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Comment: Re:Perfectly-timed? (Score 2) 249

by whoever57 (#48177093) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Take a look at Samsung's sales figures and profits. They're both tanking. I'm not saying that's a result of the iPhone 6 though, they'd already started doing that before the iPhone 6 launch.

For the most part, Samsung doesn't really compete with Apple, Samsung competes with the many other manufacturers of Android phones. It's only in the flagship products (Galaxy, Note) where there is competition with Apple, but I don't think that these represent the bulk of Samsung's sales outside the USA.

Comment: Re: Perfectly-timed? (Score 4, Insightful) 249

by whoever57 (#48177063) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Apple hasn't really innovated much since Steve left the scene.

And for a long time before Steve left the scene. Apple has been a success by letting other companies release new types of devices and then execute their own version of that type of device. Apple did not create the first portable music player, the first smartphone, the first WIMP interface, etc.. Apple's success has largely been down to executing arguably better versions of devices that already exist in the marketplace. Now, Apple is also benefitting from being perceived as a luxury brand.

+ - Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Many drugs that treat bacterial and fungal infections were found in microbes growing in the dirt. These organisms synthesize the compounds to fend off other bacteria and fungi around them. To find possible new drugs, chemists try to coax newly discovered microbial species to start making their arsenal of antimicrobial chemicals in the lab. But fungi can be stubborn, producing just a small set of already-known compounds.

Now, one team of chemists has hit upon a curiously effective and consistent trick to prod the organisms to start synthesizing novel molecules: Cheerios inside bags. Scientists grew a soil fungus for four weeks in a bag full of Cheerios and discovered a new compound that can block biofilm formation by an infectious yeast. The chemists claim that Cheerios are by far the best in the cereal aisle at growing chemically productive fungi."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Guardian reveals that Whisper app tracks 'anonymous' users->

Submitted by qqod
qqod (799432) writes "After visiting the offices of Whisper to discuss future journalistic collaborations, from the article:

"The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users â" including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services â" will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 1) 232

Here in New Jersey, we deregulated the energy industry 15 years ago. There are indeed many companies offering to sell electricity to me.

I think that you will find that the infrastructure owner is still regulated and required to cooperate with the generators of electricity (who are deregulated).

The situation that you have is very similar to what many people on /. have called for: companies can own and operate the local loops or provide Internet access (using the local loops), but not both. Alternatively the local loop owners should provide access to the local loops to competitive ISPs, who would ocmpete with the local loop operator to provide cable TV and Internet. This did happen briefly in parts of the USA, but the large cable companies were able to make the system break down.

Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 4, Insightful) 232

by whoever57 (#48156467) Attached to: Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

That is how free markets work. When there is good competition, you have the highest available quality, and the lowest cost, the market will bear.

If you think that there is anything like a free market in providing TV and Internet to consumers, then I have a bridge to sell you. Other countries have forced the owners of the local loops to offer (at near cost) access to alternative suppliers. This has resulted in competition and far lower prices than in the USA.

Cable companies have received both direct and indirect subsidies to build out their infrastructure. The chance of an alternative (other than another incumbent) to that is close to zero.

Why isn't there another company offering to sell electricity or gas to me?

Comment: Re:Take the money and run (Score 2) 54

by whoever57 (#48154107) Attached to: Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

He pointed out the defendant's legal budgets are essentially infinite, and they are more than willing to fight the case to the supreme court. Once you get there, a victory by the plaintiffs are not assured. Remember, these are the guys who handed down Citizen's United. Do you want a new TV now, or a very(!) small chance to get a new car 5-10 years from now? That's what it comes down to.

That's a very good arguement for why the lawyers don't want to argue this further. Not so much for their clients. $5000 is not very much money for each person affected by this, but the millions that the lawyers will get is a lot of money. Furthermore, the lawyers may have to put in 10x the effort to get 10x in damages, which means 10x the fees. As a lawyer, would you:
1. Take the money now and find another lawsuit to work on, or
2. Put in 10x the effort, for the chance of getting 10x the rewards?
Obviously you choose the former.

for the clients, though, the question is rather different: Would you
1. Take a small amount of money now, or
2. Gamble on getting 10x the money, just by being prepared to wait for the money?
That's a very different equation.

Comment: Re:Why..... (Score 1) 259

by whoever57 (#48146941) Attached to: "Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

National security letter shenanigans would mean that I wouldn't even have any management staff physically in the USA, there would be no staff in the USA to deliver a NSL to.

While NSA letters are bad, what make you think that the same (and worse) isn't already going on in most other countries?

Comment: Re:Simple solution: bring cookies. (Score 1) 404

by whoever57 (#48144511) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Seriously - bring a package of cookies for the flight crew. .... And it's not a job that's appreciated terribly much - look at the comments in this thread, just for starters - so it goes a long way.

Beyond being polite to the attendants, I don't see any need for any more. It may be a crappy job, but it was their choice to do that job. There are vastly more applicants for the job than people hired.

... and will probably sneak you a non-alcoholic treat at some point during the flight

"non-alcoholic": wow! Actually, politeness may get you an alcoholic drink, but probably only on long-haul flights when the attendants are bored.

+ - Google takes the fight with Oracle to the Supreme Court->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "Google has asked the Supreme Court to review the issue of whether APIs can be copyrighted. Google beat Oracle in the trial court, where a judge with a software background ruled that APIs could not be copyrighted. but the Appeals court sided with Oracle, ruling that APIs can be copyrighted. Now Google is asking the Supreme Court to overturn that decision. "
Link to Original Source

+ - Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over U.S. Spying Will "Break The Internet"->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Oregon Senator Ron Wyden gathered a group of tech luminaries to discuss the implications of U.S. surveillance programs, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt didn't mince words. He said that worries over U.S. surveillance would result in servers with different sets of data for users from different countries multiplying across the world. "The simplest outcome is that we're going to end up breaking the Internet.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Crowdfunding is the New School Tax

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The WSJ reports that billionaire-backed is turning to crowdfunding to fix tech's diversity problem. "Our goal this year is to train 10,000 computer science teachers, and to get 100 million students to try one Hour of Code, across all grades, worldwide. We need $5 million to do this," explains the Indiegogo project for An Hour of Code for Every Student.’s wealthy individual and corporate supporters — including Bill Gates, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Microsoft, Google, the Omidyar Network and the Foundation — have agreed to kick in $2.5 million of matching funds. According to the press release, participating companies include Atlassian, Chegg,, Disney Interactive, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Optimizely, Pearson, Pluralsight, Redfin,, Target, TASER, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), viagogo, Whitepages, Workday, Yelp, Zappos, Zillow, zulily, and Y Combinator. So, is crowdfunding the new school tax? And is this a good thing, or just one more way that millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools?"

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid