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Comment Re:Better news!! (Score 1) 68

Even better news!! The Obama Administration has 8 solid years of recordings already in place

True, but keep in mind that the mass surveillance was rampant was before Obama assumed office in 2009. Arguably the only thing that changed is the capability due to the technological advances.

for political or apolitical detentions.

Citation needed.

Comment No option to turn tracking off (Score 2) 183

According to the Ghacks article, for "diagnostics" the choice is between "full data" and "less data" with no explanation of what it means.

Microsoft furthermore announced that it will reduce the data collection of the basic level. Myerson did not reveal what Microsoft intents to change though in this regard.

Also, the "web-like" interface is for controlling the Microsoft account settings which are, unsurprisingly, on the web.

All in all, a much more informative reporting.

Google

Google Responds On Skewed Holocaust Search Results (bbc.com) 332

Google says it is "thinking deeply" about ways to improve search, after criticism over how some results -- including ones discussing the Holocaust -- were ranked. From a report on BBC: Searching for "did the Holocaust happen?" returned a top result that claimed it did not, as Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr reported. Now, the ranking has changed for US users. The page -- from white supremacist site Stormfront -- remains top in the UK. "This is a really challenging problem, and something we're thinking deeply about in terms of how we can do a better job," said a Google spokesman. "Search is a reflection of the content that exists on the web. The fact that hate sites may appear in search results in no way means that Google endorses these views."

Comment I've used the Hearphones - very impressed (Score 5, Interesting) 65

I was at Bose Headquarters the other day trying these out - the Hearphones are actually quite amazing.

Physically they're a black torc that fits loosely about two thirds around the neck. Attached a bit back from the front opening are two tethered earbuds equipped with Bose's really good tips, which come in three sizes. On the right hand tether is a small remote. On the outside of the earbuds are subtle bronze colored microphones.

Aside from being slightly smaller then other torc-style headphones they're not immediately different. They have their control on a remote, and of course the microphones on the earbuds, but nothing screams out also-for-hearing.

Putting them on in 360 mode was like listening to a live mic through, well, very good headphones. However using the app (we were using iPods) it was easy to control the base and treble to focus on what we were listening for - voices.

It was when the Hearphones were switched into directly-in-front mode they got exciting. In a room full of simulated loud coffee shop noise, and a dozen other demo-ees having conversations with their Bose-partners, it all faded away except for whomever I was facing.

Face this way and I could follow this conversation, face that and the other table came in clearly. For years I've had to position myself strategically in bars, restaurants, clubs and conferences - watching folks to ensure I'm following what they're saying. Suddenly that wasn't a concern.

I don't need hearing aids, and while I've spent some amount of time in loud clubs I've not particularly abused my ears. However coming on 50 years my ears aren't particularly reliable in noisy environments and now, suddenly, everything extraneous was muffled.

Sometimes an advanced technology really is like magic (and a really good demo.)

There's also a everything-in-front-of-you mode (180 degrees vs 360 degrees and about 35 degrees for those keeping track.) That would be for sitting at a table of people facing multiple correspondents.

Of course there's an app; iOS and Android. They apologized several times no Windows Mobile version (nobody looked concerned.) However the remote is intuitively designed and did everything necessary so no needing to be rudely screen-peering in the middle of a conversation. Volume up/down, treble/base, and switching between customizable modes.

The other big demo topic was being able to filter a TV or movie theater. Focus on the center speaker, crank the treble, and suddenly dialog popped - no more scrubbing back for what-just-got-said?

That they're also conventional Bluetooth headphones, with the noise-cancelling Dr. Bose invented, was taken for granted.

So, did I buy them?

Not yet. Their price is reasonable for being top-of-the-line noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones + the Hearphone technology but, a bit rich for me. Right now. However after another chaotic holiday party, a conversation where I mishear something important, or a conference where I'm straining to make out the content - yeah, probably.

Oh and if you're condemned to an "open office" cattle pen oh hella yeah. Selective noise cancelling with a music alternative would almost make those hellholes bearable.

Comment Interesting they're shutting down devices and not (Score 2) 193

First off this no-charge strategy is not confirmed.

Second what Samsung has been doing til now was installing nag screens and limiting battery charging to sixty percent. I'd be surprised if the US is the first country where they roll out no-charging. All their other methods were first launched in smaller markets.

Thirdly it is interesting they're supposedly software shutting-down the handsets and not simply denying them service. It'd be trivial to place every Note 7 on the blacklist maintained by US carriers for stolen devices.

Of course denying service means the devices are unreachable, so this might be the step before that, to ensure they're not kept around as wifi devices or fancy alarm clocks. Blocking the battery means they're effectively defanged - no charge means no chance of fire.

In my part of the world I haven't seen a Note 7 in weeks. I expect when a clerk points out a Note 7 is keeping a known fire hazard next to their genitals, or in their purse-of-important-stuff, or holding it to their face is asking for trouble, or charging it in their bedroom while sleeping is really scary, and insurance will no longer cover it's damages, the sane ones figure it's time to trade-in.

Comment Without their needed displays Pebble was doomed (Score 5, Interesting) 193

Pebble had a single source supplier for their displays.

That source is in financial trouble and unable to produce the displays Pebble depends on.

Therefore Pebble has no products to sell and thus no cash flow.

Therefore Pebble has had to wind down operations and pay off creditors.

Pebble's IP has some value to Fitbit and hiring a few of Pebble's suddenly-available engineers is a no-brainer but Fitbit has no interest in the Pebble company or it's products.

The lesson is to be very leery of DEPENDING on a single source supplier. Pebble was a healthy going concern until they could no longer get their needed displays. Then it went off the rails.

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