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Comment: Discounted not free (Score 5, Interesting) 121

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47885529) Attached to: Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

6 cents a book at current prices seems more like Amazon's discounted books business model. So it's not exactly free. Hell even brick and mortar stores conduct cut-price "sales". And at war time, reading books would have been a luxury both at home and at the battlefield. So selling them at the cost of production or at lost is more likely investing for the future loyalty of customers.

Comment: Re:Eurasia vs. oceania (Score 1) 215

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47845527) Attached to: New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

The significance of your list assumes that Country = Country's Government. That might be more or less the case for most Western countries with a democratically government. But what about the Arab states. We have no way of knowing if the masses of those countries are actually sympathetic to IS cause (sympathetic until they actually have the chance to live other it). So while a certain Arab government might condemn IS, their support for any US military action might be just that, fighting words without any bite. Who knows if this will turn out to be a coalition of one backed up by a peanut gallery of nations unwilling to contribute a single soldier or even let their territory be used as an operations base.

Comment: Re:So.. (Score 5, Insightful) 110

I don't know if the patents legitimate or not. They could be legitimate (ie approved by some patent office and not yet invalidated by a court) and still be bad patents. But a high-profile IT company that starts filing patent law suits can only mean one thing, the company has peaked and is on its way down. So maybe you should start looking for your graphic card and cellphones elsewhere? (AMD suing Intel is a different thing, since it concerns Intel's supposed monopolistic business practices.)

Comment: And why does Russia need to expand? (Score 1) 789

"A country of merely 140 million, this may well be Russia's last chance to expand its borders until the end of history, so if that is Putin's goal then now is the time to play his hand as hard as he possibly dares to."

And that is what I don't understand. Russia is probably one of the most underpopulated but most resource rich countries in the world. Why does it need to expand its borders when it's already the LARGEST country in the world?

I can understand if China wants the South China Sea to be its private oil field or fish pond so it can feed its billions. I can understand the Germany of old starting two world wars in a bid to increase their Lebensraum (living space). Ditto with Japan and Britain in their imperial wars of conquest. But Russia wanting even more territory? Or is it natural resources? Maybe the Siberia is too cold? Then Putin should be extending his dick south, not west.

This is plain nuts. They might as well send a space force to take over Mars. It's much bigger and the inhabitants are less hostile if any.

Comment: Reports are still too sketchy (Score 3, Insightful) 441

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47807761) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

The reports (the Atlantic article is an opinion piece about the local reports regarding the incident) are too sketchy at this point to decide if there's a good probable cause for the teacher to be arrested (besides his having written a presumably controversial book, which is not a good reason for somebody in a presumably democratic country to get arrested).

What it does reveal is the attitude of the local reporters who appear to be somewhat supportive or at the very least neutral to the police action. I know, a news report is supposed to be objective. But I don't see any mention in the quoted parts of the news reports about the teacher's free speech rights. The "first ammendment" comment is in the Atlantic article not the news reports. Since these are local news reporters they probably also reflect local biases. Possible threats to safety are given more importance than any free speech rights.

Comment: A foretaste of the future (Score 1) 336

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47803699) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

I remember reading a book by Arthur C Clarke (I think it's something called Light of Other Days), where surveillance has become so pervasive because the technology to do so has become penny cheap everybody assumes everybody will be spied on. When that point is reached, then you'll have to take it for granted that somebody somewhere has a revealing photo of you. Does the shower head have an embedded nano-camera? What about that coffee mug?

So maybe when that time come people will just try to look their best everywhere whether it's in the crapper, bed or kitchen. In bed people will simply avoid embarassing/humiliating positions unless they want to be known as the hideous kinky type.

Worse than having a leaked photo of your naked self is having a leaked photo of your warts, love handles and other ugly spots. If you're built like a body builder or a supermodel, your nude photo can well become part of your professional resume. Who knows, maybe some celebs are deliberately careless about their nude photos because subconsciously they want the whole world to see how beautiful they are even when they're not wearing designer clothes?

Comment: Re:Nothing really new (Score 1) 187

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47798857) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet
I'm not sure if Google already has a solution (I still use a highly anonymous payment system called cash for most of my financial transactions). But all Android needs is the right API and vendors can potentially design their phones to that spec using components from any of the dozen or so semiconductor manufacturers that matter (Samsung, Qualcomm, Broadcom, etc). I mean why can't the hardware component of the payment system not be a "standard" like Bluetooth or 3G? The software part is clearly Google's problem, but the supposed fragmentation of Android isn't an unsurmountable hurdle for a unified mobile payment system.

Comment: Re:Temptation (Score 1) 542

The persecution of Christians in so-called communist regimes is really a side-effect of the fact that these Christian groups are primarily foreign-funded. The so-called "communist" regimes (in Marxist dogma there's no such thing as a truly communist regime since that is supposed to be the "perfection" of political development into a "classless" society) tend to be paranoid of anyone or anything that affects the social order. Every non-conformist is viewed as a dissident or worse, a foreign agent out to sabotage the State. Atheistic dissidents are also harrassed, locked up and murdered. Since they don't belong to an organized group, their cases tend not to be as greatly publicized.

Comment: Antisocial networks (Score 1) 76

Social networks make being a shut-in more socially acceptable when online meetings become a substitute for the real thing. FB meetings tend to be faceless except for your liberally retouched profile photo. And who knows if you're still having an intimate chat with that person in the photo and not her husband or the FBI already? With the possible exception of celebrities, you don't need the skills of an undercover agent to impersonate somebody in FB.

Comment: From bots to robots? (Score 1) 52

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47783889) Attached to: Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

Well it's seems Google is making a serious step toward a literally robotic future. That seems to be pretty obvious with its driverless car project. But when Google first acquired a fistful of robotics-related companies, some commentators speculated it was to allow Google to more effectively "mine" the data that would be flowing from what's effectively a mobile data scanner. Google already has Streetview and its book scanning project, so this, the reasoning went, is where Google's new robotic technologies will most likely slot in.

Now I don't know. Maybe Google is really planning to build a robot army.

Comment: Re:1 Billion Mobile Users? (Score 1) 83

by aNonnyMouseCowered (#47783771) Attached to: $33 Firefox Phone Launched In India
Well, the statistic cited by the parent is interesting. I might be wrong in assuming that Indian kids don't get their own cellphones (maybe majority of them do have their own dumb/feature phone). Since India is a poorer country than the US, where people seem to have more of one device per device category, I'd expect a closer to 1:1 correspondence between number of cellphones to number of users, since more people wouldn't have the money to buy a second or third phone.

If you aren't rich you should always look useful. -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine

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