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Comment Re:366 MHz? (Score 5, Informative) 192

I'm Indian you know.. Perhaps it does not occur to you, but there are people in this country who earn less in a year than you'd pay for a decent meal at a two star restraunt. There are millions of such people in fact. To say that the government agencies work hard to play this figure down, would be a gross understatement. But even though I live in a fairly prosperous patch of the country, living here since I was born, I have actually met such people.

In a country of over a billion people, with barely 0.4% of the population sucking up 90% of the money that floats around, it is a spectacular vision of neglect and sadness.

About 35% of the population of India lives below the poverty line. FYI, the poverty line translates to $6 US a year!
Sure, for you it would feel like a kick in the stomach to receive a device such as this for christmas, but trust me, kids who get this device here would literally be willing to sell their kidneys for the opportunity to have one of them.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying I love the device, just that there are loads of people who will. And not only will they love and enjoy it, they will actually get it to do stuff the rest of us never even dreamed possible on such a low-spec toy.

So if someone asks me to buy the device for myself, I'd tell them to go eat shit. But I would nevertheless be glad to see it go out into the market for those who would otherwise go completely deviceless. I think there's some honour in that somewhere, but I'm having trouble putting it into words. :) Forgive me.

Comment duh! (Score 1) 123

Lying is only common when people try to interact with people. From what I've seen, people will almost never lie when they interact with devices or computer programs. Also, it is unlikely that an individual will lie when their anonymity is either assured, or enforced. When people interact about something they are personally invested in, the chances that they will lie go right through the roof!
as to the conclusion made in TFA, I'd say that the longer people have to make up lies, the more they will lie. It's not eMail that makes them lie, it's in the persons mind all the time. Also, in a face-to-face conversation, lying successfully becomes difficult for getting caught at it is a lot tougher. Your face and body language give things away that you'd have no trouble hiding in chat or mail.
I find it hard to believe someone actually used grant money to do this research! I could have come to the same conclusion without even thinking!

Comment Re:Why are the documents shredded to begin with? (Score 1) 180

Or just push them through a shredder and then burn the results. Not only would that burn more paper, but if any bits do survive, the chances of a compatible un-burnt piece surviving are greatly reduced. The more documents burnt that way, the smaller the chance for any meaningful extraction of information.

Comment Ethics be damned.. (Score 3, Informative) 36

It is common practice among digitally inclined firms to sue white-hats when they contact them about security vulnerabilities in their systems, rather than getting down and patching the holes and fixing the flaws.

It seems to me that it is no wonder that ethically inclined hackers would prefer to avoid approaching firms with their discoveries and instead just sit on them. Personally, I think ethics be gone and let the big lawyered up firms take their attitudes and suffer the consequences.

Contact the firm, set a deadline and then release the zero-day exploit anonymously on the specified date as promised.

Comment Big difference (Score 1) 406

Between "number of devices _sold_" and "number of devices _shipped_". I read somewhere a while ago about how Samsung was flooding the market with its devices but most of their devices weren't turning into actual sales. But even so.. Nevertheless, Just the fact that they were able to move almost 28 million handsets into the market is itself a grand statement to their capacity.

Comment Oh really!? (Score 1) 2

And here I was thinking technology (wow, social media!) could be used to help everyone except them leukemia patients. Seriously though, is this really news?

Oh, and it should read "life threatening situations".. Not "live threatening situations".

Comment Time-zones!? (Score 1) 21

Ah ha, So the morning of the 22nd eh?
Sitting here in India, it's already 4:00 AM of the 22'nd of October 2011.

Sure I can go read the article and then calculate backward from the websites timezone (which runs on EST btw) but seriously, this is the internet! No one has a local audience anymore!
Did it not occur to anybody that we live in a world that's filled with time-zones!? :(

Comment (App)sence of API (Score 1) 519

As I see it, one of the most critical failings of the whole G+ kaboodle, is the lack of a decent API.
Sure they have an API. But what good is it if you don't have an up and a down stream.
I read somewhere that about 80% of the regulars on social networking sites interact with each other via apps installed on their phones and other portable devices. As a matter of fact, even when on a desktop, a lot of people prefer to use apps to post and view updates. I've been on the move for most of the last four months, and I've racked up over 5500 tweets. If my twitter client (I use Gravity which is basically a Twitter client, but supports Facebook, Foursquare, StatusNet, SinaWeibo and Google Reader) had G+ too, I'd be redirecting more traffic in that direction. I'm pretty sure most of us who ping multiple social networks today would have no qualms about embracing G+.
I have not been following G+ updates for a while now, but I'm guessing their API is still unchanged since it was first released. Don't get me wrong though, I quite like G+. It's just that it is too inconvenient for me to go out of my way to be active on.

Comment On a more serious note.. (Score 1) 278

Since tax evasion is considered dishonesty, I don't see why is should be un-patentable. Patent all you like, but at the end of the day, if you use the method, it does not make it legal. Since it is illegal to do so, how do you track people or organizations who violate the patent and then enforce it?
If you ask me, I think it is a bit like patenting a method to crack a safe. You can patent it all you like, but there are very few situations when you can actually use it legally. Not only do you get on the wrong side of the law if you use it, but if someone does use it, it can carry a second charge for the patent breech as well.
On the one hand, if you encourage people to patent their ideas, the IRS would be able to use that knowledge to look for similar patterns when they suspect that an entity is defrauding the government. If on the other hand, you refuse to issue patents for this, there's going to be a need for investigators to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

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