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Comment Re:Not doomed (Score 1) 159

I think you're correct. Mostly, Netflix doesn't geoblock by credit card address because they don't really want to win this battle. Also, having made this decision long ago, it's hard to change policy now without seriously annoying a high percentage of customers. While it is possible for people for obtain credit cards in other countries to work around such a block it's substantially harder than just buying a VPN service. The first sign that content providers are winning will be when selected new content is restricted by credit card address.

Comment Re:Not doomed (Score 1) 159

If you mean criminal law, probably not, actually.

In Australia there seems to be no legal problem, to judge by

Film studios and TV companies should not use legislation that allows them to get piracy sites blocked in Australia to "inappropriately threaten" to block access to geoblocked services, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims has said.

The ACCC is an official government body but they appear to be firmly on the side of the consumer even when you feel the government isn't comfortable with their stance. For example, the ACCC seems to positively encourage consumer grey-marketing of books and DVDs/BDs (i.e., buying them from places like Amazon) as well as the use of VPNs to fight both the old and the new forms of geoblocking.

Comment Re:uhm... (Score 1) 353

Encrypting that same real key with a second passphrase (retained by carrier or OS provider) would be trivial

Except that those second passphrases would all be stored in some central database which would be a very juicy target for hackers, including NSA-like agencies world-wide. Also, this is explicitly not secure against Apple or the US government and that's going to be a legitimate deal breaker for a large number of non-criminal customers both in the US and elsewhere.

Comment End-To-End Encrytion is the Issue (Score 4, Informative) 55

The big issue with the law is that it seems to be banning end-to-end encryption. Right now, when the FBI comes to Apple and says "give us this person's iMessages in clear text" Apple can just respond "we made it so that we have no way to comply". Apple likes it that way, mostly because customers hate being spied on so it's a selling point. The UK is ramping up to say "make it so you can comply in future or else big fines and gaol". And it's going to be hard for Apple to do this just for the UK. You can bet the UK is going to be of the view that they need to be able to see the comms of foreign citizens on UK soil, and of UK citizens overseas. It's just like how California car emission laws have consequences for the whole of the US. In this case a UK law could outlaw strong encryption for ordinary consumers in the whole developed world.

Comment Re:Don't speak for 'all of europe' (Score 2) 460

if that monopoly were serving The People, Uber would not even exist for lack of interest.

How ironic your point is given that the story title is "Uber In Retreat Across Europe". The taxi industry, which is not a state-sponsored monopoly in many places, would seem to be serving the people. Just because the government requires taxi drivers to be licensed doesn't make it a monopoly any more that ordinary drivers' licences make cars a government monopoly.

However ironic you may think my point is, the danger is real that Uber will achieve widespread dominance and then be in a position to abuse their position. Unlike governments you won't be able to vote them out.

Comment Re:Driver compensation (Score 1) 460

The future looks like multiple part-time jobs and low pay to me

No, the future is driverless cars and no jobs or pay for cab or Uber drivers. Uber only needs their contractors for a few more years until the technology is ready, then drivers will be free to retrain for better jobs in another industry.

Comment Re:Don't speak for 'all of europe' (Score 4, Insightful) 460

Once Uber has driven its competition out of business, anyone will be able to offer a service like Uber.

No, because this type of service is a natural monopoly, especially when operated by a large multi-national. Nobody wants to use a different app for every city. It would be just like trying to compete against eBay in the online auction market.

Comment State-Sponsored Attacks != Government Requests (Score 2) 152

The summary is confusing two separate situations:

State-sponsored attacks are when a government agency hacks or social engineers or otherwise obtains your data against your will AND against the will of your service provider. That's what Yahoo and Microsoft are talking about. They can safely and legally tell their users about these attempts because, if for no other reason, they can claim they don't know who's responsible for the hack.

Official government requests for users' data, like US National Security Letters, are where the government uses legal compulsion rather than trickery to obtain the data. Obviously governments can and do add legal requirements to not inform affected end users. In Australia the laws even forbid revealing that there has not been a request for users' data; no warrant canaries for us!

Comment Re:It's almost like a fetish (Score 2) 288

Customers will demand that Intel and AMD start having more oomph per core than just adding more cores to the die.

Intel and AMD would love to be able to do that. We haven't been stalled under 4GHz for years for marketing reasons; it's just not possible with current technology and sane power dissipation.

This will help a lot in tasks that can't be multithreaded (fast fourier transforms if doing video, for example.)

For video work its usually possible to parallelise by just having each core work on its own frame. Anyway, there seems to be plenty of literature on multithreaded FFT algorithms.

Comment Re:Please put the word "space" in quotes (Score 1) 121

"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

Got to love Tom Lehrer. These lyrics are now 50 years old and predate Apollo 11. The last line seems prophetic now:

"in German oder English I know how to count down,
Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun.

Comment Re:Oh good, more contention. (Score 1) 173

The 2.4 Ghz spectrum was opened up for general use because it has relatively poor long distance characteristics thanks to it being absorbed strongly by water

Note that 2.4GHz is absorbed pretty much the same as 2.1GHz, 2.2GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, 2.6GHz, ... There are no blips or surprises if you plot it out. The 2.4GHz ISM band appears to have been chosen just because some experimenters had built heating equipment that happened to use that frequency.

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