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Comment Re:Which?... (Score 1) 192

I prefer a world in which people read the fine article and don't pose black vs white questions. The Greek Data Protection Agency doesn't want to stop Google Street View from doing its thing in Greece; they merely temporarily suspended their operations and asked for some clarifications, most important being the precise security measures taken by Google to ensure that photographs taken by their vehicles will not be leaked before the processing for face blurring, wether they plan to keep or destroy the original (unblurred) images after that and what particlar steps they undertook to avoid photographing possibly sensitive locations (like military bases etc).

They also asked for an independent auditor to check those measures before they're allowed to continue.

Once they satisfy those reasonable demands (which are there to ensure that images with unblurred faces don't get leaked), they'll be allowed to go on.

If you think this requirements are unreasonable, I, and the Greek law apparently, disagrees.

Comment Re:Breaking News! (Score 1) 192

A little googling would also tell you that Greece has problems with neighbouring country Turkey, despite both countries being NATO allies. The Greek Air Force is nearly at a state of war 24/7, frequently intercepting Turkish F-16s (often fully armed) and F-4s (mostly reconnaissance) which refuse to submit flight plans to the Greek FIR in violation of ICAO regulations. They sometimes even intrude into Greek air space, which would be an act of war for most other sovereign countries, however Greek authorities seem to try to be civil about it, even though there were fatal accidents during interception manoeuvres in the past (most recent was in 2006!)

Also keep in mind that spies would probably do anything to go unnoticed and that does not exclude acting like part of a group of tourists with their wives practicing a silly, but useful for military intelligence, hobby. The local police department isn't qualified to distinguish between stupid tourists and MI6 agents, that's up to the National Intelligence Agency to decide. I'm sure that if you were caught by the police in the UK while photographing and cataloguing planes on a military airbase you'd be arrested and handed over to MI5 for interrogation as well.

Heck, from what I gather you can get harassed by the police in the UK even for photographing train stations, never mind military facilities...

When abroad, it doesn't hurt to ask, just to be safe - I know I always do... a few years ago I was in Tunisia and asked the local police at the airport when I arrived and I was told that photographing ANY state building (they all fly the Tunisian flag so it's easy to say) could get me arrested for espionage. That includes schools! Stupid? Perhaps. Illegal? Definitely.

Comment I have one of those... (Score 3, Interesting) 143

A Libretto 100CT in fact, with the widescreen 7.1" TFT display (800x480), Intel Pentium 166Mhz MMX overclocked to 233Mhz, 32MB RAM upgraded to 64MB (couldn't handle more) and a 2.1GB HD which I replaced with a 20GB one. I later added a 802.11b WiFi and made quite a good web surfing machine with FreeBSD + Netscape and Firefox later on...

I've been using it regularly until 2004 and then on and off until 2006 or so. It's resting in a box down at the basement now.

Having used a small machine like that is what made me immune to the netbook craze while everybody around me thinks they're so cool and useful and have been buying small cheap machines and finding out how particularly useless they are...

IMNSHO they're too small to be useful for most kinds of real work and to big to carry around or surf while, say in bed - I'm much better off now with a regular laptop that I can get real work done and an iPhone that I can surf the web casually wherever I may be.

Comment Re:This is nothing new... (Score 1) 73

You make it sound harder than it is... They did have to make that choice years ago when they were designing the iPhone 3G for worldwide distribution and they picked:

Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) for GPRS/EDGE


Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100)

it is possible that the next revision of the iPhone and any possible Wireless WAN enabled Macs will add support for LTE to that, but even if they stick to what the iPhone 3G supports, they've got most of the world market covered allready.

Comment This is nothing new... (Score 5, Informative) 73

Apple has done it allready with the iPhone nearly 3 years ago!

My iPhone 3G prefers the available and configured WiFi connections at home and at work and falls back to 3G everywhere else.

I'm wondering why it took them so long to add this to their laptop range... it would be very useful to have connectivity everywhere.

In europe most 3G network operators have been oferring subsidised laptops (mostly 3G enabled netbooks from dell, hp etc) with 3G data contracts for over a year now.

Unfortunately said contracts usually come with low data caps (like 5 or 10GB) but the point of 3G is to complement WiFi access and not replace it -- meaning that they provide the reassurance that you will be connected anywhere, anytime, but you should plan to download gigs of stuff while on a WiFi network instead.

Comment Re:SMS vs email (Score 1) 504

Thank you for letting me know I'm full of shit. Honestly I wasn't aware of that possibility.

Anyway, I'm talking about GSM, since that's all I know/care about, being Europe-based. On GSM, SMS fits 140 data bytes (160 7-bit characters) into a USSD packet atop a version of the SS7 protocol over the mobile network.

Messages originating from a cell phone are sent with the MAP mo-ForwardSM operation, a message that would NOT be sent if there was no SMS to deliver, so it is using signaling capacity and as such it can actually pre-empt calls on a standard GSM network (i.e., if there is too much SMS traffic in one location, calls will take longer to complete, decreasing revenue) and is generally a major capacity headache for operators.

Obviously the bandwidth between the serving msc and the sms gateway is not an issue...

One way around this is to send SMS over IP using SIGTRAN and an appropriate adaptation layer instead of the standard TDM based signalling, but I'm not aware of anyone actually doing this.

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