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Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 1) 286

by Bob9113 (#48894453) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Your car is broken. And that's a piss-poor reason to be against automated driving aids.

It came from the dealership that way. It is not a good reason to be against the theory, which I am not. It is, however, an excellent reason to be against their ubiquitous deployment as currently practiced. A point made exceedingly clear in the last paragraph of my post.

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 4, Interesting) 286

by Bob9113 (#48892565) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Real world example: My car has traction control. It also is relatively light, has front wheel drive, and has an anti-roll bar on the rear suspension.

So here's what happens; when I go into a long left hander (like a freeway interchange), the weight transfers to the right and the body rolls. The outside (right) rear wheel suspension compresses, and the anti-roll bar lifts the left rear wheel off the ground. It is a stable driving configuration, they just overbuilt the anti-roll bar for the vehicle weight. The inside rear wheel would be unweighted and providing negligible traction even if it were touching the ground, so it is not a risk.

But here's what happens next: The inside wheel is not being driven, nor is it touching the ground. Air friction slows the wheel, and the traction control system kicks in. It sees that I have three wheels going 60 MPH and one wheel going 20 MPH, and assumes that I am in an aggressive spin. It brakes the three fast wheels; aggressively. And the vehicles bucks like a horse that just saw a rattlesnake. That does cause a very real risk of losing control.

Sensor-based driving assist is a fine option. It's great for people who want the freedom to text while driving, because it keeps them from killing me. Making it the norm may reduce accidents overall, and we may reach a day when it is superior to any human. But we have not yet reached the point where economy-priced driving assist is less dangerous than an attentive and skilled driver.

Comment: Re:Wait, What? (Score 1) 219

by Bob9113 (#48839425) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

I hope governments heard me condemning the attacks to my dog so I don't get raided.

I'm sorry, but condemning the attacks to your dog is not considered sufficiently patriotic. You must find at least three people who practice Islam and condemn the attacks to them. For example, "Hey, Muslim guy, apparently you don't know this; terrorism is wrong." Then just ask him if he is planning any terrorist attacks, take down the details if he is, and have him sign your patriotism verification form.

Comment: Wait, What? (Score 3, Informative) 219

by Bob9113 (#48838647) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism.

WTF? R'ing TFA... not a whole lot, but here's a bit more from the article:

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism. Leaders this week called for new legislation to significantly bolster domestic intelligence agencies.

Another law, a fast-track judicial process for accusations related to terrorism, was on the books as of November but had not been widely used before the Paris attacks. In recent days, however, prosecutors have filled the dockets with more than 100 cases that are speeding through courtrooms. People who have expressed support for the attacks have been sentenced to as much as 15 months in prison.

A top French opposition politician, Eric Ciotti, said this week that the government should withhold social benefits from the parents of children who failed to observe moments of silence in schools.

Comment: Broken Windows Theory (Score 5, Interesting) 219

by Bob9113 (#48781155) Attached to: LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

it might invite over-managing minor policy violations.

Have you heard of the broken windows theory? It may not be appropriate when applied to citizens, who are supposed to be presumed to be the masters of government, not its servants. However, when a person is acting in a public service position that has extraordinary authority and hence extraordinary responsibility, broken windows is far more appropriate.

LEOs are supposed to get in trouble for minor policy violations, and major policy violations should be virtually unheard of. Were we not on the wrong side of that balance, we would not have to implement solutions like this. The few bad cops did this to you. They are the worst enemy of good cops. Go put those mutts in jail, make that the new normal; then we'll talk about easing up on the surveillance.

Comment: Higher? How Much? Worth it. (Score 1) 255

by Bob9113 (#48765337) Attached to: FCC Favors Net Neutrality

A related article suggests one side effect of the internet becoming a public utility will be higher costs for internet access.

OK, first, I'm dubious. But suppose it does go up. How much is it worth to have access to all the Internet offers? At $50/mo, we're hardly pushing the limits of what this stuff is worth. If we just have to pay a little more to get broader access, no content restriction by privateers, and competition for higher speed networks, I'll do the dance of joy.

Comment: Re:As much as could be expected (Score 1) 189

by Bob9113 (#48764933) Attached to: White House Responds To Petition To Fire Aaron Swartz's Prosecutor

Note: I am not defending her any more than I'd defend the gangster used as a classical scapegoat. Neither of their hands are clean. Does she deserve to be fired? I don't know, maybe, but it wouldn't actually do anything.

So you do what you do with gangsters. You take her down, and let her off easy if she implicates her superiors. You don't just shrug and say, "Oh well."

Comment: Re:Not so sure about this... (Score 1) 252

by Bob9113 (#48736037) Attached to: The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

The key will be creating demand for security with consumers. Once they realize it is important they will look for it, and companies that fail to deliver will suffer as a result.

I like the idea, but I'm skeptical. I feel like security is too similar to, say, sturdiness of furniture -- like a hardwood wardrobe; it is not reasonable to expect the silent hand of the free market to understand why mortise and tenon joinery is worth the price compared to pocket screws, even on high end furniture. So my Dad's incredibly nice hardwood bedroom set that I just moved is already falling apart. Security, like quality construction of durable consumer goods, has an actual market price below the theoretical free market price if there were ideal consumers.

Even if it didn't, I think security has characteristics of an externality. Poor security leads to a fertile breeding ground for burglars, much as lack of immunization creates a breeding ground for disease. If that is true, good security should be socially rewarded and poor security should be socially punished -- even if each transaction were long-term rationally self-interested and well-informed.

Comment: Re:Not so sure about this... (Score 4, Interesting) 252

by Bob9113 (#48733967) Attached to: The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

Data provided by 'smart homes' will end up with the feds, in due time; but it'll be picked clean by every scumbag marketing weasel in the business first. Best of both worlds!

Don't forget the Internet savvy burglar class that is coming. These smart device companies aren't spending their angel funding on security. Casing houses is quickly going to become a service available on the darknet; for a fraction of a bitcoin, crackers with giant databases of IoT surveillance data will tell the burglar which houses in the target area are unoccupied during the hours they specify. Tapping the camera signals will let the burglars pre-plan which stuff to grab. For a premium price, they'll disable the alarms, unlock the doors, and open the garage.

And my freaking homeowners insurance will go up, while Harry Hairstyle the scumbag CEO's stock will continue to soar into the stratosphere, because he won't be found negligent, and the homeowner who trusted him won't be found stupid.

Comment: Re:Kill-ur-drive contest? (Score 2) 181

by Bob9113 (#48730947) Attached to: Indiana Court Rules Melted Down Hard Drive Not Destruction of Evidence

If the goal is to kill a drive, there's a much faster way. Pull it out of the case, but keep the wires connected. Shut down the machine. Turn the machine back on. When the drive is just starting to spin up, slam it flat on the desktop.

Before the platters are up to speed, there is very little Bernoulli force holding the heads up. The above operation will crash the head and leave a nice big scratch.

Comment: Re:Other Tech Already Infiltrating Homes' Privacy (Score 5, Interesting) 139

by Bob9113 (#48704233) Attached to: Doppler Radar Used By Police To Determine Home Occupancy

I like your IoT angle, so I'm going to hang my comment here (I'll tie it in to your comment at the end).

If the officer looked through the window and didn't see any other people, for example, we could intuitively factor that into the reasonable suspicion inquiry without having to think about burdens of proof.

I think it is easy to make the call with looking in the window because everyone knows how to pull their curtains. Pulling your curtains carries force of law telling government representatives, "I don't want you to look at me right now, unless you have a warrant." That is the essence of the right to be secure in ones home; that you have the authority to say that the government is not permitted to observe your home without a warrant, regardless of technological capability.

Does the same apply to Doppler radar, or IoT records? Do people have an easy and commonly known way to say, "I do not want the government to look at electromagnetic radiation or business records that indicate what is happening in my home"? If people do not have a commonly known way to indicate consent or lack thereof to be observed, which carries the same force of law as curtains, then a warrant is required to uphold the intent of the 4th.

And to address a following point that may get raised; electric meters are sometimes used as evidence of what is happening inside a house. I think that also violates the intent of the 4th.

But what we really need is not to understand the intent of the 4th. What we need is for the public to consider that the marginal cost of law enforcement may have exceeded the marginal cost of crime. That is to say; we may have too little crime relative to the cost (including the cost to liberty and dignity) of law enforcement.

Comment: Re:Sarkeesian, really? (Score 1) 299

by Bob9113 (#48700159) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: The Beanies Return; Who Deserves Recognition for 2014?

she's taken an extremely antagonistic attitude which has ironically been fueling a lot of hate speech of late. Her cause definitely has merit, but her arguments are often weak and her methods questionable.

That's about where I come out too. My ideals have been well aligned with feminism for a couple decades and there are many feminist leaders I have a lot of respect for, but she comes off a bit too much like Al Sharpton. Fighting for an important and just cause, but the self promotion and manipulative rhetoric make it ring a little hollow. Fine for rallying the troops, perhaps, but not so good for communicating with the other side. The latter is the worthier part.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...