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Comment: Re:Oh no! hipster outrage (Score 1) 609

It's not like that at all. In your example people are able to simply not take the tape - this was forced into your library and the only way to hide it (not even delete it) is to hide ALL your previous purchases. Sucks if you delete content to make space sometimes and want to add it again later - this album will always be there in that list of stuff you bought (now a combined list of stuff you bought and stuff apple forced on you).

A lot of what I read above seems to be "so what" but what happens when it's more targeted, and more rampant? You'll start changing your minds and start to value having a little control over your media, your device, your life. You'll miss your short list of 5 albums you bought when you have to wade through 40 albums of crap Apple decided should show up in the list. At very least just make it a new/different list!! We used to get TV free but had to sit through commercials - that was fair. Now you pay $40/month for cable and still have to watch commercials? Greed and desire for control are changing things more rapidly than before, and it seems silly to me that they're taking control away from consumers; if we can't even vote with our dollar any longer I suspect piracy will skyrocket on a scale so far unseen. If I owed stock in Apple I'd be outraged that company money went toward this rather than R&D for how to not suck.

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 1) 609

I disagree. The option is to auto-download purchased content, not "everything", but in any case those of us who Don't want it and didn't purchase it have it marked as purchased now! Previously we were allowed to choose what we bought, (and price or lack-thereof doesn't change what I'm talking about here). For the record I never enabled that stupid option, but I'm still pissed. See my post above about Control. The issue isn't U2 or iTunes or bandwidth, it's about control.

Comment: Re:sort of like Amazon Prime Music (Score 1) 609

There's nothing stopping you from browsing, and there are now tons of sites and databases and forums etc to help you find similar or related music, including one built into iTunes (ping I think? did my best to disable & hide it because "F-OFF and stop watching my usage preferences for your marketing").

The issue here boils down to one simple thing: Control. People want control of their (very expensive) mobile - or any - device, and Apple wants control of how you use it and what you have access to when you use it. That's obvious with just about every aspect of iOS (yes I have an iPhone). Apps, settings, etc it's all their way or no way. I can't uninstall the Stocks app. Why? You can't tell me there's code in it needed by iOS, and if there was, why not move it to a required shared object / DLL type file and let.me.delete.Stocks. Now there are Facebook settings in the iOS general settings - WHY?! I deleted my facebook account and don't even have the app installed!

Control. I don't even hate U2, but this whole debacle pisses me off to no end. It may not have auto-downloaded, but I can't get it off my list unless I also remove all the other content that I (should not have!) bought on iTunes and CHOSE not to have on the iPhone this month. I went back to buying CD's and ripping them - you know why? Control. I can control the quality, whether I see them in the list, which cover artwork to embed, everything.

There's simply no intuitive, nice way of taking control away from a user without someone getting upset, and I don't see how anyone is surprised by that.

Comment: Re:geek or not (Score 1) 238

by static0verdrive (#47891117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?
I love my Asus RT-AC66U with Merlin's custom firmware. I use openVPN with it (and Tunnelblick etc on my clients). That being said, if you want the best, pfSense is where it's at. You just need any cheap motherboard and a total of 2 network connections (usually that's one on-board and one add-in card, and they're cheap). I'd use a mobo that had on-board video so you have less generating heat in the case (and also less to buy and supply power to).
United States

Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion 535

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-money dept.
First time accepted submitter ltorvalds11 writes Cuba says its economy is suffering a "systematic worsening" due to a US embargo, the consequences of which Havana places at $1.1 trillion since Washington imposed the sanctions in 1960, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against gold. "There is not, and there has not been in the world, such a terrorizing and vile violation of human rights of an entire people than the blockade that the US government has been leading against Cuba for 55 years," Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno told reporters. He also blamed the embargo for the difficulties in accessing internet on the island, saying that the United States creates an obstacle for companies providing broadband services in Cuba. Additionally, he said that the area is one of the "most sensitive" to the embargo, with economic losses estimated at $34.2 million. It is also the sector that has fallen "victim of all kinds of attacks" by the US, as violations of the Cuban radio or electronic space "promote destabilization" of Cuban society, the report notes. The damage to Cuban foreign trade between April 2013 and June 2014 amounted to $3.9 billion, the report said. Without the embargo, Cuba could have earned $205.8 million selling products such as rum and cigars to US consumers. Barack Obama last week signed the one-year extension of the embargo on Cuba, based on the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, created to restrict trade with countries hostile to the U.S..

Comment: Re:COST (Score 1) 544

I can't disagree with you, but I feel there's another aspect missing here - what the manufacturer sees as beneficial (costs such as making physical kb's in every language) and what retailers or business analysts feel will sell based on all the latest marketing research (and remember in Big Data correlation IS causation!). "Wow look at how well the iPhone 3G sold! I guess no wants a physical keyboard anymore... None of our phones will ever sell again unless they're exactly like the iPhone in every way." (Nevermind the fact it could have sold for any one of 10-15 fairly cool / fairly new / or fairly well implemented features).

I believe this is also the reason someone (somewhere) in just about every camp (Mac, Win 8, Ubuntu as examples) thinks a desktop OS should start being gutted to look and work more like a mobile OS. I firmly believe LACK of features on mobiles (like real keyboards, mice, configurability/customizability, etc) are helping keep the PC market alive ever-so-slightly.
China

China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-what dept.
hackingbear writes: Burdened with Alabama's highest unemployment rate, long abandoned by textile mills and furniture plants, Wilcox County, Alabama, desperately needs jobs. And the jobs are coming from China. Henan's Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group opened a plant here last month, employing 300 locals. Chinese companies invested a record $14 billion in the United States last year, according to the Rhodium Group research firm. Collectively, they employ more than 70,000 Americans, up from virtually none a decade ago. Powerful forces — narrowing wage gaps (Chinese wages have been doubling every few years), tumbling U.S. energy prices, the rising Yuan — up 30% over the decade — are pulling Chinese companies across the Pacific. Perhaps very soon, Chinese workers will start protesting their jobs being outsourced to the cheap labor in the U.S."
KDE

Linux Mint 17 KDE Released 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
sfcrazy writes The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 17 KDE codenamed Qiana. It's based on KDE Software Compilation 4.13.0. There are notable improvements in Mint Display Manager (MDM). The multi-monitor display has improved and it allows a user to “configure which of the monitors should be used as the primary monitory by MDM.” Users can also define a background color or a background picture no matter what greeter they are using.
Science

Microscopic View of How Leaves Repel Water 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-like-a-tree-and-get-outta-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Years of research has gone into products that are hydrophobic — they resist getting wet. But nature solved this problem long ago, and it's ubiquitous outside our buildings and homes. You've probably seen it yourself, after a light rain: water collects in round droplets on many leaves from trees and plants, refusing to spread out evenly across the surface. This article explains why that happens using super slow-mo cameras and an electron microscope. "[T]he water isn't really sitting on the surface. A superhydrophobic surface is a little like a bed of nails. The nails touch the water, but there are gaps in between them. So there's fewer points of contact, which means the surface can't tug on the water as much, and so the drop stays round. ... [After looking at a leaf in the electron microscope,] we saw this field of tiny wax needles, each needle just a few microns in length! The water drops are suspended on these ultra-microscopic wax needles, and that keeps it from wetting the surface."
Mars

Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-to-mars dept.
An anonymous reader writes Elon Musk says that he'll put the first human boots on Mars well before the 2020s are over. "I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's certainly possible for that to occur," he said. "But the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multiplanetary." He acknowledged that the company's plans were too long-term to attract many hedge fund managers, which makes it hard for SpaceX to go public anytime soon. "We need to get where things a steady and predictable," Musk said. "Maybe we're close to developing the Mars vehicle, or ideally we've flown it a few times, then I think going public would make more sense."

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 378

Not sure where you get your information from, but find a new source. Any language can be on the outside as long as the French is bigger OR on top (or both), and I'm from Quebec but barely speak French; we only ever spoke English outside of class. I don't deny they're pretty stupid with some of the language laws though... For example, considering the laws are to protect their culture from erosion due to the overwhelming English majority in North America, which makes sense, doesn't it also make sense to assume that road signs for tourists should be in English because a) tourists don't speak French and b) the locals already know where they're going?!
Privacy

Replicating the NSA's Gadgets Using Open Source 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the spy-on-it-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wireless security researcher Michael Ossmann asked himself: 'Could I make the gadgets that the agency uses to monitor and locate mobile phones, tap USB and Ethernet connections, maintain persistent malware on PCs, communicate with malware across air gaps, and more, by just using open source software and hardware?' In this podcast he shares his insights on what to use — and how — to duplicate hardware devices found in the ANT catalog."

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