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Comment Re: News for Nazis (Score 1) 1430

I don't think the OP thought that everyone who disagrees with him is a nazi. I suspect he simply realizes you just handed your presidency over to the biggest internet troll in history.

Trump is the president that 48% of Americans deserve. Unfortunately, 100% of Americans will (already are) feeling the effects. Racial and gender prejudices inflamed, fear mongering, and a total disregard for consequences.

Dear Mexico;

        Let's not wait for Trump. Let's you and I build the walls ourselves. I'm pretty sure once we get started the rest of the world will chip in and help too. Maybe, just maybe, if we can build it in time we can contain this lunacy before it gets out.

Sincerely,

                      Canada.

Comment With very few exceptions... (Score 2) 163

...a 6502 is not a brain.

The issue is, the 6502 is several orders of magnitude less complex than a brain. It could be likened to a massively parallel computer that is running thousands of programs all at once. So it is completely reasonable, on the scale of the brain, to suggest that damage to an area in a dozen people that affects their hearing to draw the conclusion that that part of the brain is responsible for hearing. Damaging a couple transistors in a 6502, a single processor, is akin to damaging a few neurons in each of a million different areas of the brain at once. The researchers correctly determined that a particular damage which caused Donkey Kong not to boot did not mean the part of the CPU which is responsible for Donkey Kong was damaged. That does not, however, say anything about the methods used to study the brain. It is, unfortunately, yet another reason why researchers need to stop making silly comparisons between computers and brains, and also need to stop "playing for the crowd", which really was what this seems to have been.

Comment More than just low storage (Score 4, Interesting) 128

Encoding voice more efficiently has implications far exceeding the amount of storage space required to save it. There's a reason why the article is comparing the new codec to single sideband. When transmitting digital data over radio, it pretty much invariably (nowadays) means some sort of spread spectrum transmission. The fewer bits required per second means the less spectrum you are having to spread your signal over, this the more concentrated your signal is. A radio transmitter has a fixed power output, so if you are smearing that power over less band, then you have a stronger signal.

It is a testament to the amateur radio pioneers of the past that an analog radio transmission mode invented over a hundred years ago is, just now, being possibly rivaled in its efficiency.

Comment Re:wow now everyone is... (Score 2) 205

Apple isn't courageous. Apple is stupid. Problem is, Apple customers (hipsters) are just slightly stupider, and Apple knows this. They know their customer base will continue to buy what Apple feeds them long after it has become manure. HTC will soon learn there are actual choices among Android devices and leaving vital bits off their phone is not a way to endear itself to the masses.

Comment Re:Won't produce revenue for Google's customers (Score 2) 62

More likely than that is that it's now a defense/NSA (depending on whether the surveillance is foreign or domestic) project for surveillance drones with unlimited on-station time. Really, that's what they were anyway. The announcement of them as internet-for-the-poor was just a public advertising campaign to get the word out to those in procurement.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 2) 254

I see you've been modded to oblivion, but it's actually useful to reply, so I will.

They don't control every aspect. That's hyperbolic bullshit trolling.

They have the ability to push mandatory updates and can change any aspect of the OS they choose with no recourse. There is nothing they could not cause to run on a computer with Windows 10. If this is not controlling every aspect, what is?

Even if they were, they can! It's their software.

I take it from this that you actually meant to say "Even if they could control every aspect that's ok because it's their software". Does this mean that it's ok for every software provider to have unlimited and arbitrary control of your computer because, as you say, it's their software?

*crude allegory*

Thank-you no.

...or get down and dirty with the FOSS hobos

Ahh, but FOSS is still software, and "their"" software to boot. I mean, it belongs to someone. Someone wrote it, and holds the copyright. So, shouldn't it be ok, by your logic, for them to insert code to control every aspect of our computer too?

Tired of assholes like you crying about it.

I write and protest as I can to try and get a change in attitude back to the time when Microsoft wouldn't have just been criticized for something like this, but crucified. Five years ago even there was no way they could have done this. But people are becoming more resigned to this, and that is what we need to change.

I also use a combination of methods to take control back, where I can. Windows Update Mini Tool gives me control back of my updates. An encrypted virtual OS gives me a place to put sensitive files that is a (slightly) harder target for outside interference, and yes, doing anything of actual import on FOSS operating systems that I trust, where I can.

It's assholes crying about things like British taxation without representation that gave you the country you live in. If you think there is any less of a conflict going on now than there was then for the freedoms most of us hold dear, then you are hopelessly naive.

Comment Translation (Score 5, Insightful) 254

We know we want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective

Translation: We want everyone to be running Windows 10 from a we-now-control-every-aspect-of-your-(our)-computer perspective. We can't actually force updates on other versions, but we'll do our level best to force the version on you that we can do that with. We regret the negative publicity that the lengths we went to to make this happen caused.

Comment Re:Australian "conservatives" don't understand (Score 2) 160

I support strong consumer protection laws. These are simply a group of people getting together and saying, collectively, if you want to do business with us, then these are the overall guiding terms by which you need to do that business. This is, essentially, just an umbrella contract. Steam didn't look at the umbrella contract for the group of customers it was dealing with, and now has to pay the penalty specified in that contract. How is this anti free market? Every market has rules. Look at the insider trading laws, or anti competition laws in your own country - they are almost incomprehensibly complex. They exist because left to itself, business (which exists solely to line the pockets of its shareholders) left to its own devices is an amoral entity that will literally do anything to make money.

The fact is, it was Valve's choice to do business with Australian customers. They could have chosen not to. Doing business in Australia is not Valve's right.

Comment Re: not quite correct (Score 1) 257

I own a midsized game shop worth 8 or 9 million

I don't think game means what you think it means. .net isn't cross platform yet, at least not enough to do anything grown-up with. There is nothing you can do with it today you can't do faster with native code. So either your game shop's valuation is based on a series of bubblegum free-to-play games that are splashed around annoying advertising popups everywhere, or your developers are handicapped. Or both.

And claims like "my software company is worth millions" have exactly zero weight without a name behind it - otherwise it wasn't worth the time you spent to type it.

Comment Re:They deserve some serious prison time. (Score 2) 128

While agree they are scummy, I'm fuzzy on what's actually illegal? They owned the copyrights, correct? If it's the uploading part, I don't think that's illegal. For example, I could purposefully bend over and place a $100 bill on the floor of a busy mall and walk away and if someone came up and took it they are still, as far as the law is concerned, guilty of theft and liable for criminal prosecution and civil damages. The lawyers were being what lawyers are, but I'm not sure how they actually broke the law.

Comment Re:That sounds good to me (Score 3, Informative) 158

Concur. Inexpensive virtual server hosting companies abound. For $10 a month, I have a Linux virtual server with a guaranteed dedicated CPU core and with SSD space far in excess of a free Dropbox account. It hosts my own domain names, Wordpress site, multi-domain email (with webmail) - in short, anything I need, I have on my own server. I can post anything I want and it will stay on my server as long as I want it to. My download links do not disappear. Software like Syncthing takes care of the synchronization features that Dropbox would give. My server. My data!

I am like you, I have been puzzled from the beginning in the allure of trusting data to outside sources. If it's free, then you are the product. If they are storing your data for free, then your data is the product.

A big benefit for those who aren't as technically inclined is a cloud services Linux distro. Domain, email/webmail, file sync, bookmark sharing in a box.

Comment Re:Will that actually help? Also, Wi-Fi (Score 3, Insightful) 229

Photo journalists do already have their devices seized. All the time. And they are often stripped of their memory card before before having it given back to them (if it is given back). The problem encryption is meant to solve is not to prevent the device from being seized, it's to prevent the seizing agency from having access to what you've been photographing. Photo journalists going behind enemy lines, taking pictures of rebels groups or doing interviews with people who want their faces blurred later. Losing the photographs altogether is not as bad as having the photographs fall into the hands of an adversary. They are already going to lose them if the device is seized. They just want the photographs to be safe if that happens.

Unfortunately, seeing encryption applied to new classes of devices is a controversial topic now. Not for the end user, who would support that. But governments across the world - across the (ironically named) "free" world - are aiming at encryption and labeling it as evil and helping the cause of terrorists and child molesters. The first time a camera comes out with encryption and is involved in child pornography will be huge. It will be splashed by law enforcement across every newspaper as showing how encryption is evil, how it's enabling criminals and terrorists, and how it's good that government should legislate back doors into every piece of encryption on the market. For that reason, until we settle the fight that is brewing about encryption and openly legislated (as opposed to the private ones the NSA strong arms into products already) encryption back doors are firmly rejected, I would like to see cameras remain free of encryption. I don't want to see another class of device used as propaganda and leveraged as a way of taking away more of our rights and privacy.

Comment New trick for appearing authentic? (Score 1) 56

Is the new trick for appearing authentic to try to use as much disjointed, rambling, misspelled, awful slang as possible? It's like when a father falsely pretends in a sort of campy supercilious way to imitate his kid's speaking. It's just painful to watch. Eliza did it better over thirty years ago.

The scary part is this. Sure, someone wrote that chatbot. People write all sorts of stuff. Roger out. But then someone else, presumably someone with some sort of authority, had to interact with it and say "Yes.... yes, releasing this to the public with Microsoft's name on it will be a good thing." That's what I find unfathomable.

Comment Tripping over themselves... why? (Score 2) 88

Stores seem to be tripping over themselves to spend money on automated systems to make it easy just to walk in and walk out with what you want. No extra fees, no hassle. People need to remember that any time.... any time they spend money it's with the expectation of getting twice as much back. The motivation can't be to get people in, because once more than one place has it it's no longer a novelty and they don't get increased business. So it's just a straight cost. So if it's just a straight cost, where is the recap? It's in selling out your privacy, shopping habits, brand choices, and movements. In short, we, again, are the commodity being traded.

No thanks. Minority Report holds no appeal for me, and no government seems to want to put any checks on violations of privacy.

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