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Comment: Re:Fingerprint database, anyone? (Score 1) 773

by V-similitude (#44812331) Attached to: Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

Does the S3 contain a scanner that scans personal biometric data in such a place that you can't possibly avoid touching it?

You're absolutely right that there's a limit to the amount of trust you can have in a device. There's simply no way to verify everything.

Fortunately, with most phones, you don't have to worry about something as sensitive as your fingerprints being scanned, so the level of paranoia about the device can be toned down a bit.

No, just everything you say or do within range of its microphones or cameras. Nothing significant.

Comment: Re:Voting Franchise Restoration (Score 1) 694

Definitely need redistricting reform, but "no concave borders" is probably unworkable given the inherent chaos of population distributions. It also doesn't solve one of the major problems currently, which is that cities are so strongly democratic that it's easy to form districts (even concave ones) that are 90+% democratic, while distributing suburban & rural votes more evenly, essentially "wasting" a large portion of city votes.

I think the solution (and certainly the technology-oriented approach) is to algorithmically dictate districts according to certain apolitical rules.
E.g.
- All districts must have population = district_size +/- acceptable_variation
- Minimize sum of all districts' perimeter/area ratio
- All else equal, maximize overlap with former districts
- etc...

This would still potentially have the city packing problem, but at least it would be more neutral in the application of it. Take the human out of it and it's far more likely to be fair.

Comment: Re:X1 Carbon (Score 2) 271

by V-similitude (#43219533) Attached to: Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?
Agreed. I recently got an X1 Carbon to replace my old X61s. While there's still something nice about the x61s's form factor (oh 4:3 screens, how I miss thee), the thinner, lighter x1c is incredible to me. It's sleek, light, and comfortable. It's also far more feature-full: the hard mute button with an indicator light is a lifesaver for me when turning the computer on when I don't know if it's muted or not (and need it to be); the fingerprint reader that's always-on so you can swipe your finger from full-off and it turns on and logs in automatically is a great time-saver (don't have to wait for it to turn on, then swipe, then wait for windows to login); backlit & chiclet keyboard, quick-charge, better battery management, etc. etc. Not to mention all the general laptop improvements (RAM/CPU/SSD/etc.). Overall, I think it's a huge improvement over old thinkpads. Only thing I really don't like is how wide it is. I'd much much rather a 4:3 13" than a 16:9 14". I guess the integrated battery is a bit of a negative, but for my use, it's a good tradeoff for the thinner/lighter build. Ultimately though, it's all about the trackpoint (aka nub) for me. I simply cannot STAND touchpads for most control (though I like having the option now), so as long as thinkpad keeps making reasonably attractive thinkpads with trackpoint mice, I'll keep buying. Though, I will say, the T431s's lack of trackpoint buttons would seriously irk me.

Comment: Re:Apple the largest Company (Score 1) 298

by V-similitude (#42588585) Attached to: The Strange Math of Apple's Alleged Massive iPhone 5 Order Cuts

Find me a company with a PE of ~11.5 that does have negative earnings.

Hint: RIMM and Nokia have negative earnings, what are their P/E ratios?

But yeah, pull up any company that has limited growth prospects, Dell, Xerox, Diebold, etc. etc. etc. Or, you know, do your own search: http://www.google.com/finance#stockscreener

Comment: Re:Apple the largest Company (Score 1) 298

by V-similitude (#42586703) Attached to: The Strange Math of Apple's Alleged Massive iPhone 5 Order Cuts
It doesn't imply negative earnings... it implies negative earnings growth, which is exactly what analysts are predicting in the short term (this quarter's avg. EPS estimate is 13.35 vs last year's 13.87 actual EPS). Clearly, Apple can (and will) continue to make tons of money for years to come; the question is whether or not they'll ever again make AS MUCH money as they did last year. If they don't, an 11 (or less) P/E ratio is very fair, depending how far they fall back. Eg. if you expect them to fall back to 2009 earnings levels, you might value them at around 4.5 P/E right now.

Comment: Re:Gmail is easy to snoop (Score 3, Interesting) 184

by V-similitude (#42263649) Attached to: How Websites Know Your Email Address the First Time You Visit

Almost guarantee that they didn't snoop your e-mail through chrome or hidden cookies/3rd party trackers. Not saying it's not possible; it's just that they'd be crazy to do it so flagrantly. Most likely, you entered your e-mail in a field that was snooped by javascript. You may think you didn't "enter" any data if you close the tab before hitting submit, but that's not true. Either that, or you previously had an account with them and had some cookie with them indicating that.

If I'm wrong, it should be replicable. I'd love to hear if that's actually the case.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 547

by V-similitude (#42020105) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?

Try amazon video streaming rentals. I used to keep a netflix disc account for the same reason, but I only really had time to watch 3-4 a month (for which I paid $12/mo to have at least some selection of 2 discs at any time). So I recently switched to amazon rentals. Now I have massive selection at $3-4 a pop instead of "unlimited" physical rentals. Ultimately, I'm paying about the same per month on average, and have way better selection - in so far as not having to choose 3 days in advance. YMMV obviously, depending how many discs you actually manage to watch per month from netflix.

In my experience Amazon Prime unlimited streaming is roughly on par with Netflix (though I prefer Netflix's audio dynamic range, and greater selection of videos with subtitles). But Amazon's rental selection (not unlimited streaming) is very broad, possibly better than Netflix's disc selection for new stuff (but not as good for older stuff).

Comment: Re:DVD rental, coffee shop and hardware sales? (Score 3, Interesting) 547

by V-similitude (#42019957) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?
Love the coffee shop/dvd combo idea. You can even provide dvd-player units in the shop that people can use to rent a movie, watch it while they drink/eat their coffee/soda/snacks. You can make it like a mini/personalized movie theater (but hopefully getting around the whole fee structure by technically just renting the disks). Make room for the tables/booths by giving up the dvd shelf space and switching all disks to a digital selection system (a la redbox). It's still tough, but I think something like this has a good chance. Without some sort of hybridization, I don't think a dvd rental shop can succeed much longer on its own. There's just not enough need for dvd's anymore.

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