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Comment Re:It's a big deal (Score 0) 518

Actually it's pretty common that governments liberalize a little and the standard of life improves and then people overthrow the government. The collapse of the USSR is an example. There are tens of thousands of large scale protests in China every year and the number is rising.

We're entering an interesting period of history. The US is on the brink of a new great depression. The EU is about to collapse. China is about to experience a revolution. Fascinating stuff.

Comment Re:Give them some credit. (Score 1) 211

People default to the iPhone because it is the best phone available.

Before the iPhone came out Nokia used to sell the best phone available and it cost twice as much as the iPhone. When the iPhone came out, Nokia freaked out and killed their high end products. Now their best phone costs the same as an iPhone and has roughly the same hardware as the iPhone, although Symbian sucks so it's not as good over all.

Comment Re:Little to do with MS. (Score 1) 158

All the money is really at the high end. Nokia went from owning 29% to owning 24% of the smart phone market. Everyone predicted that they would lose a lot of the market, but I don't think anyone predicted it would be that bad, that quickly.

When Nokia decided to switch to Windows, they knew that they would have to limp along selling their old phones this year. People were obviously going to buy fewer phones and they were going to want them at a cheaper price because they're EOL. Hopefully next year when the first Windows phones came out, they'd be able to make money again.

It was a huge gamble to throw away a year for something that wasn't tested. It seems like customers aren't willing to wait a year for a Windows phone.

Comment It gets a plus one from me (Score 1) 591

The article conflates 2 things that make the URL bar suck.

1) It's basically the output of /dev/urandom which is ugly and a waste of space.

2) It's pretty stupid. It should be able to tell the difference between searches (words that form an invalid URL or that don't resolve) and searches. For example, if I want to find the time in San Francisco, I open a new tab, type into the url bar and then enter "time: san francisco". That should all be done straight in the URL bar.

The article makes those two issues seem like one issue, which they're not. But at the same time both are real annoyances and it's good that someone is thinking about it.

Comment Re:Since they (Score 1) 778

They didn't start the Wayland thing. Keith Packard and the other Xorg hackers started Wayland. It will be good. Linux people have been lying to ourselves for too long that X11 is an acceptable windowing system.

Wayland will still have an X server in it for legacy apps.

Comment Re:Crafty move for Google (Score 1) 596

The 1000 signals is obviously hyperbole. What they meant was probably about 20.

Google has a point that they're getting google-like results because they're just copying google's results. Now that's not feasible anymore and they'll just have to recreate google to get the same results. That sounds very easy but they haven't been able to do it after ten years of trying and billions of dollars spent.

Comment Crafty move for Google (Score 1) 596

You could call it "copying" or "stealing" or "improving customer experience" or whatever but the fact is that Google has accurately described how to bump up search results on Bing by following the steps. So soon Bing will be full of search engine spam. And the engineers at google will feel _really_ bad about that. Snicker.

Comment eye contact is cultural (Score 1) 272

Other cultures have different rules on eye contact. In the second part of the study when they measured where people looked the most, the people were looking at the eyes. It's hardly surprising that if you make the bits that people focus on look more artificial, they think the whole model looks artificial.

If they had done this test in a different country where people don't make eye contact then the results might have been different.

Comment Re:Chance of cancer (Score 1) 728

Those figures are wrong. They're based on several false assumptions. The chances of cancer aren't known and neither are the chances of the scanners leading to birth defects.

Also it's not true that the radiation risks from being at a high altitude are more than the risks from the back scatter machines. At high altitude, you're inside a plane and the fuselage protects you. In fact in a normal x-ray they use a sheet of aluminum to filter out the back scatter rays. (They do this because they're concerned about the health effects).

Anyway, it will take some years before we can start measuring the increased rate of birth defects. I don't care about the privacy issues, but the health concerns are real so I won't be going through the back scatter machines.

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