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Comment Solution: Buy legislators. All of them. (Score 5, Interesting) 184

Captain Obvious Competition.

Yep.

These companies already have your money, so updating a device that's already been sold is a needless expense. There's also a good argument to be made that updating a device hurts future sales. If your phone isn't updated, it will start to feel old, so you're more likely to buy a new phone sooner.

Yes. I have a high-end preamp-processor, updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end camera. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end radio transceiver. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. And so on.

The whole "we can update your device" bit is a scam (and often, so is the "we can update your software" bit.) The only way a corporation is likely to actually update hardware responsibly is if legislation forces them to. And good luck trying to get THAT in place when corporations outright buy the decisions of the legislatures.

Submission + - Free Speech Under Attack as Facebook Plays Judge, Jury, Executioner (techomag.com)

NathanBachman writes: Freedom of speech is under attack, and the perpetrator is none other the king of social media, Facebook. In recent times, the company, now a popular face of online censorship, has been shamelessly blocking accounts, removing pages, and deleting posts that either failed to strike a chord with the moderation team, or were brutally honest to the extent of becoming intolerable for the people in position of power. Will Facebook get away with playing god and silencing millions of pro-Kashmir, pro-Kurdishs, and pro-freedom of speech voices around the globe?

Submission + - 2016 Hugo Award Winners Announced

Dave Knott writes: The recipients of the 2016 Hugo awards have been announced. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugos are (along with the Nebulas) one of science fiction's two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), the most recent of which, MidAmeriCon II was held this past weekend in Kansas City. Notable winners include:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season , by N.K. Jemisin
Best Novella: Binti , by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture , written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Martian , screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Best Dramatic Presentation, ShortForm: Jessica Jones: "AKA Smile", written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer

As in the previous two years, the 2016 Hugos were subject to considerable controversy, as highly-politicized factions within science fiction fandom attempted to influence the awards via a concerted campaign that influenced the nomination process. Those actions once again proved unsuccessful, as the nominees put forth by these activists failed to win in any of the major awards categories.

Comment Subsidies (Score 5, Insightful) 442

LMOL yes moron Uber competes with taxi service.

Sure. Any transport method that is used instead of another is competition. Walking, bicycles, private cars, motorcycles, skateboards, Segways, busses, subways, jitneys, hansoms, taxis, limos, Uber... all competitors that reduce opportunity for the others.

Anyway, the story is that Uber's earnings will be garnished to subsidize taxis. I wonder, would people approve if their bicycles and cars and so on were taxed specifically to subsidize taxis and/or other transportation methods?

It's fascinating to see the "this business has a right to exist, workable business model or not" attitude arise in a new space, and to watch the politicians be bought and sold accordingly.

Comment Re:When it stops moving, subsidize it... (Score 0, Flamebait) 442

If we all had smart-phones 100 years ago, today's taxi regulations (and the various boards enforcing them) would not have been created. Which means, it is time for them to be abolished.

I am so with you. No more smart-phones! BURN THEM! BURN THEM ALL!

Soon, teenagers might begin speaking to one another again; dress in ways that attract the eye; undertake outdoor activities other than "find that Pokemon"; and play games that develop co-ordination of more than their hands, develop whole-body muscle-tone, maybe even ask each other for dates with, you know, actual speech and eye contact. Maybe even kiss!

Nah, never happen. Bring on the VR hoods and nerve stimulators. Soon, "my teenager's in the cloud" will be a common parent's lament, and the most common teenage problem will be bedsores. :)

Comment Interesting... (Score 3, Funny) 188

Zen's initial availability is slated for late this year, with lager-scale roll-out planned for early 2017.

You know, although a tank lager looks big from the outside, there are usually no more than a hundred or so tanks in one. So this doesn't seem like a very large rollout.

On the other hand, if one of the tanks rolled over the editor(s), that would be a service to humanity.

Comment Good ads (Score 4, Insightful) 120

Ads can be good. They can enable commerce and content. Responsible advertising contains a combination of three things: a still image, and/or text, and a link. IOW: an HREF element, and within that, an IMG element and/or perhaps (preferably) some textual content. No scripts other than what's required to actually serve the ad, no videos, no animations, no scraping of user-specific information.

Anything/everything else is abuse.

Remember when Google was all about text ads?

Google's ethics cancer took care of that. For myself, I don't see many ads any longer. The status quo is to attempt to abuse me; fine. The status quo on this end is to block ads.

Comment Re:Based on the XBox One... (Score 1) 263

If your time is so valuable, why are you gaming at all?

Gaming is a positive recreational activity. I don't mind putting time in; I get an improved mental state out.

Waiting hours for what you so blithely term a "patch" is not a positive recreational activity. Therefore, I decline.

No one is going to stop patching games because you have a terrible Internet connection

My connection is 30/5. Hardly a "terrible" connection. Until you try to shove gigabytes down it, of course.

Then you've gone post-console-gaming due to your extreme position.

Wrong. My earlier consoles continue to work fine. I've gone post-buying new consoles, which is something else entirely.

Comment Based on the XBox One... (Score 4, Insightful) 263

...they can have my money for another console if and when they abandon this incredibly toxic and annoying "cloud"-based approach to gaming. I am NOT going to spend money on a console that inherits the unacceptable shortcomings of the XB One. Put the games on disk, sell the disc, let me stick the disc in the machine. it should work. It should NOT go into a paroxysm of download after download at the game and system and add-on level. I have literally watched a NEW game take HOURS to become usable on the XB One. Wrong direction, Microsoft (and Sony, and whoever.) I pay, I stick it in the console, and it works. Otherwise, no thanks. My time is worth more than your bleeding cloud-mania.

Comment Re:Supply and storage (Score 1) 990

Are the chargers smart enough to delay charging until night?

This is a very minor technical issue; so far, it's not been something anyone really has to pay attention to. When it becomes a problem, building timers into chargers isn't a serious technical challenge.

At present, some chargers have timers; in addition, you can monitor some by wifi, etc. A little googling will tell you all you need to know about this.

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