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Comment Re:Not Quite (Score 1) 66 66

For many software patents, I'd agree with you.

The problem with video compression is that many of the patents involved do represent real research, the expensive kind. They aren't one-click shopping patents. They're fundamentally pushing forward the state of the art. The people who do that work are expensive and need a lot of time, so, there has to be some way to pay for their efforts. Google's approach of subsidising all research via search ads is perhaps not as robust as one might hope for, even though it's convenient at the moment.

I don't know if DASH specifically is complex enough to deserve patent protection, but if you look at the massive efforts that go into the development of codecs like h.264, h.265 etc, the picture gets more complex. It's not pharmaceutical level research budgets but it's probably the closest the software world gets.

Comment Re:Closed Ecosystem (Score 1) 91 91

No, the issue is that it's open source and carriers customise the components. Android had a working online update infrastructure since day one, actually since before Apple did. But that's no use when the first thing OEMs do is repoint those mechanisms at their own servers and make huge changes to the code.

The comparisons with Linux are especially strange. Guess what? Upstreams who develop software for Linux and see it get repackaged by distributors are in exactly the same boat as Google. They see their software get packaged up, distributed, bugs possibly introduced and then upgrades may or may not make it to users. Yeah yeah, Debian say they backport security fixes. That's great when it's a popular package and a one liner. When the security fix in question is a major architectural upgrade, like adding a sandbox to an app, then users just get left behind on old versions without the upgrades because that's the "stable" version.

And of course many users are on Linux distros that stop being supported pretty quick. Then you're in the same boat as Android: old versions don't get updates.

Comment Re:Is it 64-bit yet? (Score 1) 132 132

Sounds like the answer is "64 bit is hard work and we'd rather do other things + it'd break our plugins". Same issue everyone else faced when porting to 64 bit. And apparently it's easier to port code to run on the .NET VM than port it the old fashioned way whilst keeping it as unmanaged C++?

Secondly, from a cost perspective, probably the shortest path to porting Visual Studio to 64 bit is to port most of it to managed code incrementally and then port the rest. The cost of a full port of that much native code is going to be quite high and of course all known extensions would break and we’d basically have to create a 64 bit ecosystem pretty much like you do for drivers. Ouch.

(source)

But the .NET 64 bit JIT has historically been very low throughput, and the CLR is a less advanced VM than the JVM which can run code in an interpreter until compiled code is ready, so slow compiler == slow startup and high latencies on loading new screens, etc. Not good for a desktop app.

Comment Worthless judgement (Score 2) 64 64

This isn't going to make any difference.

The EU "Right to Privacy" and indeed all the human rights encoded in the relevant document are so riddled with exceptions that you can drive a bus through them. The fact that any government lost at all is amazing and surely the result of incompetent lawyering. From the text:

There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The national security exception by itself seems enough to allow nearly anything, but then they add public safety and economic well being on top! In fact every reason a government might have for engaging in surveillance is covered, which cannot be an accident.

But anyway, GCHQ is not about to suddenly discover that it cares about these things. It's been obvious since the start that the 5 Eyes agencies perceive themselves as being entirely outside ordinary democratic constraints, unfortunately, that perception is largely true as senior ministers think real life is like an episode of 24 and gives them essentially blanket immunity to do whatever they like.

Comment Re:another win for the 1% (Score 1) 432 432

Yes, I had the same experience the few times I've used Uber. The drivers always seem happy. They don't feel like they're being exploited and often feel it was an upgrade on what they were previously doing. The flexibility comes up a lot too.

Whilst it's just anecdotes, that would still seem to be a serious problem for the "Uber is exploiting the poor proles" camp.

Comment Re:And how are they going to do this? (Score 2) 139 139

Same way it works for banks. In other words, it doesn't, but it makes them into awfully convenient scapegoats who can be blamed for any social ill on the grounds that "they could have stopped it but didn't because they're all greedy capitalists".

It was inevitable that things would go this way the moment encryption started getting good. As NSA/GCHQ are now much more limited in what they can see, and privacy advocates are trying to stop them getting more power, the obvious 'solution' is to outsource the costs to the private sector. The advantage is the government can then never screw up, except by being insufficiently aggressive with them. It's a lose/lose situation for anyone who runs a communications system.

And the only solution to THAT is end to end crypto so not even the provider can read the messages. Hence the UK's sudden interest in banning such systems entirely.

Comment Re:I hereby ascertain the bankruptcy of Greece. (Score 1) 1307 1307

lol. The entire Swiss financial sector is only about 7-10% of the GDP and that includes things like pensions and insurance, both of which are huge. The idea that Switzerland is floated by money laundering is propaganda distributed by other western governments who have a weaker or non-existent commitment to financial privacy (normally we like privacy here on slashdot, right?). Mostly the USA and UK because they think, without evidence, that you can catch terrorists by reading their bank statements.

Additionally, it requires some extreme doublethink to claim that a country which is famously neutral and hasn't been at war for over 150 years has "long profited from plunder, war and genocide". Normally it's the countries doing the fighting that plunder!

Comment Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1307 1307

You know why Germany wanted everyone in on the Euro? Because sans Euro, German exports drive the Deutschmark through the roof, German exports promptly tank, and everyone else has a fair shot of attracting investment

They could also attract those exports by simply lowering their own prices. Greece has not done that because it preferred to borrow the money than lower its standards of living. One way or another the result is the same: there's nothing magical about a floating currency.

Comment Re: Good (Score 3, Informative) 1307 1307

Obviously the austerity measures that have already been implemented had a negative impact, making it impossible for the country to grow economically

At the time Syriza came to power the Greek economy had started growing again, albeit slowly, and the government had a primary budget surplus. This was despite that many of the obvious reforms Europe wanted hadn't been done.

Yes, the economy had shrunk a lot. No surprise - a big chunk of the Greek economy was simply jobs programs created by the state in order to buy votes. No way to fix Greece without jettisoning that part. But the reforms are mostly common sense and if Greece had stuck with them, the turnaround that was underway could probably have continued. But - they voted for Syriza instead. Syriza immediately started undoing the reforms of the previous government and, guess what, pushed Greece further under water.

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