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Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 403

Well, it hasn't happened yet. That said, why would you cancel your cable Internet for this? Yes, cellular Internet will be useful for your Chromebook when you're away from home, but in the same way it is today - a useful supplementary service that fills in the gaps, not as your primary system.

As for how you'd connect to a server at home, there are two options: VPN, or IPv6. The latter tends to get forgotten, but I connect to machines at home directly via IPv6 from my (T-Mobile) cellular connection without any problems. This sounds horrifying in terms of security, but if you imagine the development server being as locked down as a Chromebook or iDevice, without the back doors associated with too many modern IoT devices, it should be fine.

I'm more bothered about having to develop using a web interface, especially in an era in which leaving Firefox open for a day with 20 or so tabs open seems to result in it eating 4+Gb of memory, not the connectivity part. The connectivity part is actually the nice part.

Comment Re:Raspberry Pi (Score 1) 403

And considerably more powerful than a rpi B or zero, which are plenty sufficient for a great number of computing tasks, including state of the art engineering design work, scientific analysis, publication, etc.....

I use a first-gen Raspberry Pi Model B as my secondary DNS server. It has plenty of horsepower for that, and it probably draws less power than the charge circuit on the UPS it's attached to (which will power it for many hours beyond when my routing hardware goes black. Maybe I should rewire things. :-/ But I digress.

Comment Re: Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 1) 403

Because almost every other person I've met who has an interest in keeping platforms open wants to give up other rights that aren't important to them. Gun control and hate speech laws for instance.

In each case, the right must be balanced against the rights of others. Gun control infringes a right with the goal of preventing people from being killed. Hate speech laws are about limiting someone's right to incite others to violent acts. Open platforms must be balanced against the needs for the powerless (i.e. non-IT professionals) to be protected from malicious code.

All rights come with responsibilities, and all rights have limits beyond which the free exercise of those rights cannot be tolerated. Freedom is about drawing those lines sensibly to maximize rights without making it too easy for those with power to use those rights to infringe upon the rights of others. One would hope that everyone who has an interest in keeping platforms open also understands the other side, and is willing to find solutions that meet the needs of the other side without destroying the openness that they seek. If they are not, they will eventually lose those rights. That isn't fair, and it isn't just, but it is reality.

Comment Re: False premise (Score 3, Insightful) 403

Computing as a service is taking over. Why do your processing on a slow machine when you can have access to a remote rendering farm. This is the future.

Call me when I can push those 70 megabyte image files to the cloud for processing quickly enough and pull the resulting full-screen rendering quickly enough (without any compression artifacts) for that extra CPU speed in the cloud to beat the performance of local processing. Basically, the round-trip speed would need to be double-digit milliseconds, so on the order of 100 gigabit speeds... wirelessly... and full duplex.

At the current rate of progress, my great grandkids will be on Social Security before the cloud can replace local CPU horsepower, and I don't even have kids yet. The cloud might be the future, but from my perspective, it is the very, very distant future except in the context of software with very limited resource needs.

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 403

Maybe...

I bought a consumer NAS a year or so ago, which is a collection of servers (software, from Samba to various video streaming DLNA type things) running over GNU/Linux, connected to a big hard drive. It's still a little bit of a nerds thing, but I can totally see people wanting to use things like this to ensure they have control over their own content.

And after I got a Chromebook, I started to wonder how far off we are having similar devices that host IDEs (don't laugh, there are quite a few web based IDEs out there, Eclipse has two such projects, though in my view they're not ready for prime time.) You could, in theory, use your Chromebook as-is in the future, with a third party, locked down, server that has an IDE on it, to develop Android apps. Hell (and I mean hell), if Google gets involved, that might become the recommended development environment.

Comment Re:It might be something but it isn't anti-trust? (Score 1) 120

Additionally (and apologies for forgetting to add this yesterday), the real issue is not whether the author can deliberately write it in a portable way and reuse some of the code on another platform, but rather whether it is possible to write an app in such a way that the purchaser can then install that same app on the other platform without buying it again for the other platform. As long as that isn't possible, there's effectively no overlap between the iOS app market and the Android app market, making them separate markets in practice.

Comment Re: It might be something but it isn't anti-trust (Score 1) 120

All the things you say are correct except for where you conclude that this means the behavior isn't anticompetitive. What makes something anticompetitive is the result in practice, not whether or not it is technically possible for a company to avoid it. In reality, a number of companies tacked on a 30% markup for their subscriptions so that they could sell them in the app, because a sizable percentage of users primarily used the service through their app rather than through the website. The result was that iOS users paid a lot more than Android users, who were offered the option to pay the cheaper amount with a credit card using the companies' normal merchant account systems. Q.E.D.

Comment Re:It might be something but it isn't anti-trust? (Score 1) 120

However, no developer if forced to use Apple and in-app subscriptions.

That's completely and utterly irrelevant from a legal perspective. Yes, technically, you can create a bad user experience by refusing to allow your app to do anything until the user looks up your website in Google, goes to it, and buys a subscription. However, the app can't even link to your website to buy a subscription; Apple's rules deliberately ensure that the user experience for anyone who dares not give them their cut is as bad as humanly possible.

An antitrust violation need not require a complete inability to purchase something in another way. It merely needs to be sufficiently difficult that the net effect is a significant number of users paying more for the same service solely because there are not multiple app stores on iOS. As long as they can show that a significant number of people paid more on iOS, and that the primary reason for that overpayment was because Apple's rules made it highly inconvenient to offer services to iPhone customers without paying an exorbitant percentage of their subscription fees to Apple, then Apple is clearly in violation of the law. This really isn't even a legal grey area. Apple is absolutely, fundamentally, and incontrovertibly on the wrong side of the law—so much so that I'm shocked anybody is even attempting to argue the other side. This should be an open-and-shut case if they argue it correctly.

Oh, and next time have a look at all the free Apps on the App store, obviously there is nothing to prevent developers from giving away their work. In fact most of my Apps on my IOS devices were free.

You're right. There's nothing preventing developers from giving away their work... other than, you know, not getting paid for their work, and having to spend a hundred bucks a year for the right to give away their work for free.... The existence of free apps is completely orthogonal to the issue at hand.

Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 2) 372

I suspect what's going on is a bit more insidious than mere corruption. Construction companies bid low so that they'll win the contract. Then they charge the actual construction costs as cost overruns. What's needed is an incentive to encourage companies to bid a realistic estimated cost, rather than a completely unrealistic underbid just to win the contract. Something like, say, not paying for overruns and holding the company to its original bid price.

Really? If so, what the heck are the state's lawyers smoking when they write these contracts? That should be downright easy to prevent with proper contract language. Just specify as part of the contract terms a maximum overage—say 1% of the contract—beyond which any remaining work must be rebid, with the original contractor held in material breach of contract and ineligible to bid on any government contracts for a period of one year for the first occurrence, five years for the second, 25 years for the third, etc., with the only exception to that ineligibility being for acts of God grossly in excess of what could reasonably be expected (*). So the contractors would have the option to say, "We were wrong," and back out at that point, but it would come with a penalty that's big enough that they would do so only when there's no other option.

(*) For example, a major snowstorm in Tahoe is never a reason for an overage, because any competent construction company should have built the cost of several snowstorms into their budget anyway, whereas a major snowstorm in San Francisco would be considered an act of God grossly in excess of what could reasonably be expected, because it hasn't happened since 1932.

Comment Re: This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 2) 263

Obama has only said he can't. He's never said why. Those claiming he said he can't because of legal reasons related to admissions of guilt or trials are lying (or unwittingly repeating lies) - he's never made any such assertion.

In all honesty, the reason he "can't" probably has to do with setting a precedent. Hopefully the same principle doesn't apply to commuting a sentence, and Obama can commute Manning's before he leaves office.

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