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Comment Re:Still nope! (Score 1) 256

Don't forget that the "Microsoft actively monitors whether you're using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine." statement means that Microsoft will be setting up a telemetry service on your computer to record what you do and send it to Microsoft. Just like the "Customer Experience Improvement Program" updates that add telemetry trackers to your Win7 system which Microsoft keeps trying to push to people even after the Windows 10 free update period has expired.

Comment Re:Just like trying to ban guns (Score 1) 446

90% of the time its not a home made gun... Almost all the time sounds like a fair description of 90%. so that other 10% fits nicely in almost never

"Here, stick your head through this hole. Just ignore the heavy blade in the slide above the hole; it almost never drops when someone sticks their head in it."

If there's a one in ten chance that the blade will fall and cut your head off when you stick your head in the hole, I don't think that you'd feel that "almost never" was an accurate description of the probability.

Comment Re:I also want protection for my children. (Score 1) 167

Note that video of gang riots, military combat, dictatorial executions, and other scenes of violence are, by their omission, presumably "appropriate content". Heaven forfend that some child should, even by accident, see an erect penis; it would scar them for life. But letting them watch police fire tear gas into crowds of rioters, or a policeman getting dragged down and beaten by rioters, or bodies lying in the street in pools of blood, is all just part of life.

Comment Re:The message is clear: (Score 1) 309

This is bullish, right?

This is a country that will stop you for having a broken taillight, notice that you're carrying $50,000 in cash, seize it on suspicion of being the proceeds of illegal activity, file charges against the money, and your only hope of getting it back is to sue the government and prove that the money was acquired legitimately (ignoring the fundamental problems in trying to prove a negative).

Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 1) 119

The original Apple campus is really six separate office buildings that happened to be arranged in a circle with a central courtyard; the new Apple campus is essentially eight separate office buildings that happen to be physically adjacent so as to look like one big round building. There are literally hundreds (possibly thousands?) of firms in Silicon Valley that could profitably use either one of those 1/8th wedges or a single floor of a 1/8th wedge = 1/32nd of the total space).

The new campus has roughly the same square footage as the empire state building but a hell of a lot more parking and better physical plant. It's a mere 12 miles from the Googleplex in Mountain View. Among current firms, Google could easily make use of the entire thing, as could Oracle. (Though subdivision really seems more likely)

Regarding distance to SF, it's almost exactly as convenient to SF as Google's headquarters and slightly more convenient to San Jose.

BTW...have you worked in Silicon Valley? Companies rent pieces of fancy buildings other companies built first all the time. Google's current headquarters were built by Silicon Graphics. When I was at General Magic we had a couple floors in somebody else's office building in Santa Clara - a firm that had to shrink down so they moved out of the parts they weren't using and leased the rest. And so on...

Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 1) 119

It is a gigantic waste of shareholder money...$4.5 billion could have been used to fund an 80-cent-per-share dividend

Think of it as a clever tax dodge. Apple has made a lot of money overseas that they would like to bring back home, but if it were brought back home as money they'd have to pay a 35% US corporate income tax on it. So instead they spend their profits on expensive one-of-a-kind glass panels and concrete slabs fabricated outside the US then shipped and used here.

And sure, those glass panels and concrete slabs are overpriced compared to the value Apple gets from them. But are they more than 35% overpriced? If not, it's a bargain!

Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 2) 119

if Apple needs to sell, the only kinds of companies who could afford to buy this thing would rather build one, so that leaves oil sheiks and China.

It'll be nice office space. If and when Apple shrinks enough that they don't need it anymore, it could easily be subdivided into wedges that are rented out to whatever other firms are growing at the time. No need to allocate the entire thing at once. What you're saying is like complaining that few people can afford to buy the entire Empire State Building so it's a bad idea to build it.

Comment The underground levels are for parking (Score 1) 119

my condolences to those who get to report to work in the awesomest building on the planet....then slip beneath the earth's surface to their dank, windowless, crappy offices.

The original plans were to have two below ground basement levels...but they are for underground parking. I'm not sure whether the claim of there being three floors now means they added another such level or the reporter is confused.

Here is the original blueprint which clearly shows Basement 1 and Basement 2 as levels containing 2300ish parking spaces each plus ramps, tunnel access and a loading dock/storage area.

That said, I'm sure there will be some windowless crappy offices in interior parts of some of the aboveground levels. (There certainly were in the original Apple Campus!)

Comment Re:HO.LY.FUCK (Score 1) 621

For some time police have had the power to steal cash from people if they 'suspect' that it might derive from some criminal activity, even if the suspect is not charged.

The suspect does get charged; unfortunately, the case is something like State of Washington vs. Prepaid Account Card 1227496584367954, not against the person whose assets have been seized.

Comment Re:Security (Score 1) 564

It's one step away from literally being ransomware.

That comes in July, when it stops being free, but doesn't stop being an automatic install.

"You're copy of windows is unlicensed. Pay us $100+ or you will never see your own data again."

I wish I thought this was an exaggeration, but frankly, I expect exactly that.

Microsoft should be prosecuted for racketeering for how they've handled Windows 10.

If Microsoft continued to try to force an upgrade to Windows 10 down our throats with tricks like these after it was no longer a free upgrade, I'd be willing to bet that you could make a solid case that, under 39 U.S. Code 3009, it meets the definition of "unordered merchandise" and Microsoft has just given it to you for free, and can be required to cough up a valid license for it. I'd also be willing to bet that Microsoft isn't willing to have that premise tested in court, and that all the "Get Windows X" code will receive an update well in advance of the drop date that will cause them, on or after the expiration of the free-upgrade period, to require payment in advance before it will even download the update.

Comment Re:"because I can't imagine such a future" (Score 1) 286

It's not that no one can imagine such a future -- a little digging into science fiction stories should turn up a variety of examples of battery- or solar-powered air vehicles. One that I can think of is Robert Heinlein's novel Friday, with vehicles powered by Shipstones, an energy-storage device. What causes battery- or solar-powered air vehicles to be dismissed is an awareness of the energy density limitations of current generation and storage systems, and the progress of improvement in these systems; either will require a quantum leap in energy density before they become viable. Unfortunately, how such a leap would occur is the stumbling block; the inability to forsee the invention of the transistor, then of the microchip was what made the idea of a 'home computer' laughable. And it's the people who understand current technology and its limitations who most often fall into the "can't imagine" group -- to use Robert Heinlein in another example, if you consider his novel Starman Jones, the starship computers were massive and required input in binary; the 'secret books' of the Navigator's Guild were mostly conversion tables to and from binary, and the navigators would set up a computation, convert their numbers into binary, toggle them into the computer, get the results, convert them back from binary, and apply them to the engines. He failed to imagine compact computers that would have convenient human interfaces that could be directly connected to sensors to detect course and speed, and to the engines to control flight, because the computers he was familiar with didn't have the ability to do that, and he couldn't see the changes that would occur that would make modern auto-navigation systems possible.

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead