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Comment: Re:I'd pay for it in a heartbeat! (Score 1) 611

by vakuona (#47725653) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

It could exist without advertising. But it doesn't. I am goingto go out on a limb here, but it might be because it is bloody expensive to set up and maintain a good search engine without spending lots of money, and the users would not be willing to pay that money directly, so Google really needed the advertising to make money.

The fact that the engine came before the monetization is irrelevant and somewhat facile. Of course the produce comes first. They could hardly advertise anything before they had a search engine now could they?

That is why they got investors and they licensed their tech to Yahoo who......drumroll please...made money off advertising. So advertising paid for Google by rewarding the investors afet the fact, and by the simple fact that Google was licensing their tech to firms who depended on advertising for revenue.

Comment: Re:Steamed (Score 1) 82

by vakuona (#47702971) Attached to: Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

They won't be. It would be ridiculously easy to make it economically unattractive for someone to take over an account, for example, by including a discretionary discount in the account that is removed upon death.

Alternatively, they could just get their customers to agree to new T&Cs specifically stating that the contract ends on their death.

Google already has a feature where they ask people to specify what happens to their accounts on their death. I can't see law trumping the express wish of the deceased.

Comment: Re:I don't see it.... (Score 3, Insightful) 181

by vakuona (#47696597) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

Which Android device did you think all the screenshots looked like? If you were referring to any Android maker besides Xiaomi, then I may have agreed. But we are talking about the one company that has copied Apple right down to the "One More Thing" slide, in a presentation that was all in Chinese no less.

These guys could not be more shameless about copying if they tried. But in case you haven't been able to pick up how they aped Apple. I will give you a few examples.

The Calender App is quite blatantly a copy of the iOS one in look (I couldn't say anything about the feel and how it works). Right down to the colour scheme.

The icons are all straight out of the Apple playbook. Borderless rounded-corner squares with a symbol in the middle. Android icons tend not to have any border around the "symbol". Not even Samsung ones, which have been fairly blatant in the past.

They even have the row of fixed icons at the bottom a la Apple. No, not the usual Back, Home and Menu soft keys on Android. Just a fixed set of four,just like Apple. It looks like they have ditched the standard soft keys altogether.

The music icon app has the same colour as the Apple one. I can accept that a green icon for a phone is kind of obvious, but to have the same colour for the music player app is more than a coincidence.

Check the colour scheme of the calculator app. Again, quite a blatant copy of Apple's.

The camera app has a round soft button as well. Just like, wait for it, the iOS 7 camera app.

Of course, it is not an exact replica, but at first glance, it could easily fool anyone.

In fact, I challenge anyone to put stock Android (KitKat), iOS and MIUI side by side, and it would be quite clear which two are most alike.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 406

by vakuona (#47619381) Attached to: Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

I couldn't agree more. I think any "autonomous" system that requires a driver to keep in the driving seat "just in case" is monumentally stupid. The worst thing a self-driving car could ever do is to attempt to give you control in an emergency situation. It's either completely autonomous, or not at all.

A semi autonomous system is the worst of both worlds. It makes you less aware of the situation and give you control at the worst possible time, wuite possibly when you are asleep behind the wheel.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 1) 96

by vakuona (#47433089) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Oh yes, Europeans just went to Africa to build pyramids without ever thinking to build any where they came from because, you know, that's just how they rolled. Where in the world has that ever happened?

One of the mummified individuals is found who "may" belong to some ancestral group proves what exactly?

What about the other mummified individuals? What about the carving and elaborate caskets and tombs that show people with distinctly African features? Or is anything that doesn't fit your crackpot theory discarded for being too inconvenient?

Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 2) 96

by vakuona (#47420489) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Let's face it, most people who die of thirst/famine are black and have never in 100,000's years done anything to build a technology to help them to survive. It is not my problem that they are too stupid to figure out how to obtain a continuous and adequate supply of clean water!

Besides the obviously racist connotation, you are seriously misinformed.

They didn't "figure" it out because they didn't have to. They survived millions of years because they developed appropriate technology for their needs. They lived in a much more forgiving climate (except for tropical diseases) which didn't necessitate their developing all these fancy gizmos. Unfortunately, much of Africa is water stressed in ways that many parts of Europe just aren't, and no amount of engineering available until a few decades ago could help you there.

These black people built aqueducts and pyramids in Egypt, and built rather impressive cities all over Africa. Well before anyone else was building anything remotely comparable. So, they (we) are not as useless as you imagine.

Comment: Re:Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (Score 1) 566

by vakuona (#47140911) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

To be able to determine that someone has a hidden volume, you would have to be able to look at the volume twice - the first time after you first suspect that there is a hidden volume, and the second after someone has changed something in the hidden volume.

There are a few ways this "threat" could be countered in my opinion.

1. Always "overwrite" the free space with random garbage when you use the volume. This gives plausible deniability. if the free space has changed a lot, then it could be because you have written to the hidden volume, or because the programme has just overwritten some portion of the free space like it always does.

2. Assuming the program doesn't allow (1), don't make any changes to the hidden volume once your encrypted disk has been inspected once. Basically, if the only thing that could give you away is making further changes to the hidden volume, then don't make the changes. You will still have access to your files, but won't be able to change the volume.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.