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Comment: Re:Dude! Sounds like a real way to make some bread (Score 1) 84

by HiThere (#47438821) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

Sorry, but there are lots of very specialized yeast strains. You don't use the same yeast for wine as you do for beer, and that's different from the one you use for bread. Etc. San Francisco sourdough bread used to be made from a regionally available wild yeast, but I think things may have changed so that it no longer lives here. Certainly given the urban levels of pollution I wouldn't want to depend on catching a wild yeast. There was one bakery that used to have a baker who kept his culture growing on his hairy chest, but the food & drug people forbade this., even though it had been safe and popular for decades.

You aren't going to get one strain of yeast to take over the world. Particularly not one that's become dependent on being cultured in a lab.

Comment: Re:What if they know something we don't? (Score 1) 128

by HiThere (#47436105) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

Well...I'm not sure how hidden it is. We know that they are Apple surveilance devices, and we know that Apple will roll over if the Feds ask them to.

That said, I'd be surprised if there weren't zero-day exploits that haven't yet been made public. OTOH, the same is true for EVERY smart phone.

We've also be informed that the NSA records 80% of all voice conversations. (True? False? No way to check.) This plausibly means that they have all cell phone towers bugged. So they probably rarely need to bother Apple for the information.

Siri clearly requires that the phone know where you are to properly understand you. (Also to communicate with you.)

Etc.

So whether they were intentionally designed for the purpose of being a surveilance device or not (I lean towards not) the capabilities are there. It has also been reported that the microphones and cameras can be remotely activated without signal to the user. Bug or feature? Or did it start out as a bug, but has not been documented?

Whatever, what Apple has been accused of seems blatantly true. But perhaps a result of feature creep than of malign intentions.

Comment: Re:You have only yourself to blame... (Score 1) 128

by HiThere (#47436021) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

You are embarassing. The GP was right about ONE of the messages being sent by this action. It's probably also intended to help a local company. And It's probably also intended to assist in upcoming negotiations with Apple. Etc.

Don't think that a government announcement sends only one message. Each one sends multiple messages.

Also, don't think that just because China has no problem spying on itself, that it wants anybody else to do so, no matter what it, itself, does abroad. The Chinese government is historically more insular and self-centered than even the US government, and with good reason. China holds most of the world's population, just as Africa holds most of the worlds genetic diversity (among humans). If Africa weren't so fragmented they would also be justified in thinking of the rest of the world as "insignificant tag-ends".

FWIW, you might consider that the current supercomputer speed record is held by a Chinese computer. They may have copied much of the technology from elsewhere, but they've certainly improved on it locally.

P.S.: Much of the information that you refer to as being stolen was actually transferred under contractual terms. I will grant that this isn't true of all of it, but if you look back a couple of centuries, you'll see that the North American colonies, and later the United States did a lot of technology stealing from Britain. As well as getting a lot of it via contractual transfer.

Comment: Why not? Learn from Verizon.. (Score 2) 137

The broadcasters are not happy with this move, of course, claiming that Aereo should not be allowed to flip-flop on how it defines itself.

Verizon has been on a tear to get itself reclassified as a common carrier for a while.

Loopholes: not just for big companies anymore.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 586

by HiThere (#47426643) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I simplified. The actual contractor subcontracted to a foreign subcontractor (with the appropriate requirements). Their actual failing was that they didn't test that the supplied parts met the specs. (This would have been difficult to do without disassembling the subcomponent.)

So, yes, I agree that it was criminal fraud. But I don't think it was ever prosecuted.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 43

by TWX (#47425853) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
I wasn't saying that old smartphones were in any way comparable to modern ones. My point was that smartphone development has been occurring far longer than most people realize, and is in-parallel with PCs in that the performance characteristics of the device have outpaced the capabilities of the software and user experience to the point that there's not a whole lot of benefit in upgrading without an external reason to do so.

And as to your analogy of GPS vs maps, I can use a map without any electrical power, and I can identify on the map, if it's a good one, which roads my low-ground-clearance car can traverse, versus which roads my 2wd small pickup can traverse, versus which "roads" I'll need a 4x4 or truck with significant ground clearance to use. Most of the time the latter aren't even noted on GPS systems.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 43

by TWX (#47425461) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
Smartphones well predate the Apple and Blackberry options. Palm and Qualcomm developed the pdQ-series in the nineties and they were on sale by 1999 and were direct variants on the Palm Pilot series of personal organizers, which themselves date back to the early nineties, and had many of the components that a phone-based device would want like an address book, a calendar, a tasks list, a calculator, etc.

And that's not even going into the other companies that built personal organizers around this same time.

Comment: Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 5, Insightful) 43

by TWX (#47425199) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
I suspect that a good part of Samsung's slowing sales is consumers that are tired of spending more money all of the time to do the same thing. I've got a Galaxy SII. It does everything that I need it to do. It's paid for. I don't foresee any needs that a newer phone would fulfill, so short of a broken phone or a paradigm shift I don't see a need to shell out several hundred dollars to have essentially the same functionality.

Geek-chic likes to talk about and to chase the latest gadgets, but the hype really isn't as widespread as reports would indicate, and even those that have chased the newest have often gotten tired of doing it without any real, tangible improvements.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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