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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

joh Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (149 comments)

It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

It's just that a THIRD platform (after Android and iOS) has very little hope of getting a foot into the door. MS obviously hopes that it can change that in the long run by fusing Windows and WP as a platform. I think the gap is too large to make this work, but it's really neither the hardware nor the OS that is the actual problem here. Still, MS has more than once proven that it has the patience to turn things around (they all but missed the Internet once and a few years later IE was moving towards a monopoly) and they surely hope they can pull something like this off again.

I'm not very optimistic here, but the OS wars aren't over yet.

3 days ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

joh Weakest Russia ever (571 comments)

Wreck their economy. It worked once and the way Russia acts it would work again, no doubt. Russia has only a GDP a little better than Italy and less than Germany, France or the UK. They are utterly weak and exactly because they know it they have to act like a bully. Russia is a dwarf trying to convince itself it is a giant by making others think it is.

4 days ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:Legitimate engineering uses (98 comments)

In iOS 7 or later just do not tap on "Yes" if it asks you if you trust the device you connected you iPhone to if you don't trust it.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:DON'T PANIC (98 comments)

Android has the Google Play Services that has all permissions, that can update itself without asking or even telling the user and that has access to EVERYTHING on the phone. If the NSA wants you data, it gets it. Period.

And really, you need to do some reality-check here. You can't protect yourself against that. No way. Not without building your own hardware, writing your own software, including the firmware and the baseband.

All the geeks dreaming of technical solutions to political problems are just dreamers. What we need is some sane checks and balances for when and in which cases such things are used. This is a political problem and the first step to home in to a solution is accepting that there ARE cases where law enforcement and government agencies indeed have a right and a need to do this. Without accepting this you will only continue to shake your fists and even IF you may get into power with steadfastly requiring 100% security against everyone: Once you will notice that people will use the Internet and mobile devices to organize against you then, you WILL turn around and cry for surveillance and WILL try to defend yourself. Freedom has to have some teeth and hands and eyes to defend itself. The point is not to pull the teeth, the point is how to tame them. There are no technical solutions to that problem.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh It's called trauma (98 comments)

Really, very much as after 9/11 people are actually training themselves into a deep trauma. As you should know avoiding a trauma means NOT to do that. Sadly if you leave people to do what they want (and have this amplified by the headline-addicted press and of course the Internet) they will do exactly that. They will over and over come back to what did hurt them, they will stare at it all day long and become more and more fascinated by it, until they can't think of anything else anymore. Feelings of intense anger that is targeted at often logically totally unrelated persons or things will be more and more common.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

To "get back to reality" isn't easy then.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:Too many words (98 comments)

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

Except for the fact that Apples handing all of your data over to the NSA anyway. Apple has a very cozy relationship with the US federal government.
http://cdn.bgr.com/2013/11/app...

According to that table there were 0 - 1000 cases in which "some" content data was disclosed to law enforcement in the US (and 1 in the UK and 0 in about 30 other countries). You call this "a very cozy relationship"? With 313 million citizens in the US there were less than 1000 requests granted. What's "cozy" about that?

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Too many words (98 comments)

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

about two weeks ago
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Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

joh Re:Of course it won't be settled then (37 comments)

"A bit mysterious" is the understatement of the day... Still, it's one of the very few actual observable things that could further some fundamental new understanding of physics.

about two weeks ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

joh Re:foolproof (244 comments)

It would also significantly cut down Slashdot comments if they had to be typed on paper and mailed.

about two weeks ago
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New Single Board Computer Lets You Swap Out the CPU and Memory

joh Re:Interesting. (122 comments)

The RPi has some very notable disadvantages: Not enough RAM, slow ethernet, too few USB ports. If you want to run such a thing as a low-power always-on Linux micro-server the RPi really sucks. It also doesn't run Debian or Ubuntu. It's a nice toy and totally usable for many things but it also has some really tight limits. Just running a web server with PHP against a database can be too much.

A faster CPU, 1 GB of RAM and dedicated ethernet (instead of sharing the USB bus) can help a lot here.

about three weeks ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

joh Re:Shared space (579 comments)

I came to suggest exactly this. Around where I live there's a place which was hell before. Bus lanes, an underground parking lot spewing out cars, several lanes of traffic, pedestrians and bicycles. It was actually the sheer impossibility of integrating cycling lanes into that mess that lead to a shared space approach: Everything was removed, no lanes, no signals, even the paving was changed to meld together with the surrounding area.

Everybody drives MUCH slower now there (since arriving confuses the hell out of you) and people actually negotiate their way through it by looking for what's going on. What was a really dangerous place before is now the exact opposite: AFAIK there hasn't been a single accident since then. Just forcing people to look out for themselves instead of relying on lanes and signals really can work wonders. Won't work everywhere, but trying to channel everything in a mechanical way isn't always the best option.

about a month ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

joh Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

Yeah, Germany pays an average $0.35/kwh, versus $0.12 in the US. But they also have higher electricity taxes, pay 4x more for natural gas and have insolation levels similar to Alaska; you can't just compare countries' prices directly like that.

I'm in Germany and I'm paying extra for 100% renewable power and with that I pay less than 30€ a month for electricity (all of it from solar/hydro/wind). Why? I don't use much of it. Price per kWh as a metric is pointless, cost it what counts. The house I'm living in has two feet thick brick walls and double-pane windows, there really is no need for A/C and only little for heating. Power in the US is cheap and that's one of the reasons that most of it is just wasted.

about a month ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

joh Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

All of Europe uses the comma as the decimal mark. To be more precise only in English speaking countries the period is the decimal mark.

about a month ago
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How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

joh Re:Less hands-on (209 comments)

If you just compare the nearly total standstill of iOS up until iOS 6 to what happened in iOS 7 and 8 he obviously made sure to get some people into the right places who were able to get something done. About time, I'd say.

about a month and a half ago
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Kiwi Genetically Closer to Extinct Elephant Birds Than to the Emu

joh Re:News for birds... (46 comments)

Humans have started to heavily wreck the environment long before modern times, yes.

This is hardly surprising. Humans were neophytes almost everywhere and disrupted the local fauna and flora. They also multiplied like rabbits.

But this has become a global problem now, with more than 7 billion of us. The number of existing species is plummeting, just like the number of living animals of all species that are not our pets or cattle. We are the cause of a modern mass extinction event that is very similar to the handful of former extinction events, just that it happens much faster.

about 2 months ago
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Virgin Galactic Passengers May Just Miss Going into Space

joh That line is "space"... (203 comments)

... like a bathtub full of saltwater is "the ocean".

about 3 months ago
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Australian Exploration Company Believes It May Have Found MH370 Wreckage

joh Re:wat (293 comments)

These pings (including an unscheduled "incomplete" one that Inmarsat says is consistent with the hardware rebooting after a short power cut, which is to be expected when the fuel runs out on an airliner) as well as the few signals of the blackboxes are the ONLY hard evidence we have. It's far better than nothing though and we would have nothing if the Inmarsat hardware on that plane wouldn't have pinged the satellite with a data-less handshake every hour despite the airline not subscribing to the engine monitoring program (in which case we would have detailed data).

Everyone with the slightest scientific inkling should know which trail to follow here. And everyone with the slightest commercial inkling should know how to use that golden opportunity to get you into the news. And everyone with an axe to grind will know how to use that plane to further his case, whatever it may be.

Sometimes I think if the pilot of that plane cunningly vanished it along with the crew and the passengers and his own live just to spite his government and create a mystery he nearly perfectly succeeded. And without this tiny technical detail of the satellite handshakes we would have not the tiniest chance to ever find out what happened. Just imagine that. The perfect meme bomb.

about 3 months ago
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iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

joh Re:Well... (386 comments)

Half of the iPhones in the last quarter were the first iPhone for the buyers and two thirds of the iPads were the first.

about 3 months ago

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