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Comment Re:But, But... (Score 1) 282

You seem to forget there's one more phone available, likely at a reduced price

But not in the same market. Its IMEI will be blacklisted, so it won't be useable in the country in which it is stolen and often not anywhere where the manufacturer cares about sales. You could argue that Apple (for example) gets the same benefit from thefts as Microsoft does from piracy in emerging markets: stolen phones get a generation of people accustomed to using Apple devices, priming demand so that when the economy has grown to the level where a significant number of people can afford new iPhones, Apple can just start selling them.

Comment Re: But, But... (Score 1) 282

I'm not sure about the USA, but when you steal a phone in most of Europe its IMEI is blacklisted and it can no longer be used on any of the networks. Thieves get around this by exporting the phones (well, the small-time thieves sell to someone else who will export them) to countries with networks that don't participate in this scheme. The phones are then sold for a very small fraction of their retail cost. The people who buy them are not people who would be able to afford a new smartphone.

Comment Re:Oil and nuclear are separate markets (Score 1) 319

That sentence hurt my head, but even with what you mean it's irrelevant. In the USA, for example, 82% of the population lives in cities and suburbs and so could have most of their transportation needs met by mass transit and the gaps filled with taxis or schemes similar to ZipCar for occasional use.

Comment Re:It's actually surprisingly cheap... (Score 1, Offtopic) 311

I've only spent a few months in the USA, but I don't remember any restaurants I saw offering all-you-can-drink including alcoholic beverages along with a fixed price meal, and yet I recall this being fairly common in Tokyo. Or are you deliberately misreading the grandparent so that you can call him a retard?

Comment Re:Transactional Memory support (Score 3, Insightful) 189

The hardware lock elision stuff is going to be more than just a little bit useful. It means that software that uses coarse-grained locking can get the same sort of performance as software using fine-grained locking and close to the performance of software written specifically to support transactional memory. It will be interesting to see if Intel's cross-licensing agreements with other chip makers includes the relevant patents. If it's something that is widely adopted, then it is likely to change how we write parallel software. If not, then it will just make certain categories of code significantly more scalable on Intel than other CPUs.

Comment Re:How does this help Google+? (Score 1) 416

Non-Google Jabber accounts are less common than Google accounts

Not entirely representative, but on my Jabber roster about 30% are Google people, and about half of them are Google employees. I wonder how many Google Talk users have no non-Google people on their roster, and will be happy to learn that Google has just decided that they can no longer talk to them.

Comment Re:Something is wrong (Score 1) 311

If the problem is wealth inequality, then you don't make it an explicit cap, you make it a ratio. Say, no person should be able to control more wealth than 100 times the median. That would mean, today, that a wealthy person would be in a position to live comfortably and never have to work again, which sounds like it's sufficient incentive for the people whose only motivation for doing things that benefit society is collecting personal wealth (I've never met any such people, but according to posts above they exist). And, if someone really wants more, then the incentives are set up so that they can get a lot more by increasing the median wealth a small amount...

Comment Re: I can't wait to see this battle (Score 5, Interesting) 716

Uh, no. An API is not subject to copyright, and so you can't sue someone for writing code to an API or reimplementing that API. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether you can use a specific service in a specific way. Google could not stop someone else implementing the YouTube APIs on a different media hosting site.

I think Microsoft has been quite clever here. They're now in the situations where they're giving their customers something that they want, and Google is telling them that they can't. They can't really lose: if they can keep offering the app in the same format, then they can provide a better experience than other platforms. If they can't, then they have some good material for their next round of anti-Google adverts.

Comment Re:Damned if they do... (Score 3, Informative) 275

It's a distinction between a federated and a proprietary network. When you make a telephone call, your mobile operator may or may not be the responsible for the far end. They are selling you access to a world wide telephone network, parts of which are operated by many companies even within a single country. The rules for this network are defined in part by the ITU and in part by the national laws of the various participating countries. In most of the western world, these place limits on who is allowed to listen in to messages. In contrast, Microsoft is selling you access to a private network that is owned and operated entirely by them.

The laws apply to federated networks because you may not have a direct business relationship with the carriers for a potentially large part. They do not need to apply for non-federated private services, because you have a direct business relationship with the supplier, in this case Microsoft.

Comment Re:Damned if they do... (Score 1) 275

I very much doubt the law says that, if a person sends up to a service that will relay messages for them and explicitly states in the ToS that it may read those messages, that the service is not allowed to read the messages. It's not a service like the post or the telephone system that is regulated under common carrier legislation, it is a proprietary service that stores and forwards messages between subscribers.

Comment Re:Q&A (Score 1) 668

Liberals like you never ask yourself how much more efficient it would be if people would not be taxed and instead donate even 10% of what they would have been taxed to the causes they believe in

It's an interesting thought experiment. You can see a lot of what happens from the current tax exemption rules for charities in the US: most people with surplus income give to things that will directly benefit themselves (educational trusts that run schools predominantly for wealthy people, heart disease charities, and so on). Of course, most people wouldn't donate anything. There's a reason why economists have the term 'the tragedy of the commons' and it's not because they invented a hypothetical scenario, it is based on large numbers of historical examples.

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