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Comment Re:passions count. 'me too!' products suck anyways (Score 2) 205

TV is dead anyways. I am no fanboy but this makes me like Steve Jobs a little more. The fact that he liked some things and hated others gave the company a vision and gave him a passion. Google could learn from this instead of scattershotting with everything with 'me too products' that fail and just hurt the brand ( and waste money). TV in that era was especially bad, I can't stand people that like sitcoms. protip=friends, the big bang theory, and cheers are all the same show. A bad one.

I agree, the future of visual entertainment is streaming, not selling people an obscenely expensive and bloated package of crappy TV cannels just so they can watch a handful of them to catch their favorate shows. If the Steve saw that coming over a decade ago thn swearing that "Apple will never make a TV again" sounds more like farsigtedness than an oversight. There is a reason people use bittorent and it's not that all bittorenters are cheapskates (althoug may motivate some of them) it's more that they like the convenience of the on-demand delivery mechanism.

Comment Re:The Big News (Score 0) 119

The big news is that Snowden's 15 minutes of fame are over. These "revelations" are being met with a big yawn.

Which is a development that is meeting with much approval in the headquarters of the CIS, NSA, FBI, MI5, MI6, BND, MAD, DGSE, DGSI, BRGE, .... and anywhere else where revelations about the government monitoring every move of the voting public are potentially damaging to the funding of the aforementioned organizations.

Comment Re:Common sense to you and me, but... (Score 1) 98

The problem is that for Cameron to change his mind on trying to ban strong encryption, would imply that he was somehow wrong to try and ban it in the first place. This of course will not happen. Politicians HATE it when they are shown to be wrong.

A bit of heated rhetoric mentioning Paedophiles, Terrorists and Tor will put paid to this report, and GCHQ will continue on their merry way treating the entire population as enemies/criminals.

What amuses me about these conservatives is that they claim to be against what they call 'the nanny state' but then they turn around and want to ban Tor, ban strong encryption, put entire nations behind a net-nanny firewall they sourced from a company in Red China, ban hooded clothing, ban pocket knives, put CCTV all over the place ban things that obscure your face because the CCTV can't identify you, bug the telecommunications of the entire populace,..... but let me reiterate that they are still against the 'nanny state'.

Comment Re:Doesn't rely on carbon or oxygen? (Score 2) 69

Methane is CH4. The C is for carbon. Come on people!

You left out the last part: "...does not rely on either carbon or oxygen for respiration". I'm no chemist nor am I an expert in exobiology so somebody who is may feel free to educate me if I' wrong here. Having said that, the way I understand it a hypothetical methane based life form on Titan would use complex hydrocarbons as an energy source by reacting them with hydrogen like for example reducing ethane and acetylene to methane and it would consume i.e. respire (inhale) hydrogen for that purpose. So the statement is correct, these Titanian life forms would neither respire (inhale) Oxygen nor a carbon based gas like life forms on earth do, just the hydrogen that is disappearing when it hits the surface of Titan. What you would expect to seen if such life forms existed on Titan. would be an unexplained disappearance of hydrogen (check) and methane being produced (check) with fluctuations in both as populations of these life forms grew and shrank for whatever reasons (seasons, radiation, predators, ...???). Of course there are other ways of explaining such fluctuations which is why we must send a rover to Titan a.s.a.p to do some research.

Comment Re:Yeah... I don't think so (Score 1) 393

Looking at it's Desktop environment (lumina), there is no way in hell PC-BSD will ever become widely adopted. It's a jarring shitfest of Windows-95 wanna-be hell designed by amateurs. If any OSS *nix has a shot at becoming mainstream by 2020, that would be Ubuntu. While they have their own issues, at least they understand how to put together a good looking UI, and their installer works quite well on consumer grade gear unlike most OSS *nix distros.

Looking at the PC-BSD reviews on Youtube I'd have to agree. I moved to OS X partly to escape the Windows 98 UI and while Aqua isn't perfect it is IMHO (your milage may vary) a helluvalot better than any iteration of Windows up to and including version 7. I'm always interested in new ways to interact with computers and the thing that continually disappoints me about many attempts by the FOSS community to come up with desktop environments is that so many fall into the trap of copying Windows. Ubuntu with Unity deserves some credit for at least knocking off OS X's Aqua rather than Windows but they didn't do a good job. The most recent efforts at improving the desktop that I have tried are Gnome 3 and Windows 8 with Gnome 3 being IMHO the clear winner and one of the best takes on re-inventing the traditional desktop that I have seen recently (an opinion that inspires near religious indignation in some people) although Microsoft deserves some respect for at lest trying to come up with something different (again, an opinion that inspires near religious indignation in some people).

Comment Re:Maybe not on slashdot (Score 0) 74

But I know many multicellular intelligent organisms that have engaged in horizontal gene transfer. Many of them probably shouldn't have.

Yes, even humans. It may be a little know example of horizontal gene transfer but if you stay vegan for long enough you start to grow grass on your head instead of hair, thus acquiring the ability to photo synthesize.

Comment Re:Two things (Score 2) 825

1.The Republican Congress will never approve this idea. Never. 2. Europe closing tax havens? Africa is ripe to be next with new tax havens and super cheap manufacturing centers.

Does it really matter if the Republicans will approve of this? Perhaps Obama knows that every single Republican congressman is now getting frantic phone calls from every rich Ayn Rand reading jerk that ever contributed to his campaign. Obama also knows that taxing the rich is probably not going to bother the electorate that much. The common working American like any other working class person derives a certain amount of 'schadenfreude' from watching rich people squirm. The is especially the case if those rich people are tax cheats who, unlike the ordinary working American, can hide their earnings in foreign tax shelters. When the Republican party rises up on it's collective hind legs and fight this tooth and claw they will once again be perceived as the party that exists mainly to defend the rich at the expense of the American people since this money would be used to improve America's decaying infrastructure which ultimately would benefit everybody including the rich (even if they are to short sighted and greedy to see it). If I was Obama I would spend the rest of my presidency luring the Republicans into fights that they are dumb enough fight but that also make them look like they only care abut the rich, thus preparing the ground for the 2016 elections.

Comment Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 495

I think there's more going on here than just European "socialism" vs. American "capitalism". Demographics, for instance, are wildly different for the US.

Average population and population density for countries 1-15: 34 million and 193/km^2 United States population and population density: 316 million and 34/km^2

Yes, but if US capitalism is so superior to European socialism population density should be a trifling obstacle for private enterprise guided by the invisible hand of the free market. (Hint: that was more sarcasm).

Comment Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 495

Yeah, who would have thought that European 'socialism' would be more effective at bringing the internet to the masses than American private enterprise? But sarcasm aside, here are the world's 16 most connected countries according to a study done by Harvard University for the FCC:

1 Sweden


15 Portugal

16 United States

Did you make a top-16 just so you can include US?

Well yes... Listing the top 16 countries is sufficient to show where the US stands relative to Europe in internet connectivity and since the topic is why US internet is so much worse than it is in Europe reproducing the rest of the list seemed pretty pointless and not including the US would be pretty pointless too don't you think?

Comment Re:Government Intervention (Score 5, Informative) 495

EU wide publically funded projects to bring high speed broadband across Europe?

We had plenty of choices for dial-up too, what we lacked particularly in the UK was free local calls, that made modem calls expensive compared to the US. Since then everything has been going our way.


Yeah, who would have thought that European 'socialism' would be more effective at bringing the internet to the masses than American private enterprise? But sarcasm aside, here are the world's 16 most connected countries according to a study done by Harvard University for the FCC:

1 Sweden
2 Denmark
3 Japan
4 South Korea
5 Switzerland
6 Netherlands
7 Finland
8 France
9 Belgium
10 Norway
11 United Kingdom
12 Germany
13 Iceland
14 Italy
15 Portugal
16 United States

Comment Re:Oops (Score 4, Interesting) 211

Actually the janitor changes it once a week when he cleans the room.

Hehe.. maybe he is. The municipal power company in Reykjavik, Iceland built a Focault pendulum in their HQ as a showpiece. Local urban legend has it that after it was first installed the thing would stop swinging at seemingly random intervals which caused the artist and the physicist who designed it a lot of head scratching. No amount of calculations, physics theory and modelling could explain these mysterious disruptions in the predicted workings of the pendulum so finally they set up a camera to observe the thing. The footage showed the pendulum swinging away for hours and hours until suddenly a member of the cleaning staff walked into the frame, stopped, looked at the pendulum, reached out, stopped it with his hand and then walked out of the frame. Mystery solved... dunno if the story is true but it made me laugh.

Comment Re:Best of 2009? May be, but we live in 2014. Righ (Score 1) 132

that's the point of TFA. This thing would've been great in 2009. Now it's just serving a niche market of shrinking ex-crackberry users. Still, if it prevents RIM from disappearing from the face of the earth, that might count as a success.

The old style Blackberries weren't even very good back in their heyday. I got a Black Berry Curve 8320 in late 2007 and used it for about two years. The phones themselves, i.e. the hardware, was OK, I especially liked the Black Berry keyboard and the little trackball. However, I also concluded that the software and OS sucked ass big time if you wanted to use the Curve as a smart phone to surf the net or use apps to make your life simpler like we do with modern smartphones. And that is precisely what I have been buying large screen smartphones for since the early 2000s, to use apps. Even so I can see how the Curve was the perfect device for SMS and e-mail junkies since those were just about the only two things the Black Berry Curve series did really, really well. So I switched to iPhones the instant I could get my greasy paws on one back in 2009 and never looked back except to contemplate switching to Android a couple of times.

Comment Re:EUgle? (Score 4, Insightful) 237

Why don't the Europeans start their own search and ad engine?

Oh, because they would lose?

What I don't understand here is Google does not have a monopoly on search services. They're just damn good at it and the market, with several other choices including Bing!, votes with its clicks. I'm not sure I see what's wrong with that.

This isn't about a monopoly per se. The issue is that Google has got the same business unit that handles their web search operation also pushing Google services. The result is that Google is actively discriminating against competing services and since these competitors don't have their own search engine with a dominant market share to fall back they are proverbially stuck up shit creek without a paddle. It's a bit as if, say America Online, owned world's entire internet backbone and was preventing competing ISPS world wide from accessing that backbone on equal terms in order to gain a competitive advantage for their own ISP division. That being said Google has an 80% market share in the US/Europe and that pretty much makes them a monopoly in my book or at the very least something pretty close to a monopoly and monopolies are IMHO usually bad. Many of the people on this forum screamed their heads off in the past when Microsoft was doing something like this. Instead Googles army of fanboys is now out in force again trying to paint a big yellow smiley over the whole thing.

Comment Re:Yes, go ahead...Blame Apple (Score 1) 189

Just a reminder GT did not sign on the dotted line, GT is not a real person not matter how many deceitful and disingenuous corporate types like to pretend it is, in order to shift responsibility away from themselves to other people and make them pay. So why would the corporate executives of GT sign, what kind of motivation would they individually need to risk their whole company in order to provide Apple the best deal possible. So how much money and risk could Apple save by investing in the executive team of GT, keeping in mind as per typical executive teams the one thing they always put in place for themselves is a golden parachute when it all fails. So how much would Apple have to shift from one offshore tax haven bank account to another offshore bank account to basically get corporate executives to stab their own company in the back, keeping in mind Apple could save hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the contract or eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars of risk.

Strange things go on in the world of finance where investment companies routinely buy into doomed companies, that enable vulture capitalists like Mittens Romney to make huge profits. For some strange reasons those executive teams of say pension funds go stupid and buy all sorts of crap for billions of dollars and yet they all still retire rich no matter how much other people's money they lose.

It should be pretty obvious by now when it comes to corporations, psychopathic corporate executives always act in their own interest and whether or not that serves the interests of the company they work for is completely arbitrary.

This is a case of over eager executives at GT biting off more than they could chew and a bunch of over eager executives at Apple trying way too hard to maximise profits with the result that everybody ended up with egg on their face. So IMHO they are both to blame. GT had the option of not signing a deal that was "onerous and massively one-sided" and telling Apple to go jump in a lake. As regards Apple they should have known better than to offer GT that crappy deal in the first place. I mean saving costs by not to installing backup power supplies on the sapphire growth furnaces, really? Contrary to what some people in the business community seem think you CAN actually end up paying a dollar for trying to save a cent. Somebody at Apple got too greedy and they deserve being a laughing stock of the tech industry as a result.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith