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Comment This is true (Score 2) 210

This is true. That is exactly what they do. They even check CC: headers to see what sort of link you have and weed out the mailing list sender addresses and stuff. Since the amount of people allowing LinkedIn access to their account is so big, even if you don't give them access to yours, they will still be able to figure out about 80% of your contact list. This company is extremely good at "Big Data" and correlating it. It's why their platform is the most popular and by far the biggest "business contact" social media network.

I've had it explained by them a while ago when I asked them to remove everything they pulled from my e-mail account. They had stuff that they couldn't have pulled from there and I never gave them permission to get. They then explained that they most likely got it from the other party involved and that they do a lot of correlation on the stuff they harvest to come up with possible matches.

Even though I don't approve of what Linkedin is doing, it's not illegal (in the USA) and I really doubt that these people Sueing them will get anything out of this case. I think it may be illegal in some countries in Europe because gathering personal information on people if they are not a user or customer of your services is illegal there. They are one of the companies that are known to keep "ghost profiles" (Google and FaceBook do too) of you. I have yet to see any of them brought to court in those European countries, but I doubt they'd win a properly prepared case there.

Comment Natural resources have no influence on poverty (Score 1, Insightful) 136

Natural resources have no influence on poverty in countries like Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and many others. They have a lack of control over their resources. Or, to put it a bit more in perspective, a few corrupt bastards have control over all of the resources. The have so far successfully managed to keep the rest of the people either not unsatisfied enough to tolerate this, or oppressed them successful enough to still be in control. It's in the best interest of "western" countries to keep this status quo, because it means overall lower prices and less powerful other nations. Third world countries would stop being third world countries if we stopped exploiting them pretty fast. We're still pulling out more resources and money than we're sending back, even after the colonization has ended. By supporting their corrupt assholes and destroying their local markets we keep the status quo without having to resort to sending soldiers, usually. Sometimes the price of oil is in danger, or they might actually revolt successful enough to become an actual threat and we need to send military to "support democracy" and "regain stability in the region".

Comment Indeed, it needs a bit more (Score 4, Informative) 65

In fact, it needs equipment that can take extreme radiation and hits from dust particles travelling at 10000 km/h and faster. The parts you would use on earth wouldn't last a year in space, probably more like a week. The initial design called for a way shorter life time than they got out of it, so parts failure to sensors or other electronics due to impact or radiation is a likely cause. Try running a car without maintenance for 5 years. You may get lucky and still be driving, but chances are extremely small. This mission was similar to that.

Comment Beer bellies not related to beer (Score 3, Informative) 110

There is no causation between beer consumption and a "beer gut". People should keep urban myths like this out of "scientific" oriented texts so people might actually learn the truth. Beer guts exist because people exercise less than they should and have a diet that doesn't match their metabolism and activity pattern. The fact that beer often is part of that diet is a correlation at best, but no causation.

Comment Re:This is bullshit (Score 1) 278

When MS was any kind of notable player in the smartphone/smart device marketplace, it was an incredibly small marketplace. Honestly, other than perhaps acting as some sort of inspiration for Apple, I don't think it had substantial influence on what came later. And frankly, I think the Blackberry was probably a much larger inspiration.

Ultimately, Apple learned a lot of useful lessons from the monster success that was the original iPod, and then saw how those lessons could be applied to a smartphone. RIM and Microsoft released mobile offerings that were functional, could run a wide variety of software, and certainly had some penetration in the enterprise, but Apple made sure iOS wasn't just a business workhorse (in fact, I see little evidence that it gave a damn about the enterprise at all), but rather a very consumer friendly device and then marketed it with astonishing brilliance. But at the end of the day, Apple's success with iOS is down to the original iPod. It gained its killer product, and built the iPhone and the iPad on the same premise.

Comment Re:What I dont get... (Score 4, Insightful) 278

It makes sense if that market is at least partially responsible for eroding one of their key markets. While iOS and Android are not completely responsible for the substantial drop in PC sales, the rise of the smart device has played a substantial role. If Microsoft cannot find a way to insert itself into this market, then its long term outlook on the consumer end of the business is cast in substantial doubt.

It's clear by the introduction of a (heavily crippled) Office variant for Android and iOS that they are ultimately willing to surrender to the temptation to once again put a version of Office on a platform it does not control. It did so with Mac, but Macs have always been bit players so I don't think that represents the kind of shift MS is prepared to pursue now. It's the first sign that the company is prepared to cede market dominance to Android and iOS, and get its piece of the pie by releasing some variant of Office, which is the company's backbone.

It's still just dipping its toe in the water, but I suspect over the next couple of years you're going to see major shifts in how MS views its consumer offerings. From what I can tell, there is a growing ill sentiment among shareholders to Microsoft just endlessly throwing money at consumer markets and not getting any kind of return. Even the XBox, while it has been in the black on a quarterly basis for the last few quarters, still is years away from paying back the vast investment in capital and R&D that Redmond threw at it.

Comment Tell that to the people of Fukushima (Score 3, Insightful) 380

Tell that to the people of Fukushima, Chernobyl or Sellafield, or several other sites. In theory, it's cleaner, but those pesky humans keep messing up the "near perfect" statistics. I'm not saying wind or carbon is the solution, but Nuclear has proven to be a lot less safe and clean than the statistics promised so far.

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