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Comment Re:Yep (Score 2) 198

>"You say "cool", I say useful. I used my Dropcam (back when it was still called that) to catch my landlord entering my apartment illegally."

And why couldn't you do that with a camera that uses your OWN web services or your own private software? And why did it have to be on the Internet in order to record? Those are exactly my points. Not everything has to have some third-party service or connectivity to be useful. The third-party service might, indeed, be convenient... buy security and privacy are both typically at odds with convenience.

Comment Yep (Score 4, Insightful) 198

>"The truth is: the Nest Cam is never "off" despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise."

And this surprises anyone? I work on the EXPECTATION that equipment that uses cloud services outside my control, and is not open source, and always connected to the Internet is just that.... uncontrolled.

Even if it were "off", there is nothing to prevent it from being turned on remotely or being changed to do so with an automatic update. Promises made by companies mean almost nothing to me... if you can even understand them when it is followed by 10 pages of incomprehensible legal jargon.

And then there are the security risks that have nothing to do with the manufacturer. If it is connected, it can be compromised by someone.

There is a reason I don't have certain devices in my home. This stuff is going to get worse and worse. People should probably reflect on why one wants or needs everything to be connected to a third-party service or always connected to the Internet. Just because it seems "cool" doesn't mean it is a great idea or that there is no potential hidden cost.

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Go back (Score 4, Insightful) 305

This is going to go over like a lead balloon. I know if I was greeted with that on a site I use, I would then start the process of going elsewhere.

They would do far better to just shift to some other way to display the ads using local servers instead of ad networks, if they really find all of this necessary. Oh, and in the process, make sure the ads are small, load quickly, don't pop up or under or on a time delay, have no animation and no sound, and no mouse over effects. Inotherwords, go back to the way things were before people found it necessary to block ads.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment Differentiate? (Score 4, Informative) 137

>"The company may see this as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition."

Um, yeah- "Buy our phones! They are better because we allow the government to spy on you!" What a great selling feature to differentiate yourself from your competition. I bet consumers will flock to that ?!!?!?!!

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 174

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:Size & standards, not doctoring (Score 1) 206

>Until then, (all else like noise, light sensitivity, color balance, etc. being equal) more pixels is better.

But they are not equal, so that is the crux. Consumer ignorance has driven a megapixel craze at the expense of pixel *quality*. I am not opposed to increasing quality (and even number of pixels, as long as they are not at the expense of anything else).

But again, there is no standard for RAW- every manufacturer does something different. So the news agency likely has to convert them all into something standard that not only can be stored smaller, but accessed and used the same.

Comment Size & standards, not doctoring (Score 4, Insightful) 206

I am pretty sure the real issue is file size and standards, not doctoring. As manufacturers keep ridiculously upping sensor MP size, photo sizes continue to balloon to larger and larger sizes. RAW files are notoriously huge and non-standard. The extra processing they are referring to is probably just the need to convert those various RAW files back to JPEG, which takes/wastes time/energy by their staff.

You would have to be a pretty big idiot to think that JPEG files are harder to doctor than RAW files. Any photo format can be used when exporting a doctored image... has nothing to do with how it is saved.

"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond