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Comment: Re:Great idea (Score 1) 51

Given that the store doing the advertising presumably stocks the banned goods, and it's a lot harder to hide physical merchandise in a hurry; I'd assume that the plan depends on the costs of being discovered being less than the value of the advertising, with the cute little trick being there to make it newsworthy, not to fool the cops(even if there were somehow zero machine vision errors or plainclothes cops in Russia; it can't be that uncommon for off-duty cops to wear street clothes; or for the families of police to talk to them).

There is probably a small but nonzero risk that, thanks to the buzz, some humorless enforcer will throw the book at them; but barring that the plan would appear to depend on the actual penalties for 'banned' goods being pretty toothless.

Comment: Re:Someone claim (C) on something oracle depend on (Score 2) 205

The Open Group claims the copyright on the POSIX specifications. If APIs can be copyrighted and this copyright includes all implementations, then it would be problematic for all open source *NIX systems. Of course, they might decide to provide a license that's valid for everyone except Oracle (though writing such a license in a way that's GPL compatible would be very hard, so glibc might be in trouble).

Comment: Re:Important Question: WHICH DC? (Score 1) 502

by TheRaven64 (#49791213) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
The thing that killed DC in the war of the currents was that step up and step down transformers for AC are easy and cheap to build, but doing the same thing for DC caused a lot more loss (one of the simplest ways of doing it was to convert to AC, do the voltage change, and then convert back to DC). For long hauls on the grid, you want a much higher voltage than in houses. Now, however, it's relatively cheap (both in terms of convertors and in terms of loss) to produce DC-DC converters. USB-C supports 5V (up to 2A), 12V (1.5-5A) and 20V (3-5A). It's fairly easy to imagine 48V between rooms and then a converter in the sockets able to provide USB voltages. You wouldn't want to run a heater or a vacuum cleaner from it, but it would be nice for a lot of consumer electronics.

Comment: Re:Impractical (Score 2) 502

by TheRaven64 (#49791099) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
We're not talking grid back-haul though, we're talking a few tens of metres maximum within a house. I've wondered for a while if it would be more efficient to have moderately high voltage DC room-to-room and then low-voltage DC in rooms. Given the number of things in my house that would prefer a DC supply and so end up with (cheap and inefficient) AC to DC convertors per plug (and especially if you use LED lighting), it seems like it ought to be a win. And now seems like a good time to do it, as USB-C is a consumer connector that can provide up to 100W via something that's designed to be very cheap to produce in the lower power variations.

Comment: Re:This has been played out before... (Score 1) 502

by ColdWetDog (#49791091) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

Boat people use 36 or 48V in larger vessels. There is a lot of work done in high voltage DC for people with lots more money than sense.

The higher DC voltages seem to work well for everything except household-class heater appliances like dryers. But 12V isn't going to cut it for house-sized objects. Yes, you can do it - but why would you want to?

For one thing, high amp copper cable is expensive and a PITA to install.

Comment: Perspective? (Score 2) 324

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49790223) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier
This article seems(somewhat bizarrely) to be written from the perspective of Google, Inc. but purporting to be talking about "android" and its prospects.

There is certainly a place for analysis of "So, did this 'android' stuff pay off for Google? Was it roughly break-even? A strategic failure?"; but that's quite different than "How is Android doing? What are its prospects?". Conflating the two, though, is confused at best and outright nonsense at worst(especially when examining the 'running Android, possibly even developing it in some way; but not running "Android+Google Play Services"' slice of the market'.

So, is Apple the one actually making money on smartphones? Hell yeah. Has Android been tepid in terms of actually making Google any money? At best; it may well be directly losing money and only appearing to pull its weight as a strategic play. Are the margins for most Android handset manufacturers pretty unexciting compared to Apple? Also hell yeah. However(much like the PC OEMs), that may not actually affect Android: None of the Android OEMs gets the option of joining Apple in making iPhones(except the ones that happen to also have divisions that manufacture components for Apple, like Samsung). Apple has zero interest in letting them do that. So, they can either ship Android handsets with Google, ship AOSP+their own or somebody else's stuff; ship Windows Phone, attempt to build their own OS entirely, or leave the market. Shipping Android handsets with Google isn't a terribly high-margin strategy; but it is so far unclear whether any of the other options are any higher margin.

It is very likely that Google isn't getting nearly as much of what they want from Android as they would like; and Android OEMs certainly aren't earning terribly exciting margins on their devices; but that's their problem. It only becomes Android's problem if Google decides to pull the plug, or if OEMs abandon it in favor of WP or one of the assorted linux-with-stuff-on-top-but-not-android options. So far, WP has gotten fairly good reviews; but struggled for marketshare, and the not-Android Linux derivatives are all writhing around near the noise floor. This isn't obviously a good thing, Android is a pile of mediocrity in quite a few respects, even if some of Google's applications and services for it are pretty good; but it is still the case: Since nobody gets to be an iOS vendor except Apple, and Nokia is MS' special buddy, with other OEMs allowed but sharing a very small pond; 'Android' is a fight over some pretty unexciting margins; but unless a company simply wishes to stop manufacturing smartphones and tablets, it's a fight they'll probably remain in for some time to come.

Sure, I'd love the second coming of WebOS to sweep away the unbelievers and deliver us; but that doesn't appear to be in the cards.

Comment: Re:Oh man (Score 2) 138

by TheRaven64 (#49789459) Attached to: Scientists Reverse Aging In Human Cell Lines
Top 10% probably. Take a look at a global rich list calculator. You can live very comfortably in a western country with 9% of the world's population being richer than you. If you're in some parts of central or eastern Europe, or a few parts of south-east Asia then you may be near the bottom of the top 20% and still living very comfortably. The '1%' that people talk about in the USA are well in the top 0.1% globally, but 'the 1%' makes a better soundbite than 'the 0.1%'.

Comment: Re:That poor man (Score 2) 268

I find it hard to consider anyone who owns a house (even with a mortgage), especially in one of the places with the highest property prices in the world, poor. This scheme seems very odd, because the poorest residents of California are renting, they don't own houses (well, the poorest are homeless), who can't just stick solar panels on top of a house that they're renting.

Comment: Re:Go for it (Score 1) 19

by mcgrew (#49784593) Attached to: Survey - George W. Bush more evil than Stalin, Mao, Lenin

I agree he doesn't belong on that list. I do think on the list of America's worst presidents, he'd be at the top of the list.

Ignored warnings from the previous administration, top FBI officials ignored field agents who were warning of something bad, and got our country attacked.

Then he started an incredibly stupid war in Iraq, which led to the rise of ISIS.

Presided over the building of mass surveillance of the American people.

Took office during a boom, left office under the worst economy since the great depression. It's my theory that what caused the ruined economy was fuel prices more than quadrupling during his reign. Buy gas to get to work, or pay the mortgage? Tough choice!

Took office with a balanced budget, left it with the largest deficit in American history. Meanwhile, infrastructure was crumbling and he did nothing.

Now, if the list was of people who did the most harm to our country, he should be on that list. Mao and Pol Pot were very evil men who killed millions of people, but they didn't harm America.

Comment: Re:Misnomer (Score 1) 385

Contract law isn't divine. The manufacturer should have anticipated this, and should share responsibility. I don't care what the small print says because I'm interested in ethics, not a career in law (although I do have a law degree).

Male something idiot proof and the world will build a better idiot.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky