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Comment: Re:If I own the car (Score 1) 266

by beakerMeep (#48003147) Attached to: 2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

You act like they are uninvited guests. You are free not to use valet services. This is more like employers notifying the employees all their email may be monitored. If this became more of a thing I would think companies that provide valet services would start to require their employees to sign a consent before working.

But really, there is no harm in notifying them. I'm sure most people would rather a valet be on their best behavior and an undamaged car than evidence and a damaged car.


Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail 137

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-now-I'll-like-it-better dept.
An anonymous reader writes Back in 2012, Google had made it mandatory for new Gmail users to simultaneously create Google+ (G+) accounts. This is no longer so. Following the departure of G+ founder Vic Gundotra in April 2014, Google has been quietly decoupling its social media site from its other services. First, YouTube was freed, then Google+ Photos. Now, anyone who wants to create a new Gmail account unencumbered with a G+ profile can also do so.

Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User? 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the battery-is-next dept.
ourlovecanlastforeve writes: While reviewing a recent comparison of the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6, OSNews staffer Thom Holwerda raises some relevant points regarding the importance of specs on newer smartphones. He observes that the iPhone 6, which is brand new, and the Nexus 5 launch apps at about the same speed. Yes, they're completely different platforms and yes, it's true it's probably not even a legitimate comparison, but it does raise a point: Most people who use smartphones on a daily basis use them for pretty basic things such as checking email, casual web browsing, navigation and reminders. Those who use their phones to their maximum capacity for things like gaming are a staunch minority. Do smartphone specs even matter for the average smartphone user anymore? After everyone releases the biggest phone people can reasonably hold in their hand with a processor and GPU that can move images on the display as optimally as possible, how many other moons are there to shoot for?

Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5 261

Posted by timothy
from the enough-is-enough-for-anybody dept.
Lucas123 writes When the iPhone 5 was launched two years ago, the base $199 (with wireless plan) model came with 16GB of flash memory. Fast forward to this week when the iPhone 6 was launched with the same capacity. Now consider that the cost of 16GB of NAND flash has dropped by more than 13% over the past two years. So why would Apple increase capacity on its $299 model iPhone 6 to 64GB (eliminating the 32GB model), but but keep the 16GB in the $199 model? The answer may lie in the fact that the 16GB iPhone is, and has been, by far the best selling model. IHS analyst Fang Zhang believes Apple is using that to push users to its iCloud storage service. Others believe restricting storage capacity allows Apple to afford the new features, like NFC and biometrics.

CERN Tests First Artificial Retina Capable of Looking For High Energy Particles 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the robot-eyes-are-taking-our-jobs dept.
KentuckyFC writes: Pattern recognition is one of the few areas where humans regularly outperform even the most powerful computers. Our extraordinary ability is a result of the way our bodies process visual information. But surprisingly, our brains only do part of the work. The most basic pattern recognition—edge detection, line detection and the detection of certain shapes—is performed by the complex circuitry of neurons in the retina. Now particle physicists are copying this trick to hunt for new particles. A team at CERN has built and tested an artificial retina capable of identifying particle tracks in the debris from particle collisions. The retina can do this at the same rate the LHC smashes particles together: about 800 million collisions per second. In other words, it can sift through the data in real time. The team says the retina outperforms any other particle-detecting device by a factor of 400v.

iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters 222

Posted by timothy
from the who'd-a-thunk-it dept.
Even after the months of hype and speculation, the behind-the-scenes development and manufacture, and then the announcement Tuesday, it seems Apple's servers weren't quite ready for the workout they got from would-be early adopters of its newest iPhone. Preorders through Verizon Wireless and AT&T largely started without a hitch at midnight, though some customers on Twitter have since complained about issues. Those problems were nothing compared to the issues experienced by Sprint and T-Mobile customers. The Sprint and T-Mobile sites were still down for many users nearly two hours after presales were slated to start. Access to Sprint's site faded in and out, while the T-Mobile site continued to display a form to register for a reminder for when the preorders began. Some people joked on Twitter that they "might as well wait for the iPhone 6S now." Apple's store itself was down for a few hours, too.

Comment: Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (Score 1) 162

by beakerMeep (#47875685) Attached to: Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

Sorry, I may have spoken too soon there. Certain features of hangouts look like they still require plus, if you are not on an Apps (business) account. But they seem to have almost completely phased this out. In general they seem to have halted the major push for plus. I'd like to think they fired* the head of plus partly because of the failure of the push and the backlash of the real name, and youtube stuff...but I don't know why he "left" ( ). Anyways, here's what i could find on how to use hangouts:

Here's how to use it without plus:

Comment: Re:Unseal the documentation too (Score 1) 200

Obviously this isnt suffrage or civil rights, but it's an important piece of information when building a socioeconomic model of how American capitalism functions. These are the real "rational" actors in the market and we need all this information. Letting lawsuits like this settle behind closed doors for relatively small amounts of money and heavily redacted documents only serves to further obscure the truth. It doesn't take millions marching on Washington to for the truth to have value. Rather, without the truth, who will ever protest?

I understand where you are coming from but I think your line of thought here does the discussion a disservice. It's never futile to work for informing the public even just a little bit more. But it's time to stop "expecting" these lawsuits to produce crappy results -- it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

As I mentioned in my OP: one of the class advocates for the plaintiff did not accept the settlement that the lawyers on both sides had worked out. And instead of giving in to fatalism that "this is just the way these lawsuits go", he instead wrote a letter to Lucy Koh, the judge, asking her to throw out the settlement. And now she has done just that!

This quote is cheesy but good:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

(Incidentally I can't imagine you actually think Snowden had no lasting effect on the world).

Comment: Re:Unseal the documentation too (Score 1) 200

I don't think apathy needs an advocate. There really is no sense in loudly proclaiming defeatism. Sure, some people don't care, but the defendants would not have worked so hard to keep documents sealed if *nobody* cared. This case is being widely covered by the media:

Financial Times:

And over 186 more articles just from the past few days

So I don't know about what you said right there. I don't believe that "no one cares".

/there is always some subset of people who claim no one cares about any given news story.

Comment: Re:Punitive Damages? (Score 5, Informative) 200

You dont need to wonder, you need to read:

Some estimates put it as high as $9 billion.

This wasn't just about cold calling. The chilling effects were far more reaching. It's just that the documented evidence only referred specifically to cold calling, so that is what can be proved. In reality this was much more of a "gentleman's agreement" and it had the effect of driving down wages at dozens of large companies possibly affecting ~1 million workers. If you think it stopped with just poaching and had no other effect, you are being naive. Google actually had to raise some salaries due to Facebook not participating.

Here are just some of the companies involved:
  Apple, Inc
  Comcast Corporation
  IBM Corporation (Junior hires okay—also applies to subsidiaries)
  Intel Corporation
  AOL, Inc.
  Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
  Dell, Inc.
  Earthlink, Inc
  Virgin Media, Inc. (Formerly NTL, Inc.)

Comment: Dogma... (Score 1) 40

by beakerMeep (#47843839) Attached to: "Net Neutrality" Coiner Tim Wu Is Running For Lt. Governor of New York

Yeah, Tea Party is too specific to an existing dogma. But, there are quite a few liberals who skew closer to Noam Chomsky's brand. I think a number of liberals take anti-establishment seriously and believe that libertarianism has some insightful observations on how things work ( e.g. regulatory capture). But a number of liberals have different solutions. Very different from Chomsky's "Anarchist Social Libertarianism" (or whatever he calls it). And especially different from the pro big business of "libertarian" politicians.

There is room to agree on populism.
There is room to agree on that things are broken.
There is room to agree things need to change.

But what we need is to stop fighting on abstract idealistic polarized solutions.

It's time to start thinking beyond these extreme dogmatic and impractical abstract ideas of how to run things. We dont want oppressive big brother government, and we dont want out-of-control, laissez-faire, libertarian capitalism.

System checkpoint complete.