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Comment How many crashes due to insulation? (Score 2) 161

So, the article claims that 'number of crashes due to muted sirens (because of sound insulation) is on the rise'. That's a claim with no numbers behind it, what is this increase in accidents per year - 10? or 10,000? In the latter case, I can see a justification for this research with the (unfortunately not too safe) assumption that people do use their radios often. However it just as likely to be the first case of trivial increase, which might as well be due to higher traffic!, but is used to justify an expensive study for some PhDs.

Comment Can lead to economic crisis (Score 1) 173

If these realistic robots come in the market, they are going to be expensive and thus end up reducing reproduction for the segment of population that can actually afford children ... leaving the poorer have-nots to expand to a greater percentage of the population and need more social support. Since most countries are democracies (i.e., majority wins) - this will end up with people voting for state support to have the 'right' to own/rent such robots for cheap :)

Comment Didn't correlate with education? (Score 3, Interesting) 249

> the researchers carried out robustness tests with various variables including the strength of IP enforcement, political factors, and economic development.

So they did take into account some factors like economic development, which makes this more interesting. However, why not analyze w.r.t. to the education levels of the area as well, since that would also affect the region's 'collective IQ' and probably indicate how many people are too poor to afford education, not to mention buying software. I searched the paper and 'education' as a search term only appeared twice, both times in references (so, its never mentioned in the actual text).

The researchers probably didn't consider the prevailing views of property rights or agreement with international treaties either. In some countries, its just more culturally acceptable to share software which makes it easier to average people to do so without feeling guilty. Other countries might have low income groups that are forced to buy licenses because their leadership got some incentives for IP treaties and are eager to show their enforcement to attract more FDI. Also, often countries with limited software exposure don't even know about good alternatives so its basically, either pirate or buy what everyone else uses.

Comment Can Govt ids be used by 3rd parties now? (Score 1) 367

The idea of having a mandatory requirement of using online ids and removing anonymity from the Internet isn't too bright, and also opens up a gigantic single point of failure with the government login / authentication systems.

However, I'm more interested in whether any government at all allows third parties to use their ids for third party authentication, maybe something like having an OpenId server support like how Google, Facebook etc. logins can be used as the primary login on some other sites. This would potentially allow for someone who cares about 'fake reviews' so much, to allow people to authenticate using their presumably properly vetted govt id. Then, it would be up to that individual site to choose whether it should also allow other account types, whether using free email or their own site based solution etc. This makes it feasible to mark reviews that are from 'trusted sources' (trust as in, person has a verifiable identity and he can't just discard it for a new one easily) while allowing other reviews or even disabling that if desired.

I could see this as being actually very useful for certain scenarios, specifically thinking of the constant and currently-insoluble problem of trolls in online games. Say that Blizzard as a new MMO with Server A only allowing logins using trusted credentials. A user with govt id makes an account, chooses a nickname and starts playing as usual. But if he is banned for cheating or trolling, he can't just make a new account, as governments don't exactly let you have a different DL # or passport # without a really good reason. Those who don't want to or are unable to use a trusted id, would instead get to play on Server B which would not be used for official tournaments etc.

This kind of approach would see governments leverage their existing identity verification as a supporting mechanism to enable opt-in usage by commercial entities. Which also means that it will only be used when it makes sense and not just a new mechanism to track everyone's actions online. Sure, if decides that fake reviews are a grave issue and only verified users can post them, that's fine - people can still leave anonymous comments elsewhere, and others will use whichever has more useful information. Certainly, besides the 'fake' comments there may be honest commenters who simply don't want to get sued for strong language or w/e.

So, back to my question - are there OpenId or similar authentication endpoints that EU or any of its member states make available currently?

Comment Re:stop them ! (Score 3) 244

Copyright is completely insane anyway, and this has desensitized many people from breaking it at will when they can. We no longer have sane terms like 14 years after first publication (which iirc was the original term in US before all the extensions to make it a multi-generational cash cow). If that was still the case, then piracy would perhaps have not taken off in such a big way in the first place, because the public would be more supportive of creators getting reimbursed for their content.

However, with the current BS terms, it is 'illegal' to watch ancient movies or cartoons (hello Disney!) or listen to decades-old songs (Sonny Bono act) without paying for the privilege. Even most individual countries cannot set terms as they wish thanks to the Berne convention which imposes a *minimum* of 50 years. So, the public starts to pirate due to this perceived unfairness; which is their only response since the politicians are bought & paid for by the entertainment industry.

As for 'ripping off GoT episodes', those are fairly recent and shouldn't be as justified - but the problem is that when everyone is accustomed to piracy due to eternal copyrights; then people no longer distinguish carefully about newer or older works.

Comment Apples vs Oranges (Score 2) 56

How is it fair to compare advertising to selling physical goods, considering that it is so much easier to plug in an ad api for any developer who thinks he could make a few bucks off his hobbyist app?

I'm not at all surprised that a far lower percentage of the ad-supported devs make good money, a vast majority are probably those who saw some niche need and created a small app, maybe for themselves - then added in some advertising to get an easily acquired income stream. By contrast, those who actually have warehouses or tie-ups with stores to sell physical products have put in far more effort in creating their product, and probably would not do so without the expectation of a good RoI.

The article also talks of how IoT isn't very lucrative, not too surprising since its not even standardized across vendors (afaik) and needs more public awareness.

Comment Re:Only half an hour (Score 1) 236

The current assclown isn't going to change jack and/or squat.

He's going to die, just like everyone else before him has. Even if you don't pay taxes, death will get you.

Just looked up the glorious leader's birthday, Google says its Jan 8, 1983.

Instead of a mundane half hour offset to set NK tz to UTC+8:30, he could always be creative and set it to say UTC+8:31.8 (83/1/8) and have a reminder of his august (but in Jan) birthday for everyone that has to deal with NK time zones :-) If not Jong-Un himself, his auspicious birthday digits could lead forever!

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 2) 200

Elop announced a shuttering of all existing platforms used (Meego, Maemo, Symbian) and talked about switching to an unused & untried platform instead (Windows Phone) - I'm surprised that people can actually think he's incompetent; to me just reading about that speech was very convincing evidence that he was a brilliant Microsoft operative.

There was iirc some talk in the articles at the time, of how Nokia & Microsoft had some common shareholders who wanted to use Nokia to prop up the MS share prices after Windows Phone had a bad initial reception. I can completely believe this theory, maybe they didn't plan to pump & dump but genuinely thought that riding on trusted Nokia's reputation would rescue WinPhone from irrelevance. Whatever the reason, they picked Elop as CEO and either lost their shirts over the next couple of years, or more likely just cashed out before the trainwreck became too obvious to investors.

Comment Killed by stupid policies not just Symbian (Score 1) 200

Nokia was steadily losing market share due to not having any Android phones, nor a good competitor for iPhone. Their latest Maemo devices had good reviews, but were limited to high-end phones only and also were never offered for subsidized contract prices in the US (afaik).

There were many better options for them to take, like having a good upgrade path for Symbian devs to create Maemo apps and not treating smartphones as a premium-only product that should not be sold in cheaper variants. They should also have been able to strike deals with US carriers for cheap smartphones that were free after 2 year contract - the Nokia at the time was still a well respected phone giant with great industry connections.

Instead, their shareholders allowed people on the board with little interest in the company's future and more focus on getting short term gains for their portfolios. They got Elop as CEO, and the infamous 'burning bridges' speech killed off Symbian & Meego/Maemo in a single day ... with no replacement coming for around a year! I'm amazed that a majority of shareholders were clueless enough to keep him around after that speech, it was clearly obvious that he'd just declared *all* of their then-current product lines as obsolete.

Right before Elop came onboard, Nokia had bought Navteq which gave them a chance to leapfrog Google Maps by offering a similarly comprehensive navigation app which also worked offline (at the time, GMaps didn't). Low cost smartphones running Maemo with Nokia Maps (now called Here) would have been an easy sell to people fond of Nokia hardware & reliability who wanted to dispose of their quickly-outdated standalone GPS devices.

Comment Re:Never be completed (Score 1) 74

I've long thought of this (removing networking from the bots) as being the best actual solution, too bad that there is no way to do so legally. Maybe use the bots to scan for 0-day vulnerabilities, and forcibly upgrade or configure security FW/AV etc. to deal with it :D

Well, I also wondered why no black hat ever tried it, but I guess all of them are busy making a lot of $$ selling exploits to various agencies rather than disrupting other black hats.

Comment Page loading has always been far slower with ads (Score 1) 394

Either everyone is breaking that 100ms limit, or else it is per ad and adds up if the browser is say, loading 5 at a time on a page with 20 ads. I have noticed sluggish loading on ad-laden sites for a very long time now, I keep trying to disable AdBlock to support sites and regret it soon after.

This also happens when the site is using the originally text-based Google AdWords - which btw has become worse over time, with some video ads being served and also some rogue publishers which aren't always caught (one site I regularly visit has semi-frequent complaints from users about problematic ads when they disable ABP to support it).

  I suspect that besides just the ads loading time, they are increasingly using more detailed analytics js which also contributes to site slowness, in order to market data for higher premiums.

Comment Re:Am I the only guy here that likes G+? (Score 1) 153

I used to really like G+ , and was using it a bit - then Google 'redesigned' the UI to have the multi column layout, and incidentally did *something* to make it super laggy on Firefox. Maybe it works just fine on Chrome, idk - but I'm not going to switch to their browser just because they completely messed up on optimization for their new design.

Ever since, I never actively use G+ and get upset whenever I accidentally click a link that ends up there while I have to first watch my browser almost freeze and then take forever to get to the page.

Comment Re:Paying for WHAT? (Score 1) 134

This clearly explains why the only music being pirated today is centuries-old classical music, not the top-40 rock and pop hits released last week.

Because "few people" object to granting artists a reasonable term of copyright!

The problem is that you're making people used to ignoring laws by having such unreasonable copyright terms, and when piracy becomes socially acceptable due to lobbyist-sponsored increasing copyrights and secret trade agreements - most people aren't going to finely distinguish who deserves to be paid for their efforts.

Its similar to speed limits imho, they're set based on speeds that were probably reasonable 50+ years ago with no change to account for better technology - and this has resulted in traffic usually moving at *over* the maximum speed limit on most major roads. You can argue that people are evil for speeding past hospitals or schools or bad visibility roads etc.; but once the public is desensitized to lawbreaking due to asinine rules then it becomes second nature to ignore the law in all cases.

It is also *completely* natural and acceptable for consumers to refuse to do these things, and refuse to spend their money on the product they're being asked to buy with onerous conditions attached.

Sounds good - and what are the alternatives, when the cost & potential profits in marketing & pushing perpetually copyrighted music makes it unfeasible for reasonable alternatives to exist at all? Even *finding* good alternatives consistently is a herculean task as they're completely ignored by the mainstream press. I fail to see how it can be completely natural to 'refuse' when the alternate choices wither away due to lack of exposure.

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