* Posts by MurrayH

21 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2011

Judge drops TV ad-block block: So how will anyone pay for TV now?


When people turn on a telly, they want information or entertainment. They don't want ads that fail to meet those criteria. Most ads don't. If all ads were Superbowl caliber, there wouldn't be an issue (most of those are at least entertaining). It is even worse if one considers political or issue adds that crop up frequently. No one wants to see those at all. We know they are not informative and not entertaining. This is all about fast, unearned money, instead of quality. Don't broadcast 24x7, and there will not be a problem.

Microsoft forbids class actions in new Windows licence


Pretty Laughable

Apparently Redmond learned the wrong thing about Windows Vista and Windows XP.

1. [Windows Vista] Using Market share to throw crap on the wall for your customers to sort out is not good business. People don't pay to conduct Beta Testing for companies.

2. [Windows XP] The market determines the value of your products. If you replace an effective tool with a less effective one, they will pass on it and stick with what works for them.

Ending the ability of customers to seek redress through effective litigation is a counter-productive tactic. Microsoft sues their competitors and other infringers of IP continuously (just like all big business in the US). They then whine about "frivilous lawsuits" by consumers.

I wasn't considering "upgrading" to Windows 8 anyway, but this nails it. I would rather go Open Source then hang with a Fortune 500 who wants my cake, icing, plate, wallet, in addition to attempting to gag and bind me. That's not a good business model for consumers.

Unions urge under-fire HP workers to 'resist' job cuts


Let's cut the real problem

Hey, HP -- If you want to really save money, lay-off all those executives who have been making the bad decisions that led to the losses, instead of the employees who were following the instructions/strategy of the aforementioned. You may indeed have a few cullable folks in the lower ranks, but by and large, losses are created by management and executive level employees.

Hey, HP Board -- Stop hiring executive with Golden Parachute clauses, and tie their earnings to the results. They get paid to take risks, but mitigate their mistakes by firing the people they have led as if it is the fault of those employees.

Oracle gobbles upstart Facebook, Instagram biz tout



"The proliferation of social media and an increased demand by consumers to engage with brands across multiple social channels is driving chief marketing officers to look for an integrated social marketing platform," said Thomas Kurian, executive VP of Oracle Development, in a canned statement.

That has to be one of the dumbest things I have read this week. Consumers have not increased their demand to engage with brands across any media. Consumers generally do not want advertising at all. This myth is being perpetrated by Marketing people. If companies spent all those add dollars on 1) making better products and 2) putting all their product and company information in one place, so that consumers could make informed decisions and watchdogs could ensure they weren't lying their asses off, everyone would come out ahead (except for those Marketing people).

Big Four US carriers vow to switch off stolen smartphones



1. For those who note that stolen IMEI/ESN's get blocked now, that is true, but only on that particular carriers network. This plan would allow the other networks to block them too.

2. For those noting the "self reporting" aspect, most carriers allow a person to call, identify their account and put a hold on a "lost or stolen" phone (same restrictions as number 1 though). Also, if the person wants a new phone via insurance, or credit for usage, a police report must generally be filed for a stolen phone, and the report number provided to the carrier/insurer.

3. One problem is restricting input access to the database for someone other than a carrier (e.g. government agency or 3rd party hacker type) to prevent the inclusion of IMEI/ESN's via malice or sinister government activity.

4. Another problem is to ensure that some sort of checks and balances are in place at the carrier level to prevent the same thing (item 3 above) from occurring at the carrier level and propogating upwards.

5. Finally, a method for a "legitimate owner" to challenge and clear inclusion to the list must be in place, and with a lower degree of hassle than removing your identity from the "terrorist no-fly" list.

6. One also wonders why other network providers aren't included initially, or even mentioned.

Investor sues Oracle over $200m whistleblower payout


Its about time

While I don't agree with the underlying premise - that investors are always due profits, I certainly agree that it is high time that investors begin to sue corporations (they are people now aren't they?) boards and corporate officers for their woeful mismanagement and strategies predicated on pride instead of logical thinking.

Paying fines to the government is one thing. Completly mismanaging a company by stupidity, greed and ego is quite another. The officers are paid high salaries, bonuses and perks to ensure that their corporations or private companies are profitable, successful and operating lawfully/ethically. Unfortunately, I have seen few who are actually capable over the short or long term of doing so.

Google+ is an identity service, Schmidt says


The most disturbing quote

"Saying that he’s been thinking about identity for 20 years, Schmidt calls it a “hard problem”: “The Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person”, he says."

Seriously, he has really been thinking about this for 20 years? and this is what he comes up with? How on earth do these people get anyone to give them money?

DoJ files antitrust suit to block AT&T's T-Mobile buy



Regardless of the first poster's contention that this is a good deal, it is not a good deal for consumers. If a company is going to fail, let them freaking fail for once. In the meantime, offer customers the benefits of competition. If Deutch Telekom wants out, let them sell it to India or China. They have tons of money and would dearly love to run an operation here.

Frankly, AT&T has no choice but to roll out LTE anyway, and they don't need anything from T-Mobile to do so.

AT&T's arguments are spurious at best, and ludicrously illogical at worst. They can get more market share the good old fashioned way - competition via excellent products and services. Frankly, there hasn't been near enough of that going on in the marketplace, and further thining of the choice of carriers will not provide an incentive for that.

One last production run for TouchPad

Thumb Up

I can feel the strategy

Seeing as how the last one turned out, I can imagine that we will see this occur right around Christmas time. That way, they can spread the pain and joy to all their competitors, as they dominate the marketplace by shorting everyone else.

AT&T merger with T-mobile countdown restarted



"The arguments in favour talk about efficiencies of scale leading to cheaper and better services..."

Let's take these two claims and examine them, eh?

1. [Efficiencies of scale] - These two companies compete for the same market share and have fully redundant operations. On face value, it appears that this claim works, if the majority of one carriers staff gets sacked and the remainder work harder for the same money. However, in this economy, approving the sacking of the majority of T-Mobile (you didn't think that AT&T was the redundant player in this equation did you?) employees appears badly short sighted (I suspect that is the reason for the delay -- can't have massive layoffs during an election year). So call this one TRUE, but also A BAD DEAL for everyone but the top brass and investors.

2. [Cheaper and Better services] - okay, 2 ways to look at this. Historically, reduction in competition always leads to higher prices and less innovation. So historically, this is not true.

If either of these companies currently had plans or was able to offer cheaper and better services, they would do so in a heart beat to gain market share and reap the benefits. So, logically, this is not true. I would also stipulate that in this modern era, anything that reduces costs is absorbed by bonuses and investor payouts, never to be seen by consumers (seriously, when did the North American consumer in Telecommunications last see a true rate cut?)

I also think the spectrum acquisition for improved service has been hung, drawn and quartered.

If the FCC votes to allow this, the public will once again be taking our turn in the Pillory of Greed. I can almost feel the campaign contributions flowing as we speak.

Russian rocket flub threatens to empty ISS


Sell it to the Chinese

Sell it to the Chinese goverment, like we do everything else... Oh wait, they will just waltz aboard the abandoned ship and steal it.

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Facebook Deals dumped



This article is illustrative of the poison that is (largely) american business. Our firms are increasingly driven by "marketing people" (caveat: I am sure that many, many marketing people are fine human beings, with whom I would enjoy having a cold beverage at some point in time -- provided they put cash on the table to pay the tab first).

The problem with that, is that marketing people do not conduct their business using real data, rigorous logic, or planning activities. They use their spuriously created numbers and schemes as if they were etched in granite, and are seldom (if ever) held accountable for the disasters they create. The now famous acronym "GIGO" (garbage in, garbage out) of early software development is representative of what marketing brings to the table (other than inflated market valuations, bonuses, and greed driven risk taking by CEOs and Corporate Boards who have very little of their own "skin in the game"). That is the precise reason for "bubbles". Once the hype is gone or unmasked, the spurious valuations collapse and the bubble pops.

Vandal posts official's nude pic to protest cell shutdown



Not sure what "your response to AC19:26" had to do with my post.

I have never read a BART contract, nor do I wish to search one out on line. I never said BART guarantees me (or anyone else) cellular service on their premise. In point of fact, I don't care if they do or not. However, they do in fact have such service installed.

The three points of my post were:

1) BART is a government entity, via evidence offered without any counter evidence other than your assertion.

2) It doesn't matter what your (or even my) opinion of the protests/protestors is/was/shall be. It is clear how you feel about them. Protests are designed to cause disruption and inconvenience to acheive their aims, and however you feel about them does not make your judgement uniform for everyone else (or even a majority).

3) When the government shuts off a given service, for a specific reason (especially one they don't own like cellular service), the reasons for that action should be appropriate to the risks present. Not risks that may happen, or could happen. Government must always be checked by the people. If not, what things will be suspended or taken away next, based on nothing more than the earnest desire of government to "keep you safe"?



How is BART a private enterprise when:

1) They have a *.gov web address,

2) They use taxation/bonds for new development,

3) and employ a police force for security, the majority of whom are able to enforce laws anywhere in the state in the same manner as a CHP officer?

We get the idea that you don't like the protestors, or their methods.

The issue here has nothing to do with that. The issue is if a government or government organization can suspend an existing communication network, solely on the basis of "what might happen". This was a preventionary move, not a response to actual harm or violence. This seems excessive and is hardly representative of a free society.

Mobile operators: US quake proves we need more spectrum


CTIA is...

The CTIA is simply a paid industry lobbying group now. At the beginning, it may have had a more altruistic and "public good" image, but that impression has clearly been erroded over time.

Mobile operators can easily eliminate any bandwith challenges by other means, especially in times of emergencies. The fact that it was not necessary to throttle usage by type to provide voice services during an extremely unusual event is indicative of that fact.

Insulin pump maker ignores diabetic's hack warnings


Pump you up

Unfortunately, it will likely take multiple deaths, wholly and legally attributed to their devices being maliciously hacked to force these companies to change.

How on earth would a medical person be able to tell the pump/device had been hacked in the first place? They are not techies, so the it is unlikely that they would be aware that this could happen, or know what to look for. And you can bet the industries lawyers know that.

Congressional investigation is just another euphimism for "please increase your campaign contributions or we will regulate you".

Apple, Amazon trademark spat turns surreal



I am soooo glad that in this mad, sad, glad world we live it, that considerable resources are being squandered on such mundane and trivial issues.

and "the public and politicians" raise a fuss over "frivilous lawsuits" brought by individuals against corporations, while corporations are using even more resources to sue each other over this type of tripe.

Perhaps we would have more rational ways to solve these types of issues if, in these types of disputes, the losing CEO and legal team would be publicly castrated, and all stored genetic material produced by them obliterated.

Cisco dollars pinched by cheap switches, vanishing cameras


almost laughable

The company still made a profit, and it is being cast as a problem. Have they looked outside their windows in the boardroom? The world is still enmeshed in the results of the economic collapse, and therefore many products are not selling.

Yes, they certainly can reorganize and try to do better, but to run around like the sky is falling when they are postiing a profit is almost comical.

Face the facts guys, if you are not a company creating things the people must have, and you are still showing a profit, it's okay to focus on improvement, but you are still profitable, and that is a major acheivement in this economy. This is why most mergers and acquisitions are a bad strategy. In the end, the only thing they do is cut the number of options available to the customer and further cut employment.

AT&T spars with rivals over T-Mobile merger


Total BS

AT&T and T-Mo are both full of it. One overfull network, acquiring another overfull network will not bring relief.

The clear intent is to eliminate a rival, and acquire more spectrum for themselves. AT&T will not innovate, offer more to consumers, or decrease prices.

What would incent them to do any of those things? Only competetive advantage drives innovation and controls costs. The only vehicle for cost controls will be to remove redundancies between the two organizations. You can guess which ones will be let go.

Apple and Google wriggle on US Senate hot seat


Personally Identifiable Information

""The Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to corporations," Franken said".

That depends upon your viewpoint. While I am sure the Framers intent was primarily to protect citizens from abuse by government, the focus of the 4th Ammendment is protection of citizens, and their rights under the law, regardless of who the potential abuser is.

'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,"

The bottom line for me is -- My information and actions have value. They have a value to me personally and I have a default expectation of privacy. They also have a value to others (or corporations would not look to be collecting them). If someone takes something of value to me, without my knowledge or permission, they are stealing. For the average Joe, they do not realize what is being collected, how it is being used (and by whom) and the ramifications of it being abused or left un-protected. That is just plain wrong. The warnings and information need to be clear and disclosed in the same manner used for cigarettes.

Do-Not-Track bill introduced in US Senate


Tracking legislation

I directly support the "opt-in" methodolgy. But here (for those asking) are the arguments against:

1. The current "web" economy heavily relies on it. If something like "opt-in" legislation is put forward, then that will have a negative impact on the web economy and "cost jobs" (while in reality, it does not have to) in this "tough economic landscape". No politician in the US will openly vote to reduce any jobs but "government jobs", and will certainly not vote against the interests of the big tech companies.

2. Opt-out is much more palatable because the companies can (claim "an existing relationship" - aka Zuckerberg), claim there was a past relationship and it is an oversight, or simply make them hide the data better. Opt-in presumably causes them to wipe the slate and start over (like that would really happen).

3. It creates the need for more FTC inspection and enforcement jobs (presumably growing the budget).

4. The legislation is likely to also cause an outcry and dry-up of lots of free (think Facebook) functionaltiy and entertainment currently available on the "web". I am fine with that, but the sheer number of clueless/thoughtless FB sheeple can easily be stampeded to write their elected officials in Washington to express their outrage over gaining their privacy in exchange for giving up Farmville or microblogging their family and friends constantly about any little thing that happens to them. You can't very well expect people to value something that they don't think about all that often over something that is the sole source of happiness and satisfaction in their otherwise insignificant and pointless lives.

I would also state that any legislation passed will likely be "token", "unfunded", and full of loopholes. Companies will also begin to trick citizens into accepting/opting in to tracking agreements in a wide variety of ways, including trojans and zombie mass-acceptors if need be.