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Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 222

This sounds like one of those instances where the spirit rather than the letter of the law should be applied. When using a fingerprint to unlock a phone, it is clearly being used as a passcode rather than "physical evidence". FTA:

iOS also only permits five Touch ID unlock attempts before the passcode is required, so smart criminals would either register their little finger and use up those attempts with other fingers.

So in this case, where a judge compels a suspect to unlock his phone using his fingerprint, and he blocks the phone with 5 bogus attempts, can he be held in contempt of court? Or he could claim that the phone didn't recognize his fingers because of sweaty hands.

Comment Re:Do not look into laser with remaining eye (Score 1) 93

Somebody fakes my eyescan successfuly once, it loses all future use to me

That's the real kicker. Imagine a password written on a yellow sticky, kept in your wallet. A password that is thus easily stolen, lost or duplicated. Now imagine that you cannot change that password, ever.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Funny) 525

You mean Monster Aether? Plugs into the wall like those room perfume thingies, and spreads complex organic molecules tuned to the specific BT frequencies, to help carry the signal and keep it coherent. Reduces noise in BT headsets and results in a more natural, warmer sound, and completely eliminates bit-flutter. Comes in pine & lavender or sweet jasmine. Only €49,99

Comment Re:Ride sharing? (Score 2) 171

Depends... For example, many countries distinguish between licensed cabs and private hire car (limo) services: cabs need a license and meet minimums standards, and the fares are often fixed. They can do curbside pickups if you flag them down, while private hire cars have to work through a dispatcher. That's where the discussion starts: the cabbies (and some legislators) have argued that having an app that instantly routes the nearest car to your location amounts to flagging down a driver, if there are enough of these cars roaming the streets.

Comment Re:WhatsApp (Score 1) 55

WhatsApp covers a somewhat different market segment. One of its strong points is that accounts are (in most cases) tied to phone numbers. This makes it an attractive option for mobile phone users: the app instantly knows who on your contact list is also using Whatsapp. When the service was launched, this made the switch from SMS rather painless, since there was no need to add existing contacts manually into a new list. Whatsapp probably has a fair slice of those users who do not, for whatever reason, have a FB account. They could drop Whatsapp in favor of Messenger, but they risk losing those customers. Instead, why not keep both and datamine the crap out of both market segments?

Comment Re:Well I hate to be one of those false flag guys (Score 1) 231

If this was staged coup, it was a very well designed one: relatively small scale and little damage, but highly visible (lots of "cool effects"), maximum incitement of the population, but controlled to not escalate into an actual coup. Also note how control of "the media" (well, TRT) changed hands precisely at the right times to widely announce the coup, then declare its failure, while throughout the entire proceedings the prime minister was able to spread the message: "we're still here!"

Comment Re:The media hasn't really elucidated anything (Score 3, Interesting) 231

Some rumours say that a lot of the soldiers were conscripts thinking this was all a military exercise. Hand them rifles loaded with blanks, and plant a handful of agitators with live rounds amongst them. That might also explain the incredible ease with which some of these military units surrendered; real insurgents might be a bit more motivated to avoid arrest. And if a lot of these soldiers took part in this unwittingly, it'll be dead easy to convince them to plead guilty in exchange for clemency.

There's still no proof of a real coup or a staged one, and I doubt we'll ever see it. But I am still very sceptical. That headline you mention is another red flag: would real insurgents entrust a mission of that importance to a crew not in the know, being told only at the last minute they were going after Erdogan? Seems terribly risky. On the other hand, if you're staging a coup and you need some military action without cluing in a lot of people, this is exactly what I'd tell them.

Comment Re:"Democracy" (Score 4, Interesting) 231

Under the peculiar Turkish constitution, the army is actually charged with preserving the constitution and in particular the secular nature of the state. IIRC, the government is obliged to cede power to the Military Council when asked to do so by the military high command. If they do not do this, the army steps in and makes them. When these steps are followed, it is a legal and constitutional process... however what happened last week was an intervention following a coup within the military; the intervention was therefore not constitutional. However one could argue that the army still had a duty to step in and preserve the democratic and secular nature of the state, especially since Erdogan had already purged the military leadership and replaced them with his cronies, bypassing this constitutional safety valve.

With that said, there is an increasing amount of indication that this coup was staged. The small scale of the whole affair, the strange decisions made by the military insurgents (they went for loudness rather than effectiveness), the ease with which groups of them surrendered (according to some rumours, a lot of the soldiers were just conscripts thinking they were going on a military exercise), the repeatedly reported lack of any attempt to go after or at least capture high ranking government officials, followed by the sudden emergence of stories of miraculously narrow escapes by some of them, including the Heroic Leader. And of course the incredible far-reaching purges that were set in motion moments after the coup was suppressed. There's no proof this was staged, and even if it was I doubt we'll find evidence in the leaked emails, but I still say something smells. Bad. If you want to stage a coup without doing too much damage and without the danger of it escalating into an actual coup, then this is how to do it.

Comment Re:John Deere is evil. (Score 1) 637

That's just silly. Still, it kind of works like that in the Netherlands too. They may not be able to boot you off your land very easily, not to build a mall or anything like that, but you have little control over the land around you if you do not own it. And often enough new developments are fitted very poorly into existing neighbourhoods (i.e. Built to maximise profits with little regard for existing houses, parking, daylight etc). In theory, municipalities are supposed to only approve plans that take the existing situation into account, in practice they often bow to project developers ("We can't put up that row of social housing if you don't let us use every square meter of this plot, and still make a profit").

Provincial and national planners are usually a little better, but not always, as a lot of politics comes into play. They spent billions to build a tunnel for the new high speed rail, to "protect the Green Heart", meaning the train runs under a couple of fields with a few cows and a horse and a half. But 20 km down the line, the thing runs practically through people's back yards.

Comment Re:Compare The Hobbit to Max Max (Score 1) 302

"Fucking pretty", yes. That was what we were talking about; effective or not so effective use of CGI. Not about the other qualities of the movie. Avatar did cgi well, really well, even though it was a shallow (but very enjoyable) movie otherwise. The Fountain? A beautiful movie with great visuals and a great soundtrack based on an interesting premise. But even so I thought the execution was average. A lot of it was just eye candy in another form, art for arts sake, a convoluted telling of a Ho hum tale.

Comment Re:John Deere is evil. (Score 2) 637

That's not the same as renting. Over here at least, property taxes are treated the same as any other tax. If you don't pay them, they'll send a pissy letter, add late fees, and eventually they can garnish your wages (up to a point) or even seize your assets and sell them off to pay for the debt. And a house or land is usually the last item being seized, and only if they debt is great enough. If not they'll just continue to pay the debt out of your wages.

Ownership means you are free to dispose of the property as you see fit, in principle. No one can force you to sell... until you stop paying your debts. No one can prevent you from changing the property... unless it becomes a health hazard or eyesore according to local rules, or unless your changes devalue the property to such a degree that the value is insufficient to discharge the outstanding debt. And those restrictions on ownership are nothing new, many such rules predate the Roman empire.

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