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Comment: Re:Porn needs Javascript (Score 1) 86

by Kjella (#48026101) Attached to: Tor Executive Director Hints At Firefox Integration

Well, allowing JavaScript gives people who'd like to de-anonymize you:

a) A much bigger attack surface, rendering engines are rather safe while scripting engines are quite risky by comparison.
b) Much more accurate ways to fingerprint users through querying the system.
c) Much simpler ways to use AJAX to create traffic patterns to trace you through the system.

That the TorBrowser developers (Tor is just the transport layer - it speaks TCP/IP, not HTTP) choose to leave JavaScript enabled is more a pragmatic choice so users don't experience a "broken web". But if you need the protection Tor has to offer, then you probably should disable JavaScript and find yourself web 1.0 services to serve your needs. Otherwise you're probably better off just getting a cheap VPN.

Comment: Re:It's not technology (Score 1) 22

by Kjella (#48025771) Attached to: How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

It's not the technology what's helping those kids, but teachers. Appreciating kids, and encouraging them, and making them feel special and motivated. They could have done it the same with just pen and pencil. Remarking the use of technology completely misses the point. Computers are great tools for communication, and thus only work when you have something to communicate.

No, they're very good at reproducing things and if you haven't got teachers or you haven't got skilled teachers or you haven't got interested teachers then the computer at least give kids a chance to learn. Unlike here in western society for these kids education is a precious resource that they know is essential to have a decent future, first you have to give them the opportunities before you start worrying about motivating them to make use of them.

Comment: Re:Google services are overrated anyway (Score 1) 351

Allowing carriers to nerf operating system functionality is as unacceptable as allowing your ISP to nerf your computer when you use the Internet yet they are still getting away with it.

The absolute worst is when carriers disable tethering or hide it behind a tethering plan at extortionate prices. They have absolutely no reason to care whether the traffic coming through my phone originated from the phone or from my PC. If my subscription allows me 5GB of data traffic per month, it should not matter one bit which device it is used for.

Comment: Re:Not suprrising really (Score 1) 351

Putting the Play Store icon right on the default home screen is a very sensible move. Smartphone equals apps, and people don't want to hunt around for the app store.

At least all of the other stuff is in a single folder that's easy to remove from the home screen. I know the apps are still installed, but maybe I'm just getting older and less reactionary, because I don't really care about the 200MB or so they take up. I haven't even come close to running out of space on an Android device yet.

Comment: Re:Knee Jerk Reaction? (Score 1) 351

That's how the Google apps appear at first when installed along with Cyanogenmod. An icon for the Play Store, and then everything else in a folder, which is just one swipe to remove from the home screen. Personally, I think at least putting the Play Store icon pretty much front and center is a good idea. Smartphone users want apps, and the first thing they do when they get a new phone is install all of their favorites.

Comment: Re:When they a) unlawfully b) abuse c) monopoly d) (Score 1) 351

android as shipped on virtually all devices is a closed ecosystem, windows is not. windows users have choice of program to run and dont have to jump through hoops to do so, most android devices require rooting or other tricks to run apps not sanctioned by google... and some jurisdictions consider rooting a mobile device to be illegally breaking its drm.

You can install any .apk package that you want, if it's not "sanctioned by Google", you get a message that you have to enable installation of packages from unknown sources. It's a single checkbox to enable it. Of course, the alternative app stores aren't available in the Play Store, but they're just .apk files like any other Android app, and easy to download and install. So you have security with an official app store for the common user, and flexibility with alternative app stores for the power users. Hell, there's even an app now for installing Cyanogenmod, and it's super easy to use.

The only hoop to jump through is a single checkbox. That's how the stock Samsung firmware was in my Galaxy S4 Mini, and that's how it is in Cyanogenmod as well. Then you can scan all the QR codes you want, and download and install any third-party apps. The official Humble Bundle app sort of functions as an alternate app store for games/ebooks/music you've bought, and that's actually available on the Play Store, despite offering an alternate "store" for games already on the Play Store.

The illegality of rooting a device is a legislative problem, not a Google/Android problem.

Comment: Re:Let's save a lot of time. (Score 1) 115

Obviously... or we'd lose the whole story in the East and the threat of invasion that it brings. This would be less obvious if Daenerys had someone who could take her place, but I don't see that whole plot line just being cut with a quick death of the Mother of Dragons.

Actually there's at least two potential plot lines in the books already to make that... ambiguous. Heck, half the plot is taking seemingly irreplaceable characters and kill them, the world keeps on twisting and turning. But yes, I don't see it happening until after they've sailed for Westeros.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 2) 120

by Carewolf (#48021723) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

It's not a race to the bottom, it's an optimization. If corporate tax rate is X and total tax revenue is Y, past a certain point as X goes up, Y goes down because of competitive forces elsewhere.

Yeah, but if you give away more free stuff than you ever get back in revenue you will be losing money. This is what Ireland did. They got less than a thousand jobs out of it, and would lose them in an instant if they ever tried to make Apple or Google pay for what they actually use of public resources. Selling for less than cost is BAD BUSINESS.

Comment: Re:Books 4 and 5. (Score 1) 115

His analysis doesn't seem to take into account Martin originally wrote books 4 and 5 as one book, Seems to me those numbers should be averaged. Then again, IANAS.

Actually it's a bit more complicated than that, it started as one book that outgrew itself and was divided geographically but the timelines eventually merge again in Dance of Dragons with characters from the south appearing after the events of the fourth book. So it will be highly biased towards characters based in the north/east since they're in the entire book, followed by characters travelling north while those staying in the south aren't in the fifth book at all, but who will certainly return to finish up their arcs.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 2) 120

by Carewolf (#48021083) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

What lesson is that? Would Ireland have been better off if Apple and Microsoft and Google moved those jobs to Wales or France or Spain? Ireland is collecting income tax from all those employees, and sales tax from everything those employees buy. Why push employers away out of some fashionable drive for 'social justice'?

I made no comment on social justice. I said it was bad business. A race to the bottom leaves you at the bottom, and since the rest of the EU was not racing against Ireland, they just raced themselves to the bottom. It was bad business and economically idiotic.

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 395

by Kjella (#48021035) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Pretty much nobody argues with the kind of science you can conduct in a lab like physics, chemistry, optics, mechanics, electronics and such, if you can put it in a lab and reproduce it then it's generally not controversial at all. Even when CERN finds some exotic new particle. All the controversy usually revolves around systems that are either so complex we can't meaningfully reproduce it all in a lab so basically parallel world theories or where the results come from a thought process, not compelled by any law of nature.

In the first case we do some partial models that are only approximately right, like for example weather forecasts. And lots of people claiming that flapping your wings this way or that will set off a butterfly effect. In the second case you'll never settle the discussion on applicability because these people might react different than those people based on culture, age, sex, education, experience, history or simply understanding the purpose or confines of the experiment and how applicable it really is to any real world situation.

For example, I suspect you can take pretty much all literature and studies done on airplane hijackings done before 9/11 and throw them in the trash bin, or at the very least put them in a museum. Not because they were in any way scientifically invalid, but because nobody will react in the same way anymore. Granted, that's probably a rather extreme example but there's lots of example to prove those kinds of scientific truths are fluid and change over time. It's a process, not a set of answers and it'll always be noisy.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 3, Insightful) 120

by Carewolf (#48020021) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

They do pay taxes. They just negotiated lower taxes in exchange for bringing those jobs to Ireland. It's a WIN-WIN solution for Ireland and Apple. Ireland still collects more revenue due to all the new jobs. The only losers are the countries who want to maintain a high tax rate and don't appreciate competition from Ireland, hence the EU getting their panties in a bunch.

Yeah, all that win for Ireland was why they went near bankcrupt and had to bailed out by the rest of the EU?

Ireland sold out, but sold out so cheap they didn't even get rich from selling out. Hopefully they have learned their lesson, though it seemed some people like you haven't.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson