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Comment "people are more connected today", really? (Score 1) 47

On social media I see that a lot of people just send connection requests everywhere, but rarely follow up with actual conversation. (this particularly goes for job agents on linkedin - who will spam you with "would like to connect" queries without ever having heard of you, having anything like a job opportunity that might be right for you, or even asking for more information about you. Seems the only thing they're really after is having "more connections".

So, is having more facebook "friends" really an indication of more connectedness?

If so, if we're all more connected, why is there a rising partisanship among people?

If we're more connected, why do we have so much trouble helping refugees from warzones? And - not just in the US, but in Europe, too -- Germany has taken on a huge number of refugees in the last year - but at the same time, we've also experienced a strong rise in anti-immigration sentiment. I'm feeling ashamed seeing the rise of "anti-islam" (or more generally just plain xenophobic) Pegida movement in Germany - rising from one of the states with the lowest percentage of foreigners...

Yes, connectedness truly seems on the rise.

I had given facebook a try a few years back, but dropped back out of it and asked for my account to be deleted a few months later -- good riddance.
I just don't know why they think that by counting how many people you have as "friends" on facebook is a good indicator for how connected we are...

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 133

Ever thought that the sharing of information isn't the problem, but other things the Internet enabled?

Say, you can find qualified people in other countries with lower wages and have them work for you over the Internet - thereby adding downward pressure on the very same jobs in your own country. At the same time, somewhat unsurprisingly, there doesn't seem to be downward pressure on CEO jobs - even though I'd bet you could find qualified MBAs in "cheaper labour force" countries...

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 4, Insightful) 367

So, if I were by far the most intelligent man on the planet, you wouldn't mind me stealing the election and running the country just to benefit my friends and myself?

Don't mistake intelligence alone for an automatically benign and positive thing for everyone else involved - there are seriously smart people you might want in charge, but there are also seriously smart psychopaths you might not want to run the country or even have a bigger say in the decision on who does.

Comment Re:Opt out (Score 3, Insightful) 113

Well, I would think it depends on how they do it - in Switzerland, Cablecom does the same - as a subscriber you get one of their routers, and apart from your own connection (which you get at the full advertised speed), there is another channel using which they turn your modem into a "free" wifi hotspot.

The catch in this case comes with the word "free" - it is free to their paying subscribers: i.e. at home I have my own connection, but everywherelse in Switzerland, within wifi distance from any of their other customer's cable routers, I can access the internet through wifi at no extra cost.

Non-subscribers do not get access to this wifi...

In this case, my "reason to pay" them is for the (better) access I have for myself at home but it also includes the convenience of having free wifi across many places in Switzerland...

Comment Re:boring boring boring booooooooooring (Score 1) 69

Sorry, the pre-announcement does have a point - if the security hole is major, then you want admins to be ready to patch their systems pretty much immediately.

If you just released the "fixed" version together with a description of the vulnerability - it might give extra time to potential attackers to figure out how to exploit the problem before an admin becomes aware that there even IS a new version.

In this case, the certificate verification might not have sounded like a big thing to you - but think where client certificates are being used - not that many places, but usually "important" ones, and often ones that have real economic consequences for the parties involved if they were to be broken (like many VPNs between businesses; or protected services that require client certificates for authentication. If it were "easy" to forge one, the protection would be harder to maintain (if it were even still possible to maintain).

Comment Re:Mmmm Fiber (Score 1) 142

Love my fiber connection, too - in our town implemented by the city's utility companies (in St. Gallen, Switzerland) - and ISPs can offer data access over the city's fiber.

Promised 100MBit/s up / 100MBit/s down; 1 static IPv4 address; IPv6 support - all working absolutely fine...

A new provider has started offering 1GBit/s up+down for a reasonable rate - but I'll wait and see how happy people will be with them - for now, 100MBit/s up+down is plenty for me...

Comment Re: what will be more interesting (Score 1) 662

Well, yes, the BBC is a non-profit - but the cash cow argument still stands. Top Gear has been making a lot of money for BBC that the non-profit BBC could then channel back into other productions, right?

Therefore Top Gear did give the BBC something more to work with, that is now at risk.

On the other hand - since the BBC is publicly funded, any further Clarkson stunts will also negatively impact BBC's image (apart from in the eyes of the xx million petrol-heads that worship the show.

Comment a "COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuff"? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Are you sure, it's the COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuff - and not its (elected) government?

Turkey is a large and very diverse nation - been there twice so far and absolutely loved the parts around Istanbul we visited and the people we met. I just don't think it does the normal people there any justice to leave statements like "their country loves censoring" unchallenged.

While here in Europe there were some long post 9/11 discussions on whether muslim headscarves should be banned - at the same time in (muslim) Turkey, there were demonstrations against the government, because their government wanted to LIFT a headscarf ban at Turkish universities.

Comment Re:file transfer (Score 1) 466

Hmm - there are PCMCIA card readers - used one for photography a long time ago...
If you have memory cards you're using in a camera, see whether there is a PCMCIA card reader for that type of card (used compact flash at the time). In that case you could at least use stuff you mostly have already...

Comment Re:No clue? (Score 1) 237

That example isn't quite the same - noone will have a problem with Microsoft offering you a free coffee on their premises.

But, if Microsoft decided that Starbucks was a threat to them and started distributing free coffee everywhere just to screw up SBUX, then that would likely be an antitrust matter.

The same could be argued for a search engine offering a free office toolkit - as it's not really the typical pairing that has anything to do with their normal search business.

The free bag service is an anemity that you might come to expect from a hotel and AT the hotel's premises; or the free chauffeur service that they might offer to and from their hotel for your arrival and departure.

Comment Re:No clue? (Score 1) 237

Indeed - no "stack"...
yet - unless google starts "integrating" the services into each other (integrate - not just share a home page as a starting point).

The stack example, indeed, seems misleading here.

On the other hand - while you defend google here - think back to some of the issues in the MS anti-trust case:

  - MS used proceeds from other areas to funnel huge amounts of money into IE development - much more, than any start-up could hope to match.
  - By including IE into Windows, for many people (normal users, not people working in IT) they eliminated the need to even look for other browsers - no matter, whether other browsers might have been better.
  - The inclusion of IE also meant the end for commercial browser makers - as they wouldn't have an alternative source of income. "Netscape" failed, their browser ultimately only growing because it was completely freed and open-sourced: In effect, MS might still channel more money into IE; but against the open source community that would not necessarily help, as the open-source author doesn't need to "show quarterly numbers"; quarterly profit reports, etc -- as long as the open source developer gets an income (which in many cases may stem from an unrelated day-job)...

In google's case, there is no full integration of services - but:

    - income from the advertising (which the search engine generates / facilitates) supports an ecosystem of other software - a free calendar or documents - services that _depend_ on their ad business generating the income for them. Same as MS Office paying the bills for IE.

    - the same landing page ( being a straight entry point to not just the search, but other free offerings unrelated to search (like the news, play, ...) gives those extra services a big head-start over their competition - and one they can't hope to match (no ad space sold on the landing page).

These things make it more difficult for new enterprises to form - and it's reasonable to expect that any new area popping up on the web, google will not just also try to profit from (which would be fair enough), but they can (easily ab)use their position to help their apps further by giving them privileged exposure on their search page and continue to fund them for extended periods of time to prevent other entrants getting into that area.

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