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Comments

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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

AlphaWolf_HK Re:So what? (322 comments)

Reread my post, that isn't what I'm saying.

yesterday
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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Not H1-Bs, offshore workers. (209 comments)

2) The law says you can not sue unless you are personally affected.

Well yeah, that's how tort laws have always worked. If somebody wrongs you, you the victim have to initiate a lawsuit or press charges. Your neighbor can't do it for you.

yesterday
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

AlphaWolf_HK Re:So what? (322 comments)

Probably not. My thinking is that this is a precedent that states that any information that is used to guide public policy (read: laws that affect you and me) can be hidden from the public, skirting the intent of FOIA laws, by having that data be produced and/or curated by a private entity or person. This has further implications than just global warming squabbles; this could give groups like the NSA incentive to privatize spying, among other things.

An easy fix for this IMO is that nothing can be used to guide public policy or legislative actions unless the information used to glean them is already public. That would allow people like Michael Mann to keep their data private if they want, but stuff they produce can't be used to guide government decisions and/or actions unless he publishes it into the public domain before that process even begins. That would also satisfy climate skeptics IMO.

And really, why shouldn't it be this way? I mean I really don't like the idea that some derp could in theory dictate laws by claiming the world is about to end if we don't do it his way, meanwhile being able to hide his source of information and claim we just have to trust his work.

yesterday
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Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Safeguard the farmers? (136 comments)

What about heat seeking drones flown by the predator? For that I'd suggest they get to the choppa.

2 days ago
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Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Uh oh (136 comments)

I really don't think Monsanto would care to be honest. Or more precisely, I'm not sure why they would care.

By that I mean, I'm trying to figure out what is special about the seed these guys are "open sourcing" and I'm really not sure what sets it apart. Good luck to them I guess, but I just don't see what would make somebody want their seed instead of any other seeds they can obtain. This strikes me as being like forking FreeBSD under the GPL license, not adding anything to it at all, and then asking the FreeBSD community to switch.

It's already known however that several farmers (at least 144 of them so far have been proven to) deliberately try to grow Monsanto seed without paying Monsanto for them.

Anyways, SCOTUS recently stated that Monsanto can't sue in cases of accidental planting of their patented seeds (Monsanto hasn't ever filed such a lawsuit against somebody who accidentally planted them, let alone won one; rather an organic group was trying to ask SCOTUS to forbid all Monsanto patent lawsuits; a request that SCOTUS denied saying that Monsanto's existing stance was both sufficient and binding.)

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

AlphaWolf_HK Re:OpenWRT all the way (98 comments)

Dunno but I wouldn't use that anyways. Without even looking it up, I'd actually wager that Tomato 1.27 was last updated before the patch that made heartbleed possible ever existed, so it isn't even relevant.

Tomato Shibby on the other hand is what you'd want, and yes, it definitely has that particular issue resolved as of the latest release:

http://tomato.groov.pl/?p=595

2 days ago
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Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

AlphaWolf_HK Re:what does jim rogers have to do with this? (349 comments)

TFS (or rather the editor's two cents) didn't state the reason for picking a Mercedes. I think GP is asking why that comment was added there -- I don't really get it myself. Why would he ride around the world in a Mercedes first of all, and second of all, why is it relevant to an article that is talking about electric cars? As far as I can tell, they drove a 3 liter gas guzzler.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

AlphaWolf_HK Re:OpenWRT all the way (98 comments)

Tomato is a fork of HyperWRT, not OpenWRT, and in fact has nothing to do with it. HyperWRT itself was a fork of the stock WRT54g firmware.

OpenWRT is good, but not for the faint of heart. Tomato is suitable for everybody though, and in fact is IMO THE firmware to use if you are just all around unsure of which one to pick. I'd use Tomato over DD-WRT for many reasons, but the biggest one being a much cleaner UI (also in spite of what TFS says, Tomato actually has all of the same features as DD-WRT in addition to some extras; rather the author probably just isn't sure where to find the features he thought was missing.) Pretty much the only case I could ever think to take DD-WRT over tomato is that DD-WRT works on some hardware that Tomato does not; however if your router supports Tomato, there's no reason not to use it over DD-WRT.

2 days ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

AlphaWolf_HK Re:perception (318 comments)

I actually watched the video just now, and I didn't see any of the "technology induced" problem that they talk about. Most of these people just looked the other way when he asked them. And I know the exact feeling they go through. I personally don't like being begged for money. I don't EVER ask anybody for money, and if I gave money to everybody who asked for it then I wouldn't have any myself either. Naturally when people hassle me like that, I try to ignore them.

2 days ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

AlphaWolf_HK Re:perception (318 comments)

I don't know about being homeless as a choice, but bumming for cash around a bridge certainly is. I mean when you think about it, every major city in the US has missionaries and/or government funded shelters where all of the bare essentials are literally given away for free. So why the need to beg for money on freeway offramps?

2 days ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Helping the poor (318 comments)

The last time I was being panhandled, it was by some lady who was smoking cigarettes at the time she was asking me for money. I said I didn't have any (which is true; I only carry a credit card and rarely have cash) but even if I did, there's no way I am going to give any to somebody who is likely to just buy cigarettes with it. If they want food, that is already easy to get for free (the shelters and churches literally just give it away.) If they need clothing, same thing.

When I think about it, cigarettes and/or booze are the only thing they actually need money for. All of the bare essentials are available at no cost.

2 days ago
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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Yay for government!!! (137 comments)

They would need to take control of the carriers to do this. In an apocalyptic scenario, taking over the carrier would disrupt your phone communications anyways.

I think the most important thing is being able to maintain evidence you record via your phone and that it can't be destroyed by destroying your phone. A solution to that would be proper cloud backups of your data to mega style providers where only you hold the key to your data.

3 days ago
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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Yay for government!!! (137 comments)

I don't get why we don't just have a treaty organization to have an international IMEI/MEID blacklist.

I'm also kind of wondering how all of this would be impacted by Project Ara, which modularizes phones much in the same way PCs are.

3 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

AlphaWolf_HK Re:wait, what? (457 comments)

If quality and skill are heavily reduced, then it wouldn't be worth sending work there. You really can't have it both ways on this one -- either they're smart businessmen who know India saves money, or they're smart businessmen who are wise to a lack of quality and skill.

Often times you simply can't afford to hire your own in-house development staff. Imagine for example that you run a small business and you don't have any programmers on staff, nor does your business operate in the IT sector. Suppose you need a custom inventory management solution because no pre-built ones from any domestic companies are available. Your solution in this case may very well be to hire an outfit in India to do it. You may very well not have the amount of money that a US based firm would ask for, in which case what is your alternative? "Not doing it at all" isn't a good answer.

3 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

AlphaWolf_HK Re:wait, what? (457 comments)

Walmart shoppers are mostly a fat and unhealthy lot (or thin and flabby) mainly because it is cheaper to eat poorly and that is all they can afford.

Walmart sells the same food you get anywhere else. Same brands, same species.

Being overweight isn't a result of eating unhealthy foods, rather it is a result of eating too much food. This is what we call a first world problem. Does walmart contribute to that? Probably, because by eating their food you get a lot for your money. It's really up to you to determine how much food you need, not walmart.

Stores like whole foods rip you off. The shit they sell isn't any better than what wal-mart sells, rather it just has a feel good label on it that makes you think it's somehow better. That, and they sell homeopathic medicine that is completely useless, yet people pay out the nose for it anyways thinking it's so natural and pure.

When given the choice between paying a lot more and getting nothing better (whole foods) and getting exactly what you pay for (walmart) I choose walmart, thanks. Whole foods bans ingredients that have actually proven to be harmless, including MSG. Some "natural" researchers don't even seem to understand what it is, like this:

http://www.naturalnews.com/034...

Notice they don't even seem to understand what the term means. Mono-Sodium Glutamate. They refer to it in the singular form, and then point to chemicals that don't have sodium (rather potassium) as being MSG (while additive-wise it serves the same purpose, it isn't the same chemical.) The proper thing they should be targeting are the glutamates in that case (this is the only thing on the "list" that they all have in common.)

Here's what the real research says:

http://www.yalescientific.org/...

Even if it did cause allergies, peanuts are known to be fatal for some people, yet you won't find whole foods banning peanuts. So why all the hate for MSG but not peanuts? I'll tell you why: It's because whole foods caters to people who are gullible idiots, and a fool and his money soon part. People who bitch about MSG are every bit as idiotic as those who claim they have electromagnetic allergies.

You know who follows the mainstream (rather than fringe) science though? Walmart.

And by the way, unlike most people, I actually know what "processed" means when it comes to processed foods, and I'm just going to call it like I know it: It isn't unhealthy. In fact I've actually turned my own health from provably bad (based on my blood work) to very good (again based on the same metrics.) Part of that included eating food at walmart and mcdonalds (prior to this I never actually ate at McDonalds; the reason I eat there now is because their food is so well documented I can know exactly what's in it.)

the tremendous amount of offshoring which has destroyed the US manufacturing base.

In a word: Bullshit. The US is still the worlds #2 manufacturer of physical goods. Frankly I'm surprised we're even that high; we're a very distant #3 on the global population list, but most of our population prefers to work in service jobs. So many of us look down their nose at people who work on assembly lines yet at the same time believe that there aren't enough manufacturing jobs.

3 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

AlphaWolf_HK Re:wait, what? (457 comments)

These sound like developers, not management.

And you know what? I agree with them. Mainly because I don't think outsourcing means what you think it means. Outsourcing doesn't mean "send your job to India." In many cases that particular job never existed within your company to begin with for one, and it may not necessarily go to India number two, but rather it goes to the company down the street.

Outsourcing takes advantage of trade, only on a much larger scale. For example, if your mom makes a batch of cookies and UPS'es them to you, she "outsourced" the task of bringing them to you to UPS. She did this for a multitude of reasons: UPS can deliver them cheaper than she can, UPS can deliver them in a much shorter amount of time than she can, UPS can more efficiently deliver them than she can.

When outsourcing goes overseas, it tends to be due to what economists refer to as comparative advantage. Steve Jobs (who I am not a fan of, but respect in various ways) once notoriously mentioned this: Some manufacturing tasks that you'll find they can do in China (such as rapidly changing design specifications in a mass production line) simply aren't available here. So it isn't necessarily that the labor is cheaper in China (it is cheaper) but that the jobs that you need to do just aren't available in a domestic US facility.

Generally it is easier to not to send work tasks offshore. This mainly has to do with issues like language barriers, customs, etc making offshoring more difficult. You need to really be able to justify doing it, not only due to those reasons, but for reasons like KKK type groups complaining that you're giving brownie a job, or liberal groups claiming that you're not paying dues to the labor unions, and both giving you bad press about it in their respective circles. Both of them are douchebags for doing that, by the way, but that's life. At any rate, if they can do it so much cheaper overseas than it can be done domestically, then you should do it. Why? Competitive advantage (not the same as comparative advantage.)

You see, you selling your product to Americans who will only buy American is fine, but Australians, Canadians, indeed even BRIC nations buy our products en masse. But you know what? They never follow the "buy American mantra." They go for whoever offers the best value, and that can't be you if you don't minimize your operating expenses, which may include getting cheaper labor if that's what it takes. No amount of mercantilism (tariffs, etc) will fix that, so don't even think about calling your congressman. If foreign companies can do the job much cheaper, eventually your entire company moves over there, or it just goes belly up because it can't compete with global competitors.

But anyways outsourcing is good, and in light of paragraph 3, 4, and 5, offshoring is also good. If I were them, I would also ignore questions asked by labor unions. Why? Because no good can come of it. No matter what your answer is, they'll always demonize you.

And I speak as somebody who is in one of those careers that is most vulnerable to offshoring and H1-B competition (by the way, I support H1-B as well.)

3 days ago
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

AlphaWolf_HK Re:ARM is the new Intel (109 comments)

Good developer tools, yes, but I wouldn't at all say lots of developers. Windows (x86/x64/WPF) has a lot of developers. Windows RT has almost none. Windows Phone has almost none. Microsoft has been pushing really hard for developers to migrate, but they won't budge. (Examples that come to mind include them sending private emails asking developers of popular Windows apps to port them to the 8 store; most don't act on them at all, but outfits like the Mojang developers famously refused in public.)

I think a lot of developers came to the PC platform to begin with because they don't have to deal with licensing, royalties, skimming, etc. Microsoft demands all of these if you want to publish RT or WP apps, hence it makes sense that nobody wants to go there. They'll probably only accept that if their target platform is too popular to pass up, e.g. iOS, but such popularity doesn't exist in the case of RT/WP, and it probably never will to be honest.

3 days ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

AlphaWolf_HK Re:Wouldn't trust Apple (193 comments)

You're working under the assumption that consumers will demand them...I'm kind of thinking that's a negative. I think most of them are probably more interested in having a tablet or smartphone instead. When it comes to me getting cars, I don't really give a shit about infotainment systems as I've always found my smartphone to be much more flexible. Music? Pandora. GPS? Google Maps. How would CarPlay improve anything? Maybe, *maybe* for a self-driving car, but beyond what I mentioned, I don't really mess with any controls while I'm driving.

4 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

AlphaWolf_HK Re:And? (416 comments)

It is "just playing the game." The question is, whose side are you on? Google in many cases has to lobby just to be allowed to do anything at all. Intuit in this case is lobbying to keep the tax system unintuitive.

4 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

AlphaWolf_HK Re:This is what Republicans... (630 comments)

You mean the same IRS that would automatically audit tea party groups even if they weren't suspected of doing anything wrong?

4 days ago

Submissions

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If you can't encourage, threaten.

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about 5 months ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "It's generally understood that when you need to motivate somebody to do certain things, there are two primary schools of thought: Positive encouragement, and negative encouragement. Microsoft has been using the former through incentives such as offering cash rewards to developers who write innovative applications for their Windows Phone and Windows RT platforms. However lately Microsoft has been trying to use negative encouragement towards that end:

“If our employees bank with you, if the company banks with you, if we travel with you, if we stay in your hotels, if we do all these things, you should have an application in our store,” Biniak explains. “We have some muscle here. Let’s start flexing our muscle.”

"

Link to Original Source
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"FairSearch" coalition files lawsuit against Google over Android

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  1 year,9 days

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "FairSearch is a group of businesses and other interests who are fighting Google over its search tuning practices (most of which, according to Google, are done to downrank spam and content farms.) This group consists of Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Hotwire. Today this group filed a formal antitrust complaint against Google to the European Union over Android.

In their complaint, FairSearch claims that Google is locking out its competition in mobile search. They state that Google controls 70% of the smartphone OS market, and 96% of mobile search, and they are abusing this position by not playing fair. They claim that Google gives Android at below cost while forcing OEMs who want Maps or Youtube to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services, providing an unfair prominent position on the end users' phones.

As I recall, the Google said a long time ago that the original reason they wanted to create a mobile OS to begin with was because they wanted to eliminate or reduce the problem of having to port their applications to a multitude of phones, most of which had no common API for the most part. (Google created maps, gmail, and a few other apps for my first feature phone that had a color screen) Bearing its original purpose in mind, combined with the fact that Google makes these apps available for other platforms, the Amazon kindle fork, and facebook home, it's hard to argue that they are trying to strong arm anybody with app placement alone."

Link to Original Source
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T-Mobile ends contracts, ends subsidies.

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  1 year,24 days

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "In what I see as a refreshing change, T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the USA, has made sweeping changes to its service, with its CEO saying: "Here's the deal: If we suck this month, go somewhere else. If we're good, stay with us." after quietly ending contract plans last weekend. As part of that change, the new base plan will include unlimited access, including voice, text, and data. Data will be restricted to edge speeds after 500GB with no overage costs, but can be upgraded to 2.5GB for $10, or unlimited for $20. Portable wifi hotspot usage is also unrestricted for no additional cost. In addition, LTE services just went live in 8 markets. As is already standard practice with t-mobile, you are free to bring your own device. However, customers won't be fronting the full cost of the phone with unsubsidized plans. Unlike in the past, they'll know exactly what they're paying for the phone by means of interest free installments, and paying off the phone is an option at any time. Oh, and they're also offering the iphone 5 next month for $650. Or, you can do as I did and drop a cool $300 on a Nexus 4 directly from google, which unofficially works with t-mobiles LTE."
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Options for setting up an XBMC PVR in a fully DRM'ed area?

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about a year ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "I own an HDHomeRun Prime tuner, and unfortunately I live in an area where the cable provider (Cox) blanket flags all channels to be copy restricted. Most cable providers don't do this, and in fact Cox only does this in certain areas. I've managed to talk to some people within Cox who say that even though those in charge of one area turn the flag on, and those in charge of another area turn it off, both say they are following corporate policy. The FCC won't help on this matter, in spite of the fact that I am fairly certain (but can't prove) that Cox simply wants to charge me a $20 a month premium for using their in-house DVR's. In any case, I'm tired of using Windows Media Center due to bugs and other problems, but since the channels are flagged it is the only option. Satellite is of course not an option at all (no cablecard or similar standard.) I've already begun moving most of my content watching to XBMC in the form of using sickbeard and couchpotato, both of which do an amazing job even with torrents now that usenet has been getting hit pretty hard. To match this, I've already dropped my cable tier to the lowest possible for some basic digital channels that people in my household still watch and aren't available over torrents (e.g. CNN, fox news — yes, we like all perspectives) but ideally I'd like to cut the cord completely as the service is otherwise useless. (Note: I was and still am willing to pay for cable and otherwise wouldn't be using torrents, but I refuse to use their scientific atlanta DVR's or windows media center, both of which are terrible, and I'm done with tivo for similar reasons.) That said, are there any options for obtaining this content without physically moving to comcast territory where they don't do this? Or perhaps any workarounds for the CCI flag? Ideally anything that allows XBMC with digital content and no transcoding."
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Newzbin2 Closes for Good

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about a year ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "Newzbin2, one of the most recognized index sites for usenet, has closed for good:

It is with regret that we announce the closure of Newzbin2. A combination of several factors has made this the only option. For a long time we have struggled with poor indexing of Usenet, poor numbers of reports caused by the majority of our editors dropping out & no-one replacing them. Our servers have been unstable and crashing on a regular basis meaning the NZBs & NFOs are unavailable for long periods and we don't have the money to replace them. To make things worse all our payment providers dropped out or started running scared. The MPA sued Paypal and are going at our innocent payment provider Kthxbai Ltd in the UK. Our other payment provider has understandably lost their nerve. Result? We have no more payment providers to offer & no realistic means of taking money (no, Bitcoin isn't credible as it's just too hard for 90% of people).

"

Link to Original Source
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Cisco CEO Blasts Patent Trolls and Patent Abuse

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about a year and a half ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "At the recent Gartner Symposium Expo, Cisco CEO John Chambers had a few words to say about patent trolls: "It is a mess; There are patent trolls everywhere," said Chambers, noting that patent problems impose huge costs on every company. He didn't stop there though, he also suggested that companies stop suing their peers. Speaking to the audience, he said for "his peers" in the room, "you shouldn't be suing your peers." He also adds that patent litigation slows down innovation. He recommends throwing out the whole patent system, and starting from the beginning. Cisco's official stance (outside of John Chambers) is that we are really in need of patent reform, with specific ideas at eliminating patent trolls and patent shopping.

Also of interest, is Cisco's ongoing patent war with Tivo, (who many argue is also a patent abuser) by fighting Tivo's patents with their own patents, a la Samsung vs Apple."

Link to Original Source
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Laser strikes on aircraft becoming epidemic.

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about a year and a half ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "Ars Technica has a story about a 52 year old man who was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail for shining a high powered green laser at a helicopter along with an interesting video showing how he was tracked down. The FBI says that laser strikes are becoming epidemic, saying that they expect to see reports of 3,700 of them this year."
Link to Original Source
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Apple's "innovation" hurting its image.

AlphaWolf_HK AlphaWolf_HK writes  |  about 2 years ago

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "With all of the talk about Apple patenting everything smartphone and tablet lately, including patenting a third party app without the author's permission, as well as recent anti-competitive behavior against Android, there has been a recent rise in a "boycott Apple" movement, across twitter and other less popular social media sites. It doesn't quite end there though. As you may recall from earlier, Apple abandoned a green technology initiative that it helped found in order to be able to reduce the size of its gadgets, which has already lead to a government boycott."
Link to Original Source

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