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Comment: "otherwise it would be forbidden "? (Score 2) 147

by jcr (#47781703) Attached to: The Executive Order That Led To Mass Spying, As Told By NSA Alumni

Bullshit. It's ILLEGAL, period. Executive orders don't trump acts of congress, and acts of congress don't override the constitution. Every NSA minion involved in collecting this data without a warrant issued by a judge naming a specific person and stating what they're looking for and why, is a CRIMINAL.


Comment: Re:Her work (Score 1) 1079

by jcr (#47774639) Attached to: Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

How can you tell when you receive a lot of death threats whether any of them are credible?

I've had a dozen or so death threats over the years, and two of them have mentioned where I lived and/or worked at the time. Nobody's showed up to kill me yet.

"When all is said and done, a great deal more is said than done."


Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 501

by Jeremi (#47761167) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

There are plenty of not so time critical scenarios where some sort of manual override is needed and those aren't going to go away even when we trust the software to do all the driving

No worries -- to handle those scenarios, we'll download the app and steer the car using our phone. Bluetooth FTW!

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 194

by Jeremi (#47756671) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

Between companies using 10 year old Linux kernels, to having unpatchable systems, or just having really bad understandings of security, I've come to conclude this is the norm.

... and a hacked prosthetic arm is the worst possible kind of security breach -- the hackers could literally hold your neck for ransom.

Comment: Re:Bets on first use (Score 2) 233

by Jeremi (#47756487) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

Besides, weren't there apps that do this that folks could purchase of their own free will?

There are, but the feature doesn't work as a theft deterrent unless almost everybody has it. If only a few people have it, thieves will steal phones anyway, because the likelihood is they can resell most of the phones they steal. If/when we get to the point where almost all phones auto-brick after they are stolen, cell-phone thieves will lose their profit incentive and move on to something else.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 507

by Jeremi (#47745607) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

So if we do something in C++ then there's an added 50% "C++ Tax" just to find the 500,000 memory leaks and such.

Just wanted to say that if you are careful to use a smart-pointer class (e.g. shared_ptr) rather than raw C-style pointers to hold dynamically allocated objects, 99% of your memory leaks (and other object-lifetime-managment related problems) will "magically" go away -- and without the overhead or random execution-pauses seen in languages that rely on a garbage collector.

Comment: Re:Adding Politics to Engineering Decisions (Score 1) 172

by Jeremi (#47734605) Attached to: Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Would 2014 America hold up seat belt installation for ten years just to make sure they are totally, exactly, 100% safe?

Really, you're don't see the difference in added risk between (a computer taking over sole responsibility for the control of a 2500-pound, 65-mile-an-hour car, in all possible traffic conditions), and (adding a strip of reinforced fabric to the cockpit)?

When was the last time your seat belt stopped working due to a buffer overrun? Contrariwise, when was the last time your home computer did something wrong or unexpected?

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.