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Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

trcooper This isn't the solution to your problem (682 comments)

If the person the child is with most of the time isn't open to letting you call or skype with the child, this isn't going to help things. You can't give a four year old a phone and say this is yours no matter what mom/dad/grandparents say. The person who takes care of the child has complete and total rights to say the kid can't have a phone. If this is your issue, you need to solve it differently. Buying a phone and handing it to the kid will just complicate things further. If the issue is that there is limited access due to purely technical reasons, i.e. no internet in the home, caregiver doesn't have a phone that can be used for personal use, you might have luck getting a cellular enabled tablet. What you need to do is setup times you can call or skype with your son, with the person who is caring for him. Then you can figure out the devices to use. Handing a 4 year old a phone and saying keep this with you so I can call you isn't going to be a viable solution.

about a year ago

Sprint May Have Unlimited Data Plans, But Not Unlimited Customers

trcooper Re:Lack of upgrades? (207 comments)

The problem is, Verizon had nearly every cell site up with LTE by the end of 2012. Two years after that Sprint might be up to that level on their smaller network, and it's not a trivial amount of time from now, we're talking 16 months. When you combine that with their failed WiMAX rollout which overcharged and ended up shafting a bunch of customers who never got the speeds they were promised when they bought their phones, their 'Network Vision' looks pretty short sighted to a customer. Why would anyone wait for sprint again when they've already been bit? For me the most important thing is a carrier's geographic coverage area, and everyone is ridiculously behind Verizon in this, and honestly I don't think they're even interested in competing. I don't like VZW and how they treat their customers one bit, but when it comes to building a network no one is at their level.

about a year and a half ago

Prosecutors Push For Anti-Phone-Theft Kill Switches

trcooper Re:What a great idea! (257 comments)

It also won't work. If its software based it will be circumvented, just like bootloaders get unlocked. Theoretically, you could use efuses to cause hardware damage and permanently disable a device. But this would be a mess, there's potential for a major attack which could leave thousands or millions of devices unusable, and then there's the guy who bricks his ex-girlfriend's phone out of spite. Even still, a signal has to be received, and the phone will be able to be flashed with software which will ignore the signal. Steal phone, turn off radios, flash phone. Blacklist the IMEI and require all carriers to respect the blacklist. Right now I think when a major carrier blacklists a device, it can still be used on some of the MVNOs. You've still got the overseas market but unless you physically damage the device that will always be there.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Shows Off New iOS 7, Mac OS X At WWDC

trcooper Re:Looks like (607 comments)

I think that was the the OP's point.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Personal Audio's James Logan About Patents, Playlists, and Podcasts

trcooper Can you explain? (99 comments)

Can you explain, in terms I could tell the average person, how your patent is novel enough that anyone who wants to distribute audio over the internet should license it from you? I'd appreciate it if you could address how the distributions of podcasts today widely differs from downloading audio files in 1995 and how your patent help change this.

about a year and a half ago

NSA Mimics Google, Angers Senate

trcooper Re:Privatize the governement. (193 comments)

I believe the idea behind the policy is that the government should not offer products that compete with the private sector.

For instance, you have a subscription website that offers say, high end weather information and analytics. You've spent thousands of hours developing software which takes raw data and improves it. You've built a subscriber base, and provide a service they're happy with, and continue to innovate and improve.

Then NOAA comes out and says we're going to build a public site which directly competes with you. They're going to use taxpayer money to essentially make your business obsolete.

There's certainly arguments on both sides here. On one hand getting information to the public is valuable. But it's not free. You might say I don't want or need this information, that's why I didn't subscribe the the private company's service in the first place.

This doesn't seem to be the same case. While Google had a similar product, it didn't fit the needs of the NSA. They see that what they've done might benefit the DoD, and other areas of the government, and as they should, they release the software out to the public.

Are they directly competing with Google? I don't think so. It sounds like they're actually innovating, and not mimicking. This allows other private companies to actually pick this up and potentially compete with Google. It also doesn't prevent Google from doing the same.

This is a good thing, and not what the policy was intended to prevent.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website

trcooper Re:Closed? (327 comments)


Yes, closed.

OSX is absolutely a closed OS.

A terminal window has nothing to do with openness. Android doesn't put a terminal window in the forefront, but it's an open OS.

And for the record, UNIX(TM) is absolutely not open either. Linux is, FreeBSD is, UNIX is as closed as anything from Apple or Microsoft.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III Launched, Hands-On Testing

trcooper Re:Has anyone seen... (107 comments)

My 32GB version is scheduled to ship by 7/9. Preordered through Verizon.

I don't believe there has been anyone touting a 64GB version. 32+SD is what I want though. Don't know if I'd pony up another $50-100 for an extra 32GB on board.

more than 2 years ago

Young Listeners Opt For Streaming Over Owning

trcooper Re:Young people don't drive. (390 comments)

I use Rhapsody and Google music and have no issues with it cutting out. Both allow for storing songs locally as well.

I'm not in the young category, unless they're rather liberal with the term... But I've been a Rhapsody user for years and love the service. I save quite a bit of money, and have access to damn near anything I want to hear. Before I would easily spend over $500 on music per year. Now... under 200.

Am I worried about Rhapsody going away? Nah, I'd just move on to the next option.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

trcooper How about the rest of the job? (245 comments)

Being an effective representative isn't simply about yes or no votes. He or she also needs to effectively argue and influence his fellow representatives. Simply being a pass-thru for online polls when the rest of the districts do not operate that way does not seem to work. If all districts worked this way and the job of the representative was solely to push a button when a vote comes up, sure, but why elect someone at that point, just let the online polls do all the work.

I wouldn't vote for this person. While I think he's got good intentions, I don't think he understands what the job entails. I don't have all the information. I don't have time to listen to debate. Neither does 99% of the population. I think I would be better off looking at a candidate who has similar views to me, and hope that they represent me well, if they don't I'll vote for someone else next time.

I want a representative who does listen to his constituents. I don't want one that isn't able to speak his mind on an issue or is not willing to make a stand based on their own opinions which should in most cases be more informed than the general public. I'd much rather have someone who is intelligent, passionate and open minded as my representative than someone who says of the 10 people who went and voted on this online poll 6 said yes, so that is how I will vote. Isn't the point of debating an issue to convince others? How do you accomplish that if you're parroting the results of an online poll?

What about new work? How do you go about getting initiatives started? Do you just not do that? Do you poll your constituents on what they want? How do you come up with those options? What if an item is one you aren't familiar or excited about?

How are you effective as a representative of your constituents in the government structure we have today if you aren't truly a representative, but a mouthpiece?

more than 2 years ago

Google Preps Devs For One-Size-Fits-All Android

trcooper Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (228 comments)

I bought my Droid Incredible with Eclair, and they've upgraded it to 2.2, and most recently 2.3. It wasn't as quick as most would have liked, but I can't say that I'm languishing with the same version that I initially had. My wife's Evo also is up to 2.3.

The beauty is most Android devices are easily hackable and you are not at the mercy of the provider. In most cases its trivial to install a custom ROM, and for those for whom it isn't, they're probably fine with the older versions. I hope we've turned the corner on trying to lock devices down at any cost.

If quick updates to the latest version are your thing Cyanogenmod is out there. If I was running a device that didn't have sense on it I'd be all in on it. As it is, sense is actually a good overlay when compared to touchwiz or blur.

I can't wait for what CM does with Ice Cream Sandwich. I will run that on my GalTab 10.1, and then won't have to worry about Samsung coming out with their official.

more than 3 years ago

Java Creator James Gosling Hired At Google

trcooper Re:Java (229 comments)

I do. And frankly, I prefer eclipse to Visual Studio.

more than 3 years ago

The Return of the Microsoft Kin

trcooper Re:Competition (92 comments)

I think it's a different segment of the market that is being targeted by this. I think it's a shrinking market though. When the Kin was first released there were a lot more people still opting for the mid-range 'media phone' type devices. Making you use pay for the same data plan that you would for an Android phone however doomed it. There was honestly no reason to look at one of these over the slew of android phones verizon released over the past year, simply because of the recurring costs vs. features that you lose.

Now if these are able to be on plans in the sub $50 range, there might be a market for them if they haven't been dumbed down much further. However, I think a lot of people who were potential buyers have overcome the sticker shock of the data plan. You aren't going to get those people to step back in most cases. Zune pass is nice, but I can do Rhapsody on Android or have the Zune pass on a WP7 device. It's got to have more than that in it, at least a nice facebook/twitter interface and the ability to get email without tacking on an extra fee.

When I had an LG Env2, I could do a lot of what I can today with facebook/twitter or email using either apps or a browser, but it was a bad experience. With my incredible these are either baked in nicely or there are great apps readily available that integrate into the phone well and provide an excellent user experience. A device that does these functions well might still have appeal to people who haven't had a true smart phone yet, but I don't see anyone going backwards, even if they can save 20-30 bucks a month.

I don't think this competes directly with WP7, but it's more of an attempt to grab what's left of the low end market that no one is focusing on anymore. Not necessarily a bad move, but it's a market that's shrinking and probably won't exist 5 years from now.

more than 4 years ago

Researcher To Release Web-Based Android Attack

trcooper Re:Anything that gets phone makers to update... (136 comments)

HTC and Verizon have been good on the Incredible. The second update to the phone in 6 months is set to go next week. This will be a minor update to the Froyo release that went out in August / September I believe. I also expect that we'll see Gingerbread a month or two after it's released.


more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Lineup

trcooper Re:Should have started with Verizon (391 comments)

Verizon currently has the (HTC) Droid Incredible, (Moto) Droid X, Droid 2, Samsung Fascinate (why they didn't 'droid' this one i have no idea) all available today, along with several 'older' Android handsets. Coming in the next month or two are the Samsung Continuum, HTC merge, Droid Pro. You want/hate a physical keyboard? Want a bigger screen, prefer a smaller screen and device size? Want a screen you can read in bright sunlight? Want a phone that's easy to modify? VZW has more choices available than any carrier in the US. How are VZW customers starving for a new smartphone?

Verizon has a brand in Droid that they've built. They were tremendously successful in marketing it last holiday season, and sales of the original Moto Droid, Eris, Incredible, Droid X over the last 3 quarters have been a big reason why Android activations are outpacing iPhone activations, and Android has went from nearly no market share to ~20% this year. I'd expect they want to continue that this holiday season, and adding Windows Phone into the mix at this point would complicate their strategy. They'll be perfectly happy to sit back and see how it does on other carriers and bring it into their offerings next spring as a LTE device with the appropriate marketing behind it.

more than 4 years ago

Nexus One a Failed Experiment In Online Sales

trcooper Re:Competition (366 comments)

I don't think what most people saw as the goals for the Nexus one were Google's goals. I know I thought initially they were trying to change the way phones were sold, and push back at the carriers to change the way they do business. I had hoped they would release it at a price point similar to what you can find an iPod touch for instead of the huge markup we see with unlocked cellphones.

But I think it's become clear that wasn't their goal at all. I now think they wanted to push android and their devices forward. Many early android phones were lackluster. It seemed like the OEMs weren't trying in a lot of cases. But I think the threat of google jumping into the phone design game really pushed companies like HTC (even though they built the N1), Motorola and Samsung to improve their designs and make devices that move the platform forward instead of adequate or in some cases sub-standard hardware.

Now there are several phones out there which can go toe-to-toe with the iPhone. Application development is ramping up, and Android is gaining significant marketshare. Android has went from 3.8% of the market share in 11/09 to 13% in 5/10, about the time Google decided that it wasn't going to release the CDMA N1. I'd say that if this was their goal, to push OEMs to improve their hardware and accelerate the adoption of the platform it's been a massive success. Especially since the 13% number comes from before the summer when the Incredible, EVO and DroidX have apparently been very successful.

At the beginning of the year Android was hardly in the game, now they're quickly gaining on Apple for the #2 spot in the smartphone market, and don't be at all surprised if within a year there are more android handsets out there than iPhones and they're looking at unseating RIM.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two

trcooper Re:Potential... (278 comments)

You're right. There is a lot more to the mobile phone market than the high-end smart phone. Compared to any smart phone these two devices can't compete. But against the EnV, Backflip, etc I'd say they're more than interesting. I think the low to mid end of the mobile phone market is under-served with quality devices, there's a plethora of phones out there, but very few that are any good.

If these phones are executed well, they could definitely fill a gap in the market.

What I find most interesting about them is the ability to use a Zune Pass to download OTA. Either you're into music subscriptions or you're not, but I'm perfectly happy with the model and have used Rhapsody for years now. VZW currently has a rhapsody app for phones, but you can't use your to-go subscription to download songs OTA, and to rub salt in the wound it's something like 1.99 to purchase a song you can buy on your PC for .99. If you can download OTA for 'free' that could really increase the appeal of these phones.

Yeah, the phone is underwhelming if you're looking at it along with Android devices and the iPhone. The thing is, not everyone is, and phones like this are going to have appeal to people who are looking one tier below a smart phone.

more than 4 years ago

Things To Look For In a Web Hosting Company?

trcooper Re:Better than shared hosting... (456 comments)

Another recommendation for linode. I've used a few VPS providers over the years, and they are the best in terms of price v. performance. The service is un-managed, but they are responsive in regards to any issues on the servers, and communicate well.

A close second is rimuhosting.com, they are more expensive, but have stellar service, and just are nice guys.

Never choose someone who offers unlimited anything. You want guaranteed resources. Figure out what you need, and find a plan that suits you.

more than 4 years ago

The Broken Design of Microsoft's "Fix it" Tool

trcooper Re:fail (165 comments)

Of course not, because the install would fail and he wouldn't be able to claim it's broken anymore.

If he wasn't able to download it he'd say it's broken because MS doesn't allow him to download software he might want to use elsewhere.

After all, its obvious that some time you may want to use another machine to download a fix. What if there is an issue with your network driver, what if you're trying to fix a machine off the network?

God knows I've had plenty of situations where I had to download something to get a network card running properly... Especially back in the day when many Linux Distro's hardware support was not as robust as it is today.

more than 5 years ago


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