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Comment: Re: Perfect way to drive "US companies" out of the (Score 1) 825

by MrNiCeGUi (#48992053) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
The idea that I tried to convey is that preventative protection would still damage your property.

Also, the problem with roads is the fact that they are a monopoly, and as such the prices would become unreasonable, sooner or later, everywhere.

And the vote with your pocketbook does not really work also because people are naturally reluctant to give up any cash that they feel they don't absolutely have to, especially for something as remote as national defense. The might of the American army would become history in a flash, and like it or not a lot of what makes America great comes from the fact that it is the greatest military power in the entire history. The effects would not become visible only overseas, but back home and very nasty and very soon. Like any great enterprise, the army can not be simply wound down. The conservation costs alone for all the equipment are staggering. If you would cut the funding tomorrow in half, the entire thing would just implode.

Comment: Re: Perfect way to drive "US companies" out of the (Score 1) 825

by MrNiCeGUi (#48991547) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
I'm sorry, but I don't see how your idea is even remotely workable. Subscription for fire services would lead to firemen standing around letting your house burn over an unpaid subscription (as it has already happened), and you would also be left open to blackmail from those who know who paid the subscription and who didn't. Also, if your neighbor is irresponsible and does not pay, and his house catches fire, your house might catch fire as well. The firemen will either wait until your house lights up and then get to work, so you still get some water damage, or extinguish the fire anyway in order to remove the danger for you and the rest of the neighborhood. Great, you and everybody else just paid to save the house of your lousy neighbor.

All roads becoming toll roads is also a terrible idea. This is a natural monopoly, because it is not viable to have at least two roads to every destination. Think the cable subscription is bad? You can at least give up cable. What if you can't get to work because the road toll has just increased a third time this year. Or if you are in an emergency and you can't afford to pay the toll for the road to the hospital. Toll highways have a place, because usually there is at least one other alternative and you can do a cost-benefit analysis before deciding if you will pay the toll or take the other route. But tolls on every road is just begging to be abused.

A la carte tax is not an option, because a lot of things would just not get paid for. For example the army - guess how many people would take exception to paying for that, and it is not a small percentage in your tax total. Even most of the vocal supporters would just take the opportunity to keep more money for themselves.

So yes, you and I and everybody must pay for a lot of things that we find absurd and completely unjustifiable, because the alternative to that is much worse.

Comment: Re:Simple answer (Score 1) 942

by MrNiCeGUi (#48040869) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures
My thermostat adjust to half of a degree Celsius. In my experience, it's more than enough; my preferred temperature is 24, and over 26 gets really stuffy. This depends, of course, in large part on the humidity of the air. So no, Celsius does not deprive you of the ability to adjust your thermostat. Also, the temperature can vary from point to point in the room to even more than 1 degree, depending on the heating solution used, so any extra precision is in fact only placebo if the temperature is not, in fact, uniform.

As for the human temperature, the human thermometers measure to tenths of a degree; anything under 37.4 is considered a sub-fever, indicating that something is wrong but not yet severe, over 38 things are serious, over 39 drastic measures are required, at close to 42 the brain starts dieing. On the other hand, anything under 37 is considered normal, down to about 36; less than that might mean another set of problems entirely. Doctors are not impeded in their abilities to diagnose diseases by the Celsius scale. If they thought so, the precision of the thermometer would just go to two decimal points, but since nobody makes one of those for human use I presume that the doctors consider it unnecessary. I would rather defer to their expertise than to yours.

I find it extremely shirt-sighted the claim that the metric system is impractical, when in fact it is being used, every day, by the vast majority of the people on earth. It's basically denial-ism. The imperial system is not unusable, it's just different, but the claims of it being somehow better are just wishful thinking. Again, this is my opinion, but I bet there are more who share it than the ones who share yours.

Comment: Re:Misleading (Score 1) 557

by MrNiCeGUi (#46933375) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
I have no idea about the political tendencies of Forbes, but in the TFA (not in the Slashdot summary though, go figure) the numbers were not low balled.

To quote, "This leads to a range of between 15 percent (50% x 30%) and 30 percent (60% x 50%) voting for annexation."

So, Forbes' article did not low ball the numbers (even if the data source seems highly suspect), the Slashdot summary did.

Comment: Re:Secret meetings: (Score 5, Insightful) 364

by MrNiCeGUi (#46117751) Attached to: EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020
What makes this an incredible bad idea is that it gives the government a very powerful method to thwart dissent.

In view of the recent events in Ukraine, where protestors or suspected protestors have received a threatening text message from their phone company, saying "Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance", one can easily imagine that this technology which is to be used purportedly to stop car chases can and most certainly will be used to stop private transport in cases of massive anti-government protests.

The power that this will give the government over the population is extraordinary. This is therefore a very bad idea and a serious threat to democracy and needs to be stopped.

Comment: Re:windows embedded systems based on XP still get (Score 1) 246

by MrNiCeGUi (#46001739) Attached to: Microsoft Quietly Fixes Windows XP Resource Hog Problem
Most likely answer: laptops with unsupported video cards, or desktops with other unsupported hardware, such as tv tuners, old scanners or printers. The system might be able to run Windows 7 very well, but it does no good if the video card has no drivers for 7.

Comment: Re:I KNEW IT! (Score 5, Insightful) 147

by MrNiCeGUi (#45723629) Attached to: Want To Fight Allergies? Get a Dirty Dog
I must disagree with your rationale for wanting dogs banned in urban areas (because that's what I deduce from your wording that you want). There are already laws in place for dealing with those aspects that annoy you, respectively noise and littering.

The fact that there are inconsiderate people out there is not, in itself, sufficient to call for an outright ban.

I lived close to a bar, and I can tell you a thing or two about noise, street fights and vomit on the sidewalk. I still did not consider asking for a ban on all bars within urban areas. I did, however, call the police when i considered it appropriate.

Comment: Re:Usable Fingerprint data? (Score 1) 303

From the Apple press release regarding this incident:

" iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data to quickly find GPS satellites, and even triangulate its location using just Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data when GPS is not available (such as indoors or in basements)."

So, using triangulation, just using cell phone towers they can locate users with way greater precision than just 5 to 10 miles.

Also, this data was crowdsourced. Which means that, for those users that have their GPS turned on, both the GPS location and the visible cell towers and WiFi access points were logged, in order to build said database.

The NSA documents that Snowden made available specifically say that the NSA was using a location bug to track apple users.

From the Spiegel article:

"The NSA analysts are especially enthusiastic about the geolocation data stored in smartphones and many of their apps, data that enables them to determine a user's whereabouts at a given time.

According to one presentation, it was even possible to track a person's whereabouts over extended periods of time, until Apple eliminated this "error" with version 4.3.3 of its mobile operating system and restricted the memory to seven days."

4.3.3 was the version in which this particular bug was fixed. Highly unlikely that it was just a coincidence and the NSA were speaking of another bug entirely.

Comment: Re:Out of Date Info (Score 5, Informative) 418

by MrNiCeGUi (#44811399) Attached to: Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV? (Video)
Those are not real 4k Blu-ray players - they only upscale standard Blu-ray discs to 4k. When the 4k standard will be ratified, even if it will still use Blu-ray discs, those discs won't play in these players because the standard will almost certainly use new codecs.

Also those 4k discs you can buy are really only standard 1080p discs. They are "4k mastered", meaning they are encoded from a 4k source, but downscaled to 1080p, and are usually using a much higher bitrate than ordinary Blu-ray discs in order to preserve as much of the quality of the picture as possible, since they most likely will be used in those upscaling players. Upscaling magnifies encoding artefacts.

Those 4k mastered discs also play in normal Blu-ray players, since they are really only 1080p. At the moment they are probably the highest quality video source available for consumer purchase.

Comment: Re:"Stay away from PC Gaming" Really? (Score 1) 357

by MrNiCeGUi (#44662959) Attached to: Steve Ballmer's Big-Time Error: Not Resigning Years Ago
The Start Menu allows you to do exactly the same thing: customize the apps displayed and access the rest via search. You can even delete the shortcuts from the All Programs view, and since they're only shortcuts the programs themselves won't go anywhere.

In my opinion Microsoft got so many things right with Windows 7 that it's baffling that the same company could get so many things wrong in Windows 8 just three years later.

Also they kind of missed the point of rapid iteration of releases, that it allows you to make the changes gradually and in small steps and get feedback all the way.
There was no reason to make 8 so glaringly different to 7 and split their user base.

Comment: Re:Beware Internet Echo Chambers (Score 1) 611

by MrNiCeGUi (#44026357) Attached to: Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One
Both the current PS3 and Xbox 360 models use less than 80W. The figures you cited might have been accurate at launch, but they have progressively been lowered since then. Both consoles got to around 100W in 2008.

Also, while the Wii U itself uses 32W, the gamepad uses something over 5W (it cannot be powered from a 5V 1A usb port, since it draws more), bringing the total closer to 40W. So, in fact, both Xbox 360 and PS3 use about double the power of the Wii U, not six time more as you imply.


Comment: Re:Windows 8 (Score 1) 83

Except, you know, exactly the reverse, since the number of Windows RT and Windows Phone users who would be familiar with said environments is pretty much insignificant and they are selling this to the very numerous Windows PC users, who are thus forced to learn to a new interface.

Microsoft still does not get it. It tried to put a desktop interface on tablets and phones and it failed. Now it's trying the reverse and it's not exactly working either. Putting the same interface everywhere does not make it universal; carefully designing it from the beginning to work for different environments does. Windows Desktop and Windows Phone are specialized interfaces and they suck mightily when utilized outside their intended use case.

Comment: Re:I don't want (Score 1) 403

by MrNiCeGUi (#43662853) Attached to: Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More
The difference between buying or subscribing is not in deductible costs, since both are deductible, but in the fact that buying means you have to spend all the money upfront, but are deducting it over the lifetime of the product, while a subscription means that all the money that you spend you deduct right away (well, over the period that the subscription covers).

Let's say you have 1000$ in the bank. You can get software either as a one-time cost of 600$, amortized over a period of 3 years, or a 200$ annual subscription. Those should be about even from a business'perspective? Well, if you buy the software you now have only 400$ in the bank, but can only deduct an expense of 200$ per year over the next three years. If you buy the subscription, you can deduct the same 200$ annually, but you still have 800$ in the bank <i>right now</i>.

So, it's not about deductible expenses, but about cash flow. And available liquidity matters very much in business.

Comment: Re:Already done (Score 1) 242

by MrNiCeGUi (#43529547) Attached to: USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W
The incentive for manufacturers to ship USB peripherals was the existence of a critical mass of devices supporting said standard, which the iMac most certainly was not, and the appearance of better use cases for said interface. Yes, the iMac was trendy at the time, no surprise there, and manufacturers tried to capitalize on the style, but also USB was better, technically, and enabled for example scanners that did not need their own expensive interface card, or cheaper Winprinters because USB had the bandwidth to push rendering in the driver instead of the device.

What I was getting at is that USB was an established standard that Apple adopted and promoted but did not create it and wasn't either the first or the largest manufacturer to use it. To put all the merit on Apple's shoulders for USB's success is disingenuous. If we want to see what happens when Apple creates and is the first and largest adopter of a new technology, Firewire is a better example. Was it better then alternative technologies? Hell yes. Did it ever get mass market penetration? Sadly, no, because it never got to a critical mass of available devices. 5% is not enough.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990