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Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake' 711

Posted by timothy
from the thought-it-was-a-protocol-droid dept.
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Apple CEO Tim Cook during his keynote said that around 130 million customers have purchased their first Apple device in the last twelve months. He states, 'Many of these customers were switchers from Android,' he said. 'They had bought an Android phone by mistake, and then had sought a better experience and a better life.' He added that almost half of those who have purchased an iPhone in China since December have switched from Android. However, it is worth noting that iPhones were not actually available in China until December, when pre-orders began, so it is unclear how much of the device's popularity there is simply down to the novelty factor, rather than a burning desire to flee from Android."

Comment: ERP (Score 3, Interesting) 552

by markhahn (#47075161) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

First, recognize the need for empirical information on the state of your loved-on. It is of very little use to make subjective observations, since humans are incredibly good at finding patterns where none exist.

Second, recognize the difficulty of what you're undertaking. Humans are at the very beginning of understanding how our bodies work, and we have essentially no model to predict when patients will, or never will, recover from injury like this. What makes it hard is that this ignorance means that you will be trying to make decisions under extreme uncertainty - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do so. For instance, there should probably be a time past which you withdraw life support when there are no signs of recovery. No one knows how long that should be, but the key thing is whether there are signs of hope.

What would be such signs? You've already read something about the locked-in phenomenon. First, CT cannot possibly provide any information about function: it measures x-ray density, and provides only structural information. At best, it might show which tissue has died - but unfortunately, we have very primitive knowledge of how that relates to function (or recovery). ERP (scalp electrodes) are MUCH more relevant: there is a huge literature describing the sorts of obligate responses made by sensory portions of the brain (our understanding of less sensory processes is rather spotty). PET can map metabolic activity, but that has a much less obvious relation to organized, functional brain activity. I think ERP monitoring should be your primary path forward. There is lots of research on this topic, and pretty much any university psychology/neuroscience/psychiatry department would have well-informed people you could talk to, often ones able to perform ERP tests for brain function. (The technology of ERP is very not hard, and designing effective tests is somewhat subtle. But if a test is supposed to guide a decision like continuation of life-support, it's not a casual trip-to-radioshack kind of project.)

In short, find a non-self-deluding way to gather empirical signs of functioning personhood; in the absence of such signs, figure out how long to wait.

Comment: Re:As painful as it is... (Score 2) 552

by markhahn (#47074883) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

this is NOT insightful.

we (medical or scientific communities) do not have the understanding to guide such a decision. we simply can't tell when a patient will never recover.

I personally would not want to be kept alive without prospects of a quite high quality-of-life. others certainly have different thresholds, and none of us can gainsay that preference. to do so is murder.


Heartbleed Pricetag To Top $500 Million? 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-tag dept.
darthcamaro (735685) writes "The Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability has dominated IT security headlines for two weeks now as the true impact the flaw and its reach is being felt. But what will all of this cost? One figure that has been suggested is $500 million, using the 2001 W.32 Nimda worm as a precedent. Is that number too low — or is it too high?"

Comment: duh (Score 1) 256

by markhahn (#46778783) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

with spinning rust, you might re-engineer the bulk process that coats your disks, but the boost in recording density depends on changing the parameters of the head. bulk process and one device. compare to flash, where to boost density, you have to tweak each storage cell, controlling for defects and manufacturing flaws, where the yield of each cell multiplies, so defects are exponentially likely.

disks (and to some extent tape) will always have scaling advantages over litho-fabed storage.

you can certainly argue that latency and bandwidth also suffer by the same process - but for the most part, disk performance really is fast enough for most uses. it's a bit surprising that more disk vendors haven't tossed onboard a small flash chip (to all lines of HDs).

Comment: the concept of IP is the problem (Score 2) 103

by markhahn (#46741409) Attached to: Why the IETF Isn't Working

"Intellectual Property" that is, not Internet Protocol. IETF succeeded when participants were motivated by something other than staking out as much turf to monetize. The basic premise of modern business is "do whatever it takes to get away with as much as possible", which is emphatically not part of the thought process that brought us TCP/IP, SMTP, SSH, HTTP, etc.

The problem is lawyers and MBA weasels who tell everyone that monetization is their primary duty, and that lockin and the resulting "rentier" revenue streams are the ideal course.

Comment: network effect iff vendor lockin (Score 3, Insightful) 260

by markhahn (#46496629) Attached to: The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly

lockin/networkeffect is so much easier a business model than competing based on excellence.

it's an interesting question to ponder: at what level of clue do customers begin to care? does the mass market ever reach that level? implicitly, sure - a service won't succeed which can't interoperate at least well enough. but how many customers really understand the concept of protocol or API - understand it well enough to realize that it permits vendor-independent services?

Comment: Fascism and demographics (Score 1) 309

by markhahn (#46484597) Attached to: Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

Obviously, this kind of thought-control, especially when combined with state capitalism/oligarchy/kleptocracy, is what we in the west would call Fascist. It is perhaps an interesting real-life demonstration of newspeak that much of Putin's fervor, at least for public consumption, is directed *against* Fascists in Ukraine. For him, the f-word means neo-nazi, or perhaps just ultra-nationalist for any nation other than greater Russia. It's really weird and mindbending, but you can find a lot of his undiluted propaganda on the web (, plenty in youtube, and planted comments on just about any relevant news article in any media...)

I find this fascists calling each other fascists thing quite interesting, but it seems to depend on a highly prepared political environment. The ex-USSR population seems to be uniquely primed to equate fascist=nazi, with all the baggage of WW2 (including the meme that the hard part was fought in Russia, not western europe, and that the cold war was essentially a continuation of WW2, with nazi-derived forces still conspiring against The Fatherland.) I imagine that works best for the older generation, but surely any Russian under 30 must look at the internet and see something closer to the truth...


Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-net-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about Russias censorship of internet sites critical of President Vladimir Putin. "Russia blocked access to the internet sites of prominent Kremlin foes Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov on Thursday under a new law critics say is designed to silence dissent in President Vladimir Putin's third term. The prosecutor general's office ordered Russian internet providers to block Navalny's blog, chess champion and Putin critic Kasparov's internet newspaper and two other sites, and, state regulator Roskomnadzor said. The move was the latest evidence of what government opponents see as a crackdown on independent media and particularly the internet, a platform for dissenting views in a nation where state channels dominate the airwaves. editor Alexander Ryklin called it 'monstrous' and a 'direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech,' More at EFF, and in earlier stories at the The Huffington Post, and Deutsche Welle, which notes, 'This year's report by Reporters Without Borders on World Day against Cyber Censorship condemns Russia as one of the "Enemies of the Internet." "Russia has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online," it concludes.'"

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.