When you go to fill up your car, you have a choice of where to fill the tank. All too often, all of the gas stations in an area have the same price. Or if one is slightly cheaper than another, there's some other factor that "evens" them out.
The problem with modern email systems is that the emails are stored in plaintext. Some systems may use site-wide public/private key encryption but, if a third party gets access to the site's private key, everything is, effectively, plaintext.
So how do we fix this?
Do all encryption/decryption on the client. The client holds the private keys. The server has everyone's public keys. All traffic and stored data is, by default, encrypted.
JPMorgan Chase makes their money skimming a percentage off financial transactions. And gambling (let's face it, that's what 'investing' in the modern stock market really is). And, all too often, rigging the gambling (high-frequency trading, anyone? Mortgage Backed Securities, which they sold KNOWING that the valuation was a flat-out lie?) What's the utility to society?
None. So we get kinda up-in-arms when we see people getting obscene amounts of scratch for such grifting.
The sooner a tech company can automate getting/paying loans (the one useful thing which JPMC does), the better. The sooner tech companies can create the kinds of financial networks which undercut Mastercard, Visa et al. with similar utility and lower rates (less "skim"), the better. At that point, the only thing keeping dinosaurs like JPMC in business will be regulations REQUIRING human interaction on certain transactions, put in place at the urging of JPMC-paid lobbyists (such regs already exist).
That said, not all tech companies provide utility. So being a tech company doesn't mean you're automatically off-the-hook.
Properly maintained, an airplane will last much longer than a car. But even an airplane hits "tired iron" status after some decades.
Your 30-year-old car is involved in a crash. You die. Do your relatives sue the car company? Probably not. It's an old car. Most cars don't last 30 years. The auto manufacturer is perceived as being absolved of any liability, long ago. Three years, the manufacturer may be liable. Most people won't find an auto manufacturer liable for a 10-year-old car, much less 30.
Your 30-year-old airplane crashes. You die. Do your relatives sue the aircraft manufacturer? Probably. And, quite frequently, collect. Consequently, Cessna, Piper etc. are largely on the hook for EVERY AIRPLANE THEY EVER BUILT, even ones from decades ago. At least one company was talking about leasing their aircraft, not selling them, and pointedly destroying them after so many years of flight time, so that they could limit their liability.
I know, I know. It's fashionable to blame everything on federal regulations. And yes, they are pretty strenuous. But the financial liability is, quite literally, sky-high.
Then, of course, there's the fact that they don't build as many airplanes as they do cars; they never did. Which means they don't get to amortize their R&D across as many produced items.
The difference is that, for Japanese and Chines, you had to do that for desktop PCs and laptops because there was no way to represent the thousands of symbols available on any keyboard.
As touch-based input systems become more common (smartphones/tablets), there's the possibility to have a 'finger painting' type input system, where you draw the symbols. In that respect, eastern languages would be better suited to text input on such devices than us westerners.
In Cryponomicon, they create a special unit (Detachment 2702) to guard the secret of the Bletchley Park. This unit is engaged in actively feeding misinformation to the enemy and arranging "accidental" discoveries. For example, if decrypted information says that a convoy of German ships is moving from port A to port B, they determine about where that convoy should be at this time and "arrange" for a patrol aircraft to fly over the area and spot it. When the Allies, subsequently, bomb the heck out of the convoy, the Germans don't ponder "how did they know?" They know the convoy was spotted by an Allied aircraft before the bombers arrived on the scene.
In one part of the book, a tramp steamer, operated by a bunch of people from this unit, "stumble" on a German "milk cow" submarine refueling/rearming an attack sub in the Caribbean. And Allied ships are promptly called in to depth charge the silly thing. The Germans don't have to ask how the allies knew it was there. They "stumbled on" it. The Germans are left to assume that they are just having really rotten luck. And that the Allies have a lot more patrol aircraft than they really do.
Yes, Cryptonomicon is a work of fiction. Such things are, however, perfectly believable. The Allies went to great lengths to hide the fact that we could read their encrypted transmissions. A great many German officers, after the war, were told that we had been "reading their mail" for much of the war, and were utterly astounded. They had no idea. Such a good job had been done at keeping the secret.
Protecting confidential sources? Arranging "accidental" discoveries of the necessary evidence? Gee, this sounds awfully familiar.
For Obama, arguably, they were also trying to contribute some international cred to whatever efforts he was making toward trying to convince the Muslims of the world that the USA had not declared a jihad against them. Early in his first term, he was actively engaged in that kind of "cooling off" rhetoric. He has had a pretty lousy follow-through on that. Celebrating the fact that America has sufficiently overcome decades of racism that we could elect someone from I minority race? Maybe. But I'm not so sure about that one.
A century ago, the countries of the modern-day European Union would've been at war with each other, given the economic climate. Are they fighting? They're certainly not getting the economic prosperity they were hoping for, but are they shooting at each other. As such, it could be argued that the EU is preventing an all-out war in Europe. Is that unworthy of a Peace Prize? In the absence of any other stand-out peacemaking by any other organization?
Edward Snowden has exposed a lot of hypocrisy on the part of the US government, particularly the NSA. Awarding him the Peace Prize, particularly after awarding it Obama, would be a particularly delicious irony.
It has been pointed out that it is designed to operate from short fields, mostly just short stretches of roadway. Most US fighters would have a problem with that. The SH would definitely have a problem with that. Yes, it has longer range, but it's also considerably heavier.
Since Sweden requires a year of military service from all citizens, much of their enlisted military is made up of people who won't be around long enough to do six-month- or year-long training programs. The Gripen is designed so that a squadron of them can be maintained by a handful of experienced sergeants and a large bunch of barely-trained grunts. That means the maintenance tasks have to be kept relatively simple. Parts replacement has to be relatively easy, assuming the people wielding the wrenches are at least competent mechanics, not necessarily aerospace mechanics.
Also, the engine supplied with it is a modified version of a licensed GE engine design. Good luck vetoing the shipment of those engines to other countries. The plane can take armaments from a variety of countries. So, they are not dependent on good trade relations with the US.
Finally, yes, local industries stand to benefit from an influx of "fresh blood" from SAAB. I suspect they've already absorbed most of what they can get from Boeing. So, in terms of helping the local industrial base, the Gripen is a better choice.
- #1 yes, get a cloud server. Do the big upload/download thing from there. I use rsync to move the "deltas" between my home systems and the cloud system, which allows me to avoid big uploads/downloads from/to my home system. If I need to actually modify a big file, sometimes I do a VNC-over-SSH to the cloud server and run GIMP or whatever in the cloud, so I don't actually have to download it. So long as the latency is decent, you can do this pretty effectively.
- #2 yes, get a good router. One which will allow you to prioritize connections. I have a CradlePoint MBR-1000. It does this. That way, connectivity to the office VPN or the cloud server takes priority over whatever else is going on.
- #3 yes, get a local, personal server which can do caching DNS. This will reduce the latency on most everything else. It is hard to overstate just how big a difference this makes.
I had an old Cobalt RAQ2 which did the 3rd and 4th items. It died, recently, so I'm looking at a QNAP box, which runs a version of Debian. It can do the caching DNS, but it might not be up to the caching web proxy. We've definitely noticed a difference with the 3rd and 4th items out of commission.
Lately, I've come to the conclusion that I'd like a wristwatch with a slide rule bezel. I've spent plenty of time playing with slide rules so I'm pretty proficient with their use. Having one on my wrist would be nice.
I would like some more screen real-estate, though. A 7-inch tablet just doesn't cut it for me, and my eyes are too old to handle uber-high-resolution on a small screen.
Ubuntu already has the tiling window manager, but Android and iPad do not. And the voice recognition stuff is using desktop equipment. Yes, tablets are getting very interesting but they aren't ready to replace the desktop just yet. Another 12-18 months, though, you may be right.