given how classifieds are these days, Craigslist and Kijiji might be a better option).


Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

tlhIngan Re:Who cares about MicroSD on a phone? (251 comments)

Also " It adds to the cost, adds to the bulk, adds to the complexity, is one more layer of unnecessary complexity and in most cases wouldn't get used much if at all"? C'mon now. Adds to the cost? Most droids have one and practically every one is cheaper than an iphones, Adds to bulk? Seriously? unnecessary complexity? Now your just trying to make it sound like they're doing you a favour locking down your storage, but don't forget you need to keep double what you need free to do anything.

Yes, it adds to cost - a slot is a mechanical device prone to failure and users are not the most gentle of handlers for those things. It's generally why most devices limit access to the SD slot by making it damn inconvenient to get at, rather than the convenience of being able to swap them in and out as desired.

In fact, the reason for this is obvious - the complexity of managing that SD card! If you put apps on an SD card and then swap them, things get confusing, fast.

And then you need file managers to ensure that you can move stuff between cards and internal storage, and apps that generate data also have to have options to select storage. All that just adds to complexity for the user who probably wants to take a photo, and now has to deal with the reality that they picked the wrong storage media and now has to manage that problem.

A single storage device simplifies things a lot - the user just does what they do.

It also adds to bulk because you have to engineer the case around it - there are many design rules and limits to what you can do - how close the slot can be to an edge, material interference issues, etc. Even though an microSD card is barely 1mm high, the footprint around it adds at least another millimeter due to material constraints and tolerance issues. Add in rubber covers for them and it's another assembly step, more bulk as the cover needs to be recessed, etc. (and if you wonder why some phones just have piss-poor covers, it's not an easy job).


Wanxiang May Give 2012's Fisker Karma a Relaunch

tlhIngan Re:Who are the proposed customers? (42 comments)

Anyone who could afford a Karma and wanted electric would have already bought a Tesla S or Roadster.

And given the Karma's perchant for catching on fire if you stare at it funny, going with the Tesla is probably a better idea. At least those only catch fire in accidents and generally in ways that don't consume the entire car.

Seriously, Hurricane Sandy destroyed a fleet of brand new Karmas when they shorted out. Sure, it destroyed a LOT of brand new cars when it flooded the port (about 15,000 cars in total), but the Fiskers were most notable for being the ones that burned completely out.

No, the high voltage EV system isn't at fault. The cause was a short in the 12V system. Something ALL the destroyed cars had in common, and they couldn't get that right.

Hey, the only thing that stopped the flood of Fisker fire news was them going bankrupt. And it's obvious why this Chinese car company has to make changes. Or are we going to have Ford Pinto 2.0? Except instead of just having a bump from the back, just blinking would set them off.


Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

tlhIngan Re:Google's storage (387 comments)

There are more than two companies left, they just share the same parent owners. In the west you have Seagate and Western Digital. In the east you have Hitachi, Toshiba and Samsung. Hitachi may be owned by WD, but they still do their own R&D and models.

This helps WD avoid putting all its eggs in one basket, and also gives them access to the Japanese market. Designed/Made in Japan counts for a lot here.

And expect the departments to be consolidated. Hard drives are a commodity - there is VERY little profit to be made in drives and because the products are basically fungible, competition has driven the prices to the absolute bottom.

They are, however, also precision made mechanical devices where clearances and tolerances are tight. And they are also mass-produced which means having to account for variations in the pieces both in the mechanical design and in the software design.

To do this requires a lot of experience and it's something that's actually quite expensive to purchase because it's specialized.

It's why there are dozens of SSD manufacturers out there - compared to an SSD, a hard drive is like a car with thousands of pieces that have to work together. An SSD is quite simple - just a circuit board, flash memory, controller and ancillary parts that can be put together in any contract manufacturer. But a hard drive requires a manufacturing facility dedicated to making the stuff.

2 days ago

Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

tlhIngan Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (251 comments)

You are missing the point. All of my Android phones include the ability to add a MicroSD card. I don't care how much memory is on the phone, my data (pictures etc) doesn't reside there. Apple's continued refusal to add a MicroSD slot is just more of their way of ripping off their customers.

You're absolute correct. Google is ripping off users as well with their Android phone too!.

Oh wait, Google only offers 16 and 32GB Nexus phones and tablets with NO SD SLOT. Perhaps the owner of the Android OS is also guilty of ripping people off!

Oh wait, you said Apple, not Google.

Anyhow, managing multiple SD cards is a pain - did you put the app on this one, or that one, or where is that damn music file? Oh wait, why am I getting this error, did I not insert the right SD card? It's fine if you start with a 32GB now, then upgrade to 64GB later and then move on up, but since few Android phones have more than 32GB of internal storage (WHY?!) it means you're limited to 96GB of storage without entering the whole card-swap madness. Hell, I think the SD slot is just an excuse for manufacturers because they know 99% of the time, it'll either be empty, or they'll toss in a 16GB card and it'll live in there for the rest of its life. (Which is probably why they put it so you often have to remove the battery to eject them or other such madness rather than a slot on the outside).

2 days ago

Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

tlhIngan Re:Why is Alibaba selling IPO in USA? (190 comments)

It's a Chinese company located in China, and most of its business and customers are in China. So why is it doing its IPO on the US stock market?

Shouldn't NYSE/Nazdaq disallow this? SEC and FTC have no jurisdiction in China or anywhere else outside the USA. If a chinese company listed on NYSE did fraudulent accounting or whatever, SEC can't do jack shit about it.

The whole thing seems like a clever scheme by Chinese companies and Goldman Sachs to sucker money out of U.S. investors.

Well first off, it should ring major alarm bells to any investor that Alibaba isn't doing it in their native country. I mean, either the Chinese government has rules against it, or the founders are basically trying to skirt Chinese law for whatever reason. That's a major red flag without even looking at the details of the arrangement.

Sorry, I don't buy any arguments about whether or not the Chinese government allows IPOs like that - Alibaba is the largest e-commerce site in the world doing practically Chinese-only business, and you can't figure out Chinese investment law? I don't think so.

Yes, I'm willing to call it "shady" from the get go. Either that or it's a house of cards in China that's about to collapse. I'm sorry, but if you're so business savvy to basically be the #1 marketplace in the world, out-doing Amazon, eBay and other sites combined, and you're doing the IPO in the US, there's something majority shady going on, perhaps even criminal (hiding from the Chinese government? Forget to hire the standard Communist party official?).

And oh, the SEC does have some power still - they can effectively suspend trading or even force delisting. Yes, it means current shareholders get screwed, but it prevents future shareholders from being screwed more. Hell, they can still levy fines to be paid by company owners (i.e., shareholders). It's the shareholders that are taking on a lot of risk because they can't bring the executives to bear.

3 days ago

Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

tlhIngan Re:And they wonder why I block ads... (223 comments)

As a side note, who the fuck thought that "AdMob" would be a good name for an advertising site? "We're going to MOB you with ADS!"

Fuck Off, AdMob.

Well, they were advertising for mobile devices - basically the iPhone and later Android devices.

(And Apple and Google were competing to acquire AdMob, but Google eventually paid more and likely paid Apple to create iAds to get around anti-trust).

Oh yeah, don't forget that Google's ad CDN is

3 days ago

Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

tlhIngan Re:Repair (53 comments)

I don't like having to re-buy goods due to planned obsolesce. Take TVs, for example. I have a Sears TV in storage from the '80s. The manual has circuit schematics, where to get replacements for the channel buttons, how to replace switches, what pots are used where. It was made so someone with basic soldering skills could at least maintain it. A new LED TV just gets chucked and you buy a new one, even though the problem could be a membrane contact that costs a penny.

First off, your Sears TV is suffering from "Survivor Bias" - it lasted that long for you Who knows how many thousands are sitting in landfills because they're broken? So no, you can't say "things were made better in the past because my XXX works today". Geez, I could say they made computers back then better because I have a 486 that still works today (with original hard drive).

And let's not forget cost - that 486 PC cost nearly $6000 new with a 14" monitor. You can get a new PC these days for $300. Sure I can repair that 486, but that's because it cost a lot when I got it. These days that $300 PC isn't as repairable because if it costs more than $50 to fix and it's older than 2 years, it may be time to just buy a new one. (The old one's residual value would be $20 when it was working, practically speaking).

And your LED TV? Given you can get 40" TVs for practically $200, and to replace that penny contact will involve probably an hour of time with the guy charging $75/hr, well, people would just buy new. Because what if it fails again a couple of months down the road? You going to spend another $75 repairing it (total cost $150). And again?

For a lot of stuff, it just isn't worth it - diagnosing the problem and fixing it costs way too much money. Unless you do it yourself for fun (i.e., your time is free) in which case it's a great way to get good equipment for practically free.

In other words, for a good chunk of things, repair is a hobby. it's cheaper when your time is worthless.

The economy is getting shittier in general. In the past, we could afford to replace things when something small broke. I had a collegue who bought a new car every 2-3 years, once when the relay controlling the heated seat failed. These days, it is commonplace to see people nursing their old Saturns and Honda Civics to keep them on the roads. That is why headlight polishing kits are so common. In the past, vehicles got replaced before the glass or Lexan dulled (or used sealed beam headlights.)

For cars, replacing it 2-3 years usually corresponds with a lease arrangement. And cars are quite repairable - that failed relay can usually be repaired for a few hundred bucks in labor. Or a few hours if you do it yourself.

And there have always been people who nurse their aging cars - to the point where we even call them "beaters". If you're willing to put up with a lot, the modern computer-controlled car can fail in many ways and still keep going while the old mechanicals with carbs and distributors would just be dead. You should get a OBD scanner on those to see the fault code, and you'll find practically everything has failed (if the check engine light is off, it means it's burned out having been on for the past 10 years).

The other reason is economy - those 2-3 year lease/fleet returns are cheap, so you can get a fairly decent car when someone else has eaten the depreciation.

Then there's the group of real fanatics who spend $10,000 to fix their car worth $2000 tops (and less as scrap).

One reason why companies have chosen to go with products that cannot be repaired is simple -- it gets rid of the used market. In the past, if someone had a broken lawn mower, someone else could give it a carb rebuild and get it perfectly functional. A lot of goods, once broken, can't be recycled, much less salvaged for anything whatsoever, which means no real secondhand market.

This is going to backfire. Will a company make more money in the long run if they sell parts to fix their gizmos, or more gizmos in a good economy, and almost none when the economy goes bad and stays bad? For long term thinking, having repairable items brings in a long tail due to the parts sales.

For lawnmowers, you still can rebuild the carbs, and many places will sell you the parts. And the used market is just there as well, but most people don't participate because it's not worth the time and effort. I mean, if you have an old-ish PC that's 2-3 years old, you're not going to get more than $20 for it when the latest and greatest can be had for $300.

Such is the nature of technology - they don't need to get rid of spare parts because next year's new shiny is going to have different parts anyhow. (And have you checked Craigslist? Plenty of people are selling their iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S to get the iPhone 6/6+.)

With goods that are basically obsolete in a few years, having a long tail is pointless. I have a Palm handheld - I can still get parts from it, but the retailers are smaller shops that are online because they can be. The parts in it are now salvage because it is completely worthless to anyone else to stock them. And for everyone one of me, there are millions of people who moved on.

If you want to fix stuff, go right ahead. Be known as the fix-it guy in your neighbourhood and you'll find your pile of "non-economical repair" stuff will grow and you can get quite a bunch of decent 2-3 year old pieces of equipment.

3 days ago

Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

tlhIngan Re:Nope they are clever (331 comments)

And Google isn't? I thought Android won? Face it, they don't bother with talking to anyone, they just expect them to come to them to beg working with them because they are so fucking awesome. And if they do, they abandon them after a couple of years because Google refocuses.

The problem with Google's implementation is that Google wants to be the payment provider. This is "better" in some ways because it means more flexible funding schemes (Apple requires Visa, MasterCard or American Expess). However, it has a major downside - Google is now a major participant in your transactiona because the retailer charges Google, and Google charges your payment provider, so now Google gets the details of your transaction, which depending on the retailer can include what item you actually bought.

The other downside is it means Google has to work with every payment system out there to get them to accept Google Wallet as a valid payment mechanism.

Apple's method means it works anywhere that accepts contactless Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards. Because Apple Pay appears to the retailer as a regular credit card so retailers have to do zero effort. Google Wallet makes it so they have to sign up with new payment providers and all that to specially take Google Wallet.

Use Apple Pay and Apple doesn't know about the transaction as it's a more standard credit card transaction that's handled between banks.

As for NFC restricted to Apple Pay? That's iOS 8. It most likely means the APIs for it are far from stable and/or Apple doesn't have a good way of handling events in NFC under the current security architecture. iOS9 can easily change it.

it's just like TouchID - last year it was only for bypassing the PIN and for iTunes purchases. In iOS8 it's allowed to be used for third party authentication in apps. You can bet iOS9 will have NFC APIs for app use.

4 days ago

Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

tlhIngan Re:Same old (122 comments)

Seems like once or twice a year, People discover phase encoding. Promises of narrow bandwidth and high transmission rate are so tempting.
And just to really get people excited, you can give the signal another "twist", and another, and another - "HEY! It looks like we can achieve infinite bandwidth!!"

Or... how people keep trying to outwit Shannon.

And they fail (after all, that theorem states the maximum achievable data rate using any kind of whimsical encoding you can dream up including ideal given a bandwidth limited channel and a SNR). We can go lower than it (and often do) but it's the theoretical maximum and it hasn't been proven wrong yet.

All that a new encoding or modulation scheme gets you is closer to the maximum.

And it's dependent on SNR - 2.5m in a basement is quite a bit different if you extend it to 5m because your signal is going to get attenuated some. (schemes like beamforming and MIMO get around it - beamforming to increase SNR, and MIMO to increase the number of channels available).

4 days ago

Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

tlhIngan Re:Flash and Silverlight (61 comments)

With a Linux desktop you don't need to know more about computers than a typical Windows user yet have a safer environment.

Not really.

Most malware these days are of the "honor virus" kind - user wants to do X, and they google how to do X. Some YouTube video comes up and says you need to install packages A, B, C, then use A to do D, E, F, use B to do G, H, I, and then C will help you do X. Bingo!

What the video did NOT say was D and E require setting your password to "password" or that C is a daemon you run as root, and can kill it after. So now you have your password set as password (they didn't tell you to reset it back), and an unnecessary root-running daemon.

Linux is no safer, to be honest. Because you can easily tell a user to do "sudo rm -rf --no-preserve-root /", enter their password and then do a bunch of other stuff.

Hell, since UAC times, most malware runs in userspace, and you have full access to the user's event queue.

4 days ago

eBay Redirect Attack Puts Buyers' Credentials At Risk

tlhIngan Re:NoScript (37 comments)

It would be much easier to use NoScript if web sites stopped requiring JavaScript or at least stopped using scripts hosted on other web sites.

And stopped hosting content on their own websites on other domains.

I mean, is there a real advantage that amazon's images are hosted on rather than Or static eBay stuff on ? (And nevermind Google's

Is there some distinct advantage, or is it a case of "IT won't get us what we need, so we set up an alternate website on our own dime" ?

I mean, vs., or vs. ? I know domains are basically free, but still...

5 days ago

How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

tlhIngan Re:...the best photographers were older people... (97 comments)

All that experience can be accumulated hundreds of times faster in digital where you can see immediate results. Tomorrow's experts will be more expert than yesterday's experts, just as the 20th century saw huge leaps in athletic performance such as running and swimming races, weight lifting records, etc. There are also thousands of artists today that equal the top handful of masters of old times, it simply isn't acknowledge because it is subjective, and appreciation is inherently relative, in the same way people love 60's sports cars even though they are actually slow and poor-handling.

Actually, there's something to be said about the "old way". Where it took days from when you took your photo to when you got it back.

It meant you had to work at your shot - you had to compose it perfectly, get the exposure right and all the other stuff. Then click the frame.

If you were good, you didn't take extra shots "just in case". You knew that after waiting the few days for the photo to come back, it'll be good.

Today's digital camera? Just click away mindlessly until it comes out right. Trial and error. Just snap snap snap. You know the drill - after that trip you come back with 10,000 snaps, and then filter out through the whole lot to find the few that are keepers. Because the rest would be garbage.

Which approach is better? Hard to tell. Though truth be told, equipment actually doesn't matter. National Geographic photographers have intentionally gone on trips equipped with nothing more than an iPhone and still take stunning photos using nothing more than the default camera app.

5 days ago

iOS 8 Review

tlhIngan Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (216 comments)

That drive me up the wall. Why have an entry level phone? the manufacturing costs between 16 and 64 is tiny. Why support some many phone types? just make 1 64GB phone.

And I ask the in earnest. What data support the cost of different lines vs/ the cost of all of them being 64GB?

it's really all about segmentation and choice (or lack thereof).

16GB is not enough, but it's there to give you a nice price point to hook a customer in. Then you can explain to them would you want more space - 4 times as much for just $100 to go from 16 to 64.

And remember, back when it as 16/32/64, people complained about the $100 increments as being too profit-making going from 16 to 32.

At least 16/64/128 seems to offer more "value" for the $100.

And yes, consumer studies have shown that splitting the lines like this makes the middle choice far more likely - i.e., given the choice, people would chose the 64GB model - it's not a lot more money over the 16GB, but it offers a reasonably amount of space.

5 days ago

A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

tlhIngan Re:Hmmm .... (112 comments)

and if you really want to feel safe, dont think about how they work long high tempo hours outdoors for an average of 9 bucks an hour (typical low wage physical labor job).

Pilots don't have it much better either - starting wages are only around $20K or so after graduating and spending easily twice that learning to fly. The "sweet life" is getting the six figure salary and left seat on heavy metal on routes that are convenient for you, but it can take 10-20 years to get that far, while for the most part, when you start out it's shit routes at shit times for basically shit pay. And don't talk about airline mergers - when your pay is related to number of years AT THE COMPANY (and not experience), there's generally huge fights as to how people are ranked in seniority. And yes, it could easily mean pay cuts.

Hell, until recent FAA rule changes (that have yet to be rolled out in other countries), your "duty day" doesn't start until you basically start prepping for a flight. It doesn't matter that to get to your flight you had to ride standby and commute 4+ hours waking up at 3AM for a 1PM flight and having your day end at 1AM the next day because you had a few layover hours.

A few air disasters later traceable to pilot fatigue has caused the FAA to change the rules on duty day calculations.

So your flight might still be "legal" with respect to duty day requirements for that airline, but the pilot could easily be pushing 20 hours awake.

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

tlhIngan Re:Does not depend on country. Stupid is all over. (232 comments)

I'd say Apple was like that during the Jobs era - Jobs' tantrums are rather famous, and he's one of the assholes that got stuff done.

Maybe his RDF helped couch that fear into a positive by turning into energy to move you forward (Jobs hated behind handed crap, especially if he knew you could do better so your fear of handing him crap made you a better coder by raising your expectations).


All we know now is since Tim Cook knows he can't be an asshole and get stuff done, FDD has relaxed somewhat.

5 days ago



FCC warned not to take actions a Republican-led FCC would dislike

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a month ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Municipal broadband is in the news again — this time Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has endorsed states' right to ban municipal broadband networks and warned the (Democrat-led) FCC to not do anything that a future Republican led FCC would dislike. The argument is that municipal broadband discourages private investment in broadband communications, that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment."
Link to Original Source

Amazon confirms Hachette Spat Is to "Get A Better Deal"

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 4 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Last week we heard that Amazon was withdrawing Hachette books from its virtual shelves including allowing preorders of the new JK Rowling book. Amazon has responded to these allegations, and confirms that yes, they are purposefully preventing pre-orders and lowering stock in order to get a better deal from Hachette. Amazon recommends that in the meantime, customers either buy a used or new copy from their zShops or buy from a competitor. Amazon admits there is nothing wrong with Hachette's business dealings and that they are a generally good supplier."
Link to Original Source

Glasshole Googlebombs Restaurant When Asked To Remove Glass

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 4 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Katy Kasmai loves her Google Glass. So she took great offense while dining at Feast (a restaurant in NYC) when staff members asked her to remove it citing patron privacy concerns. Her reaction? A call to arms to downvote the restaurant by leaving it nevative one-star reviews. Most were fake, few having actually visited Feast (or even living in NYC), all taking offense over other's concerns about surveillance. Of course, more violent methods of Glass removal have occurred in the past. Do over-entitled Glassholes potentially doom the future of the technology?"

Google may have more of your email than you think

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 4 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Everyone knows about GMail — Google's web-based email service. And there are a few people who refuse to use it, citing privacy amongst other reasons. However, it turns out Google may have more of your email than you think. Benjamin Mako Hill was curious and analyzed his personal email. He found out that Google handled approximately half of his personal email, despite not having a GMail account. This includes email sent to him, as well as email he sends out. While it shows how popular Google's service is, it also shows how much potential information there is for Google and others (like the NSA) could sift through."
Link to Original Source

Titanfall: No Day One DLC, Microtransactions or Season Passes

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 7 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "With big game releases come the usual trail of nickle and diming — from day one DLC, microtransactions, and season passes to get future maps. However, Respawn Entertainment, developers of Titanfall and Microsoft's heavily promoted next-gen Xbox One title (although also available two weeks later on Xbox360), has firmly stated there will be NO day one DLC, no microtransactions and no season passes. No paying a dollar for a pistol — you'll just have to fight your way through and earn it. What you get on the disc is everything — no paying for maps already included. Of course, this doesn't rule out future DLC, like additional maps, but it appears that everyone gets the same content on release day next week and no spending money to get upgrades without earning them."
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Google Admits G+ Created To Mine More User Information

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 7 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "In an admission not unexpected, Google admits to using Google+ as a means to gather more user information. Linking together various Google services to help keep track of your activities across the Internet, it's seen as Google knowing more about you than Facebook (and presumably to use the majority marketshare of advertising to sell you product). Google does not fear a mass exodus, believing that the more people want to use your products, the more you can get away with."

PS4 vs. Xbox One - PS4 Users View 3 Times as Much Porn

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 9 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Well, one metric is in. If you want porn, apparently the PS4 is the machine to buy. SugarDVD, the Netflix of porn, reports 3 times as many PS4 users used its console app over the Xbox One. While it's tempting to guess that the PS4 sold 3:1 over the Xbox One, actual figures don't agree. SugarDVD CEO anticipates the numbers to change, as the Xbox One "offers a more seamless an interactive experience". One theory to the difference is the PS4 is aimed at hardcore gamers, while the Xbox One is aimed at more family pursuits."

Valve's Steam removes its first game

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 9 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Today marks the first day that Valve has removed a game completely off its service. Order of War: Challenge has been not only removed from the service, but it is the first to be removed completely from a user's library as well. Previously, when a game was removed from Steam, it was just removed — as long as a local copy exists in your library, you could always play it, back it up, reactivate it, etc, (similar to Apple's iTunes and App Store — it may be gone, but as long as a copy exists, it'll work). Now it appears that Valve has actually gone the next step alongside Amazon and Google and removed games from a library."
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A new way to monetize mobile apps - Bitcoins

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "App developers have long struggled with ways to make money from their apps — from selling them outright in the app stores to liberal use of in-app purchases and in-app advertising. The problem with in-app ads is obvious — for those on Android, it's the ridiculous amount of permissions required to support it. For those apps that use the Unity framework, Icoplay introduces a new way to make money — Bitcoins. Their Icominer plugin for Unity turns spare CPU cycles of a user's device into mining Bitcoins. It transparently works in the background and promises to not interfere with general gameplay. Unmentioned though is the impact to user's battery life and drain on system resources, especially given how iOS7 now (and Android always) supports full multitasking with background support. The plugin is still in development, and is supposed to cost around $80."
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Apple converting trial and pirated iWork, iLife and Aperture to full versions

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "One aspect about the new OS X Mavericks release was that all Apple produced software was to be downloadable and updatable through the Mac App Store. However, this has the obvious implication of what happens to users who bought the software before Mac App Store? Initial reports showed that the Mac App Store scanned your hard drive for the apps and offered to associate it with your Apple ID, and that the scanning even found trial and pirated versions and upgraded those to fully licensed versions. Even more interestingly, this is not a bug, and it appears Apple is turning a blind eye to the practice and giving away copies of iLife, iWork and Aperture to users who own trial or even pirated versions of the apps. Apple has also recently stopped providing downloadable trial versions of iLife, iWork and Aperture from their web site."
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Samsung Fudging Benchmarks Again on Galaxy Note 3

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "A few months ago, Samsung was caught gaming benchmarks on the Galaxy S4 (International version). They would lock the GPU at a higher-than-normal frequency when certain applications were run, including many popular Android benchmarking programs. These had the expected result of boosting the performance numbers. This time, the Galaxy Note 3 was caught doing the same thing, boosting CPU scores by 20% over the otherwise identical LG G2 (which uses the same SoC at the same clock). Samsung defends these claims by saying the other apps make use of such functionality, but Ars reversed-engineered the relevant code and discovered it applied only to benchmark applications. Even more damning was that the Note 3 was still faster than the G2 when run using "stealth" (basically renamed) versions of the benchmarking apps which did not get the boost."

Despite global release, Breaking Bad heavily pirated

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "One reason that many people pirate TV shows is "it's not available in my country until months after it airs". Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening. Despite this, many users still decided to download it than watch it when it aired locally. Australia users we the top, perhaps because it was on FoxTel. This was followed by US and Canada (who obviously got to see it when it aired), and the UK where Netflix had it within hours of the US premier. Fifth on the list was the Netherlands, where it had aired hours before the US premier on a public channel. It's obvious that despite the global release, the show was headed to top its previous highs in number of downloads. Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?"
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Federal Judge Declares Bitcoin a Currency

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "An East Texas federal judge has concluded that Bitcoin is a currency (can be used as money) that can be regulated under American Law. The conclusion came during the trial of Trendon Shavers, who is accused of running the Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST) as a Ponzi scheme. Shavers had argued that since the transactions were all done in Bitcoins, no money changed hands and thus the SEC has no jurisdiction. The judge found that since Bitcoins may be used to purchase goods and services, and more importantly, can be converted to conventional currencies, it is a form of currency and investors wishing to invest in the BTCST provided an investment of money, and thus the SEC may regulate such business"
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Google Play Downloads Beat Apple App Store

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "With Android devices outselling iOS ones 4-to-1 or more, it should come as no surprise that Google Play downloads exceeded Apple App Store downloads by 10% in the second quarter of 2013 for the first time since the stores were established 5 years ago. No reasons were given for why Android (which has been outselling iOS since 2010, if not earlier) took this long to overtake iOS in downloads."
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Microsoft allows indie self-publishing, debugging on retail Xbox One

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Microsoft was the last platform manufacturer to require that all games go through publishers, a much hated policy. Indeed, their approval process was one of the harshest around. But taking a page from Apple, Microsoft will allow indie developers to self publish, and allow retail Xbox One units to serve as developer consoles. Previously, self-publishing developers were relegated to the "Xbox Live Indie Arcade" section, as well as developer consoles often costing upwards of $10,000 with special requirements and NDAs. This puts Microsoft's Xbox One more in line with Apple's App Store, including Microsoft's new promise of a 14-day turnaround for approvals. Microsoft's retail debug console system is to work similarly to Apple's — that is, to run pre-release code, the individual consoles used have to be registered with Microsoft."
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Apple renews contract with Samsung over A-series processors

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "In an interesting move since Apple decided to partner with TSMC a few weeks ago, the Korea Economic Daily is reporting that Apple has re-signed a contract with Samsung to produce the A-series chips Apple uses to power its iPads, iPhones and iPods. TSMC is still to produce chips for Apple, though Samsung is poised to take over from 2015."
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DMCA Safe Harbor May Not Apply To Old Copyrighted Works

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "On Tuesday, the New York appellate court denied Grooveshark the DMCA safe harbor protection on songs like Johnny B. Goode. What happened was due to an oddity in the law, the DMCA does not apply to state-licensed copyrighted works (those copyrighted before February 15, 1972). What happened was Congress overhauled copyright law to make it a Federal matter, but all works prior to that date still come under common-law and state statutes. The end result is that Grooveshark does not have DMCA safe harbor protection for older works and may be sued for copyright infringement (barring other agreements, e.g., UMG and YouTube), even though they fully comply with the DMCA otherwise, taking down copyrighted materials. Grooveshark is a "music locker" service allowing users to upload music for others to listen to."

Apple Did Not Censor Comic - Comic Distributor Did

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year and a half ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "A few days ago, Slashdot reported Apple banning sale of Comic Book Apps over gay sex images. It turns out that Apple was not the one behind the move, but that Comixology was the one who declined to publish it for iOS over fears it would not be allowed by Apple. In a blog post by Comixology, they stated that they were contacted by Apple who said that the content was fine. Saga #12 should be up in the iOS comic apps shortly."

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream - Investments Banks Take Note, Offer Derivatives

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year and a half ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Bitcoin has reached a new high, where even the average Joe can now have them in their portfolio. Ars Technica reports on new forex markets, derivative offerings and investment bank holdings related to Bitcoin. Depending on your view of derivatives and their role in the financial crash, you will soon be able to trade in Bitcoin futures (and possibly options), hedge funds, and other interesting financial instruments centered on the currency. Whether or not these new investment options will stabilize or destabilize the currency even more is up in the air, but it might be an interesting take on what caused the crash of 2008. On an unrelated note, the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook idea fame) have stated they own approximately 1% of all bitcoins (approximately $11M) out there, stored on flash drives spread around the world."


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