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Comment: Re:Gabe Newell is perhaps the biggest driver of th (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#48226215) Attached to: PCGamingWiki Looks Into Linux Gaming With 'Port Reports'

But no, the Microsoft Experience is inviolate, the holiest of holies, eternally immutable. No matter how much hatred it gets, it Must. Not. Be. Changed. And then Alienware ships a Windows 8 PC that boots to Steam instead of Metro. SteamOS's job is done. When no-one was looking, Steam took Microsoft and snapped it like a twig.

Or Microsoft found out they must cede the battle to avoid losing the war. That doesn't mean Valve should get complacent, once you make a threat like that it'd better stay credible. If they back down too far Microsoft might try for a blitzkrieg shoving the Microsoft Store down users' throat before Valve has time to rekindle the SteamOS project. At the same time they don't want Steam to go mainstream to avoid making it a real enemy to Windows.

Comment: Re:Already everywhere in France (Score 1) 623

by Kjella (#48221789) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

I went to a McDonalds in paris, france 9 years ago so old school ordering. It was a TOTAL MESS. Busy and NO ONE formed lines like in the USA. It was completely disorganized. I was like wow in the US we have a distinct 1 line per register and people are always cautious asking "are you in line?".

That's because you don't want to get between a land whale and his supersized Big Mac with extra cheese and bacon, double onion rings and bucket of Coke.

Comment: Re:Right along side flying cars (Score 1) 623

I love self-checkout. I've tried it in a few places: Ikea, AH (a Dutch supermarket chain), and Leclerc (a French supermarket). Ikea and Leclerc basically have an unmanned checkout lane: you scan all your items there, pay, and leave with/without a random spot check. The French one was confusing (and it didn't like my credit card), but the Ikea one works well; I never see many people struggling with it.

And the AH system is one where you pick up a handheld scanner as you enter the store, scan your purchases as you go along, and deposit the scanner in a rack at the end after which you pay and leave. It's a popular system, I've never seen anyone struggle with it other than an elderly person asking a store clerk how to remove an item from the list. And it saves time: no need to pack everything from a cart or basket onto a conveyor belt and into a bag; I scan and bag as I go along, pay and leave. My local AH has no scanners and I've stopped going there, I now frequent one a bit further away just for the convenience.

Comment: Re:Criminals are dumb (Score 1) 63

by Kjella (#48220109) Attached to: Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

So what? Since there's no central authority to block transactions or seize funds they'll simply be passed around until any relation with the crime is meaningless with almost everybody in the transaction chain is blissfully unaware that somewhere they were stolen. Then what? If you find the person behind the wallet and seize the "stolen property", you introduce a massive transaction risk that totally undermines the cryptographic guarantee that the transaction is final and irreversible. Imagine the following scenario, you sell a car for bitcoins. The bitcoins come in, transaction is verified, you hand over the keys. Then you try to spend your bitcoins only to be told that they're stolen, we have the serial numbers and is returning them to their rightful owner. Now you have no bitcoins and no car and good luck recovering it.

Imagine if cash was that way, every time the grocery store tried to despoit money at the bank the bank would say "oh no, this and that bill came from a gas station robbery two years ago so we'll return it to the gas station and deduct it from your deposit. The system would crumble as cash couldn't be trusted to really have the cash value it says, even if it's a genuine bill. Everyone with money of questionable origin would pass it off to others who can't and won't verify their legitimity and let others pick up the tab. By all means, if the cops can uncover a whitewashing operation that's fine but once it's passed back into normal circulation again you can't suddenly take away that value.

Comment: Re:Hindsight (Score 1) 81

by Kjella (#48216489) Attached to: Apple 1 Sells At Auction For $905,000

If there was 137 more working Apple 1, they wouldn't be worth that much.

No, but there's 137 people who can each legitimately say "If I hadn't put my machine in the trash, I'd be $900k-ish richer". And I'm not sure how quick the value drops off but I doubt going from 63 to 200 machines (about 3x) would be worse than inverse square so (1/3)^2 * $900k = $100k/machine, that's also a nice chunk of cash.

Comment: Re:That's An Ambitious name? (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by Kjella (#48215873) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes

If "Utopic Unicorn" is an ambitious name, I'm afraid to see what comes next.

utopia = ideal, perfect state
unicorn = magical, legendary creature

I think you'd roll your eyes too if Apple or Microsoft came out with OS X 10.10 "Magic Perfection" or Windows 10 "Magic Perfection", respectively. It's the kind of name that makes you go "Okaaaaaaaaay, are you overcompensating for something?"

Comment: Re:We had a distributed social network (Score 1) 253

by Kjella (#48215397) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Not a whole lot of people I knew and having your own hosting and domain costs a bit, most used third party blogs and forums anyway. And it all lacks authentication and aggregation. Sure, you could set up users and accounts and manage all that but people wouldn't bother to manage 100 separate accounts the way they have 100 friends on one Facebook login. And unless every site it set up with an RSS feed there's no easy way to aggregate lots of blogs and give you one dashboard of what your friends are doing. Nothing really unsolvable though, you could have self-hosted for yourself and third party hosted nodes for other people but there'd have to be a business model for the hosting companies. People generally won't pay when they can get a "free" account on Facebook so then most are really back to ads or data mining for most people anyway.

Comment: Re:Tedious story already OBE (Score 2) 253

by JaredOfEuropa (#48215029) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello
Diaspora needed more than a bit of polish, and that may have contributed to its lack of uptake. If you want to convince people to switch from FB to your network, you better have an amazing user experience. For the inexperienced user who isn't interested in setting up a server themselves, it needs to have the same ease of use as a centralized social network. And with those users now at least somewhat aware of privacy-related issues, you had better be able to offer them some assurances as to the safety of their data; most of them would still entrust their data to FB sooner than to some random guy or weird group of hacktivists. And if you give those assurances, keep in mind that they will not understand anything about encryption schemes.

The GUI part is relatively easy to address with a lot of hard work. The trust part is a lot harder... until you do convince enough people to come over and invite their friends in turn.

Comment: Re:Cloud (Score 3, Insightful) 145

by JaredOfEuropa (#48211315) Attached to: Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data
There's plenty of reasons I can think of why I'd prefer image recognition on my phone rather than the cloud. Privacy, for one. If you let FB tag your photos with the names of the people in it (after teaching it those names), what do you think happens to that data? You might not even want to share the photo or video stream with anyone... Another reason is that we still do not live in a world with ubiquitous and cheap mobile data. Travel abroad, and you'll find out quickly why cloud-based services like Waze aren't always a viable option.

Comment: Re:Is it open source yet? (Score 2) 123

Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

They all have your data, they can do whatever the f... they want with it. Unless you're talking about a client backdoor to access all the other files you didn't want to share with the cloud, but I don't think any of the others are any better. If you want real control, it's ownCloud or no cloud I think...

Comment: Re:I didn't lie, I just gave false statement (Score 1) 91

by Kjella (#48208115) Attached to: Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud

Wow, the ability to come up with "he did it, but it' wasn't bad enough to warrant legal action" excuses has had a huge renaissance.

More like you accuse someone of defamation and it's the difference between "He told people I'm an asshole" and "He told people I'm a child molester". Both are defamatory statements by definition "1. (Law) injurious to someone's name or reputation)" but only one is actually illegal. Even if you're selling a polished turd you can make a lot a objectively highly questionable praise, misleading statistics and lies by omission without actually incriminating yourself. Like the defamation example above, you usually have to be caught in a factual lie in order to be convicted. Every sales pitch strategy I've been involved in involved pushing our strengths and concealing our weakness, if that was illegal we'd have to put all of marketing and sales in jail. And every person who went on a date ever. Meaning /. won't change much, I guess.

Comment: Re:Wired Access Will Still Be Standard (Score 1) 99

by Kjella (#48202907) Attached to: Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones

Assuming the need is infinite, if your demands are satisfied you might turn to flexibility and convenience. Last quarter we here in Norway saw a tiny dip in fixed residential broadband for the first time ever, whether that's a fluke or not is uncertain but business lines have been on the decline for some time because small 1-5 man shops use 3G/LTE to check their mail rather than having a dedicated broadband line in the office. It's just an extension of that most "normal" people I run into use wireless now instead of wired networks because it's capped by their Internet speed anyway. And even if you gave them gigabit Internet, they'd probably still feel wireless was fast enough.

Comment: Re:I've come up with lots of good ideas (Score 1) 148

by JaredOfEuropa (#48202197) Attached to: Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?
Looking at stuff and trying to apply it to the world isn't that obvious.
I remember a story my dad told about when he got to play with one of the first microprocessors: a (relatively) big, fragile and expensive piece of kit. The question most people would ask about this new technology is: "What can we use this for?". And most of them would try and answer that in terms of the situation they are presented with: i.e. they come up with applications for that processor that take its properties (big, fragile and expensive) into consideration. When my dad and his friend speculated about these processors being used in cars and washing machines, their professor famously told them "that'll never happen". It's one of those "I foresee a world market of perhaps 5 computers" remarks; the result of thinking in the context at hand.

A common trick of innovators is to try to think creatively, think outside the box by "moving the box", by thinking about what's in front of them in a new context. The best way of doing that is to ask the right questions, often ones that start with "why" or "what if". In case of the processor, good questions to ask would have been "Why can't we combine the processor and peripheral circuits into a single chip?", or simply "What if this could be had for $0.50?". Another common creative question "What if everybody had one of these?".

Comment: Re:He, Him, His (Score 3, Informative) 148

by JaredOfEuropa (#48202081) Attached to: Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?
Back then, people generally wrote "his", "he" etc when writing about people, male and female, in general. They did not need to qualify every single reference to a person with (m/f), or write his/her instead of his, the way we do these days, verbally bending over backwards to avoid the dreaded accusation of misogyny.

Comment: Re:What future? (Score 2) 130

by Kjella (#48199665) Attached to: The Future of Stamps

This. Actual stamps is mostly a consumer thing, I just checked our commercial postal service and they recommend a "stamping" machine if you send more than 40 letters/week where you charge it up like a prepaid cell phone, same thing for packages except there they normally print to labels they slap on the package. And for the big companies you get bulk pre-printed envelopes with logo that are collected at your place of business and charged to your corporate account, we have those at work. The potential for abuse is small since you can't drop them off at a regular mailbox and it'd be obvious who you're using to pay for your postage. A lot of the consumer-to-business mail is prepaid and rolled into the cost of business too, the few times I use stamps is to other people but most of that is replaced by email since you don't need a formal signature on anything. I guess there's the odd package, but if it's too big to fit a mail box you're going to the post office anyway.

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.