* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

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All this, with real competition finally on the horizon

Mercedes Benz just announced their intention to spend $12 billion over the next several years to create a whole line of electric cars. No doubt the other big automakers are not far behind on such plans. They have simply been biding their time until electric cars were ready for the mass market - and they want them as a base for future autonomous vehicles (I doubt we will ever see a non-electric level 5 autonomous car)

Now Tesla is going to have to really compete, and with all the chaos happening there they are not in a position to stand against Mercedes, let alone the rest of the big players once they get involved. At the rate they're going, they may not still exist five years from now.

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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Re: Sheryl Sandberg was/is considering a run for President

Reagan was governor of California, so he wasn't coming in cold straight to the White House. The Bushes and Clintons may have had too much in the way of familial ties, but they all had experience as a CIA chief/VP, a governor, or Senator/SOS so they weren't the same situation as Trump or Sandberg either.

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Re: Sheryl Sandberg was/is considering a run for President

In the political climate these days, experience as a governor or senator counts against you - you have a record for the opponent to pick apart and find something to spin negatively. The same is true of an officer of a public company like Sanders.

It was to Trump's advantage that he was head of a small privately held company with only a few dozen employees, most of whom had been there forever. No pesky SEC filings, quarterly investor calls, public filing requirements when people are laid off and so on able to make most CEOs sound bad if presented in the wrong tone.

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Re: Sheryl Sandberg was/is considering a run for President

I think once the Trump era is over, his best accomplishment will have been poisoning the well for any future celebrity / business world candidates with no political experience.

NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

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Re: what is wrong with the good old porn?

Exactly. He's getting off on the fear he's causing and the ability to force them to do stuff he says. Probably a man who can't even speak to a woman in RL, so he has to create this fantasy world for himself.

If he just wanted naked pictures of average/amateur women, there are more posted voluntarily on the internet every day than any man could "use" in a lifetime.

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Am I the only one who treats "security questions" like additional passwords?

Only a fool gives real answers for them since they provide a backdoor even a super-strong password can't defend against. I might have my mother's maiden name listed as Google22 on one site, then have the name of my first pet listed at Baseball on another.

Can't even use the same answers for all of them, since they have different questions and given that even passwords aren't always encrypted its a safe bet these are stored in plaintext in most sites.

Nope, the NSA isn't sitting in front of a supercomputer hooked up to a terrorist’s hard drive

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If both Apple and Google refuse to cooperate

What recourse do governments of the world have? Ban both and leave consumers unable to buy any phones? I'm sure eventually AOSP based Android flavors that included the backdoors would become available, but I think there would be a consumer revolt against the powers that be long before that.

Make BGP great again, er, no, for the first time: NIST backs internet route security brainwave

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Re: "good chaps"

All protocols were written that way, because there was no alternative. Routers could barely route packets at wire speed, let alone handle encryption certificates.

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Not like IPv6 at all

IPv6 adoption requires end user participation, and affects ALL devices. BGP protection only affects a handful of devices in the typical enterprise (i.e. where they interconnect with outside networks/providers) so it is a far simpler problem.

Though keeping certificates up to date has proven to be a problem already, and I'd hate to think an expired certificate would cause routes to go down. We might end up with a more secure, but less stable internet.

Not so much changing their tune as enabling autotune: Facebook, Twitter bigwigs nod and smile to US senators

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Re: 'politicians are more interested in ordering people around than having meaningful discussion'

There needs to be new laws with massive fines

New laws requiring what, exactly? It is easy to call for regulation, it is a lot harder to install meaningful regulation that actually solves the problems you see without creating additional problems.

This is where Google et al bragging about "AI" comes back to bite them. Congress has been seeing all this stuff and says "why don't you use AI to determine what posts are 'bad' and automatically remove them?" What passes for AI today is nowhere near able to do that, and trying to make them understand that will fall on deaf ears - they'll point to various announcements they've made over the past few years patting themselves on the back for how great their "AI" is.

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Re: Why always the insistence on CEOs?

They don't want answers, they want the public to see them making the CEOs sweat.

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

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Re: The Hubris of Cloud

Hardly. The wheel will turn again, and by the end of next decade the new thing will be "user-centric computing" or some such buzzword that means bringing the functionality back out to the client and not having everything depend on servers halfway across the country.

After all, once everyone is on the cloud, how will IT companies sell new stuff to their clients? By telling them their "cloud" stuff is old and tired, and needs replaced with Buzzword Bingo 2030!

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

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Re: Taxing revenue is inherently unfair

I didn't advocate a solution, I just pointed out a problem with what the EU is proposing. Maybe there's a way to adjust it by the gross margin, to make it less unfair (which is about all you can hope for when taxing multinationals)

Though unless you could get a company to report its worldwide gross margin you'd have to figure out what to use. Trusting Google or Facebook not to game that isn't going to work, that's for sure.

DougS Silver badge

Taxing revenue is inherently unfair

Compare Google, Apple, and Amazon. Rounding off for simplicity, they have gross margins of 60%, 40% and 20% respectively. That means one out of every five dollars of revenue is margin for Amazon, but two out of every five for Apple and three out of every five for Google.

A 3% tax on revenue therefore hits Amazon 3x as hard as it hits Google. How is that fair? I get that the EU wants to do something about companies finding ways to skirt taxes, but this seems like a really bad way to go about it.

The worst part is that companies like Google or Facebook that have very high margins because every additional ad they sell has near zero cost associated with it, are the ones who are most easily able to game the system and move costs to high tax areas and profits to low tax areas. The worst abusers will be hurt the least by this tax! It is pretty hard for Amazon to shift costs, since if you buy a TV for €1000 that cost them €800, they can't shift that cost elsewhere.

Enterprise smartphone buyers still pretty dopey about updates

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Easy to explain

A more expensive phone might cost less per year over their life, maybe even paying top dollar for iPhones if you require patches during that whole life. However even if you're accounting for it over say a four year life you still have to fork out the money up front. At least AFAIK carriers aren't going to finance phones for a business over that long of a period - if at all.

Maybe Apple should consider such long term financing to help enterprise sales. Bundle Applecare, offer a way for some phones to be upgraded sooner (because execs won't want a several year old phone) have batteries replaced if needed and so forth. Basically Applecare Enterprise Upgrade program.

Regardless, it is easy to go cheap because you spend a lot less up front and when the problems become apparent and they need to be replaced, well, its another budget year so you'll probably go cheap again. A "good" PHB would blame the problems on IT (if someone outside of IT makes the decision) or find a way to blame the carrier, or Google, or whoever - it won't be his/her fault that CheapDroid Q turned out to have terrible reliability, no updates after nine months, and so forth.

Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

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Re: It wasn't just apps

The HTC HD2 wasn't a Microsoft / Nokia device. The market for Windows Phone was small, the market for non Microsoft/Nokia branded Windows Phone devices was almost non-existent. The corporate types were buying those because of the name, and the support policy for those determined its fate.

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Not true at all. Not every web site has Google ads / trackers installed, when you visit those Google can't track you unless you are using Chrome. If you block (whether via the browser, add ons or DNS hackery) Google's trackers then they might not be able to track you - or at least track you less well - using Firefox/Edge.

If you use Chrome, they get a list of every site you visited, how long you were there, what you clicked on, etc. There's no comparison between the data they get from Chrome vs other browsers.

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Why would Microsoft care about Nokia, specifically, running Android? Shouldn't they have wanted to buy Motorola since they were the early leader in the Android market? They could have set Android back at least a year if they bought Motorola instead of Nokia back when phone buyers didn't know what 'Android' was but they'd heard of 'Droid' from all the Motorola ads.

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Re: Maybe...

How was the 30% cut a problem, since not only Apple but also Google was and is taking a 30% cut? You thought Microsoft should be the low price player in this game?

It wouldn't have mattered if they took a 0% as there was hardly any userbase to buy the apps! The apps were never a problem for corporate users, so long as you do mail, calendar, etc. and they could have done quite well if they replaced Blackberry as the corporate phone of choice. Then the corporate apps would have followed. Microsoft couldn't even be bothered to get a Word/Excel viewer on the thing though, which is pretty bad - if your OWN developers won't support your platform, how do you expect others to regardless of the cut you're taking?

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It wasn't just apps

I thought the orphan devices had a lot to do with it - i.e. Windows Mobile 6.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 7.0. OK, as expected. Windows Phone 7.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 8.0. WTF? And then again for many (but not all) Windows Phone 8.x devices with Windows Phone 10.0! After all, for corporate users missing Snapchat and Youtube apps isn't a problem, but devices with a support lifetime of 18 months was.

When you jerk your customers around like that, it is really hard to build any loyalty. Especially since they'd seen Microsoft able to support Windows upgrades on a near infinite combination of 3rd party hardware but somehow couldn't manage that feat with phone hardware they made themselves!

Had they introduced Continuum in the 7.x days, even though it would be pretty slow, just the view people would have of being able to run their Windows PC applications on their phone in a few years time might have got a lot more people interested in the platform. Maybe not the consumers, but definitely the corporate types.

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Re: For all your searching

But I still go to Google for cases when I actually want to see stuff to buy

I agree, Google is much better than DDG for that. However, I make sure to open the links in private windows, copy the URL and then re-open it in another private window if I'm actually going to make a purchase. Probably doesn't help, but I want to do whatever I can do to hurt Google's attempts to connect searches to sales :)

Hopefully DDG will get better in this regard, as that's pretty much the last thing I still use Google for.

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Chrome didn't have to do the "call to actions", since so much software comes bundled with a Chrome installer thanks to Google liberally applying cash to make that happen. The cost of that is a drop in the bucket compared to the money they make from all the personal data they collect from Chrome users.

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It doesn't matter if Chrome bloats

Google will continue paying software developers all over to bundle a Chrome installer with their stuff, making it almost impossible for an average user (who just clicks OK and doesn't look at the various checkboxes to see what they might want to uncheck) to avoid.

It is worth it for Google because of all the personal data they can collect, the value of which far exceeds the cost of paying to insure that Chrome gets on everyone's PC. Firefox can't afford to do that, and Microsoft already has their browser on everyone's PC. It just comes down to a fight between IE/Edge and Chrome over trying to get/trick the user into making it their default browser.

Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

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The guilt of the suspect has to be determined "beyond a reasonable doubt" but that's not the case for the evidence. If this was the ONLY evidence tying him to the crime then he might be able to make the argument "but... but... it could have been tampered with".

That's the case with pretty much all evidences. Photos, video and audio can be tampered with. Witnesses may lie or may not remember accurately. Even DNA tests aren't foolproof and have a certain percentage of accuracy (or chance of mismatch) associated with them.

You take all the evidence into account, and some of it is seen is pretty strong (like DNA evidence or eyewitness testimony from 10 people who all agree) and other maybe less strong (a grainy CCTV image or the testimony of a witness with a history of drug abuse who admits he was high at the time) and you take it all together in determining whether a suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Apple cops to iPhone 8 production oops, offers to fix borked phones

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Well they're all under warranty currently, since its a one year warranty here in the US and I guess longer in other places that mandate it.

However, in a couple weeks the first ones will be older than a year, so they needed to let people know in case they have this type of failure that it can still be fixed for free even though the warranty period will have expired.

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Re: Am I being over cynical?

So Huawei's low end phone is low end? That's not news, that's as expected. If they had a low end phone that was as nice as everyone else's flagships, THAT would be newsworthy.

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

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Probably because few consumers are buying Surfaces

They're being bought by businesses, but people spending their own money have been making other choices.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

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Re: Lightening strike ?

Phone lines are always grounded at the service entrance around here (central US) unless they were installed many decades ago and not touched since. Ditto for cable TV and natural gas lines.

Of course, if your house is 40 or 50 years old and still has the original grounding rod there might not be much of it left, depending on the soil...

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

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Criminal wants record of crimes expunged so he can continue his criminal ways

That's how I read this. If records of his conviction are "preventing him from setting up an investment business" that sounds like his previous conviction was for some sort of an investment scam. If it was something like drunk driving I can't see why potential investors would consider that disqualifying for an investment advisor.

If anyone is going to suggest that someone convicted of financial fraud should be able to have that record hidden after the conviction is 'spent' or whatever weird term you right ponders use, so that potential future investors can get scammed again, I'm sorry but I will NEVER agree with you on that. Maybe you believe he's benefit of the doubt, but investors need to have ALL the relevant information about anyone they are trusting their finances to - so it should be up to the investors to determine whether they believe he has reformed or not. So YOU can damn well invest with a former felon if you want to support him in his supposed reform!

HTC U12 Life: Notchless, reasonably priced and proper buttons? Oh joy

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Re: Notchless

At least some Android phones with notches have such a setting. Maybe all do if they're running the last version of Android. Which FWIW supports multiple notches at once, and supports them on the top, bottom, sides and even corners so you might see some really weird stuff down the road from OEMs who want a unique look :)

The iPhone doesn't have such a setting, though since I don't have "too many status icons to fit" I haven't noticed it as a problem on my iPhone X. Most of the time it is just used for status, only when you go to 'full screen' on an app does it matter. AFAIK the app can choose whether full screen includes the notch or leaves it out and shows status icons there.

For the oft-cited case of watching video in landscape, the default is to show video in 16:9 and since the X is 19.5:9 there's blank space on either side. You can zoom to fill the sides if you want, which cuts off a bit of one side with the notch - but doing so also cuts out stuff on the top and bottom which is going to be true on any phone that's not 16:9. Which is basically all of them these days, so notch or no notch you will either have blank space on the sides or stuff covered up watching standard 16:9 video.

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Re: IP67

My iPhone 5 was knocked into a kitchen sink full of water. I fished it out almost immediately, turned it off, dried it off, let it sit with a fan blowing over it for a few hours and then nervously turned it on and found it worked perfectly. Had no issues with it after that, or when trading it in to Apple for a 6S plus a year or so later.

The iPhone 5 was not sold as IP67 or IP anything, but I'm not the only person I know who fished a pre-IP67 iPhone out of water and found no issues. I have no reason to assume that Apple is special in that regard, maybe when companies sell phones as IP67/IP68 they do a little extra testing but I think most phones with a non-replaceable battery are probably pretty much able to pass the "uh oh better fish it out QUICK!" test. IP6x is mostly marketing, IMHO, at least for phones.

I agree that the difference between IP67 and IP68 might matter for other products...can't think of an example where half a meter matters, but I suppose if there's a difference between items that might fall into a sink that's typically less than a half meter versus a bathtub that is often more than a half meter but not likely to be more than a meter...

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Re: Notchless

How many status icons do you need, exactly?

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IP67 is overrated, IMHO. Who's going to drop their phone in water (but not too deep, and only clear fresh water not salt water, chlorinated pool water, etc.) and leave it there for minutes? I imagine "splash resistant" is probably just as good as IP67 for the kinds of "water issues" most phones are likely to encounter.

And don't get me started on IP68, which "improves" IP67 by being exactly the same except 1.5 meters of water. Is there really enough difference between 1 meter and 1.5 meters of water that a separate grade is needed? WTF let's add IP69 and go for 2 meters!

Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17

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One more thing

The way the FCC did this repeal will make it almost impossible for them to stop California and other states from enacting their own NN laws. The FCC didn't just say "we repeal the ruling made by the FCC under the previous administration that enacted NN" they also ruled that the FCC has no power to regulate broadband AT ALL.

The FCC repeal order agreed with an argument that AT&T had made that in the Telecom Act of 1996 broadband should be classified as an "unregulated information service". What Pai was trying to do was lay the groundwork to prevent a future democratic FCC from simply putting NN back in place, by ruling that the FCC has no power to have anything to do with broadband.

Having made that argument in a ruling, an argument that the FCC has the power to prevent states from enacting their own NN regulations would be impossible to get past a judge. The only way republicans will have of stopping NN laws in California and other states would be legislation in congress. That's pretty unlikely to happen anytime soon due to the election, and after the election there's a good chance republicans will no longer have control of the house.

With multiple large states on board, requiring ISPs that to obey NN if they want to do business with the state, they'll effectively maintain NN as a nationwide policy. It probably isn't feasible for AT&T for example to obey NN in certain states, but not in others.

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Hey bombastic bob, ever heard of states rights?

I am led to believe that even foaming at the mouth conservatives like yourself claim to believe in states rights. But I guess you only believe in states rights when the federal government has laws you disagree with, but when it has laws you agree with you expect all the states to conform.

You probably don't even care about NN, if Trump tweeted in support of California's NN law and said the republicans in congress should pass the same thing on a national level you'd change your tune and not even see the irony. After all, I imagine you are now a big supporter of tariffs even though a few years ago you would have claimed only "socialist liberals" support tariffs and that as a tax on consumers and impediment to trade they should be avoided at all costs. Because until Trump was nominated, that had been the official trade platform of republicans since WW II.

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"No difference"

The 'repeal' of NN by the FCC was only made official in June, that's hardly enough time for ISPs to change their behavior. Especially when they know people are paying attention and abusing their newfound power right away would be noticed. Better to quietly make plans and wait for people to start paying attention to something else before putting anything into action.

As others said, if it doesn't make any difference why are ISPs so against NN becoming policy? It is pretty clear they intend to eventually do things that NN would bar, otherwise they wouldn't care about NN as a policy any more than they'd care if there was a policy barring them from hiring house cats as CSRs.

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

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I wouldn't assume this laptop really has significantly better battery life than x86 laptops with long battery life until some real benchmarks were done for something besides video playback. Video playback uses dedicated GPU hardware and depends too much on screen brightness so you can't really compare across laptops unless you know the video being used and brightness setting in nits.

They'd need to test both native and non-native code, too. If one of the applications you need for work isn't available for ARM, you might get LESS battery life with this than you would from a competitor Windows laptop due to the translation overhead.

I also doubt we're going to see a rush of Windows developers porting to Windows on ARM until it has been around for several years and looks successful, given that last time Microsoft went this way they quickly killed the product and any developers that ported to it then wasted their time.

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Re: The market for 25 hour battery life is very limited

I didn't say there was NO market, I said it was a niche market.

How many of us travel to areas where there is no access to electricity for 3-5 days at a stretch (but doing something where we still need our electronic devices, so roughing it on a camping trip doesn't count) That sounds like the very definition of 'niche' to me.

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The market for 25 hour battery life is very limited

Basically anything beyond say 12 hours or so is a niche market for both laptops and phones. People aren't likely to pay over the odds for a different architecture that's much slower than x86 to get it. They'll rather buy a cheaper Intel laptop and a second battery or powerpack to give them their 25 hours.

Lyon for speed, San Francisco for money, Amsterdam for fun: the best cities to be a techie

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Re: Are electric car charging points that important?

If the switchover is "quite some way off" then why rate cities by the number of charging points today? That's like rating a city based on how much of it is less than a foot above high tide sea level, because of what might happen many decades later if sea levels rise a foot.

A city with no charging points today might be the world leader by 2030. There isn't even a standard yet for charging so a lot of the charging points may ultimately be obsolete and need expensive retrofit.

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Re: Dallas?

Dallas is a lot better than it was even a decade ago. Definitely wouldn't be my first choice, but I'd pick it over Silicon Valley or LA solely due to California's housing prices and ridiculous traffic. All the other advantages like climate, beach etc. can't overcome those issues. Hell even though NYC is even less affordable than California at least you don't care about the traffic because you won't need a car.

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Re: Another dumb "top X" list

Not everyone considers money their #1 criteria for career choice or where they live, you know.

Would you live in Nome, Alaska or a small town in Alabama if that came out first under your personal criteria? Would you work for Uber if they offered you $1 more than <insert your favorite non-evil or less-evil company here>? Because it sure sounds like the answer in both cases would be yes.

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Re: Are electric car charging points that important?

Yeah I'd put that so far down the list it wouldn't even make the list - certainly not ranked high enough that a plethora or dearth of charging points is going to make a big difference in a city's place on the list as was apparently the case here.

That's the problem with such lists though, everyone has different weighing of priorities. Some might consider salary their top item and give it a lot of weight, others might consider it rather unimportant versus things like climate, commute time or the impossible to objectively quantify "quality of life".

Maybe what you'd want rather than a top ten list done by someone else's criteria is a web site presenting a menu of criteria that you can assign a personal 1 to 10 rank, and it'll order the cities to YOUR requirements! It would just need updated info for salaries, property prices, and yes I guess "electric car charging points" every year to keep up as things change.

Cryptojacking isn't a path to riches - payout is a lousy $5.80 a day

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Still worth it

It is like spam, you make almost nothing per email but you don't personally send millions of emails you have a script do it. Same thing for compromising web sites and making them mine for you, you have a script that does it while you sit back and collect that $5.80/day on each site your script successfully compromises.

Even if it was only a penny a day if you could maintain a thousand compromised sites at once on average it is worth it in low income countries.

‘Very fine people’ rename New York as ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat, Zillow

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How in the HELL

Would they not automatically make place names containing more than one street require human review? Even small towns rarely change their name, big ones pretty much never do. This is totally different from renaming a street that runs five blocks or a one square block park in a town with a population of 2000.

You don't need "AI" to handle that, you need a simple rule programmed the old fashioned way.

I'd argue that anything that gets found via search terms more than once a year should require manual review. If it is obscure no one searches for it, if it is named incorrectly people search for it but don't find it with the incorrect name. If it is getting searched for, the name is obviously correct, and the more people are searching for it the more correct the name is.

Apple sees the (augmented) light, buys holo-glass tech startup

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The display technology is only part of the equation

Its the power. Not in terms of battery - though that obviously matters for weight - but in terms of heat. A phone may only dissipate a few watts but do it long enough and it'll get warm to the touch - maybe even hot for some phones. I suppose that might be nice during winter if you're outdoors, but the rest of the time you aren't going to want something trying to dissipate several watts of excess heat into your skull.

No D'oh! DNS-over-HTTPS passes Mozilla performance test

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Given that most non technical people automatically [use]

Huh? Most non technical people use whatever default their ISP sets for them, and don't know DNS from TCP. Does anyone actually choose It isn't the fastest (at least not for me) so even without Google's data slurping it doesn't seem to be the choice other than being easy to remember.

Though, is just as easy to remember, and is arguably more so. And both win huge bonus points because "they aren't Google".

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

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"My guess is they manipulate the expenses so the 30% disappears"

Since both Google and Apple are profitable overall, there isn't any such manipulation possible. If they lump expenses into the app store that maybe don't belong there, those expenses can't be used again against some other income.

This kind of arbitrage is only possible / only worthwhile if you have different tax rates. Since a dollar of profit from the app store is taxed at the same percentage as a dollar of profit from selling an iPhone or slinging an ad, there's no point to doing this. At least I'm not aware of any countries that might tax the two differently, but I suppose some may do so.

AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

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Demonstrates the fragility

Of the neural network approach of today's "AI". You can train a neural net on stuff, and it will eventually do a good job on similar stuff. Toss it an outlier and you're likely to get garbage back as a result.

Fills you with confidence about the future ability for autonomous cars to handle exceptional cases, doesn't it?

Judge bars distribution of 3D gun files... er, five years after they were slapped onto the web

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Re: Where is the NRA?

Sure that's true today. Someday it'll be cheaper to make a gun (and a lot of other stuff) from CAD files than to buy a mass manufactured product. What will happen to the NRA's generous corporate contributions from Big Gun when people quit buying from them?

The NRA won't be able to use FUD and alarm their members every time a democrat gets into the White House into buying additional guns because gun sales are going to be banned by the evil godless libtard if millions of people have the means of making as many guns as they want at home.

Whether someday is in 2025 or 2055, that we don't know. But 3D printing has advanced a lot in the past decade, so I wouldn't bet against it a decade from now.

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