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Comment Re:$52/yr is a lot for a subscription (Score 1) 633

Amazon has been in business for long enough that I think by now it should be clear that printing paper is not the most important cost component for anything printed.

As for the case in question, 2016 might be the year when everyone who has a website starts asking for money and then we'll what kind of business models work with what kind of online media.

Comment Re:This is big news, actually (Score 1) 570

Hi. I'll be the new type of shill and say that this is not a very detailed research on what Windows is doing and how it was set up.

The author states:

Aside from installing Windows 10 Enterprise, and verifying the internet connection through ipconfig and ping yahoo.com, I have not used the Windows 10 installation at all (the basis for the first part of this analysis)


I have installed Virtualbox on the Linux Mint laptop, and installed Windows 10 EnterprisePNG on Virtualbox. I have chosen the customized installation option where I disabled three pages of tracking options.

The connections to Bing, MSN and Akamai can be explained by Windows Update and by built-in apps that may update a news feed. My work PC has W10 Enterprise and while there aren't as many of these apps compared to Home edition, there's Weather, Maps, Cortana and I don't know if Skype was pre-installed or added later. "Disabling 3 pages of tracking options" is IMHO too vague for someone trying to demonstrate something wrong with Windows 10 communicating with Microsoft HQ.

It would be stupid to say "nothing to see here, move along", but also stupid to go the other way completely and be all outraged before seeing this sort of experiment properly documented.

Comment You can probably afford hardware (Score 3, Insightful) 78

You should buy a something like a SBC (Pi or Arduino) and get a breadboard and some motion control chips and a a stepper motor. All of that together will cost about $60. (Breadboard maybe $10, chips maybe another $10, stepper motor maybe another $10, Raspberry Pi maybe $30). You could at least learn the basics of working with the chips and working with a motor.

Comment Re:I guess it's easier... (Score 1) 425

The lack of empathy is quite remarkable, but I'll give that a miss and just suggest that the size of servings is influenced by bad habits and by expectations from food sellers. In the same way that toothpaste manufacturers hoped to increase sales by increasing the size of the toothpaste lid opening, food suppliers are can adjust the size of servings to promote sales growth.

Have a look at the sizes of servings in restaurants in different countries and you might see correlation with obesity in the population. I'm not having a go at Americans, but *everyone* I know who visits the USA notices that all restaurant servings are huge. Imagine if those sizes are seen as normal from an early age, how can people not adjust their expectations (and feelings of satiety) to regularly eating enough food to obtain 3000 or 4000kcals per day?

Add to that the composition of foods offered and the logistics of food, and you'll see that it's easier to get people to eat larger pizzas than it is to overeat fish with salad. In the UK, for example, I see any shop front offering Coca Cola and many types of chocolate bars as snacks (400kcals+ per unit). The retailer can stock up on those products and not worry about wastage for several years. However, if they wanted to have less kcal-dense food on offer, their margin would be lower due to logistics and waste even if the chocolates were significantly more expensive and offered slower or less intense brain rewards than the "healthy snack" alternatives.

Comment Re:Yes, it changes everything and here's why (Score 1) 190

I suggest you all come back to this thread in 1-2 years.

Sometimes I do that, I actually bookmark authors and posts to read them again in 5 years. It's funny when the calendar reminder pops up and I have to think "why was this interesting?". Now, in your case, can I please have some directions to the research, rather than having to search for whatever is filed under "research" and "anonymous coward"?

Comment Re:New Apple products (Score 1) 43

Only the models "Margherita" having toppings tomato sauce, olive oil, basil and buffalo mozzarella and "Marinara" with tomato sauce, olive oil, oregano and garlic

Nononononono, initially sell the Margherita with mozzarella olive oil and basil, then when demand dies down a bit, sell a Margherita extra (rebrand as Margherita plus), where the mozzarella is substituted for buffalo mozzarella.

Comment Re:Of the five (Score 1) 250

Possibly. The way I see it, MS used to have 90%+ of share of a much smaller market than what exists today. If they end up with, say, 20% of paying customers for Mobile/PC+Gaming, it will be more than enough for them to be bigger and more profitable than they've been so far.

Amazon seems to be comfortably building vertical integration in their role as the biggest retail (and logistics) operation in the world, so I'd expect them to stick around in the top 5 for a long time until China comes up with the biggest retail operation ever.

Apple might take over a nice upmarket slice of the auto market and remain on the list.

Google is so weird they might split into 4 companies and take more than one place in the top 5.

I have this feeling that Facebook might be the least difficult to displace, as Netflix and other games&media companies develop the "social" side to what they offer today. then again, FB should at some point add a consumer electronics component to what they do and become a BIG player in an expanding VR+gaming market.

I'll set a calendar reminder to review this post in 5 years so I can laugh at myself.

Comment Re:Where are the diesel *hybrids*? (Score 1) 496

The Peugeot-Citroen group has some but this configuration is quite niche. While you can google for these models, these deep links are not necessarily connected to the main page of the car model. Probably these cars did not sell enough in the UK and are on the way out. I'm sure in France it will be different:

http://www.citroen.co.uk/new-c... (Citroen DS5)
http://www.peugeot.co.uk/showr... (Peugeot 508)
http://www.peugeot.co.uk/showr... (Peugeot 3008)

Comment Re:Not a zero-sum game -- and not that simple (Score 1) 395

You again reiterated the false choice. I explained exactly why it is a false choice, and why some possible solutions, which may or may not be available under all circumstances, can address some of the problems without weakening crypto standards themselves, or weakening existing complete crypto systems. That you don't want to acknowledge this is so does not make it untrue. You are focused on backdoors, various key escrow solutions, and the like, and not on practical reality.

Comment Not a zero-sum game -- and not that simple (Score 1) 395

Liberty and Safety are not at two ends of a zero-sum sliding scale, wherein one must be sacrificed in discrete and equal units for the other. We can and should have a good measure of both, and it is government's charge to provide for the latter, while protecting (or, depending on your view, not infringing upon) the former. To say nothing of the fact that our very existence has been an exercise in the sacrifice of "liberty" for an orderly civil society governed by the rule of law, except in the fantasies of internet tech-libertarians.

And what a worthless survey: "warrantless surveillance" of what? Of who? Foreign intelligence targets do not require and never have required a warrant.

Gone are the days where the US targeted foreign communications on distant shores, or cracked codes used only by our enemies. No one would have questioned the legitimacy of the US and its allies breaking the German or Japanese codes or exploiting enemy communications equipment during WWII. The difference today is that US adversaries -- from terrorists to nation-states -- use many of the same systems, services, networks, operating systems, devices, software, hardware, cloud services, encryption standards, and so on, as Americans and much of the rest of the world. They use iPhones, Windows, Dell servers, Android tablets, Cisco routers, Netgear wireless access points, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail, and so on.

The distinction is no longer the technology or the place, but the person(s) using a capability: the target. In a free society based on the rule of law, it is not the capability, but the law, that is paramount.

US adversaries use the very same technologies we use. The fact that Americans or others also use them does not suddenly or magically mean that no element of the US Intelligence Community should ever target them. When a terrorist in foreign country is using Hotmail or an iPhone instead of a walkie-talkie, that cannot mean we pack our bags and go home. That means that, within clear and specific legal authorities and duly authorized missions of the Intelligence Community, we aggressively pursue any and all possible avenues, within the law, that allow us to intercept and exploit the communications of foreign intelligence targets.

If they are using hand couriers, we target them. If they are using walkie-talkies, we target them. If they are using their own custom methods for protecting their communications, we target them. If they are using HF radios, VSATs, satellite phones, or smoke signals, we target them. If they are using Gmail, Facebook, iPhones, Android, SSL, web forums running on Amazon Web Services, etc., we target them -- within clear and specific legal frameworks that govern the way our intelligence agencies operate, including with regard to US Persons.

That doesn't mean it's always perfect; that doesn't mean things are not up for debate; that doesn't mean everyone will agree with every possible legal interpretation; that doesn't mean that some may fundamentally disagree with the US approach to, e.g., counterterrorism. But the intelligence agencies do not make the rules, and while we may inform issues, we do not define national policy or priorities.

And on backdoors, we don't need "backdoors".

What we do need is this:

A clear acknowledgment that what increasingly exists essentially amounts to a virtual fortress impenetrable by the legal mechanisms of free society, that many of those systems are developed and employed by US companies, and that US adversaries use those systems -- sometimes specifically and deliberately because they are in the US -- against the US and our allies, and for a discussion to start from that point.

The US has a clear and compelling interest in strong encryption, and especially in protecting US encryption systems used by our government, our citizens, and people around the world, from defeat. But the assumption that the only alternatives are either universal strong encryption, or wholesale and deliberate weakening of encryption systems and/or "backdoors", is a false dichotomy.

How is that so?

Encrypted communication has to be decrypted somewhere, in order for it to be utilized by the recipent. That fact can be exploited in various ways. It is done now. It's done by governments and cyber criminals and glorified script kiddies. US vendors could, in theory, be at least a partial aid in that process on a device-by-device basis, within clear and specific legal authorities, without doing anything like key escrow, wholesale weakening of encryption, or similar with regard to software or devices themselves.

When Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander, US Cyber Command, says:

"My position is -- hey look, I think that we're lying that this isn't technically feasible. Now, it needs to be done within a framework. I'm the first to acknowledge that. You don't want the FBI and you don't want the NSA unilaterally deciding, so, what are we going to access and what are we not going to access? That shouldn't be for us. I just believe that this is achievable. We'll have to work our way through it. And I'm the first to acknowledge there are international implications. I think we can work our way through this." ...some believe that is code for, "We need backdoors." No. He means exactly what he says.

When US adversaries use systems and services physically located in the US, designed and operated by US companies, there are many things -- compatible with our law and with the Constitution -- that could be discussed, depending on the precise system, service, software, or device. Pretending that there is absolutely nothing that can be done, and it's either unbreakable, universal encryption for all, or nothing, is a false choice.

To pretend that it's some kind of "people's victory" when a technical system renders itself effectively impenetrable to the legitimate legal, judicial, and intelligence processes of democratic governments operating under the rule of law in free civil society is curious indeed.

Some ask why terrorists wouldn't just switch to something else.

That's a really easy answer -- terrorists use these simple platforms for the same reason normal people do: because they're easy to use. Obviously, a lot of our techniques and capabilities have been laid bare, but people use things like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Telegram because they're easy. It's the same reason that ordinary people -- and terrorists -- don't use Ello instead of Facebook, or ProtonMail instead of Gmail. And when people switch to more complicated, non-turnkey encryption solutions -- no matter how "simple" the more tech-savvy may think them -- they make mistakes that can render their communications security measures vulnerable to defeat.

Vendors and cloud providers may not always be able to provide assistance; but sometimes they can, given a particular target (device, platform, etc.), and they can do so in a way that comports with the rule of law in free society, doesn't require creating backdoors in encryption, doesn't require "weakening" their products, and doesn't violate the legal and Constitutional rights of Americans.

And of course, it would be nice if we were able to leverage certain capabilities against legitimate foreign intelligence targets without our targets and the entire world knowing exactly what we are doing, how, when, and why, so our enemies know exactly how to avoid it.

Secrecy is required for the successful conduct of intelligence operations, even in free societies.

"The necessity of procuring good Intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged -- all that remains for me to add, is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprises of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned and promising a favourable issue." â" George Washington, our nation's first spymaster, in a letter to Colonel Elias Dayton, 26 July 1777

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