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Comment It is a problem I've talked about for a long time (Score 0) 130

And one that often gets me downvoted since Mac users don't like to hear it: Apple is a fashion company. That's why they've been able to do what they do. In fashion, a higher price can be a GOOD thing not a bad thing, whereas consumer electronics are one of the most notoriously price sensitive markets out there.

However the downside is as you say: What is fashionable changes and it is really hard to stay on top of it forever.

Comment Re:No, it wasn't (Score 1) 104

Well two things there BTChead:

1) Some currencies DO move large amounts and that is NOT considered successful. When the pound was experiencing instability, that was a big cause for concern. It was not considered a "success" as people seem to think for BTC.

2) It was 8%, not 30%. Bit of a difference there.

Like I said before: You can't have it both ways. If you want it to be a good currency, then stability is what you want. If you are happy with rapid fluctuations, then it is a speculative betting opportunity.

Comment No, it wasn't (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Not just because it doesn't work as a currency, but because for currencies big swings in valuation, up or down, are no "good performance". Ideally a currency would be completely stable. What $1 buys now would be what $1 buys tomorrow, and what it buys in a thousand years. Of course in reality none of them are totally stable, but the good ones are pretty stable. They move a very small amount, and do so very gradually. They function as a good store of wealth for that reason, and more importantly make for a useful medium of exchange. Since their value is pretty constant, people have a good feeling for how much they are "worth" and can mentally price things.

Bitcoin did well as a speculative bet. If you want to play financial speculation, Bitcoin is a good target as it moves like a very thinly traded stock. That means it can swing bit and make you a lot of money. Also means it can swing big the other way and lose you a lot. So like any sort of speculation, you need to know what you are getting in to and understand the risks.

You BTC promoters can't have it both ways: If Bitcoin is a good currency then it needs to be stable. If Bitcoin is a good investment, then it isn't a currency.

Comment Ummmm (Score 3, Insightful) 531

How is this our infrastructure being vulnerable? Russia didn't hack US infrastructure, at least not that I've seen (please provide reliable sources if you know otherwise) they got in to the internal e-mails of campaigns. Also "hack" seems to be a bit of a strong word for what they did. Sounds like they got in to Podesta's e-mails by phishing his username/password. I'm not really sure what you think the federal government can do to fix/prevent that. I mean they already have information out there about "don't click on shit in e-mails" and there is training out there organizations can point people to from groups like SANS.

That aside, even if it was a hack (as in exploiting vulnerabilities) it wasn't a federal government controlled system. So again, what is the fed supposed to do? Take over private e-mail systems? Put up a national firewall on the Internet?

Comment How would that make you safe? (Score 5, Insightful) 137

You know a large number of commercial routers run on Linux, right? The Linux kernel isn't some magic sauce that makes you immune to hacking. On the contrary, we see flaws in programs that run on Linux all the time, these being one of them. An exploit like this can work on anything, it isn't limited just to prepackaged routers.

So what you mean is get an x64 system and run a Linux distro, with some built in tools for configuring routing. Ok... So long as it doesn't have any bugs they can exploit or check for, you are fine. If it does, well then you are back to having to update... if an update is available. A lot of the router-type Linux distros aren't very well maintained. Smoothwall, the one I hear the most crowing about, had its last release in 2014.

If you were going to point to something freely available, BSD would probably be a better bet in the form of PFSense as it is actually maintained and supported pretty well. Of course the fact that it runs on BSD is incidental to its security, it is (as best we know) secure because it has competent programmers who maintain it regularly.

However the real problem is that for many people, this is just not affordable. When you try and do all your routing and filtering in software on an x64 chip, you find you need a lot of power to push traffic. The CPUs aren't designed with routing in mind so they aren't super fast at it. PFSense needs about a 2.4GHz 4 core atom to push a gigabit of traffic, and then only if the ruleset is reasonably simple. That's about $550 for an appliance from Netgate that can do that, and that is with no wireless. Well for $180 a Netgear R7000 will push a gig of traffic no issue, and comes with a 3x3 802.11ac radio that does 2.4 and 5ghz at the same time. Likewise an EdgeRouter Lite gets a gig and is wired only for $100. They pull that off by having chips with dedicated routing logic on board.

For normal users it also needs to be easy. A suggestion of "Assemble a computer from parts, load Linux, configure routing in text files and you are good," is totally unreasonable. Even something like buying an appliance and loading code on to it from a cold state is out of reach for most people. They need a ready-made solution.

Comment Sure (Score 1) 189

Target is one I can think of off the top of my head. They have extremely low profit margins, in the realm of 3%. So you know that you are getting pretty much the best price they can offer you when you shop there based on what they are paying and the overhead of running their stores.

In terms of making lower margins than Apple though, that would be basically anyone. Apple's margins are INSANE. The only companies that see margins as high as they do are software companies, and then only a few. No other electronics manufacturer is even close.

Comment And how would one do that? (Score 1) 433

Near as I know, there is no such thing as "the workers' salary augmentation fund." So where does one send money? You can't just give it to Amazon, the fact aside that they aren't set up to just take money without offering goods/services in return, they wouldn't funnel it to the warehouse workers. So where does one send money?

Or are you just making a statement to try and make people feel bad, as though they should do something, but providing a bogus solution?

Comment I guess if your definition of success (Score 2) 189

is screwing your customers, then ok. Personally I prefer companies that make lots of great products and sell them for barely any profit so I get to have great stuff for less. A company with huge profit margins is a company that is charging more than they have to.

If you are an investor, liking a company to make a high profit margin makes sense, though I still have to question it in the case of Apple since they hoard the cash rather than pay it out as a dividend. However if as a consumer you applaud high profit margin you are silly.

Comment Apple told is they do! (Score 2) 360

Seriously, that seems to be the extent of the logic some of the manufacturers use. Apple has/had an obsession with thin, Apple did well, therefore we need to have an obsession with thin.

Personally, I say fuck that. Phones have gotten anywhere from thin enough to too thin. I had a Note 3 for a few years, which I was completely fine with in terms of thickness. However I recently got an LG G5 which is just slightly thicker, and I actually like it better. The slight extra thickness, combined with rounded edged, makes it really comfortable to hold. Of all the smartphones I've had it fits in my hand the very best. I think they've got it pretty close to perfect in therms of thickness.

Oh and it manages to have a removable battery, headphone jack, and SD card so that's nice as well.

I get annoyed with the worship of the cult of thin. I understand the interest back in the day, I had an early Windows CE smartphone which was a massive brick and ya, I wanted something smaller. However we have gotten to the point where they are plenty thin enough and going thinner is less ergonomic, not more.

Comment The problem is (Score 1) 113

None of that makes alternate media any better. There's nothing wrong with pointing out the problems media has. Indeed it is healthy and necessary as the only way we can hope to improve it is to point out the problems and demand that they be improved upon.

The issue is that is not what many of the people who call themselves skeptical of the media are doing. Rather they seem to be taking the view that MSM is bad so that means whatever alternate media site they read is good and accurate all the time. They'll be critical of CNN or the New York Times often to an unreasonable degree, but then accept without question or analysis things from Brietbart or Infowars.

That is completely silly, of course. The idea that because a site is not "mainstream" they must do a good job reporting is bunk. Being "alternate" is no guarantee of any sort of journalistic standards, or any process to try and combat bias. On the contrary, many explicitly have a viewpoint they are pushing, to try and capture a certain part of the market.

That really is why most people like them, and dislike more mainstream sites. It isn't that they are actually critically evaluating the news's failures, rather it is they disagree with what they are saying. So they find another site that says things they agree with, and they decide that means they must be telling the truth. They aren't actually doing any critical analysis, just trying to find places that say things they agree with.

It is like a person who is skeptical of a diagnosis from a doctor, but will unquestioningly accept the diagnosis of a homeopath.

Comment All the new high end ARM CPUs do (Score 1) 76

My phone (LG G5) supports it because it has a Snapdragon 820. That's great and all, but there aren't a lot of devices out there that are so new. So no real point in Netflix supporting it. They'd need to wait a few years for enough people to replace their hardware with new units.

Comment Also nothing supports it (Score 4, Interesting) 76

I mean the newest devices support it in hardware, but it has to be a very new chip to have H.265 support. The vast majority of devices in use don't. For computers you could do it in software but that isn't ideal, since H.265 decoding is rather heavy so you'd hit the CPU pretty hard, whereas hardware accelerated H.264 would hit it almost not at all. For mobile/embedded devices though it just won't work. Too CPU intensive to do in software, so people need a new device.

Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 243

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment Look up laws on booby traps (Score 5, Insightful) 243

I doubt they'd have a hard time stretching it to over something like this. If you have a device who's only purpose is to destroy something and it goes and destroys something, well you are pretty likely to get in trouble for it.

Remember courts aren't operated by overly literal geeks who think if they can find some explanation, no matter how outlandish or unlikely, it'll be accepted. The law bases a lot around what is reasonable, and around intent. So your attempt at being cute won't work, and you'll be off to jail.

It also may very well be illegal just to have, or be made illegal if not. There are devices that are outlawed purely because they have no legit use. Many states ban burglary tools, which can include things like the cracked ceramic piece of a spark plug (the aluminum oxide ceramic breaks tempered glass easily). If they catch you and can prove intent, then you are in trouble just for having them with the intent to use them illegally.

Oh and don't think they have to read your mind or get a confession to prove intent. They usually just have to show that the circumstances surrounding the situation are enough to lead a reasonable person to believe that you were going to commit a crime.

And a post like this, would count for sure.

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