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Anonymity in Question?

Recently saw that some fashion student was going to sue Google because she claims it’s Google’s responsibility to protect her anonymity. This was after a court defamation case where a model had outed the previously “anonymous” student and then dropped the case.

I don’t get it. That’s irresponsible to start since you can pretty much find all sorts of identifying factors on the Internet. Especially if you happen to use the same email address, the same handle, and all sorts of other information. In the end, the Internet is what outs you because of what you put on it, not the other way around. So is it Google’s responsibility? Not a chance. A lawsuit against them would just sink your own reputation for not understanding how things work before throwing around opinions.

Opinions are fine as long as you understand that in the end? Unless you blog under total anonymity with no identifying factors, there isn’t a damn thing that Google can do about it. They wouldn’t give up information unless the law asked for it, and if you’re on a search engine, there’s a good likelihood that anyone can dig up your pseudonym and match things up.

Woot spins out kids.woot!

kids.woot It seems that Woot! has been busy and working on a little something extra. While the main category still is reserved for those that are into the geeky items that sometimes are fairly reasonably priced, I find that this move is actually pretty smart to look into toys and games.

Mainly, the reasoning behind this is simple. Those of us that grew up with the entire Woot! culture probably are averaging in our thirties now and most likely have some little ones. What better way to reinforce the craziness of Woot! I mean seriously… bags of crap could get really interesting here since it literally could be diapers for the masses. Who knows!

All jokes aside, it’s actually a really smart move to spin out kids.woot! I hope it does well.

Difference Between GSM and CDMA

The GSM logo is used to identify compatible ha...
Image via Wikipedia

I think that having come from the cellular industry, I tend to forget that most people do not realize there’s an inherent difference between domestic carriers based on their technology types. And I was reminded of that when I read Jason Calacanis’ post on his case against Apple.

While I don’t agree with his perspective, I believe that the second point itself is made on incorrect assumptions and trying to give a case based on incorrect facts can lead to disaster. His second point in full is here:

2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications
Apple’s iPhone is a revolutionary product that has devolved almost all of the progress made in cracking–wait for it–AT&T’s monoply in the ’70s and ’80s. We broke up the Bell Phone only to have it put back together by the iPhone. Telecommunications choice is gone for Apple users. If you buy an Apple and want to have a seemless experience with your iPhone, you must get in bed with AT&T, and as we like to say in the technology space, “AT&T is the suck.”

Simple solution and opportunity: Not only let the iPhone work on any carrier, but put *two* SIM card slots on the iPhone and let users set which applications use which services. (Your phone could be Verizon and your browser Sprint!) Imagine having two SIM cards with 3G that were able to bond together to perform superfast uploads and downloads to YouTube.

Now here’s the issue with this. CDMA carriers overall do not have sim cards in any way, shape or form. There are some Japanese phones that I have seen that were dual-radio and had modified sim cards for CDMA, but in general it doesn’t happen. The entire number is handled by the ESN which is coded to each phone. That’s the sixteen alphanumeric number that you give to your carrier when you “activate” your phone from behind the battery. The reason for this is that it’s basically two different radio technologies. GSM versus CDMA is much like the VHS versus Beta, or HD-DVD versus Blu-ray except both technologies exist together. But Jason’s want for a dual-radio phone is just not pliable not because it cannot be done, but because from a battery technology standpoint, we still haven’t reached a technological point where battery life is irrelevant.

GSM in itself is actually an older technology. It’s more widespread through Asia and Europe because of it, but the United States is dominated by CDMA (Qualcomm) because of the clearer voice quality and less likelihood of drop scenarios. Don’t let me fool you, CDMA will still drop because RF is a fickle animal, but the two technologies behave differently because of their own intricacies.

Why is this important to know? Well, there’s a difference between data evolutionary paths on both of these cellular technologies. For example, the 3G for CDMA is EVDO while the 3G for GSM is HSDPA. The entire method of choosing the right technology can effect your voice call quality. So for those that actually hate the dropped calls by AT&T because they happen too often? I can probably make the assumption without seeing the traffic patterns that it has a high likelihood of happening due to technology. But Apple’s choice of going with AT&T is very clear since the adoption rate would be towards the majority of market share on a global perspective.

Overall, understanding that there are differences between these two technologies can affect your judgment on which carrier you choose. By choice, I do not believe I would select a GSM carrier if based on voice quality and dropped calls along with the usual echo issues. But to each their own as far as what you’re willing to put up with at the time. Just make sure you understand that you can’t have sim cards with any domestic CDMA carrier.

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Why Fearmongering Solves Nothing


Argh. I can’t stand it. While I agree that environments effect a child’s raising, I truly don’t buy into the entire “it takes a village” scenario. It all starts, and ends with the parents and how much responsibility they’re willing to pick up in teaching the ways of the world to the child. So when I read about video games under attack, especially ones that are as light-hearted and humorous as Fat Princess, I just have to say something.

First off, for the kids. Eating a piece of cake will not make you fat. I don’t care who’s telling you that but if you’re going to trust me over your parents (which I don’t even want to know why I would be more authoritative in your family than your folks), cake doesn’t make you fat. Not exercising and eating too much will make you fat. Yes, the truth hurts, but portion control is key along with a healthy lifestyle. If your parents haven’t taught you that, then there you go. Voila, a lesson of life.

Next, for those that are afraid of games that will wreak havoc in their young children’s lives. Have you taken a look at television these days? Rated “M” is not the same Rated “M” a decade ago. In fact, there are several cable shows that I’ve heard on prime time use foul language. Are you to banish that from young ears for sake of corrupting innocence? Hate to break it to you, but every single one has been corrupted at an early age. There’s always some potty mouth at school that let’s your kids in on the excitingly forbidden. The question is more of how you deal with it. If your children live in a sandbox all of their lives along with you fearing everything, then they’ll grow up to …. guess what: fear everything. And there’s so much more to the world than some video game or movie. Will you always cower under the threat that nuclear war might ensue? Or that a meteor might strike the earth? Maybe Yellowstone might erupt?

The fact is, it’s YOUR responsibility in molding your kids, not the rest of the world. If you were supreme ruler of Earth, then I would probably say otherwise, but you’re not, I’m not, and we probably won’t ever be seeing one of those. So, quit shirking your responsibilities as a parent and get with it. Insults in life are a daily occurrence whether or not you like to deal with it. Same with staying healthy and not eating too much cake, just as dessert isn’t always on the menu. It’s how you manage to teach this to your children instead of passing off to people like Titan Studios. They’re in the business of entertainment, while you’re in the business of raising your kids to be be a part of society.

Twitter is Down This Morning

twitter If you’ve been wondering why Twitter won’t work this morning, just go and check their status section. I found it interesting that the entire site wouldn’t work at all and found it suspiciously like a DOS attack. That was confirmed here.

So in case you were hoping to get your tweeting in today, you might encounter some issues over there.

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How North Carolina Will Go Broke By Stupid Tax Laws

Raleigh NC Tax Day Tea Party Protest
Image by Ivy Dawned via Flickr

I really don’t understand North Carolina state. At all.

The entire legislation is made up of some people that have no idea about technology or how it works. The fact that the final tax bill going to the floor has the “Amazon tax” tells me that not a single one of the incumbents that have pushed this or voted this in is either in the twenty first century, nor know a thing about business law. Mainly, the idea that affiliates are the physical presence for a major online retailer is so ludicrous that it’s laughable by anyone that has done consulting work. I’ll give you an example in the consultation analogy:

According to North Carolina state legislation, if I am an out-of-state corporation, but I have sub-contractors that I have agreements to do work with me, then I am to be taxed as if I operated my business in North Carolina.

Sound good to you? Well, that’s the same agreement that affiliates have with any sort of online retailer that pays them to sell advertisement. I also will be curious as far as when others such as the newspapers (News & Record, Business Journal), magazines, online radio stations, and so on feel this bite since I have heard nary a word from them even though they will technically be hurt by this. I’m surprised that actually no one has even thrown a red flag out there. Oh well, time to bite the bullet with stupid taxing that won’t bring in any money.

Here’s why it’s a stupid idea and totally the wrong way to go about taxing Internet purchases. If you want to chase Internet purchasing taxation, you’ll have to do some sort of an agreement through a payment service. Going after affiliates just allows the retailer to continue with their business and cut their ties to the affiliates (aka small business that do pay local taxes). What you miss out on is all of the taxation that the small businesses were putting into your coffers, and on top of it, you’re not making anything from the online retailer(s). This is expected to $150 million in the next two years?

Who the hell are they joking? With the way it’s written and the ties cut from affiliates, the State will be in the hole more than $150 million. Mainly with all the retailers refusing to pay and cutting their ties, and indirectly jeopardizing any real tax money that would have come into play. I can tell you that one of my businesses will be hurt by this and unfortunately for the state, unless something changes this company will probably be in the red instead of black this year and thus won’t be giving up anything to state coffers. Sucks to be you, eh?

If you want to tax internet retail, you have to move from smaller battles to the bigger picture. But if you can’t understand how to walk, I’m not exactly sure when you’ll achieve dreams of running a marathon.

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