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Comment Here, there, and everywhere (Score 2) 55

When Nokia bought Navteq they bought one of two global mapping companies, for about US$ 7.5 billion. For that they got, almost immediately, free maps for every Nokia handset. Around the planet. Also data sets for some industry leading augmented reality. Those services were, and are, huge. They sold lots of handsets and led the way to lots of Microsoft collaboration (Windows Phone et al comes with Nokia Here built-in.) That eventually led to Microsoft buying the phone unit outright. Did Nokia lose money selling Here off? Maybe, maybe not. They sold lots of handsets around the world featuring Here. That augmented reality wowed lots of folks and sold some more, plus positioned Nokia products as forward looking. They sold some online mapping to websites, though that was probably not a big revenue stream. They eventually sold the failing phone unit (and kept Here!) So they got a lot of milage out of Here, maybe US$5 billion. Going forward, I hope the new owners keep the consumer editions of Here. I'm off to Glacier Nat'l Park next week, and have Here loaded on all my handsets. The iPhone has just the states I regularly visit preloaded. One of my Android handsets has all of North & Central Americas preloaded, for fast travel convenience. I'm used to sering legions of befuddled tourists wandering around national park attractions confused their smartphone maps (Google Maps & Apple Maps, both largely dependant on streaming maps) aren't working. I used to bring a Windows phone along explicitly for those situations, now I just load Here. Oh, and why not carry a dedicated GPS unit? They don't come with cameras, translators, phones, email, etc. Their maps? Likely sourced from, yes, Here.

Comment Re:second hand e-smoke (Score 5, Insightful) 314

Is it? Is there any *real* evidence that pure nicotine, in these sort of doses, is actually harmful for you, when not associated with tars, benzene, and all the other nasties in cig smoke? Or is it more like caffeine, where it might exactly be "healthy", but the real risk at typical usage levels is miniscule.

Comment No... (Score 3, Interesting) 258

What's copyrighted is the idea, not the physical manifestation or "input". If you take a downloaded copy of HotSummerBlockbuster 3.0 and burn it to a DVD, that DVD is still covered by copyright. Similarly, you couldn't download a copyrighted song, have vinyl plates cut from it, press records, and sell those. It is the creative work itself that is covered by copyright.

Comment Wrong number (Score 4, Interesting) 158

Many years ago a buddy got some new phone lines. One had just been a reservation number for an extremely large restaurant. After a few days of folks trying to make reservations through him he called the restaurant and offered them the number back if they'd pay the transfer fees. They declined. So he started taking reservations. "Four for the Ponderosa Room at 7pm? Under 'Caruthers'? Not a problem; please check in with the Hostess when you arrive." After a week of this he called the restaurant back, and offered them their reservation number back. For just the fees? Oh no, assholes, now it's gonna cost something! He got some nominal amount, just 'cause he was pissed about his time & trouble.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas