1278 posts • joined 18 Sep 2007
Re: So why's the EU got it in for Google?
There was an incident where one maker of Android phones ran into trouble when it acquired a maker of non-app store Android phones. However, in that case, Google's action was not seen as heavy-handed, because the OEM app store for those phones happened to deal in pirated Android apps. So you also can't simultaneously sell both Google Android and forked Android.
Obviously companies that sell phones in markets other than Europe would suffer worldwide consequences if they violated their contracts with Google. It should be Google, not the phone makers, they go after to compel revelation of the agreements involved.
Also, so that force majeure can be used as an excuse, not fines, but actual prison time has to be threatened. I can understand the goal of fostering competition, but they're not doing it right - the likely result would instead be that no one would be able to buy an Android phone in Europe that can access the Google app store - they'd have to make do with the cheap Chinese kit.
They're Smart Enough
to know that if they killed MySQL, most of its users would just go over to Postgres. Or to a fork of MySQL, which, after all, is (or was in earlier versions) GPL licensed (or something similar; I vaguely recall the Apache license as a possibility) open source.
Instead, though, that they might direct the development of MySQL in such a way as to have it entice users to consider migrating to Oracle, is to be expected.
Now They've Caught Up...
with OS X, of course.
Given the Mac's pathetic market share - however successful the iPhone and iPod may be - for Microsoft to still be suffering from Mac envy at this late date is a little ridiculous.
While they could just give up and call it Microsoft OS/86 9.0, but that's extremely unlikely.
Since the name Android is taken, if the interface formerly known as Metro is emphasized, there's always Zombie. But in reality, of course, they'll try and call it something positive.
And it's true that "Windows" is getting old. Now that you can even get a decent GUI for free with Linux, and any GUI has applications running in their little windows, a name is needed to emphasize the unique beneficial features one gets from Microsoft.
And what could those be?
Well, the fact that a lot of third-party software is written for it. So they could call it "Standard".
Or maybe they could license the brand name "Akzidenz Grotesk"?
A creature that has the gene for an eye, but no eye? Where would that gene have come from?
Yes, one would have to find a creature that didn't have eyes, and find a gene in that creature that was changed to produce the first precursor to the eye. In real life, I think that work has already been done.
While natural selection does explain how an organism's interaction with nature provides the input of information needed to create complexity, it wouldn't have been discovered if people didn't realize that complex structure was something that needed explaining in the first place - so Paley's watchmaker argument, although refuted, wasn't as stupid as all that.
Actually, using an invalid patent to obtain payment should be treated as fraud - but in order to get settlements to be repaid, quite properly, a higher bar of proof is required - it would have to be proven that the company knew the patent was invalid. Otherwise, they could claim to have acted in good faith.
The patent office should never grant an invalid patent in the first place; checking for prior art and obviousness is their job.
Vehicles on Mars have extra wheels - sort of like beasts of burden on Mars having more legs. And "The Gods of Mars" was Burroughs' second Martian novel. But somehow I think it would be a stretch to see anything in common between this and Barsoom, except for being light-weight action-adventure.
Well, Apple did innovate with this new watch. One can control it by turning the stem; it's shocking no other digital watch maker thought of it. However, a stem is awkward to grip; a digital watch ought instead to have a knob with the edge sticking out like a transistor radio instead - that wasn't practical for mechanical watches. Or has Apple's patent covered that?
The telly tax in Britain is a flat tax, and means that poor people can't afford to have a TV set, which, in countries without such a tax, is often their only means of entertainment. Plus, lately, the tax has been applied to computer equipment because it can be used to watch streaming video, which cripples the adoption of technology, and forces companies to intrusively monitor employees.
There should never have been a telly tax, just as the government should never have gotten in the business of collecting tithes for the Church of England.
Eighteen cores. I like that; this means that units with 16 cores might be available (relatively) inexpensively. Although at present, the mass market apparently will have to be satisfied with a measly six cores, with eight cores only available to enthusiasts with deep pockets.
Optimism and Pessimism
A particle accelerator larger than the Earth is unlikely to be funded even in a positive economic climate, at least until technology advances. However, can you prove that some alien race hasn't already made this mistake? Something like "solanite" from Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Re: Watch the Funny Man!
We're not all going to die at once, together with our descendants. That's what was meant.
It certainly is true that just because the Club of Rome made a right bosh of it that we're entitled to assume we have nothing to worry about simply because it's too hard to figure out how much in the way of mineral resources we really do have.
It is true that making use of mineral resources isn't as easy as it once was; this is why people are looking for minerals in places like Africa instead of just getting them from easy places closer to home. And there is a problem with some forms of energy; we're having problems figuring out how to make cars work just as well as they did with gasoline by using electricity instead. And even using thorium breeder reactors for electricity, we might eventually run out sooner than we would if we had fusion power, which we don't.
So it's not true we have no problem at all, although the problem is vastly smaller than the Club of Rome seemed to think. As far as running out of stuff is concerned.
But what about growing food? Increasing land area through artificially-lighted multi-storey greenhouses will be much more expensive than just using arable land that is just sitting there. At seven billion people in the world, and assuming we want them all to have a decent diet (i.e. the same as enjoyed in North America or western Europe), we've already crashed into a limit.
The problem of feeding the entire existing human population is not as trivially solvable as the problem of ensuring that the goldfish in one aquarium are fed; the resources available to humanity are not essentially infinite, vastly in excess of any reasonable needs. We should already be thinking of that as a problem, and be working on the technologies needed to fix it.
Gateway to the Internet
The "Gateway to the Internet" is exactly what Google is for many people - simply because it has done its job as a search engine so well.
I remember the days when I used the book "The Internet Yellow Pages" and AltaVista to find things. I still keep a lot of bookmarks in my browser so I don't have to Google whenever I go on the Internet. But Google is indeed how I usually find anything new, using other search engines only a tiny fraction of the time.
COSC Quartz Chronometers
Well, from Googling some things I saw in this thread, I've learned that COSC has a more stringent requirement for quartz crystal watches that it certifies as chronometers - and a French company, Girard-Perregaux, makes most of the watches sold in that category.
Rolex just might be in danger anyways. Rolex is not in danger from Timex because, in addition to showing you are wealthy, Rolex watches also tell the time.
But that's all they do. Whereas a smartwatch does other things in addition to telling the time.
At the moment, a smartwatch is a new product category; it's not something everyone feels they need to have, so it doesn't do things that are essential. But that might change.
At that point - when there are smartwatches out there for $29.95 instead of $299 and up - Rolex might have to make a $10,000 smartwatch instead of a $10,000 watch watch just to stay in the game at all; people don't buy luxury goods to look as though they have more money than sense.
So, yes, Rolex isn't in immediate danger (and the "neptune", which isn't tethered to a smartphone, might be more of a menace than Apple's iWatch) but it does have to look over its shoulder and make plans of some sort.
Eventually, a watch with GPS built in and a rubidium oscillator as well to keep its workhorse quartz crystal calibrated, plus full smartphone capabilities (hey, how about being able to sign up for Iridium with it) might be what some of the wealthy will spring for...
Cuba and North Korea are hardly examples of countries with strong economies. The sanctions against them have limited their military capabilities - although, in the case of North Korea, not enough to stop them from being a threat to South Korea.
Re: Morals, ethics, principles...
I expect that you would put your own interests above those of other people. Which is quite legitimate when you are working hard and minding your own business. But that's not the same thing as having a license to bully other people or steal from them. Georgia and the Ukraine are sovereign states, and for Russia in any way shape or form whatever to use force to intimidate them from seeking, if they so choose, closer links to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Community is an act of aggression, analogous to the sort of behavior which would be criminally prosecuted if engaged in by a private individual in a civilized society.
Re: Morals, ethics, principles...
Ossetia was part of Georgia. Georgia had adopted a hands-off policy towards that area, but a Georgian policeman was murdered by shots fired from there, which made it necessary for Georgian forces to investigate.
But this turned out to have been a staged provocation which Russia used as a pretext to annex that territory, with claims (that Russia itself admitted afterwards were false) of thousands of ethnic Russians being massacred by Georgians.
Unlike some people, when I read the news, I pay attention, and remember what I had read.
Re: Morals, ethics, principles...
IBM disconnected itself from its German operations well before Pearl Harbor; the only thing it didn't do, because it couldn't, was physically haul its facilities out of the country. Since it couldn't get away with destroying them either, at least it didn't give them to Germany for free by abandoning them.
Re: Country / company
If there was justice, Putin, whose choice to needlessly wage wars of aggression without any justification against Georgia and the Ukraine has resulted in one or more deaths in each of these countries would meet the same fate as Hideiki Tojo.
Couldn't they have gotten the obsidian from the conflict-free western Ukraine?
And then there were four
And doesn't IBM or Cyrix still hold a license too?
What do beancounters know?
Well, while they may not be technology experts, they can still know the same things that everyone else knows. And it is a fact that over the last several years, computers haven't been improving as fast as they used to, which is why we have quad-core chips but not 10 GHz chips in our desktop computers.
Although it looks like that's set to go to six-core and eight-core chips thanks to Intel's latest generation.
And the excitement and sales have been in mobile devices, not desktop PCs; that, too, has received lots of publicity.
"They might use sophisticated devices to "grab" the security coding when the owner uses their key so they can use it themselves."
What, electronic car keys don't use a secure challenge-response protocol?
They've released pictures of 17 celebrities, but claim to have them of 100 celebrities. Are they going to release more pictures unless Hollywood stops... doing something? Or unless the government frees imprisoned hackers? Like ISIS is threatening to kill journalists one by one?
Maybe I'm reading too much into this. It could just be a bandwidth issue.
How devilishly clever of the North Koreans to demonstrate their ability to jam GPS signals - or to test their ability to jam GPS signals - on South Korean ships during a military exercise. Not.
Now the U.S. knows they have this ability, and will be working on countermeasures, which will no doubt be ready in time for when such an ability might have proved actually useful.
Of course, possibly North Korea had an immediate tactical goal, such as trying to get one of those South Korean vessels to sail into their waters as a "provocation", or to be captured. Otherwise, it's the sort of shallow posturing that North Korea seems to have made its trademark.
"The paper hypothesises that the many opinions found online can expose people to ideas that challenge their world view, make them feel less exceptional and, when opinions are strident or include hateful content, offend them."
Of course, this wording makes me suspect that El Reg is already making fun of the Italian group, since this sounds like (they're failing to realize that) what is really dangerous is living an overly sheltered life.
The Missing Piece
Obviously what is proposed is only part of the solution.
Since letting people build desirable housing close to London cheaply will decrease the value of existing properties in the area, obviously the government will have to compensate those people who, in the past, paid inflated prices for their houses due to the artificial restrictions now being repealed.
That way, a government can solve the housing crisis without "losing the Home Counties for decades".
Of course, they will lose the votes of whoever the money to do this would have to come from.
The title of this article brought back fond memories of the favorite comic book of my youth, Magnus: Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. - this was an American comic book, thus available in Canada. I don't know if the original Russ Manning art series was licensed by one of the British comic magazines, although I do know it also appeared in a German translation.
This is not surprising. In China, the Roman Catholic Church is not allowed to operate, but a state-controlled imitation of the Catholic Church is offered to religious believers. This is why they persecute Falun Gong, because it was not under state control.
Re: Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site?
Well, Ronald Reagan brought about the collapse of the evil Soviet Union. Unfortunately, subsequent Presidents didn't work out a deal with Boris Yeltsin where the U.S. would inject cash into Russia to undo the collapse of its economy... in return for Russia giving up all its nuclear weapons,.
Then Vladimir Putin could have been dealt with in the same manner as Saddam Hussein - by regime change, and Georgia and the Ukraine would have been safe from aggression.
Re: even a tomahawk can be loaded with a nuke.
About the only nuke one could put on a real tomahawk would be one using Americum - you can make a bullet-sized A-bomb with that. Of course, there's a cruise missile called a Tomahawk, and that certainly could have a nuclear payload.
Actually, they're mad at us because we keep Israel in existence. Which is a violation of God's eternal plan, under which the Jews should be under Muslim rule, so that, like Coptic Christians in Egypt, their daughters could be raped by members of the Muslim community without recourse at will. It is a violation of the Pact of Umar, the condition under which their lives were spared, to attempt to use this as an excuse for rebelling against Muslim rule.
Take a look at Boko Haram and the Christian girls it kidnapped in Nigeria, or Islamic State and the Yezidis.
So the U.S. is not, and never has been, the aggressor in this situation. Not even the Crusades were pure aggression, because Islamic forces attacked Europe decades before the First Crusade. (However, the Crusades were an unwarranted attack launched after peace had been achieved.)
If these juvenile computer vandals don't realize how seriously this sort of thing is taken after 9/11 in the U.S., it is very doubtful that their l33t haX0r ski11Z are going to keep them from finding out soon enough. Particularly if they're foolish enough to try pulling even more stunts instead of calling it a day and covering their tracks for good.
If the Director General
If the Director General had been terminated for cause, all those people who just waved him in without checking against the computer... would presumably have been told by someone that the former Director General had been terminated with prejudice (if not the extreme kind) and was to be regarded as someone not to be let in!
Since no big alert went out that the Director General was no longer the Director General, what were they to think? Manual systems quite properly take precedence over computerized ones - otherwise, some hacker could make anyone he liked Director General of ASIS for at least a day.
Without the IBM PC
Some 68000-based machine, perhaps an imitation Macintosh like the Atari ST or the Commodore Amiga, would have ended up the standard. Or an earlier command-line based machine, maybe even a CP/M derivative, would have done that.
The IBM PC had one thing going for it besides the IBM name; it made going to 16 bits inexpensive and safe. Somebody else would have done that, and the market would have coalesced in another direction. Maybe Motorola today would be where Intel is now, but micros would have eclipsed mainframes without the IBM PC, as the technology was growing at a great pace in any case.
Re: Laugh if you want
Well, it does seem to have happened at the National Research Council in Canada. I haven't heard about suspected Chinese government hacking at the CIA or the NSA, although I have seen news items about it at lots of other places.
Re: Doom to failure
That actually would be a brilliant idea. But I doubt that it will happen.
Android is open source, and it's based on Linux.
What about a modified Android that becomes a full copy of Linux once you click on an icon? So you can run safe walled-garden Android apps if you stay on the front page, but if you click the "desktop" icon then you get to use Ubuntu... or Red Flag Linux... or whatever.
As long as it doesn't leave China, Microsoft might not have luck suing for a violation of whatever patent they have on the Windows 8 design.
It's not certain that the statement means that the card can't be used to help with calculations, but probably it does not have good double-precision performance.
It would have been nice for that book about the invisible to have at least some of the additional literary references you mention.
Simply because it is thin on recent science, though, I expect it would mention the modern efforts with metamaterials to make things invisible, at least (so far) through microwaves, since I rather suspect it's those recent news headlines which inspired the making of the book in the first place.
I can't fault it for focusing on microscopes instead of telescopes, however; if we can't see something because it's small, we may think of it as "invisible", but if we can't see something because it's far away, we don't think of it as invisible because we know we would be able to see it if we were there.
Somehow I can't get excited over Microsoft deciding it needs to slap a price tag on what should have been Windows 8.2, or, better yet, Windows 8.1 Service Pack 1.
I'd be more concerned if Vladimir Putin said that Google was worse than the NSA. That could have consequences for people in Russia trying to find things on the Internet.
Had Rupert Murdoch said that Facebook was worse than the NSA, then one could have a rational debate; the NSA eavesdrops on people who haven't first entered into a contractual agreement with the NSA, for example.
It's true Google is more ubiquitous than Facebook, but so far they only appear to be keeping track of our search habits to serve us advertisements. Of course, the NSA does absolutely nothing with data on most of us, so in one sense Rupert Murdoch is quite right.
It's all right with me if Microsoft brings out another browser with a new name.
Just start from a whole new code base, and omit the ActiveX support. Then calling it by a different name can legitimately be seen as not being an attempt to hoodwink the consumer.
It certainly will be a good thing when natural market forces lead to a lower price for e-books.
However, for Amazon to object to traditional publishers colluding to resist its demands to sell their product to it at a price it decrees, even if it has the antitrust law on its side, to me seems morally suspect, as it is using its own massive market power to get publishers to capitulate.
The proper function of antitrust law is to eliminate the role of market power in the playing field. If Amazon can impose terms on publishers, it should be broken up into five competing companies or something like that.
Yesterday, I noticed that for some time I could not access Typophile or the webcomic Atomic Laundromat, but other sites worked properly. I don't know if that was due to this routing bottleneck or not.
Ah. When I saw that acronym, the first thing I thought of was the Digital Equipment Corporation Programmed Data Processor-8. The second thing I thought of was a spelling error for Pretty Good Privacy.
Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?
If one looks at the history of the Industrial Revolution, one will see that the Luddites weren't so wrong. The introduction of machinery made ordinary working people poorer, and factory owners richer, because the value of labor, hence the ability of laborers to bargain and demand goods was reduced. Technology is good, because it improves the ability of humanity as a whole to produce more with less effort, but who can actually get what is produced is not something that can just be ignored or dismissed.
Given the language in which Burzum means "darkness", clearly eBay was worried about being sued by the Tolkien estate!
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