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Comment How to steal the show (Score 1) 151

Sounds to me there will still be one company or 2 left for the DoD to request services to (for billions of dollars of course). Then they'll just force every US company to us that encryption instead of foreign tech for most stuff that needs to go to/from a citizen-bound device. Seems to be somebody is gonna get very rich, and everyone will be very secure from everyone else but the government itself.

Comment Semantics (Score 4, Interesting) 356

Racketeering is good semantics for their current business model indeed, as there is no supervision whatsoever right now. Like Bild (end everybody else) I also don't think Eyeo is doing this in a "transparent enough" way that there's no doubt they aren't enforcing an "advertising fee" in their "controlled space of the web" (i.e. everyone who uses their adblock, their only de facto product). It should be clear enough for users of adblock, and for "payers" of whitelisting what this money is for, and a clear description of what "work" it entails to whitelist some ad (and/or an entire website/domain).

If it is to be done right, Eyeo needs to disclose publicly it offers two products: AdBlock - a free piece of software that has no direct form of revenue; and "Verified Whitelisting", a service that consists solely on periodic validation of conformity (with their "sensible ads" paradigm) for each company that so requests.

Eyeo then needs to bill each company transparently for the actual work hours taken to verify the requested pages (including hours wasted in scenarios that involve telling the company some site does not conform due to reason XYZ). But most importantly, these billed hours need to be made public. Only through transparency can companies AND users be assured that Eyeo is doing what it publicizes it does (only validate "sensible ads", and not any ads by highly-profitable payers). This way, the practice starts entering legal ground. It's pretty much a process like legalizing weed - the state can be sure there's no trafficking because all business go through their supervision, but mostly just the fact it is due to go through state supervision is enough to stop abuse. Give supervision power to every user of adblock, and Eyeo is sure to do most of its business in the way they publicize, without actually making more money than they should be doing for such an easy job.

And most important of all - AdBlock development costs cannot overlap with the whitelisting paradigm costs. This final detail is what separates racketeering from the legal practice of creating this "sensible ads" paradigm and its validation process.

Disclaimer: this is my opinion. I am no Law expert, but to me - as a citizen and user of adblock - this is what makes me comfortable. I will stop using adblock as soon as I see abuse in this whitelisting process in clear form. But I am not a company paying for whitelisting, so I don't get their side of the picture as well as I should.

Comment Re: China says no (Score 1) 172

Netflix has client apps in any platform that the content is accessed through. You can't simply access Netflix without those, so they're also "entry points", just not at the transport level. If Netflix wised up (which I hope they don't), they may very well enforce regional lockout through a lot of (usually hard to change) system parameters that broadcast a specific device is in a specific country or restricted region (PAL, NTSC anyone?). They just have to look them up and filter there. When I say hard to change, I'm of course referring to consumer electronics OS's (i.e. NOT PCs but PS3/4, STBs, Smart TVs, Mobile Phones or even routers...). Of course there would still be workarounds, but using a VPN is becoming a much easier "workaround" than, say, flash US firmware for a EU TV model/SetTopBox... you know the drill. Getting a VPN configured on a router is not nearly as hard and risky than flashing your TV, nor does it have a on/off switch for that flashing either like you can disable a VPN on demand.

Comment Scope Problem (Score 1) 208

I guess whatever device we're talking about here has had limited scope until this wearable/beacon/smart bubble started. We effectively have known that specific devices (think: a clock, a fridge, an AC unit) did and still do very specific things, and until now we see them doing those things clearly, not transparently, because they are usually one-task devices. So what point was there really in open-sourcing that stuff or requiring any form of software-bound compliance? Not much really.

Now that we're getting super smart watches that are basically computers, with a lot more IO into and from our immediate lives, we need to start caring what they run and who they share with, but to me this is just the smartwatch getting closer to the router in effective "influence" on our privacy, security, and other GPL-centered concerns. Whatever has been said about software for computers, that started applying to servers, routers, set-top-boxes at some point, can now apply to all "hardware", because, well, that hardware runs and does what a generic-purpose personal computer runs and does. And then some, if you add all those sensors, it gets access to a lot more stuff than those Spring Break pictures you're embarrassed about. Richard Stallman needs not say one thing

Off-topic: why is this article's tone sound like RMS is no longer alive or active?

Comment Re:who gives a shit? (Score 1) 291

You can't ask for currency to have perks that you like to have in open source software and hardware (or any intelectual property for that matter). Currency is a special case of ownership, usually "supported" by governments, or on the larger scale, supported by levels of trust between governments (or groups of governments) that use specific currencies, or even levels of trust between organizations whose value is tied to a given currency.

When you ask for "support" and decentralized at the same time, you're implying that decentralized currency is broken from the start, because ensuring intended behavior (i.e. "supporting") is _centralizing_ control: I am not, in any way, biased to the use of golden standard, but the golden standard was THE best possible "support" a currency should ever have - 1 dollar would always have the exact same value in gold, because even though "new" gold might stop flowing eventually, the only 3 things the dollar user could be certain of, at medium to long term (long term being 2 to 3 human lifespans), were (1.) that gold becomes gradually harder to mine/find, yet (2.) not hard enough that it fluctuates faster than you can buy it back in actual physical gold, at a reasonable rate, before becoming completely broke, and finally (3.) that the entire world should never apply rule 2. all at once (i.e., society would prevent itself from mass gold-runs) because the reppercussions of doing so are obviously harmful to the correct function of society as it's known.

The reason bitcoin has come this far is because it effectively emulates 1. and 2. to quasi-perfection in a digital perspective, and further expands 3. by having a built in limiter to such mass in-dollar runs (network/bank/transfer latency, immediate loss of privacy, logarithmic devaluation). When you ask for support because there's this single instance mathematical loophole where everybody will be able to acquire 2 bitcoins at the cost of 1, is much the same as saying money doesn't make sense because it can be faked with a 0.001% success rate - i.e. it has no effect whatsoever if supervised closely by the end user himself, thus is a non-issue.

Comment This is how you... (Score 1) 151

Recipe: How to add a full fledged, previously tested feature to a new platform without creating false expectation like guaranteeing support for all cases of such feature.

Seems pretty fair to me. Microsoft just dumps features and markets them without the least relevant release notes, such as supported titles, and then we need to resort to the ends of the internet for seeing what we should rush snipe on eBay that will most likely Not Work (tm).

Comment Catch-22 (Score 1) 305

There are a series of ubiquitous problems in the medication scene, thus prescription or not, they're always be controversial: having ads for ANY drug directly targeting the consumer is a bad idea and it raises (some) costs and induces in (some) trivial treatments - that's health care for you in a nutshell, nothing just works, and that's why we have doctors to steer decision, but not to take it for us. For sure one thinks people should ask doctors and pharmacists what's good for what they have, not a TV commercial, and prescription is just a formalization for prone-to-danger drugs.

The real problem is that limiting the scope of awareness to health professionals (by not marketing to consumers) is also known to cause alarming disparities: Big Pharma abuses "lobbying" all kinds of professionals into their products not by conscience but by introducing benefits to promoters - paid vacation, luxurious conferences and product presentations in fancy hotels with all paid up, commissions for regional sale success, or even direct influence in professional development. They all play a part in Big Pharma's marketing strategy for any drug, a lot more than direct consumer influence.

I'd rather they make supervision measures of these problems stricter than just taking action on consumer-centric marketing. A good example for something people need awareness about is LASIK: most doctors won't prescribe it, it's not good for the spectacles industry and for insurers to pay up, but most people would have reduced quality of life if it wasn't their own initiative to request for LASIK operations.

Comment It's still better than nothing. (Score 1) 371

Read my title. Says it all.

You want process in software development, you start with industry standard, and that's still Scrum. Unless your project only has 10x programmers (who will get a sprint's worth of features done in a day no matter what). For those types, the better process will always be no process at all. That's the magic behind the genius: nobody understands it, it Just Works. And so does Scrum for the rest of the world.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 138

Maybe they want to show off - "hey US of A, this is how you do stealth right without spending millions on a proprietary coating that just doesn't work (TM)". Or maybe it's just bait-and-switch - publishing some theory backed science lacking non-obvious vulnerabilities, inducing the user to actually put something that can be easily detectable on their planes. Seems a lot cheaper than developing specialized detection technology, and even if it has no effect, it probably cost them almost 0 to try.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 337

my thoughts exactly. Apple is all about avoiding product cannibalization. Thus the super price tag and performance disparities on the Mac Pro vs iMacs, iPad/Mini vs iPad Pro, MacBook Air vs MacBook pro 13, MacBook Pro 13 vs MacBook Pro 15, and even MacBook Pro 15 vs MacBook Pro 15 with dedicated graphics. The only notable exception is the iPhones standard and plus, but hey, they still do the price disparity on the amazing price differences for storage capacity on those.

Comment Winding up... (Score 1) 337

What that would wind up doing is product cannibalization - Apple doesn't want to lose market share on tablets nor the premium ultra portable notebook (which they pretty much have on both) by doing a more expensive product that will induce the buyer on second thoughts, and making him skip that day-1 urge to get in line and buy the next iThingie.

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