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* Posts by JLV

324 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

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Hey Apple, we're gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

JLV
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I like the idea of a next-gen language that is C-inspired, a la D or Go. By that, I mean relatively simple and limited in its syntax, but still powerful, with a clean syntax and built for speed.

i.e. lump the C and Python/Bash/Ruby/LISP lessons together. Add a (small) smidgen of C++**/Java as required and stir.

Agree that Apple has little upside from actively promoting Swift to OSS, but will it quash it?

Wonder if they'll pull a Sun/Oracle and get all hissy on the API/test suite whatever...

Or will it be benign neglect* a la MS/Mono?

OTOH, what is the downside to Apple if Swift takes off? Can't see it being pushed by the other big players, so the competitive risk is low. Its unique selling point is probably largely tied to a clean integration to iOS/OSX APIs anyway. A good way to acquire some geek cred if it becomes popular? Java was good for Sun's profile, even if their own apps on it seemed to be the least polished of breed to me.

Still, sharing more than strictly necessary doesn't seem that much in Apple's DNA.

* actually, I have no idea how much/little MS has supported Mono.

** Not dissing C++ here. Languages like Swift don't need the full complexities of a low-level system language however.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

JLV
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slightly OT, but can I make a special mention?

of much annoyance @ Amazon wrt Canada?

amazon.ca == very limited content, no mp3s. Try searching for "mp3" funny.

amazon.com - we won't stream ppv or sell mp3s if you have a Canadian CC.

I have wondered how much is due to Amazon's stupidity and how much is due to the CRTC "looking out for Canadian's interests" by foisting Celine Dion, French language and Canadian content requirements upon us. They've certainly been very active in trying to corner Netflix lately.

Here's hoping for a reasonably-priced access to GoT (I have only broadband + Netflix)

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iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

JLV
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Re: Retina iMac

>Best ever computer. If you don't want one of these right now, you shouldn't be in IT. Or in life.

Please accept my award for "dumbest ever statement".

As a frequent, but not exclusive, Apple user I find it annoying how much the slightest positive opinions about their products elicits howls of "fanboi, fanboi". After all, I hardly notice much difference between my OSX bash shell and my VM's Ubuntu. Postgres, Python and Django run seamlessly on both. We are all people of the 'nix, why can't we just get along?

Then I see statements like yours to remind me why snobbery & herd-think is associated with Apple use ;-)

The screen is an awesome change, yes, but I mostly hope it will relaunch a pixel arms race in laptops and/or standalone screens. An iMac is entirely the wrong format for me. That screen should still be going strong long after its computer has become a paperweight. On the other hand it is not portable anywhere. Good for many, not for me.

Kudos to Apple for upping their game and I hope everybody copies high res offerings on computers. If anything it might actually bring down prices on >2560 screens.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

JLV
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Re: 10 years

>as a species spend more money on spectator sports

True, that.

Some years back there was a critical article in a business magazine about the latest round of cap in hand from the ITER folks. Same magazine that usually flags global warming concerns.

I think that the amount of $ ITER was asking was about 3 weeks worth of global oil consumption back then. Granted, spending it on ITER by no means guarantees a favorable outcome, but with fusion such a potentially elegant escape from emission concerns that it behooves us not to be overly stingy with it.

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JLV
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Re: To the skeptics...

Yeah, I agree with the healthy dose of skepticism.

But maybe the investment is to spread the risk? Considering how many $B are going into the ITER fusion project, even a large corporate parent might balk at taking a fraction of that type of risk solo.

And, if they did strike gold, I wouldn't be surprised if the public and politicians claimed that the tech was too beneficial to belong to any one corporation and belonged to humanity as a whole. Spreading the ownership pie might help there too.

Still, I remain quite skeptical of the whole thing.

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Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant

JLV
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Sounds like sloppy police work, being explained after the fact

I mean, how difficult would it have been to ask Iceland for cooperation for a clearly criminal entreprise?

Granted, if it was a server in a known-to-harbor-miscreants state, they might have had reasons not to do so. But in this case?

If I were the judge, I would not accept the government's "non-US server means open season on hacking" claim. Not least because the US will itself have a hard time making a case for for redress if its servers get hacked from abroad (cough, China, cough).

Whether or not that should get Ulbricht off the hook is another story, he does sound like he deserves being put away for a while.

Same crap as with the blanket eavesdropping - US law protecting individuals somehow does not apply when foreigners are involved. Good thing for them they are not a tinpot country somewhere, because no one would put up with that crap from a tinpot country.

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Want to break Netflix? It'll pay you to do the job

JLV
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expect failure

I rather like Netflix's approach that things will fail and you need to recover gracefully. Most IT professionals will agree with that. But Netflix goes one step further and actively develops systems that get the carpet pulled from under them, in the form of randomly failing components. Call it productive paranoia.

A lot of IT pros could learn from that. And, in terms of security, a lot of IT could learn from the same approach, tweaked to trigger failure on unusual/excessive access.

"What, the same IP is now downloading 1MB of confidential data/minute, for the last 3 hours, whatever for?"

"Hmmm, why am I seeing a 'select * from credit_card_table' with no customer_id specified?"

Far as Netflix's programming goes, it suffices amply to keep my brain sedated on the boob tube. The key is not to expect to find something you want on Netflix. Chances are it won't have it. Rather it works if you are content with the occasional gem* that you find on it. For less than a quarter of the price of basic cable TV, I am quite happy with it. Not least because I find cable TV a ripoff and general TV programming dumb as a bag of nails.

* N. has lots of really good BBC content in Canada that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

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French prez mulls mobe, fondleslab tax for telly

JLV
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Boffin

bloke never met a tax he did not like

£3/phone

say 25m phones/yr assuming 2 yr cycles

But not if you pay TV tax already, say 50%

Say 3x 25 x .5 => £37.5m/yr

Questions to Mr Hollande: how much will it cost in civil servants to admin this tax?

How much IT & biz overhead to collect it?

Yay, I can see where your poll ratings come from... Les edentes te saluent.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

JLV
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next?

Judge in Pakistan orders defamatory articles about Pakistani politicians and/or military taken off search.

Really, why should the world care about French court judgments more than say Pakistani ones? This is just as obnoxious as US extra territorial meddlings.

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Take THAT, hated food! It's OVER, tedious chewing! Soylent strikes back with version 1.1

JLV
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Not half a bad idea, if it delivers

Hey, I like food and can cook fairly well. French origins. And believe deeply in watching one's diet.

But sometimes you can't be bothered to cook, nor do you want to eat greasy unbalanced fast food. Just wanna pass by the pump.

If, and that's a big if, Soylent (takes cojones to use that name) delivers on healthy, why not fuel up with their goop from time to time?

Am also a big believer in food contrast. If you eat lobster all the time, what's special about lobster? Eat simple most of the time, splurge as much as you can. This stuff sounds like it would even make a wonderbread & velveeta sandwich seem foodie.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

JLV
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Re: Dear reader

I agree with Tim, the solutions will have to come from increased research and tech, best delivered by self-interest. On the other hand, a gradually increasing carbon tax is an excellent way to discourage emissions, as long as it is not just a tax grab.

Companies don't really care about oil. They care about profits. If they can sell you the energy you need in another form, they will. So what if some corporate dinosaurs don't adapt? Let them go out of business. And on the consumption side, companies will be happy to minimize their energy costs and well-run ones have accountants to point out energy saving potentials.

Was at a climate march 10 days or so ago. So, so hippy. Discouraging to see how many attendants seem sure that sticking it to the man or hugs will automatically save the day. Really risky to let that bunch drive the agenda but they are admittedly more aware of the problem.

Let's not forget assisting poor countries through the transition. Coal burnt in India is just as bad as coal burnt in near Berlin and limiting population growth is also a big way to limit emissions.

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JLV
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Re: The problem with this article...

2 things:

What are the comparative scales? How many of our 80m/day barrels of oil go into non-burn use? I think you'll find it a small fraction. Long term, it's actually an incentive to preserve oil by not burning it. Coal? Likely even less non-burn usage.

Second, let's take plastic. It might pollute the oceans and all that, but as long as it is not burnt, the carbon remains locked and out of the atmosphere.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

JLV
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Re: Even if James Comey got everything he ever wanted ..

IIRC France classified unauthorized use of encryption as deserving of same penalties as unauthorized military-grade firearms, well into early 90s.

Warrants already exist to compel decryption. Apply the damn laws, stop inventing reasons why the state needs unfettered access all the time.

France, and the US, have both had cases where spy services started spying on opposition politicians. That's the scary risk to democracy, rogue spies serving incumbents and what's to prevent it without judicial oversight?

Without absolving the US one bit, almost none of our Western countries have avoided this post 9/11 hysteria. Even granting the need for intensified counter-terrorism intel, we should at least get transparency and sunset clauses.

Thank you, again, Mr Snowden.

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

JLV
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Joke

>drop their payload

uh, uh, I can see the next James Bond plot already. Recipient is Prime Minister or the like.

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Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI

JLV
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Re: Where are the crims?

What about selling lists of addresses which seem to be vacant to criminals? Winter, you would expect a thermostat at low for 3-4 days to mean owner is away. Ditto smart tv and that works in summer too.

Granted, break ins are not usually hi tech and might even be trending down for various reasons. But there is still a lot of potential downsides to an internet of things that allows extrapolation of your daily habits in the real world. Seems like we are at the same maturity level as Outlook running vbs ifrom emails, back in the day. Or me clicking on my buddies' exe joke attachments.

Naive.

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

JLV
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Ford Focus (audio by MS) and Bluetooth

Rented a Ford Focus twice this year. Nice cars, if you forgive their Microsoft-powered audio system. In both cases, I was just trying to play some tunes off my phone, nothing more fancy, wasn't about to be dinged on roaming charges.

iPhone 4 - In a week, I never got it to Bluetooth, barely managed to get the crap stereo system to accept a linein on its 3.5 jack. Half the time it would try to switch to another source.

Nexus 5 - 3 weeks. Bluetooth recognized right away. Well, recognized enough give me some kinda 911 warning every single time I started the car with my phone in it.

Music? No such luck, their voice guidance kept on telling me to do configure something in their menu-driven system to source music through Bluetooth or somesuch. Except, there was no sub-menu of that name, or any kind of function related to their advice, anywhere.

It was almost worth it not having music to laugh at the truly huge mess MS manages to make out of a car's stereo system. Mind you, despite being a nice drive, the Focus uses 3x as many switches and options to provide the same basic car control and status info as my Civic, so the stereo ergonomics fit.

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iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? No. It is the Most Exquisite THING. EVER

JLV
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it sounded so garland flowery

That I was going to comment a snarky "Bong, is that you doing double duty mocking Fry under a nom de plume?".

Then I read the Guardian article and I realized it is Fry whose style is inspired by Bong instead.

Embarassing brownnosing gush, I'd be peeved if I was Apple.

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iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!

JLV
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Candy Crush!!! OMG!!!

>The long game for WebGL isn’t a better version of Candy Crush, but a clearer view into the galaxy of data that we own but can’t get handle on.

If only that were true.

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Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

JLV
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betting on

Warrior-caste Moties

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Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book

JLV
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>If SyFy throw a shark, octopus or tornado it could even get better!

I can see the poster already! (Goodshow is a hilarious, British-run, site)

http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/2013/01/city-under-the-sea/

http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/2010/08/faith-of-tarot/

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JLV
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Alien

Awful? By no means, Amazon says not!

4.5 stars with 8 reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gods-War-Graham-Brown-ebook/product-reviews/B00M4S2WIY/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

"A very good movie material. Call alert to Alfonso Cuaron and Scott Ridley."

"There’s even philosophical stimulation"

"you can almost see the movie this book could become"

"Good guys, bad guys, people in between"

Several possibilities:

a) $2.75 price means The Forever War or Mote in God's Eye, no?

b) The reviewers are family/friends.

c) The reviewers are morons , easily pleased.

d) The author of _this_ article just doesn't get great SF in the tradition of Clark, Asimov, Banks and Heinlein.

(A comparison to the above authors was the key point of a glowing review of a very turgid SF novel I just read and reviewed negatively)

Advice to those buying cheap Kindle SF, methinks the proportion of lobotomized reviewers increases as price decreases and the number of guns increases. Military, apocalypse and first contact SF seem to attract a number of rabid fans who will devour anything in that field and praise turds as diamonds. I suppose that would be true of zombie SF novels too but haven't dipped my toes.

I love it when you write a negative review and you get a downvote within an hour or two on an otherwise infrequently reviewed book. A suspicious person, which I am not, might almost suspect the author.

That said, I have discovered some very very cool new authors on Kindle, and if you wait for the daily discounts, you can get them for quite cheap. Look at the bad reviews first, get a sense if they are of the "OMG... boring, like no action 4 10 pages, back 2 COD, LOL" or the "cardboard characters, unbelievable plot" variety and try to guesstimate how credible the reviewer is.

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Gaming supremo creates maps that turn real world into Sim City

JLV
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Simcity-inspired?

I wanna know...

if you bulldoze a church do they simulate you a rampaging Godzilla?

Excellent idea they have by the way, verrrry cool.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

JLV
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>reasonable (by Apple standards)

depends on your definition of that word.

Apple.ca, unlocked, 16/64/128, CAD$:

4.7" - 749/859/969

5.5" - 859/969/1079

Ouch. A $1000+ phone, before tax. Wonder how usable a 16GB phone is, if you use 6-7 gb for mp3s?

My $399 32gb, unlocked, Nexus 5 may stick around for longer than expected. Not that I am all that fond of its battery-guzzling ways, but...

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iPHONEY: Fake iPhone 6 images splattered over Chinese internet

JLV
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IT Angle

slow day?

Come on, with the amount of downvotes re anything non-derogatory said about Apple, your commentard demographic obviously sleeps easily without all this pre-launch hype, gush & speculation.

Really, who cares? It's a phone, just that. And it's not out, yet.

And I don't even mind Apple myself.

Catch some rays, down some suds, chat up up <person of interest>.

Write up launch review @ launch, plenty sufficient.

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Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

JLV
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Facepalm

>tell a fake Rolex from a real one anyway.

True story.

- My, my, Janine, nice Rolex. Cost a lot?

- (giggle) No, got it for a steal in Thailand. Who'd pay the full price for the real thing?

later... at the Paris Rolex service dept.

- Excuse me, my watch has stopped working. Can you fix it?

- Errr, you are aware it it s a counterfeit?

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Work in the tech industry? The Ukraine WAR is coming to YOU

JLV
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Re: Morals, ethics, principles...

>The rebels may have possessed a single BUK launcher, captured from government forces.

Hmmm, Tom, do all the math you want about BUKs.

I too agree that the immediate blaming of the rebels was a bit hasty, but... someone had to shoot down that plane.

In all the frequent blames and name calling of the rebels by the Ukrainian authorities, generally playing up to whoever will listen the hardware used by the rebels, no one ever claimed the rebels were operating aircraft. Because, for one thing, aircraft are complex to operate and require airstrips. Russia might have chosen to operate them, but at that point was being discrete.

Now, if you can, try to balance out your fairly justified doubt about who is telling the truth. Balance it out with a big question: if your enemies are not operating aircraft, why would you shoot anti-aircraft missiles? Why would you shoot a plane whose flight path is coming from your own territory? Which party had recently bragged about shooting down a bunch of aircraft, some of which were not that different in aspect from airliners?

Now, that doesn't tell us who did it, it really doesn't. And, yes, the glee with which the Ukrainian government took PR advantage of it was distasteful.

Occam's Razor does not much support your theories however.

Ah, but I forget. Black flag operation, the answer to all questions.

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JLV
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Re: Sanctions

>Time and again the history proves it to be the case

Gee, you forgot South Africa and Myanmar.

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JLV
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Re: Morals, ethics, principles...

>all are on the wrong side.

Bullshit!

Bloody Ukrainians should know better than to carry out their own foreign policy. They are, after all, part of the Russian near-abroad, places where Russia has special interests. What's this about wanting to kow tow to Europe? What's this about protesting about corruption?

And, darn right, 20-30% of ethnic Russians, moved there in the glorious heyday of the Soviet people's brotherhood, definitely can decide to secede when they feel like it. After all, Russia is a great power and the little fish surrounding it need to respect it.

Latvia, Georgia, etc... take note.

Send in the PzIIs into the Sudetenland, sorry T72s into Donetsk, to rescue our ethnic brothers!

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Apple 'fesses up: Rejected from the App Store, dev? THIS is why

JLV
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Re: Suggestion for another rejection criteria

"the OS"? which is that?

I use both. Neither do what I want, putting them together would be better.

iOS has what you say, but only on few access rights. Location, contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, bluetooth & mic. However, they do allow you to disable those access. Does it mean the apps have no possibilty of access to other items (sms, to take an example)? Does it mean that that access is un-reported, so as not to worry us?

I dunno, but the list the of access rights has increased, slowly. That list used to be even shorter before. Again, does it mean that that possibility of app access did not exist? Or was just unreported?

Take an example - security boffins have reported some success in guessing lock passwords from reading accelerometers. & accelerometers are accessible from the iOS apis. Does my barcode scanner need 3D access? I wouldn't know if it asked for it.

Android has lots more detail, but doesn't allow you to muzzle access. Yes, I can see "full network access" for my barcode scanner, but I can't turn it off, unlike iOS. Android's Plenty of Fish has a looong list of things it likes to look at: device & app history, identity, location, photos, camera, wifi connection info, phone info, full network access, vibration control, prevent phone sleep.... That's a fair bit, no? And, way more detailed than iOS's limited list.

So, no, neither iOS 7 nor KitKat is happy land for me. I'd like any app chatting outside of its own processing and files, or its own servers on the net, to report its intent. Whether it is to access another app, the network, sms, etc... And I'd like the OS to reject undeclared interactions outright.

Then again, I am the kind of paranoid fool who won't use banking apps on a mobile ;-)

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JLV
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Re: Suggestion for another rejection criteria

Hey, don't take my post as an endorsement for Android either. I would like to see this stuff radically locked down, on both platforms. My take is Android, or at least Play, is slightly better at showing you the scope of the problem. I am satisfied with neither.

What I would like is a fake access capability. Wanna see my contacts? Sure, I'll pretend you can see them, but in reality the OS only gives the app access to a locked down sandbox. i.e. you can't really see my contacts, you only think you can. Ditto pretty much everything and reviewing access logs might be most informative as to what was attempted and whether an app could actually be trusted. Additionally, it would avoid an install being an all or nothing decision - you take the app, but you knowingly limit some of its functionality. Last but not least, you'd get security conscious users warning each other about abuses.

Likely to happen? No, but one can dream, no? And, no, I definitely don't care to root my phone to achieve any of this.

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JLV
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Black Helicopters

Suggestion for another rejection criteria

"apps that require permissions above and beyond their stated use will be rejected"

Thinking of...

sms access for non-sms apps

location access for most apps non-navigation/non-social/non-local game mode apps

contact information for most apps

etc...

At least you see better transparency about the required permissions on Play. But there, or on the Apple store, it seems very little is done to restrict the "ask for the kitchen sink" approach to privacy of most app devs.

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Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

JLV
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Joke

Idiocracy II: Siri, the return

Siri, gemme sum tirst mutilatoh.

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

JLV
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Alert

What could go wrong?

Nifty research, don't get me wrong.

But if the bubble collapses somehow, you end up hitting a brick wall in short order.

Fine for a torpedo, but as a passenger, I'd be a tad worried.

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No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate

JLV
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>Anti-religious bigotry

what, exactly, is "religious" about IS? Enlighten us, please.

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JLV
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Somebody else also has a branding problem :(

Archer.

Far as this somewhat risque material goes, satirizing this lot of fanatics is a good way to start. Harder to be a martyr when you are a laughingstock. And, make no mistake, IS is all about PR, as well as being as unequivocally evil as we haven't seen much of since the Nazis and Pol Pot.

Good show.

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Obama's healthcare.gov savior says: 'No suits please, we're techies'

JLV
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Re: It matters not

>Its time IT had a regulatory body to drive up standards in our industry to something akin to a professional level.

Totally agree. Starting with sartorial standards which are the most important by far.

You are sooooo right and I'll go further. Dress code is a bit like the 'broken windows' theory introduced in NYC policing: how can you not have crime if there are any broken windows or graffiti?

In IT it becomes, how could you possibly produce bug-free code wearing jeans & Ts? Obviously not, when you think about it and our, under-appreciated, managers have long shown us the way.

Or, as we French like to say: l'habit fait le moine.

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What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

JLV
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Black Helicopters

Hosting providers in Canada and Germany

Hey, love the place, but you gotta be realistic.

As a Canadian, I wouldn't give Canada's companies the benefit of the doubt. If anything, we usually lag behind compared to the US when it comes to consumer privacy (do not call lists and credit card # on receipts came in 2-3 yrs behind US initiatives). Lobbying by big corps is even more effective here.

As far as gov snooping goes, doubt they'd keep much of US hands either. Esp w Harper.

Mind you, Canadian hosters love to drum up US privacy concerns to whip up business. They would, of course.

Now, Germany I would be more inclined to trust.

Really, what some small country needs to do is to become the Switzerland of hosting. Laws yes, but privacy first.

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Anonymous wifi the latest casualty of Russia net neurosis

JLV
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Re: What about forriners?

>never trust them, nor take them at face value.

And what do you make of Putain's 80% approval rating? If that is untruly reported, fine, another buttress to your argument that we in the West are being manipulated.

If his approval is anywhere near those numbers, then consider that Western national-level politicians can only dream of an 80% approval rating.

Outside of national emergencies or wars, which are conveniently present right now. Which would make your "cynical and clever" Russians pretty similar to us in their propaganda absorption quotient, would it not?

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Yosemite Siri? Apple might plonk chatty assistant on your desktop - report

JLV
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Joke

instead of working on the patent, how about working on the hottie avatar bit?

Apple is really lagging behind on the 'hottie' bit of Siri.

Check out http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/12/cortana_in_windows_threshold/

Cortana is... fetching all right. Whether or not I would want to have a chatty assistant is uncertain, but at least she doesn't look like a paperclip. In fact, the Cortana avatar is one bit of synergy MS can show between its XBox division and the rest*. Lots of $ later, but hey.

So, Mr. Cook, where's Siri's avatar at?

How about striking a deal with Dan Simmons and using the persona from Remembering Siri in the Hyperion books? She's a surfer girl on a planet called Maui Covenant who becomes their PM by the end, so no scatter brain. Plus, surfer girl has a lot of avatar sexiness potential, methink**. And Simmons can use the cash, having been on a downtear in his more recent books.

* on the flip side, Halo I, which I loathed as a game, came from Bungie, which once upon a time, had really nifty games like Myth. A great loss for gaming, Bungie => MS.

** Let's not focus on the PM bit of her career, she's aged considerably by relativistic time debt by that point - methinks a Lady Thatcher hottie avatar calls for mind bleach.

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China cracks down on instant messengers: Users must hand over REAL NAMES

JLV
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Re: "slander and rumours"

Not to say anything good about the Pinochet mess. Or the Central American death squads which are more recent. Or whatever the US has been up with the war on terror in addition to Guantanamo.

But isn't that comparing apple and oranges? violence against your own citizens is considerably more blatant than against faceless people in another country, most of which your propaganda can dismiss as not-quite-innocent.

A better USA comparison to Tianamen, where the police of a state shot its own citizens in a largely peaceful demonstration, would be the Kent State shootings in 67, with 4 deaths. Not quite the same intent, the same fatalities or the same results.

Tianamen is quite in its own league, even in a nation as populous as China. It makes more sense against their background of forced labor camps in the 60s and 70s.

As much as anti-Americanism, somewhat deserved as a result of Bush Jr, is rampant in these here parts, Russian and China have never even really pretended to be places where human rights are very important. Russia is reminding us of that these days, but remains an impotent backwater with dreams of geopolitical relevance.

China... can go both ways. They certainly will become the dominant superpower in our lifetime. They can develop and be kind to their own citizens and to the world. That's in many ways their best interest. But their government also lacks legitimacy and is very prickly about criticism, as this shows. Tibet, and more importantly, the western Chinese Muslim regions? Not exactly cuddly/huggy behavior.

A good way to retain public goodwill is to engage into easy adventures against foreign enemies or perceived slights. Spratleys, Taiwan, all sorts of potential powderkegs.

It's dicey. Designed-for-China-wars kit like the F35 family sends a signal that they should not trust us. But, can we trust them? Their government is a huge part of the problem, but face it, most of the world abused China in the 19th and 20th century. Will Joe Average there be willing to forgive and forget? Will China be content to merely bully its backyard?

Interesting times indeed, but this is not a good sign, no sirree. I still think the West should go out of its way to de-escalate military competition with China, but we may yet rue the advent of a potentially even less restrained superpower.

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Surfing the web from Android? We KNEW it – sorry, iOS fanbois

JLV
Bronze badge

>Would you refuse to buy a house... Yes!

Glad to see we all agree. Preposterous to think people would be that silly.

I mean, it's not like hugely accelerated house price inflation has ever happened, at a national level, ever, izzit?

What those Case-Shiller guys smoking? And we all know Euro house prices have been moderate in the last decade, don't we? Canadian house prices? A study in mature, astute, moderation.

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Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

JLV
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WTF?

Re: We went from NCP to TCP/IP overnight.

>CSS in general is really not all that important

Yeah, right.

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Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms

JLV
Bronze badge

Re: Serval Project is much more interesting

>Wi-Fi interfaces

can you remind us again about wifi ranges? good if your nodes are close, less so if they are remote. i.e. better in cities, less so outdoor.

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JLV
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Thumb Up

wondering about all the negatives

Has this been done before? Apparently, yes. Is this better than sms, no? Radio-freqs - apparently contentious outside of the US.

But, if you take this as a mesh-capable text-only system, I think it does have potential.

- piggy backing on your cellphone allows their system to be stripped down to just the radio bits and allows you to carry your cell and one small device and integrate its use with your cell (the offline map example being one significant bit).

- I mostly use texts anyway myself, so this is 75% of what I would want.

- In the appropriate locations (and I am not sure line of sight would be that favorable in a cellular-down New York scenario), this could come in plenty handy in certain circumstances. Camping/hiking comes to mind. Marine situations not so much because you would use a VHF set instead. Search and rescue? Dunno, again because of LOS, but tracking searched locations automatically might speed things up quite a bit over voice comms.

- I assume later-generation multiband emitters could sidestep the US-only bandwidth bit. Later generation kit might be a whole lot cheaper too. Cheap enough might be quite different from purpose-built comm systems just like 10x speed improvements are a qualitative difference in IT systems.

To me, they are not all the way there, by no means. This is still an interesting spin on enabling mast-less comms on cellphones. Done right it has the potential to be integrated in ways voice-only tech like walkie-talkies and UHF doesn't. Even if it fails, it might very well point the way to other systems. Or just serve as an example of what not to try.

Seriously, with the number of dubious startups doing the same things as each other, in order to be the next social network or NoSQL wannabe, I rather applaud them for looking at fresher territory.

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KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

JLV
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Happy

>Team F/OSS are copying where MS has lead

A nitwit who manage to get it totally backwards ;-)

Whether or not you like Linux, MS had plenty of opportunity to observe and learn from the Gnome3/KDE4 and especially Unity fails of the last few years.

These gripes about massive unsolicited UI changes, touch and usability of desktop vs tablets/phones? Had been going on for years before MS decided to faithfully make the same design errors with Metro. They could have learned from all the Penguin griping going around, but, no, they doubled the ante instead and managed to make Win8 even more hateful with its schizophrenic Metro/Classic personality.

At least, on Linux, and Macs, if all else fails, the command line is a pretty capable interface. Not quite how I would describe the command line on Windows ;-)

For me, KDE 3x was the best. Granted, in that case, it did look somewhat like Win XP, which is not by itself a bad thing.

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Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

JLV
Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: iShaft

>a new phone every 6-12 months,

Upgrade every 6 months, with new iPhones only coming out every year or so???

Does dislike of Apple preclude common sense & math ability? FUD much?

Typically app updates can be maintained till your hardware loses theoretical/effective iOS refresh ability, about 2-4 years on average. You are at risk of new connectors (Lightning cable) but the flip side is old-style accessory discounts. Ran iOS 7 no prob on 3 yr old 4G.

Signed - for now at least - an Android Nexus5 user.

Siri... seriously? I know I don't wan to use a POS voice agent by any manufacturer, so why would I care? But if I did, standard cost/benef analysis would apply in evaluating purchase.

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JLV
Bronze badge

Re: Not so rare.

Could be worse. Samsung had a perfectly functional, _bug-free_, full-control iOS remote app for my Samsung smart TV.

One day, upgrade 3.0 came out and... dumbed the iOS app down to pretty much volume & channels only.

Love being a pawn in those 2's lawyer spaffs. This is something I'll remember next Samsung purchase eval time.

Nexus phone's remote app works, at least. Maybe Samsung can get more aggressive and make it exclusive to their app store only next time?

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JLV
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Confused

What's getting upgraded, the app on the phone or the firmware on speakers as well?

If the app, first you could choose not to upgrade it, so that you don't have this problem.

Second, you _won't_ be able to upgrade if you are on iOS under reqs, update doesn't install. So... you'll have to stick to old app on old device, as per some comments above. I've had that happen, being cut off due to old iOS. Old app stays.

What you won't have is an ongoing set of updates to your old-OS app. And Sonos is being transparent. Is that the storm in this here kettle?

Now, if there's a speaker firmware incompatibility bit to this story, Reg was not being clear about it. and could you... not install it?

All the Apple/Sonos bashing is bit rich from Android users whose vendors are notoriously bad at OS upgrades (one reason my current phone is a Google Nexus cuz at least those get Android updates).

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Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source

JLV
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Boffin

>Engineers know how to fix things. What do beancounters know?

Since we are talking about military drones and military procurement in this instance, when have beancounters ever had much to say about military hardware?

$500 Multidirectional Kinetic Injectors (hammers)?

$150M and up "budget affordable due to procurement scale" (the original intent) F-35 fighters?

how many $B to refit Her Majesty's new carriers with supposedly contractually possible catapult extensions?

I don't mind the beancounter bashing vs engineers, usually.

With military procurement however, I think a lot more beancounting sanity checks should be happening. Keeping the same defense budgets, that should result in much better gear for the boys n girls in the frontlines and less gouging by the military contractors.

If it makes engineering sense (and I doubt your Glonass idea makes any sense on NATO gear), then inertial sensors will be fitted in. Whether that is at reasonable cost is quite another question.

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Stop begging, startup-land, and start YELLING at Catch of the Day

JLV
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Joke

buzzword

Ah, another spin on my favorite buzzword, proactive.

Which until now I had assumed to be largely meaningless corps-speak, with a vague connotation of 'in advance' or 'to anticipate'.

Using proactive to describe reacting three years late? Maybe it's an entirely meaningless word after all.

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