Atypical security personnel armed and trained to deal with militants tend not to mix well with an angry mob of protesters.
In brick and mortar, top electronics returns are phone chargers with the wrong plug (Lightning instead of micro-usb or vice versa)
So not only does Apple flaunt the EU directive to standardize on micro-USB for phone charges, it shifts the cost of their non-compliance onto retail stores (and thus the rest of us) which have to deal with the returns?
The future of television is on-demand and not scheduled programming with the option to pay subscription fees to kill all advertising. This means no cable TV as we currently see it. All TV programming will be sent over IP networks. Over the air local TV stations will start offering TV streaming to smart TV's, and will retire their transmitters. The spectrum will be freed up for other uses.
Well, that last one won't happen until cellular Internet becomes ubiquitous (so broadband speeds are available everywhere). But I agree, Cable TV is on the way out. I just got a Roku this weekend. The thing that struck me most was how much clearer the image was. See, when you have Cable or Satellite TV, they have to transmit all the channels to you all the time regardless of whether or not you're watching it. That takes a huge amount of bandwidth, so they have to do a lot of compression on all the channels. With streamed content, only the channel you want is transmitted to you. There's still compression - Internet speeds aren't yet realistic for streaming Blu-ray quality (48 Mbps). But from what I've seen so far it's typically a lot less than with Cable or Satellite.
(Note: Get a Roku only if you just want this stuff to work with minimal fuss. It intersperses its own video ads, which gets annoying real fast if you're trying to watch a bunch of short clips. And get a 2015 model Roku 2, not a 3. I went from a 3 to a 2 and got to play with both of them. As far as I can tell, the base units are the same, the only difference is the remotes. The Roku 3 remote would even pair with the Roku 2 base. The Roku 3 remote has some useful features over the 2, but the fly in the ointment is the new voice search button. They put it right next to the OK/select button. If you're navigating and reach down to hit OK, and accidentally hit Search, you drop back to the Home screen and have to start your navigation all over again. That cost me more time than I saved by using voice search. Unfortunately the Roku 2 remote is IR-only, so you have to point it at the Roku. The Roku 3 remote is RF so doesn't need line of sight. I just ended up getting a Logitech Harmony hub + RF remote, since I needed to consolidate my control of the TV, Roku, A/V receiver, and cable box anyway.)
My take on Advertising: Advertising is a scourge which causes weak minded people to go into debt wasting money purchasing things they don't need. Think of it as the 20th/21st century Jedi Mind Trick.
Like most things in life, advertising has good and bad sides. Yes the slick feel-good ads are designed to unnecessarily part you from your money. But ads are also informational, telling you about new products and services that are available. This became apparent when I lived without a TV for a year. I was hanging out with my friends and we decided to go see a movie. They began discussing which movie they wanted to see, and I was completely lost because I had no idea what all these movie titles were. The movie ads they'd seen on TV had been enough to give them a sense of the theme and plot of the movie. They tried quickly summarizing each movie, but there were just too many and a verbal description is much harder to remember than a slick video. After a couple minutes of wasting time that way, I just told them to pick what they wanted and I'd watch it as well.
Point being that while excessive advertising is bad, no advertising is bad as well. There's a balance point where a certain amount of ads is enough to inform you, without becoming annoying or irrationally skewing your behavior.
The declarations of someone who is complaining that others are making it harder for him to make a buck need to be taken with a large grain of salt. iFixit for all their merits sells spare parts & repair kits. It is thus clearly in their own interest for everyone else to make it profitable for them to sell their products. iFixit would be very profitable if all phone manufacturers did everything they could to make it easier for them to sell their repair kits & repair/upgrade instead of replacing.
I disagree. iFixit would be out of business if all phones and laptops were easy to take apart to repair. I don't have to visit iFixit to repair most Windows laptops because their disassembly is (reasonably) straightforward. I do have to visit iFixit to repair most Macbooks because Apple tries to make it as difficult as possible. Most of the spare parts and repair kit tools iFixit sells are only necessary because of the proprietary and weird things Apple has done to make their products difficult to open up and take apart.
So iFixit is actually advocating something which would effectively put them out of business. A true sign of people who value the craft more than the money they earn from it.
What's the line then? There are millions of conflicts around the world that we can 'get involved with'. Saudi Arabia likes to behead and crucify people, should we 'get involved' with them? What is the number of wars and death it takes to make everyone do exactly what we want them to do?
The conflict in Iraq is special because the U.S. precipitated it. I was against invading Iraq, but once we did it I was absolutely committed to staying there until it was stable. While Saddam Hussein was a monster, like most monsters his grip on power provided a good deal of stability. Removing him also removed that stability, so we had a moral duty to stay there until a comparable level of stability was restored. Unfortunately, a majority of the U.S. just wanted out quickly regardless of stability and the consequences, and elected a President who promised just that and delivered. What we're seeing now with ISIS is the consequence of shirking our responsibility to fix what we broke, and not withdrawing from Iraq until it could provide its own stability.
Did you know ISIS was born of intervention policies from the U.S. government? The reason why they are even around is because we are involved.
Did you know U.S. inteventionist policies were born from Muslim acts against the U.S.? You've probably heard the opening line of the Marine Corps anthem:
From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli...
The Montezuma part makes sense. The U.S. fought several wars with Mexico, so of course the Marines would be involved. But Tripoli? That's way over in Libya (that's Africa for those weak in geography). What the hell were U.S. Marines doing there?
Funny you should ask. Way back in 1800 when the U.S. was a freshly minted nation, it ran into a problem. Prior to the revolution, the U.S. was a British colony, and thus fell under British protection. When the U.S. gained independence, it lost that protection. The Muslim Barbary States decided to take advantage of the situation and began capturing U.S. merchant ships and holding the crews for ransom. Their thinking was that since these people weren't Muslim, it was ok to kidnap them and extort a ransom.
The fledgling U.S. had its own domestic problems and didn't want to meddle with things going on in other countries. But it didn't have a navy which could deal with the situation, and attempts to negotiate a treaty with France to protect U.S. vessels fell through. So for the first few years, the U.S. just paid the ransom. Of course paying criminals just encourages them, and it became open season on U.S. flagged vessels. Eventually the payments became exorbitant, and the U.S. recommissioned a navy. President Thomas Jefferson (y'know, the guy who wrote famous things like, "We hold these truths to be self evident - that all men are created equal") launched a military operation to Africa to end the kidnappings and free the hostages.
That is how the U.S. Marines ended up in Tripoli. That is how U.S. meddling with foreign nations began. Because a bunch of Muslims decided to take advantage of a fledgling non-Muslim nation by kidnapping its citizens and demanding ransom for their freedom. So if you want to play the blame game, the first incident, the precipitating act which began over two centuries of animosity, was actually committed by Muslims against the U.S.
I don't know what's scarier, ISIS itself, or the fact that international intelligence agencies are so clearly inept that they're actually incapable of stopping any sort of terror attacks. If they actually DID manage to stop terror attacks, they would be trumpeting their victories loudly and on the front page of every newspaper and every news website this side of the GMT line. The fact that they haven't is pretty much proof positive that in fact they haven't managed to do a damn thing.
Actually, no. The very nature of their job is that if they're successful, absolutely nothing happens. Consequently, the only evidence they have that an attack was thwarted are some written plans, drawings scrawled on a napkin, or chemicals that could be used to make a bomb. They can't even be sure that they really did stop a terror attack, or if they just caught some raving lunatic with delusions of executing a terror attack. And they can't crow about it until many years later, because doing so could tip off related terrorist cells that they're close to being captured.
In 1995, Philippine police stumbled upon a terrorist plot to assassinate the pope, bomb airliners, and fly one into CIA headquarters. The plot was discovered when the terrorists accidentally set fire to their apartment while preparing bombs. It hit the world news briefly, with most of the news services describing it as a plot to blow up airliners and fly them into buildings. My friends and I discussed it briefly. We concluded it was the Philippine police/intelligence exaggerating to try to make it look like they stopped something huge from happening. (1) If it was a real terrorist plot, why were they bragging to the international press about having thwarted it? Shouldn't they be keeping quiet while they used the intelligence they'd gathered to catch co-conspirators before they even realized their plot had been foiled? (2) While we knew there were wackos out there who had no qualms about bombing an airliner and killing everyone aboard it, the part about flying them into buildings was just too far-fetched. We had a psychologically barrier preventing us from conceiving of someone going beyond merely killing those people, to actually using them as part of a weapon to kill more people. Nobody could be so callous and disrespectful of human life, right? (3) It would require the perpetrator(s) to die aboard the plane as well. The whole point of using a bomb was that you didn't have to be aboard the plane when it went off. So that seemed unlikely as well.
Then 6 years later, 9/11 happened.
Anyhow, this is a big part of the problem with intelligence (and safety engineering for that matter). If you succeed, nothing happens and nobody hears about what you did. If you fail, you get blamed and it gets replayed on the news over and over. In light of a success being when nothing happens, how do you determine how effective your anti-terrorist ops are? What is an appropriate, measured response to the threat? Those in the intelligence and security community like to interpret nothing happening as an indicator of the great job they're doing, and why their (illegal) monitoring needs to be allowed to continue. Those opposed like to interpret nothing happening as an indicator that nothing would've happened if all those intelligence and security measures hadn't existed. Because the primary evidence is the lack of evidence, it can be interpreted to support both viewpoints.
that *every* company, small and large, can somehow afford to "hand out".
It's a competition thing. If nobody is required to do it, then one company that cuts paid maternity/paternity leave gains a competitive advantage and can price its products lower. Other companies then have to follow suit to remain economically competitive. Eventually nobody has paid maternity/paternity leave anymore. The ones which refused to give it up were eliminated from the marketplace due to being unable to compete.
If you require all companies to provide it, then yes the companies can afford to "hand it out". But the cost is built into the system and you pay for it in other ways (higher prices, fewer job opportunities which means higher unemployment, slower technological advancement). I happen to think it's a worthwhile tradeoff in this case - family should come first, work second; not the other way around. But don't fool yourself into thinking it comes without cost just because everyone is required to provide it.
Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer