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Comment Re:Cop video storage is a moral hazard for Taser (Score 1) 98

As long as they're careful to never lose video that may become the subject of media attention, I suppose it's possible. That seems like a game that's guaranteed to end badly, though, because it's not possible to know what will and will not become big news. Some things are obviously big (e.g. deaths) but lesser issues may not blow up until some subsequent sequence of events.

It seems like a really risky business strategy for Taser... and if any journalist ever caught wind of the "soft points", or any whistleblower decided to out them, it'd generate a firestorm.

What you describe is very feasible in heavily manual processes, but automated systems operate in the way they're designed, without variation, and deliberate holes leave traces. With manual processes, the worst case is that the agency has to find a scapegoat, some low-level employee who was responsible for doing something and didn't. With automated systems, it's much harder to argue that the problem wasn't deliberate. It's easy enough the first time "It's a bug!", but it doesn't take long before people want to know why the bug hasn't been fixed.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 119

Really? https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/...

Note the complete lack of any discussion of artificial lighting. Heat is important for winter greenhouses in England, but with regard to light the only discussion is about shading during the summer. Moreover, I have a colleague who lives in a small town just north of Sheffield who gardens year-round in an un-lit greenhouse. He says the shorter days in the winter result in slower growth, and some plants like it more than others so he changes the mix of what he's growing seasonally. But he grows herbs and vegetables year-round.

If you go far enough north, lighting does become an issue for winter growing. For example, in Alaska: http://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/p.... But that's pretty extreme. In Fairbanks the shortest day of the year is barely three hours long. London days don't get much less than 8 hours.

I'm not saying that LEDs couldn't help in northerly climes, but the article seems to say that using LEDs in a cave is more efficient somehow than using the sun. Which is ridiculous.

Comment Re:Marketplace Justice (Score 1) 108

The default gain may be poor, but it might be adjustable; it wouldn't surprise me at all if developers who were lax enough to not bother encrypting the feed also provided a low-level control interface over the same channel. It would be really convenient for debugging.

Even that doesn't really matter that much... do you really want a microphone in your house broadcasting what it hears? Exactly how much it hears may depend on where you are, what doors are open or closed, etc., but are you really sure it's never hearing anything you don't want broadcast?

And, more importantly, how many people who buy a baby monitor even think about the issue? Product designers should not build a product that requires their user to do that sort of security analysis. Especially since it's quite easy to make it a non-issue.

Comment Re:Not a consensus (Score 1) 316

Because there's a very limited number of these golden tickets, and unless you're born into a politician claim, it's about as likely as winning a lottery (except you only have to buy a ticket to win a lottery, whereas getting elected generally requires doing a lot of sleazy things).

Comment Re:Cop video storage is a moral hazard for Taser (Score 1) 98

The other side of this argument is that while individual police agencies don't have to retrieve video very often (except perhaps for very large ones, like NYPD), Taser will be getting requests on a daily basis. If they fail to "find" a substantial portion of those videos, it's going to become obvious -- and public -- very quickly. And the story will be that they're failing to do the primary job for which the taxpayers are paying them tens or hundreds of millions of dollars annually. That in turn will generate tremendous pressure on police departments to dump them. If agencies do their own storage they have a certain degree of plausible deniability around their own technical failures. Taser won't have that, and agencies won't have plausible deniability around their decision to use Taser once it's been headline news that Taser routinely fails.

From Taser's perspective, I think that narrative is a pretty compelling argument for being very careful not to ever "lose" video. Some headlines could destroy their business very quickly. They could survive one or two rounds of such headlines, but once it's clear that they've had plenty of time to fix their operations and still fail, they'd be dead.

Comment Re:No Apple (Score 1) 98

The question is why people should care about Apple being in the consortium. The answer is that people want to sell things (e.g. streaming services) to people with mobile devices, and these may depend on vendor support for the codecs that they use (on iOS, you can't easily get hardware acceleration unless you use Apple's AVFoundation framework). Whether this is actually important depends on whether or not that market is one that you care about.

Comment Re:Marketplace Justice (Score 1) 108

You're missing the point. Credit card numbers were just one example. Unless you're comfortable broadcasting everything that goes on in your house, this is an issue.

Also, there's no need to actually have a person sit in full view of anyone. Just hide a repeater in the shrubbery.

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas." - Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"