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Nokia Unveils Its First Windows 7 Phone

Flambergius Re:Why Windows? (349 comments)

Unique phones, but unique because of their own features or because of design and branding? I'll admit that I'm no expert on Android, so others will have to decide what shade of grey we're dealing with there. More to the point, that's "why Windows", is that it seems fairly clear that Nokia felt that Microsoft was willing to give them a special access while Google wasn't. Later in the article Elop is quoted saying basically that Google acted like they had already won. I can imagine that being a hard issue to negotiate around.

more than 2 years ago
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Nokia Unveils Its First Windows 7 Phone

Flambergius Re:Why Windows? (349 comments)

This has been covered widely in the business media, best article probably being from Bloomberg
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_24/b4232056703101.htm

Why not Android:
[Elop] tried to negotiate a deal with Google to run Android, but Google refused to give the world's biggest phonemaker any advantages over its smaller partners, meaning Nokia's corps of 11,600 engineers would have next to no ability to add their own innovations to Google's software. "It just didn't feel right," Elop says to the crowd. "We'd be just another company distributing Android. That's not Nokia! We need to fight!"

Why Windows Phone:
Elop says his software deal with Microsoft was misconstrued as a Hail Mary to the receiver with the worst hands in the business. Microsoft had just 4 percent of the overall market prior to the Nokia deal. What Nokia didn't gain in market share, however, it hopes to gain in flexibility. The contract grants Nokia the right to stuff almost any innovation it can muster into its Windows Phones

more than 2 years ago
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The 147 Corporations Controlling Most of the Global Economy

Flambergius Control is probably not the right word (572 comments)

tl;dnr

but

I find it totally credible that a fairly small group, like 147 TNCs, own a huge portion of the global economy. However, I'd have two with using the word "control" in this context.

The major issue is that at this scale no one person or a team as a functional understanding of their own organization, let alone the whole system that the organization is embedded in. They may own it, and are able to extract profits from it and influence it to a modest decree, but they don't control it, in the usual sense of the word. The point here being that the system is a real market, not some form of shady back-room corporate conspiracy. (And I'm not arguing that there aren't any corporate conspiracies around, in fact I'm sure there are, but I'm just as sure that they don't work - not on the scale of tens of percentages of global economy like this article is looking at.)

The second issue, a more minor one for sure, is that a TNC is often a public company, which means that very many people actually own a part of the global economy through that public company.

more than 2 years ago
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Nokia Preps Linux OS For Low-End Smartphones

Flambergius Re:Now there's a threesome /. doesn't see every da (199 comments)

It's probably more than just a rumour, at least that's the impression I got from the Finnish media, which tends to be fairly well informed. Meaning that the OS exist and there are products planned, but of course no guarantees that a product will ship.

As to how the Meltemi-stuff make any sense:

At the level that Nokia makes decisions, the smartphone segment of mobile business isn't about hardware anymore, it's applications and services, or probably more to the point, it's about attracting developers. Nokia ditched their own OSes because they knew that by themselves they could not attract enough developers to build a fourth "ecosystem" (iOS, Android and WP being the there current ones). Nokia said that they chose between Android and WP, and, while we can speculate why they chose WP, one of the stated reasons was the fully-fledged and mature tool-chain that WP has.

Meltemi itself may be about many things: hedging their bets, getting something out of the Linux experience they have, or maybe they just feel that the segment suits a Linux-based OS. The next generation of sub-$100 phones will be much more powerful then previous ones and it would be misleading to think them as having very low specs, but it will still be a distinct segment, separate from the smartphone segment, especially it will not be driven by third-party applications and services. That means that Nokia can still, by themselves, make a competitive phone to that segemnt without having to build an ecosystem.

In summary, Nokia ditched Linux (MeeGo) on smartphones because they had to, and they are using Linux (Meltemi) on feature phones because they can.

more than 2 years ago
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United States Loses S&P AAA Credit Rating

Flambergius Main thing is the bond markets (1239 comments)

While the credit rating thing is unprecedented and sort of iconic moment, the real test of the credit-worthiness of the USA will take place in the bond market.

about 3 years ago
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Bethesda Tells Minecraft Creator: Cease and Desist

Flambergius Re:Nothing to See Here. Move Along. (200 comments)

That is possibly what the Zenimax's lawyers are thinking, but even if that would be true it would still be missing the big picture. Let me quote from little further down this conversation.

"Bethesda is in my shit list now.

I am putting any company that is letting itself run by lawyers instead of customer-oriented executives into that list. and bethesda just made that list. i am bored lately, and i was toying with the idea of playing an old school rpg franchise i havent played yet. and actually i stood over elder scrolls for some time in gamersgate. now i know which i wont be buying - elder scrolls." (Unity100)

Trademark is about exclusive right/ability to identify with a brand. You don't want to diminish the brand - without a valuable brand your exclusive right becomes meaningless.

Going far people like Notch and public favorites like Mindcraft is a potential PR disaster. You should not do that as a part of a standard, mail-a-letter-to-everybody procedure. Regardless of the merits of their claim, somebody at Zenimax was sleeping on the job.

about 3 years ago
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New NASA Data Casts Doubt On Global Warming Models

Flambergius Re:Dr. Roy Spencer... (954 comments)

If a scientist of any field rejects evolution and supports intelligent design then I will consider that scientist either wholly dishonest or a crank and I'll ignore all and any work by that scientist.

It's just a very simple and effective heuristic that weeds out many dishonest people and cranks without significant number of false positives. It is possible, like I assume you are suggesting, that some morsel of valid work might get left out, but that is the much more acceptable outcome. I can't even read everything that I know to be important, so I will not spend my time on works of liars and cranks.

Mark-t, rejecting evolution does and should discredit a scientist. Their work should be not used in the public arena and they should not have any effect on policies. This is not ad hominem attack nor is it faulty logic ("not a valid argument"). This about calling out bad faith actors: among scientists, only dishonest or crank scientists reject evolution.

more than 3 years ago
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Spotify To Bait and Switch?

Flambergius Service is worth paying for (121 comments)

I've been on Spotify Premium for couple of year now, I think, maybe year and a half. That means I have so far spent about 250 songs worth (from a la carte download music shop) on the service that grants ability to browse music: I have listened to many thousands of different songs, many of which I would have hard time gaining access without the service. I would be very bummed if Spotify would shut down for any reason, but I consider the service well worth the cost.

The summary does make a valid point though, Spotify may indeed find itself in a fairly difficult negotiation with copyright holders for access to music. It might be a good idea for Spotify to be extremely public about its licensing contracts and related negotiations: this would make it harder for copyright holders to act as a de facto cartel. It would also assure the consumer that loss of the service is not likely. Another thing possible worth trying would be a loyalty reward system for paying customers that would allow customers to claim (or purchase at a discount) the songs they most often listen to.

more than 3 years ago
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Nokia Introduces MeeGo-Powered N9 Phone

Flambergius Re:Can someone tell me why the went with WP7? (252 comments)

Basically, Nokia didn't think they could create a strong "ecosystem" for MeeGo. To compete with Apple/iOS and Google/Android they would have needed to do almost *everything* those companies do, and that didn't seem feasible - and they were probably right. Nokia's window of opportunity was 2005-2007 and they missed it. Today, their options were Android and WP7. Most people think they should have gone with Android, but as I understand it, Nokia felt that Microsoft needed them more than Google, and so Nokia would retain more of it's independence with WP7 than it would with Android.

more than 3 years ago
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My phone is ...

Flambergius It never was locked. (274 comments)

No need to unlock anything, I just change the SIM card.

more than 3 years ago
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Physicists Call For Alien Messaging Protocol

Flambergius Re:We could be unseen and should *not* be messagin (279 comments)

If we must project onto aliens from our own psyches and earthly experiences, then to be safe we should project from the very worst of these.

What else except our own psyches and earthly experiences could be possibly have?

Anyways, if the goal is to be as safe as possible, then there really is no need to project or in any way to think about what aliens might be like. Hiding is the safest option. However, if we're going to think about how advanced aliens might behave towards us, then we need to think about evolution of cognition. The evidence we have strongly suggests that rapid technological progress requires a society and a culture, which in turn rely on several "cuddly" cognitive abilities/tendencies like empathy, reciprocity, deferral of rewards and many more. You also have think about functional cognitive requirements of technology in an evolutionary context: many relatively autonomous and smart individuals, like us, or a hive-mind made of many stupid individuals, sort of like ants, or single huge and hyper-smart individual, like nothing we've seen so far? Think about the communication overhead that a true hive-mind or a central intelligence would have compared to decentralized intelligence and anthropomorphic way of doing things starts look like a good bet.

Projecting is bad, but we're not limited to just projecting. We don't understand our own cognition fully, but we do understand some of it and we do understand large parts of evolution. Those do give us an insight into functional aspects of aliens. (And no insight into what it is like to be an alien. :-))

more than 3 years ago
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Netflix Compares ISP Streaming Performance

Flambergius Wut? (209 comments)

I'm I reading this wrong? That's the limit that the ISP can reliably provide, right? Or are those numbers lower than ISP's max because many clients have low-end broadband connection (2M xDSL or something). My ISP can supply sustainably about 5 times that much. I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, but USA can't be that far behind?

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

Flambergius Congitive skills = smarts? Not so much. (671 comments)

Cognitive skills are at premium, absolutely, and the premium is going to grow. We're living a Knowledge Society, folks, that's what it means. However, and this in extremely important and most people get this wrong, "smarts" doesn't cut it. While we truly are a Knowledge Society, we are even more a Network Society. Communication skills allow for exchange and will beat smarts every time. Cognitive skills are still at premium, it's just that communication is the most important part of that.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

Flambergius Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

True enough, but it's all relative. Greece et al do suck but aren't any worse than US public economy at the state level.

more than 3 years ago
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Ars Thinks Google Takes a Step Backwards For Openness

Flambergius Re:So, h264 is (663 comments)

Very concise and accurate summary. Please mod the parent up.

more than 3 years ago
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Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End

Flambergius Re:He didn't pull out just for market concerns (346 comments)

I can see how moving water might make it more complex approval process, as that probably requires permissions from different regulators, but hopefully that wasn't the reason the project was denied permissions. I mean, if you're building infrastructure, doesn't it make sense to build as much of it as you can on the same area of land?

more than 3 years ago
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Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End

Flambergius Re:He didn't pull out just for market concerns (346 comments)

Anyone seen any reports on what approvals those were and on what grounds were they denied? Two minutes on Google didn't come up with anything useful.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Warns Irish Government Against Tax Increase

Flambergius Re:Zakaria: Something feels different this time. (542 comments)

I tend to agree that it's different this time, but not necessarily for the same reasons Zakaria is pointing to. (Didn't read the Time article, just what the parent was quoting.)

Labour is less mobile than capital and technology, but that's not the problem. Labour's basic problem is that it's value is decreasing globally. You can't found a business on labour any more, because you can't produce stuff that people want for long. Our economy has become so productive and skill-based that labour can't keep up. Any skill that labour has will become redundant in a decade or so. This is a big problem, and as society and economy we really don't have any tools to cope with this.

Another development that disadvantages labour is that people, especially young people, tend to value things that are post-scarcity. They don't want big house that they can fill with designer furniture, they want an address with a broadband connection that they can fill with music, comedy and games.

Developing world labour has a competitive advantage right now, but that won't last for more than decade or two. They will caught in the same bind.

I think we need seriously start to think how to bring about sustainable labour.

more than 3 years ago
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Bees Reveal Nature-Nurture Secrets

Flambergius Re:what debate? (84 comments)

I agree with you on the nature/nurture issue itself, but I think you wrong about this being a settled issue in the societies at large. The quiet is due to people not caring.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Anonymous complaint closes FB page for indie movie

Flambergius Flambergius writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Flambergius (55153) writes "Today (Feb 2) Facebook closed http://www.facebook.com/IronSky, the page for Iron Sky (http://www.ironsky.net) an upcoming independent science fiction comedy by the Finnish film-makers Energia Productions, the makers of Star Wreck. The film-makers were given no warning or reason for the action. However, it's fairly safe to assume that reason of the anonymous complaint is somehow related to the fact that Iron Sky, set in the year 2018, is a comedy about a Nazi invasion from the Moon. While an independent movie, Iron Sky is a serious venture with a budget over a million dollars. Furthermore, Energia Productions have been extremely active in using internet and social media for marketing and communication with their fan base, to the extend that the previous movie, Star Wreck, was made with the active help from the community. FB is very important tool for film-makers like Energia Productions, but the abruptness of FB's action and the lack of clear process for seeking a remedy raises serious questions.
The issue has not hit the English-language media yet, but the major Finnish daily Iltasanomat reports the incident (in Finnish): http://www.iltalehti.fi/digi/2010020211041979_du.shtml . The film-makers blog http://www.ironsky.net/site/#blog and press releases http://www.ironsky.net/site/press/ have their side of the story."

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