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Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674 674

I know the overzealous community support officer made this about "abstracting electricity", but let's not get sidetracked by that, because it's not about the cost ...

As the article mentions, the socket is for use by cleaners when the train is in the station. While it is on the move it can switch from one substation to another. When this happens the feed could change phase and there could be a surge, which could damage anything that is plugged in.

The bottom line is that there is a valid reason the sockets should not be used.

Comment Re:Harry Shearer wanted more money (Score 2) 100 100

The Simpsons franchise generates massive revenue and returns for Fox. This is in no small part because of the "relationship" that viewers from across the globe have developed with the Simpsons characters, which are highly reliant on the well known voices. Harry Shearer does some very distinct voices for characters like Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders. His services are therefore involved in far more than mere talking as you suggest. He adds an immense amount of value and deserves to be well compensated.

This is the same reason other actors, professional sports people, famous musicians etc. make the kind of money they do. They add value ... Besides, $6,000,000 is a lot less than many people at the top of their profession in the corporate world make.

I'm not saying he's a good/bad guy or that he should be paid less/more. All I'm saying is that I would expect someone who is as central to the value creation of the Simpsons to be extremely well paid and think it is entirely justified.

Comment This makes no sense (Score 1) 344 344

Because Google pays billions to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS devices, the company collects much more from ads placed on Apple devices than from ads on Android devices.

This makes absolutely no sense. Why would they earn more from ads placed on Apple devices than from ads on Android because Google pays Apple? There may be more ad revenue from Apple users, but this would be a result of what advertisers are willing to pay to reach these users, not because of what Google does or doesn't pay to Apple.

Besides that, I don't think that claim of more revenue from iOS devices is true. A few weeks ago I saw a report from Opera that claimed ad revenue from Android had passed iOS.

Comment What's the problem? (Score 1) 307 307

Android apps can be ported to QNX, so why aren't app developers doing that? Oh yeah, I forgot, no one uses QNX devices ... and no one wants to develop J2ME apps for BBOS either.

Maybe Mr Chen should be more focused on developing his ecosystem. Incentivize developers to port their apps and help partners create apps that offer the equivalent of the most popular apps in the other app stores.

Comment Here's a clue (Score 3, Insightful) 281 281

From the original article:

Back doors are a bad idea, Schmidt said. “It’d be great, if you’re the government, to have a trap door, but how do we at Google know that the other governments are not taking over the trap door from you?” he said.

He is not saying the government (presumably the US government) shouldn't have a backdoor. He is only expressing a concern that other governments might find ways to exploit it.

Bottom line ... it still seems like Google will hand over any data the US government wants.

Comment Great problem to have (Score 1) 279 279

It always makes me feel depressed when reading posts like this. I live in South Africa. The quality of service we get from our fixed line provider means that I rarely get more than 384 Kbps on a 2 Mbps DSL connection. The fact that you need a way to make your home network about 3000 times faster instead of just 1800 times faster than my connection makes me want to cry. What makes it worse is that I pay about $50 USD a month for the "service".

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

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