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Comment: Re:Cut cut cut (Score 1) 101

by Grishnakh (#47951227) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

It's actually a good strategy for MS, I think, and I believe Ballmer screwed up by not following this strategy.

For other companies, it only works in the short term because their competitors win in the long term because without good employees, the company can't develop new products. However, for MS, this just isn't a concern. They're a monopoly in many markets, especially in business software; companies aren't going to suddenly stop buying Windows, Exchange, Office/Outlook, etc. MS can milk their existing customers for a couple of decades I think, and could easily jack up prices greatly.

Comment: Re:Where's the bottom? (Score 1) 101

by Grishnakh (#47951207) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

I think MS (and their products) will get worse before this gets better.

Doesn't matter, people will still buy MS products no matter what. Businesses aren't going to wean themselves from MS's enterprise software anytime soon. This was a good decision: the research efforts were costing money which wasn't being made up in new sales.

MS's best course of action is to cut out as much R&D as possible and other bottom-line costs, and then try to extract as much money from existing customers as possible by jacking up prices. Thanks to their monopoly position in several markets, this shouldn't be hard.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 1) 300

That's a really good point. But I guess they could just disable bluetooth. I'm starting to wonder if today's Apple is as incredibly stupid as Sony was 10-15 years ago. Though, Apple might actually be right: the people who buy Apple stuff are such sheep they, unlike Sony's prospective customers a decade ago when they tried to push proprietary audio formats, might actually buy into Apple's proprietary junk.

Comment: (Score 1) 158

by Grishnakh (#47949747) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

The rich don't need good service. They'll pay their $9k each, get pissed off, and the site will be down after a couple of years due to non-renewals; meanwhile, the site founders will have made $10-20 million (2,000 people, your numbers, times $9k = $18M) and can retire quite comfortably.

I wish I had thought of it....

Comment: Re: .info (Score 1) 158

by Grishnakh (#47949707) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

Actually, it's pretty clever. Make up something lame, call it "exclusive", and sell it to people with more money than brains. It reminds me of some company that made fancy, massively-overpriced cellphones to sell to rich people (with sapphire mechanisms in the buttons, no less) back when the iPhone v1 was revolutionizing smartphones.

This thing doesn't have to become a giant commercial success, it just has to make a bunch of money before the owners bail out and it collapses.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 1) 300

>The answer to this will be 'No'. The obvious way Apple is going is to change the audio output jack to the headphone to something proprietary like Lightning.

So what? At some point, the signal has to be converted to analog so that it can drive transducers and produce listenable sound. Anyone with a soldering iron can tap into the signal at that point and record it with very good quality.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 1) 300

> I don't remember the what the video tech is called, but newer DVD players and TVs won't display videos that have a specific watermark embedded in it. That DRM hasn't been cracked yet. In theory DRM is impossible, but in reality they only need to stay ahead of the hackers. That's not too difficult.

It's not that easy either. Basically it's an arms race between the two interests. The media interests have money on their side (which can be used to hire engineers to come up with difficult-to-crack schemes), whereas the crackers have on their side the fact that a crack only needs to be found once, and then distributed via the internet, and then the whole scheme is useless. However, the crackers have limited resources and interest, so they only bother if it's really worth their time. So any DRM that hasn't been cracked yet can likely be attributed to it not being worthwhile enough to bother with. Playing DVDs on Linux was seen as worthwhile enough because 1) it wasn't too hard to crack and 2) DVDs were (and still are) by far the dominant method of recording/viewing movies. Yes, streaming video has made a big dent, but not that much; there's still tons of stuff not available on Netflix instant play. And Blu-Rays were supposed to supercede DVDs, but in reality that hasn't happened.

There's plenty of protection schemes that haven't been cracked, but many times that's because no one really cares enough to bother with it. Some proprietary music format that only U2 uses, on one kind of player, will probably be ignored by crackers.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 1) 300

>I remember the days when I would put one radio recording a cassette tape in front of another radio playing a cassette tape and whalla - instant duplicate. No it may not be the same thing as a digitally equivalent copy of an mp3, but it certainly could be pirated.

Yes, but that sounds like crap. However, it is possible to get very, very good copies using analog recording: even if Apple somehow made it ridiculously difficult to make digital copies of U2 music and made it so it would only play on an iPhone/iPad, are they going to eliminate the analog headphone jack too? It's easy to copy music by plugging a cable from a headphone jack into a line-in jack on another computer. Even if they eliminate the headphone jack and make you buy digitally-connected headphones which use encryption, at some point there's a DAC and an amplifier to play the analog sound into your ears, so anyone handy with electronics could tap into the amplifier output.

However, all of this is bound for failure: what kind of moron would buy a song that can only be played on one device? Apple does not completely control the music market, and there's a lot more Android phones sold now than iPhones. Any proprietary Apple scheme won't work on Android.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 488

by Grishnakh (#47938165) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Just think about this. Imagine the extremely religious and militaristic southern states with their own military and nuclear weapons. Now imagine that there would be virtually no one to contest the idea when they decide that the gays and atheists in the north-east need to be put to death.

You don't think the northeast would have its own military and nuclear weapons too?

Russia is militaristic to a far greater degree than the South and has nuclear weapons, and is extremely anti-gay (far more so than the South), and we don't see them running around killing gay people all over Europe.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 488

by Grishnakh (#47934251) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

It seems from there that there's a big issue over immigration, and that's about it. Obviously, for a long time, Sweden has had a very liberal immigration policy coupled with a very strong welfare state, which resulted in hordes of illiterate immigrants flooding in and getting on the dole; eventually, the natives tired of this and voted for politicians who clamped down on the gravy train, and the immigrants are angry.

A difference of opinion on a single issue isn't a sign of non-homogeneity. Non-homogeneity means different groups of people having very different cultures, such as the Swedes and their Muslim immigrants, who appear to stand at around 14% of the population now, so if you mean that, then I'll agree that Sweden is no longer homogeneous, but it was until recent decades.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 488

by Grishnakh (#47933473) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Oh please. According to your own link, "The study "Antisemitic images and attitudes in Sweden", conducted by Henrik Bachner and Jonas Ring, revealed that 1.4 per cent of the population disagrees with the assertion that "Most Jews are probably decent folks"." I never said you'd get 100% agreement on anything, but 1.4% of a population being anti-Jewish is statistically insignificant, and certainly not an indicator of a major problem or disagreement in the society.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 947

by Grishnakh (#47932943) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Exactly, other countries don't like the idea of giving different ethnic groups their own states because this interferes with their power.

It's not just them, though: liberals here in the west hate the idea of different ethnic groups having their own countries, because they think we should all be mashed together and be forced to get along somehow. Just look at some of the other comments to my posts here in this thread.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 488

by Grishnakh (#47932925) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

The idea of a region where people largely agree about social / moral / economic systems has never been realized and never will be no matter what scale you look at.

I'm sorry, that's hogwash. Small countries like Iceland or Andorra do not have any huge rifts in thinking between different groups of people. There's lots of small European countries where people get along just fine because the population is small and homogenous. Infighting becomes more and more of a problem as countries grow larger and more diverse.

Every region will have misogynists, creationists, etc.

The Scandinavian countries don't seem to have too many problems with misogyny, and creationism is something that's almost completely confined to the USA and some third-world countries. There's no significant number of creationists in western Europe, except perhaps among some immigrants (and even that's doubtful).

If one isn't happy because others don't conform to their ideal systems of thought, I suggest that they will never be happy.

It's not about others conforming to your thoughts, it's about whether those people have the ability to force their systems of thought on you through the law. Here in the US, even if you think Creationism is crap, if you live in certain areas, you might find Creationism forced on you because the voting public in those areas demands it to be taught in school to your children. In countries where no one believes in Creationism, this isn't a problem, so no one has to waste time with it just like they don't have to waste time debating whether the world is held up on Atlas's shoulders and whether the Titans created it, or any other such nonsense. When you live in a country where most people are like you and share your culture, you don't have to argue about silly crap like this all the time, like we do in America where we've been arguing whether this idiocy should be taught in schools for well over a century now.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.