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Comment Re:Machines replacing bank tellers? (Score 1) 265

Yes, but not just power outages. Think IoT-powered DDoS attacks. The Mirai botnet could easily hold banks to ransom. And then there's just the fact that a lot of ISPs suck big time. I can't count the number of times that a retailer hasn't been able to take card payments because their internet's down. They quickly and effortlessly set up cash only lanes which tells me that they're well versed in the system not working for one reason or another.

Comment Difficult for most people to understand... (Score 1) 308

...the risk that the CIA is presenting to the USA. By hoarding vulnerabilities in operating systems and software and then developing tools to exploit them, they're making the internet very insecure; as Bruce Schneier puts it, today's top secret government hacking tools are tomorrow's organised crime hacking tools. Which country has the greatest economic and national security dependency on the internet and is therefore the most vulnerable to hacking tools? The USA. The CIA are quickly becoming a bunch of useless idiots to the USA and useful idiots to anyone who wants to exploit the USA (and everyone else). Expect hacking-based disruption and extortion to take a serious toll on all internet dependent economies and especially the USA's.

Comment Let's see... (Score 1) 392

Yes, Gates' comments are banal, hypocritical, and fail to address the real problems that we face today, and so are the counter-arguments:

"Why pick on robots?" former Treasury Secretary Summers asked in a Washington Post opinion piece, which called Gates "profoundly misguided." The economist argued that progress, however messy and disruptive sometimes, ultimately benefits society overall.

Wrong: At any time since 1979, has there ever been a change in corporate employment and/or manufacturing practices that have benefited society overall? Neoliberalism is cannibalising the developed world. I think Larry Summers' definition of progress needs some explanation.

Mike Shedlock, a financial adviser with Sitka Pacific Capital Management in Edmonds, Washington, wrote on his blog that robot owners, who likely would pay the tax, would simply pass it along by jacking up prices.

Wrong: The price consumers pay for goods isn't determined by how much the goods cost to make/provide.

The European Union's parliament in February rejected a measure to impose a tax on robots, using much the same reasoning as Gates' critics.

Bandwagon fallacy: Just because it was rejected by the subjective decisions of one group, it doesn't follow that it's the right decision for everyone else.

The root of the problem has little to do with how things are made or how services are provided or basic microeconomics. The problem is how we decide the allocate resources across our populations, which is an inherently political issue. Looks like what the USA has is a failure of its political system.

Comment Re:Where is the User choice in all of this (Score 5, Insightful) 203

The trouble is that Microsoft don't like their users to have choice. They bake-in proprietary features and incompatibilities that prevent users from sharing documents and files across operating systems or going outside their software walled gardens. How many prosecutions against Microsoft for anti-competitive practices will it take to convince you? They don't want their users to have choice, they want their users to be stuck with using their products and services and unable to easily switch to others.

I can see that for people whose jobs are doing stuff other than ICT will see the transition from one OS and office software to another as a problem. It's one transition, once. Anyone who's experienced Win10 can attest that it's so different to previous versions and that they've changed around MS Office so much lately, that the learning curve to switch to Linux is comparable. So why not? Also, there's the privacy issues with Win10 (Microsoft calls their key-loggers and spyware "telemetry") that all governments should be wary of. Keep your privacy and control with Linux as well as save a few € in the process.

Comment Re:Owning vs Renting (Score 5, Interesting) 353

The MS Office hegemony is still strong and is still making MS a lot of money.

May be true in the good ol' US of A but over in the EU, they're going full-steam ahead with switching from Microsoft Windows and Office to Ubuntu and LibreOffice (There's a draft directive to switch to free and open source IT solutions). Since governments and govt. agencies are Microsoft's main paying customers, then Microsoft are going downhill in a very large market. It's just a matter of how long it takes for the EU to drop Microsoft entirely.

Need LibreOffice online? LibreOffice 3.5 can be installed on a server and will work in a web browser. Need a supported commercial solution? Check out Collabora and the many spin-off service providers.

Comment Re:This is why most people are skeptical (Score 1, Troll) 436

Ever wonder why people are skeptical of claims like this?

Because the fossil fuel industry funds media campaigns to discredit sound, reliable climate science? (Please see: http://www.merchantsofdoubt.or...)

Even their own climate science that they were doing in the 1970s? (Please see: https://www.scientificamerican...)

Comment Re:Silent Buzzing? (Score 1) 52

BTW, if it's spelled "Buzz," the German pronunciation sounds more like "butts" than "bus." Americans can get excited about driving their butts around and seeing how many people they can fit in their butts. Do you think they're holding a grudge because Americans exposed their oh so clever but fraudulent emissions software?

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