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Officials: NSA's PRISM Targets Email Addresses, Not Keywords

webdog314 Translation (96 comments)

Official: "The US government's PRISM Internet spying program exposed by Edward Snowden targets suspect email addresses and phone numbers but does not search for keywords like terrorism."

Public: "So, how many email addresses and phone numbers are suspect?"

Official: "Er... Well, all of them..."

about 8 months ago

Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

webdog314 Re:what price increases? (424 comments)

Please. My cable internet bill has been increasing about $1 every other month for the last five years. Sure, it's faster, but my data cap hasn't increased. If I don't make use of that speed, then it really doesn't matter that I have 57Mbps or 1.5. The constant incremental price increases are maddening. What other industry does that? They know that if they just raised my bill in one lump, I would consider alternatives.

Sorry, but giving you more throughput shouldn't really factor into a standard price anyway unless that throughput is significantly above the average (FiOS). It would be like comparing price/throughput to phone modems in the early 80's, or hard drives from the same period.

And if you're getting 57Mbps for $43 through Comcast, then you're definitely getting a significant deal (a bundle perhaps), because that's nowhere near what they are currently advertising. Not even close.

about 9 months ago

Feds Announce Test Sites For Drone Aircraft

webdog314 Drone permits? (78 comments)

Do they have an open season?

about a year ago

US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

webdog314 The Argument (1146 comments)

Seriously? That's their argument? That if they are just "good enough" people will buy them on their own? You could give them away for *free* and people would still find some reason to prefer incandescents. Human beings are notorious idiots when it comes to choosing things that do or don't benefit us. Just ask the tobacco industry. Even faced with a long, painful death, we insist that 'we know what's best' for us. I'm not saying that CFL's are wondrous mana from heaven that will save the world, but sometimes mankind needs a serious kick in the ass in order to 'make the right choice'.

about a year ago

Facebook Testing Screen-Tracking Software For Users

webdog314 Re:It's facebook (115 comments)

How long users hovered over specific ads? There's so much rollover event crap going on that I usually move my cursor to the edge of the page just to be able to read.

1 year,27 days

German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function

webdog314 Legal Ramifications (303 comments)

More important to me are my legal protections from the authorities if they wish to use my fingerprint to unlock my phone. I don't have to give them my pin code to unlock my device (at least in most states in the U.S.) but my fingerprints are on almost anything I touch. Would it be legal for the police to hand me a glass of water, take prints from the glass, and then use those prints to unlock my phone without my consent?

about a year ago

Retail Stores Plan Elaborate Ways To Track You

webdog314 Low tech solution... (195 comments)

Or, they could, you know, go low-tech and just have a sign by the shirts that says, "Matching Shorts - 20% Off". Or even better, put the shorts on the next table.

Want to *really* upsell me? Have a pretty girl at the door hand me a coupon for an extra 10% off any purchase of $25 or more at the register. Good for two days.

about a year ago

NSA Utah Data Center Blueprints Reveal It Holds Less Than Thought

webdog314 Why 24/7? (197 comments)

I mean, sure, you could record a few million people sleeping for eight hours a day, or watching 4 hours of Simpsons reruns a night, but why? If you're recording the 1-2 hours most people spend on the phone a day (max), then 3 exabytes might actually work out okay.

about a year ago

Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

webdog314 Re:Every other day delivery is much better..... (867 comments)

How about reducing the number of days mail is delivered to the door based on the distance you live from a central USPS mail center. If rural delivery is the problem, then changes to rural delivery based on the time it takes to get to your home would be the answer as well. If you live 5 miles or less from a central office, then you get your mail 6 days a week. 8 miles - 5 days. 10 miles - 4 days 15 miles - 3 days. 20 miles - 1 day. More than 25 miles - you pick it up yourself. Sounds fair to me. There's a reason that cities work. Living in the quiet outback is great, but why should everyone else subsidize that? Something like 80% of the population lives in a major city.

about a year ago

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service

webdog314 Re:Annoy by Design (156 comments)

Take your pick. The problem is that people tend to think of these services, especially within social media, as something other than a "product" with a shelf life. It's not like we make our lives available to our friends and extended family with the idea that it's 'only until the company can't make money any more and the service dies'. Anything on the web that survives for more than about a year, we tend to think of as "permanent"... but it never is. But honestly, the life cycle really seems to be:

- develop product
- release as free/no ads to increase demand
- slowly insert unobtrusive ads
- slowly insert obtrusive ads
- switch to "premium" version to remove ads
- premium version only removes some ads
- sell user data to highest bidder
- die a slow death

I'm not saying that I have any idea how to monetize the web, but I learned old-school marketing, which was #1 - never piss off your customers. #2 - Either you are ad-driven, or pay-for-service driven, but never both, because eventually you will go to far and violate rule #1. And then you're dead.

about a year ago

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service

webdog314 Annoy by Design (156 comments)

Why is it that the current model in large scale endeavors like this is to purposely make something so annoying that the customer would pay to remove that annoyance? Why spend all that money on a clean and simple, easy-to-use interface to attract customers - and then purposely make it annoying? It seems like we go through cycles - a great product appears, it attracts a massive userbase, marketing steps in and fraks it up, users jump-ship to the "next great thing", repeat. I realize that these are businesses which need to make money, but seriously, is general marketing really that stupid? How many years now have we been driving this failed model?

about a year ago

Maybe Steve Ballmer Doesn't Deserve the Hate

webdog314 Re:What? (240 comments)

And given that Microsoft has an 80%+ marketshare, a "largely stagnant stock price" could have been pretty much achieved by doing absolutely nothing, which, when you look at the company over the last decade, isn't far from the truth.

So it begs the question: what in the world are they paying him for?

about a year ago

The Price of Amazon

webdog314 Re:Breaking news (298 comments)

"eBook prices are mediated by the supply of good writers..."

Actually, it's the supply of 'good writers willing to write.' Few authors are going to keep writing if they can't make any money. As much as we like to think otherwise, publishers are still needed for most writers. At the very least you need an editor. If you want a reasonable cover, you're going to need an artist and/or designer as well. Then there's marketing, etc. A publisher takes care of all that and lets a writer write. Of course, publishers are still taking a huge slice of the pie, much larger than they should be. Nonetheless, if online sellers are able to keep pushing the price of books down, without setting a fixed wholesale price, then eventually it won't be profitable enough for authors to continue writing. More so, with a 'demand-based' market, only the best sellers get listed in the top slots on Amazon. But you only get to be a best seller because you got noticed. It's a catch 22.

about a year ago

The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

webdog314 Re:The theater is dead. (924 comments)

I haven't seen $8 movie tickets for a normal showing in San Diego for almost five years, hell, maybe ten. Eight bucks *might* get you a small popcorn and a small drink, but most standard shows are around $11.50. $13-15 if it's 3D, which every freaking movies is these days.

But you're right. We stopped going to the theater. I mean, I can take my family of three to a show for around $50-60, OR, I can pay for 5 months of DVD/streaming-all-I-can-watch Netflix and make my own popcorn.

about a year ago

FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator

webdog314 Re:I guess it was worth it then... (136 comments)

How about 5 minutes in jail for *each offense*. That works out to about 9.5 years in jail per 1 million spam calls. Seems about right.

about a year ago

FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator

webdog314 Re:Unwanted phone calls (136 comments)

Or, if you want to instantly shut down your competitor/political candidate, just get a bunch of your staff to *55 them. Boom.

about a year ago

U.S. Army Block Access To The Guardian's Website Over NSA Leaks

webdog314 Labor intensive? (331 comments)

"'Campos wrote if an employee accidentally downloaded classified information, it would result in "labor intensive" work..."

Or, you know, they could just 'de-classify' the information... since it's already out there. Problem solved. Nobody needs to face disciplinary action.

about a year ago

Officials Say NSA Probed Fewer Than 300 Numbers - Broke Plots In 20 Nations

webdog314 Can we have our $3 billion back? (419 comments)

So the NSA is building multiple new data centers at a cost of nearly 3 billion dollars, and it's just to look at phone numbers? Right. I want my money back.

about a year and a half ago


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