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Comment Re:How "indirect" was the use? Was SF just a proxy (Score 1) 123

Indeed, I have experienced the same with many other services.
You would not believe how creative both the writers of corporate service licences are in inventing reasons why there customers shall pay them more, and how creative the corporate users of such services are in inventing more or less plausible/legal ways to circumvent the license fees.
Just one example: Vendor writes into the license contract a higher monthly fee for "pushed" updates instead of "pulled" (requested) data. A company using that service asks me to implement a proxy service that will pull at an insanely high frequency on its input and provide real "push updates" on data changes on its output.

Comment Manufacturers intent: Collect/sell data/ads (Score 1) 139

Your statement, while true, totally fails to consider that the goal of making and selling such dolls is not to make children happy and to keep their privacy intact. These dolls are built to collect data, sell that data for profit, and deliver targeted advertisements to children.

Comment Re:Echo (Score 3, Interesting) 139

The theory about Echo and such is that those are not disguised eavesdropping devices.
Which, of course, is only partially true, as 99.99% of all adults will not have the slightest clue (or ability to verify) when Echo records something, and whether or not that recording goes to some remote 3rd-party.

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 318

We need robots to take over the boring repetitive stuff of now so we can work on the jobs of the future.

The parallels to automation in the past might soon end: Could well be that robots are soon better then most humans at doing the creative, intelligent, innovative stuff, so the work left for humans to do in the future may be the awful kind of stuff for which expendable humans are less costly than expensive robots.

Comment Re:If you think those robots would help the elderl (Score 1) 318

Actual movie theatres and actual "telegraph"-hardware (as in: the wire/fiber infrastructure buried into the ground) are still way beyond what most people on earth can afford. What has become relatively cheap are non-material services that either make use of expensive infrastructure for a short periods or consist of "software" that can be copied without adding material anywhere.

Robots useful for taking care of elderlies need to be strong, sophisticated physical devices, and it is not quite settled that such will become cheap at any point in time.

Comment Re:If you think those robots would help the elderl (Score 1) 318

I haven't seen the expenses for healthcare decrease anywhere, regardless of technological advances.

Of course nobody can predict what will be in 50 or 100 years, but it is also quite possible that by then it might already have become commonplace to euthanize people who cannot cater for themselves anymore.

Comment Re:The Next Big Step (Score 1) 142

What makes you think this hasn't happened already?
Go ask your friends for whom they are ultimately working - as in: Who is ultimately earning the profits. You'll find that today already a large share of people are working for mega-corporations of such convoluted ownership structure that they cannot name the human(s) to whom the profits flow (and the CEO is rarely the owner).
Chances are that many corporations are already owned by institutions that leave their business decisions largely to computers.

Comment If you think those robots would help the elderly.. (Score 4, Insightful) 318

... think again: The vast majority of elderly people do not have the monetary resources to acquire some "robot care taker".
All those robot fantasies are based on the illusion that somehow, once there are enough robots around, people will magically start to share their wealth with others in need. It has been proven time and again that this does not happen. Not even with much more basic things like food/shelter/healthcare.
The more likely situation will be that a few robots will aide some rich elderly people, while a lot of armed robots will be in charge of putting down any rebellion from the have-nots.

Comment Re:Gravity (Score 1) 123

1. you are correct - indeed any battery with significant higher energy density than the current ones is hard to make safe for use 2. Fusion energy is not only possible, but alreay available in excessive quantities, readily available at no cost to us from the big ball-shaped fusion reactor in the center of our solar system 3. CRISPR-CAS9 is already there to do that 4. Hmmm... not so sure this is of such great potential 5. That's just one disease of so many, and not quite the one killing/crippling the most people. Curing cancer would help much more people. 6. A nice thing, yes, but wouldn't it even better to avoid most of the totally unnecessary traffic done today? 7. VR is overrated. A nice gimmick for gaming, maybe a tool for a few kinds of work, but that's it. 8. If WiFi was possible without supplying energy, not only your "Smart"-devices and IoT-gadgets would spy on you, but many other things, too. I see more harm than good in that. My favorite technical novelty would be a cheap electro-powered submarine, safe to use even for trips to 11 km of depth in the ocean.

Comment Has silent flying been invented yet? (Score 1) 123

I don't know about other countries, but where I live you could not expect any kind of private air-traffic allowed/tolerated that is as loud as all flying vehicles are today. Heck, even the relatively few airports around are under constant pressure to limit their noise emissions. And I think that is a good thing.

Comment Aren't people playing for fun anymore? (Score 1) 262

Regardless of whether something is called a "game" or a "sport" - it's most fun when played against opponents with a not-too-far-off skill level. So if you play an "online"-game against some stranger a reasonable server will match you with an opponent of similar strength, and it totally doesn't matter whether that strength is achieved by quicker fingers or some more suitable input device. Why should you bother whether you are matched against some clumsy person using a great keyboard or against a grandmaster using some half-defect controller? If that opponent's strength is comparable to yours, whatever input devices used, the game should be an entertaining challenge.

Or is the problem that people do not play for fun anymore, but for some questionable "reward" to hold some position in a high score table? How sad that would be...

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