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Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

gizmo2199 Re:inflation embiggens numbers (511 comments)

But inflation is simply the increase of purchasing power of a currency over time. One way you can measure it is: how much have your grocery bills gone up in the last year, last five years, last 10 years and so on. If you really want to be accurate, you can even adjust it per person.

yesterday
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Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

gizmo2199 Re:Popcorn time! (376 comments)

He must be paraphrasing Thomas Hobbes.

about a week ago
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Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

gizmo2199 Re:Popcorn time! (376 comments)

It's a tricky question. I would say that the dividing line is coercion-- is the professor using some form of threat, or promising good grades?

I think that's where you have to draw the line. I mean a college-aged girl has to get over the fact that older men will be attracted to her, and make advances. Just because she's creeped-out by it, doesn't necessarily mean it's inappropriate. Ultimately gender equality means others have the right to hit on her, and she has the right to tell them to fuck-off. That's what you do as an adult.

And it's not as if women don't use their sex-appeal when it suits them.

about a week ago
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Elon Musk's Proposed Internet-by-Satellite System Could Link With Mars Colonies

gizmo2199 Jetpacks! (105 comments)

All of these articles have that tinge of 1950's science fiction: we'll all be living in magnificent under-water cities in 10 years, and everyone'll have a jetpack!

All we need to do is build an underwater city...and jetpacks. But in reality it's that our cities will be under water in 10 years.

about two weeks ago
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Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

gizmo2199 Re:Don't know why... (122 comments)

Yeah, I'm still boggled how Western companies do business in countries like China and Vietnam, that have Communist governments. Wouldn't the government just seize all their assets?!

Oh wait, no they don't...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can I Trust Android Rooting Tools?

gizmo2199 All you need is adb and fastboot (184 comments)

Basically, all you need is adb and fastboot, both available in the Andorid SDK, which runs on Linux, and the the rooting zip files or images that you upload to the phone/tablet.

Easiest way to root the tablet is to install a rooted image.

about two weeks ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

gizmo2199 Re:Hope and change (562 comments)

We've had intellectuals as President, including the man holding the office now. Judging by their records, I'm about ready for the random person from the phone book. Couldn't do any worse.

I'm looking at the potential candidates from both parties, and I don't like (or trust) any of them. Surely we can do better.

That that were the case, but running for president (and being unscrupulous enough to be nominated in either party) is a very self-selecting process. People with the competence and willingness to do the right thing by their fellow citizen get weeded-out early in the process.

about two weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

gizmo2199 Re:We deserve this guy (496 comments)

But that doesn't disprove OP's point, even in the case where the Republicans got more votes, they only received 51.4% of the vote, which means that if it were a fair election, they only would have gotten 224 seats in the House, but they got 260, so that means that the House is tilted in favor of Republicans by at least 36 seats.

Which means that for the Democrats to get a majority they'd have to win at least 37 seats more than 218.

Of course the really big news is that 2.9% of people didn't vote for the 2 parties, which would have translated into 12 house seats for third parties, but there isn't a single 3rd party candidate in the House.

about two weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

gizmo2199 Re:We deserve this guy (496 comments)

Yeah, but this is a feature (bug?!) of federalism, the senators are supposed to represent the states, while the representatives represent the people, and in fact until 1913, senators were appointed by the governor of the state, but of course senate seats then became sources of patronage for the governor's buddies. But you're right, the senate is very tilted toward smaller states having outsize influence, but that was the intention.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

gizmo2199 Re:Makes sense. (629 comments)

Ironically, with Android, Google made the same compromise that Microsoft made with Windows, that is make the core OS, but outsource hardware to a million different OEMs, in order to get your software running on a greater ecosystem of machines, unlike the Apple model of controlling both the hardware, and the software, as is the case with Macs and iPhone.

Except, now Google has run into the same issues Microsoft ran into with Windows, namely now they have to either a) support a million different hardware configurations, or b) drop support for "legacy" hardware with every new version of their OS.

Except of course there's a third party involved, the telecomm companies that are responsible for providing OTA updates at their whim, whereas Microsoft never had that problem. If anything, they dictated the upgrade schedule for OEMs, leading to the infamous $2,100 email machine.

So Android is a real conundrum, on the hand, it's open source, but on the other, very few phones actually get the latest release installed, and that's if the telecomms don't cripple the software by installing crapware on it. And there's just enough closed-source binary blobs on the phones that you can't really install your own version either.

My advice, get a nexus, or don't get an android phone.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

gizmo2199 Re: Makes sense. (629 comments)

I seriously doubt that only 6.5% of Android users are on 4.3, or below, since no doubt previous versions of Android also have the vulnerability. In fact I reckon the vast majority of android users world-wide are on 4.0.2 (ICS) or below. But it's like I keep saying, the telecoms method of patching software, is to make their customers buy a new phone.

Or rather, they have no incentive to push software updates, so people will have a greater incentive to buy a new phone, even if, as we can see, old versions of Android have plenty of security vulnerabilities.

about two weeks ago
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Anonymous Declares War Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

gizmo2199 Re:Favorite Pastime for the Islamists (509 comments)

I think we do well to think of current strains of Sunni Islamism as distinct from historical Islam, especially if you attempt to link current terrorists to a culture from 1,000 years ago.

That would be like trying to explain French politics of the 1980's by looking to the history of Charlemagne, or the First Crusades for an explanation. No, you are better suited to look for the motivations of Jihadis in the problems of failed and failing states in the Near East and Africa, for an explanation.

In fact, I would imagine that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1970's goes a long way in explaining Islamism today, similarly, the failure of post-colonial regimes in that region after the end of the Cold War.

Talking about Caliphates and Sharia Law, etc. is kind of playing into the hands of Islamists, who while claiming to be fighting for long-ago Islamic culture, are actually the product of post Cold-War international politics.

As with everything in international relations, you have to look at the actions of international actors, and not their words. Because talk is cheap, and action costs money and lives.

about three weeks ago
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Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' Now a Sci-Fi Movie Head Trip

gizmo2199 Red Dwarf did it! (254 comments)

In this episode

//SPOILER
"Lister begins to try and come to terms with the fact that he is his own father, and Kochanski is not only his ex-girlfriend but also his mother, before realizing he needs to get the tube back from Kochanski."

about three weeks ago
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'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

gizmo2199 Re:Does he stand a chance? (163 comments)

Except that in a first-past-the-post voting system, voting for a third party is the same as throwing your vote away, it's called Duverger's Law

about a month ago
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Royal Mail Pilots 3D Printing Service

gizmo2199 Re:Shape DRM (59 comments)

In other words, 3D printer DRM is: pretty much anything that makes the product worth buying

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

gizmo2199 Re:Every 30 days. (247 comments)

Also, if sysadmins would implement sha512 hashes with a 5,000 round PBKDF2, it would make brute-force dictionary attacks a lot harder to accomplish. Instead a lot of websites, even e-commerce sites, still use MD5.

about 2 months ago
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Android Policy For Nexus and Google Play Devices Updated To Excuse Carrier Delay

gizmo2199 The Flaw with this model (73 comments)

Having carriers be in charge of updating smartphone firmware negates any benefit you might get from having a device that often costs more than $500. This is specific to Android, since Apple made sure they had complete control of the OS and the update process on their phones.

Just to name one: security issues are constantly cropping-up in Android, and Google is constantly patching things. Except good luck getting AT&T or Verizon to provide the updates OTA. And if you're stuck with an older phone, says > 1 year. Good luck getting any update at all.

As far as the carrier is concerned, in order to update the firmware, buy a new phone. Except you've now deliberately left millions of people vulnerable to having their accounts compromised because you were too cheap/lazy to provide an update (which Google makes available, btw).

Either Google should unify Android, meaning make one version for all models (or at least models newer than 3 years) and make it available OTA or by download, or license Android to carriers on the strict condition that they provide updates to existing models at least every 6 moths.

about 2 months ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

gizmo2199 Re:So What (574 comments)

...There are a lot of problems that we could use the extra intelligence for, but there are inherent dangers in creating something you don't fully understand.

And even then, knowing how to solve a problem, or having "extra intelligence" at our disposal doesn't mean anything unless there's political and moral will to implement the solutions. All you have to do is look at the actions of the European Central Bank in responding to the financial crisis, as an example.

You have economists who studied crises for decades saying that the ECB should cut interest rates and allow higher inflation, what do the brilliant technocrats in Brussels do? Raise interest rates leading to double-digit unemployment in large swaths of Europe.

In other words, when implementing the solution to hard-problems is politically or morally untenable, even the greatest intelligence isn't going to help you

about 2 months ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

gizmo2199 Re:So What (574 comments)

You're right, other than the fact that a program could determine that an overpopulated Earth is anathema to its own self-interest, and act accordingly. Or that it should begin stockpiling energy reserves for itself, thus driving up the price of oil, etc.

That's the problem with assuming that all technological progress is beneficial, or at least benign. You can't anticipate the consequences of a new technology, let alone something as problematic as an artificial intelligence.

about 2 months ago

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