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Submission + - 7000 Irish e-voting machines to be scrapped (independent.ie)

lampsie writes: You may recall back in January 2012 that the Irish government had deemed their stock of 7000 e-voting machines 'worthless'. Turns out they are not — after spending upwards of €54 million euro purchasing them almost a decade ago, all 7000 will now be scrapped for €70,000 (just over nine euros each). The machines were scrapped because 'they could not be guaranteed to be safe from tampering [...] and they could not produce a printout so that votes/results could be double-checked.'

Comment nokia (Score 1) 447

Nokia exist now as a cautionary tale to the likes to Google (and by extension Samsung), and of course to Apple. Cast your mind back ~10 years, and the Nokia 3310 and 6210 were simply the mobiles you bought. Why? They were well built, easy to use and everyone knew that Nokia were at the top of their game.

What went wrong? With hindsight, it seems they just utterly failed to build on their good brand and reputation. They started facing some competition from Motorola and a few others who offered (imho) poorer UI's, but better looking hardware. And I think that is the key part - Nokia not only failed to keep ahead of the curve design-wise, they seemed to completely miss the shift in what people wanted. Good solid hardware and features, with good battery, were no longer enough. Mobiles became a fashion accessory, and the likes of the Razr offered far more interesting designs than the Nokia bricks. Oh sure, there were snap-on cases for Nokia phones, but they didn't cut the mustard for long.

They had the potential to get ahead of the curve again with the N-Gage. It could have found a solid niche for itself, but some bizarre usability choices (holding it sideways to make a call, so you look like a buffoon?) killed it on arrival. While they flapped around on this and continued to fail to deliver what people actually wanted, Apple (and others) continued to eat into their market share. Nokia seemed to completely fail to see the touchscreen/smartphone tsunami.

It's a sad tale, but as I said at the outset, every manufacturer should study Nokia's downfall to help mitigate their own demise.

Submission + - 7000 e-voting machines now deemed worthless by Iri (www.rte.ie)

lampsie writes: Despite spending at least 51 million euro over the last decade buying and storing 7000 e-voting machines from Dutch firm Nedap, the Irish Finance minister has announced that they are now 'worthless'. The machines were originally trialled in 2002 on three regional elections, but a nationwide rollout in 2004 was put on hold after a confidential report expressed serious concern over the security of the voting machines. According to the report, the integrity of the ballot could not be guaranteed with the equipment and controls used. Several years on, and tens of millions later, it looks like the pen and paper ballot will remain for now.

Submission + - 2050: Europe & N.Africa powered by 100% renewa (pwc.co.uk)

lampsie writes: Europe and North Africa have the potential to be powered exclusively by renewable electricity by 2050 if this is supported by a single European power market united with a similar market in North Africa. This is the conclusion of a study compiled by PwC called "100% Renewable Electricity: A Roadmap to 2050 for Europe and North Africa". The report, available here in PDF, included input from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the European Climate Forum. It's being launched today at the Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland's 'Pathways to 2050: International Conference' taking place in Dublin, Ireland.

Submission + - 88 Critical Bugs Found In Android OS (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "If you're using applications on your Android phone to store or transmit sensitive data (like your bank account), you might want to rethink that. A recent analysis of Android as implemented in HTC's Droid Incredible discovered 359 bugs of which 88 are considered critical. These include memory corruption, resource and memory leaks, and uninitialized variables. Conversely, the same study by software QA firm Coverity, found that when Apple released its latest iPhone operating system, IOS 4.1, it was found to have a mere 24 security holes — and nearly all of them (80%) came from WebKit, an open source web browser engine also seen on Android OS and Chrome."
Transportation

Submission + - The Sinclair X-1: The C5 Rides Again? (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The name Sinclair was stamped on single-person electric transport way back in 1985 with the world's first mass produced electric vehicle – the Sinclair C5. Fast forward to 2010, drop a wheel, shed lots of weight, add modern batteries and you start to get a picture of the newly developed Sinclair Research X-1. Essentially an electric-assist recumbent bicycle with an open-sided fairing, it has the aerodynamics, ergonomic pedaling position and weather protection of a velomobile, yet its weight and price are closer to those of an electric-assist bicycle.
Businesses

Submission + - Cable Loses 500,000 Subscribers in Q3

suraj.sun writes: Last quarter was the first time ever that US pay TV subscription rates were down. Now, according to GigaOM's calculations, big cable suffered another set back in Q3, waving goodbye to over 500,000 subscribers in total. Comcast was saddled with over half of the carnage and lost 275,000 customers, while Time Warner took a 155,000 subscriber hit.

Naturally, the blame game for the poor numbers was aimed squarely at the weak economy and increased competition from over-the-top video providers. In fact, Comcast shared on its Q3 earnings call that average customer revenue rose by ten percent year over year to $136 a month. Charter's similarly jumped by nine percent to $126, and while Cablevision's didn't increase by the same rate, monthly revenue per customer still amounted to a whopping $149 a month.

So whether the reason is cord cutting or simply hard times, it's hard to get worked up over self-inflicted wounds.

Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/05/big-cable-loses-500-000-subscribers-in-q3-we-neglect-to-send-fl/
Google

Submission + - Google cuts tax bill by €2.2bn via Irish tax (irishtimes.com)

lampsie writes: From todays Irish Times: "GOOGLE CUT its taxes by $3.1 billion (€2.2 billion) in the last three years by using a strategy known as the “Double Irish”, under which it shuttled foreign profits through its Irish operation to Bermuda...Google’s tax reduction method takes advantage of Irish tax law to legally move profits in and out of subsidiaries here, eventually lodging them in island havens that levy no corporate income taxes...The strategy yesterday attracted criticism in the US, which is struggling to close a projected $1.4 trillion budget gap. The US has a corporate tax rate of 35 per cent."

Comment hmmm (Score 2, Interesting) 51

While I applaud any effort to bridge the gap between rural and urban internet access, two things strike me here:

1) No mention of price in the article - if current 3g broadband setups are anything to go by, don't expect to see much of a GB allowance compared to standard 'wired' dsl
2) Apparently it can scale to a maximum of 7.2mbps, with a claimed rural 'average' of 2.8mbps - is there much point in a network investing in rolling out these sorts of standards if the average speed is going to be pretty slow? I understand that in rural area's its better than nothing, but the limitations of speed and download allowance I suspect makes this sort of broadband access not very appealing. Frankly, I'd prefer a group scheme using line-of-sight where you are at least going to get a reliable, fast connection. My 0.02 lampsie

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