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Comment Re:Well... isn't it government property? (Score 1) 259

Exactly. ICANN and IANA don't exist because they have a mandate from the US government, they exist because there is a consensus that they're doing a reasonable job. You don't own an IP address because IANA says so, you own an IP address because the people who configure the BGP routes for backbone networks agree to send packets for you to the place that you've asked. They currently do this because they perceive the assignments made by IANA (and then subsequently by national organisations) to be fair and equitable. If it looks like the USA is imposing too much control on IANA, then their authority goes away and there is likely to be a new consensus about whose assignments become the real ones (probably with a long interim process where bits of the Internet were broken or unreliable).

Ironically, a lawsuit like this is exactly the sort of thing that would push the consensus away from the USA.

Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 60

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 115

It takes a lot to actually wipe out a human population. It has happened, but in general, a lack of local resources, while leading to high mortality, also leads to migrations. The fact remains, however, that the developing world has far higher birth rates than the developed world, and that many nations in the developed world are actually in a net population decline, where immigration is discounted. Among the worst are Japan and Spain, but most industrialized nations have birth rates below 2.1.

Comment Re: A model can't confirm any hypothesis (Score 1) 115

A model based upon data and able to predict future observations is, well, by definition a demonstration of the validity of a hypothesis.

It strikes me that you may be committing an etymological fallacy, using a definition of the word "model" that doesn't really fit with how scientists use the word.

Comment Re:Cable TV companies = Cable internet companies (Score 1) 240

That may keep them going for a while, but we're probably little more than a decade away from fiber roll out in many areas (even my small town of around 20,000 people is seeing fiber coming soon). Cable's business model is doomed, and even the networks are likely to put a lot more investment in online streaming offerings as they see cable's ability to deliver their product to large numbers of people fade.

I give cable ten, maybe fifteen years at best.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 115

Or we could, you know, reduce pollutants and emissions, rather than hoping that somehow in a just a few generations an immunity develops (hint, it would take a lot more than a few generations to develop communities to pollutants, and in some cases, like say mercury or carbon monoxide, it's hard to imagine any evolutionary pathway that would lead to immunity).

Comment Re:Will their implementation allow tracking? (Score 2) 57

When banks implement blockchains, will their version allow tracking of all the individuals involved in the whole chain?

Of course it will. They want to use a blockchain for maintaining an efficient high-speed ledger of all bank-to-bank transactions. When you do a funds transfer from, for your account to an account at another bank, they'll write an entry to the block chain and both parties will be able to validate the time at which the transaction occurred. Having an unforgeable ledger is the entire point of the system that they're proposing.

Comment Re:Best selling computer? (Score 1) 282

I'm surprised that it was that few. I remember seeing them for £50 in Argos about a decade after they were first released. They were incredibly popular as games machines and a load of shops had a row of C64 game tapes for around 50p each (NES games were around £10, if I remember correctly, at the same time).

Comment Re:A Lot of Effort to Bury the Lede (Score 1) 108

There's no vast left- or right-wing media conspiracy. There's a small number of owners of the mainstream press, and they will not print anything that directly contradicts the interests of these owners. This has no allegiance to any political party or ideology other than a desire for certain individuals to increase their personal power.

Various governments have allowed mergers and acquisitions among news companies until there's very little independent press. Most countries don't want to regulate press freedom too heavily (for good reason - there's a very fine line between regulating truth in journalism and forcing propaganda and it's incredibly easy for the former to slip into the latter), so we're left with the majority of the population being informed by untrustworthy sources.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 115

I find the map pretty surprising. Zoom in on the UK, and most of England is yellow (11-15 g/m3), but Reading (dense traffic, industrial areas, lots of diesel trains passing through) is green (<10), yet completely surrounded by yellow areas. I'd probably be inclined to trust the point samples, but their averaging between them looks like it's nonsense. The middle of Wales is pretty green, but with squares of yellow. The green makes sense (it's basically a big space full of hills and sheep), but the yellow doesn't seem to correspond with any human habitation or industry.

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