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Comment: Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (Score 4, Insightful) 149

by joh (#47548395) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

It's just that a THIRD platform (after Android and iOS) has very little hope of getting a foot into the door. MS obviously hopes that it can change that in the long run by fusing Windows and WP as a platform. I think the gap is too large to make this work, but it's really neither the hardware nor the OS that is the actual problem here. Still, MS has more than once proven that it has the patience to turn things around (they all but missed the Internet once and a few years later IE was moving towards a monopoly) and they surely hope they can pull something like this off again.

I'm not very optimistic here, but the OS wars aren't over yet.

Comment: Weakest Russia ever (Score 5, Insightful) 571

by joh (#47545403) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Wreck their economy. It worked once and the way Russia acts it would work again, no doubt. Russia has only a GDP a little better than Italy and less than Germany, France or the UK. They are utterly weak and exactly because they know it they have to act like a bully. Russia is a dwarf trying to convince itself it is a giant by making others think it is.

Comment: Re:DON'T PANIC (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by joh (#47503613) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

Android has the Google Play Services that has all permissions, that can update itself without asking or even telling the user and that has access to EVERYTHING on the phone. If the NSA wants you data, it gets it. Period.

And really, you need to do some reality-check here. You can't protect yourself against that. No way. Not without building your own hardware, writing your own software, including the firmware and the baseband.

All the geeks dreaming of technical solutions to political problems are just dreamers. What we need is some sane checks and balances for when and in which cases such things are used. This is a political problem and the first step to home in to a solution is accepting that there ARE cases where law enforcement and government agencies indeed have a right and a need to do this. Without accepting this you will only continue to shake your fists and even IF you may get into power with steadfastly requiring 100% security against everyone: Once you will notice that people will use the Internet and mobile devices to organize against you then, you WILL turn around and cry for surveillance and WILL try to defend yourself. Freedom has to have some teeth and hands and eyes to defend itself. The point is not to pull the teeth, the point is how to tame them. There are no technical solutions to that problem.

Comment: It's called trauma (Score 1) 98

by joh (#47503461) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

Really, very much as after 9/11 people are actually training themselves into a deep trauma. As you should know avoiding a trauma means NOT to do that. Sadly if you leave people to do what they want (and have this amplified by the headline-addicted press and of course the Internet) they will do exactly that. They will over and over come back to what did hurt them, they will stare at it all day long and become more and more fascinated by it, until they can't think of anything else anymore. Feelings of intense anger that is targeted at often logically totally unrelated persons or things will be more and more common.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

To "get back to reality" isn't easy then.

Comment: Re:Too many words (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by joh (#47503323) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

Except for the fact that Apples handing all of your data over to the NSA anyway. Apple has a very cozy relationship with the US federal government.
http://cdn.bgr.com/2013/11/app...

According to that table there were 0 - 1000 cases in which "some" content data was disclosed to law enforcement in the US (and 1 in the UK and 0 in about 30 other countries). You call this "a very cozy relationship"? With 313 million citizens in the US there were less than 1000 requests granted. What's "cozy" about that?

Comment: Too many words (Score 5, Insightful) 98

by joh (#47502669) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

Comment: Re:Interesting. (Score 1) 122

by joh (#47394233) Attached to: New Single Board Computer Lets You Swap Out the CPU and Memory

The RPi has some very notable disadvantages: Not enough RAM, slow ethernet, too few USB ports. If you want to run such a thing as a low-power always-on Linux micro-server the RPi really sucks. It also doesn't run Debian or Ubuntu. It's a nice toy and totally usable for many things but it also has some really tight limits. Just running a web server with PHP against a database can be too much.

A faster CPU, 1 GB of RAM and dedicated ethernet (instead of sharing the USB bus) can help a lot here.

Comment: Re:Shared space (Score 2) 579

by joh (#47368047) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

I came to suggest exactly this. Around where I live there's a place which was hell before. Bus lanes, an underground parking lot spewing out cars, several lanes of traffic, pedestrians and bicycles. It was actually the sheer impossibility of integrating cycling lanes into that mess that lead to a shared space approach: Everything was removed, no lanes, no signals, even the paving was changed to meld together with the surrounding area.

Everybody drives MUCH slower now there (since arriving confuses the hell out of you) and people actually negotiate their way through it by looking for what's going on. What was a really dangerous place before is now the exact opposite: AFAIK there hasn't been a single accident since then. Just forcing people to look out for themselves instead of relying on lanes and signals really can work wonders. Won't work everywhere, but trying to channel everything in a mechanical way isn't always the best option.

Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 1) 461

by joh (#47317827) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Yeah, Germany pays an average $0.35/kwh, versus $0.12 in the US. But they also have higher electricity taxes, pay 4x more for natural gas and have insolation levels similar to Alaska; you can't just compare countries' prices directly like that.

I'm in Germany and I'm paying extra for 100% renewable power and with that I pay less than 30€ a month for electricity (all of it from solar/hydro/wind). Why? I don't use much of it. Price per kWh as a metric is pointless, cost it what counts. The house I'm living in has two feet thick brick walls and double-pane windows, there really is no need for A/C and only little for heating. Power in the US is cheap and that's one of the reasons that most of it is just wasted.

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