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Comment Great tech; terrible behaviour (Score 1) 240

Microsoft has great technology (as a developer, I think dotNet is the best), but their behaviour has been odius, e.g. always trying to hold back the web and scare users from the cloud in a failed attempt to safe-guard their client side bastion. And stuff like the Xbox One fiasco just re-inforces that.

And I rather doubt that Balmer is responsible for how good dotNet is.

Comment Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (Score 5, Insightful) 177

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

There are people who's media world doesn't revolve around an iPhone. And while there are various stop gap measure for those users - including using AirPlay in unauthorized ways - it is still a proprietary protocol, and this is Apple so we know they will release the lawyers when the time comes.

I actually find it remarkable that I should have to argue that an open standard that does something like AirPlay would be a good thing if it were done right and caught on.

Comment Re:I'd buy one (Score 1) 127

If what you want is to be free of Google (and I'm sure there is a decent market for this given recent revelations) then why doesn't Firefox sell their own Android phone.

They already have a great Android browser, and they could easily put together a great set of core apps without including any Google or Microsoft (etc.) stuff. Or they could team up with Ubuntu?

But being free of the big American companies doesn't require starting from scratch and it doesn't require creating a phone that mainly just runs javascript apps (memory and battery killer).

Comment Re:I really like Mozilla but (Score 1) 127

Totally agree. And Mozilla has a great browser on Android - I love it!

But no way I want to be limited to just Mozilla, when I can get Mozilla + Android.

Now, apparently they are targeting the lower end of the market, but the idea of limiting a mid-range or low-end phone to javascript apps is crazy.

So I think this makes no sense at all.

Comment Re:Sounds like BS to me - quite the opposite (Score 3, Insightful) 230

I actually think that, when it comes to regulating Internet or media companies, nothing could be more important than this.

This is the ultimate line in the sand for an advertising company (or a consumer of ads). I'm generally a defender of Google, but if they were to cross this line then - for the first time - I would think they have truly become the evil that they disavowed in their inception.

And this is about the Internet in general. We need to know whether content is paid or not if we are to preserve a space for the the unpaid. Otherwise, the paid opinion will always win out since it has the money to promote itself.

Comment Google can't control themselves (Score 0) 129

When Page became CEO he started on a house-cleaing binge, shutting down various services. They said they had launched too many little products/initiatives, and now needed to put more resources behind fewer projects/products.

Recently, with the launch of Keep - which looks like a nice start but is very barebones - and now the possible launch of Mine, it looks like they have already forgotten that sentiment.

Comment Re:Detriment caused (Score 1) 115

So you want to convict Google for the stuff that other companies do with private data. I was talking about what Google actual did, not extrapolating from them having the data, and then mixing in what other companies have done with other personal data. That's a remarkable stretch (I refer your 3rd response).

And if you think that what Google did (in your 4th response) was so terrible, you had better break out the tin-foil hat: lots of companies do this. Heck, tons of hobbyists used to do it. Nokia pays courier companies to do it.

I"m not in the U.S. (Canada), and no, I do not have a list, but remember the reports of all the class action lawsuits when this story first got momentum. My point on the others is that you are (again) misrepresenting the penalties. Those settlements you describe are not THE penalty. They are individual settles (the $7m was with a group of US states) in a situation where they were charged in most countries of the world.

As for your final point, that Google should be subject to data protection laws, break those laws. I agree completely and am glad to see them pay for it. But misinformation and sensationalizing of the details of any such case are not helpful.

Comment Re:Detriment caused (Score 3, Insightful) 115

No, it said that they weren't fined for this latest chapter (the failure to delete). They have been forced to pay enumerable fines and settle even more class action lawsuits. When you break the law in almost every country in the world, you pay, so people should stop pretending that they just got a slap on the wrist.

You have grabbed the most sensational clips you could find (the data involved was random, so yes, it included anything you can think of), that is actually about a different chapter of this saga (this is about the failure to delete).

Most importantly, you left out the part that distinguishes this from other privacy invasions. None of that data was ever made public. No one has ever established that Google even intended to collect the data. No one has even come up with a plausible use for these random chunks of data. I've seen it written that Google themselves blew the whistle on this issue, but I don't know that for a fact myself (the origins of its discovery are missing details).

So, really you are just muck-raking, and in a rather misleading way.

Comment Re:Quackery. Plain and simple. (Score 1) 68

That was 2007 (your link). I believe there have been lots of studies with positive results (and perhaps improvements in technology) since then.

Here's a recent article about using it for tinnitus (an area with more quackery then most others combined):
"The Effects of Neurofeedback on Oscillatory Processes Related to Tinnitus"

Comment Why wouldn't the people support them? (Score 4, Insightful) 174

Personally, I would think that people would be happy to help the tax cops find the tax cheats. When rich people and corporations cheat on their taxes I have to pay more.

And yet I understand his surprise. For some reason, ordinary joes & janes (who get a salary and have little opportunity to cheat on their taxes) often seem to be against the idea of clamping down on high-end tax cheats. For some reason, their feeling that taxes are unpleasant (to put it mildly) translates into an aversion to the idea of them being properly enforced.

Comment Re:Hardware vs Software (Score 1) 54

But they are selling it with stock Android!

From the reviews I read it sounds like it is easy to uninstall the Facebook from the First and make it a stock Android phone. (Though nothing I read addressed the issue of what would happen to your stock Android each time you update the firmware.)

I think we should cut Facebook some slack. Apparently Facebook Home is not as horrible as everyone expected, and more importantly, the built it on top of a perfectly stock Android and made that stock experience easily accessible to users' who tired of the Facebook Home experience. Plus, they picked HTC to design and build the phone for them.

Really, they did a lot right and I don't really think they deserved the massive failure that resulted.

Comment The real question at hand... (Score 1) 237

Is it possible to fake a video well enough that 3 reporters (2 from the star, 1 from gawker), shown the video on a smartphone, would come to the conclusion that the video was real.

And I think we can assume that no intelligence agency or other other well financed organization was involved.

The press generally seems to be accepting that the video was legit, but that could be because of the way the Ford brothers' have responded.

Comment (Beware the auto-playing video advertisements) (Score 1) 122

Thanks for the warning, but the solution is very simple: stop linking to IBTimes.

To the best of my knowledge it is just IBTimes that does this (if you stop the video they wait a little bit and then resume it), and yet slashdot has recently become very fond of promoting IBTimes by linking them in their story summaries.

Comment Re:What's the difference? (Score 1, Interesting) 268

It's about choice. If the web does not have DRM then consumers can only use services like Netflix where Netflix deigns to create an app (plug-ins are on their way out). That will generally be the few dominant platforms.

If DRM is a standardized part of the web then anyone with a standards compliant browser can access those services. This isn't guaranteed - there are various ways that Netflix (etc.) could still stop that from happening, but their support of this standard suggests that they actually want me to be able to use their service on my Playbook.

I want the choice to be able to stray beyond the dominant platforms and still use Netflix.

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