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Comment Re:Yep (Score 2) 198

>"You say "cool", I say useful. I used my Dropcam (back when it was still called that) to catch my landlord entering my apartment illegally."

And why couldn't you do that with a camera that uses your OWN web services or your own private software? And why did it have to be on the Internet in order to record? Those are exactly my points. Not everything has to have some third-party service or connectivity to be useful. The third-party service might, indeed, be convenient... buy security and privacy are both typically at odds with convenience.

Comment Yep (Score 4, Insightful) 198

>"The truth is: the Nest Cam is never "off" despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise."

And this surprises anyone? I work on the EXPECTATION that equipment that uses cloud services outside my control, and is not open source, and always connected to the Internet is just that.... uncontrolled.

Even if it were "off", there is nothing to prevent it from being turned on remotely or being changed to do so with an automatic update. Promises made by companies mean almost nothing to me... if you can even understand them when it is followed by 10 pages of incomprehensible legal jargon.

And then there are the security risks that have nothing to do with the manufacturer. If it is connected, it can be compromised by someone.

There is a reason I don't have certain devices in my home. This stuff is going to get worse and worse. People should probably reflect on why one wants or needs everything to be connected to a third-party service or always connected to the Internet. Just because it seems "cool" doesn't mean it is a great idea or that there is no potential hidden cost.

Comment Go back (Score 4, Insightful) 304

This is going to go over like a lead balloon. I know if I was greeted with that on a site I use, I would then start the process of going elsewhere.

They would do far better to just shift to some other way to display the ads using local servers instead of ad networks, if they really find all of this necessary. Oh, and in the process, make sure the ads are small, load quickly, don't pop up or under or on a time delay, have no animation and no sound, and no mouse over effects. Inotherwords, go back to the way things were before people found it necessary to block ads.

Comment Differentiate? (Score 4, Informative) 137

>"The company may see this as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition."

Um, yeah- "Buy our phones! They are better because we allow the government to spy on you!" What a great selling feature to differentiate yourself from your competition. I bet consumers will flock to that ?!!?!?!!

Comment Re:Size & standards, not doctoring (Score 1) 206

>Until then, (all else like noise, light sensitivity, color balance, etc. being equal) more pixels is better.

But they are not equal, so that is the crux. Consumer ignorance has driven a megapixel craze at the expense of pixel *quality*. I am not opposed to increasing quality (and even number of pixels, as long as they are not at the expense of anything else).

But again, there is no standard for RAW- every manufacturer does something different. So the news agency likely has to convert them all into something standard that not only can be stored smaller, but accessed and used the same.

Comment Size & standards, not doctoring (Score 4, Insightful) 206

I am pretty sure the real issue is file size and standards, not doctoring. As manufacturers keep ridiculously upping sensor MP size, photo sizes continue to balloon to larger and larger sizes. RAW files are notoriously huge and non-standard. The extra processing they are referring to is probably just the need to convert those various RAW files back to JPEG, which takes/wastes time/energy by their staff.

You would have to be a pretty big idiot to think that JPEG files are harder to doctor than RAW files. Any photo format can be used when exporting a doctored image... has nothing to do with how it is saved.

Comment Mixed (Score 5, Funny) 350

>"Google Car Pulled Over For Driving Too Slow, Doesn't Get a Ticket "

I think you mean "slowly" (echos of my HS English teacher are in my mind).

I can think of many times I am driving I wish others would get pulled over for driving too slowly :)

I do not look forward to the day of mixed autonomous vs. non-autonomous conflict on the road! At least I hope the autonomous vehicles are predictable..... somehow I doubt my motorcycle will be self-driving.

Comment percent (Score 3, Informative) 104

>"In the benchmarks, the new Skylake-U mobile chip is about 5 - 10 faster than Intel's previous generation Broadwell platform in CPU-intensive tasks"

That is 5 to 10 *PERCENT* faster. Not a huge whoop. Of course, any improvement is an improvement. (At first I was reading it as "5 to 10 times faster")

Comment Ha (Score 1) 90

>Google has been stepping up its efforts to build higher quality Android phones

Then they shouldn't have ruined the Nexus 5X by giving it 4-year-old storage options and 4-year-old memory options and removing the wireless charging.

Just because some of us don't want a huge phone, doesn't mean we want weak specs. I was very disappointed because I have loved the Nexus 5 for two years and wanted to upgrade. Now, what is the point?

Comment Really? (Score 1) 206

>" Nowadays OSX [MacOS] and [MS-]Windows caught up in these areas"

Oh really? Perhaps quite a bit in just THOSE few areas which you listed, but in nowhere NEAR all the areas for which many of us continue to choose Linux. It is nice that Linux forced other operating systems to suck less than they used to, however :)

>"and mainstream distros like Ubuntu dumbed down in default configuration."

So then use one of the other [superior and yet excellent] Linux distros. I, for one, have never selected to use Ubuntu on any of my systems (beyond testing).

Comment Cost (Score 1) 113

>Internet speeds in Europe were all ahead of U.S. average speeds, and at lower prices.

But is that based on a simple exchange rate or as compared to average disposable income? Comparing prices from different economies/countries is not simple.

Answer (maybe): First they only considered prices in CA, NY, and CO. With the former two being likely some of the (if not the) highest pricing in the whole HUGE USA.

Then, they supposedly used a percentage of income instead of just "price", but it was TOTAL income, not "disposable" and presumably not post-taxed income. And there is no mention of if they included taxes on these services or not.

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo