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* Posts by Mark .

1841 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Drone expert: Amazon's hypetastic delivery scheme a pie in the sky

Mark .
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Re: Cynical - me?

New most-expensive phone faster than older ones, shock horror. And when the next top end competing phone is released, it'll be faster still - same thing happened over the last year.

I don't see what was wrong with criticising the 2010 ipad - it's an opinion, agree with it or not. All I remember was endless hype about how it would change everything, but tablets didn't even become mainstream until 2 or so years later, not with the original ipad; and now it's 7-8" devices becoming immensely popular, the form factor Apple claimed was too small.

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Half of all mobes sold in South-East Asia are now smart

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All mobile phones are "smart"

There has never been an objective difference between "smart" and "feature" phones, just one of marketing - both of these do Internet, apps, run operating systems. Once upon a time we called them all smartphones, but the term "feature" phone was introduced around 2003-2004 to distinguish the new lower cost phones from the high end. This is not at all anything to do with the "dumb" mobile phones which were just mobile phones (I don't think those even exist, anymore). Whilst "feature" tends to be used for lower end phones, if we're comparing to lower end "smart" devices (which may involve poor quality devices, as the comments suggest), the difference is less clear.

It's better to compare by platform - and what this tells us is that Android is getting increasing market share. The labels that we apply are irrelevant - "half of all widgets now have arbitrary label X rather than arbitrary label Y".

By any sensible definition, all mobile phones today are smart, in the sense of being mobile computers (and the same sense of "smart TV" - no one talks about feature TVs), it's just a question of what OS they run, and how powerful they are.

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That toolbar you downloaded is malware? Tough, read the EULA

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Re: I'm always surprised at the naivity of people

I think the OP comments about source code is wrong, but I disagree with several of your points too.

Open source does have the benefit that even if I don't understand the source code, there are many independent people who do. (So, for an on-topic example, trusting the official bitcoin clients because they are open source).

Developers and the IT community include those that work for the big multinational companies, so it's unclear who you're arguing for or against here - you can't really separate into two distinct groups.

For "gatekeepers" vs "walled gardens", i.e., pre vs post approval, each has their pros and cons. It's unclear that one is more secure than the other: gatekeepers may miss exploits until they are reported - certainly this has happened with things like copyright violations (e.g., VLC on IOS) which have then had to be dealt with the same as on Google Play. On Apple, the gatekeepers have abused the power to block all sorts of things, nothing to do with stopping malware. On Amazon, the gate means far fewer people put their software there at all. All reported malware on Android have AFAIK not been hosted on Google Play.

I think people should be free to choose a moderated (whether pre or post) application site - indeed, that's why it's best of all if people have the choice. So on Android, if you think Amazon is more secure, you can do so; but a Kindle Fire user can't decide to use Google Play. On platforms like Windows and Linux, you have your pick of sites and communities to download from.

I don't see that this has anything to do with EULAs though - you're right, users shouldn't have to read complicated EULAs, but IOS's software site has its own EULA/TOS that is required to be placed on all applications. Indeed, the Open Source you criticise is one of the few examples of software that does not require you to agree to anything (unfortunately some apps do insist you agree to the GPL, but the GPL explicitly states you don't have to - it's a licence, not a contract).

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Bitcoin value breaks $1,000 barrier in FRENZIED HYPEGASM

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Re: why?

I don't think anyone claims Bitcoin is as stable as UKP.

The point is it's not an either/or - the trustworthyness of a currency is a sliding scale. For early adopters, Bitcoin is risky to hold (though accompanied by a reward if the currency goes mainstream). But there is nothing magical that makes the worth of a ten pound note fundamentally different to Bitcoin.

There is the difference of state-backed currencies - those do indeed have the advantages you describe.

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Mark .
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Re: Value

People who have already got stupidly rich will want to cash out - and one way to do that is to spend them.

At the moment, it's more a case of people speculating for future value/use than its use today, but as the rate of increase drops in future years, it will be more viable as a currency.

Can't it be both? Gold is both a commodity, and something that can be used as a means of exchange.

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Ditch your boring iPhone for a hot Android piece, says Google's TOTALLY UNBIASED Eric Schmidt

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Re: American-centric?

I also wouldn't be surprised if it was American-centric anyway. The problem faced by Google is that although worldwide Android has passed the 80% share point, leaving iphone and WP to fight for the remainder, the US seems to be split 50/50 between Android and IOS, so concentrating there makes sense. And it isn't just one country - the problem is that the US heavily influences media coverage, even in other countries like the UK, as well as leading decisions on things like apps.

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Re: Guide?

There's nothing wrong with it, just don't call it a smartphone. Mobiles with extra frills, but ultimately everything controlled like that, used to be called feature phones (and even then, you could install 3rd party Java apps). Just like an ipad is better seen as a handheld appliance, not a tablet PC (even Apple fans have made that argument).

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Mark .
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A lot of this is matter of opinion, but that in itself is worth a point - to get attention of people who have never looked at Android.

On screens, well, by Apple's own metric of "PPI", the iphone now lags way behind. In 2010, according to Apple fans, screen resolution was the single most important factor in a phone, funny now that it's now.

(I would like a phone/tablet with a matte display though...)

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

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And I'm still waiting for more answers :) Thanks for yours, but I was curious to see if anyone else had an input, especially as there are other OSes too than Linux. This is not a problem that has magically been solved since last week.

In this case, it wasn't a raw exe, but distributed as a zip. So because people have got used to exes being blocked in email, they're used to having to unzip it. I don't see that as harder than doing right click and select it to be executable (as can be done on Ubuntu) - if Windows used that method, the knowledge to do that would be commonplace too. So I still don't see that Linux (at least, versions which allow the bit to be set via the GUI) to be better. (OOI, are executable bit settings always lost when archived and downloaded on Linux?)

One answer is to make it really hard for average users to run an executable at all, though this has to be balanced with all the criticisms that Windows then gets for daring to make it slightly harder (e.g., Apple and its fans ridiculing it for having to click "Allow" - so imagine if people had to type commands for example). Windows 8 makes it harder still, e.g., applications downloaded from webpages don't run at all if deemed "untrusted" unless you go to an advanced tab to allow it. They could go further an make it so it doesn't run at all unless they run a command on it, but then that's frustrating for developers like myself who distribute free software, and need to explain to average users how to type in commands to get it to work...

There is also the problem that as restrictions on all executables are added, users simply learn the ways round them too.

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Mark .
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I think it would be better to make sure that the full filename is shown by the email client (since that's where it's run from), independent of any setting in Explorer. I forget off hand what various email clients do on Windows (including say, Thunderbird)...

How do other OSs handle this btw, since the filename on other platforms gives no clue whatsoever about the executable status?

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Most of Dread Pirate Roberts' treasure still buried, say researchers

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And then in the UK, you can spend some years in prison for not handing over your password.

Do we know that it wasn't encrypted? Also note that Bitcoin will report on the number of Bitcoins in a wallet even if it's encrypted, the password is just needed to retrieve them, IIRC (which isn't necessarily a flaw - since all transactions are public anyway). Though yes, if I had that much, I'd be extra paranoid and put the whole thing in another encrypted file, so people wouldn't even know I had a Bitcoin wallet on there at all, let alone how much.

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Stewardess first to book $250k Virgin Galactic 'space trip' with BITCOINS

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The solution is easy, just use a unit like milli Bitcoin or micro Bitcoin.

It's surprising how many people (even among Bitcoin users) get hung up on the idea of "1 Bitcoin" as if it was something special (e.g., "if a Bitcoin costs that much, most people won't be able to afford it!")

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Jury: Samsung must cough $290m of $379m Apple wanted - NOT in 5 cent pieces

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Re: Samsung Ordered By Jury To Pay Apple $290M In Patent Damages

As then there's the company who put their logo onto almost every US TV show and film in the last 10 years, along with product placement in other people's adverts, and getting their logo and brandnames appear at every opportunity - and still almost everyone buys Android...

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Re: Samsung Ordered By Jury To Pay Apple $290M In Patent Damages

Thing is, this isn't criminal law, this is a civil issue. Surely it should be about damages. With criminal law, it's an issue if a rich person can get away with breaking the law. With a civil issue - well, damages are damages. (Never mind that the whole thing is ludicrous to start with.) If it's decided that someone should be "punished", I don't see why a mega-rich 3rd party should be the recipient.

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Re: Yeah, right

I remember when Jobs died, that quote going around something like "Jobs cared about making products, unlike other companies that just cared about money". Yeah right. And the next day, these same people were back to saying how wonderful Apple were for being the richest company in the world. (The quote was also misleading to conflate a person with other companies - there are people behind other companies, and many of them care about making products too.)

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Cryptolocker infects cop PC: Massachusetts plod fork out Bitcoin ransom

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Re: Windows

Because clearly average user who can't even follow "don't run untrusted applications" knows how to run Linux commands!

Windows will inform that it is an application when they try to run it anyway (unless this one has found a way round that, or there is some loophole for some email programs?)

In what circumstances will the executable return permission denied?

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Mark .
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Re: Windows

Honest question - how would other operating systems avoid the problem, if such a virus were to be targetted at them? Wikipedia says "A ZIP file attached to email contains an executable file with filename and icon disguised as a PDF file, taking advantage of Windows' default behaviour of hiding the extension from file names to disguise the real .EXE extension.", but other operating systems don't use the extension for file types anyway, so the user would be no more aware (and Windows would report it as an application when trying to run it - at least, I always get warned, I don't know if there's a way round this in some email programs that this has exploited?)

If the user is warned about running an app, but decides to run it anyway, it's unclear there's much you can do - you can make it harder with a password, but people will get used to doing that anyway. Indeed, Apple and its fans have been taking the piss out of Windows for asking users to confirm ("I'm a PC" etc), so god knows how insecure that platform is (or if OS X does ask for confirmation, then that just shows them up as hypocritical in their arguments). You could avoid it by saying all apps must be distributed by a single site, which is what Apple and MS want for their OSs, but I don't think anyone here would think that was a good thing either...

One way round might be to say apps must always be installed, but users would get used to clicking okay to that too, and it would limit the use of "portable" apps (which are possible on other OSs anyway, I believe).

The files affected are documents, i.e., in user space, so would be expected to have user permissions, not admin permissions.

Standard rules apply: don't run apps you don't trust (especially from email attachments), and backup your data.

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US senator asks: Will Bitcoin replace Swiss bank accounts?

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Re: Off line

And the alcoholic who can't get clean, or the kid with parents who are drunk all the time...

Yes, it's true that they can cause misery, but it's also wrong to imply this is alway true in every case - or at least, I hope to be consistent you and the OP never go near drink or support pubs, if that's what you believe - so it seems fair to point out the other side too.

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Mark .
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Re: @Evil Auditor - a better analogy

The flaw with stamps/cards for currency is that there's no limit to how many could be produced. If you say they're protected from copying, and can only be made by one entity, it's then a currency that is controlled by that one entity. Neither of these points are the case with Bitcoin, so they are not analogous.

If there was a thing that were limited in supply, but not simply due to a single entity's control, then that would be a better analogy. You know, like gold.

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Samsung v Apple: Titans await jury verdict on damages of MILLIONS

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Re: I'm shocked, shocked to find that ...

"Somebody else does the hard, expensive work of the initial design, market research, marketing and so forth."

Yep. Just like LG and HTC who released touchscreen phones in 2006, only to have it copied...

"It is distinctly unusual that the Macbook Air inspired laptops from other firms are not much cheaper than the MBA."

High end ultra-portables existed years before Apple joined that market. (MBA? Why do Apple fans always have to speak in acronyms that are meaningless to the rest of the world? Just call it a laptop.)

And the innovation that makes these things possible and become more popular is the decreasing size and lower power usage of technology like CPUs (Intel), SSDs (Samsung), RAM (Samsung), as well as other innovations such as in displays (oh, Samsung again).

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MILEY CYRUS in JUST HER PANTIES would LOVE a smartwatch: Samsung

Mark .
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"Its best known competitor is Pebble, which has been shifting smartwatches since a high-profile crowd-funding campaign kicked off in 2012. As of 6 November 2013, some 190,000 Pebble smartwatches have been shipped to buyers, the company claims."

So 25,000 a month of Samsung (even if it was true), for a device with a market of 5 million, is a total flop, but 19,000 a month, for a device with a market of over a billion, isn't?

Of course you'd expect Samsung, a much larger company, to do better, but I don't think that factors into the judgement of popularity.

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Bitcoin price SOARS after US SENATE hearing on 'legit' currency

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Re: Never going to work

" Internal market prices/wages should NOT change in response to the external exchange rate (or at least only slowly, over time)."

So they do change then. Yes, it's a problem that Bitcoin is deflating so rapidly, but that would have to slow as it moves towards mainstream usage (as there's only a finite population/market).

"I may as well just use the dollars in the first place and avoid the exchange costs."

Of course at the moment Bitcoin's uses are limited - I don't think anyone's denying that. However I can see uses growing - e.g., as an alternative to Paypal, or for international transfer. You have to compare the exchange fee (0.5% at Bitstamp) to things like Paypal or bank fees. There is also the point that as Bitcoin becomes more mainstream and widespread, competition may well force exchange fees down.

"Bitcoin is just a speculation investment"

It is a speculative investment, but it is not only that - it is a new technology with plenty of potential. Few technologies magically spring out of thin air with mainstream acceptance and lots of uses.

"has all the appearance of a south-sea bubble one at that"

I look forward to it bursting then. So far all the so called bubble crashes have resulted with a stable value far higher than before that bubble started growing.

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Mark .
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Re: Never going to work

There's nothing special about "1 bitcoin". The fact that 1 USD costs 62.36 Rupee doesn't make it more expensive to get into dollars, it's just different units.

The thing about Bitcoin is that it is a deflationary currency - a Bitcoin will become worth more with time, where as most currencies become worth less. There may well be valid arguments why this is a bad thing, but it doesn't mean things will become more expensive for people to start using it. People who convert $1000 to Bitcoin will always get 1000 dollar's worth of Bitcoin, which they can use to buy 1000 dollar's worth of goods. If Bitcoin is deflating in value, then anything priced in Bitcoin will drop in price. (Similarly, the fact the normal currencies inflate doesn't mean things become cheaper.)

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Mark .
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Don't know about groceries yet, but I can spend bitcoin in my local pub.

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'PATHETIC' Galaxy Gear sales skewer smartwatch HYPE-O-GASM bubble

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Re: Well they didn't exactly help themselves..

They bought a Samsung Note 3 companion product, and complained it doesn't work with the S3?

I don't know why they've limited the market - perhaps initial production runs are small, perhaps they want to refine it to get it right before testing it on a larger market, perhaps research showed Note owners would be more likely to buy it, so would be a better choice if they initially only were targetting one phone.

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Mark .
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Indeed, I find it curious the way that the media declare certain figures to be successes or failures. "One million in 76 days" is declared a runaway success for Apple, but the same figure is a "failure" for Nokia's first Lumia, or for the Surface Pro's equivalent 400,000 in a month.

Though given that the true figure for a Gear seems to be 800,000 not 50,000 (see my other comment - therefore on par with the iphone, Lumia 800 and Surface Pro), I wonder if this kind of article works in Samsung's favour - the standard has been set at 50,000, and then Samsung reveal the true figure at over 10 times higher, it makes it look a lot more impressive. Yet if the initial report was for 800,000, a journalist wanting to report it negatively could have declared it a "failure" if they so chose.

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Samsung disagrees - claims 800,000 in two months

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-11/19/galaxy-gear-sales - and lots of other news reports.

It wouldn't have surprised me if the Gear's sales were low - I think there is a big market for watches eventually, but the Gear is limited (initially) to one phone, and has a high price. But still, it seems that the Register have jumped to the wrong conclusion on this, as Samsung say it's selling quite nicely.

As an aside, I think the last paragraph is wrong? 50,000 out of 7.125 billion is 0.000007 as a fraction, so 0.0007%. Sales of 800,000 would be 0.01%. So in other words, the Register got it wrong by over three orders of magnitude...

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Sony scoffs at the Microsoft EX-BOX: A MILLION PS4s sell in ONE day

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Re: Bored

We can answer that question today with laptops - why not plug into a TV and pick up the bluetooth controller?

As someone who prefers PC games anyway, I do wonder this. I think the answer falls into:

1. Can't be bothered to plug it into TV, want something just sitting there already plugged in.

2. Like the kind of games released on consoles.

3. Prefer that you can buy a specific console and be guaranteed to have games run on it for years, rather than having to worry about specs and upgrading.

4. Games are far more likely to be written to support controllers, that every console ships with.

1 would still apply. 2 would apply far more so - whilst there are plenty of fun games for phones, these tend to be a very different style than those on consoles. And although there are more free games, there are also fewer games made with large budgets.

For 3, whilst phones don't have the widly different specs of customisable PCs, there are large numbers of different models, as well as an upgrade cycle far faster than even PCs.

4 would apply even more so - how many games are written for bluetooth controllers, as opposed to written for pure touch that the majority of people will be using on a phone?

We might see that the technology delivered by the phone market could be used by manufacturers to create their own competing consoles, without having to roll their own technology and OS - e.g., as seen with the Ouya. Potentially this could lead to the market increasing in size (more choice, lower costs) rather than reducing.

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Sympathy for Sega

It's not as if Sony are some small company, or a console-only company - they're a massive multinational with a presence in many markets (indeed I'd argue that Sony have a broader presence than MS, when you consider all the different hardware products they make - yes you can label it all "entertainment", but you could label Microsoft as "technology").

Sony themselves were a giant who got into gaming in 1995, where the existing companies Nintendo and Sega were primarily doing games consoles, so Sony did just the same thing that you accuse MS of (not to mention that this is what loads of big companies do). Microsoft got into gaming just 6 years later - by 2013, they've both been in it a long time.

Nintendo were a card company that got into computer gaming...

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File-NUKING Cryptolocker PC malware MENACES 'TENS of MILLIONS' in UK

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Re: Simple answer

If windows didn't use extensions for file types, presumably the Trojan would then also just figure out the file types too using the same method, anyway.

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Bitcoin mining rig firm claims $3m revenue in just FOUR DAYS

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Re: I really don’t understand?????

Actually, due to the way banks relend out the money that they've been given, the total money supply is great than the physical amount of cash. If I transfer you £1 online, it's not really clear that this relates to a physical pound coin going from me to you. And if everyone tried to withdraw their money to get their physical pound coins, the banking system would collapse.

Yes, Bitcoins are purely electronic, but it is still a thing that exists - I don't see why this makes the usefulness of currency that you describe go away?

What is the value of the pound? Because it isn't backed by gold anymore.

In some sense, paper money are just "IOUs", but are made so that they are hard to duplicate. Writing "IOU" in an email is trivial to duplicate, but the point about Bitcoin is that although they are electronic, you can't just duplicate them.

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Re: No, it's a good question ...

Or to use the Reg's own analogy, why don't the people selling spades use the spades themselves? Clearly, the spades must be a scam!

Or not. The flaw in this argument is ignoring the timescale - the machines are expensive, so my understanding is you will have to mine for some period of time to start making a profit. Perhaps the companies making these machines do keep some back for their own long term money, but their gain is making money in the shorter term.

There's also the speculation in Bitcoin as an investment - the people buying these machines are hoping Bitcoin will be worth a lot more in future, where as the people selling these machines aren't in it for investment, they're a business who want to make a guaranteed sale today.

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Another day, another Bitcoin burglary as Bitcash.cz goes titsup

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Re: Enjoying every minute of this

"I don't have any solid evidence for my belief that Bitcoin will eventually crash and burn, just a gut feeling."

As I say, without any kind of timescale, it's not much of prediction - I believe that Bitcoin will _eventually_ crash and burn, but that could be anything from tomorrow to 100 years, or the end of the Universe :)

Do you think it's going to crash and burn (i.e., going to zero, or at least a tiny fraction of today's value) say, within the next 5 years? Or sooner, even?

"It seems to incredibly vulnerable to rampant inflation, you only have to look on eBay to see the silly money that people are bidding. I mean, $1200 for 2 BTC?"

There's nothing special about the price of "1" bitcoin, so there's no intrinsic reason why a Bitcoin at $600 should be expensive or cheap (note that the price on exchanges is around $400 - if people are paying more on ebay, that does seem odd). From the point of view of bitcoin as a currency, it has the curious property of having deflation (I mean, if the value of UKP drops so that prices for us go up, we call that inflation, even though it becomes cheaper for someone to buy UKP with USD).

"The optimism of a few years ago that soon every online retailer would accept Bitcoin doesn't seem to have borne fruit."

Again it's a question of timescale - neither has the prediction that Bitcoin would crash and burn come true. It has grown, and more places accept Bitcoin. Personally I think it's still way too early for mainstream use, but there's still lots of potential for growth. I don't think this will happen very soon (next year or two), but in 10 years, who knows. I think more exchanges are needed as a first step - currently many people (including in the UK) have to do an international transfer to buy/sell Bitcoin, which usually incurs fees, meaning you get lumbered with the worst aspects of ordinary currency, and negating one of the best potential uses of Bitcoin (if I could buy Bitcoin in the UK, I could then trivially send via Bitcoin anywhere in the world without any fees or 3rd parties, and the recipient could then transfer back to their local currency if they choose - there would be the cost of the Bitcoin exchange, but this would be typically far less than currency exchange rate costs, international Bank transfers or Paypal costs; also if Bitcoin was more commonly used, people wouldn't have to transfer to/from other currency).

I think that as people get richer, they start to spend some of their coins to cash in - someone who buys now won't want to spend anything; someone who's seen a 10x increase might decide to at least spend 10%, to recoop their investment. As Bitcoin becomes more mature, presumably the growth will then start to slow.

Also for businesses, the uncertainty over Bitcoin (as well as needing to spend the money) is a reason to sell coins - if a businesses receives payment as Bitcoins, they would presumably convert them to their usual currency to work with the rest of their business operations (a chain of pubs that accepts bitcoins in the UK operates this way - they accept Bitcoin, but these are sold on rather than hoarded). Business owners might decide they want to invest in Bitcoin, but that would be a separate decision for their savings, just like anyone else - people would be less willing to risk their business on it.

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Re: Enjoying every minute of this

I'm not sure how it's different to existing currencies - theft of money may be just "moving around that system", but it's still theft. (In normal currencies, central banks can print more money, but I don't see why that's an important distinction here?)

Care to put a timeframe on that "eventually"? I mean yes, the currency may well be gone in 1,000 years time, but if in the meantime it becomes mainstream at 100x the current value, I'm not sure that would prove you right.

Bitcoin does have value, and I would have thought courts would see it as theft (though getting police to track it down may be another matter). Most currencies today have no intrinsic value; and even for physical goods, in many cases the cost is governed by supply and demand rather than an "intrinsic" worth.

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Chinese Bitcoin exchange DISAPPEARS, along with £2.5 MEEELLION

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Re: Plus ça ne change jamais

Yet when the main exchange for illegal trading got taken out, the price also - after a very short drop (of a matter hours) - went up.

For your second point, well, how is it different to any other high risk investment? High risk investments typically have higher returns "a free lunch" but a higher risk "shit sandwich". I find it odd that Bitcoin seems to attract such ridicule, especially when the evidence shows the high risk seems to be paying off (even people who bought at the height of the last bubble right before it burst will now have earned 30% in 7 months, which is pretty good going). If one year someone put 90% of their savings in a bank, then 10% into a high risk investment account, you wouldn't be going on at them about wanting free lunches even if they get shit sandwiches, would you?

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"The whole Bitcoin thing is going to implode on itself, and has already started to do so."

In what way?

I mean yes, I agree with your post that people should be careful before sending money places, but I'm curious in what way Bitcoin as a whole is already starting to implode?

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BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

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Re: uncritical acceptance?

Edit: Actually never mind Windows tablets - pressure-sensitivity has existed for years on Samsung Galaxy Notes, available in 5-6", 8" and 10" sizes (as well as some of the Windows tablets). It's through a pen - I don't know if they have it for pure touch - but for most purposes (e.g., a drawing application), that's preferred. Musical instruments are the most obvious use case for pressure-sensitive touch, but things like a keyboard are terrible without a big screen (I tried on my Nexus 7, but it's just a toy or gimmick at that size). Using it for the UI seems something that would be terribly unintuitive in most cases - people would have no idea whether clicking something was meant to do something, or if they have to instead click it harder or softer. And a Z direction for navigating applications already exists, it's called having a folder hierarchy that my old feature phone could do 8 years ago.

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Re: uncritical acceptance?

Indeed, and won't it be one of those two companies making the screens that Apple will get credited for? Unless they've started moving into screen manufacturing themselves.

I thought pressure-sensitivity already exists on some Windows tablets, though that's just for real work, I guess no one's exploited it for fart apps yet.

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Bitcoin burglar bags a million bucks

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Re: Monopoly can be a hard game ..

"As an aside I can’t see what bigger risks the early adopters took? If my understanding is correct there are two ways of obtaining bitcoin either, buying or mining. Both of which were cheaper for the early adopters."

It was much cheaper, hence a far bigger chance of rewards, but they also had the far bigger risk of whether Bitcoin would go anywhere.

Consider - I'd argue that even now, Bitcoin is nowhere near its full potential. It's use now is fairly minimal. If it were to take off, the full market cap could be far greater. So whilst you won't make as much as those early adopters, you could still make far more than investing in more traditional means (especially with today's poor interest rates). So are you buying as many Bitcoin as you can?

If you are, then great - and I too am wishing I heard about Bitcoin sooner. But if you're not, then why not? Because you think there's a risk of losing your money? Then how is that different to the people who heard about Bitcoin one or more years ago, when although the potential rewards were higher, the risk was also higher, with Bitcoin far less well established?

If you think "sooner or later is likely to burst leaving the investors with nothing", then even the early adopters won't have anything. Unless they bought low and sold high, in which case, it's making money just like on the stock market - it's easy to say it's easy money with hindsight. Is it a bubble now? These recent sudden increase suggests there will be a correction. But it's worth noting that with the previous "bubble", although there was a sudden drop in April, the average price still went from around $10 to $100.

As for its use, even without it being adopted as a currency by a country or other large organisation, I can see it having a use on par with Paypal - making it easy to send individuals/small businesses money, as well as do international transactions, without relying on unregulated 3rd parties, Visa fees, Bank fees and so on. And that's still quite a substantial use. Regarding illegal use, curiously after the main black market trading site got shut down, after a short term drop (order of a few hours), the price recovered and has shot upwards.

"But that said the various legal organisations will oppose that sponsor."

In what way?

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Mark .
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Re: Monopoly can be a hard game ..

The risk is whether Bitcoin would ever amount to anything now - it's easy to say it's easy money now with hindsight. And yes, some people certainly got lucky, any maybe that's unfair, but then that's life. It's annoying, but not an argument against Bitcoin.

"Satoshi Nakamoto" no doubt is or are rich, but then, this wasn't money for nothing - they did create something that would have been technically difficult to create, that (AFAIK) hadn't been done before, and something that took off. I'd have far more criticism/envy for people who say, create a social networking site years after everyone else does it, with no apparent means of making money, but somehow end up being the ones to make billions :)

"If that isn't the sign of a Bubble I don't know what is. The only difference is that unlike other Bubbles BitCoin can burst as many times as it wants, because it will always reinflate."

So it's definitely a bubble, except that it's nothing like a bubble.

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Re: Monopoly can be a hard game ..

Early adopters who take bigger risks getting higher rewards doesn't make it a pyramid scheme - by your logic, investment in a company is a pyramid scheme: the early investors may never work again, whilst those who join the party late may not make anything from it.

I'd argue that even at the current sudden all time high, Bitcoin as an investment, whilst it won't make you rich, offers better returns than investing in a bank or most shares. Of course it is also a high risk, but then you were happy to ignore the even higher risk that early adopters took.

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Re: Monopoly can be a hard game ..

"if bitcoin was truely worth anything, underfunded schools/universities/Hospitals/Governments/Crims would have students/Slaves doing it by hand if need be"

Doing what by hand?

I'm also unclear how "truly worth" is different to "worth" - sounds like a No True Scotsman - Bitcoin evidently is worth something right now, and that's no less "truly" than anything else.

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Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

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Re: Earbleedingly loud music on public transport..

Nope, the iphones aren't the best selling phone platform (or if you mean individual model - "the iphone" isn't an individual model - the best selling model of all time is the Nokia 5230).

I don't think sales tell us much here - Android sells massively more than iphones, and most of them have SD cards, but I wouldn't say they sell more because of that one feature anyway.

I think no SD card wouldn't be an issue if there were also options for plenty of built in storage - so iphones don't even count as another example, because they've had 64GB options for years. So even if you are saying the Nexuses should be like the iphones, then by that logic, there should be 64GB options.

I manage with the 16GB on my Galaxy Nexus, but it would be nice to be able to just stick all my music on it (~26GB) as well as a load of videos. Streaming music helps, but is of limited use on many people's data allowance, or when in areas of poor coverage, on the underground, or roaming, as well as not being a solution for video. At least there's a 32GB option now, but 64GB would be useful. Still, choice is good - I'm not going to moan too much, as I have the choice to pick one of many other Android phones.

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TWO THIRDS of Retina iPad mini shoppers will weep this holiday season

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"64-bit architecture, durability, ease of operating system upgrades and richness of the Apple ecosystem ... makes the math work."

64-bit? I suspect Android devices will have 64-bit when it's required for RAM, but otherwise it's just a spec - and Android devices are doing fine on things like CPU performance and RAM (the original ipad mini only had 512MB, even budget Android tablets have more).

Durability? Are we using them as bricks to make a house?

OS upgrades, fine on a Nexus 7 at least.

"Ecosystem" is spin for "hardware lock in", something not to be praised. But on apps, Google leads - first to a million. (And don't say there are more apps optimised for an ipad - that's a 10" device, so not optimised for an 8" device.)

We're not value-centric, we got the best device for any amount of money. Even people buying Tesco's value Hudl got a tablet with higher resolution and twice the RAM as Apple's offering of the same time.

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HTC chief exec to focus on designing new mobes, sticks Wang in sales etc

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"HTC has been enduring a slow topple from the top of the smartphone heap, joining mobile-makers like Nokia and BlackBerry, which were once the cream of the mobile crop, at the bottom of the list."

Nokia have indeed toppled all the way from first to second place! It's just that most the mobiles they sell aren't Windows Phone ones, but they're ahead of Apple, second only to Samsung.

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Post-PC world? POST-MAC WORLD more like

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Re: Peak Register

It was the improved technology of mobile ARM processors, RAM sizes, flash storage space and so on that made it possible.

Also tablets were around and popular for years - we just called them smartphones, PDAs or portable media players (which in 2009 were devices with an OS, Internet access and apps - i.e., a tablet).

Apple were the first ones to make a 10" tablet by making a bigger smartphone rather than trying to downsize a PC (something we're only seeing become possible now, largely thanks to Intel's improvements). That's not a technological improvement (making things bigger is usually easier...), but a marketing one. They also had the benefit of vast amounts of media hype and free advertising, whilst Android tablets were ignored until 2012. And we shouldn't forget that Apple said that a tablet had to be 10" - yet now it's shown that 7-8" devices (as well as 5-6" devices come to that) have a huge market. Apple can be credited for spotting the market for 10" ARM devices, but then Samsung can be credited for realising the huge market for 5-6" phones - and who can be credited for realising the market for 7" devices? I never hear any praise for who was first to release that size of ARM tablet.

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Re: Peak Register

"PC market sales have collapsed 8.6 percent. While Apple's sales of PC form factor devices have shrunk 2.3 percent."

Which means that they have shrunk less than average - but it's still the fallacy of comparing Apple to all other PC manufacturers. So they're not doing as worse as some, but they are doing worse than others, with some even growing according to that article.

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it also means they aren't immune to the slowed growth in PCs (Macs are PCs, after all - to claim otherwise is just marketing).

"Apple introduced the tablet form factor"

They introduced the first 10" device perhaps - but then, we should also note the first company to introduce the first 7" device, that are now doing well.

There is indeed the point that a slowed PC market for Apple doesn't matter, because they have tablets - but I would extend that to other companies too. The companies making tablets and indeed phones are those making PCs.

The whole "PC market is dying" is a load of media drama. A slowing market doesn't mean it will collapse; a growing market doesn't mean everyone will switch to it. People will buy phones, tablets - and laptops. And since companies like Samsung, Asus - as well as Apple - are making those phones, tablets as well as PCs, they'll do well.

With the increasing number of laptop/tablet hybrids, it becomes meaningless to talk about them separately anyway. Really, these are all personal computers - far from being a decline, we're today seeing an explosion in the market for personal computers, albeit not all of the same form. It's like claiming PCs are dead because fewer people are using desktops - well no, laptops are still personal computers.

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Nokia tears devs' hearts out, shutters Symbian and Meego stores early

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As a Symbian developer myself - on the one hand, I think it is a mistake to not allow updates, and does contradict the 2016 promise. And I think that they could cut costs more effectively by just cutting the often moronic QA, and adopt a more automated application upload model like Google Play. On the other hand, well, I'm being pragmatic, I realised this day was coming sooner or later. The significant event was losing Symbian, which we've known would happen for over 2 years (although it's not like most the media even acknowledged its existence until after the fact). But actually, I wish WP well - whilst I love Android, the market does well with choice and competition. Much of the cost of losing Symbian is because of losing a massively successful OS, with that not being filled by another OS, leaving us with less choice.

This also highlights the problems of having all or most software distributed through a single site. At least it's a possibility to distribute them elsewhere though, on Symbian. This isn't going to make me flock to IOS.

"Nokia ran down most of its Symbian operation sooner than it had anticipated, as sales fell off a cliff"

I think that's a bit backwards - sales held up very well for the first year or so, and IIRC over 100 million devices were sold after the January 2011 announcement of the WP switch. And sales fell because of dropping the support - fewer new models, hardly any marketing, and no or little distribution in most countries.

"We can only surmise that someone forgot about Elop's commitment during the Nokia-Microsoft negotiations, and it fell through the cracks."

Except Nokia phones division isn't yet part of MS, so this isn't an MS decision.

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RIP charging bricks: $279 HP Chromebook 11 charges via USB

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Re: Why? @AC 6:25

I think Chromebooks are a great thing for some people- though I'm not convinced by the "PCs get slower" argument. I've seen Android phones and tablets get slow over time, and I hear people say the same things about old IOS devices too, it's only less noticable because people are used to upgrading every 2 years. If anything, I'd argue it's more the other way round, given that people can use PCs for years, something unthinkable for phones unless it's a cheap dumb one.

Issues such as increased software requirements from the OS, apps or webpages apply to any platform. One of the biggest problems for Windows seems to be people who end up installing ridiculous numbers of browser plugins. If Chrome is immune to this, one could improve things by installing Chrome on any PC they use.

My biggest dislike of ChromeOS was how much of the apps in the Chrome Store didn't work, due to needing native plugins only available for other platforms(!) Still, I'm glad to see alternatives for low cost laptops, and devices with keyboards, rather than just tablets.

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Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford

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Only yesterday, we had an article with poor stats spinning things in favour of the iphone (sales in the US). I heard the claim that when there was next an article spinning things the other way, all the Android fanboys would be arguing the other way, taking the article as fact and using it to support their point of view.

Well er, where are they? Whilst the iphone article yesterday had lots of people trying to defend it, there appears to be a complete silence from people trying to defend this article. Maybe the truth is that some of us do care about accurate reporting, and if someone wants to argue for Android, there's a lot better arguments and evidence to use.

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