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Comment Re:French cowards (Score 1) 303 303

That's why, when I (soon!) become a genocidal conqueror, I will be asking people for their voting records before I line them up against the wall.

Curses! WTF is this "secret ballot" my advisors are bringing up? *sigh* There goes my invasion plan. (If I can't have the executions, then I don't see why to bother.)

Comment Re:May you (Score 3, Insightful) 303 303

And let's also hope that nobody ever actually commits rape and gets caught and convicted.

Censorship is always a two-edged sword. I have never heard of any form of censorship where you couldn't rightly cite some examples where it's a good idea, but freedom-lovers can play the examples game too.

Loose lips sink ships, but the king is taxing us unfairly. Which side are you on?

Comment Re:Not Quite (Score 1) 66 66

For many software patents, I'd agree with you.

The problem with video compression is that many of the patents involved do represent real research, the expensive kind. They aren't one-click shopping patents. They're fundamentally pushing forward the state of the art. The people who do that work are expensive and need a lot of time, so, there has to be some way to pay for their efforts. Google's approach of subsidising all research via search ads is perhaps not as robust as one might hope for, even though it's convenient at the moment.

I don't know if DASH specifically is complex enough to deserve patent protection, but if you look at the massive efforts that go into the development of codecs like h.264, h.265 etc, the picture gets more complex. It's not pharmaceutical level research budgets but it's probably the closest the software world gets.

Comment Re:Closed Ecosystem (Score 1) 91 91

No, the issue is that it's open source and carriers customise the components. Android had a working online update infrastructure since day one, actually since before Apple did. But that's no use when the first thing OEMs do is repoint those mechanisms at their own servers and make huge changes to the code.

The comparisons with Linux are especially strange. Guess what? Upstreams who develop software for Linux and see it get repackaged by distributors are in exactly the same boat as Google. They see their software get packaged up, distributed, bugs possibly introduced and then upgrades may or may not make it to users. Yeah yeah, Debian say they backport security fixes. That's great when it's a popular package and a one liner. When the security fix in question is a major architectural upgrade, like adding a sandbox to an app, then users just get left behind on old versions without the upgrades because that's the "stable" version.

And of course many users are on Linux distros that stop being supported pretty quick. Then you're in the same boat as Android: old versions don't get updates.

Comment Blame the users: here's why (Score 2) 120 120

As usual, I prefer to blame the victims (us).

On a desktop personal computer, it would never occur to you to think "Oh, I just assume I'll get software maintenance from my ISP," and if anyone ever actually said that then you would point your finger at them and laugh and their over-the-top stupidity.

But change the form factor of the personal computer to handheld and suddenly we don't do the pointing and laughing. On the very face of it, it's JUST AS STUPID. So WTF?

Users are not exercising their common sense. They simply aren't. You can make excuses for not using common sense and explain why we did this very obviously stupid thing, but don't pretend it's not happening. Every morning you're getting up and putting a "kick me" sign on your back. You know that you're doing it and you know what consequences will invariably flow from it.

"I don't have any other signs to put on my back! All the signs on the market say 'kick me!'"

"Just because I wear a 'kick me' sign that doesn't mean anyone really has license to kick me! They shouldn't be doing that to me!"

Ok, go on and say those things. You even have some valid points, and the things you're saying might even be technically correct. But that doesn't mean you don't sound stupid, because you don't have not getting kicked in your requirements! WTF, people?!

Stop thinking of handhelds as some weird special case where ALL your experiences with software maintenance magically don't apply! THAT'S STUPID! So yeah, I'm a victim-blamer. You know when you buy your PC from your ISP or from a manufacturer who has a history of preventing maintenance, what's going to happen. And when people pretend they don't know the invariable consequences of buying PCs from ISPs, the stupidity takes on a flavor of dishonesty. Mmmm, yum!

Comment Re:Is it 64-bit yet? (Score 1) 132 132

Sounds like the answer is "64 bit is hard work and we'd rather do other things + it'd break our plugins". Same issue everyone else faced when porting to 64 bit. And apparently it's easier to port code to run on the .NET VM than port it the old fashioned way whilst keeping it as unmanaged C++?

Secondly, from a cost perspective, probably the shortest path to porting Visual Studio to 64 bit is to port most of it to managed code incrementally and then port the rest. The cost of a full port of that much native code is going to be quite high and of course all known extensions would break and we’d basically have to create a 64 bit ecosystem pretty much like you do for drivers. Ouch.

(source)

But the .NET 64 bit JIT has historically been very low throughput, and the CLR is a less advanced VM than the JVM which can run code in an interpreter until compiled code is ready, so slow compiler == slow startup and high latencies on loading new screens, etc. Not good for a desktop app.

Comment Worthless judgement (Score 2) 64 64

This isn't going to make any difference.

The EU "Right to Privacy" and indeed all the human rights encoded in the relevant document are so riddled with exceptions that you can drive a bus through them. The fact that any government lost at all is amazing and surely the result of incompetent lawyering. From the text:

There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The national security exception by itself seems enough to allow nearly anything, but then they add public safety and economic well being on top! In fact every reason a government might have for engaging in surveillance is covered, which cannot be an accident.

But anyway, GCHQ is not about to suddenly discover that it cares about these things. It's been obvious since the start that the 5 Eyes agencies perceive themselves as being entirely outside ordinary democratic constraints, unfortunately, that perception is largely true as senior ministers think real life is like an episode of 24 and gives them essentially blanket immunity to do whatever they like.

Comment Re:another win for the 1% (Score 1) 432 432

Yes, I had the same experience the few times I've used Uber. The drivers always seem happy. They don't feel like they're being exploited and often feel it was an upgrade on what they were previously doing. The flexibility comes up a lot too.

Whilst it's just anecdotes, that would still seem to be a serious problem for the "Uber is exploiting the poor proles" camp.

Comment Re:So tell us (Score 2) 74 74

Maybe it never tried.

That and also more importantly: because nature's idea of "better" is almost never the same as our idea of "better." I think it's wonderful that the performance example that they used, happened to be binding to cancer cells. If cancer doesn't illustrate the vast gulf between us and it, I don't know what does!

Comment Re:And how are they going to do this? (Score 2) 139 139

Same way it works for banks. In other words, it doesn't, but it makes them into awfully convenient scapegoats who can be blamed for any social ill on the grounds that "they could have stopped it but didn't because they're all greedy capitalists".

It was inevitable that things would go this way the moment encryption started getting good. As NSA/GCHQ are now much more limited in what they can see, and privacy advocates are trying to stop them getting more power, the obvious 'solution' is to outsource the costs to the private sector. The advantage is the government can then never screw up, except by being insufficiently aggressive with them. It's a lose/lose situation for anyone who runs a communications system.

And the only solution to THAT is end to end crypto so not even the provider can read the messages. Hence the UK's sudden interest in banning such systems entirely.

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz

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