Cody Jackson's Techdirt Profile

Cody Jackson

About Cody Jackson

Cody Jackson's Comments comment rss

  • Feb 26, 2016 @ 04:33am

    Hardware makers don't know software

    I think the biggest problem with IoT manufacturers is that, primarily, they are hardware makers, not software. They are moving into a field they have no real experience in, and it's showing.

    They may have some software people to make the firmware and low-level software that makes the hardware work, but they don't know anything about "IT" services. At a minimum, the senior people don't know about it, so security is an after-thought. It's not needed for the hardware, so no one thinks about it when it comes to Internet connections.

  • Oct 18, 2015 @ 05:40am

    Re: Why not go GNU?

    There are multiple reasons, but I think the primary reason the government doesn't switch is because of inertia. You already know the gov. has a hard time switching gears; imagine trying to retrain thousands of people on a new operating system.

    Granted, every Windows update has a new GUI for users to figure out, so IMO making the switch to Mac or Linux isn't any different. However, the applications will have to change as well. There are *nix compatible version of popular Windows software, but "their just not the same as Office", even though people only use a small number of the features.

    People just don't like change, and the people in a position to make the change are the least likely to want it, especially if it affects them. I can't tell you how many policies I've seen that are immediately ignored by those in power. They may pay lip-service to it, but in practice they don't follow it, or find a way to get around it.

    Another significant factor is Exchange email servers. These agencies have invested significant resources in an Exchange infrastructure. Currently, I'm not aware of any open-source equivalent to Exchange that can be a drop-in replacement. Since email is the main work-tool for most people (and frequently a storage medium as well), not being able to replace Exchange is a deal-killer.

    Finally, there just aren't that many people trained in *nix, and those who are get well-paid. As you may have heard, the gov. is not a place to get wealthy, so the people with the necessary skills will go where the money is, i.e. the private sector.

    At the place I currently work, they haven't had a bona-fide developer there for at least five years, but probably longer. They have temporary workers, who might stay for a couple of years before moving on. Management isn't willing to pay a programmer what they are worth to maintain all the systems, so they have to make do with band-aids and duct tape.

    I'm sure the IRS is similar: get the most work with the least money. Switching to Linux, while intelligent for many reasons (and may have been advocated at times), simply won't happen because no one with authority is interested in it. If something bad happens, they will be in the spotlight, so it's easier to make excuses than fix the underlying problem.

  • Nov 06, 2014 @ 05:02am

    They'll have an app for that (soon)

    How long before someone creates a smartphone app that allows people to post where the security point is when it gets set up, thus allowing people to neatly avoid it?

  • May 08, 2014 @ 04:41am

    Don't really see the difference

    How is getting a lifetime subscription to the electronic version any different than just keeping the book?

    Assuming the student wants to keep the book rather than sell it, especially if they highlighted it or made notes in it, then how is the electronic version any better? Unless the ebook is updated on a regular basis but, if it's a casebook, I can't see a lot of changes being necessary.

    Plus, I don't really see how this is enforceable. It's a physical book. If you don't give it back at the end of the year, there is nothing the publisher can do about it. And if the student sells it personally, i.e. not through the campus book store, who's going to know that it even occurred?

    Basically, it's not going to stop the used-book sales but it makes the publisher look like a buffoon and lose any respect they may have had.

  • May 16, 2013 @ 05:23pm

    Admin leave

    I've always wondered why police are given paid administrative leave when they "screw up". I mean, they need the money, but it basically turns into a paid vacation if you break the rules.

    If you want to make sure that officer know the bad consequences of violating the rules, then give them unpaid leave. Hopefully that would make them think twice before doing something stupid that could potentially affect their paycheck.

  • Jan 24, 2013 @ 04:53pm


    I just checked KDP to see how my book sales are doing and saw that Amazon had recently added several new locations. Previously, the only country specific sales were Spain, Italy, UK, France, and Germany. Now they have Japan, Canada, et al.

    On the one hand, as an author, it's a pain in the butt to have to look at each location separately to see sales. However, it is interesting to see where the buyers are from; it can help improve "internationalization" of future books.

    I don't know if this will be a good thing or not for authors, but it looks to be a pain in the butt for consumers. I don't understand why (beyond short-sighted publishers) it matters where someone buys a digital book from, especially with VPN services being widely available. It won't stop anyone from going "outside their country" to get what they want.

  • Dec 03, 2012 @ 02:52pm


    The initial offer was $20k for the return of the laptop. The offer then went up to $1m due to the data on the HD.

    Personally, I think the person who returned it should have received only the $20k; he returned the laptop, as requested, but the data wasn't available. Therefore, the individual shouldn't be eligible for the money.

    Of course, I wonder why the data wasn't recoverable. I know that data recovery services are able to work magic sometimes. With no indication of extreme wear and tear, e.g. being dropped in an ocean, the data should still be salvagable.

    Also, why would the manufacturer erase the HD prior to giving out a new one? It seems like they would simply return it to the owner, or at least ask the owner what he would like to do with it. Sounds kind of fishy to me.

  • Oct 08, 2012 @ 04:14pm

    Possible, but plausible?

    With most people I know, this app would only be taking pictures of the inside of a pocket, or maybe the person's lap. How often does someone walk around their house with the camera in a position to be taking pictures of the interior?

    Even if someone is using the phone as a phone (less likely nowadays as people tend to text more), they don't tend to wander around the house. In my experience, people park their butts on a chair so they can talk. Walking and talking usually occurs outside the house.

  • Sep 28, 2012 @ 05:06am

    Google Ads are back on my site

    Five hours after Mike posted this article on Techdirt, I received an email from Google telling me that my issue had been re-reviewed and they determined that I could have my Google Ads back.

    Funny how a little media attention can change people's minds. Thank you for your support.

  • Sep 28, 2012 @ 05:04am

    Re: Google Adsense Ads Backon Their Business

    Google reinstated my ad account just a few hours after this article was posted.

  • Sep 28, 2012 @ 05:03am

    Re: How about publishing as an Amazon's 99 cent books?

    My book is available for sale in a wide variety of formats. However, as Mike mentioned in the article, I want to give back to the FOSS community so I also make my book available for free, either through direct downloads off my site or through the torrents.

    That way, people who want to support me can buy the books or they can simply download a copy. If they really want to support me, they can buy multiple copies.

  • Jul 10, 2012 @ 04:19pm

    Use different cars?

    "(c) (1) The minimum fare for sedan-class vehicles shall be five times the drop rate for taxicabs, as established by 31 DCMR ? 801.3 (a).

    (2) The time and distance rates for sedan-class vehicles shall be greater than the time and distance rates for taxicabs, as established by as established by 31 DCMR ? 801.3 (b) and (c)."

    If the above is true, then couldn't Uber get around the requirements by not using sedans? What about using compacts, full-size, vans, monster trucks?

  • Mar 28, 2012 @ 04:22pm

    Noteriety brings money; money doesn't bring noteriety

    Money is a one-time thing. Yes, you can always make more, but in and of itself, money doesn't bring more money. Reputation, noteriety, fame, whatever you want to call it can bring more money. As said on this blog before, obscurity is more detrimental than lack of money. If people don't know about you, you can't parlay that into payments.

    For me, when I self-published my programming book, I made sure to offer it in as many versions as I could. So, people can buy a physical book or one of a multitude of ebook formats. I also offer it for free from my web site (multiple formats) and via torrent.

    I make about $100 a month in sales, which isn't much but the topic is in a niche area and it is $100 more than I had before. But establishing myself and getting my name out there is more important, as I can put it on my resume, attempt to get writing contracts, or whatever. Basically, I consider it as investing in my future, rather than an immediate money-grab.

  • Mar 19, 2012 @ 06:31pm

    Re: Re: I can only say two words...

    Considering that it takes ten years or so for any developments the government/military is working on to come to light, e.g. the Stealth fighter, I'm sure there's some pretty scary stuff on the horizon.

  • Mar 15, 2012 @ 05:20pm

    Patents != Innovation

    One thing I always found funny when Steve Jobs talked about the number of patents they had on the iPad/iPhone (I don't remember which). For several minutes in his keynote speech, he talked about the dozens of patents Apple applied for/received on the device, and people made a big deal of it both at the speech and in the media.

    Prior to getting hooked on TechDirt, I probably would have been like "Hmm, impressive but irrelevant". Now, I realize that it is completely meaningless, especially with the number of lawsuits by other companies that these patents were supposed to protect Apple from.

    If you are still sued even though you have patents, what is the point of spending all the time and money to get patents?

  • Feb 21, 2012 @ 09:20pm

    Re: The article presupposes...

    Just because they are network-enabled doesn't mean the manufacturer is smart enough to make it upgradable. Nor would they necessarily want to; making people upgrade their TV for the latest and greatest features is their business model.

    Even if they are upgradable, how long will that support last before they say you have to buy a new TV because the software won't work on the "old tech"?

  • Feb 21, 2012 @ 09:03pm

    Re: Re: Math and science dropouts

    I wonder if educators are too close to the problem to properly identify it and possible remedies. The solutions discussed in the article seem pretty obvious to me yet they took decades to implement, even accounting for lack of money.

  • Feb 20, 2012 @ 10:49pm

    Math and science dropouts

    Reading the article, it is surprising that educators are so dim when it comes to education.

    I'm working on a Ph.D. in IS/IT Management and have read many studies that talk about getting people more involved in "stuff" (whatever the study is concerned with) inevitably leads to better results. Whether it is a company that gets employees involved in rolling out a new computer system or a classroom that has more student participation an fewer lectures, the more involved people are the more likely they are to succeed.

    Empowering people and giving them a stake in an outcome encourages them invest more in a situation. Traditional classroom teaching has been shown to be ineffective in the vast majority of situations, whether it is in a school or a business training session.

  • Feb 20, 2012 @ 10:14pm


    Online retailers have to pay bandwidth costs, servers and storage, webmasters, software licenses, etc. So realistically the costs have just shifted.

  • Feb 16, 2012 @ 05:34pm

    I'm all for these taxes...

    if they mean that people can "infringe" on whatever copyrighted works they want without ever being hassled by the RIAA, MPAA, and associated organizations.

    But these organizations want these "you must be a pirate" taxes and still won't allow people to infringe on their copyrights. How does that work?

    You pay a tax because of the possibilty that you may infringe on copyright, but if you are caught infringing, then you are taken to court. Yet, you've essentially already payed for the infringing content, right?

More comments from Cody Jackson >>