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Comment Reliability? (Score 5, Interesting) 78

How about we insist that Gartner show how accurate their past predictions are, before we give them a Slashdot Link?

"Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 percent market share by 2018 — up from 4 percent in 2014." Link: http://www.gartner.com/newsroo...

Comment Re:Yes, but will it be chap 11? (Score 2) 235

We can use the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert the coal to more usable forms. We aren't going to just let all those delicious hydrocarbons go to waste.

The Fischer-Tropsch process can turn coal into liquid hydrocarbons, but it is not energy efficient. Its feedstocks are hydrogen (currently mostly produced at a loss from methane, i.e. natural gas) and carbon monoxide (produced from the coal). If you have the Hydrogen, you can just use it directly, e.g. in a fuel cell, and burn the coal for electricity or heat. The Fischer-Tropsch process is only interesting if you need liquid fuels, say for operating tanks or aircraft, and don't have more efficient sources.

You can make hydrogen from coal coke and water using the "water gas" and Lowe process. These were used to produce "town gas" that was used for domestic heating and lighting from the 19th century until it was replaced by methane natural gas: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...

Submission + - SaxoBank Predicts Universal Basic Income for Europe

jones_supa writes: Saxo Bank, an investment bank based in Denmark, has released a list of its outrageous predictions for 2016. Among these predictions, economist Christopher Dembik claims that Europe will consider the introduction of a universal basic income to ensure that all citizens can meet their basic needs in the face of rising inequality and unemployment. This will come on the back of increased interest in basic income from Spain, Finland, Switzerland, and France.

Submission + - Google agrees to pay 130M UK pounds (~ $185M) in back taxes (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: Google UK has come to an agreement with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) under which it will recognize a larger share of its UK sales in the UK, instead of funnelling them through the Republic of Ireland. In addition, Google will pay 130M UK Pounds in back taxes representing tax on sales since 2005.

Submission + - Intel Compute Stick Updated With Cherry Trail Atom, Tested (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: The original Intel Compute Stick wasn't without issues. Last year's model featured dated 802.11n wireless connectivity and had only a single USB port, which meant using a hub and/or dongles, should you want to connect multiple peripherals to the device or boost its wireless capabilities. The new updated Intel Compute Stick, however, features Intel's newer Cherry Trail Atom platform, with 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi, and USB 3.0. There's still just 2GB of RAM in the device, along with 32GB of storage, but Windows 10 Home also now comes pre-installed. The result is a fully functional PC that won't burn up any benchmarks but offers utility for mainstream computing tasks and is even capable of streaming up to 4K video content. The little device can essentially turn any HDMI-equipped display into a basic PC.

Submission + - Apple May Owe $8 Billion to the EU After Tax Ruling

Robotron23 writes: The EU Commission has informed Apple that it could have to pay $8 billion in back taxes. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates Apple has paid only 1.8% tax on profits between 2004 and 2012 — this ruling increases their liability to 12.5%. This decision comes hot on the heels of a tax avoidance settlement Apple reached with Italy last month for $347 million.

Comment Re:the new Swiss watch crisis (Score 1) 86

...My only complaint is that the self illumination no longer functions as the tritium in the hands and hour markers has gone through over 3 half lives.

Mine still glows faintly in a dark room. The radium in the paint has a half life of 1600 years, but the zinc sulfide fluorescent media has degraded.

Comment Re:the new Swiss watch crisis (Score 1) 86

Mechanical watches can indeed be heirloom timepieces. I still wear my father's Longines Professional most days. He bought it when he was aircrew in the RAF in Cairo in 1941. It cost him £5 (or 1-2 weeks wages). I know he had it cleaned twice, and I've had it cleaned twice. It would have had >10 straps, and is now probably still worth 1-2 weeks wages in modern money. My other wind-up watch I won as a prize >50 years ago, and I still wear it when a gold wrist watch is appropriate.

The quartz Omega that I bought in the late 1970s died 10 years later. It was worth almost nothing and was uneconomic to repair...

Submission + - New IBM Tech Lets Apps Authenticate You Without Personal Data (csoonline.com)

itwbennett writes: IBM's Identity Mixer allows developers to build apps that can authenticate users' identities without collecting personal data. Specifically, Identity Mixer authenticates users by asking them to provide a public key. Each user has a single secret key, and it corresponds with multiple public keys, or identities. IBM announced on Friday that Identity Mixer is now available to developers on its Bluemix cloud platform.

Submission + - TGV accident caused by overspeed

Cochonou writes: The analysis of the black boxes of the TGV which derailed on Saturday revealed that the accident resulted from an excessive speed caused by late braking. The test train entered a radius curve at a speed of 265 km/h instead of the maximum speed of 176 km/h. The French national railways company ruled out any other cause, such as mechanical failure or track mishap.
During test runs, a number of security features are disabled, in particular parts of the TVM system which would have prevented any overspeed during normal service. This leaves the train speed under the sole responsibility of the driver.
The accident which killed 11 people occurred on the last run of the scheduled trials on the new high-speed line between Paris and Strasbourg. As more details on the accident surface, it becomes evident that this last run was performed in a festive spirit, with relatives (including children) of the employees on board, and 7 people present in the train cab instead of 3. This casts a shadow on the security procedures of the French national railway company: it appears that the high-speed train technology is considered so safe that the risks inherent to trials runs were somehow neglected. The two drivers and the traction inspector have been suspended by SNCF pending possible criminal charges. Other changes in the management structure will probably follow.

Submission + - Manhattan DA Pressures Google And Apple To Kill Zero Knowledge Encryption (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a speech to the 6th Annual Financial Crimes and Cybersecurity Symposium, New York County District Attorney for Manhattan Cyrus Vance Jr. has appealed to the tech community — specifically citing Google and Apple — to "do the right thing" and end zero-knowledge encryption in mobile operating systems. Vance Jr. praised FBI director James Comey for his 'outspoken' and 'fearless' advocacy against zero knowledge encryption, and uses the recent attacks on Paris as further justification for returning encryption keys to the cloud, so that communications providers can once again comply with court orders.

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