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Comment Re:"Better" or just "Different"? (Score 2) 113

The more opaque Google gets, the harder it becomes to rely on their searches. User-specified options would help. Do you want a person, a place, a product? Do you want a fact search with a mobile display because you're discussing some arcane bit of history with a friend? As long as Google controls all the options, the search process remains opaque and becomes increasingly difficult to interpret.

Comment Re:The ugly side of IoT (Score 1) 432

It's not just deliberate bricking -- most IoT stuff is junk, anyway. The first wireless light switch lasted a few years; the replacement lasted two months. The replacements can't be plugged in; they have to be wired in, and the first wasn't compatible with the first so the light had to be rewired too. The electrician wants to go back to wires, and I'm with him on that.

Comment Re:The elephants in the room (Score 1) 244

Google had no need for Postini. Google's own spam filtering in Gmail is pretty good.

In my experience, spam filtering in Gmail is pretty BAD because of large numbers of false positives. Its algorithms appear to have some kind of quota for spam, and if your account gets no obvious spam, they will pick some for you out of incoming newsletters, new correspondents, and legitimate commercial email. GMail is the only email server I have to check daily for false positives.

Comment Re:Front yard? (Score 1) 177

Inner US suburbs have similar problems, 50x100 foot lots, older houses have minimal setbacks from the street (10-15 feet), and a thicket of overhead utility wires. Plus trees and hedges. The big issue is going to be how accurately can the drones be maneuvered and how well can they "see" overhead wires and other obstructions. The last I heard, military UAVs had to avoid areas with overhead wires; they could see the poles, but not the wires.

Comment Re:Trees and powerlines? (Score 1) 277

Home phone, cable and power wires are small enough in diameter to be hard for radar to detect, so avoidance depends on knowing their locations. That can be deduced reasonably well from pole and tower locations, but that data may not yield precise cable heights, so drones will have to leave safety margins. So unless drones avoid cities with overhead utilities, they're likely to more power failures than drunks and distracted drivers.

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