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Comment A good speech (Score 4, Interesting) 76

Just finished reading Neelie Kroes' speech an I really like it. Good to see that an influential politician has a long-term vision of how the internet has evolved and into which direction it should go.

You can read the speech here and also leave your comments on specific sections:

Comment Re:Not the first (Score 1) 404

For some background information:

It was funny to see all the historical mobile operators in France scramble to get similar offers out just based on rumors about what exactly Free will be doing.

Unfortunately, many people still don't understand the value of non-subsidized plans and prefer 1- or 2 year contracts because they get a free phone. Sigh :-(

Comment Re:Linux Mint (Score 1) 573

What made me switch back from Mint to Ubuntu is the fact that it is apparently not possible, or at least not recommended, to do upgrade Mint between major releases without reinstalling the whole system. This has always worked nicely for me in Ubuntu and I was shocked that it is missing from Mint.

Comment If you want me as a customer... (Score 1) 687

If you want me as a customer, offer a freemium version with the limited functionality (but no time limit) and a premium version with enhanced functionality. Keep the price for the premium version in a reasonable range (people are used to lower prices now with all the app stores) and make unlocking simple (register and pay on website, get a key by email. Entering the key instantly unlocks the premium features). Make a simple webpage where I can compare the two versions and give some information about yourself and your business to make me feel more emotionally involved. A blog and a forum can help as well.

Comment Streaming (Score 2) 166

You could also use streaming services instead of downloading. Most of them come with a mobile client that can be used in offline mode.
They do pay their artists fractions of a cent for each song listened to.

To me, this kind of service is clearly the future. It's especially great to discover new music. If you listen to the same 100 tracks all the time, it's probably not cost-effective though.

Some sites I know: (no software necessary, can run in a browser, offline mode with chrome, apps for iPhone and Android) (never used, but they are well established in the market)

iTunes can also do something similar but I don't know their offerings.


Curiosity Gearing Up for Drive to Next Study Location 73

Curiosity has spent most of the past 5 weeks running instrument and system checks, but on Friday that is all scheduled to change. The plan is to "drive, drive, drive" until a suitable rock for the rover's first robotic "hands-on" analysis is found, says mission manager Jennifer Trosper. The rover will head to a location about 1,300 feet away labeled "Glenelg," where three different types of rock intersect.

Comment Good Luck (Score 1) 263

This offer sounds very exciting. I really hope that this will help bring prices down.
It's a similar to what one ISP here in France has done some years ago and all competitors had to align their prices dramatically. The same has happened with mobile internet more recently, incidentally again triggered by the same ISP.
Each time the established companies will complain about price dumping and rising unemployment due to low margins, but then they always magically survive.

Google seems to be the perfect company to pull something like this off.

Comment Re:Thigs swinging back to Bittorrent and P2P? (Score 2) 412

Direct democracy does have its downsides too in Switzerland. For example it's much easier to pass restrictive immigration laws simply by fear mongering.
Other subjects are difficult to comprehend such as financial treaties or international cooperation. That's the reason why Switzerland joined the UN only in 2002.

Finally, there are some discussions that are always getting very emotional and don't allow for an objective evaluation. I'm thinking of preventive custody for sexual crimes for example. It's very easy to convince people to vote for stronger laws in this area because nobody wants to support rapists.

That being said, all in all direct democracy is a good thing and gives citizens a feeling of participation that many non-direct democracies are often lacking.

Comment Re:Online Backup - Carbonite (Score 1) 499

Who cares if Carbonite goes bankrupt. Just move your files to a different provider if this happens. Remember, it's called backup, so you still have the original files locally.

Another thing that helps is cutting down on the size of the photo collection:

- Keep only the best shot of a specific scene instead of multiple shots
- Delete pictures that are blurry or not interesting. Nobody will want to look at thousands of photos of a single event in the future.
- Think twice before you backup a RAW file. How big are the chances that you are ever going to work on this file again? Just backup the JPEG instead and keep the RAW locally if you want.

I know it's hard to delete photos but I prefer having 200 nice photos of a vacation instead of 1000 so-so ones that will bore people to death.

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