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Comment Re:iAd on iPhone won't be able to be blocked (Score 1) 519

Now, Apple is crowing about their new ad blocking features in the next release of iOS, but they will not be blocking iAds.

Really? Can you tell us your source please?

I watched the WWDC session on ad blocking. Apple will not be blocking anything by itself. Instead the feature allows apps to add content blocking rules which Safari will then use. There was no mention of an exception for iAd.

Here is a more technical explanation: https://www.hackingwithswift.c...

Comment Re:OSX too (Score 1) 517

and every 6 months or so I have to blank my Mac and reinstall.

What?

I have had half several Macs in the last ten years and have reinstalled OS X once. Even on the new machines I carried over everything via Migration Assistent. I don't know what it is, but you seem to be doing something wrong. Do you run some non-standard utility application(s)?

As for the iCloud keychain problem: Did you try disabling and reenabling iCloud keychain?

But pretty much everything on iOS/OSX is broken at the moment

Works fine for me. *shrug*

Comment Re:Models are right, measurements are wrong? (Score 1) 423

I thought that science made conclusions based on observations, not that it made observations based on conclusions

It is completely normal that conclusions lead us to doubt our observations and do new measurements. Observations can be misleading unless we have a proper theory with appropriate measurements.

As for the current problem: Computer models are not reality, but - apart from data from the past - they are the best we have.

Science works like this:
First you observe something.
Then you try to come up with an explanation. That explanation needs to make some predictions (or it would be useless).
Then you test those predictions. Usually by making experiments.

Now, here we have a problem. We don't have a second earth to experiment with. And even if we had, the timescales involved are too large to make experiments in real-time.

So instead we use climate models. But these models are not reality. These are models we come up with on our own. How do we do that? Well, people that are generally learned about the subject try to think about anything that could possibly affect the climate. They then create a mathematical model and see if it's predictions fit the known data (i.e. data from the past must predict the present). The better it does, the better the model.

Now it turns out that we have some wrong data. Obviously that wrong data will have lead to climate models that do not predict reality.

This means we have to alter our current climate models to fit the new data. Someone will have to come up with an idea what exactly is wrong with the models and how to fix them, of course. But that is no different from how the models were created in the first place.

It also does not mean the models are not useful. They are. As long as they accurately predict current climate from past data, we can assume that they will also predict *future* climate from *present* data.

But, yes, our predictions can at best be as accurate as our observations. And if we measure wrong, that is a problem.

Disclaimer: IANACS - I am not a climate scientist

Comment Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (Score 1) 249

Why not have each reviewer's rating for a given item/location be statistically compared/weighted to that reviewer's history of ratings, e.g. a 5-star rating from someone who consistently gives 5-star ratings for everything could be valued less than someone who only does so some of the time,

Why? Maybe I simply only review things I like. Why would that devalue my reviews?

Comment Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (Score 1) 249

the weird moderation that happens in anything apple v android.

I'll never understand how attached some people get to a corporation. The corporation will never love you back.

The problem are not people who supposedly 'love' a corporation. The problem are people who think someone loves a corporation just because he likes some of their products.

Comment Re:Is it me? Or is it you? (Score 2) 545

I can't figure out if I'm just too old and grumpy or if operating systems are just desperately uninspired.

It's probably a mix of both.

Of course operating systems have matured. Today they do practically everything we can think about. There are no obvious features left to add. So development, especially from an end user's perspective, seems slow.

On the other hand, I don't agree that there is no development like you seem to imply. I'm using OS X, so that's the only OS I can really talk about. Some of the things we got the last few years:
- Spotlight.
A fast global search can really change some workflows. Gone are the days when I had to trawl through nested folders to find that file from a week ago. Now I can search for name or content or even the date I did use it last.
- Time Machine
Switching machines? Just restore from the last Time Machine backup and everything is like it was before.
That new version of application X sucks? Accidentally clobbered some file? No worries. Restore from Time Machine backup.
- iCloud Sync
OK, so not everyone wants that. But it is nice if data is kept in sync between devices automatically.

Of course there is much more, many of it not directly visible. (There's a reason MacBooks have great battery live. And it's not just better hardware.)

So, I agree with you up to a point. OS development is not as exciting as it used to be. But it didn't stop either. Interesting things still happen.

Comment Re:how long can I keep my Win7? (Score 1) 545

I don't get it, why do some people do that? I can somewhat understand about getting a new car that has various gadgets to impress the chicks. But a computer?

I think for those people the computer is not a tool, something to get something done (be it work or games). For them it is more of a toy to tinker with, like a model train. I mean, how many people tinker with their vacuum cleaner, change components of their power drill or build a custom case for their TV? Yet, some people do all these things with their computers. They are not tools; not means to an end. For those people the computer itself is what holds their interest.

Comment Re:define "customer" (Score 5, Informative) 290

from what i understand of the definition of "customer", a "customer" means "someone who is paying for a service".

The law isn't even talking about customers. The term is "Verbraucher" which is better translated as consumer.

The judge explicitly stated that the law in question does apply to non-paying users.

Comment Re:What is a customer? (Score 1) 290

Alternatively since that fine is so small in Google terms, if it's a one-off, maybe they should just pay it and carry on. I wonder how long it would take for further action to result if they did that.

Err... it is €250,000 per case. That is, every single automated reply could cost them €250,000.

Also it says "alternatively 6 month of jail time for a member of the board". The next ruling might skip the fine ...

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