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Comment Cheap smartphones are not new (Score 1) 182

I bought a Motorola Flipout in early 2011 for about $200. I'm still using it. Ok, it's Android 2.1 and I don't have many new apps running on it (but the recent google photos works fine !)

But that's not a surprise that they're slowly gaining market share : most media only talk about iPhones and similar Samsung devices, because that's what carriers and retailers only want to show (and usually hide real prices behind a monthly plan).

Cheap smartphones have literally boomed here in France since in 2012 a new carrier (Free) decided to offer very low cost plans with no phone, showing people that they were actually paying their $600 smartphone at least twice with their monthly plan with hidden costs.

Comment Re:Nope... Wrong interpretation. (Score 2) 417

The vast majority ... you mean 50,000 out of 160,000 ?

Yes, indian companies abuse the H1-B system and it's in great part their fault if there is a debate on H1-B. But no, the majority of H1-B workers are not "slaves".

The "top" H1-B list says it all : a lot of indian companies with low average salaries, and a long tail of legitimate companies trying to hire foreign talent.

Disclaimer : H1-B here.

Comment Re:Cash...Accepted Everywhere, No Fees (Score 1) 30

That's completely untrue in many countries now.

For small everyday transactions, cash is a real pain to use. You need to carry coins, pay the exact amount, get frequently cash at ATMs (because you may not want to carry a lot of money with you). When you get coins back, you need to put them back in your wallet, not let them fall on the ground, ... 30 seconds instead of 3 with a phone.

Shopkeepers also don't like cash, since they need to frequently move large amounts of money to the bank -- or pay the bank to fetch it on a daily basis.

So, maybe, in countries where credit card fees are high and criminality is ultra-low, it won't work. But those systems intend to lower the transaction fees so that it is really more convenient for everybody to use your phone rather than get cash out of your wallet.

Comment Re:So far so good.... (Score 1) 317

Well, I'm expecting a lot from any new Windows version, not because I use it but because it could prevent people from my family to ask for help when everything got broken.

So, I have one question : does it enforce more control on installed software or is it still the jungle of spyware, adwares and viruses ?

When I saw they did a windows store, I thought that finally, I'd have a good way to tell people how to get their machine fast and virus-less : only install software from the store where software is controlled and coming from the original provider (like we do in linux : install everything from controlled repositories).

Unfortunately, the windows store is just a huge mess for metro apps, not a way to install software in a more secure way.

Windows will be a good OS the day it won't auto-destruct over time, won't require an antivirus to suck all performance out of your CPU and kill you hard drive within a month.

Comment Re:The NSA has done several things to help securit (Score 2) 105

Yes, it definitely makes sense for government computers.

But the next question is : does it make sense for any personal computer ? Of course not. SIMD is largely based on puppet (who wants to be NSA's puppet ? :-)) which only makes sense for sysadmin to keep control over workstations.

Other governments or organization could have found find this project helpful, but the cost in reading every single line of code (because, you know, it's the NSA) completely kills the interest of reusing someone else' effort.

Comment Re:There's no reforming OPM (Score 0) 67

And yet, I find OPM pretty good in how they handle the situation. Full disclosure is not really a technique of the past and I'm quite surprised to see them contact every person who had data stolen and provide all details about what exactly was stolen.

I'm not sure all gov agencies in the world would act that way.

Comment Re:math (Score 1) 136

This guy is right explaining that dumb computation about password strength is stupid.

However, I disagree with the conclusion. Asking people to learn impossible to retain passwords is not the solution. Force them to choose a not-trivial but not hard password (entropy >10000) and apply well-balanced password trying policies (100 tries max per month). Everyone will be happy this way.

Comment Re:He is linking homeopathy to astrology (Score 5, Informative) 320

I confirm that here in France, homeopathy is very common, and even MDs frequently use it.

But let's be serious. The placebo effect is one of the most effective thing in medical problems. The problem with it is that if you don't believe in it, it no longer works. Building false theories that makes sense for most people is therefore a skill that can be much more effective than finding real cures.

So, in a way, I can't blame people who use it just because, as an ultra-rational guy, I do not have the "chance" of being able to use those things with a positive effect. Maybe using astrology and homeopathy would indeed increase the efficiency of the health system. Not because it prevents illnesses, but just because we have to recognize that it really works by misleading people's brain.

Comment Re:One more reason to get away from Windows (Score 1) 181

Well, after reading the article again, indeed that could work on Linux. I thought there were windows vulnerabilities in the mix, but it turns out I read that wrong.

That said, I think that malware/adware is a major attack vector. And Linux/Android/iOS do not fear adware because applications are reviewed and controlled. Of course, you can always have a vulnerability in the Linux packages / Android Apps, but it makes things much harder and especially for the average guy's PC.

But true, for that special case, linux could as well be a target.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller