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Comment Streaming (Score 2) 166

You could also use streaming services instead of downloading. Most of them come with a mobile client that can be used in offline mode.
They do pay their artists fractions of a cent for each song listened to.

To me, this kind of service is clearly the future. It's especially great to discover new music. If you listen to the same 100 tracks all the time, it's probably not cost-effective though.

Some sites I know:
http://www.deezer.com/ (no software necessary, can run in a browser, offline mode with chrome, apps for iPhone and Android)
http://www.spotify.com/ (never used, but they are well established in the market)

iTunes can also do something similar but I don't know their offerings.

Comment Good Luck (Score 1) 263

This offer sounds very exciting. I really hope that this will help bring prices down.
It's a similar to what one ISP here in France has done some years ago and all competitors had to align their prices dramatically. The same has happened with mobile internet more recently, incidentally again triggered by the same ISP.
Each time the established companies will complain about price dumping and rising unemployment due to low margins, but then they always magically survive.

Google seems to be the perfect company to pull something like this off.

Comment Re:Thigs swinging back to Bittorrent and P2P? (Score 2) 412

Direct democracy does have its downsides too in Switzerland. For example it's much easier to pass restrictive immigration laws simply by fear mongering.
Other subjects are difficult to comprehend such as financial treaties or international cooperation. That's the reason why Switzerland joined the UN only in 2002.

Finally, there are some discussions that are always getting very emotional and don't allow for an objective evaluation. I'm thinking of preventive custody for sexual crimes for example. It's very easy to convince people to vote for stronger laws in this area because nobody wants to support rapists.

That being said, all in all direct democracy is a good thing and gives citizens a feeling of participation that many non-direct democracies are often lacking.

Comment Re:Online Backup - Carbonite (Score 1) 499

Who cares if Carbonite goes bankrupt. Just move your files to a different provider if this happens. Remember, it's called backup, so you still have the original files locally.

Another thing that helps is cutting down on the size of the photo collection:

- Keep only the best shot of a specific scene instead of multiple shots
- Delete pictures that are blurry or not interesting. Nobody will want to look at thousands of photos of a single event in the future.
- Think twice before you backup a RAW file. How big are the chances that you are ever going to work on this file again? Just backup the JPEG instead and keep the RAW locally if you want.

I know it's hard to delete photos but I prefer having 200 nice photos of a vacation instead of 1000 so-so ones that will bore people to death.

Comment Re:Bull (Score 1) 738

> The workarounds include higher efficiency devices (e.g. iPad/Mac Mini/laptop instead of a massive gaming desktop)

You do realize that such devices are only a marginal part of our energy consumption? Transport and Heating/Cooling are the biggest energy consumers today. All the rest is peanuts.

Remember, if everyone saves a bit of energy, humankind as a whole also only saves a bit of energy.

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