* Posts by Mage

3394 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Mage
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Alert

the ten-year warranty OR

Ten year life, MINIMUM?

A warranty says more about marketing policy than it does about product life.

What sort of batteries are still good after 10 years of daily cycling?

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OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Mage
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Meh

Emoji vs emoticon

I don't even know what most of them mean.

It seems that Emoji have roots in asian text where smile / happy is

^_^

and western emoticons based on sideways text, but image version rotated

:-)

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Stubborn 'won't fix' Google U-turns on Chromecast vid judder twitching-eye blunder

Mage
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Facepalm

Frame rate & Size

Like the vast majority of US / Japan originated designs in the Past

Kluged for PAL

Graphics card TV out NTSC/PAL jumpers that didn't work

Cards that had 640 x 480 inside overscan area on NTSC but simply cropped 800 x 600 to do PAL (768 x 576 visible).

How many PAL resolution LCD panels where there ever?

Portable LCD TVs all based on half US SD resolution (240 lines) even if 800 or 1024 pixels wide.

Today's Nvidia cards were you have to create your own HDMI HD 50Hz modes and (60Hz modes included) every time the driver is upgraded it erases all trace of your custom settings.

This is no surprise at all.

I even have one DVD that is 24fps -> 3:2 pull down NTSC 30fps converted to 25 fps interlace (Most DVDs from Film sources are 480 line 24fps progressive for Region 1 with the player doing 3:2 pull down for interlace or using component to play progressive. For PAL regions the Film source is 576 lines on the DVD and the sound is corrected by 24/25ths so player simply plays the 24fps progressive source at 25fps (interlace or progressive).

It's not hard at all to do it right. You don't need a Blu Ray disk. All streaming video and DVDs also have the required metadata for HD and especially for SD.

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Bruce Schneier's Data and Goliath – solution or part of the problem?

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Great analysis

Yes, The error of false authority, Schneier is undoubtedly a genius in many areas and the leading expert on Cryptography and a good exposer of fake security solutions and responses.

But that doesn't make him an expert at everything and certainly not on what to do about privacy. Cory Doctorow and Martha Lane Fox are blinkered ideologues and are far far worse than Schneier's worst ideas in this area.

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Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Mage
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Boffin

radio spectrum, government should be charging users for its use

Not by auctions.

Only by the use of the users. It's such a limited resource it needs to have one infrastructure per mobile band. Multiple physical operators splits the spectrum leading to over 50% inefficiency.

We need many different Spectrum uses, not just mobile. Under recent schemes the Mobile operators are favoured.

Since start of 3G auctions this has been a massive failure.

The so called Digital Dividend is a massive disaster for Terrestrial Broadcast and consumer, for a once of treasury injection and slight lowering of Mobile Operator costs with little long term increase in capacity or coverage. The auction idea encourages Regulators to have almost no conditions imposed.

Cable, Internet, Mobile and Satellite can't replace Broadcast and many other specialist services that need spectrum.

Even various satellite services have been threatened by foolish highest bidder spectrum auctions and religion of Mobile (Light squared in USA).

The rest of the article is only brilliant. Give me a call Worstal and I'll explain why Spectrum is a special case and why you can only have retail competition on Mobile, but the infrastructure needs to be a single operation for large geographic areas.

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Intellectual property laws in China, India are flawed, claims US govt without irony

Mage
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Trollface

USA says ...

Reform your own thieving Patent Office, your Spies feeding USA Corps etc.

Pot Kettle

Glasshouses stones

Etc.

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Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Mage
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Boffin

3D? Hologram?

No. It's a 3D simulation using a pair of 2D images at fixed focal length, Stereoscopic.

Seriously misnamed and overhyped.

Prolonged use will cause bad headaches and eyestrain.

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Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Hardly news in a way ...

USA Spies have been stealing European IP for USA Corporations since 19th Century.

The West German spies got too cosy with USA during Cold War.

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BATWINGED DINO-PIGEON causes FLAP in bone-boffinry circles

Mage
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Alien

Gliding?

C.f. the Flying Squirrel

1) It can't really fly but glides.

2) It has no belly button (see item 3)

3) It's not only not a Squirrel (or bat), but oddly a Marsupial.

Nature has stuff a guy inventing a Bestiary wouldn't make up!

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Mage
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Devil

If properly tested ... Banned.

And if CE mark properly policed none of the these spectrum hog Transmitters would be on the market.

The testing is a lie as they do not test correctly.

They are really transmitters. It's impossible to transfer at more than about 0.1Mbps on house mains wiring without out illegal transmission.

Notching Amateur bands is a sop! It proves they are illegal. The Broadcasters are entitled to the same protection.

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Apple Watch WRISTJOB SHORTAGE: It's down to BAD VIBES

Mage
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Facepalm

likely to be obsolete within ten years ...

More like 10 months before production.

Certainly many unlikely to meet SOGA requirements.

But the Fans will buy a new one in 10 months to 20 months. To match their new iPhone.

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PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

Mage
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Boffin

Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

It's Stereoscopic overlays. It's not really 3D and not remotely ANYTHING to do with Holograms.

Real Holograms and actual 3D work with one eye and don't cause eye strain. This is an illusion (2D Stereoscopic), so for 15% or more it doesn't work. For most people there is the focusing distance conflict between real distances and the Stereo image which is in a single plane, a single distance. The 3D illusion caused by stereoscopic offsets thus cause eye strain as the eye fruitlessly focus to further or nearer but image is really at a single distance.

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Facebook policy wonk growls at Europe's mass of data laws

Mage
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Trollface

posed a threat to the European Union's economy.

That would be people being enticed to post on Facebook and expose their private stuff to make Facebook money, while often reducing productivity?

Imagine the boost to EU economy if Facebook didn't exist?

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Mage
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Re: Now an intelligent design

No, NO ONE should be using iPad, Surface Pro, Kindle Fire or Domestic Android tablet for this application.

OS too fragile

HW too fragile.

At the very worse something like a Panasonic ToughPad, with Linux rather than consumer Android or "Windows" and locked down to prevent users adding applications.

Edit:

While QNX was great on embedded systems and disk controllers, I'd not use a Blackberry either.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Perfectly clear who is responsible.

"specific software on its pilots' iPads"

Which ever moron picked a domestic consumer product for mission critical application. No, I'd not use a Surface, Kindle Fire or Consumer Android tablet either.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Please, no e-voting!

With eVoting there might have been no trace or evidence of fiddling. With paper the evidence existed!

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Mage
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Big Brother

Plenty, though, were disillusioned with politics

This is the issue. Not the ease of voting or speed of counting.

The eVoting is pointless and no matter how secure can be "edited" by those with the keys. Yes, paper systems can be "stuffed" and "gamed" too, but it's very much harder.

Digital for the sake of being Digital is foolish and is simply "fashion".

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MONSTROUS iPhone sales are CANNIBALIZING iPads, gabbles Apple CEO

Mage
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Simple

The iPad is overpriced.

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The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

Mage
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Re: send a brief recording of your heartbeat

Posher and more 21st C than a placard

"I ain't dead"

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Mage
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Trollface

Re: To sum up…

Some are always rubbish:

Pippin

Lisa

The idea of a mouse with only one button that is round, only the cable to show orientation.

Disk drives on an Apple II, which was over rated. I fitted 8" floppies, 80 column card, full keyboard and Z80 card on mine. I'd have been better buying something else.

Some get canned just as they are getting good

Newton.

Apple Servers.

Some just look "clean" when new.

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Mage
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Thumb Down

Apple has answered the critics who doubted ...

No they haven't.

Yes it's nicely finished. But rubbish battery life, no use at all without an iphone and massively overpriced.

It's an Geek toy for people with massive surplus of disposable income.

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ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Actually the reverse is a disgrace.

The original reason of fixed selections was that only a few levels off encryption were available on Satellite and Cable.

Now it's done so people think they are getting "value" when in reality most of their channels watched are Free To Air (Over 92% of viewing time on Sky in UK).

A la Carte should be available on all Pay TV. The Technology now means it can be done and without phoning either, just web browser or internet connected Cable/Sat box.

ESPN have a cheek!

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Comments considered harmful: WordPress web hijack bug revealed

Mage
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Happy

Ah Comments.

Only one of my many WP sites accepts comments. They are 100% moderated, you can safely see them on Admin page without risk and trash them.

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eBay sides with Google in EU competition case? Only if you cherry-pick

Mage
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I was just thinking about eBay and Google

How so many Google searches are now "poisoned" with eBay results that are 100% useless except to take me to eBay.

This misses the point.

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We'll buy patents for cash, says Google – just don't feed the trolls

Mage
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Big Brother

I think this is a good idea,

For Google.

Like most of Google's "good" ideas it's terrible for everyone else.

They love copyright too. As long as it's their IP.

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Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Mage
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FAIL

Re: All in 1366x768!!

I don't care at all about 1920 if it's x 1080. THIRTEEN YEARS ago we had 1200 line / vertical pixel resolution!

1920 is only a TV width resolution. for DOCUMENTS, you know actual WORK, the vertical pixels is what counts. If I want video, I'll watch on a decent size HD TV on the couch, not at a laptop!!!!!!!!

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Mage
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Facepalm

Written badly

"Windows XP was the first PC operating system to drop the MS-DOS Prompt and change it to Command Prompt, due to a change to the NT kernel. The Windows NT family has used the newer Command Prompt since it started with Windows NT 3.1, so it was nothing new on that side of the fence."

All versions of NT from 3.1 to the 5.1 (XP) had choice of 32bit native console (looked like a DOS prompt) or running MSDOS shell via NTVDM (Real DOS prompt).

NT also could run OS/2 scripts and console executables as well as native NT scripts.

MS Services for Unix (1999) added Bourne Shell to NT4.0

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MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities

Mage
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Interesting

While ARM is nice an ARM monopoly is no better eventually than an an x86-64 one.

It's a pity that there seems to be so little diversity?

Propeller

Sparc

Alpha

PPC

Transputer

On microcontrollers there is less diversity too. Interesting that there are 50 cent 32bit ARMs competing now with 8 bit chips such as 8051, Atmel, Microchip PIC and embedded Z80 and 6502 in ASICs. The 32 bit ARM cores now in ASICs and FPGAs replacing old 8 bit cores.

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Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: When 50% isn't half

Yes, DAB is only a percentage of "Digital Listening".

It would be daft to turn off robust broadcasting in favour of unicast Internet, which has no privacy and is fragile. On the internet the provider (and probably Google, GCHQ and NSA) knows roughly where you are, when you listen and to what, and with Google's help maybe eventually who you are. Not pleasant in a Democracy, a disaster in many countries.

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Mage
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Pirate

Re: why the downvote?

Probably someone in BBC, RTE, Ofcom, Comreg or NRK.

Or someone that thinks Digital = Better.

Pirate Icon.

The gear to do DAB properly and professionally with a card in a PC is quite affordable. Why no Pirates? Perhaps they are more realistic than Ofcom, Comreg, BBC, RTE and NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) and the Norwegian regulator.

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Mage
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Devil

Ofcom's propaganda

Yes, you are missing a lot.

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Mage
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Boffin

The only argument left for DAB is more stations. But 68 to 88 (with the odd gap) could be easily added. Some sets even cover this. A gadget costing £5 running for months on on 2 x AAA or a year on 2 x AA would add the band doubler to existing sets. Similarly 175MHz to 195MHz could be added. Amazingly some old FM radios have this too, as well as a few new ones. Gadget only needs 3 way band switch. 175MHz to 195MHz was used for 405 TV. The band now used for DAB.

Very niche stations can be replaced by Streaming or users MP3 playlist at 256k or 320kbps, they are not economic even on National DAB at 64kbps, but ego of broadcasters.

42MHz to 87MHz and 175MHz to 275MHz after close of Band I and Band III TV were assumed to be repurposed for private Mobile use and DAB. Very few fleets use Two Way Radio now, people use Mobile phones. 195MHz to 275MHz and other gaps between 275MHz and 470MHz are enough for Two Way Radio. Tetra is in the 400MHz band along with SRD, amateur radio and PMR446 walktakies.

The wrong (greedy) decisions made about Band I and Band III at 405 TV closedown in 1985.

There is no Digital Dividend for Band II FM as DAB can't ever be economic for local stations. Nor can it (or DTT Radio) be ever economic for a Consumer's radio.

Digital Radio with more than one mux also is too slow to change station.

DAB has become an expensive duplication of DTT. DTT renders DAB obsolete. DVB-T2 has been demonstrated to even give better coverage than DAB. It's more believable given huge market that a pocket DTT set can be used as a Radio cheaper than a DAB set. Also under £10 for DTT USB stick for Netbook/Laptop. In theory on a Tablet.

DTT phones existed before iPhone. A phone with DTT and FM makes more sense than DAB.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: No natural disasters in Norway then?

Most DAB sets about 6 Hours.

Many AM/FM sets over 300 Hours. Even a 1939 Battery valve radio (MW & LW) is about 250 hours, and about 100 Hours for late 1950s AM/FM Valve radio.

It's not viable from point of view of space or power consumption to fit a DAB radio in a Mobile phone. My Sony Xperia Z1 has a FM + RDS station ID and is easier to use than almost all DAB/FM sets on the market. Works better than any FM set I have (though needs headphones as aerial). About 20 local stations.

There is no "digital dividend" application for Band II. Even the TV "digital dividend" was mostly a windfall for regulators selling licences and allows Mobile operators to build fewer basestations in Rural areas (= lower capacity) for same coverage. The Mobile operators are not interested in Best coverage or capacity, Their licence doesn't demand it. Instead they want to maximise return on minimal capital investment. It makes no sense for them to have x5 as many bases so that consumers get better speed and coverage as they would make hardly any extra revenue and a loss considering running costs, never mind CapEx.

Digital Dividend is a fraud.

DAB only is advantage for NATIONAL broadcaster with multiple channels. Also they are having DAB at about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost it should be due to sub FM quality bit rate (DAB+ is only used to fit in twice as many stations, never for more quality, beside at 192kbps or 256k bps the saving on AAC for the same quality for those with impared hearing is closer to 10% to 20% rather than the 50% of a 128kbps MP2 -> 64kbps AAC on DAB+. Even then some material will sound worse, especially to those with less than perfect hearing.

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Console makers game the EU Commission to avoid energy-use law

Mage
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Facepalm

the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One consume two to three times more

Well, 1920 x 1080 (HD) is 6.75 times 640 x 480 (USA SD resolution).

So they are actually improving.

Most of these Energy Directives are nutty. Like Energy ratings of a Toaster, Kettle, table top grill or Electric fire.

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Intel shows Google how to stick it real good

Mage
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Boffin

Hmm Fat

Won't fit on any of my main TV's HDMI ports. Really given size (depth and width), power consumption, need for a keyboard, mouse etc, a box with an HDMI socket makes more sense.

It's a gimmick making it into an HDMI "stick". Even if final version has narrower elongated swivel head.

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'Hiding our wristjobs from Apple stores ain't easy' – iThing retail boss

Mage
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Devil

"Ma'am, I am so sorry, you are absolutely right." ... he is interning in my office

So a slave.

The US Intern system (also now imported to UK and Ireland) is such an opportunity for corruption compared to properly regulated Apprenticeships leading to a qualification.

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Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

Mage
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Re: And what about chance

Right Time and place and luck:

Apple

Microsoft

Serious Engineering Effort

HP start up in late 1930s.

RCA & EMI producing Electronic TV.

Serious Marketing Effort and right Time

Marconi

Hollerith Business Machines (later IBM).

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Mage
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Coat

Re: #4: No Plan...

Helmuth Von Moltke in the mid-nineteenth century?

Probably in Sun Tzu's "Art of War". 孫子兵法 perhaps 512BC, at least between 205BC and 220AD. I bet he could do a good talk on entrepreneuring. While in a sense some of the points are a bit screwy, the overall flavour is right.

Talk to any sensible accountant and you'll always see how you don't have enough money or resources to start etc. But how many big company are:

1: Started by people with a passion to do it VS an Accountant

2: Are asset stripped by an "accountant" later.

3: Gradually run into the ground after founder has left/retired/died by watching cost centres and "bottom line" rather than a passion for the "product"/"service"/"customer".

Mines the one with Government Development Authority leaflets in the pocket.

Also ever noticed that outside USA (UK & Ireland esp.) you can only get money if you prove you don't need it?

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ZOMBIE Google Glass 2 FEEDS ON Italian BRAINS, says specs supremo

Mage
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Devil

unobtrusive ... calm people's privacy fears

No, that will make people MORE upset.

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

Mage
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Android watches don't?

It's zero use at all without an iPhone.

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Microsoft to offer special Surface 3 for schools

Mage
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Mushroom

Cloud?

"but in these cloudy days it's not as if your kids are going to be suffering for lack of access to storage."

What a lot of cloud hyping garbage.

Of course you need a lot more storage than that, or it's just a terminal, like Chrome Book. Unless you have un-capped fibre connection (which isn't very portable outside your own WiFi) with redundant connection, you need your own storage, kids. too.

Back to 1960s and central controlled storage eh?

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Google: We're not mad, our mobes-in-sky Project Loon is FINE

Mage
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Facepalm

Stupid

Also typically Arrogant of Google. Do it and then try to make it legal, get suitable spectrum.

This project is currently abusing the wrong bands.

Long term a project like OB3 wikipedia OB3 Networks could perhaps deliver more and cost less.

Scalability, spectrum, backhaul and running costs are an issue with Loon. They most know this. So why are Google doing this piece of arrogance? Publicity?

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Don't worry, Apple hypegasms haven't gone in the WRISTJOB ERA

Mage
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collect it?

So they don't trust couriers or the postal system?

Apple becoming Argos? Order online and collect in store.

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Google it onna Google phone onna GOOGLE NETWORK. MVNO plan imminent

Mage
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FAIL

Re: Do you really want....

"We notice that you called ABC plc yesterday. You might be interested in the better deals that ZYX have to offer."

They are more subtle than that.

"Positng AC because we know that Google reads everything posted here that mentions them."

That doesn't work, as Google gets your IP via Analytics, Adverts etc. Unless you already were clever with NoScript domain blocking and possibly your firewall.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: Do you really want....

Indeed more ways for Google to spy on the Advert Consumers.

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Google pulls plug on YouTube for older iPads, iPhones, smart TVs

Mage
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Facepalm

HDMI cable

Laptops are generally upgradable in Browser / OS / Applications. Tablets less so. Built in "smart" on a TV / Blu Ray player? Waste of money.

The problem is beyond just YouTube.

Expect Netflix to fail on "Smart" stuff too.

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Google versus the EU: Sigh. You can't exploit a contestable monopoly

Mage
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Pirate

Re: I used to trust them.

Now with Android they don't need the War Driving.

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Mage
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Coat

Re: Sigh indeed... Just search the other Monopoly, Wikipedia

Fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. That is, it is the property of essences or goods which are "capable of being substituted in place of one another."[1] For example, since one ounce of gold is equivalent to any other ounce of gold, gold is fungible. Other fungible commodities include sweet crude oil, company shares, bonds, precious metals, and currencies. Fungibility refers only to the equivalence of each unit of a commodity with other units of the same commodity. Fungibility does not relate to the exchange of one commodity for another different commodity.

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Mage
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Devil

This article and EU missing the point.

Everything Google does is to sell Adverts.

They are using all the information they gather from all their services in a way that breaks privacy law and is very creepy and immoral.

They are able to do this because of the way the Internet has to work. A server must know your IP to return data to you.

In the real world the "providers" don't know if you look at the Bill board or listen to radio or watch the TV or DVD or read the paper book.

In the Internet connected world, they do. But worse is that most providers are using Google services in some way, so even apart from Google knowing your email contents (gmail) or documents (Google Cloud / Google Docs) or searches, they know what pages you look at, programs you listen to or watch etc, how long, how often, where you are. Probably often they know who you are.

There is a good reason too why Google wants a single sign in for everything. The near monopoly on many Google services (not just search) is mildly worrying, but not the biggest issue.

The "inventors" and pioneers of Internet and Web were naive in extreme about . But also about "how social pressures" work. It's almost inevitable that security and privacy on the Internet is a huge problem given inherent design. Perhaps each ISP needs to be a "Tor". But also you'll tend to have monopolies. One auction site, one encyclopaedia, one search, one Social magazine, one messaging, one video sharing. It's interesting that "competition" tends to be purely different social groups or languages.

I don't know what the answer is, but it's truly bonkers to believe the "Market" will sort it out on it's own, that anyway only addresses the lesser maybe necessary "evil" of monopolies, not privacy, state control, manipulation of users etc.

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