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Comment Re:Seeing how most companies won't migrate... (Score 1) 675

I've dealt with a few, and I will grant that for some 'shiny' is probably enough.... but... I think that in most cases it will depend on whether the CEO is willing to dedicate time to learning Win8 or not. It does take time to learn, and until you learn, you look stupid.

CEOs don't like to look stupid.

Unless they have come to Win8 on their own, it is very unlikely that a CEOs underlings will persuade them to change.

Comment Competition ahoy! (Score 5, Insightful) 605

Observation: Insurance rates are currently set at a level that the market and competitive pressure will bear, without this additional information.

Prediction: Early adopters will see some benefit in lowered insurance costs, but once most people are enrolled, insurance rates will creep back up to previous levels (that being the established level that the market will bear). Insurance companies will create additional rules that will facilitate a greater rate of insurance claim denial based up the new information, and will see greater profits arise due to this. Consumers overall will see no benefit in the long run.

Comment Re:No apps? RIM's fault. (Score 1) 341

Apple's dev kit was free until v4, and is now priced at a whopping $4.99. With that, you get easy access to a huge amount of resources for learning, and a thriving community to boot. The eclipse dev kit and the android development plugin is free, and again you get a huge number of example, a community, and support.

What you don't get from either is jerked around for $200 before you can even poke your head in the door. With iOS and Android, you can develop to your heart's content for free, and if you decide you've got something that you want to publish, you can do it after paying the $99 (Apple) or $25 (Android).

If that's too expensive, shift your focus to Android development. You can release you APK for free, and anyone can install after downloading it from your own website.

Comment This is how it always goes down (Score 5, Insightful) 119

The first time a company attempts shenanigans like this, there's an uproar. Then they wait a while, for some of the people to get used to the idea, or apathetic, or both, and then attempt it again.

Too much hue and cry the second time results in a third repetition, with a slightly longer cycle. Process repeats until implementation.


Submission + - Elections Canada Push for Laws for Online Voting (

so.dan writes: The CBC is reporting that Elections Canada will push for legislation to allow online voting and voter registration to increase the percentage of Canadians who vote. Is there any way to make such a system secure, both from "hackers" and from corruption in government? Is it possible to make it transparently secure, at least to those with some basic knowledge of electronic security?

The CBC notes one argument in favor of such a change to the electoral process in a recent report by Elections Canada: "only 58.8 per cent of registered voters actually cast ballots during last October's federal election — the worst-ever voter turnout in Canadian history". Aside from the fact many I knew didn't vote for the (irrational) reason that they felt they had "just voted" for the previous federal government (which was prematurely "dissolved" by our Governor General), this argument seems flawed for another reason: High voter turnout in a country is a substantial piece of evidence that the population feels their vote will make a difference, and thus is a testament to the extent to which the country is democratic. So long as everyone who wants to vote has the means to do so (note that in Canada employers are required by law to give employees time off to vote), high voter turnout is not, however, (much of) a cause of democracy. Accordingly, increasing voter turnout in a manner other than through real increased enfranchisement of a population, when the method of increase involves (what I fear is) a substantial threat to democracy, seems wrong-headed in the extreme.

Even if the elections process can be made transparently secure, there is also the frightening prospect that some time after electronic voting has become accepted in the general population as normal and nothing to worry about, some change could be made to the system which (unintentionally or not) undermines its security or transparency.


Submission + - Smartphones Get Killer App (

Michael_Curator writes: "A killer application has finally emerged that should allow smartphones to overtake conventional PCs and laptops as the computing device of choice: it's called augmented reality, and as absurd as that sounds, that's exactly what it is. Mobile device consultant Tomi Ahonen wrote on his mobile developer forum that, "this is one of those game-changer types of innovations." Using location based services on smartphones that include a camera, GPS and a compass, the technology allows customers to augment their surroundings with metadata layered over what their smartphones capture through their viewfinders."

Comment Re:On what authority? (Score 1) 162

I've got agree with malevolentjelly on this. If you're going to take on the mantle of speaking from authority, you should have some authority to speak from. In addition, the parent poster states that

"When Doctorow makes sweeping statements, it's best to back away and think through them"

and you write

"Measure an idea on its merits"

How does encouraging readers to step back and examine NOT cause them to measure ideas on merit? Did you even read what you replied to?


Submission + - Chernobyl Mushrooms Feeding on Radiation

cowtamer writes: According to a National Geographic Article certain fungi can use ionizing radiation to perform "radiosynthesis" using the pigment melanin (the same one in our skin that protects us from UV radiation). It is speculated that this might be useful on long space voyages where energy from the Sun is not readily available.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley