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Comment Its Highlander Season... (Score 1) 259

Two Seattle technology companies ...
... intent on market domination
... selling ads, apps, entertainment hardware, phones (cough, cough), songs, tablets, video, webservices
... with comparable ad networks, app stores, market capitalization, operating systems, patent portfolios, payment services, research groups (robotics, deep learning, etc), search engines
... (one still sells books; the other, computer software -- but as hobbies)
... meet on the Windows 10 battlefield.

  "There can be only one"

Comment Re: So... (Score 1) 990

You know we're pretty much agreed on everything, right? :)

My original point is we've been reduced to service workers keeping our devices alive -- too many batteries everywhere. Perhaps the solution is a robot with a flexible gooseneck that goes around (say, in a home) opportunistically charging devices with near-field wireless charging (or even by just plugging in). Of course, the robot must keep track of _its_ own power cable :)

Comment So... (Score 1) 990

People now charge their cordless phone, mobile phone, wearable, tablet, game device, home laptop, work laptop, power bank and cordless vaccum. And regularly change batteries on their wireless mice, wireless keyboard, TV remote, cable remote, game console remote, smoke alarms, burglar alarms, radio and alarm clock. And, if frugal, think about battery lifetime and replacement batteries for their cordless phone, mobile phone, wearable, tablet, game device, home laptop, work laptop, power bank, cordless vaccum and hybrid car. And if ecologically-conscious, think about rechargeable batteries for their wireless mice, wireless keyboard, TV remote, cable remote, game console remote, radio and alarm clock. And responsible battery disposal.

In addition to all this, we now get to charge the car each night - not with a USB cable or meek little battery, but a heavy duty cable that can instantly kill us if things go wrong.

Who's servicing whom exactly?

Comment Re:Democracy in Fiji (Score 1) 110

This. 'Democracy' in Fiji has historically been tinged with racial supremacy. Bainimarama is a boon to the nation - an ethnic Fijian who looked past the interests of his race, to the interest of his country and all its people.

"Fullman suggested in the article that people in the group may well have said violent things about Bainimarama,"

Yes, much the same way Islamic fundamentalists may well say violent things about infidels. How is monitoring these guys wrong? Because they're culturally 'Christian', and they - er - didn't mean it? Remember Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik?

Snowden may be right (or wrong) about the *manner* of monitoring. Maybe a warrant was warranted. But monitoring people threatening violence is exactly what any responsible government does - even 'pro-democracy' activists.

Comment Two updates? 'Red Pill' and 'Blue Pill'? (Score 0) 150

'Blue Pill' empowers your life with the power of Azure. Microsoft agents like Clip...er, Cortana now use technologies like UEFI Secure Boot and the Microsoft Store to guide you and protect you from hacking. You can purchase the ID 'Master chief john 117' as your local PC username (additional fee applies). You can also partake of selected offers from select Microsoft partners presented at select times in your daily workflow (for instance, when Cortana detects you starting blankly at the primary screen. After all, human attention is a terrible thing to waste.)

'Red Pill' awakens you to the horrible reality -- you've been lying comatose in a Microsoft pod all along; your 'reality' a hallucination crafted on Microsoft servers....

Hahah! Just kidding - the red pill does no such thing -- its just the blue pill painted red.

Comment Windows 10 probably will be the last version (Score 4, Insightful) 272

Windows 10 probably will be the last version of Windows, but not the way Microsoft imagines it.

By continuing to nag, snoop, spam and lock-down its users, Microsoft is transforming its core offering - its OS - into the opposite of what it should be: an agent of the owner that compels the computer to obey the owner's intent.

Its the age-old agency problem. An agent with a large amount of power (network effects in Microsoft's case) tends to abuse it to the detriment of the principal (Microsoft users). Its same problem when powerful executives persuade their company to reward them richly without commensurate effort. Left uncorrected, the situation worsens (customers quit in disgust, company implodes, etc).

Another company may eventually do to the Microsoft desktop what Apple and Android did to them in mobile. Or Microsoft may wisen up and curb their worst excesses (as they did in the XBox One phone-home fiasco). But it'd be a hard sell to the MS board and would take a lot of imagination on their part to act more directly in favor of consumers, versus short-term shareholder rewards.

Comment So, Windows 10 home users get these 'features'... (Score 1, Troll) 440

1. Upgrade: MS wasted tens of millions of manhours worldwide with their all-but-forced upgrade
2. Telemetry: They listen to you using your computer
3. Ads: They push ads at you via the OS, taking over what remains of your attention span
4. Kernel Mode Drivers: No more can your programs manipulate Windows 10 internals (bye bye www.colinux.org)
5. UEFI Secure Boot: No more can you boot another OS on a Windows 10 tablet or mobile device. For now, you can do so on a desktop, but manufacturers now have the 'option' (wink) to remove this 'security risk' (nudge).

Comment Re: What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

Actually, its unlikely the queue clears any slower (or faster) with chip & pin. This is because the *overall system* still behaves much the same (unless, of course, credit card processor connectivity changed when implementing chip and pin). But chip and pin certainly takes *users* longer.

Lets examine your 20-second example. Earlier, you'd swipe the card and at that point, the terminal got what it needed to initiate the transaction wiht the payment processor (i.e. magstripe information). So you put the card in your wallet and just wait as payment goes through, the receipt is printed, and you're asked to sign. Lets say this is 18 seconds - this is your time to burn as you see fit - you arrange groceries, tuck your wallet in, find your keys, surf your phone ...

But with chip and pin, the card stays inserted as payment is authorised. So 20 seconds of your time waiting in front of the reader, typing in the pin and waiting for the payment to clear. Only then can you put the card back into your wallet.

Perhaps a better chip+pin design would initiate a one-time authority (authorised by pin) from the card to the reader. This'd take - say - 5 seconds. The payer then pulls the card out and the payment process initiates. 15 seconds later, the payment is processed, the receipt prints and the payer is free to leave.

Comment Idea already implemented, already failed (Score 4, Informative) 536

Perhaps the Peter principle applies to bad ideas, as well as people. Perhaps a 'headphone-ports considered harmful' meme has arisen to its level of incompetence within Motorola. And it attempts to propagate itself every decade or so...

In 2006, I remember being bugged that my Motorola SLVR required a special USB headphone jack. Plus, you couldn't charge the phone and use the headset at the same time (say, for listening to music). Other people thought so too... from this phone's top rated Amazon review :
"CONS... No dedicated headphone jack ( form over function compromise)"

So the idea failed and Moto went back to headphone jacks.

Now its 2016. Bluetooth and Apple seem to have encouraged this meme to reemerge at Motorola. So we now have ... the Moto Z Force, with its innovative USB headphone port. And it appears you cannot charge the phone and use the headset at the same time. .

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