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* Posts by Tikimon

88 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009

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Smartwatch sales off to a very slow start

Tikimon
Meh

Another solution in search of a problem

Sales are low simply because nobody really wants one. Done! What's so hard to understand? They won't sell until they offer enough usefulness for a good price.

Smartphone screens are barely large enough for most tasks already (which also drives tablet usage). The tiny screen of a smartwatch is horrible for most of what people use tablets and smartphones for. Try navigating with one, watching a video, reading a full-page document. The so-called convenience of having it glommed to your arm isn't worth the things you lose in that tiny form factor.

It's typical of tech companies these days. Wow, we invented something to make us rich! Why isn't everyone buying it? It's the future, you HAVE to buy it even if the old skull widgets still work fine! Gah...

2
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Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

Tikimon
Devil

Gives it all away in her own words

"we are having a great national conversation and debate about exactly how to manage privacy concerns".

No debate about total unwarranted surveillance of US citizens. No, only about how to MANAGE PRIVACY CONCERNS. In her own words, they're only concerned with how to make us worry less about having our privacy raped away.

Yeah, great choice. "Special Counsel on Minimizing Public Reaction to Privacy Violations".

4
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Google hands over $1.4m for unmarked Street View cars in Italy

Tikimon

Re: Google cars are obviously recognizable!?

People with dash cams don't post the footage online in a universally-searchable form. Google does.

3
6

Silicon Valley wage collusion case will go to court

Tikimon
Big Brother

How the nice guys have fallen...

It's interesting to me that these are all companies I used to really like. They made great products to meet pressing needs, made my life happier. That was then.

Now they make mediocre products designed to lock down their customers and prevent competition. In their incredible hubris, they decided they could stifle competition for good employees too. I doubt it happens, but I hope they're each fined billions. Arrogant bastards.

1
0

GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Tikimon
Devil

Innovative business model!

Come on folks, stop ripping the poor telcos. They've found a brilliant business model to pursue!

Sell internet access. Brag about high speeds and streaming movies to sell contracts. Then complain about how customers are actually using the service and institute bandwidth limits and data caps. Meanwhile, demand money from those who produce the content (it's not the telcos) which made the internet access worth having in the first place.

Eventually, they hope to charge us for internet service without having to actually deliver anything. They will also charge the content providers for the right to have their content offered to - but not delivered to - customers. Money rolling in from all directions, and they can simply disconnect the cable and fire their support staff to save even more money.

Doesn't it sound like that's where they want to go? Making good on promises is so troublesome, much easier to break them...

3
0

Seattle pops a cap in Uber and Lyft: Rideshare bizs get 150-driver limit

Tikimon

Pure protectionism, folks

"The question I have for the hotels is this: are you also OK with..." COMPETITION?

No, none of the existing business models want competition. They want to have their income stream nice and safe without pesky upstarts stealing their business and forcing their prices down. It's what they buy politicians for. Any mouthings about insurance and taxes are just "think of the children!" distraction. The cab companies want the disruptive startup crushed.

Here in Georgia, we only recently struck down laws against ordering wine online. That was some local protectionism for the alcohol distributors, took years to get rid of. They're all the same.

6
0

Apple, Symantec, other tech heavies challenge anti-gay legislation

Tikimon
Devil

Meh, these always backfire anyway...

Incredibly stupid bill, no doubt.

I'm not worried though. These kinds of laws tend to injure few if any people in meaningful ways. What they DO is allow non-bigots to identify religiously oppressive businesses to deny custom (and profit) to. The first business to use such a law will probably be shamed online so quick they issue frantic apologies within hours of the rotten publicity. It always happens like that.

0
1

Make cyberwar a no-no equal to nukes, bio, and chemical attacks, says RSA headman

Tikimon
Unhappy

Nukes are hard, Cyberwar is easy - no comparison!

Leaving aside the fact that governments are going to run roughshod over their citizens' rights for power no matter what we want...

It's still quite difficult to make nukes or bioweapons. One needs serious specialty equipment and a nice lab somewhere. Any a-hole can knock together cyberweapons on a decent-spec home computer. Anti-nuke-proliferation tactics simply won't apply to cyber attacks. Totally different class of threat and availability.

Back to governments giving us some privacy and freedom... what the hell would they do THAT for? They want total access and control, they don't care about you or me. Yes, I'm calling him naive...

7
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Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'

Tikimon

Glass is Google's Eye O' Sauron

You're all missing the obvious., Glass is Google's wandering spy eye to gather all the info on everything and sell it. It's creepy for anyone but the wearer.

I don't want a Google Eye pointed at me either. I would be MUCH cooler about a device that's not tied to a private spy agency that believes I have no right to privacy of any kind.

2
1

Upstart Postmates surfs $16m valley funding on backs of 'slave' couriers

Tikimon

Sounds familiar

Sounds like not much has changed since I was a courier in 1990 (Washington, DC). Too many drivers, not enough work, no benefits, expendable and treated that way. After a month of breaking even, I quit. I did much better delivering pizza, which paid the bills nicely. Also drove half the miles, never had to scrape for parking in busy streets, etc.

I laughed like crazy over their breathless "changing the world" line. It's a bottom feeder courier job, what's new about those?

1
0

Renault unveils mini-SUV equipped with a QUADCOPTER DRONE

Tikimon

The Mach 5 revisited!

Wow, am I the only one who remembers? Speed Racer's car had a remote-controlled drone almost 50 years ago. Granted that it was only a cartoon, but this ain't a new concept. That was my favorite feature of the Mach 5... but not in the real world! Recipe for disaster in the hands of the public.

0
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Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

Tikimon
Facepalm

Missing the bloody obvious...

"The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance"

Did he miss the part where the phone call IS surveillance by the NSA? Does the Big-O think it's an automatic-meeting-minutes feature? BWAHAHAHA!!!

8
0

Google stabs Wikipedia in the front

Tikimon

In favor of: Duckduckgo in my case

Duckduckgo seems to give me more relevant hits than Google these days, plus the many anti-spy benefits. If I can't find what I need there I'll try another search, but DDG finds me what I want 95% of the time.

At first I thought I was getting fewer hits on search terms, but then I realized I had fewer bogus hits than Google throws up. Your mileage may vary...

2
1

Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Tikimon
Thumb Down

Russians assembly line: Radial Keratotomy

The Rooskies pioneered radial keratotomy, used for that assembly-line trick. They made a starburst of cuts in the cornea with a diamond knife. Still used for some patients, though the laser methods have mostly taken over.

Unlike most folks I have a HIGH corrective index (glasses/contacts not optional to get around) and eye surgery would make a huge difference to me. I've been tempted since RK first came out, but I have yet to find a procedure that I'm willing to trust my eyeballs to. I went as far as an appointment once, but the unskilled drone who did my "evaluation" wasn't qualified to sort rocks in a quarry, much less determine eye surgery.

The mountaineer was Beck Weathers, miracle survivor of the 1996 Everest disaster. I believe his problem was the low pressure more than the cold, but he was nearly blind when he came down. "Into Thin Air" is a great account of that BTW.

9
0

Two million TERRIBLE PASSWORDS stolen by malware attackers

Tikimon
Angel

Random passwords for the masses!

I'm an IT geek for a 40-person non-profit. The usual password advice only confused my users - now which character got replaced with a number? The ones that did it couldn't remember them.

I'm sure I did NOT invent this, but nobody seems to talk about it so here we go. Pick a sentence! Movie quotes, lines from books, everyone knows a few. Then take the first character (or pair) from each word, add punctuation at the end, capitalize the first letter. Instant long random password, easy to recall.

Here's one you all know: "These aren't the droids you're looking for". Password becomes Tharthdryolofo! You do not have to remember the password itself, only the phrase.

Last time I checked, no cracker dictionary included this sort of thing. Hack-resistant and user-friendly!

0
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Europe, SAVE US! Patriot Act author begs for help to curb NSA spying

Tikimon
Unhappy

Re: USA FREEDOM Act. - basic propaganda tactic

Old skull trick. Name your horrible legislation something warm and fuzzy that nobody can disagree with. What, you're not a PATRIOT? You don't believe in FREEDOM? You evil anarchist!!!

It's the other side of the coin from Demonizing Your Enemies. Paint your opponents as babykillers and nobody will support them. Goes a long way to obscuring the truth of a debate, therefore used heavily in politics and the press. Grrr...

1
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How the W3C met its Waterloo at the Do Not Track vote showdown

Tikimon
Pirate

"pay for the web"? Resistance for a better tomorrow!

Okay, let's address the argument that we need advertisements to "pay for the web". I'll grant that folks need to make some cash somehow.

However, we do not have to accept the existing methods they use to collect the cash. If the current ad-supported regime fails, GOOD! We need something better, and I refuse to support intrusive business models out of some weird sense of obligation. Let the ad-trackers fail and a better way will emerge.

Businesses choose a business model and expect everyone's help making it work, no matter how stupid or invasive. Consider telephone marketers, who wailed and whined when we all signed onto "do not call" lists. Are we obligated to answer SPAM calls to support telemarketers?

Hey admen! Your business model clearly sucks, if you can't make a buck without knowing everything about me. I will not support it. Find another one that better serves me, not you.

4
0

ZERO-G DINOSAUR made from bits and bobs by space station flight engineer

Tikimon
Happy

Modern scrimshaw variant!

Ivory's hard to come by and very non-PC these days. Bored sailors gotta fill the off-watches with something, eh?

And it's SOOO CUTE!

0
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EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

Tikimon
Devil

More reasons I avoid flying if at all possible

The wife and I have driven round-trip from Atlanta to Texas, Connecticut , and Wisconsin to avoid flying. It takes longer, but yanno? Plenty of legroom, no crying babies, complete choice of meals, more than one application of shampoo, good sound system with tunes we like. Fresh air and scenery. No TSA poking at us and stealing our luggage. Luggage not lost, no delays or being told we won't travel Today. Half the cost.

And definitely no snotty airline nazis trying to ruin our day because we're upset with the crappy service.

Flying: only if an ocean intervenes.

17
0

Latest Snowden reveal: It was GCHQ that hacked Belgian telco giant

Tikimon
Devil

Re: hmm

Second that! Ahhh, I've watched sanctimonious Brits sneer at my country plenty. Nice to see them hoist on their own petard and the deafening, embarrassed silence it generates.

The takeaway is this: we're all at the mercy of our unaccountable governments. Let's not rip and tear on the CITIZENS of any nation for the stupidity of their so-called leaders, eh? American-bashing is uncool and unproductive, and I won't be indulging in counter-strike Brit-bashing for that reason.

4
1

US intelligence: Snowden's latest leaks 'road map' for adversaries

Tikimon
Happy

Re: Bull Run origin

The Battles of Bull Run were named after the watercourse that crossed the area. For some reason, in that part of Virgina they liked to call a creek a "run". It's equivalent to "Bull Creek". You see them everywhere in northern Virginia, I used to live beside Four Mile Run, which had nothing to do with jogging.

3
0

Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST

Tikimon

Re: You were holding it wrong

Second that. "Just a watch"? Hardly! Multiple alarms, chronograph functions, countdown timers, BACKLIGHT, no winding. Regular watches had none of that. My favorites had an analog face with a digital display bar across the top or bottom - decently stylish plus the functions. As far as accuracy, any quartz watch had to be adjusted properly, analog or digital.

Agreed that the hourly chime was a bad idea. I actually FIXED these things for a year, and the daily runs of chimes and alarms from dozens of them were horrifying. A popular Armitron model played "Dixie", which we heard at least 20 times a day. Brrr..

It's unfair to rip on the early LED watches. That's like damning the Messerschmitt 262 for not being an F-16. The first of anything tends to be too large, clunky and gobble power.

0
0

AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

Tikimon
Facepalm

Re: @ Code Monkey

"Where is the proof that craft are not visiting us?" - First, it's impossible to prove something does not exist. But that doesn't matter, because if you claim there's a dragon in your garage, the burden is on YOU to prove it. The human-built spacecraft you mention are well-documented, and of no relevance to your argument about UN-documented alien spacecraft.

"And by UFO community I mean documented, under oath statements from Doctors, Teachers..." Are you seriously proposing that certain professions make people immune to mistakes? Lots of well-intentioned people are quite often wrong about what they thought they experienced.

One night in Alexandria, VA hundreds jammed 911 lines to report alien spacecraft zooming over a local mall, which was actually spotlights on low clouds. Made the news later, emergency calls weren't getting through. I saw it myself and knew instantly what it was. You would clearly consider their verbal accounts of a misinterpreted experience to be "documented" evidence, but it's just verbal assertions. Not proof.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Until the hordes of alien-visitation believers cough up some hard evidence, they shall remain firmly in the Crank category with Bigfoot sightings.

2
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Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Tikimon
FAIL

Re: Some sanity, defined as BLIND

Sport, you're probably one of those people who laughed at me when I said the government would be doing these things. Must be a terrible shock to find out they do after all.

OK, let's look at how the NSA and other government agencies qualify as "evil".

Trashed the protections guaranteed by Constitutional Amendments.

Lied about it. Apply the draconian power of government to punish anyone who tells.

When caught red-handed, lie more, use doublespeak to dodge straight questions, and use US domestic policy to attack the whistleblowers.

Using the government's own argument against it, if they're not doing anything wrong, why the need to hide?

Why cover up an activity you're proud of? And finally, if it's so LEGAL, why not do it legally, instead of bypassing most of the laws designed to protect us?

GAME. SET. AND MATCH to the so-called paranoid.

3
0

New NSA tool exposed: XKeyscore sees 'nearly EVERYTHING you do online'

Tikimon
Childcatcher

Lawful? Not at all!

Excerpt from the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The NSA and others hide behind "this is a LAWFUL program", but they all directly violate the 4th Amendment. The 4th was enacted in response to "writs of assistance" issued by the Crown, which gave unlimited authority to search anyone anywhere for anything, and never expired. JUST LIKE THE NSA's SPYING. Far from being lawful, these programs directly attack our Constitutional rights!

Child Catcher, because we fell for the bright colors and promises and now we're in the digital prison.

2
1

Star Wars missile intercept fails for fifth year running

Tikimon
Mushroom

GREAT IDEA, just poorly executed (so far)

Orright, the deployment of a system that simply doesn't work is asinine, and they should have to repay the money with interest. Grrr.

However, we should definitely keep working on anti-ballistic-missile tech. It gets a lot of mockery now because it hasn't worked out... YET. But seriously! Who would not want to be able to shoot down an incoming missile/warhead? Anyone? Just because it hasn't panned out yet does not mean it's a loser. That aviation thing was pretty crude for a long time (wood and cloth!) and now we have routine jet passenger service.

Pursue the technology. Wait to deploy until it works.

0
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Bolivian president's jet grounded so officials can look for Snowden

Tikimon
Stop

PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!

American native here. This is merely one symptom of power-mad governments with no real accountability to their citizens. We, the people of the United Sates (mostly) do NOT condone or support this crap, nor the Patriot Act, TSA, various stupid wars on Stuff, universal data-gobbling, etc.

Before you bash "The US", please consider that. Also admit and accept that YOUR government is doing the exact same things, or trying hard to do so. You cannot show me a government ANYWHERE with clean hands and pure motives, so please spare the general population your sanctimonious condemnation.

It's tough enough to live under this BS without our so-called friends and allies calling me names I don't deserve. Don't claim I voted for these fools either. Candidates are carefully screened by the political establishment, we never get a decent person to vote FOR.

6
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Trick-cyclist's claim: I have FOUND how to get GIRLS INTO TECH

Tikimon
Facepalm

Let's fix Hollywood, that would help a lot

Second all comments on the stereotyped portrayal of geeks in film. The annoying so-called "scientist" in Independence Day is a prime example. Clearly the screenwriters never had much use for "eggheads", preferring the world be saved by the passionately-Green journalist (Goldblum).

But what do we expect? Hollywood and American media are stocked with the same folks who didn't do well in science or math, and got into journalism and theater instead. It permeates non-geek-bearing media also: simple stories, stock characters, absurdly simple Plots To Destroy (or save) The World. Stereotypes for all! (sigh...)

1
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Microsoft partners seriously underwhelmed by Windows 8.1

Tikimon
FAIL

Companies drunk on their own Kool-Aid

Two main problems as I see it, which pervades ALL business these days. They don't try to build good products to fill needs and wait for the world the beat down their door. They dream up a Business Strategy they believe will make them rich, and develop products to fit their "vision." When the public reject that vision, they blame everyone but themselves for the stunning lack of uptake.

Second, the assumption that everything must be "refreshed", even if it's working fine. I wish I could go back in time and terminate whomever came up with this asinine strategy! No better example can be found than Win 8. After the Vista debacle they won most folks back with Win 7... then threw it all out the door! Combo of their myopic, uninformed "vision" and radically changing a product that was working fine.

I also blame databases, and business' crippling reliance on them. The "essay-answer" customer service feedback that might be useful is reduced to a few tick marks in database rows, stripping away any sense of what's working or what people think about it. "Rate your experience from 1-5" tells you NOTHING. So they know nothing useful about what we want, liked, or didn't like.

8
0

Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play CRICKET

Tikimon

Re: Let's pick on NASCAR next...

I actually agree, draft trains on oval tracks are a good cure for insomnia. On the other hand, a spectator can see the whole course, not a tiny piece of it like most road courses. If anything interesting DOES happen, you can see it, not just hear about it on the radio. I too miss true "stock cars", not the hi-tech skeletons they race now.

In defense of its form factor, NASCAR grew its roots on small-scale dirt tracks so moonshiners could race their war wagons. It was never a road sport, except one-on-ones on country roads.

0
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Chinese 'nauts return to Earth after vigorous space coupling

Tikimon
Unhappy

China winning one-entry space race

Homegrown outfits like SpaceX are awesome and making marvelous strides. I love 'em, wish them the very best. However, the Chinese are willing to do what nobody else can: burn huge piles of money. Private companies don't have billions to play with. NASA's budget gets routinely slashed, since a base on Mars won't buy socialist votes. The Russians are broke, no other space-capable nations are planning bases.

There's simply no competing with the Chinese. They have the will, and they're willing to spend the cash. That's true of nobody else on this planet. While everyone else is getting cheap and sending robots, they will put people on the moon and Mars.

4
0

Spaniards deploy self-propelled ROBOT BALLS

Tikimon
Happy

Terrorize Target stores!

Those familiar with the Target department store chain will know the knee-high red balls they have on the sidewalks by the doors. I've daydreamed for YEARS of replacing a few with remote-control balls like this for general messing-with-people duty. Follow shoppers around, chase cars, run over cigarettes people throw down to extinguish them, etc. Never had the free time or money, meself.

0
0

Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded

Tikimon
Facepalm

You have two hand-picked partisan polticians: CHOOSE ONE

The Founders of the US wanted to avoid professional politicians holding office. They wanted Real People to take time off from being successful to help run the country. The people should be represented by their own.

Instead, we have career politicians (person who specialize in getting elected to office) hand-picked and pre-screened for party compliance. My choices in any election I can think of for 30 years have been Dickhead A or B. Whichever party holds the reins, they're going to do asinine things to further their political agenda, no matter how it screws the country.

Given the lack of decent folks to vote into office and no option for "none of the above, new election with new candidates, please", it's no mystery that Congress is full of misguided jerks. It's hardly a secret, so why should we have any confidence in them?

And would you Brits PLEASE keep our total lack of decent candidates in mind when bashing our government's actions? THEY DO NOT REPRESENT AMERICANS. Only the American political parties, who firmly control the process.

33
2

Space boffins, oil giants, nuke plants 'raided' by MYSTERY code nasty

Tikimon
Meh

Re: Install updates

Let's not forget about that other security advice, that of not allowing end-users to install software. No thanks to Adobe et. al. for software updates that require admin rights to install, meaning most users can't do it.

Sorry, not so easy as that.

0
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TSA: Perv scanners now fully banished from US airports

Tikimon

Re: Hmmm...

"Because of the fear of flying after 9/11 Americans took to the roads."

Actually it's not "fear of flying" it's "bloody ANNOYANCE with flying."

Pros for road trips: Plenty of legroom, no screaming babies, your choice of good meals when you want them, no luggage charges, not being rootered by the TSA or having luggage go missing. Stops to stretch legs and kick some footbag, check out interesting roadside things. Car rental and fuel cheaper than air tickets and doesn't rack up miles on our car. Choice of music on a good system instead of earplugs. Carry more than 4 ounces of shampoo in original bottles, nail clippers, and other deadly items without hassle.

Cons for road trips: Takes 50% longer to get there. Can't drive over water (where's my flying car, already?).

Nobody much is afraid of terrorists in the air except misguided politicians. Nope, we're simply avoiding the unpleasantness that is modern air travel.

3
0

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins

Tikimon
Happy

Re: Hmmm - Berserkers!

I believe you're thinking of Fred Saberhagen's "Berserkers". Centuries-old, planetoid-sized autonomous war machines that repair and build more of themselves. Problem is, they are programmed with one simple edict; "Destroy all life". Good series of stories...

1
0
Tikimon
Meh

Kill your enemy safely, 500 years on

I can't help but think this is a new iteration of a very old argument. The first firearms were lambasted as uncivilized, while hacking bits off each other with sharp things was fine. That's the whole point of the arms race since fists and stones: to kill your enemy without being killed. Preferably, you deny your enemy the CHANCE to kill you. Fair fights lose too many soldiers, so the goal is to make the fight as "unfair" as possible.

It's this which causes the outrage, as anti-war types and those on the receiving end of better weapons whine about inhumanity. What are they proposing instead? War is somehow more moral if the enemy has more chance to kill your citizens?

War is hell, there's no civilizing it. When you fight one, load the dice your way as much as possible and get it done with minimal risk to your citizens. Nothing else makes sense.

12
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Kaspersky plans source code reveal to avoid Huawei's fate

Tikimon
Happy

“some doors, they are not back doors, but somewhere in-between”

So that must be... TRAP DOORS!

Yevgeny is doing the smart thing with this preemptive strike. If he waits until the State Department gets suspicious to say "look how clean we are" it sounds like the typical denials.

"I kill so many journalists..." Get off, any FPS shooter says that. I've killed my mates dozens of times, and hundreds of strangers online. Come to think of it, I've been Terminated quite a lot too!

2
0

Veteran researchers: Cheapo US biz R&D risks innovation FAIL

Tikimon
Devil

Redirect "Arts" funding to science!

I can solve two social problems with one blow: spend Arts budgets on Science instead. Good research gets funded, and we're spared the horror of public art projects.

Sorted!

0
1

PLAGUE of SEX CRAZED MONSTER GRASSHOPPERS to hit East Coast

Tikimon
Thumb Up

Been there, OMG WOT'S THAT NOISE!!!

My wife and I have stumbled into periodic cicada emergences about five times since 2003 (American South) usually while mountain biking. A large group can indeed be deafening. Half the people we show our pix to insist they're locusts, argh! The only actual damage they do is when laying eggs. The females slice into twigs to insert their eggs, weakening the twig which may break and fall off.

If you don't live where the noisy buggers emerge, the excellent Planet Earth series takes a great look at them in one episode (I forget which). If you have a chance to see then in the wild, DO IT! Wear a hat, they will blunder into anything.

0
0

TV gesture patent bombshell: El Reg punts tech into public domain

Tikimon
Devil

I've always dreamed of this ONE use

Point finger at TV with thumb raised, drop thumb as ye say "PEW!". The TV overlays your choice (or random) of graphic sequence. Explosions! Water balloons! Instant clown head overlay! Rabid weasel attack! THAT I would love to have.

Otherwise, no frackin' thanks. Such things assume that ANY movement is a possible command, with weird results. Or is the goal to make sure we sit motionless and attentive while absorbing advertisements?

2
0

Flat mobe battery? Just light a fire

Tikimon

When "convenience" becomes less so...

Personal preference is a factor, but if you're a regular hiker and willing to lug all that you would be better served by a handheld dedicated GPS. Such a widget lasts 18 hours on two AA batts, and is waterproof and rugged for outdoor use, two areas the phone falls flat (pun intended).

Philosophically, how many hoops does one jump through for the "ease and convenience" of using the phone instead of a dedicated widget? Is it worth it to risk your expensive phone in the rain?

2
0

Google's Euro antitrust offer: Fine! We'll link to our search rivals

Tikimon
Meh

Forget anticompetition, Commission Sales warp the service

Let's look at one (somewhat relevant) analogy. Retail shops.

I used to work for an outdoor store. When asked for product recommendations, I gave the ones that seemed best suited to what the customer asked for. They could reasonably trust that I was guiding them to products that would meet their wants. That's sort of an "Honest Search Result".

Commission-sales shops instead will recommend higher priced items to increase the sale and payoff. The customer's interests are being eroded here, and we begin to see "Dishonest Search Results". The customer is not being given the information they specifically asked for, nor what will best serve their needs.

Let's add another layer of self-interest. The commission retailer also selectively pushes its own store brands, even where a competitor's product might better meet the customer's wants. Now we have "Totally Dishonest Search Results" that ignore the customer's desires to support the retailer's business model.

And that's Google. The promise of Better Search has been eroded by paid placement and self-promotion while pushing the competition down in the ranks.

I won't comment on whether antitrust action is appropriate, but their business plan is screwing their famous Search pretty heavily. I use Duckduckgo for my primary search. It seemed like sparse results at first, until I realize the "missing links" that Google had were mostly BS. Your mileage may vary...

0
0

Who's a Siri boy, then? Apple hoards your voices for TWO years

Tikimon
Thumb Down

Re: whinge! Whinge! Whinge! Whinge!

Serious lack of imagination here...

Very soon, there will be no phone books, no newspapers, no old-skull paper info sources. That's fine, we've steadily replaced old information sources with new ones. Clay tablets became a bit clunky, yanno. Here's the trick: Phone books never spied on the user and told strangers who they were looking up. Your car radio didn't tell a giant corporation what you listened to and for how long. Your car didn't tell Ford what addresses you visited and for how long, for Ford to sell on to their "partners". NONE of the Old Skull sources did that, and now ALL of the new sources are being designed with default spying built in.

This is the root of the problem. We're facing a looming choice between 24/7 monitoring by strangers for profit, or living in a cave. When companies pin their profits on data stealing, they're not going to provide anonymous access anymore, so no more phone books. Improvements in services never had "by using this we're entitled to know and share everything about you" bolted on, and it's unacceptable to do it now.

0
0

Google U-turns on exclusive snatch of .app AND .search addys

Tikimon
Coat

Re: Are there any good reasons for adding more TLDs?

Porn at .cum

Pirated media at .yar

Technically, .net would already be spoken as "dot nyet" due to Russian pronunciation. Pretty obscure though.

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FBI on trial for warrantless Stingray mobile spying

Tikimon
Big Brother

Nobody. Can. Be. Trusted. With. ANYTHING.

The FBI, Facebook, Google, Apple, your local council... They all are grabbing everything they can. They all offer greasy reassurances that they won't misuse the data. Lots of protections in place, you know! Trust us!

And then this comes out, three YEARS after the fact. It's only one example, but they're all guilty.

Our privacy MUST be defended, folks. The human tendency to overstep boundaries is too strong. Checks and balances in government exist because the framers knew this would happen and tried to prevent it. We have to stop these jerks from bypassing our rights.

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Congress plans to make computer crime law much, much worse

Tikimon
Big Brother

Re: "it's judicial bullying and overreach"

Concur, my friend! Not much fun to live under this crap.

My beloved country is still the leader of the free world... leading it right into Big Brother's arms!

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Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?

Tikimon
Pint

Crap SW design keeps me employed!

I'm an all-purpose IT geek for a 40-person non-profit. I always tell my users, "It's not your fault, you're NOT stupid. It's a confusing interface designed to make money, not to make your life better." Word 95 did everything 97% of the world needed. Bolting on unwanted features to justify an "upgrade" is a standard M$ business model. They really don't CARE if it's easy to use use or if anyone likes it.

Therein lies the root of the problem. Nobody builds better mousetraps and waits for the stampede of sales to a good product. Instead they try to "position the company" for various marketing notions, and expect everyone to buy the resulting shite because... well, they need us to. It's a crap business plan that gave us Vista and Windows 8, among other abominations. M$ is hardly alone in this.

My continued employment depends to a large degree on software and hardware designers failing to do a good job. My future employment seems pretty secure.

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