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Comment in Soviet Russia..... (Score 1) 163

I findi it slightly amusing and frightening that in a Democracy, the powers that be try to make you get out of your air-conditioned car, jump on a bike, and go your way to work. moreover...

"[...]Lots of research ties increased cycling rates to social, economic, environmental, and health benefits. “We need a new form of infrastructure,” Kastrop says. "

no source? and the "tie" could as well be the other way around: societies/communities wealthy enough to buy bikes but not cars have passed the hunger stage and are not getting fat yet, so they live longer: alternatively, this "green fixation" positively correlates with income, so rich communities, with higher education and living standard, are more healthy, and buy and use bikes. But please, try to be rigorous about causation: this article was not. And the person involved is an "urban planner", a work description which would be rapidly out of a job without some mess. like making speed lanes for bikes, which are one of the riskier ways of moving around known to man.

Comment Re: Strong public relations (Score 1) 200

[...]"It also doesn't solve the problem of, "We've identified these GMail and Facebook accounts as yours. Please login to them or go to jail."

Sorry, I thought people knew about this.

And by the way, my answer to the relevant police is "officer, let me give you the password for that volume, that's where I stored my id/passwords or Gmail and Facebook, bank accounts etc."

Comment Re: Strong public relations (Score 4, Insightful) 200

It won't happen. It's been demonstrated over and over again that people are willing and often eager to comply with the authorities' requests. More likely, other countries will follow soon and the day will come when this is law everywhere. We live in the Surveillance Age now. Deal with it.

Of course they are. the great unwashed do not see the point, and the others use some form of plausible deniability encryption.
This is the usual PHB event in which a high official misread some bad science in a hairdresser magazine, asked that something be done about it to an even more ignorant burocrat, and lo and behold, something was eventually done.
nothing to see here.

Comment out of curiosity.....how much? (Score 1) 148

this will not have been done out of charity purposes. my guess is that MS gave something on the order of 2 billion dollars. Mind you, I don't have coy qualms: the problem is, they'll have a built-in incentive to "monetise" the apps ["premium" content, degraded base versions, making sure that alternatives do not work]. to give an example on how these things work, you cannot install the Western digital cloud client on the Amazon Kindle, since it would cannibalize revenue out of amazon cloud.

Now, the one (or two) billion dollar question is: will Samsung still retain an hardware edge big enough to get buyers to swallow the minimal choice of software in respect to older versions of Samsung hardware?

Comment Recyclers anyone? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Hey, we have all this hardware and software laying idle, why not do a cost reduction exercise and sell the effing thingie in the commercial market?

Seriously tough, I have to wonder if the Chinese, Russians and all the other minions (Iran, North Korea) are not thinking this is a brilliant disguise to be able to deploy an extensive Anti Satellite system.

Comment Re:soo.... (Score 1) 327

hedge your bets and go 50/50 south and west. Maybe 50% southwest, 25% west, 25% south and setup a water wheel and perhaps an agrarian society.

A course in financial math would be helpful as well. the reasoning holds only if the grid overpays electricity according to source (gee, who would have thunk it?), otherwise the best thing would be to maximize production (i.e. set panels facing local south) and "time shift" to use as much of the self produced electricity as possible: producing hot water, setting up the laundry machine to start the cycle at 12.30 .... and remember, when the buyer (and the taxpayers!) buy the panels, all the producibility forecasts are calculated for a south facing panel: shift the orientation, and it gets cheaper to buy olimpic cyclists and set them on a dynamo.

Comment Tax advantage? (Score 1) 395

actually, there's no tax advantage at all, if you count by type of fuel: the days of low price for diesel/high price for petrol have left Europe long ago. aaaannd, good luck with the truck industry: Diesel has a kind of economy of scale whereby you can easily build large diesel engines, but it's actually quite difficult to build economical, big petrol engines.
Luckily, the central case is much more benign: since such a measure cannot be adopted by a single EU state, this slimy politician will gain brownie points by looking enviromental [ akin to a wookie "fly casual"], all the while knowing that it cannot and will never be adopted, with all the practical hassle involved. move along, nothing to see here.

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