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Australia Spied On Indonesian President

feral-troll Re:Anyone surprised? (213 comments)

Anyone surprised? That's what intelligence agencies do.

When the Menzies government went looking for a new bomber aircraft in 1963 it was with the requirement that the bomber should have sufficient range to drop a nuclear weapon on Jakarta. So, no, it does not surprise me that the Australians spied on the Indonesian president and it would surprise me even less if later turns out that the Indonesians reciprocated by spying on his Australian counterpart. In fact the only thing that will surprise me is if it later turns out that spying on each others presidents is all these two countries did.

about a year ago
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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

feral-troll Re:7 Years (366 comments)

Your peanus must have 16 ring'kles on its shaft?

Is that one of the side effects of intelligent design?

about a year ago
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SnapChat Turns Down $3 Billion Offer From Facebook

feral-troll Re:fuck, give it to me! (188 comments)

I know that if I was offered 3 billion dollars for some fade chat program, I'd take it! Even if it was from arch-evil FaceBook. Of course, maybe they think they can get more. And more to the point, that 3 bil is not going just to one person, it's being spread out over the shareholders and vulture capitalists, as well as the founders (if they are still around). But still!

He just wants a couple of extra billions for his offshore account before he buys a villa in some gated community patrolled by ex-special forces and lives the easy life and if he wants to take the risk one can't fault him for that. Of course, all of this is according to 'the people briefed on the matter' whoever they are ('the people', it sounds like a news summary on Fox News). At least this way his employees know they have until early next year to find new jobs before the company gets 'acquired' and most of their jobs, except for a few key personnel, will be axed during the merger by a bunch of expensive designer clothes wearing, Harvard Business School degree wielding 20 somethings.

about a year ago
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Nearly 1 In 4 Adults Surf the Web While Driving

feral-troll Re:Deceptive verb form (365 comments)

Saying that "Nearly 1 in 4 adults SURF the web while driving" is very different from the actual results of the survey: "Nearly 1 in 4 adults SURFED the web while driving AT LEAST ONCE IN THE LAST YEAR". Frankly, I'm surprised the number is so low since they include checking email.

Surfing while driving isn't the only crazy thing people do while driving. Myself I have: operated my navigation aid while driving, flipped through the music library on the car stereo while driving, I have also answered calls while driving but I have a completely hands-free bluetooth enabled stereo for that. Out of those three I'd say the finding the correct music track on the stereo is probably the most distracting (makes you wish Siri actually worked properly). Over the last 20 years I have observed other drivers: texting while driving, bending over the back of their seat to pacify their kids in the rear seat while driving, applying makeup while driving, applying hair products while driving, reading a map/magazine while driving, using the rear view mirror to observe themselves as they pick their teeth while driving, eating yoghurt or some similar food product while driving and that's what I can remember off the top of my head. Nose picking also seems to be a very popular activity among drivers but I'd rate that as somewhat less dangerous than and distracting than most of the other stuff I have listed unless you are in the habit of examining your boogers before you eat them.

about a year ago
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Sweden Is Closing Many Prisons Due to Lack of Prisoners

feral-troll Re:Remember when... (752 comments)

And it seems that we can add Democracies to that list, as they seem to become Corporatocracies/Oligarchies.

...with lots of enthusiastic help from market Capitalists. That leaves all participants in the Cold war with a fatally flawed system of government.

about a year ago
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WxWidgets 3.0: First Major Release in Several Years

feral-troll Re:A suggestion... (147 comments)

Yes, we can all look it up, but would it have killed the submitter or editors to mention in the summary, even with a sentence or two, what the heck WxWidgets actually is?

WxWidgets, support for OS X, Cocoa, GTK+ 3 ... if you are a geek that kind of tells you everything you need to know to make a well educated guess. If you are not a geek, and missed the link to their website in the summary, WxWidgets is a cross-platform library for GUI development on Windows, OS X, Linux and mobile/embedded flavors of these same OS'es. It allows you to develop apps for anything from full blown desktop OS'es through mobile phones, to things like cash registers and handheld credit-card swiping machines.

about a year ago
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Apple Developing Curve Screen iPhones and Improved Sensors

feral-troll Re:I believe the article title is incorrect. (243 comments)

So this new iPhone will be exactly like the Samsung Galaxy Round then?

No, according to Forbes it will probably be curved from top to bottom like the LG Flex, not curved from side to side like that Samsung device. That, IMHO, makes a bit more sense than curving it from side to side since (as the Forbes article points out) it addresses that little pain-point where either the phone is too far from your mouth, or not close enough to your ear. And I'm afraid that both Apple, LG and Samsung were all beaten to it on the curved mobile phones front by Motorola, the DynaTAC was shaped to bring the microphone closer to your mouth, a feature it inherited from much older conventional land-line phone designs.

about a year ago
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Apple Developing Curve Screen iPhones and Improved Sensors

feral-troll Re:These would likely win customers back (243 comments)

I currently live in Asia (1.5 years in Singapore and now in Hong Kong) and I've seen Android (mainly Samsung) phones getting more and more popular over that period. This is very obvious when observing people in the metro.

From discussions, it is mainly the large screen size that draws many people to these Samsung devices. Leaving out the tiring arguments of fanboys of each camp, non-technical people liked the iphones just fine, sometimes preferring the way it works, but mainly they prefer a bigger screen.

Myself, I prefer a compact phone - I have an iPhone 4S and would love it with 5S guts. But it is obvious that Apple should have been selling bigger phones since a good time already. So, considering that the brand still has goodwill amongst non slashdotty users, I can imagine that they will win back some users with these bigger phones.

Regarding the technical changes. I like the idea of a pressure-level sensitive sensor. I can imagine that a curved screen will look very posh (nothing wrong with that, in fact since a number of years I like buying things that are nicely designed, even if at a premium), but it's to my mind not really a true value add. I do expect that a curved screen will look much more natural on an eventual iWatch.

That sums it up pretty nicely. Outside of Slashdot nobody gives a rats ass about this holy war against the Anti Christ (aka. Apple). People buy what they like and a lot of them like phones with large displays.

about a year ago
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Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

feral-troll Re:They should upgrade the warning ... (526 comments)

They should sample the "You have five minutes to reach minimum safe distance" ship's computer sound clip from Alien.

It would be more funny if you used this unique trait of the Tesla to scare other drivers. How about this? ... there was an interview in one of those car shows on Discovery Channel with a Ford owner who wrote: "Don't tailgate me, I explode on impact!" in large letters on the rear window of her Pinto.

about a year ago
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Stephen Elop Would Pull a Nokia On Microsoft

feral-troll Re:Yeah right (292 comments)

Elop decided to abandon Nokia's popular homegrown operating systems, including Symbian, in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone. That caused Nokia's share of the overall mobile-device market to dive into the single digits.

Blackberry stuck with their own stuff, which was even relatively entrenched in the enterprise... a lot of good it did them.

The thing that killed off Blackberry was not the fact that they stuck with what they were good at. The problem was that they sat with their thumb up their ass for far too long and didn't improve the things they were good at. It might also have helped if they had tried really hard to become extremely good at new stuff. Microsoft, Apple and then Google, with it's Android OS starting doing everything Blackberry did, including push-mail which was one of the Blackberry killer features, but the competition was doing it better. By the time Blackberry finally got off it's ass and innovated it was too late. Once Android started taking off it became increasingly obvious that for any OS to compete with Android it needed to be able to run Android apps and Blackberry realized that too late. That's still true today, any upstart Mobile OS that's just hit the market and that wants to compete seriously with Android needs to be able to run Android apps seamlessly. You need a large volume of Apps for your upstart (Linux based?) Mobile OS to even be considered as an option by consumers and the place that has the biggest App collection is the steadily growing Android monoculture. You can also try to break into Apple's walled garden but I don't recommend it, I hear their lawyers have sharp claws and they bite.

about a year ago
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Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

feral-troll Re:Why not just provide a "Tracking App" (160 comments)

Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.

Funny, when I tell the average consumer that when they use Google Maps it streams information about their movements back to Google who archives that data and sells it, most of them are surprised. When you tell them that Google, Facebook, et al. track their browsing habits even when they are not logged in to those services... same reaction. You may be perfectly aware of the parasitic relationship you are getting into with Google but the average consumer is not, hence the outrage over the NSA surveillance. When the shitstorm over that dies down the media might just turn the spotlight on Google, Facebook et al. and people will be just as creeped out.

about a year ago
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Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

feral-troll Worries... (160 comments)

If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google’s new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business.

And people are worked about the NSA... At least they are only tracking the movements of a relatively small percentage of the citizenry, Google would seem to be tracking every Android user and many iOS users' movements.

about a year ago
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

feral-troll Re:bull. shit. (214 comments)

Talking to a coward I realize but the thing is Apple by virtue of the Apple id has much more specific user info than probably anyone but Facebook. They make you login to get free apps and such so it isn't just your purchases it is every interaction in their store, what you chose to download onto your device etc. all tied to a real person. Facebook is potentially worse because they know more about you than what flavor of condoms you prefer (your friends, your conversations, friends of friends etc).

If you are worried about Apple finding out where you live when you signing up for an Apple ID, keep in mind that when you sign up for G-mail Google is parsing your personal correspondence. Google is also archiving your search history, you can disable search history in your account but they probably keep tracking it nevertheless. If you start using Google Docs they may also be parsing that data. I'm not sure what their policy is on photographs that you upload to Google+/Picasa Web Albums but you are probably not going to like that either if you are worried about Apple knowing your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Also, why would you be more worried about Apple finding out your: name, mailing address, email address, and phone number than you are about Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Ebay finding out the same data?

about a year ago
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

feral-troll Re:It's true. (214 comments)

I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

Well if only Apple released quarterly earnings so that you could find out.

iPad: $19.51B iPhone: $6.19B Mac: $5.62B iPod: $0.57B iTunes/Software/Services: $4.26B

For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware.

Yeah but they still have a point, their business model is not based on "collecting, storing, and analysing data about every aspect of your life" and then converting it into cash. It's a question of prioritization. If living outside of Apple's 'walled garden' is more important to you than your privacy then by all means use Google's services and devices running their OS. Alternatively you could use products from a third party although that is, admittedly, not easy in the growing Android monoculture we find ourselves increasingly stuck with. In the mean time perhaps we should all consider not going for click-bait like this story.

about a year ago
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

feral-troll Re:It's true. (214 comments)

If Apple only makes their money selling hardware, how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want? I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'. Many people still use Google services even if they have an iOS device as well, as it tends to be some of the best available. Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

IIRC Apple also makes tons money selling software and media. If you prefer living naked in Google's glass house to living fully clothed in Apple's walled garden that's your preference.

about a year ago
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The First Phone You Can Actually Bend: LG's G Flex

feral-troll Re:Why would you want to? (92 comments)

I honestly I think this, like the Samsung Round, is a "shot in the market" to see what people want. Basically Korean makers now have flexible screens, but can't (yet) make fully flexible phones, so they're just sort of coming up with random phones to see where the interest lies.

It's basically early alpha editions of what will eventually be fully flexible phones. That's my take, anyways, from visiting Korea and seeing this stuff.

Why would I want a fully flexible phone that can be twisted like a block of rubber? A device like this one, for example, would just annoy me. I can see lots of uses for electronic paper, like wallpapering your apartment with it and changing the scenery on the walls depending on your moods (like they did in Cloud Atlas) but rubber phones? Perhaps if the device was mildly bendable and would adjust to the shape of your butt-cheek like this one does when you stuff it into your back trouser pocket that might be useful. I suppose Samsung could sell some phones to novelty freaks with wrap around displays also annoying, unless perhaps if you use the wrap around part for software buttons or curved/shaped displays (less annoying) but these are hardly a must-have feature. Just about the only really interesting concept prototype of a flexible display device that I have seen so far was a cylindrical e-reader where you could pull out a thin flexible screen and then reel it back into the device. It offered the same reading area as a small tablet but took little more space than a large roll of coins. It looked a bit like this thing. Then I began to wonder what happens when you want to use a ultra flexible electronic paper display like that as a touch-screen interface. Try holding up a thin and flexible piece of cardboard and think about what it would be like to use as a touch screen. Perhaps a device like this could use voice commands (don't have much hope for that after variations in english accents defeated Siri) or eye and gesture tracking instead?

about a year ago
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Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

feral-troll Re:If he had reported it through official channels (504 comments)

Especially channels amenable to spying on US citizens, we would never have heard of Snowden or the spy programs. If he had then tried to publish via other means, neither would his family. At the risk of Godwin: If you were, say, a German administrator learning about the death camps and being absolutely appalled, reporting it to any senior Nazi official wouldn't do much good.

And it didn't for those who naively did tried to do this. Case in point, John Rabe, a Siemens employee in China saved the lives of tens of thousands of Chinese civilians in during the rape of Nanking. He was rewarded with a gag order upon his return to Germany for embarrassing an ally. Post war he was brutally interrogated by the NKVD and then by the British and died in abject poverty sustained by money and food donated by the people of Nanking. Rabe he was one of the lucky ones. Many altruistic individuals who saved lives during WWII ended up being punished by their own countries for what they did.

about a year ago
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Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

feral-troll Re:Yeah, right... (504 comments)

All this is obviously pretty hypothetical. What isn't hypothetical is the preemptive US extradition request that arrived pretty much immediately after this has hit the headlines.

...seems like this preemptive extradition request wasn't issued in response to the latest German involvement. The US pretty much carpet-bombed the world with those yonks ago. Personally delivered by carrier-drone, presumably.

... and scotch-taped to a 2000lb JDAM.

about a year ago

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