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Comments

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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

je ne sais quoi Re: And the US could turn Russia into vapor (878 comments)

I know most people don't realize it, but a weaker dollar would HELP the U.S. The whole reason we're in an economic mess in the first place is because the U.S. corporations have shipped a lot of the U.S. manufacturing overseas. China selling off their U.S. debt would appreciate the renminbi & depreciate the dollar, thus making U.S. manufacturing more attractive and providing much needed jobs. Of course, none of this benefits you if you are a rentier making profits on the backs of high U.S. unemployment & cheap labor in China, & those people have convinced the largely ignorant populace to support a strong dollar against their best interest.

about 5 months ago
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GOP Bill To Outlaw EPA 'Secret Science' That Is Not Transparent, Reproducible

je ne sais quoi Re: "Not Reproduclibe" (618 comments)

I was thinking this bill could actually much worse than just wishing for a scientific process that doesn't exist: there is a large and gaping flaw in its logic. Much of our regulations are issued because of large-scale damage to the ecosystem that costs much more to deal with its consequences than prevent (e.g., the added health costs of air pollution). However, in large systems, especially those involving human beings and livelihood, it is utterly impossible to reproduce something, like the climate change over the entire Earth,. According to the logic, to regulate dumping chemicals in a lake, you'd have to show that not dumping chemicals in the same lake under the same conditions doesn't result in mass fish die offs, increased risk of cancer for local inhabitants, etc. Since regulations are issued only after something becomes a problem, you can't ever reproduce the pristine conditions. How do you know it was chemicals and wasn't the weather that killed all those fish? You didn't reproduce the experiment.

As for the EPA using secret science, this is an utter load of bull-shit. All of EPA's studies are on-line and publically available. Here is a link to the searchable database containing the superfund site Records of Decision: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/c...

This is another manufactured crisis like the "war" on Christmas attempting to make people on the left (or anyone who doesn't agree with them) into demons. Assholes.

about 7 months ago
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IDC: PC Shipments Decline Worse Than Forecasted, No Recovery Expected

je ne sais quoi Re:Endorse MS Much? (393 comments)

10% of the market?

I concur. Last quarter MS said Surface sales doubled, but they haven't given any solid numbers and last quarter they had a $0.9 billion write-off in order to dump their old inventory. One estimate suggests that sales can't be more than 1 million at best, more likely something like 850k. Now, compare that to Apple's 14.1 million units over the same quarter and that Apple is something like 30% of the tablet market, you realize that any projections of MS Surface capturing any substantial part of the market are just silly.

On the bright side, I did just see my first Surface being used in the wild recently. Granted, we didn't actually use it for anything, but I finally did meet someone who bought one. Maybe MS can do what they did with Xbox and just continue dumping money into it until they out-subidize their competitors (a.k.a. stereotypical monopolist behavior).

about 9 months ago
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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

je ne sais quoi Re: Google maps error too (311 comments)

A gps software from Microsoft once attempted to get my Dad to drive along what we think was a power line to the top of the tallest peak in Virginia. Pretty interesting stuff, not only was there no road there, it was far too steep for a vehicle anyway. Fortunately we were able to find a hiking trailhead through other means (reading signs instead of listening to a robot....maybe what these people should have done too.)

about a year ago
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CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken

je ne sais quoi Re:Risk to Security Algorithm (481 comments)

We do have to remind ourselves that security needs to be proportionate to risk.

Exactly. You can make your phone the most secure thing in the world, requiring a randomized string of alphanumerics umpteen characters long that you recite from memory, but you've also made it utterly impractical to use.

One thing I noticed about this method is that they didn't get their fingerprints from the iphone itself, on the site they got them from a glass bottle. There's a lot of residue from fingerprints on my screen and a lot of potential fingerprints, but some of them are smudged from where I moved my finger, but I'd like to see if someone can use prints from an actual phone, everything else requires that the attacker have physical access to places you've been, but by far the most likely scenario where this will be useful will be to keep people out if I leave my phone somewhere unintentionally.

about a year ago
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Feature Phone Hack Can Block Calls, Texts On Some Networks

je ne sais quoi Re:first useless reply! (39 comments)

Shoot, I couldn't care less about blocking other people's texting, what I want is to block texting to my own phone selectively. If they aren't in my contacts list, I don't want their text message. This is mostly, but not entirely due to AT&T's (and everyone else's) abusive pricing strategy for texts. What I would call fair is rates for text messages that are charged the same as the equivalent amount of voice data. As it is, Apple never did a better thing by creating Messages for iOS and imessage.app for OS X. It's a pity they don't open their standard so that android devices or linux computers can use the same protocol and I would never have to pay for another text message.

1 year,12 hours
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Apple Isn't the Next Microsoft (and That's a Good Thing)

je ne sais quoi Re: Shifting paradigms is easy with no momentum (269 comments)

The new mac pro is likely to be very quiet. I know, this isn't something we think about as much as the specs., but as someone who has their home/media/gaming rig humming behind them, quiet is good. Same goes for work, if I'm running all the cores 100% and can still have a conversation in my office or listen to classical music without headphone or annoying my neighbor, that's a good thing. I've considered buying an apple tv or mac mini for media, but I have enough computers around already (probably too many) and if I can have my cake and eat it too with media and high framerate gaming on a single machine, I'm all for it. So the mac pro is innovative, despite your assertion, it just doesn't innovate in a way you would want.

I couldn't care less about expandability, long ago I figured out that rather than upgrade my machines later in life, I just "upgrade" them when purchasing them and then don't worry about it for five years or so until the purchase (incidentally, is it just me or is lifetime of PCs getting longer?).

1 year,20 days
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Early Surface Sales Pitiful

je ne sais quoi Re:RT more than Pro? (251 comments)

Whoops, I forgot to add, that it also looks like the Surface Pro is a little too expensive to be pick up a big section of the market. People who want to drop $1000 might just be buy a laptop instead. It's too expensive for a glorified e-book reader, but my guess is it isn't also a complete replacement for a work laptop.

1 year,26 days
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Early Surface Sales Pitiful

je ne sais quoi Re:RT more than Pro? (251 comments)

Full disclosure: as a long time Apple and Linux user, I'm completely new to the whole Surface thing. I don't think I've ever even seen one, Pro or RT. But I too have also read that the Surface Pro seems like a nice little machine, and can do things the ipad can't do as easily because of the I/O and display ports, whereas the ipad can give you cellular data if you need that and the resolution on the display is higher. In fact, the two machines seem to be broadly comparable:

http://ipad.about.com/od/ipad_competition/a/Microsoft-Surface-Pro-Vs-Ipad-4-Comparison-Chart.htm

So why the abysmal sales of the Surface Pro? My guess would also be the price point, Apple has a low price point ($499 for retina display, but the ipad 2 is only $399) that you can expand the storage in it to get high storage (up to 128 Gb at $799 with cellular is $929) or the cellular stuff. MS put out the RT at a low price point too ($349) with the Pro as its higher end model (64 Gb for $899, 128 Gb for $999). So the MS low end is lower than the ipad and the high end is higher.

Could it be that the RT is too limited in terms of what you can do with it, and that Apple got people to buy ipads because they made all their apps for the iphone immediately available on the ipad, so people knew what they were getting?

1 year,26 days
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Windows NT Turns 20

je ne sais quoi Re:I remember the good old days (213 comments)

Do you realize that you just spent your whole post describing the detail of what you hate about metro, but never actually mentioned what it is you like about 2012 and the "nice new stuff"? As an OS X/linux user who has not yet even seen Win8, I was all ready to hear about what is nice & new in it, but I never found out. This isn't a criticism, just an observation: an uninformed reader might take away that your emphasis on what is wrong with Windows 8 drowns out any benefit.

about a year ago
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The Plight of Star Wars Droids

je ne sais quoi Re:It's fiction, Jim. (245 comments)

It all depends on how the acts are portrayed. When they blew up Alderaan, all the characters were horrified, except for the evil people we the audience were supposed to see as evil. As TFA points out, when they dismember or mutilate a droid, everyone, even people we the audience are supposed to interpret as the good guys, sometimes laugh or make light of it. See the difference? If they showed someone having remorse for the number of deactivated droids in the droid wars, it wouldn't be a problem. The author's point is also that the droids do suffer when bad things happen to them, they're not necessarily the unfeeling machines of today. In fairness to Lucas, in ROTJ at one point he does show some droids being tortured, but it was being done by people we were supposed to see as evil (Jabba and his henchmen).

about a year ago
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Apple Shows Off New iOS 7, Mac OS X At WWDC

je ne sais quoi Re: Meh. (607 comments)

Apple is definitely having an idea shortage.

. Dude, whatever. You keep you glasses and your kinect, I'll take the new mac pro and we'll see who gets more accomplished. The inventions you are describing are very innovative and clever, but they are not a phone or tablet that will end up in every home, they are not a device that will replace computers. They are in essence toys with a limited marketshare.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

You seemed to have missed the part where I wrote: "I try to get out of the left lane as soon as I can..."

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

What part of "I try to get out of the left lane as soon as I can..." did you not understand?

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

That's true. I've also checked the odometer and speedometer against the the highway mileposts and at low speeds against the automatic radar stations that say "Your speed is: X". For the mileposts, I time how long it takes me to drive ten miles according the milepost signs on a flat stretch of road in very light traffic so I don't have to change lanes. On the Honda Civic Hybrid, the speedometer is accurate to within a mile per hour at 70 mph as well as 25 mph. Pretty good. As far as I can tell, the odometer is accurate to within a tenth of a mile or so as well, but I haven't checked with the new set of tires I got, which might have changed things.

From all of this, it seems like Honda is doing a better job of accuracy than some of the other car makers. Perhaps that suit against Hyundai about falsely reporting the fuel economy was warranted. I felt the one against Honda probably wasn't, i.e., Honda was sued because many people didn't get the advertised fuel economy, but I've not had a problem. I have heard rumors that BMW sets their speedometers about 5 mph faster than the real world as a marketing thing to fool their drivers into thinking the cars are faster than they are, but never saw any proof. Apparently this kind of thing really does happen.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

When I am going faster than the car in front of me, I turn on my turn signal and when it's clear, I get in the left lane, pass the car and then get back into the right lane. It's not my fault that others choose to disregard the speed limit and then attempt to intimidate other drivers on the road by driving aggressively. I admit that my actions might exacerbate the issue, but frankly, I'm sick and tired of Americans not actually giving a shit about the rest of society and see no reason why I should accommodate people who disregard the rules and display unsafe and aggressive behavior. If someone runs up behind me suddenly, I can see that they are in a hurry and will get out of the way as soon as I can, until then they need to BACK OFF!

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

I have made that calculation, and many others besides. My trip MPG is consistently ~1 mpg off the one I calculate from the gas pumps at fill-up and from the odometer. While not perfect, you couldn't realistically ask for a better estimate than that.

In fact, the web-site fueleconomy.gov allows people to put in real world estimates of their fuel economy and show that data side-by-side the EPA estimates. Here's the one for my car, a 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid. The real world estimates (based on 11 data points) are about 1 mpg off from the EPA estimates. That's pretty darn good. While I will admit that there might be some companies who are gaming the system, it's not EPA's fault that they are doing that. By posting the real world fuel economy estimates, EPA is actually trying to combat that behavior. What I see here going on in this thread (and all too commonly on /. and American society in general) is a bunch of people demonizing the government for no good reason when they should be blaming the companies/individuals who are actually conducting the bad behavior.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

je ne sais quoi Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

Yeah, well, here's back at ya: aggressive drivers like yourself make me want to drive as slowly as possible (which is also the safe thing to do with an aggressive driver, gradually decelerate until the speed is appropriate for the space the driver behind you is maintaining). I try to get out of the left lane as soon as I can, but hey man, my tax payer dollars helped pay for that road and I've got a right to drive the speed limit in whatever lane I want. I don't care what you think about it, why should you have the right to whatever speed you wish but I don't?

about a year ago
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Defense Distributed Has 3D-Printed an Entire Gun

je ne sais quoi Re:The answer to the question (712 comments)

When I had an alarm system connected in my previous residence, the saleswoman from the alarm company told me that the number one black market item in a home for a burglar to obtain is a gun. Highest street value. Making guns rarer means fewer gun deaths, period, there's no uncertainty there or bullshit answers about how criminals will always have guns. That includes accidental shootings and thefts and subsequent use of the stolen guns to kill people. To use the analogy from further up the thread, if every home had heroine there would be more heroine addicts, guaranteed.

But conservatives/libertarians/etc. are not motivated by rationality nearly as well as fear (evidence here for evidence), so unfortunately they will not accept any rational arguments the way liberals expect them to.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Phishing attack forces ORNL offline

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 3 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to some of the fastest supercomputers on the planet, was forced to shut down all Internet access and email systems over the weekend due to what is known as an Advanced Persistent Threat attack. This same style of attack has been recently used on Google, a security company known as RSA and other government institutions and corporations. According to lab director Thom Mason, "In this case, it was initiated with phishing email, which led to the download of some software that took advantage of a 'zero day exploit,' in Internet Explorer." At this point, they don't think any major exfiltration of data occurred."
Link to Original Source
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Google and Verizon in talks to end net neutrality

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  about 4 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "I'm a little shocked to hear it (well maybe not that shocked), but the NYT is reporting that Verizon and Google are "nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege. The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users." The basis for the NYT's assertion of higher internet costs comes from the style of the plan, which isn't completely clear to me, but the idea is to make the internet more like cable television subscriptions with access to various sites based determined by if you subscribe to the basic or premium package. According to anonymous sources, an agreement could be reached as early as next week. The F.C.C. is in talks with the main internet providers, but due to the Appeals Court ruling in April, its authority to regulate the internet is in doubt. Is this the end of Net Neutrality?"
Link to Original Source
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Apple surpasses Microsoft in Market Capitalization

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Today Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, a metric of the perceived worth of a company. At around 2:30 pm EST, the total number of Apple shares were worth $227 billion, whereas Microsoft's were worth $226 billion. Both companies stock ended the day in the red, and have dropped in value since the greek crisis began, but Apple's share price has been falling less quickly. Of American companies, only Exxon-Mobil has a higher market cap at this point at $278 billion. According to the NYT:

This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, as Apple had been given up for dead only a decade earlier. But the rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

"

Link to Original Source
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What happened to the guy who leaked "Wolverine".

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The NYT has an article up describing the "adventures" of Gilberto Sanchez, the guy who leaked a work print of the movie Wolverine to megaupload.com.

[Mr. Sanchez] said that he bought a bootleg copy of Wolverine on the street, and posted a copy on the sharing site megaupload.com, for the cachet. Eight months later, on Dec. 16, Mr. Sanchez was awakened by a knock at 6 a.m., and opened the door to F.B.I. agents, who placed him under arrest. He was charged with violation of copyright law, arraigned in federal court in Manhattan and allowed to return home, but he faces the possibility of prison time, possibly in California, where his indictment originated. His fate is unclear: In 2003, a New Jersey man was fined and put on probation after uploading an unfinished print of The Hulk before its release. But last year, a man who took a copy of The Love Guru, from a tape-duplication company was sentenced to six months in prison.

"

Link to Original Source
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OS usage share one month after Windows 7

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Windows 7 seems to be off to a flying start with sales 234% higher than Vista's. When we look at the North American usage share of operating systems according to statcounter, we see that Windows 7 is indeed making substantial inroads, rising from 2.1% the week of its release to 4.4%. (There was obviously a substantial number of people who installed a prerelease version.) Not surprisingly, this is taking a toll on Vista's usage share, which was about 35.07% at its peak in September and is now around 32.67% (declining at an average rate of 0.5% per week since win7's launch). Nor is XP immune, the average decrease in usage share for XP for the eight weeks starting at the end of July was 0.2% per week, and 0.3% per week for the month following Win7's launch.

All of this is to be expected. The big surprise however (or maybe not) is that OS X usage share has increased its rate of adoption. During the same 8 weeks as above of OS X usage share in North America increased by an average of 0.05% per week but since Windows 7's launch the weekly increase in usage share is 0.26%. It currently stands at 11.59%. Is this snow leopard making itself felt, just a coincidence, or are people taking to opportunity to move away from Windows all together?"

Link to Original Source
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Billions cut from futuristic weapons programs

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "President Obama signed a military policy bill that cut ~$26 billion from weapons programs. The biggest item on the chopping block was the controversial F-22 Raptor which got a veto threat from the president:

Once the Senate voted in July to stop buying F-22s, that success reverberated down to help sustain billions of dollars of cuts in Army modernization, missile defense and other programs.

Military analysts said Defense Secretary Gates, originator of the cuts and a holdover from the Bush administration, aimed at the most bloated programs. And Senator John McCain of Arizona, the former Republican presidential candidate, who has criticized the Pentagon's cost overruns, provided Mr. Obama with political cover to make the cuts without being seen as soft on the military.

Mr. Obama has said that he does not intend to reduce military spending while the nation is engaged in two wars. But Mr. Gates also wants to cut more futuristic programs to free money for simpler systems like helicopters and unmanned spy planes that can help the troops now.

"

Link to Original Source
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Quarterly Reports: Apple strong, MS weak

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes "Both Microsoft and Apple reported their quarterly results this week. What a difference! Apple reported:

The Company posted revenue of $8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The NYT is reporting that Apple handedly beat Wall Street's expectations. The company reported increased sales of not only iphones from this time last year, but also ipods, and mac laptops (up to 2.5 million from 2.3 million). Contrast this to Microsoft, who the NYT is reporting as:

closed out perhaps its most difficult year as a public company in less than stellar fashion. On Thursday, the company significantly missed Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue target and reported the first decline in full-year revenue in its 34-year history. The company, the world's largest software maker, posted net income of $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, for its fourth quarter, which ended June 30. That was down sharply from the $4.30 billion, or 46 cents a share, it earned in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Microsoft blames the "weakness in the global PC and server markets" for its poor performance, although it seems pretty obvious that Vista contributed in some fashion. The question now is just how good is Windows 7 and is it good enough to convince businesses to upgrade? Is it really time to start asking the question: can Win7 save Microsoft?"

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Is IE usage share collapsing?

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes "Net Applications normally releases its statistics for browser and operating system usage share on the first of every month. This month however, the data has not shown up, only a cryptic message has appeared that states they are reviewing the data for inexplicable statistical variations and that it will be available soon. Larry Dignan at ZDNet has a blog post that might explain what is happening: Statcounter has released some data that shows a precipitous drop in IE browser use in North America. At the end of May, StatCounter shows IE usage share at around 64%, at the beginning of June it is now about 56%, an astounding 8% drop in one month.

While interesting, it should be remembered the difficulties in estimating things like browser usage share, and this could very well be a change in how browsers report themselves, or other statistical anomaly, so it should probably be healthy to remain skeptical until this is confirmed by other organizations. Have any slashdotters seen drops in IE usage share for web-sites they administer?"
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Credit Card Industry to Penalize Good Debtors

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes ""The New York Times reports that the Banking Industry is threatening to start charging higher interest, shorter grace periods, and annual fees to people who pay off their credit card bill in full each month. This is in response to the congressional intent to limit extravagant interest rates and fees:

"It will be a different business," said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, "Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems."

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office estimated that 70 percent of card issuers' revenue came from interest charges, and the portion from penalty rates appeared to be growing. The remainder came from fees on cardholders as well as retailers for processing transactions. Consumer advocates say they have little sympathy for credit card issuers, arguing that they have made billions in recent years with unfair and sometimes deceptive practices.

Is this a real threat or saber-rattling to get more lenient usury laws out of congress?" NOTE TO EDITORS: I changed the title because I realized the word in the title before didn't make any sense."

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Credit Card Industry To Penalize Good Creditors

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes "The New York Times reports that the Banking Industry is threatening to start charging higher interest, shorter grace periods, and annual fees to people who pay off their credit card bill in full each month. This is in response to the congressional intent to limit extravagant interest rates and fees:

"It will be a different business," said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, "Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems."

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office estimated that 70 percent of card issuers' revenue came from interest charges, and the portion from penalty rates appeared to be growing. The remainder came from fees on cardholders as well as retailers for processing transactions. Consumer advocates say they have little sympathy for credit card issuers, arguing that they have made billions in recent years with unfair and sometimes deceptive practices.

Is this a real threat or saber-rattling to get more lenient usury laws out of congress?"

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Linux Reaches 1% Usage Share

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes "The April data is out for the Net Applications "market share" survey of operating systems (more accurately referred to as a usage share). For the first time, Linux has reached 1%! This past month the Linux share increased by 0.12% which is well above the average monthly increase of 0.02%. Historically, the Net Applications estimate of market share has been lower than that of other organizations who measure this, but the abnormally large increase reported this month brings it closer to the median estimate of 1.11%.

For other operating systems, Windows XP continued its slow decline by 0.64% to 62.21%, whereas Vista use is still increasing to 23.90%, but its rate of adoption is slowing. That is, this month's increase of 0.48% is well below the 12 mo. average increase of 0.78% and down from the peak rate of increase of 1.00% per mo. on average in January-February 2008. Total windows share dropped to 87.90%. Mac OS use decreased slightly to 9.73% from 9.77%, but usage share of the iphone and ipod touch combined increased by 0.1%."
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Apple touch-screen netbook?

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi writes "The Apple rumor mill is churning today. Reuters and the DOW Jones news wire are reporting that an anoymous source in Taiwan has leaked that Apple has ordered some 10 inch touch-screens from WinTek, the maker of the touch-screen for the iphone. It looks like an Apple netbook could possibly be in the works for a delivery date in Q3 of this year, in time for back-to-school sales. CNET and engadget have completely unsubstantiated mock-ups."
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Behind the scenes in Apple vs. the Record Labels

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The New York Times recently posted an article describing what really happened between Apple and the Record labels that culminated with the January 6th Macworld Keynote by Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller:

The announcement seemed to signal a rapprochement between the music industry and its biggest distributor: record companies gave up their demand for copyright protection (called digital rights management) and Apple allowed flexible pricing, so the labels could charge more for new or popular tracks. Behind the scenes, however, the relationship remains as tense and antagonistic as ever.

But according to one music industry executive involved in the negotiations, Apple's primary goal was securing distribution of music over its iPhone, as mobile phones are expected to become an increasingly important outlet for music. Disagreements over the timing of the changes also resulted in a particularly tense conversation on Christmas Eve between Steven P. Jobs, the chairman and chief executive of Apple, and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, the chairman of Sony Music.

Apparently, as some of us here on slashdot speculated earlier, there was an quid pro quo between Apple and the Music Industry. The article further details just how much power Apple still has over the Music Industry:

Even if Mr. Jobs does not get personally involved in future negotiations, music executives still fear dealing with Apple. One chit the company holds is the power of the iTunes home page, where it promotes music. They also say that the entire Apple staff, including Eddie Cue, the vice president in charge of iTunes who handles the relationships with the record labels, do their best to follow Mr. Jobs's style in their own negotiating.

"
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Market share: MS below 90%, Firefox up to 20%

je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "For the first time since they have been surveying operating systems, Net Application's web survey of operating systems showed that people using windows comprised less than 90% of the market share. Mac OS is up to 8.87% (a new record too), and linux is up to 0.83% after a drop in October from 0.91% in September. (Almost got up to 1% there Tux, maybe in 2009?) For web browsers, Firefox cracked 20% for the first time as well, at the expense of Internet Explorer.

A CNN blog has a write-up on it that contains some information on how this is measured:

Net Applications' monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to Web sites operated by firm's clients. Although the company describes the results as "market shares," Net Applications does not actually measure share of market in the traditional sense of sales revenue or unit sales. It does, however, provide a consistent methodology by which to measure browser and operating system trends.

So this is only a crude metric, but as the blog mentions and in the data linked to above, a decreasing MS "market share" has been showing up consistently over the past few years. Is the MS monopoly starting to erode?"

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je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The BBC is reporting on a study by an international team due out in Science magazine (subscription required). Their finding is that the Southern ocean may be absorbing less CO2 now than 25 years ago.

Why is this important? About half of atmospheric CO2 emissions go into the carbon sinks such as the Southern ocean and this ocean represents about 15% of the global carbon sinks. The interaction of CO2 with the ocean is pretty complex, but on the time scale of the study, there are two main competing effects: the first is that as oceans warm, they absorb less CO2. (This is why your beer is more fizzy when its warm, it can hold less CO2.) The second is that as more CO2 is absorbed into the ocean, more of it converts to bicarbonate (which incidentally, increases of the acidity of the oceans which will also change CO2 solubility).

Previously, it was known that eventually the first factor would win out, temperature would eventually limit CO2 absorption, but they thought it would happen 40 years from now. If this data is correct, it's happening now."
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je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The Associated Press is reporting that Google has reverted the satellite maps of New Orleans to the pre-hurricane Katrina ones:

In the images available Thursday, the cranes working to fix the breach of the 17th Street Canal are gone. Blue tarps that covered roofless homes are replaced by shingles. Homes wiped off their foundations are miraculously back in place in the Lower 9th. So, too, is the historic lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain.
Why would someone do such a thing? Google project manager Chikai Ohazama says:

...the maps now available are the best the company can offer. Numerous factors decide what goes into the databases, "everything from resolution, to quality, to when the actual imagery was acquired."
which is a suspicious non-answer. Did google screw-up? See for yourself."
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je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "MSNBC/Newsweek has an informative article summarizing a lot of the recent advancements in tracing the evolution of modern humans. From the article:

Unlike the earlier wave of Homo erectus into Asia a million years ago, the first modern humans, the ancestors of everyone today, departed Africa about 66,000 years ago... These pilgrims were strikingly few. From the amount of variation in Y chromosomes today, population geneticists infer how many individuals were in this "founder" population. The best estimate: 2,000 men. Assuming an equal number of women, only 4,000 brave souls ventured forth from Africa. We are their descendants.
The article emphasizes that evolution is not necessarily linear, in that a given trait might show up multiple times before being used by a successful species. We've come a long way from the old story of humanoid evolution that goes in a more or less linear chain from Australopithicus to Homo Sapiens."
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je ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The BBC is reporting that a group of record labels as filed a lawsuit in New York against allofmp3.com. It seems some of them aren't content with just stopping credit card payments and shutting it down but now they want their pound of flesh too. From the article:
The lawsuit was filed in New York on behalf of Arista Records, Warner Bros, Capitol and UMG recordings. They are suing Moscow-based Mediaservices, which runs Allofmp3.com and another music site, allTunes.com. The record labels say the sites are selling songs without permission. But Allofmp3.com argues it is paying royalties to a Russian licensing body.
What's really quite odd is this:
"The defendant's entire business... amounts to nothing more than a massive infringement of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and New York law," according to papers filed as part of the US legal action.
Why would New York law have anything to do with a Russian online store? Its not like New York can regulate trade with a foreign nation, that's a federal right, isn't it?"

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