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Comment Re:Can't see Circuit City anymore. CEO seeking a g (Score 1) 159

It was the CEO BEFORE the last one that burnt the company for the insurance, that is how this works. Its the same with AMD, the current CEO is trying to stop the bleeding, even going so far as to hire back the designer of the Athlon64 from Apple, but it was the one after the founder (Rory Read I think, but they went through 3 real quickly) that fired everybody and cashed out.

You see its like playing hot potato, you don't want to be the one left with the bag.

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 1) 115

#2 If the device is already hardwired to allow it to shut down the LED without shutting down the camera then it's only one software update/hack away from transmitting while it appears to be off. (Assuming that such a "feature" hasn't already been included and is just waiting for a signal to activate.)

So? Even if the camera was being powered off, it would only be one software update/hack away from being able to transmit while turning off the LED.

Comment Re:The judge issued a verdict ahead of trial? (Score 2) 169

If we had scaled representation as the population of the nation grew, it would be much more difficult to buy representatives.

Representation at levels we had when the country was founded would result in over 9,000 representatives today-- over 500 from LA and New York city each.

Likewise- Senators are grossly unrepresentative with some citizens having one senator per 280,000 citizens while other states have one senator per 19,000,000 citizens.

If states had been kept smaller and were divided by roughly equal populations, we would have over 600 senators.

It would be very tough to buy half of them. Votes would matter more. And as a voter, you'd know your representative better.

Comment Re: Micropayments? (Score 1) 196

Well, part of it is that even a small payment can still incur a psychologically large cost.

That's certainly true in my experience. It's probably the second thing you rapidly discover when building your first B2C web site, right after "If you build it, they probably still won't come."

I think the main requirements for a micropayment system to be successful would probably be simplicity and transparency. Anything that requires lots of interactions, like paying x cents for each and every post on a site like Slashdot, is doomed before it even starts because it's far too much hassle. On the other hand, something where the user's experience was reading a one-liner that said access to the site for a week cost x cents and then making literally one or two clicks to accept this might actually catch on, particularly if there was a very limited number of payment types and all participating sites were required to comply with some simple, transparent, universal terms set by the micropayment service so users could trust that they weren't getting scammed.

I think given such a simple but effective foundation, you could then build sensible policies about access control, security, and the like on top. But I think you need simplicity, transparency, and of course trust in the system before anything else matters.

Comment Re:Micropayments? (Score 1) 196

I agree with you that ad blocking is also a safety issue. I have only ever been hit by a virus once that I'm aware of. It was a zero-day in a well-known plug-in, on a system that was fully patched and running AV software, navigating a big name site you would have expected to be completely safe, via a popular link aggregator/discussion site.

I now have a 100% ad-blocking policy. I don't turn the blocker off for anyone, and if a site doesn't like that then I say fair enough and go elsewhere. I have some sympathy for sites I use regularly that lose out because of this, but it was two of those sites that led to my system being compromised so I don't have that much sympathy. I might pay a reasonable amount to support such sites if there were a convenient and safe way of doing so, but my policy on blocking ads and similar third-party content is never going to change as long as anything resembling the current software and web landscape is the norm. My feelings on this are only being strengthened by the evolving software and firmware situation, since these days if a machine is compromised you can't even count on a total reformat and reinstallation clearing the infection.

That being the case, and knowing that others will be similarly stubborn, I can't help thinking that your suggested approach would be fundamentally undermined because it relies on people to actively opt-in to receiving ads. I doubt more than a tiny fraction of users would choose to do so, and surely someone would produce a browser that had these ads off-by-default and use that as a competitive advantage.

Comment Sadly Microsoft encouraged this. (Score 3, Informative) 62

WE don't get clean reinstall DVD's, Microsoft allows the builder to put whatever crap they want on the computer. Honestly it's all microsoft's fault.

Go back to shipping a MICROSOFT PRESSED installation DVD with the machine as a requirement and the install must be done from a clean image no extra crap is allowed to be installed on the machine. yes that means they have to use decent chipsets instead of the crap-tastic stuff like Marvell and other really low end china dog food devices.

Comment Re:Micropayments? (Score 1) 196

Yes, the payment mechanism would be the big question.

Personally, I suspect anything more complicated than 1-2 clicks using a preconfigured payment tool that it integrated into the browser is likely to be too much friction.

On the other hand, if you could actually have a system where, say, you get to read the first section of a long form article and then there's a button you can click to pay them x cents to immediately access the rest via that payment tool, I could see that working and I think you could build a useful degree of standardisation, flexibility and safeguards on top of that basic model.

Comment Re:Give up PCs? Not likely... (Score 1) 196

Now, are you still thinking it will not happen?

Yes, I'm still thinking it will not happen. For one thing, it's completely unrealistic that governments would co-ordinate such a move effectively in that global economy you mentioned. It takes them years to put together a big trade deal, with plenty of controversy and opposition in many cases. Heck, they still haven't managed to close the gaping tax loopholes used by multinationals, despite every government except the tax havens saying for years that they want to.

Even at a single country level, huge amounts of business also relies on that free software to do things like... Well, almost everything. The moment CIOs at Fortune 500 companies start explaining to the board that it will no longer be possible to do (insert 9-figure-revenues project here) because no-one is offering the software to do it without a 10-year lock-in and 8-figure per annum support contract, people are going to start noticing what they've lost, and 8/9 figure political lobbying efforts to reverse the madness will immediately start. Not to mention the billions in lost tax revenues from small tech businesses that can't afford to continue, the millions of unemployed developers who all have a vote, and so on.

Comment Micropayments? (Score 1) 196

One potential solution to this would be an efficient micropayment system, but unfortunately that seems to be the idea that eternally "has potential". I don't know what's holding it back in reality. Maybe it's financial regulations in different countries, maybe it's pressure from the existing payment industries, maybe it's that no-one has found UI with sufficiently low friction yet, or maybe too many people just want everything for free to give a critical mass of early adopters.

In any case, I'm actually kinda hoping that the increasingly bitter ad-wars will force us to fix that. I believe it would be good for society to move back to the kind of model where producers of good, original content can actually generate a useful level of revenue directly as their incentive, and where they in turn can concentrate on presenting that content in a useful and attractive way to their readers instead of distorting the presentation to maximise ad revenues.

Comment Give up PCs? Not likely... (Score 1) 196

I think you forgot all the people who use general purpose PCs to create the content that the smartphone/tablet brigade so enjoy consuming. Oh, and almost the entire business world.

If any government were foolish enough to attempt something like what you describe, enough people and businesses who wanted/needed to use technology sensibly would relocate that the economic damage alone would probably bring down that government at the next election.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.