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Simon Waddington
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Simon Waddington

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My thoughts exactly.  And he who argues that money is speech is doomed to abide by corporations speaking with their wallets.
 
Yep

 http://xkcd.com/1357/

Alt text: I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.
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It's getting to be that time again... Google I/O time.   There is traditionally a mixed bag of big announcements from GHQ in particular a new major update to the Android operating system. It seems like there are already substantial "leaks" about what the new update will bring and some seem to think it will focus on corporate "enterprise" features.  

Personally I'm starting up my own wish list - whether they will arrive in the next version or a later one, or never I don't know.  Either way here is my list in no particular order. Feel free to comment and add your own!

1. Multi-user support in Chrome so I can switch between my work and personal identities easily

2. Ability to play YouTube content in background mode for all those podcasts that are actually posted at a video, or just don't have much video worth watching.

3. Complete Hangout/SMS/Google Voice integration, the current situation is confusing as hell.  

4. Even better battery life, or app management.  I'm still struggling to make it through a day with what I regard as light use.

5. ??? I'm still working on this list and will add some more entries soon.

I personally wish there was a Nexus phone with an awesome contrast ratio to beat the iPhone but I know that isn't going to happen any time soon and isn't an OS feature anyway.  But that doesn't stop me wishing for it!. 
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Google is desperate (LOL) and that does fit into what the engineers are trying to do with Hangout http://www.wired.com/2014/04/desperation-is-driving-google-to-invent-our-crazy-future/ 
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Dear +Google,

The whole OpenSSL fiasco was well, a fiasco.  SSL with all it's pretty colored padlocks proved to be well, "open" after all.  You know it doesn't have to be this way right?  Google has done great things to promote, adopt, enforce and improve the standards used on the Internet.  From removing support for decrepit Microsoft browsers, to releasing a standards compliant reference browser that has quietly conquered the browsing world, to enhancing the HTTP protocol with SPDY.  All good.

So how about you take on security next?  

Lets start with OpenSSL - please apply your enormous resources extracted from web users mouse click and help turn it into a rock solid, massively tested and audited security project.  Extend your security prizes to OpenSSL bugs.  Have some of your finest and brightest work on it for a while.  And if it doesn't work start from scratch with your own implementation or a better protocol.

In the mean time can you please remove that pesky little padlock whenever I access a site with a broken SSL implementation.  In fact better still put up one of those giant "I do not think you want to go here" warnings and make it really hard to go there.  

Another thing you can, and should do is deal with this whole password mess.  I know you created Google ID and many are adopting it, but boy, it's taking a long time and you know it'll never get to 100% usage, probably not even 50% or 20% of sites.  Even those that do accept it still demand another login just in case we disconnect them from Google.  

What I'd like to see you do is for all those sites that demand a username and password, just take control of issuing, storing and changing them.  Yes I know Chrome can do this for me but you know what, that is a shamefully weak system.  I've been using LastPass for a few weeks now because I just finally gave up wanting to trust Chrome - and Chrome wont even auto-generate password for me.  

I want you to do everything the LastPass does - maybe just buy them and make them good.  Build it into Chrome, Android etc.  Keep all my credential in an encrypted blob that never leaves my devices in un-encrypted form.  Support two-factor authentication to de-crypypt credentials just like LastPass does.  Fill out forms, generate secure passwords, and do it on Android too as part of the standard Android keyboard.  LastPass is being sneaky to do this right now using the accessibility interface to auto-fill on Android but my guess is it is not necessary any more secure than copy and paste...

One more thing while I'm at it.  You know what the big deal is with passwords?  It's not setting them, it's changing them.  If I could auto-magically change my passwords on every system I would feel a lot safer.  In some ways I was already doing that on a case by case basis since I often forget them (or my user name) and have to do a via a reset email which basically ensures I have my GMail access which requires my 2FA key if I'm not on a friendly device.  You know what would be even nicer, if there was a standard for authentication - a REL link metadata to browsers where to go to sign in and where to go to modify the password once signed in or where to go to trigger a password/username reset email.  Maybe that already exists, I didn't check, but you are the people who could make a big push to have everyone use them.   It would be browser independent anyway so no one should worry about Google championing it.  

Once you have that you can then have your password/credentials vault support auto changing of passwords across the board.  Next time there is some crazy security fiasco, or someone thinks a keystroke logger snatched some passwords then you can go out and re-randomize passwords.  Heck you could even do it automatically on time basis.  No one would be even thinking about "what's my password" except for the one very important one they have to remember, and protecting their two or multi-factor authentication devices.  You could do things for that too with escrow protocols like you have hidden away in Google accounts for when people die.  I'm not saying that the security problem will be solved, but at least it will be heavily mitigated and you know what, this would give people a great reason to sign up for a G+ id and use Chrome (and hopefully Android).  Those other guys just wouldn't come even close to that kind of convenience!

Anyway, sorry to be so demanding and sound so entitled to all of these things but it's just what we expect from the world leading Internet and technology company.  After all, as I pointed out earlier, all that money you made came because we keep clicking on your ads.  No, we don't cut you the checks for the most part, but you get the checks because we keep clicking.  The Internet does not surf itself so please help make it an inviting, calm and safe place for us to surf. 
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OpenBSD developers are doing a massive cleanup. If it works out, we may end up with a very good and compatible version. Watching the commit messages has been educational. 
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Some people might say the market cap of all the Bitcoin in the world is a lot at $6B but unfortunately it wouldn't even buy half of the US Easter candy and paraphernalia.

Next time someone is complaining about the government spending a few billion on socialist cause like say ending homelessness, just ask yourself... If we all just skipped Easter candy binges more reminiscent of the original pagan rites than anything modern, well would it actual hurt us so much to instead put that money to good use for the benefit of our fellow humankind?
 
The total spending for Easter-related items this year will be just under $16 billion: http://onforb.es/1kYB6JT
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Another point I forgot to address before regards the price of precious metals going below par value. That would be good. If the government were not so financially irresponsible to borrow every dollar spent, the price of precious metals should be below the minted value. During the Kennedy years a dollar's worth of silver traded at 88 cents. The raw bullion should not have a price above par if the issuing government is liquid. In those rare fiscal policies, unminted bullion is not as good of an investment as minted bullion or government bonds paying minted bullion. However this is usually very rare as governments are generally willing to trade the future for the present.
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This article about giving everyone, and I mean everyone, a basic payment to cover housing and cost of living makes a lot of sense to me.  It will no doubt incense libertarians, even if the net effect is to benefit everyone and reduce government.  

It also makes a great point about how Alaskans don't consider this socialism, or income redistribution, the consider it "joint ownership".  How is that?

It probably has a wide open hole in it that wasn't addressed in the article.  The question of immigration.  Does everyone everyone arriving in the country automatically qualify?  Does the pot increase with the size of the population or is the pot a fixed one shared out between the number of inhabitants (like I think Alaska's is and many Indian tribes do with their casino earnings).  If it is it a per-capita payment to really ensure it is always sufficient then one would assume that anyone who is not a legal resident (or even citizen?) would not receive this payment so perhaps some right leaning people would rally behind this, as it would encourage people to arrive here legally and surreptitiously penalize those who are not.  

If the payments were actually a "joint ownership" payment like Alaska's then it might even encourage a downward pressure on population growth.  If you're making just enough to get by in your twenties then maybe if there were fewer new births in your generation and the next then you'd be doing much better by your sixties with fewer mouths grabbing at your "joint ownership" payment...

I would question the math cited in the article.  $1 trillion dollars a year may sound like a huge amount, but doesn't really go very far when you start dividing it up between every person in the US (maybe $4,000 each if you remove children, those locked up, non-resident or otherwise ineligible).  I didn't get that this was supposed to be means tested in any way - that adds all kinds of problems of its own that not having any more was listed as benefits of having the system.  And lets face it you might get pissed off about some one percenters getting their share too, and it means nothing to them - probably a few hours wages - but there's only 1% of them and them getting nothing makes little difference to the other 99%.  

Just remember that at least in my home city anyone who can establish a permanent address can claim about $600 a month already - that's $6,000 a year - and yet still we have a world class homeless problem, a least for a developed country. Sure I live and work in some of the most expensive cities in the country,  and that money would go a long way elsewhere, however realistically I think we are talking about needing more money in many places which means several trillion a year.  

All in all I'm not sure how I feel about it - coming from a country where housing and money for food was always provided I've seen an instance of it working.  Housing was provided directly via subsidized housing built and owned by local governments, not just by handing out money to rent on the free market.  However cities jumped at the chance to unload their housing stocks after the Tory government decided it was a good thing to encourage people to own their housing, but this resulted in folks making a mint selling their properties in the rising markets, and then another dire shortage of real subsidized housing for those that never could afford to buy.
David Wheeler says as middle-class careers continue to disappear, we need a monthly cash payment to everyone
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Wow that's awesome. Simple. Sane. Cost effective.

As someone interested in education, the implication at school is enormous. Not just full bellies (and we do see hunger) but less stressed poor parents not taking their frustrations out on the kids. Could make a huge difference...in everything.
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Hmmm, the latest iteration of the Android camera app seems to be getting a lot of less than stellar reviews, You may wish to think about twice before updating - for now I'm glad I don't let my phone auto update anything. My guess is there will probably be further updates to this app pretty quickly and definitely by Google I/O.
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I always filter the reviews by my phone and latest version.  They are still very mixed.
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White Lies at The New Parish in Oakland, a great band in an awesome small local venue
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This video is awesome in so many ways.  It was originally posted in 2010 but is having a phoenix moment now as an animated GIF.  Why don't you head over to YouTube and show it some federated love on the Thumbs Up button?
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It's great that more than ten years after I first discussed it (and subsequently found someone already trying to build them) Google is now working on my ideal component based personal computing devices. It is really clear where a display technology like Google Glass fits in with this!
 
Building blocks: how Project Ara is reinventing the smartphone http://bit.ly/1m8aSWV
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There a few good tips for BART newbies, but I doubt they will ever see them - perhaps BART could install flat screens on the stations and loop this video over and over?

And the #1 tip not included that drives me crazy: if you are standing by, or in front of the door when the train stops STEP OFF THE TRAIN AND TO THE SIDE TO LET PASSENGERS OFF.  Even if the train is lightly crowded it doesn't matter how much you try to stand to the side you will still be completely in the way of exiting passengers and slow everyone down - especially those with bikes, wheelchairs or kids in tow.   

Of course to go along with this when you are waiting on the platform - stand well back and let people off, and then let those who stepped off back on before you board.   Don't barge into the oncoming flow like a salmon trying to swim home to spawn.  The few seconds that takes is paid off many times over by the increase in speed for people exiting.
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."

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