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Comment: Re:Screening process (Score 1) 90

by JaredOfEuropa (#47964437) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails
How does this work in Kickstarter? You'd think the campaigners should receive only the amount they initially sought, with maybe up to 10% extra if the pledged amount exceeds that. Once the first backers receive the product, the rest of the funds can be released to fulfill those orders. And if there's a cost overrun, the 2nd tier backers can be given the opportunity to pull out or let their money ride, after which the project can receive additional funding from the remaining backers. That way, the projects are encouraged to spend sensibly, and are required to provide a solid explanation in case they go over budget.

Comment: Re:Changes nothing (Score 1) 90

by JaredOfEuropa (#47963837) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails
You pay for a product that might otherwise not see the light of day. In some cases it's worth the gamble, and I've gotten a few useful products through crowd-funding.

For some projects, I'd be interested in getting a slice of the company (i.e. a chance at financial reward) instead of the finished product in exchange for my contribution. But I suppose there might be a lot of extra legal requirements for such a scheme.

Comment: Re:Something seems off... (Score 1) 59

by JaredOfEuropa (#47963109) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme
If IBE requires a trusted third party, it seems to me that its only advantage over having a public key repository is that it can work offline, i.e. you do not need access to the trusted 3rd party to generate someone's public key from an email address, you only need to get and remember the master public key (once). In that case, a public key repository (a service that spits out someone's public key when given their email address) seems to have a lot of advantages, especially in the sense that this repository does not need to be trusted. And it'll handle revocations as well.

Any encryption scheme that requires a trusted third party is not sufficiently private in this day and age.

Comment: Re:Methodologies are like religion (Score 1) 99

by JaredOfEuropa (#47958589) Attached to: 'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0
Context, exactly. This makes sense in certain environments only. Take meetings and context switching. In my own environment the problem is not too many meetings, but not enough of them (or not the right kind of meetings). Good meetings are where new ideas get brainstormed, differences worked out, and hasty assumptions get identified and resolved. Just the kind of stuff that often is allowed to linger to detrimental effect in async environments. Context switching? In my environment this happens a lot, but it's not the result of meetings (where you'll still be dealing with the usual projects), but with being assigned to too many projects at once.

Comment: Re:There have been studies (Score 1) 244

by JaredOfEuropa (#47953851) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5
I wish they'd do that, especially on iPads. I have a 64GB iPhone that has less than 20GB in use, mostly music and navigation software for Europe and the US. But I usually stick a bunch of movies on my iPad when I travel, for personal in flight entertainment, and they fill up the available space quite fast. Having an SD card for that would be great.

Comment: Re:more direct connection to producers (Score 1) 190

by JaredOfEuropa (#47952777) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US
It's true that customers enjoy a lot less protection on Alibaba. In the end, you'll have to weigh risk against savings and convenience. In some cases, the warranty does not matter that much if you can get the item a lot cheaper.

Some sellers on Alibaba offer some sort of warranty. I ordered 8 motorized ball valves from a factory through Alibaba (these things are hard to get here as they are not aimed at consumers, and priced at €250 a pop. Same item from China: $40). One of them appeared to be leaking after a few weeks; I returned it and promptly got a replacement. Well "promptly"... the one disadvantage of getting stuff from China is that shipping is cheap but takes ages.

Comment: Re:Alibaba's AliExpress store is ripe with fakes (Score 1) 190

by JaredOfEuropa (#47952747) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

Also, US vendors lie on the customs sticker as well

I am glad they do. Many US shippers (as well as shippers from other countries) are happy enough to fiddle the declared value or shipping charges a little. Which helps: import duty is paid over the full amount (value + postage), and declaring either a little lower may bring you under the threshold above which tax is due.

By the way, I am ok with paying import duties. I am not ok with the processing of said duties taking upwards of 2 weeks suring which the shipment is held, and the post charging me an additional €10 in administrative fees to handle the tax.

Comment: Re:Too bad (Score 1) 466

by JaredOfEuropa (#47946023) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence
That depends. Belgium did benefit from having the euro, according to the Economist at least. Their franc would have been utterly destroyed by speculators otherwise by now. The problem with the southern European countries is that they got into dire economic straights, but were not given the chance to apply the tried and true remedy: a controlled devaluation of the national currency. The rest of Europe was overextended as well, otherwise the Spanish banks or Greek debt shenanigans would not have threatened the rest of Europe so badly. This would also have happened without the euro; the problem for the rest of Europe wasn't the single currency, but the large interest of their own banks in Greek debt. If anything, having the euro means it was much easier for all nations to form a front against speculators.

Comment: Re:"Affluent and accomplished" is not the criterio (Score 2) 177

Most middle class people are able to cough up the entry fee and yearly dues, but my guess is that very few of them would be willing to drop that much of their disposable income on something that probably has zero value to them. Except for royalty watchers who enjoy a more intimate peek at what goes on between movie stars and other rich folk, this fee will do a good job of keeping out the little people. It might also keep out the rich though; the well-to-do will pay extra to be shielded from the common folk, but they do expect value for money other than just privacy. The site had better be good, and offer a sterling experience and nice perks.

If I were rich and considering joining this site, I'd be less concerned about ads and more about the site selling off my data to others. It'll be a goldmine for certairn businesses, and I can already see how that plays out: site becomes popular, site gets sold to investors at an overinflated price, new owners change the rules and start milking more and more data to recoup their investment.

Comment: Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (Score 1) 115

by JaredOfEuropa (#47929651) Attached to: Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home
What you describe is remote control, the first step in home automation. Indeed, small difference in pressing a button while sat on the couch vs. getting up and flipping a switch. But a lot of what's going on is truly automatic, i.e. scripted. That's where the fun begins. And that's why I have small interest in Apple's HomeKit, or the API-less Nest, or similar devices that are indeed remote control only, or will not work with the hub of MY choice.

Comment: Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (Score 1) 115

by JaredOfEuropa (#47927529) Attached to: Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home
Sigh. Convenience, saving energy, security. None of this is going to change your life. But if you sit down and think for a moment you can come up with a hundred use cases that would make it worthwhile for someone to consider such a system. It's not really gotten out of the hobby stage yet, and security of the system itself needs to be addressed (it's piss poor in most systems), but even so, I'm happy with the level of automation I have. Lights, heating, cameras, irrigation, alarms, some locks (not on the house itself!), awnings, all of these are integrated, controllable and to some degree automated. A huge convenience and a money saver.

Not so interested in remotely controlling my oven, sure...

Comment: Re:I HATE multiplayer (Score 1) 291

by JaredOfEuropa (#47916523) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming
You can probably figure out why the "screw you and your orders" players are even less popular than the abusive guy shouting orders in groups or raids. The phrase "Lead, follow or get out of the way" applies remarkably well to groups in online games. Follow orders or give them (and if you think that's easy, do give it a go), or don't bother joining the group at all; you'll be doing everyone a big favour.

Personally, I found that succeeding at a hard challenge in a good team, with a good leader and everyone else doing their part, is one of the most rewarding experiences of online gaming.

Comment: Re:I've been on data roaming since last Monday... (Score 5, Insightful) 609

You can control the timing of your downloads. Turn off data roaming, which is a good idea on any smartphone if roaming charges are excessive. You can disable automatic downloads of music and other content. But most importantly: you can choose whether or not automatic downloads occur over the cellular network (roaming or not); the default setting is to disallow this.

Apple was a bit naughty by pushing an album we didn't ask for, but that's all it is: well-intended spam. No need to be overly dramatic about Apple owning our devices, and no worrying about racking up insane roaming charges.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead