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Comment Re:Stranglehold? (Score 1) 225

Pretty much. As someone involved in cross-platform app development, iOS is still the undefeated king at around 75% of app sales. Even better, iOS sales result in 1.5x-2x better return on average overall.

How do the revenue numbers look when you add in apps? The last numbers I saw were about a year ago so things may have changed, but back then iOS users were a lot more likely to buy apps, but Android had a much bigger share of downloads for ad-supported apps. The revenue was about the same for both platforms, because you'd get less from the ad sales in Android apps, but you'd get more downloads.

Comment Re: That's fair enough (Score 3, Insightful) 225

Is that a serious question? Take a look at the proceedings from any security conference in the last 2 years and you can find a very long list. The latest trick is for individuals who release small apps for free or a token amount to be offered money to sell their app, especially if the app already asks for more permissions than it really needs (great incentives there...). The buyers then release a new version bundled with malware. The new version is installed automatically if it doesn't need any more permissions, and since most manufacturers don't ship software updates for Android phones in a timely fashion there are typically a few nice root vulnerabilities lying around on a significant fraction of the installed base. From there, the attacker can do what they want (attack mobile banking apps, harvest passwords, send premium-rate SMS, or just proxy all network traffic and inject their own ads, the last being the most common).

I know a couple of people who have turned down money to sell their (free, with only a few thousand users) apps for this purpose.

Comment Re:Go ahead, give me one more straw! (Score 1) 225

They're not charging me. They're charging the OEM, who will pass on the cost to me without providing me an option of opting out, for something that they will then use to harvest personal information about me to sell to advertisers. Give me a phone for $2 less without the Google crap and I'll happily take it in preference.

Comment Re:The Economics of self driving cars (Score 1) 213

I'm just leaving the Bay Area, and most of my US-based friends use an app that you give a destination to, it automatically knows your location from GPS, calls a taxi, takes you to the destination, your phones both agree on the distance, and the charge is taken from your account. It's very smooth and convenient (and removes that awkward thing in the US of working out how much you're meant to tip the taxi driver, one of the tipping situations that appears to make no sense because having someone drive you is the service you are paying for). Add in self-driving cars and you remove the cost of the driver. The ancillary infrastructure is there already, waiting for the self-driving cars...

Comment Re:Uh? (Score 2) 734

Not an alternate universe, but a planet closer to the sun. With current panels, you get around 100-200W per square metre of sunlight. The theoretical maximum efficiency for solar panels is somewhere around 40%, bringing it up to 400W. Over 8 hours a day of useable sunlight (that's the output with the sun directly overhead, it slowly drops off over the day, giving an average of around 8 hours, assuming good weather). So that gives a total of around 11.5MJ per day. One litre of petrol releases around 34MJ when burned, so to generate the equivalent energy of one litre of petrol per day, you need three square metres of solar panels, assuming magic future panel technology and losses equivalent to a petrol engine.

With current technology, you'll need closer to nine or ten square metres, or more if you don't have a very efficient charging system. If you're living out in the countryside, this is quite possible (if you can afford the massive up-front investment for the panels, but let's assume that the price will come down quickly), but for anyone in a city it's quite unlikely. Add to that, you don't (depending on where you live, of course) get bright sunlight every day, so you're most likely going to need to store energy over the winter in fairly large amounts. Why not make that more efficient, by centralising it? You could lay a set of power lines to people's houses and they could send their unused power back to your storage plant. And, once those wires are there, you can probably build a centralised power generation facility and sell them power more cheaply (and reliably) than they can generate it themselves, if you factor in the capital and maintenance costs (after all, solar panels need cleaning, replacing, and so on). Such a system would be like a computational grid, but for electricity. You could call it an electricity grid...

Comment Re:If 10 parties have 10% of the vote each (Score 3, Informative) 441

The UK has a first-past-the-post system, and we currently have a coalition government, formed by one of the two major parties and the third party. Going back to the middle of the last century, the third party was one of the dominant two and was displaced (and reformed after merging with another small party) by one of the current two. FPTP electoral systems do tend towards two-party systems, but they're not stable and can be periodically upset (at which point they'll again start tending towards a two-party system. They trick is to upset them frequently).

Comment Re: One and the same (Score 4, Insightful) 441

No. But they won't win either. The point of voting for a third party is to build a group of the electorate who aren't voting for either of the two big parties. Once that happens, either the two major parties will start to make changes to their policies to try to win back those voters, or candidates from a third party will actually stand a chance and so you're likely to see an increase in candidates you might actually want (as well some some crazy fringe parties that you almost certainly don't).

Comment Re:IE isn't bad anymore (Score 1) 109

I would consider using it if it had more plugin support and if website makers still didn't feed IE 6 specific jscript code to it. IE 11 fixed this by ignoring jscript and only supporting ECMA compliant javascript. This broke corporate apps of course reliant on ancient IE behavior.

Slashdot thanks it with a headline "IE BREAKS MORE SITES AGAIN" and the crowd hounds it for non standard behavior LOL. Even though making it act like Chrome and Firefox is what caused this.

But you can get adblock plus for it now and it scores fairly well in HTML 5 compliance tests with up to 90% of Firefox's features. It has the lowest cpu utilization and like Chrome is secure with low-rights and sandboxing which Firefox still frustratingly lacks.

But man like your post says MS created a lot of badwill from first forcing IE 6 on every computer back in the day agaisn't Netscape (another shitty browser too which was not W3C compliant), and MS let IE 6 rot for years and years and years to the point where our places of work were stuck with it for years longer.

If you put a gun to my head and forced me to use it for hte rest of my life I certainly could at this point without wanting to risk taking the bullet instead. :-)

Comment Re:Drowns CRIA in poutine. (Score 1) 198

That's OK, parent was offtopic too. And hasn't the slightest clue about what Canadian Content Regulations were, or the impact that they had.

Then again, who needs intelligence or knowledge when you can write (scribble?) "BARF CHUNDER PUKE FART, HAND ME a shotgun and that big fat reefer, I think I need a toak of some good stuff man."

Comment Re:not consumer OS's (Score 1) 513

NT4 got DirectX support in later releases, although a lot of games didn't work because they did things like try to modify Program Files or the local machine register key. It had OpenGL support from the start, so it ran GLQuake fine, which was most of what I cared about at the time. 2K was a lot better, although there were some issues with IPX not being quite compatible with 9x, and a lot of Windows 95-era games only supported IPX for multiplayer.

Comment Re:It's a plus. (Score 1) 408

All of these type services should do this, it's one way scammers get access to clueless user's computers.

"This is Microsoft Support. Your computer has virus, and we need to access it. Please log into this site with this ID."

Total BS.

Scammers use the Internet too! Ban it! Please...

Actually a very real problem! Arstechnica.com posted a story where in software reviews on amazon these guys got 0 stars with "They are SCAM ARTISTS SHAME ON YOU logmein!!?" etc

After seeing these reviews would you buy it? Or pay for DMWare instead?

The sole reason they are not free is because of granny's not knowing the difference between a product and a company filling better business bureau and writing negative reviews. AV ones got hit too saying avast called and wanted $150 am hour to fix x.

These reps are damaging and can take you under.

Comment Re: (Score 1) 1034

The choice isn't between AMC and a competitor, in many markets, but often between AMC and not going to the movies.

I opted for option 2 about 7 years ago, when I realised how cheap projectors and competent 5.1 surround sound systems had got. It spent around £250 on a projector and a set of speakers, which I drove from a DVD player. My local cinemas all had really bad equalisation in their sound (far too much base, no midrange, so you got too-loud explosions and talking was hard to hear) and had so much dust in their projector lenses that I got a better quality experience at home and could sit in comfy chairs, drink beer, and pause the movie whenever I wanted. Having friends over and getting them to bring food and beer still ended up cheaper than the cinema and was more fun. Even including power and movie rental, my cost per film has been significantly less than going to the cinema, although I have watched a lot more films on the setup than I would have gone to see.

As long as you've got a room with a spare wall, it's quite easy to make something that is both cheaper and better quality than a low-end cinema. You won't be able to make an IMAX competitor (unless you've got a really huge living room), but I don't live near an IMAX so that wasn't the competitor.

I recently replaced the bulb in my projector, after 3,000 hours of life. It cost £50 for a new one, which works out at around 2p/film for bulb costs. With a newer LED projector, it's even cheaper (although the up-front costs are higher). With HD projectors coming down in price, you can get even better quality.

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