* Posts by Charles 9

11334 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Charles 9
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Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now? (@ Charles 9)

Isn't that an oxymoron, though, which is why it's never happened for very long in recorded history?

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Charles 9
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"Are uber drivers beholden to uber or can they also work for lyft? (I don't know) If they can, then they would be economically independent from Uber."

The point being if they use the Uber app, they ARE beholden to Uber. They may be able to switch apps, but the paychecks come from the provider, NOT from the passenger. The fare rates come from the app, NOT from the drivers. If the passenger paid the driver directly at a mutually-agreed rate, and then Uber and Lyft were to BILL them for services rendered in matchmaking, that would be a whole other story, and I believe this is true for apps that legitimate cab companies use (like App-A-Cab) to matchmake.

" is that different from any employment agency going out to market via its website and saying, "I know of a network admin you can have at $x/day. Let me know if you want me to send him for an interview and I'll take a cut of the final payments"?"

Thing is, the temporary or contracted employee normally has to already comply with whatever regulations are attendant with his/her position. Employment agencies can't just pluck any old Tom, Dick, and Harry out of the street and farm them out as network admins or constructions workers or whatever.

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Charles 9
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Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

Then how do they find proper candidates without interfering with their lives? Pulling a farmer from his fields or some other worker from the job he/she depends on to sustain a living is generally seen as a Bad Thing. What options do you have when the ONLY people willing to take on the job ARE those who seek public office?

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Charles 9
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Oh? If that were true, why is Gmail STILL so popular?

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There be dragons? Why net neutrality groups won't go to Congress

Charles 9
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Re: just wait till midterms

Except that the 2018 Senate elections are heavily weighted against Democrats. 25 Democrats face re-election compared to 8 Republicans, and the latter are more Republican-loyal than the former Democrat-loyal. It's impossible for Democrats to win a Cloture majority and hard to win an outright one while the Republicans could easily improve their majority to Cloture and could even on an outside change get it all the way to Override (two-thirds, which is also the majority needed to pass a proposed Amendment).

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Crooks can nick Brits' identities just by picking up the phone and lying

Charles 9
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Re: Bank security is a complete joke

"If your password was guessed and you don't know it, then a malicious actor has already done whatever they're going to do to you."

Not necessarily. Consider APTs. By going a little at a time, over a longer period, they could smurf you and slip under your notice. Furthermore, what if your account is but a stepping stone to a higher-level account? Again, that could take time to crack, so ongoing access would be important for them. Thing is, they can't alert you to the fact they can access you, so they can't change your credentials, so what if you force the issue?

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Charles 9
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Re: Bank security is a complete joke

But the thing is, what if your password was guessed and you don't know that? Periodic password changes help to deal with such unknown compromises: either by closing the door or making you aware of it. Can you think of a better way, especially for people with bad memories?

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Could US appeals court save us all from 10 years of net neutrality yelling?

Charles 9
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If you read Article V, you will find it would take a two-thirds majority in BOTH houses to pass a Joint Resolution supporting this. THEN you would need three-fourths of the State Legislatures to pass the same resolution. The last time that happened was 50 years ago with the 26th Amendment, which was fast-tracked due to student protests over the Vietnam War (it lowered the voting age to 18; before then, people were old enough to be drafted to die but not old enough to vote for the people making those decisions). The Congressional environment then was nothing like it is now. A hyper-partisan Congress agreeing on such a divisive topic would be less likely than the Inferno freezing. Frankly, if we DID have the power to Amend the Constitution, there'd be A LOT more than just Net Neutrality we'd codify.

PS. The 27th Amendment doesn't count, as that one actually passed Congress around the same time as the Bill of Rights but never given the state legislature ratification until 25 years ago--long story.

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Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

Charles 9
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Re: In five years we could have Triage AI

"Yes, but courtroom action only accounts for a small fraction of the law. "

It may be a small fraction, but it's considered the most sensitive (and by some standards the most important) as well. After all, even the highest court in the land runs on advocacy. As I recall, those are also the highest-paid positions because those jobs are less algorithm and more artistry.

Not arguing all the rest because I agree with you. All the humdrum paralegal work can be taken up by computers and expert systems, but for the time being AIs can't do charisma or get past Uncanny Valley, so the lawyers who work in the courts are still safe. Just as the surgeons are still safe because their degree of training, skill, and judgment is not yet attainable by machines. Can't say the same about the first-liners, though.

As others have noted, other kinds of skills still favor humans: particularly skills that require versatility and/or dexterity. Site repair work (plumbers, electricians, etc.) rarely involves the same actions from one job to the next and often require working in contorted positions you wouldn't think was possible for a human to make. And as noted with court lawyers, human-to-human interaction will remain critical for some time to come, meaning a robot caregiver for the elderly is pretty much off the cards.

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Charles 9
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Re: In five years we could have Triage AI

Taste is often associated with smell, and a bad smell or taste that emits from inside a body may be a clue to something. Don't count it out.

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Charles 9
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Re: In five years we could have Triage AI

"But I'd still wager than within a handful of years AI diagnosis will be at least as good as the last three GPs I've seen, none of whom inspired the slightest confidence that they had done a better job than me+internet."

I am going to agree that if computers and "AI" are going to make headway in these highly-skilled professions, it'll be in the lowest rungs of the ladder: triage and first-line medicine (where expert systems can help to sort out incoming patients) and basic paralegal work (humdrum lookup stuff). Surgeons won't be going away because their work is too delicate and too specialized (and can frequently need ALL of the surgeon's senses to avoid mistakes). Meanwhile, court lawyers (or barristers in the English system) engage in human-to-human interaction: between judges, juries, etc. Uncanny Valley prevents any non-human from being effective there.

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Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Charles 9
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And if they won't learn and they're too close to alienate (ex. How do you approach it if it's your MOTHER?)?

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a tool...just like a chainsaw!

They weren't REAL cyberbullies. The REAL ones would plunder FB for your NON-FB details and then assault you OUTSIDE FB, sometimes even to real life, using the Internet as a screen to avoid being nabbed by the plids.

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Charles 9
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Re: Everyone who uses Facebook is being emotionally monitored.

Besides, other users could be filtering the crap for Facebook, letting it know which info is real and which is not. But of course, it doesn't bother to tip its hand to anyone else.

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Charles 9
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Re: Remember

"What I mean is that despite how 'clever' these marketers are, you can always choose not to buy anything they advertise. For example and for various reasons (that I won't go into now - this isn't supposed to be a rant), I won't buy anything made by Sony, regardless of where and how their advertising appears."

Yes, but what happens when EVERY company that produces something you need advertises? You've just blacklisted yourself out of the entire market. For example, EVERY car company advertises. EVERY wire service advertises. Heck, it's hard to find a company that DOESN'T advertise, since the eyeball exposure is practically essential to stay in business, especially when starting out. About the only two areas where ads aren't needed are extremely generic stuff (like paperclips and staples) and extremely niche stuff where word of mouth is the primary advertising method.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a tool...just like a chainsaw!

"FB is a tool, potentially a very dangerous one. Treat it the same as you would a chainsaw or a powersaw, it's extremely useful but wear the right protection, consider every single move you make with it very carefully and only use it if you have to. Like a tool, if you don't treat it with the "respect" it deserves it will ruin your life in ways you cannot imagine."

You can't even treat it like that, because unlike chainsaws and the like, Facebook can ruin you on its own, with no input from you. Think a cyber-bully campaign cranked up to eleven, through no input of your own.

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Charles 9
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Re: aaahhh facebook, i love you so!

And why Facebook's invested quite a bit into uncovering fake stuff. Just because YOU post fake stuff doesn't mean some of your friends (who use Facebook but you don't know that) can figure you out. Even if you never use Facebook at all, you probably have a pretty robust profile based on the info of friends who use Facebook but you don't know it, so that people who want to get you can plunder that information without your knowledge. It can get really scary, and the worst part is that NONE of this stuff is under your control. It's basically stuff stitched together from your encounters with others: necessary evils for functioning in society, period.

Oh, and let's not get started with the stuff that the government knows about you (and you're obligated by law to keep current) and posts publicly for all and sundry to see.

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Charles 9
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Re: Facebook has its uses ...

And before that, there was Freenet as well. But there's always a catch. There's a reason there aren't a lot of genuine Bitcoin clients (as in they download the ledger) these days: bandwidth costs. Freenet, yacy, diaspora, all of them have that unfortunate side effect: they kill you on the data usage, many of which don't have the luxury.

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Charles 9
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Re: Life without facebook is easy!

It gets much worse than that. Many realize the costs AND DON'T CARE. It's like risk takers and drug users. Who wants to live forever?

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Charles 9
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Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

The problem comes when you realize NONE of the choices available are worth it. If you choices are down to a demon, a devil, and a mind flayer, people get desperate.

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Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

Charles 9
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Re: Most users...

You overestimate the intelligence of the average Android user. Think VTR clocks even in the age of clock signals on the telly, and they can't even do THAT right half the time. Yes, sometimes even a few simply touches is beyond them.

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Take a sneak peek at Google's Android replacement, Fuchsia

Charles 9
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Re: Itanium??

The correct term these days is x86-64, or x64 for short.

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Charles 9
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Re: Silky smooth?

You talk as if everyone uses the same 10% of the OS everyday. If that were true, productivity apps wouldn't be as wide-ranging as they are now, including LibreOffice.

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Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

Charles 9
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Re: Humanity Optional

Even if the robot builders sent out robots to mine out the Solar System (starting with the asteroid belt, probably), they still wouldn't give. Why give out everything when you can use a bit to safeguard the rest against the proles? Like you, I feel there will come a point when the have-everythings will simply close off the walled garden, abandon the rest of us, and hash it out amongst themselves instead.

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Charles 9
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"This may all sound very much science fiction, but in reality think not! Most of what we are seeing today was pure science fiction just a few decades ago. Back in the 1960's when advanced computer systems were starting to show their presence these were an impressive advancement from what was in existence in the 1950's. The rate of advancement is exponential. Moor's Law which dictates the advancing rate of information being doubled."

Thing is, Sci-Fi can still MISS. We still haven't cracked the FTL problem, meaning we can't leave this dustball yet, plus Moore's Law is showing cracks as we reach the physical limits of the electron. And where's my cheap flying car, ubiquitous energy, and food synthesizer?

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Charles 9
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Re: Ned Ludd is dead

But even assholes can be convinced to defect. If not an appeal to better sense, then perhaps blackmail or threats to things they hold dear (and even assholes will hold SOME things dear).

Machines are a lot more difficult to turn around, especially if they're restricted in methods of input.

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Charles 9
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Re: "examines whether educational methods and institutions can keep pace"

But doesn't the Lamarckian model run into trouble in regards to improvements? Machines haven't yet made the significant leap towards self-improving (in the mechanical sense) machinery. Improvements at this point still take innovations and leaps of intuition still only possible in humans.

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Charles 9
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Re: Ned Ludd is dead

"Yes, it would be nice for companies to wake up a bit to the fact that society is stable only as long as the underclass (99% of us) are fed and employed. We don't riot, we don't set fire to their houses and pull them out for a lynching."

And that's assuming the 1% don't simply respond with Terminators or automated massacre machines.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not sure what to make of this..

You assume anyone can just jump ahead of the curve. What do you tell the people who simply can't jump? "Tough luck, game over, better luck next life."?

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Charles 9
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Re: A corporate tax on profits is not enough. We need a robot tax

Trouble is, the corporates control the governments. How do you intend to institute a productivity tax with them in control? Furthermore, since corporates aren't people, how do you prevent them simply passing it on to the consumers in the form of higher prices? That's always been the bug-a-boo about taxing businesses. There's nothing preventing them passing it on.

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Charles 9
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Re: "examines whether educational methods and institutions can keep pace"

When you get right down to it, the list of jobs that absolutely require a meatbag presence is pretty short and getting shorter. Most of them are liaison-type jobs like personal caregivers where any attempt at substitution runs afoul of Uncanny Valley. Others will probably involve "no two jobs the same" types where the versatility of the human body is still an advantage.

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Charles 9
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Re: The workforce of the future?

Everyone talks about this "post-scarcity" stuff when there's more than one thing that can be scarce. How about space to live? Or how about space needed to locate and extract all the resources all of us need to live? Does all that "post-scarcity" talk take all the other things we need into consideration?

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After years of warnings, mobile network hackers exploit SS7 flaws to drain bank accounts

Charles 9
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Re: Insider

"Overly broad statement.

Encryption done right would make whatever was grabbed of dubious use when compared to cost of acquisition, I would think."

Except if chips like the Motorola 68000 were considered state of the art at the time, not to mention pretty damn expensive (think about how much a Macintosh cost at its debut--it used a 68000), you kinda hit a technological wall. Even if the technology was available and ubiquitous at the time (I think the closest we had was encrypted satellite communications), the pace of technological advancement means security tech doesn't age very well.

For another thing, there are those for whom money isn't as great an object when it comes to cracking stuff like this. Especially if backed by something like a hostile state (consider: the Cold War was still on at the time).

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

Charles 9
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Re: Copyright duration

"Why should the latter be penalised because they didn't write a pot-boiler instead?"

The same things can be said of INVENTORS. Is it his or her fault for inventing something too far ahead of its time? Why don't they get the same luxury?

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Charles 9
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You can always LICENSE, which at least gives the author some power of revocation. To a big firm with no other options, it can become a case of "Better 10% of something than 100% of nothing."

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Charles 9
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Re: Copyright duration

Not really. Why should a work be protected for so long, especially if made early in life? It would perhaps be best if an author not be allowed to rest on his or her laurels. After all, inventors never got the same privilege.

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Charles 9
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Any attempt at a watermark would be met with attempts to REMOVE the watermark. Plus copies can be intercepted before the watermark phase. Since a lot of work goes between filming and final encode, it can't be done in the filming phase for risk of being mangled in post.

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Charles 9
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It used to be 20 years IIRC, and the pace of technology should force the terms to be reconsidered in that light, similar to patents. Also, copyrights and patents should be non-transferrable; they shouldn't be considered as assets but as protections similar to the freedom of speech. Consider them the limited freedom to write and the limited freedom to invent (both without being copycatted). If copyrights were shrunk back to a universal 20 years and nonphysical patents shrunk down to about 3 years, that should be a reasonable compromise (and relax, Disney, we're not touching trademarks, so you don't have to worry about Mickey Mouse).

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Dark-web pedo jailed after FBI and co use vid trick to beat privacy tech

Charles 9
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Re: So the FBI ...

"Although if society wanted to protect children in the first place it would be actively screening for the warning signs and offering suitable treatment."

You assume treatment is a possibility. We can screen for sociopaths, but we really can't do much about them, though, because their behavior is innate and incorrigible. What if this is the same?

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Charles 9
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Re: I don't agree with many

What if he turns out to be a "top" man, though?

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Charles 9
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Re: Unmasking

Or it could've just been DRM'd, causing the video player to send up to a honeypotted authentication server. The server probably rejects TOR'ed IPs, and many media players will take the most direct route it can because authentication servers are already touchy.

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Charles 9
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Re: This isn't because wine has suddenly become more potent

Do you have the equivalent of "bum wines" over in Europe? You know, cheap fortified wines that taste terrible but don't matter because their chief purpose was to simply get drunk (and maybe screw afterwards)? If you do, then stronger wines probably don't fit into the picture because people who just want to get drunk would just stick to the "bum wines".

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Charles 9
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Here's one from comedian Bill Engvall:

"I just want a black coffee."

"You wanna try a biscotti? They're from Italy and they're considered a delicacy."

"Ever had one? They taste like a burnt cookie. Where I'm from that's considered a mistake."

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Charles 9
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"Because no good story ever started with "I went down to Costa and ordered a latte"."

Sure it can. Just add, "Nothing special. Just a latte, thank you." then see where you end up.

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Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

Charles 9
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Re: @Ian Michael Gumby -- @Alien ... no fear...

But it's hard to build a war chest when you're starting out and everything you take in JUST (and not always) covers all the expenses. Living literally paycheck-to-paycheck if not day-to-day is a lot more common than you think, and many of them have no hope of upward mobility, either.

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Charles 9
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Re: New Icon please

No, a $cumbag in a $uit (I include the $ because they should also have $ in their eyes).

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Charles 9
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Re: I lack sympathy, somewhat.

"there are always choices. fate is what you make it. your choices might be limited by circumstance, but you can always make a choice.

In the circumstances you describe, the RIGHT choice just might be "re-location" or a career change.'

If all other choices lead to "death by starvation," then they can't really be considered choices owing to the survival instinct.

And moving and/or re-education presents a Catch-22. Basically, you need money to get a better job, but you need a better job to get the money you need. And many are already working every waking hour (and then some) just to make ends meet, and yet some of them STILL have to miss a few meals. Can you say, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"?

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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Charles 9
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Any that do can't supply Google Play Services, many apps depend on it, and they'd get complaints soon enough.

In other words, unless you're catering to a market not used to Google Play Services anyway, it's practically suicide.

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Charles 9
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Re: Giving up on smartphones

I still need something like a smartphone for on-the-spot research. Feature phones just don't cut it (I tried on an N95, thank you. Went to an Android phone and it was like night and day).

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Republicans go all Braveheart again with anti-net neutrality bill

Charles 9
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Re: Optional

"A new free mobile/sat data service lets you connect to Google/Facebook/Amazon/Youtube for free."

But how can such a service afford to keep itself in operation? Especially if they use satellites that are unavoidably expensive to send into orbit?

Take the word "free" with a grain of salt these days. About the only place you'll find a genuinely free lunch is a charity kitchen.

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