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Comment Re:Cutting off nose... (Score 1) 71

Wrong. It DID cost Apple money. They would have spent considerable amounts, possibly even more than Samsung, in investigating the claims, buying "presents" for the various judges, etc. If the cases had have gone ahead without Apple having done any preparation, they almost certainly would have lost. Apple are becoming more comfortable in the courtroom than in the market place - they definitely would have come prepared and anything that involves lots of top quality lawyers costs lots.

Comment Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (Score 2) 943

And this comment is modded Insightful! Just shows that /. people are pretty tech-based and don't have much sophistication in other areas...
The lunacy of the idea of perpetual growth on a finite planet is beginning to become evident with environmental degradation now starting to show the cracks in the system. Completely virtual fiat currencies are the most unjust and undemocratic instruments known to man - together with deregulation of the financial markets they lead to massive transfers of capital to those who create no actual wealth.

And aside from that, there is a major practical flaw in your argument, as shown typically by the tech industry. Screens are a perfect example - I have a 25" LCD screen plugged into my laptop. 15 years ago it would have cost many thousands of dollars. 3 years ago I paid a couple of hundred and today it would probably only cost a hundred or so. HORRIBLE DEFLATION!!!!!!!!!!!!! Run for the hills my friends, we're all doomed!!!!!!!

Isn't, in reality, deflation in the price of a particular good or service a true reflection of "progress" or "advancement"? As we become more efficient at doing a particular thing and as competition increases, isn't it in fact the only natural and logical result?

I believe that the problem is not with having a fixed money supply but rather foolish economists (and most of us for believing without reserve) who can't imagine other, more efficient ways of doing things. After all, what is the "purpose" of the monetary system? Perpetual growth? Nope, it's to facilitate the (hopefully maximally) efficient distribution of scarce resources in a particular economy/society...

Comment Re:DRM is not useless (Score 2) 142

Are you sure about that?
There are a great number of areas where your assertion "if the projections show it won't make more money, they won't do it" is false. Though somewhat flawed, the example of the legalisation of cannabis is a great example. The arguments put forward by the fanatics and Christian fundamentalists have long been soundly refuted by both economics and science (no, I don't think the former is a subset of the latter but that's another story). Two US states have finally bitten the bullet but with the pressures from the fundamentalists and the distortions that are brought in with it being so restricted (think Amsterdam), it wouldn't surprise me if these states have considerable difficulties.
Fact 1. The active ingredients in cannabis are far less addictive and far less dangerous than either alcohol or nicotine. A very major study has just been completed in Europe (maybe just in France, can't remember) that suggested that people under the age of 22 should completely abstain or risk suffering brain development problems. I heard an interview with one of the authors, the interviewer asked "So that means young people should stick to alcohol and if they must smoke then they should wait?", "Absolutely not! Alcohol is far worse than cannabis for brain development. Sustained, daily cannabis abuse in the teenage years can lead to cognitive impairment. However, even occasional binge drinking can have a much worse effect as alcohol actually destroys important brain cells whereas cannabis just impairs optimal development". The physical addiction factor of cannabis is actually very low (it's very difficult to become physically addicted, though admittedly the physical part is almost never the major one), and something like 95% (sorry, no ref for that) of government sponsored medical studies, from EVERYWHERE throughout the world, has recommended some level of tolerance/non-prosecution. Prohibition is the main root cause of even health-related issues and impedes proper treatment in many cases where the drug is actually being abused (as opposed to relatively harmless occasional use).
Fact 2. Many police departments around the world have been recommending for decades that cannabis be decriminalised. The "gateway drug" fallacy is completely based on association. If you force cannabis into the underworld, then you force users into the underworld. Just like in every Walmart and showroom around the world, the salespeople do cross-selling and up-selling. In some places cannabis prohibition enforcement is a substantial cost for police forces and almost all would much rather spend that money fighting actual crime. Legalisation means quality control and (slightly) more control over the use by the younger age groups.
Fact 3. The tax revenues that could be generated (as shown by the Californian study that prompted the referendum) by legalising and then taxing are huge.

So what do we have? A situation where basically all evidence: economic, scientific (health), and even your friendly local Bob say that cannabis prohibition is hugely expensive and is actually counter-productive - i.e., the prohibition of cannabis is far worse for individuals and even society as a whole and yet it is still the status quo in the vast majority of regions and states throughout the world.

Take home point:

Superstitions and punishment disorders can trump science, economics and logic - DRM is just such another case of people trying to cling to a fundamentally broken way of doing things, just like you see in many other areas of our lives...

Comment Re:Hard (Score 1) 179

Ah... WTF has "the current financial climate" got to do with Palm, RIM and Nokia going belly up (or heading that way fast)? There has been MASSIVE growth in phone volumes, and MASSIVE profits generated by those companies that have been able to put the right phones to market at the right times. While most companies have been unable to produce compelling phones, and the three you mention have not helped themselves with poor strategy AND poor execution (we'll see shortly whether Nokia die or rise like the phoenix...), the problems are mainly with vision and execution. The current financial climate is certainly not responsible for their crap performance! I'd bet if you look closely, in spite of the "current financial climate", smartphone purchase volumes have actually INCREASED, even in Spain. Maybe not Greece, but that is another story altogether!

Comment Re:The consumers want to know (Score 1) 143

Eh... maybe the people who hang around /.? And if it didn't take serious configuration and grief and only really work when launched from the command line, then what kind of stupid, boring and mundane kind of interface would that be?!? And yes, this may be being posted from an Ubuntu but have you ever tried getting something like a fingerprint reader or automatic graphics card switching to work, even on Ubuntu? Grow a pair! 8-}

Comment Re:Trolling? (Score 2) 594

Wow, I guess the 30 minutes or so a day I spend on /. isn't enough. To be far, I rarely read ALL the comments but this dude gets mega-hammered every time he writes anything. Basically everything he writes gets modded down to -1. I think he definitely deserves some serious credit for having a comment branch off and talk about him though, whether he be a genuine Troll (TM) or not!

Comment Re:Enough Already (Score 2) 171

It's probably not a very mature way of looking at things but it's also exactly the way I see them. There is a fundamental difference between companies that attempt to stop others moving forward and those whose strategy is simply to continuously innovate faster and further than the rest. That doesn't mean secrecy isn't sometimes warranted. That doesn't mean that you should let others profit from your brand/image or pass themselves off as somehow representing you. There are limits though. While I like Samsung products (and owned both a Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus), they deserved a massive fine for blatant copying. There was no need to do it, they were told not to by Google, and they did it anyway. The early Galaxy phones got them a good foothold in the massive smartphone market - a foothold they would possibly have had a harder time getting without the blatant copying. We'll never know. I believe software patents are fundamentally contrary to fast and efficient innovation in the tech sector - I am all for using the courts when you do a fairly crass ripoff...

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 257

Bullshit. I installed JB (CM10) on my Galaxy S a couple of nights ago. A Galaxy S I bought a fraction over 2 yrs ago. It runs FAR, FAR better than the absolute SHIT Samsung put on it to begin with. Even with all the subsequent Samsung updates nothing really good came of it. Seriously, something way retarded is going on here. I "upgraded" to an Xperia S (knowing I would have a few months of 2.3 before getting ICS, though ICS was already out...). After getting the Xperia S I upgraded my Galaxy S to ICS (various customs) and was almost tempted to move back to it while ICS arrived on the Xperia. Though my Xperia S now has (stock) ICS on it, I am seriously (really, not just exaggeration here!) considering putting my main SIM back into my Galaxy S. Even with the odd lag due to the single processor, most of the time it just works nicer. And the Galaxy has a dodgy GPS chip! The manufacturers should stay completely out of the software game. They ALL (except maybe Apple here!) suck at it. The official versions have almost without exception been worse than the customs I've installed on my various Androids (ADP1 and beyond). I remember reading a while ago (a couple of years?) a suggestion that they should all just concentrate on hardware and drivers - the base should be nothing more than a sort of hypervisor and the rest gets chosen/installed by the user. This idea was excellent back when I read it, and is even more excellent now.

Comment Re:PAE has worked fine on Windows Server (Score 1) 216

Hahaha. I guess you never tried actually running stuff on PAE Windows. What a monstrosity! The tens (hundreds?) of hours we wasted (including several MS-certifieds) trying to get Microsoft SERVER applications (2003 IIS/ 2.0+) to work stably under load with PAE enabled. No, 32-bit did NOT work fine. 64 bit versions (even compiled as x86) of the same code did work fine, and performed perfectly adequately. When we finally moved all the apps over to 64-bit (OS, and up to 3.0/3.5), I stopped complaining about MS with every second breath and started doing some work...

Comment Re:Meetings, hey? (Score 2, Insightful) 120

Not really. Kiwis are not corrupt, just naïve and often a bit stupid. It's too small and too far away to maintain a critical mass of intellect. The people that stay (I didn't) are easily impressed by megacorps like Microsoft and IBM and these "experts" are usually believed. These guys work for MIcrosoft! That's what a computer is, right? They must be soooo brainy, we'd better do what they say! I may be painting it a bit darker than it really is - they aren't nearly as stupid as most anglo-saxons but that's not very difficult either...

Comment Re:BBC Model (Score 1) 716

Though subject to some cuts of late, they also have many radio stations, in various languages. They also have an excellent (mainly news) website. It's not all 100% ad-free but I think you'd struggle to find anything with the breadth of scope and quality anywhere else on the planet.

Comment Re:Subsidized price (Score 4, Interesting) 363

In the US. Here in France we now have competition. You know, that thing you are supposed to have in a free market? Before the three incumbents happily fixed prices and had to pay massive fines - not enough to get them to stop though. Now a fourth player (Free) has entered and true to their history, they have completely turned the market on its head. Overnight you got 20€/month contracts (unlimited national calling and to landlines in 40 countries, 3GB data with no usage restrictions - yes that means torrents! NO minimum period, 16€ if you get it with quad-play) with no phone supplied. Want a nice phone but can't afford to shell out 400-700€ in one go right now? Fine, get a 20€/month contract, put down 100-150€, and pay the rest per month over 12, 24 or 36 months (not everyone offers all options but most offer a few). It's completely honest - if you want to change provider that's fine, you just need to finish paying your interest-free loan in a lump sum. The other operators now offer similar deals - they had to. Say what you like about consumerist capitalism - if you want cheap, high quality communications then you need a truly free market and it will happen!

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