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Comment Re:But what about the other messaging services? (Score 1) 76

It's getting confusing with Google now with them spawning, killing or changing a messaging client so often....

Don't worry, they'll let the marketing team rename those apps a half-dozen times in the next year, like they did with Chromecast, so nobody will have any clue about what apps anybody is using and every bit of documentation will be useless.

Then people can just settle on Signal or WhatsApp and be done with it.

Comment Re:simply greedy (Score 1) 154

And there lies the killer. I might pay $20 to see a good, early, first run movie. Not $50. And not with anything else 'added' unless it is completely optional. For $50 I'd expect to get dinner with the movie.

Dinner and a movie costs way more than $50.

You rent the movie, your friends bring over take-out or pot-luck.

$50 doesn't make sense for an individual but for a large group it's pretty easy.

That said, I only go to see digitally-projected 3D films anymore (kids, etc.). Bluray from Redbox is a way better deal than $50.

Comment Re:Call me crazy... (Score 1) 70

Well, they're both solutions. But they run afoul of questions. Which users benefit most from each solution? And if someone benefits most from the massive battery with conservative display and processor specs, can you sell it to him?

I'll tell you right here that I'd much prefer LG's approach, but I'm an engineer. I think about my requirements differently than most people.

Comment US Life Expectancy is 91.9 years (Score 3, Insightful) 98

If you're a woman in the top 1% by income. If you're a man in the top 1% it's 88.8 years.

If you're middle class you live about 78.3 years if you're a man, which is big step up from 1980, probably because of smoking. If you're a woman you live 79.7 years, a decline of a few months since 1980.

Now if you're a poor your life expectancy has declined since 1980, to 76.1 for men and 78.3 for women.

So here's the picture: if you're rich, medical advances since 1980 have increased your expected lifespan by about seven years. But those advances haven't had any effect on middle class lifespans. If you're poor you apparently are having difficulty paying for medical care at all, which is not surprising because health care costs have consistently outpaced inflation since the mid-70s. If you're a working poor American health care inflation meant you basically screwed by the 2000s: you were too rich for Medicaid, to poor to avoid medical care.

One more thing: US has a GINI coefficient (measure of income disparity) of 45. That's the highest in the industrialized world, and much higher than it's low point of 34 in 1969. Basically all of the income growth sicne 1990 have gone to the top quintile, in fact the lion's share to the top 5%. People at the 80th percentile by income and below have seen basically zero income growth when adjusted for inflation. And since health care inflation rises faster than inflation, it means 80% of the the US has seen a cut in its disposable income.

Comment Re:If it wasn't for the draft (Balkans War) (Score 1) 98

I don't know why you "blame" brits and the Vatican.

The now separated states declared independence from "Yugoslavia". And the "Great Serbien Reich" had nothing better to do than to attack the states and draw them _all_ or in other words, each of them, into a full scale war with atrocities over atrocities.

The only ones who where lucky were the Slovenians who basically did first what the Serbs did in the other countries: they put all Serbian troops in mainly Slovenian barracks into prison, surrounded the mainly Serbien barracks and gave an ultimatum: "you leave, your weapons stay, or we kill you". Originally most barracks had Serbian and Slovenian troops mixed as they both belonged to the same "nation"/"army". But during the forming of the individual (first federal and later independent) states the Serbs who were in charge of the army, tried to set up barracks with mainly Serbian forces.

Only a few mostly Serbian barracks started fights, the war was over in 10 days, see wikipedia

The other states where not that smart, because there the Serbs did the same tactics as the Slovenians above, but did not give an ultimatum, they just started the killing everywhere.

And then the slaughtering of ethnic groups amoung themselves started, especially in Bosnia.

Comment Re:So, America might have a lower life expectancy. (Score 1) 98

Why single out one cause, when there's obviously many.

Take food. I live near a supermarket that is probably three times the size of the one my parents went to, but the produce section is smaller, the meat and dairy sections about the same size. The surplus acreage is taken up with cheap, calorie dense, no-preparation convenience food.

Or the fact that Amercians spend more time in cars than they used to, on average over 290 hours a year.

Here's another interesting fact: research shows that the portion size you choose is positively correlated to the size of the package you serve yourself from; this doesn't happen consciously, it's just that a cup of cereal from a 9 ounce box appears like a lot more than a cup of cereal from a 21 oz box.

The huge sizes are driven in part by an attempt to cut down on trips to the grocery store. American home kitchens are the largest in the world, and most of that is needed for storage because we don't do very much food preparation.

So if there's a single root cause it's the pursuit (sometimes failed) of efficiency; we have the wealth to try to reduce labor and time spent doing things, but our bodies are designed to spend time doing things.

Comment Re:The solution is simple. (Score 1) 312

The problem may be the while Garcina Cambogia causes 30% more weight to be lost, 30% more of zero is still zero.

If that's what happens anyway it's somewhat problematic to use the word causes -- unless it's a different 30% in each case that would have happened otherwise. It's a bit like Woody Allen's the Great Roe: "A mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion."

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 476

> Libertarian isn't just economic freedom
I know it's not supposed to be. But the reality is -that this is what it is. I've never seen a libertarian willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of economic freedom to secure greater civil liberties. If libertarianism was really about more than economics - then that trade-off would be an absolute no-brainer.

>Pinochet was a military dictator who ruled with an iron fist
But it was limited government - the government basically consisted of defense and police - the only things that libertarians think it should be.

> Learn your political science.
Learn to distinguish theory from practice. It's impossible to GET libertarian economics WITHOUT a dictator. That's exactly what Thatcher told Hayek, it's what libertarians constantly discover. Because if you give people power over the government - they always end up demanding the government help the homeless because they are sick and tired of all the people down-on-their-luck crapping on their porch. There is a reason rural people tend to be conservative and urban people tend to be liberal. It's because urban people deal with problems that only happen when you have millions of people in the same city - problems that can really only be solved by liberal ideas because thats the only set of ideals that even considers them. Libertarianism - as the far end of conservative thought keeps running into the problem that the vast majority of people are urban -to get them to accept a politics that ignores most of the day-to-day things they have to deal with - you have to force it on them, because they'll never voluntarily do so. When you're rural living, the government has neither much need nor ability to affect your life. The nearest government services are usually so far away that relying on them is insane. But when you live in a city, with so many people close together - that kind of self-reliance is utterly impossible. You HAVE to be interdependent to make the whole damn thing have any chance of working. Government is merely the means by which you, as a group, deal with those things that cannot be efficiently done by private individuals. Government becomes a vital aspect of your very ability to survive. If government wasn't running the sewage system - every cholera infection would be an outbreak that kills millions of people. You can't trust private industry to do it either because private industry wants to make a profit but your OWN safety depends on EVERYBODY - even those with NO money who CANNOT buy the service having ACCESS to the service. Libertarianism and conservative thought simply doesn't WORK in a city.

Comment Re:Metastability (Score 1) 254

I heard the lead on a Science Friday interview - he invited everybody in academia to come to his lab to learn the technique on how to make it, as he wants everybody working on the material. It sounds like they can fairly easily do it again, so I am surprised this article makes no note of that.

Well, "surprised" in that I pretend journalism doesn't exist just to sell ads.

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 140

I try to summarize, your last posts and answer.

The laws for telecommunication regulate devices that use the radio spectrum.
The laws regarding "spying" on someone are a subset or associated law as we have something like "secrecy of letters", no eavesdropping on privacy without warrant, no eavesdropping at all by non law enforcement.

No, but when there are conflicting explanations and nobody seems to be able to clearly explain why this thing is not allowed but similar things are allowed, it suggests that the criteria are unclear.
The device is used for eavesdropping, no other explanation needed. The owner can not disable it, and likely does not know about that option.

I was trying to distinguish civil law regimes from common law regimes. Under common law, higher courts make precedent: They explain general rules that lower courts are bound to follow, and how those general rules apply to particular cases. A lower court must follow precedent unless it can distinguish the relevant fact pattern in a new case from the rules laid out by precedent. This tends to make decisions of law a little more predictable.
That is only your perception. In real life you still need an expert to ask and to search for cases if you want a good opinion about a certain "thing". You never know if the next court will decide completely different.

We prefer law. As then it is simply written in the law what is "right or wrong", nearly 100% predictable.

However in both cases, your laws and mine: the courts and the law is close to irrelevant as the "ruling" is done by "guidelines and rules" or "regulations" that are not law and can be changed more or less arbitrarily. You can only after you had a hit on the head go to court and claim clarification. Exactly the same in your common law and our civil law system.

Well, you said that the radio license is invalidated based on the behavior of the software on the device, and in particular whether bugs can allow an attacker to record audio and transmit it over the radio.
If the device was unable to transfer voice via radio, it would not need a radio license.

VOIP apps are another example of third-party software running on a device that records audio and transmits it over the radio; I
No they are not. Sorry to ask again: why are you nitpicking? Why can't you grasp the simplest concepts?
VOIP is software!!! Using an established system, what ever it is (computer, Phone) to transport data that happens to be voice. It uses a device that already has "radio authority clearance", a device where everyone KNOWS it can record and transmit and replay: voice. Why does the device have a clearance? Because you can not change frequencies outside of the parameters that device gives you. In other words: a VOIP software can not use your laptops WiFi CARD to interfere with air traffic control, or radio over the local FM station. And: both sides of the end of communication AGREE on the communication.

In the Doll problem above: no one AGREED in using the Doll to be listend on. No one asked for a license to have the Doll as a communication device and "officially" put the option into the "VOIP" bluetooth software. The bluetooth software is not "VOIP" it is a HACK!

I am trying to understand how the line is supposed to be drawn, and why the law is consistently described as a "hidden surveillance device" law rather than a voice radio licensing law or software correctness law, even though you say (plausibly) that the radio license and software correctness are critical parts of the decision -- which also suggests to me that the device looking like a doll, rather than a computer, is largely irrelevant to the BNetzA's decision.
The fact that it looks like a doll is indeed irrelevant. It could be a IoT controlled light ...

Wich part(s) of the regulations where the BNetzA's is responsible to look over, the Doll violated I don't know exactly. For that you need to read the law and the regulations and get an english translation.

I only tried to give a layman's overview, because besides myself working in a radio license for SRC (short range radio certificate) for naval radio and a certificate for radar for inland water transport/navigation I have not much clue either.

Interesting, e.g. is: for coastal navigation I do not need a certificate to use radar. However if I have an accident, the first question is: did you use radar? The second is: do you have the qualification for it (aka a certificate)? In inland waters, I'm not even allowed to activate the radar if I have no certification.

To have a radio on board, you need a certification. For inland waters: you have to have radio in certain situations, or you are not allowed to leave the harbor (e.g. high water "mark 1"). For coastal navigation, radios are not required at all. But however considering how cheap they are in our times: everyone has one.
With the certificate, you are responsible how and who uses the radio. In other words: the operator of the radio does not need a license. If I as a captain tell you word for word or in a rough outline what you should sent via the radio: you can just do that.
On the other hand again: unlike the RADAR example above, I as a captain with out an SRC license, can not even use a boat that has a radio. Regardless if I keep the radio switched off!!
"Possession" not only ownership, of a radio without license is a crime.

To make another example: in a radio conversation of another boat with a coastal radio station, they might have a "phone call" running. E.g. a phone call "home" because of an family emergency. Obviously everyone with a radio can eavesdrop in. To acquire a certificate it is important to understand, there are laws involved that require you to keep silence about the content of the talk. And: you are supposed to go out of the channel as soon as you realize it is occupied.
Without having a certificate, possession and ownership of a radio that can eavesdrop into such talks is illegal.
Of course: via the certificate you get a "call sign" and an MMSI.

Hope that helped, eve if it confused more :D

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