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Comment Unity-ish UI (Score 5, Insightful) 134

And I see they're still jumping on this Unity-ish sidebar UI bandwagon... ugh, I guess I'll be using xfce for a while longer so I can actually have a normal top and bottom panels. Running apps and workspace picker along the bottom, Application (etc) menus along the top with various system controls... its worked well for over a decade, yes some people might like the newer Vista/OSXy way to set things up, and fine that can be the (annoying) default, but at least give us the *option* to set up our workspace as we like. Saying "we don't support user customization anymore" is simply arrogant and not an option for open source software which was supposed to be all about the user having control.

It looks nice, and I commend them for all the hard work, I'm sure a lot of hours went in to it, but I won't be in any rush to upgrade if I still can't even do something simple like move my panels around.

Comment Canada has similar (Score 5, Informative) 252

We went a similar but different direction in Canada, rather than killing the phone there's a list of IMEIs for stolen phones, and all carriers will honour not allowing phones in the database on to their networks. Which this solution sounds little less onerous than re-engineering every handset OS to have this kill ability.

Also the phone doesn't actually have to be turned on to be blacklisted, how often will you send the "kill" pings out when stolen? Would a thief simply have to wait a few weeks until the heat dies down?

We have devices that register with networks when activated, isn't it far easier to wait for that event than to try and push a command to a phone that may never be turned on again?


Comment Re:How is this a waste? (Score 5, Insightful) 408

Also how is this different from Xerox Parc, Bell Labs and IBM Research (or even Microsoft Research) where staff are given the freedom to innovate and experiment with technologies with no immediate marketability. Without such basic research, which corporate America has been languishing in their support of over the past decade or two, we wouldn't have the transistor, laser or so many other key pieces of our modern world.

Google should be commended for being a good corporate citizen and giving back to science and society. Or as another commenter said, where should the money go, executive raises and dividends for shareholders?

Comment Re:I don't do any of those jobs... (Score 2, Interesting) 990

What are you talking about, we enabled them to program themselves years ago!

But in all seriousness, I think computers and robots taking on more jobs is a GOOD thing, something we should encourage more. The debate at that point needs to shift, less jobs, more people unemployed, why would we have fewer and fewer people toiling away (harder and harder the way companies are pushing employees) with so many free bodies available? A more fundamental economic and societal shift will be needed, even the French 30 hour work week looks a little long at that point.

I would hope by spreading the work out (which yes will mean the current economic model will require a LOT of re-tuning, Occupy Wall Street, anyone?) it will give everyone more leisure time, more time to enjoy life. Our finite existence on this planet should not be tied to a lifetime of labour, our job should not definite us. Let's make a better society for ALL through this automation, like the old 50s and 60s cartoons envisions. George Jetson button pusher, anyone?

Comment Track gauge (Score 1) 449

Umm, which track gauge will they use? North American or Russian? If the Russians agreed to use North American gauge and run the line all the way to China (which uses the same gauge as North America and Europe), well, that'd be convenient for us...

Comment International agreements (Score 5, Insightful) 309

Well that could be fun considering a lot of the HAM radio spectrum blocks are internationally recognized and used. Go ahead, sell it off, give it to someone else to use, I'm just north of your border, and my government hasn't proposed selling off that spectrum (yet). So I'm sure the private purchases of that spectrum will just LOVE when we all continue to key up on those bands (or the satellites already in orbit continue to transmit in to your borders on those frequencies).

Someone needs to inform this congressman of the realities of how spectrum allocation works.

Comment Efficiency not technology (Score 5, Insightful) 1049

And as this 2007 Slashdot story points out:

Governments should mandate efficiency standards, not technology. I'm a bit on the free-market side myself, let the best bulb win, but not with absolutely no ground rules for that fight. If government were to truly stand back and let the market decide everything, cost would almost always win out and we'd have a proliferation of coal power plants and inefficient gas cars lacking almost every kind of pollution control system.

Government's role is to set the standard, in this case, so many lumen per watt, or however they want to word it, and then let the industry innovate the best technology to meet that goal.

Comment Re:You get what you pay for... (Score 1) 730

And if my boss (as an IT staff member myself) was looking over my shoulder all the time, I'd quit.

Does the original question asked check their employee's bags every night for confidential documents? Mandate no USB drives?

Your employees are who you should be more worried about, jumping to a competitor and taking your client list with them.

But it all comes down to trusting your staff. I certainly hope you're not one of these paranoid bosses that only gives keys to the top managers.

Comment True cost of gas powered vehicles (Score 2, Insightful) 769

The problem isn't the Volt costs too much, it's the fact the cheap cost of a gas vehicle and oil to put in it doesn't take in to account the true cost of the vehicle.

If the full cost weren't externalized to the same degree, for example the cost of healthcare for those made ill by exhaust, the cost of dealing with the impacts of climate change, even just the health and economic costs of people injured in road accidents, the price of a gas guzzling car would be a few times higher.

Instead the system externalizes these and others in society, not the actual drivers of these vehicles, are made to pay the costs. In some cases such as the impacts of climate change, those paying the true cost for gas powered vehicles could be on the other side of the planet.

It shows how our entire economic model must be reworked so the true cost of a product, cradle to grave, on all of society is taken in to account. A holistic approach to economics.

It's the same externalizing that Walmart uses, prices are kept down because things such as benefits and healthcare are pushed on to state governments through minimum wage paid employees.

It's time all members of society becomes accountable for their actions.

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