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Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 1) 89

I meant Android phones in general. Google is the OS maker and forces phone makers to install a lot of Google apps in Android phones. I'd like a Samsung or LG made phone with a "stripped down" Android

Okay, that's not what you wrote. Your question should be directed to Samsung or LG, then, not Google.

I'd also point out that the Nexus 5X is an LG-made phone. Personally, I'd prefer the Huawei-made 6P, or one of the HTC-made Pixels.

Comment Re: There are legitimate use-cases... (Score 1) 56

The uranium-weaponization machinery in Iran was only more "mission critical" than a city's civilian power grid. And yet, Israelis/Americans managed to infect it anyway.

It is entirely possible to update from a local source.

From where would that local source obtain the files? The answer is: from the outside.

Whether you are connected to that outside via wires or sneakernet is not even relevant — all such connections are corruptible... A human being may be harder to corrupt, but not impossible. A dedicated adversary — and Russia certainly is one such — can do it.

NASA

Earth Hit Record Hot Year in 2016: NASA (news.com.au) 162

Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, government scientists have said. They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. From a report: Measuring global temperatures in slightly different ways, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. NOAA calculated that the average 2016 global temperature was 14.84 degrees Celsius (58.69 degrees Fahrenheit) -- beating the previous year by 0.04 Celsius (0.07 degrees F). NASA's figures, which include more of the Arctic, are higher at 0.22 degrees (0.12 Celsius) warmer than 2015. The Arctic "was enormously warm, like totally off the charts compared to everything else," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York, where the space agency monitors global temperatures. Records go back to 1880. This is the fifth time in a dozen years that the globe has set a new annual heat record. Records have been set in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010 and 2005.

Comment There are legitimate use-cases... (Score 2) 56

I've never been to a power-generating station, so my speculations are very general...

Given: you wish to use computers to better manage the power-generation and distribution. Computers run software — either your own, or, more likely, commercial.

Software requires perpetual maintenance — fixing bugs and improving. Most of today's software vendors — both external and internal to enterprises — publish updates online. Voila, your computers need access to the Internet to get it. It may not be direct access — you may be able to limit it only to certain subnets and protocols. But their need to such access is still legitimate.

Even if you lock it all down and update only via a CD or a flash-card, you are still vulnerable. A hostile state can seduce, bribe, or blackmail whoever is supposed to carry the media. Russian prostitutes are the best in the world claims Vladimir Putin — while a hitherto unfuckable geek is getting the "girlfriend experience" of his life, her KGB-colleague can examine and subtly alter the files.

You can not eliminate such risk — you can only mitigate it...

Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 1) 89

Hey Google? How much would you charge for a phone without your services? They can be installed on purchase as long as I'm able to uninstall them.

All devices Google sells come with an unlockable bootloader, so you can unlock and flash a different system that doesn't have the Google stuff. Be sure you re-lock after flashing, otherwise your device can be reflashed with malicious software by anyone who gets hold of it.

So, the price is the cost of buying the device from the Play store, plus a few minutes to unlock and reflash.

Comment Re:The US can only do this by Phasing out CDMA. (Score 2) 52

Qualcomm holds patents in all kinds of things. In 5G, it holds Standards Essential Patents in the Radio Access Network (RAN), modulation & waveforms, and core networking.

In RAN, centimetre wave (10GHz-30GHz) and millimetre wave (30GHz-300GHz) radio, beam steering or beamforming techniques, and massive MIMO IP are held by Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

In modulation, 5G requires non-orthogonal transmission schemes, rather than the OFDM of LTE-Advanced. Some schemes under consideration include Filter-Bank Multi-Carrier (FBMC) transmission, Universal Filtered Multi-Carrier (UFMC) transmission and Generalised Frequency-Division Multiplexing (GFDM).

In networking technologies, Network function virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN), Inter-Node Coordination and backhaul, Access Link Integration, Self Organising Network (SON) technology, Context Aware Networking, Information Centric Networking, not to mention good old WiFi. Nokia, Qualcomm, Cisco, Intel and Ericsson are the top IP holders.

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