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Comment: London's Docklands Light Railway is automated (Score 1) 128

by Andy_R (#47956149) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

While the traditional London Underground has drivers, that's pretty much just because the powerful union in charge won't let them be upgraded to be driverless. We've had reliable, safe driverless trains for over 25 years on the 45-station Docklands Light Railway in the East of London.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 236

by Tom (#47952455) Attached to: Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet

Is Russia as internet-dependent as we are?

Russia is independent of the USA part of the Internet to a degree you can hardly imagine. They have their own Facebook (vk), their own Google (yandex), two DNS root-server anycast instances, and even for credit cards they'll not be very sorry as Russians prefer debit cards from their own banks over Master/VISA credit cards.

Sure it'd be noticeable and some stuff would stop working, but it is certainly feasable.

Comment: Re:"Affluent and accomplished" is not the criterio (Score 2) 175

by Tom (#47944385) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

I can't see wasting money just to say I have money to waste.

Exactly. You're the kind of people they want to keep out. People who think that $5k is a waste. For their target audience, $5k is either not worth even thinking about, or a fair price to pay for making sure you spend your time only with people who fall into either of these categories.

Comment: Re:"Affluent and accomplished" is not the criterio (Score 5, Insightful) 175

by Tom (#47943987) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

That $9000 bouncer will be just as happy to let in every reality TV star, pop artist, flash-in-the-pan record producer, a

Those TV and music starlets will stay on FB because they want and need to stay in touch with their fans.

The wealthy have always segregated themselves. That $10k membership fee in the golf club is not because keeping the grass short is so expensive, either. It is to make sure everyone you meet there is in your class.

Frankly speaking, I'm mostly surprised that this doesn't already exist.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 950

by Tom (#47932809) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

[Kurds] but we don't want to support them too much because we don't want them demanding their own state,

Also because we already betrayed them once and they're not necessarily our best friends because of it.

If we stopped working towards keeping the region unstable,

Mostly by changing allies the way other people change their underwear, yes.

Comment: Re:What now? (Score 2) 131

by Andy_R (#47913393) Attached to: The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

You could always try the RICO Act.

Net neutrality is what ought to prevent racketeering in the digital age. In the old days the Mafia turned up on your doorstep and said "nice warehouse you have here, it would be a shame if it 'burned down', give us some money and we can make sure that doesn't happen." Without net neutrality, Comcast can turn up on your doorstep and say "Nice website you've got here, it would be a shame if it 'slowed down', give us some money and we can make sure that doesn't happen."

Comment: Re:The big question is 'why' ? (Score 4, Insightful) 329

by Andy_R (#47908959) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Microsoft only does well in areas where it has a monopoly. What it's doing here is not buying an asset, it's buying retrospective market share and killing a competitor. Mojang sold a lot of games before Notch left just like Nokia sold a lot of phones before the Elop disaster. It doesn't matter to Microsoft that Nokia imploded or that Mojang's main asset (Notch) left, the point isn't to have their assets or to actually do anything with the brands, that's just a bonus if it happens. The point is simply for them not to be competitors any more.

Comment: purpose? (Score 1, Informative) 730

by Tom (#47869467) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

If I'd say I'm underwhelmed, it would be a big understatement.

Every major device announcement that Apple made in the recent years was always driven by one thing: It had a purpose. It provided something that was lacking in the world. Not a totally new invention in many cases, but a solution. Smartphones existed before the iPhone, but it is clear that the smartphone market history can be divided into "before the iPhone" and "after the iPhone" - just look at pictures of smartphones from those two periods.

iWatch? I know it was rumoured for two years or so, but in all that time I couldn't see which problem it solves and what meaning to life it has, and I still can't. It seems the Jobs spirit has left, because this is clearly a device that was made in response to the rumours about it, not because someone knew what he was doing.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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