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Comments

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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Vlado Re:Do it like a virgin (404 comments)

Not just Virgin. If the plane has video monitors, then almost all airlines in Europe, Middle East and Asia have this.

about a week ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

Vlado Re:I've been wondering why this took so long (127 comments)

What kind of safety risks are there supposed to be in driverless trains, as opposed to the ones with drivers? I'm asking especially, since driverless trains are not a new concept. And I've yet to see (I may have missed them) headlines for accidents that happened due to the fact that the train didn't have a driver.

about two weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

Vlado I've been wondering why this took so long (127 comments)

Driverless subways exits in other cities for a while now. And this is definitely one of those things, where you can automate a lot out of a system.

about two weeks ago
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Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

Vlado Re:Mandatory charity (346 comments)

You are correct. I am claiming that those societies were not, or are not, civil. At least not quite civil yet.

Idea that we live together in groups, is that group offers benefits to a person, to which they otherwise wouldn't have access. Even in feudal times peasants paid certain amount of their income the benefits that they gained. Such as protection.

And to say that the principle, by which groups take care of individuals that are unable to do so by themselves, exists only for the last 100 years is in the very least extremely narrow in definition.

"Older" orders, such as even today in Africa, place a premium on society, usually in more narrow circles, taking care of individuals, such as elderly. The only difference is that today this kind of approach is referenced in taxes and social security that provides support to everyone. It's a simple extrapolation of the old concept, applied to larger societies.

Granted, the actual implementation doesn't always work as it's supposed to. There are countries where such systems are either inefficient, corrupt or both. But where it does work, it works great for everyone and not just for people that have money.

And I have to say that so far I have only ever heard people complain about these systems when they were healthy. Pretty much never, when they had to go into a complicated surgery.

about two weeks ago
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Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

Vlado Re:Quality of life in Sweden (346 comments)

There is no "copay" or "insurance you choose to buy into".

I'm sorry, but you also don't know what you're talking about. Even though I wish it wasn't true, such system does exist in more than one country, besides the US. I live in one such country. We had it since the abolition of socialism (20+ years ago) and currently there are a lot of discussions going on that it should be abolished.

about two weeks ago
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Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

Vlado Re:Mandatory charity (346 comments)

You must have missed the "unable to pay" part in the sentence that you quoted.

One of the things of a civil society is and has to be the fact that it will take care of those who cannot care for themselves. Otherwise we can go back to living in our own individual caves.

And before you say something snippy, not that i said "those who cannot" and not those who will not take care of themselves.

about two weeks ago
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Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

Vlado Re:Cost of government-provided services (346 comments)

That's not a valid argument/question.

The point is that mentalities in the two countries are very different. One country is focusing on "everyone has a chance to be king of the world." which leads to people trampling one over another to reach that coveted position. At the same time pretty much no one gets there. On the other hand in Sweden community based (or government, if you prefer) approach, with healthy dose of transparency and oversight, offers better infrastructure and overall experience for the people who then use said infrastructure.

It is true that taxes in Sweden are much higher than they are in the US. But people there enjoy greater quality of life, with less stress than they do in the US.

Disclaimer: I'm not from either of the two countries, but I've visited both frequently.

about two weeks ago
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NVIDIA Launches Mobile Maxwell GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M Notebook Graphics

Vlado Gamer on the go (29 comments)

I am one of (maybe rare) customers for these solutions.

I'm in my late 30's now and have been and still am a gamer. My work requires me to travel around a lot internationally and I decided several years ago that I won't have a desktop PC anymore. So, whenever I'm purchasing a new laptop, I'm always looking for a best performance-to-weight ratio. 6 years ago that didn't go well at all and I ended up with a 17" monster that worked nicely, but was a bitch to carry around. Three years ago I scaled down to a 15" laptop that had decent performance, was much lighter than what I had before, but kept overheating and shutting down if I was running anything a bit more demanding.
Half a year ago it was time for me to switch over again. Now I was actively looking at ultrabooks. But at the time I still didn't find anything that would quite persuade me. Form factor was extremely attractive, but performance was not quite up to what I wanted and needed. I was especially turned off by the lack of RAM that I could fit into most of them. So i went for a next generation of my 15" laptop, which in itself slimmed down over the years and is now a quite attractive thing (in my opinion).
I especially like the concept of switchable graphics, which in theory allows for long hours of work on the go and good gaming experience when power is available. I say in theory, because I had countless issues with Intel graphics drivers and problems that they caused with sleep mode.

In any case, these developments keep convincing me, that desktop is something that I most likely won't be using anymore. And will be more than happy to have a very decent, if not the slimmest, laptop to carry around.

about two weeks ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

Vlado Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

Look, the fact is that the lost opportunities are self inflicted.

Wow... That is such a crazy load of bull.

I am personally acquainted with someone who, at one time in his life, didn't want to employ women. He changed around since then, but if you were a woman, at that point in his life, you would have no chance of getting a job with him, if there was an equally qualified man available for the position.

And I'm aware of enough of second-hand stories to be able to spot a trend.

I am strongly against quotas that force gender-equality (as I am against most all other quotas), but it's difficult to change mindsets in the short term.

about a month ago
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Device Boots Drones, Google Glass Off Wi-Fi

Vlado Re:Seems fine to me. (184 comments)

Haha... That's funny. Especially since the whole argument here was that you do not have a way with which you could prevent someone from infringing on your right to privacy. And we do.

All the while you're simply saying that there's nothing that can be done about invasive surveillance, since other individuals are going to take that right from you. And your only counter argument is that if government (chosen by the will of the people, if I may add) is the one protecting you, that has to suck.

about a month and a half ago
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Device Boots Drones, Google Glass Off Wi-Fi

Vlado Re:Seems fine to me. (184 comments)

And you better get over it, because you don't have a legal leg to stand on if you don't like being recorded;

That very much depends on where you live. In most of EU there are strict privacy laws that prohibit recording and surveillance in public without an obvious and explicit warning. And yes, that is also a case for things like surveillance cameras on highways, in public and private buildings, in places of business and so on. Also in case of such behavior (recording) you have to be able to get in touch with someone who has additional information about the scope of what is being recorded.

It is true that personal photo-taking or video recording is exempt from these regulations. However with activities that we're discussing (drones and Google glass-like devices) this is kind of moot. So there is a good chance extra regulation will be put in place.
Usually regulation here goes in direction that if there is personal information about you somewhere, over which you have no control, distribution of that information is prohibited unless you give your explicit consent.

So I would not be too surprised if Glass owners and drone operators would have to have large signs attached to their devices (and/or themselves) saying that video surveillance is happening and where we can contact them :-)

So, you see, there are things that can be done and we do have some legal legs to stand on.

about a month and a half ago
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Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

Vlado Re:Major flaw in design (78 comments)

And what about the signature requirement? Pretty much every contract that you get, explicitly says that you have to sign it in order for it to be useable.
I know that you can simply whip out your preferred-and-valid form of ID, but that's not sufficient as per bank rules.

We like to rant when people who handle our card transactions don't care about security measures. Here we'll be ranting when they will care enough to deny us the sale, because we offered them a payment instrument that could just as well be a copied hotel key.

about 2 months ago
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Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

Vlado Re:I'm missing something about this product, I thi (78 comments)

In Europe it's also becoming very common to see NFC readers attached to terminals as more and more cards are now "contactless".

about 2 months ago
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Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

Vlado Re:I'm missing something about this product, I thi (78 comments)

Are you sure that you have a credit card and not a debit card? While, in the past, I've had credit cards without chips (of course), I've never had a credit card without raised personal information (CC number, Name, expiration date). If nothing else, that was needed even before magnetic strips were in use and is still a fallback in some situations when connectivity goes down for the store.

My debit card, on the other hand, is flat, like yours.

about 2 months ago
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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

Vlado Re:I seem to remember... (275 comments)

It's difficult to say that's what they're doing.

Google offers its storage space in return for serving you ads when you use their services. And they also have access to all your data, which makes it possible for them to learn about your lifestyle and, in turn, again serve you (better targeted) ads. So they probably make some money on it. They also give you opportunity to purchase additional quantities of capacity.

Microsoft, on the other hand, bundles their One Drive with Windows purchase. So you could say that you bought the capacity when you purchased your Windows license. You could also say that this is one way for MS to keep you tied to their products, which will make you purchase another license in a few years. And, again, you can buy extra space if and when you need it.

Dropbox is a standalone product. They have in the past (I don't see those offers anymore) partnered with phone vendors, to lure you in. The idea was that the convenience of having 20 or 30 GB of space (or whatever amount they "gave" you), would force you in paying them, after the honeymoon was over.
So far I haven't met a single person who did this. So they are probably doing something a bit wrong here.

about 2 months ago
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

Vlado Re:The memo you are about to see (161 comments)

I don't quite understand your line of thought here.
Let's suppose that emails account for all your business data traffic. If you can track your business email data consumption, by having a dedicated app for business emails, then what does time matter? Your phone provider bills you based on how much data you consume, not based on how long you're connected. Your phone is connected all the time anyway.

The issue we're discussing here has to do with employer reimbursing you for expenses that you incur with your private phone, while working for them. Exactly how long you work every day isn't really relevant in this argument, since it doesn't change your expenses.

about 2 months ago
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

Vlado Re:The memo you are about to see (161 comments)

Why would that be better?

Also, it's not really a problem itemising calls and defining what were business calls and how much they cost. Data usage may be slightly more complicated, but even that could be managed. You could, for instance, have a separate email client for business emails and then track data usage of that client.

I don't know where you work, bur with my job work is about getting things done and if costs are justifiable, then they are justifiable. At the end of the day, if I won't be able to check my work email then the boss will have to wait for my reply, not me.

about 2 months ago
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

Vlado Re:Salesmen (161 comments)

Couple of problems with your suppositions:
1. What would be a problem in regards of taking a copy of contacts with you, when you leave? Contacts are probably not only on a phone. And what would prevent someone from sending them (one-by-one or a whole address book) to some backup location? Same goes for emails.
I'm not talking about legality of such action. Just the technical possibility.

2. Who says wipe is all-or-nothing? Even on my old Symbian Nokia there was a possibility of wiping just email account and business contact book remotely. I have no clue what you can do on an iDevice, but on Android you can also be selective, if you wish.

For me, having two phones makes sense only for two things:
- Keeping all the expense-related things clearly separated in regards with private/business usage.
- Having the ability to turn off business phone while off the clock and actually have some time off.

about 2 months ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Vlado Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

Regarding the missile system:
There's no doubt that it's of Russian manufacture. But why are you so sure it's Russian, as in "it belongs to Russian military at the present"?
These same systems are currently in hands of Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian "rebels" (or whatever they're supposed to be called) as well as the Russia itself. I do not think that there is a lot of doubt that BUK system was where the missile came from. And in my opinion it's also fairly likely that it was the rebels who are responsible for the shooting. But that is my opinion and I don't think there are lot of actual facts to support it.
Video may show a system missing a missile, but apart from that, everything else is a lot of speculation.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Police in Slovenia to have "clandestine entry" rights to install spyware.

Vlado Vlado writes  |  about 10 months ago

Vlado (817879) writes "There is a law in emergency express discussion that, if and when it passes, will grant police in Slovenia rights to enter private premisses in "a clandestine manner" in order to install "monitoring software" on computer equipment at the point before communication channels are encrypted (link to a local article in Slovenian below). Reasoning by the police is that it is not always possible to remotely install spyware when they want to monitor their targeted subjects.
All standard excuses apply: This will only be used in extreme scenarios. This will only be used for the most serious offences (children, saving, think...?).

The law, if enacted will be very problematic on multiple levels:
In Slovenia, currently private property and especially homes are considered fairly inviolate. Police cannot enter a private home without search warrant, or if they're not in direct pursuit of a suspect who flees through private premises, or if they don't suspect that there's an immediate threat to life. Even with search warrant witnesses are required in order to guarantee some level of oversight.
This law will remove that oversight as otherwise it will probably not be very "clandestine" of the police to enter the home in question.

Also, even though the law stipulates, that the spyware in question should only allow for "monitoring" of communications on the affected equipment and does not give permission for the spyware to actively change any content, it's fairly difficult to assume that this will actually work out like that in practice.

It's an extremely disturbing turn of events, which would give local police unprecedented amount of power with virtually no oversight in their actions."

Link to Original Source

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