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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:News (Score 3, Insightful) 211

by Albanach (#49096141) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

their premiums more than double thanks to obamacare

Do you ave any evidence to cite that justifies this as the reason for the increase? Or is it possible their employer saw an opportunity to screw the workforce and blame the President?

Obamacare did little to change most employer plans, so unless your friends had extremely limited insurance coverage, a > 100% increase seems implausible.

Comment: Re:Don't be naive (Score 1) 232

by Albanach (#49048317) Attached to: Iowa Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver's License On Your Phone

They already have been told. The case has been litigated and SCOTUS held the police need a warrant to conduct a search. Letting the police look at what is displayed on your phone screen is not a voluntary consent to a search of the phone.

As for the cost of fighting them, if it's litigated again it will be as a civil rights violation under 42 U.S. Code section 1983 which includes a fee shifting provision.

(for some reason /. doesn't permit § to generate a section symbol)

Comment: Re:This has been going on for a while (Score 3, Informative) 232

by Albanach (#49047717) Attached to: Iowa Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver's License On Your Phone

Did you read the linked article in my post above? The Supreme Court has already held that police need a warrant to search the phone of someone they arrest. I don't see why you think that handing an officer your phone for one reason - viewing the on-screen ID, would appear to translate into "I grant you permission to close the ID app and browse/download my email and photos."

Comment: Re:This has been going on for a while (Score 1) 232

by Albanach (#49047413) Attached to: Iowa Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver's License On Your Phone

whyt not? He's on a salary, he gets PAID to sit on the roadside, you don't. The only person it's costing is YOU.

Perhaps because the Supreme Court think the search would be unreasonable and while the officer may not have to pay personally, the local police force aren't going to be very happy after paying out for a few constitutional violations.

I doubt the Supreme Court would think that, having given your phone to an officer for them to check your ID, you have somehow consented to them collecting GB of other personal information from it.

Now you could probably hand over the information voluntarily if the terms and conditions associated with their app requested it, but if they do that I don't expect there to be much take up of the app in the first place.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 2) 101

by Albanach (#49038467) Attached to: US Gas Pump Hacked With 'Anonymous' Tagline

Can you change the price?

From the article photo, it looks like the 'pump' is actually some sort of monitoring device used to track how much gas/diesel is in the storage tanks. I imagine that gets used by suppliers to anticipate delivery requirements.

I don't know if the same system is used to control the pricing at the customer pumps, and the article doesn't make it clear. I'd guess than since this was published there are going to be some who will be trying it out though.

Comment: Re:Internet hyperbolic echo chamber strikes again. (Score 1) 200

by Albanach (#48985581) Attached to: Too Much Exercise May Not Be Better Than a Sedentary Lifestyle

In your 200+ sample, eight died. Certainly that's more than the seven deaths in 570 light joggers, but we really are stretching the meaning of statistically significant when we work with such small numbers. The tiniest factor that wasn't accounted for could easily make the difference.

Also, given the time period of the study, it's likely there's a great reliance on self-reporting of activity level. Doing the same study today, over ten years should be possible with a much better data set thanks to apps like Strava, MapMyRun, etc.

Comment: Re:Internet hyperbolic echo chamber strikes again. (Score 5, Informative) 200

by Albanach (#48981373) Attached to: Too Much Exercise May Not Be Better Than a Sedentary Lifestyle

The Forbes article linked in the summary is telling:

They point out several very important weaknesses in the study. First there is the general issue that this is just an observational study. There are a multitude of differences between the different groups in the study, and it is impossible to know with any certainty whether the jogging dose had any important causal relationship with the deaths that occurred in the study. Of course the researchers attempted to correct for many of the known differences but this is a highly imperfect science at best. And this was not a best case scenario. The mean age of the non-joggers in the study was 61.3 years while the mean age of all the joggers in the study ranged from the late 30s to the mid 40s. So this isn’t just comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing a young juicy apple with a shriveled old lemon.

But even if it were possible to compare the groups and adjust for the differences there would still be another insuperable problem. The study simply had no statistical power to detect differences between the jogging groups. Although there were 128 deaths among the 413 non-joggers there were only 17 deaths in all the 1,098 joggers, including only 2 deaths among the 36 strenuous joggers. The authors calculated that those 2 deaths represented a two-fold increase in risk for the strenuous joggers compared to the non-joggers, but the enormous confidence interval, ranging from less than half the risk to an 8-fold increase, illustrates the futility of obtaining any sort of reasonable estimate of risk based on so few data points.

Comment: Re:"...other than the child's health" (Score 4, Insightful) 199

by Albanach (#48979737) Attached to: British MPs Approve 3-Parent Babies

And the law is so written to stop guys having sex, creating babies then denying any responsibility. Hence the requirement that the donation be under the supervision of a doctor.

I'm not sure what the concern here is, unless the suggestion is that three people will come together in a back room without a doctor, privately switch out the mitochondrial DNA in the woman's egg and then fertilize the egg.

Comment: Re:So the Echo? (Score 1) 45

by Albanach (#48964839) Attached to: Listnr Wants to be 'Your Listening Assistant' (Video)

I think the Echo looks interesting and look forward to trying it out when I reach the front of the queue. But, absent some hacks, there's no indication it will ever have an open API.

Apple make money from a nice margin on everything they make. Google make money from targeted advertising. Amazon really need to keep you in the ecosystem more than the others because the hardware doesn't have the same profit margin as Apple, and they're not as well places as Google to monetize your personal info. Amazon need you to buy stuff from Amazon.

(Admittedly, Apple are pretty keen on vendor lock-in but I feel that is mostly because user loyalty means they can).

Comment: Re:Seems obvious but... (Score 5, Insightful) 325

by Albanach (#48766189) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Maybe you want desktops? Just a thought.

I think the OP is going to see this answer repeatedly. Really their question is where can we get a laptop that gives us desktop features and desktop performance, without any explanation as to why they need a laptop.

By definition, a laptop has to compromise, for space and for weight. Both of which will impact cooling, and where cooling is limited and as they have experienced, performance has to go down. Either that or type fast to avoid burning your fingers.

There's a reason why cooling is one of the biggest costs associated with hosting servers - servers are designed to run at or near max capacity 24x7x365 in a relatively small form factor and they generate a ton of heat. In that sense, they're a bit like laptops except they can offload the cooling to the room's AC system. Also they have lots of fans and sound like you're next to a jet engine.

I see two options. Either staff switch to desktops, or use laptops with virtualization so the work is offloaded to something that is better suited to the task.

Comment: Re:if it doesnt work (Score 2) 464

by Albanach (#48719549) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

Optometry is hard

Totally agree. I also happen to have been in the OP's position.

I too went down the progressives route when I had began to have more trouble reading. They were great for books where the near focus area was well designed, but for computer use all they do is give a clearer view of the keyboard.

Now I have reading glasses and regular glasses. If I have a long day at the screen, I'll be wearing my reading glasses. I can still use them during breaks as there's not a a great difference in my reading and far-sighted prescription, but the difference for screen work is very noticeable and helpful.

Comment: Re:Rap isn't free speech. (Score 1) 436

by Albanach (#48493417) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

The only time when the idea of free speech should be trumped, is when there is intent to cause harm, like yelling bomb or fire in a crowded area

So what exactly is the difference between yelling fire in a theater and yelling "I'm going to murder $ex_girlfriend" in a song lyric?

Are you suggesting that to be guilty of the former, the police must show there was a specific intent to start the fire? If not, why is using speech to place a number of people in fear problematic, but it's okay if the target is an individual?

Comment: Re:RFID/card scanner (Score 5, Interesting) 127

by Albanach (#48471075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

An AC first post hits the nail on the head. I'd have thought RFID would be faster, less intrusive and possibly more reliable. Pretty sure it would be cheaper to implement too.

Unless you're worried about people using someone else's card to authenticate, this seems like the smart solution. Still, I can't believe you haven't thought about this, so maybe there's some reason you feel RFID wouldn't be suitable.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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