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Comment Won't paywall articles get downranked? (Score 1) 97

Google says that paywalled news sites won't get downranked. It may be true in the sense that there won't be an explicit penalty.
However, a common reaction after hitting a paywall is to go back to the search page and find something else. Normally, in that situation, googles downranks the offending site, considering that it didn't match the user's needs.

Comment Re:Because SHINY.. (Score 1) 487

A smartphone is as crucial as, say, a car or a washing machine. Though it depends on the situation.
Internet access is becoming essential. At least in some countries, they are talks about making it a basic right, like electricity and clean water, and making some official procedures internet-only. And for some people, especially the poorest, a smartphone may be their only way to access it.
Considering you are posting on Slashdot, you probably own a computer and a home internet access, and maybe the same thing at work. And your activity most likely doesn't require you to be online at all times. In other words, you have the privilege of not needing a smartphone.
It is the same as a city dweller saying that a car is not crucial. He is most likely right. In fact, in some cities, owning a car is actually undesirable. But that's forgetting that if you live in the suburbs, not having a car is inconvenient, and it is basically impossible if you live in the countryside.

Comment Re:Just a thought... (Score 1) 49

It is actually a mix of both. SMTP is push-based but POP/IMAP are pull-based. A purely push-based or pull-based system would require 24/7 connectivity for all clients (for receiving and emitting respectively).
Making the internal connectivity pull-based would just make things slower. Mail is push-based by nature, sending mail is the active part, receiving it is passive. With real-life post offices, the sender is the one who do all the procedures and pays for the stamp, the receiver just needs to check his mailbox. Compare to buying a newspaper, where the customers is the receiver and the sender simply makes it available.

Comment Re:The EU (Score 2) 335

If a private company blocks some kind of content, it is totally within their rights. They own the platform and using it is a privilege, not a right. They are only required to follow their own contracts. If you are unhappy with that, find another platform, or create your own.

When a government decides to force companies to remove content, that's real censorship. A completely different matter.

AFAIK, the USA have much stronger freedom of speech laws than the EU. And Google and Facebook usually block content on their own, probably because being associated with hate speech is bad for business.

Comment Re:Amazon is part of it... (Score 2) 133

I don't need anybody to sell me anything. I come to the store to buy a thing that I like. All I need is someone to give it to me and take my money. I actually find people giving me advices rather annoying since I usually spend days researching about the thing I want to buy.

You are the exception rather than the rule.
And the reason you are doing this research is probably because you don't trust salesmen. Wouldn't it be better if you actually had a competent guy, pointing you directly to the right product, saving you all that time?
And while I am also the kind of guy who spend days researching before buying, sometimes, it is easy to get lost in details. A competent seller advice can bring you back to earth. It happened to me several times.

Comment Mein Kampf (Score 5, Interesting) 166

Mein Kampf is banned in many countries.
The way it was implemented is a bit uncommon because it uses the copyright law : Hitler's property was seized by the government of Bavaria, including Mein Kampf copyright, and it was used to block the sales.

I really think that no list of banned books should be without it. Because it shows that censorship is not just about LGBT stuff, it is also about what "progressives" find despicable. And if you really are against censorship, you should also fight for Mein Kampf to be available.
It also shows that copyright abuse is a form of censorship.

Comment Re:Flying cars? (Score 1) 251

In other words, shipping containers with people inside.
With such a system, it is likely that many people for which "pods" would be their only home. In fact we are already building housing out of shipping containers.

Now, interestingly, your solution tends to be the opposite of the path we are following. Your idea is one about comfortable slow travel, which remind me of the magnificent Titanic, Orient Express and Hindenburg. Now, the idea is to pack as many people as possible and move them as fast as possible. Even first class on the best airline is nowhere near what you get on a cruise ship in terms of comfort.

Comment Re:How's that again? (Score 2) 38

Both search results and advertising work the same : try to find the most relevant site for you. The fundamental difference is than one is paid and the other is not.
And in both cases short term data retention definitely helps. Long term may give a marginal improvement. One area where long term may help is with periodic tasks. For example if you are doing your taxes, remember what you did the year before may be helpful for both you (ex: you found a great site listing deductibles) and advertisers (ex: you considered hiring an accountant).

Comment Re:An idea (Score 1) 130

It is an unfair comparison : 1 exaFLOP is what is required to run what is essentially an emulator for a very different platform. But just as you don't port Super Mario by simulating every transistor in the NES hardware, the way of running the "human intelligence" program on a computer is unlikely to involve simulating every single synapse. It probably won't help much anyways because we still need to extract it from a human brain, a process that is still in the realm of science fiction.

If one day we manage to achieve human-level strong AI, it probably will be by simulating higher functions rather than the staying at neuron level.

Now for a comparison between a brain and a computer chip. A Snapdragon 835 has 3 billion transistors and run at 2GHz for 5W. That makes for 10 quadrillion current switches per second. That's exa-scale. I know it is stupid but so is estimating brainpower is FLOPS.

Comment Re:An idea (Score 1) 130

We have chips with billions of transistors clocked at several GHz and that consume less than 10W, so I'd say that on the hardware side we are on the same level with our current technology.
The trick is in the software. Imagine a team of the worst programmers in the world, working on a project for a billion years by patching things randomly until it works, that's how the code in the human brain is written. It also weights at least a few GB and you don't have the source code. Try to understand that. Also https://xkcd.com/1605/

Comment Re:Lol (Score 1) 102

All the information they ask you all have the same purpose : to judge how risky you are in order to determine how much they will lend you and in which conditions (rate, guarantees, ...).
Having a rich and stable family that can help you is much better than you having a family that that needs help. This will be taken into account, just like your job, your health, your criminal record, ... If they don't ask questions, it may not be a good sign, because they will assume you are high risk by default.

Comment Re:Lol (Score 2) 102

Google may be savage but Google is legal.
Google won't empty your bank account without your permission, Google won't ask you for a ransom, Google won't use you computer as a proxy for all kind of illegal activity.
That's also why it is better to be in debt to a bank than to the mafia, no matter how savage banks are. Sure, debt collectors are annoying and they may take your house but at least your life will be safe and you won't be mailed body parts of family members.

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