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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:Risk Management (Score 1) 679

by DutchUncle (#49345593) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident
The single remaining pilot should never have to leave the controls to unlock the door for the pilot returning from the bathroom. Having one of the service staff inside is the easiest defense against electrical or mechanical failure. Otherwise you have a locked door mystery . . . or the locked-the-keys-in-the-car situation.

Comment: Re:people are going to be saying (Score 1) 679

by DutchUncle (#49345527) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident
Absolutely. This was one of the bases for the joke about carrying a bomb on board the plane for safety (because the odds against TWO bombs are so high). Commercial pilots' health is monitored so the odds of any one person having a sudden illness are low; keeping two staff in the cockpit multiplied the decimal down to a vanishingly low number (but still nonzero of course). And there were rules about not eating the same dish at meals beforehand for the same reason - don't want all 3 cabin staff to have food poisoning from the same bad shellfish in the paella.

Comment: Truth in Labeling: Require a sign on the door. (Score 1) 841

by DutchUncle (#49339231) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
Proposed: Any store can refuse service to anyone. "No shirt, no shoes, no service". And to make this effective, the store must post its refusal criteria on the door, or within (x) feet of the door, in letters at least 3 inches tall, clearly legible before a customer enters the store, in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Comment: Same problem applies to law and regulation (Score 4, Insightful) 257

by DutchUncle (#49338855) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction
This is why regulations, especially security and privacy and security-theater issues, must be monitored constantly and addressed immediately. Even if you trust the current management (including government), all it takes is a small management change (or government change) to bring in management that you cannot trust - or, worse, that you can be absolutely sure will do the opposite of what the previous management promised.

Comment: Re:Modernize: complaints. Don't modernize: ditto. (Score 1) 97

The typical use case is to go both ways; out and back in (for residents), or in and back out (for visitors). When you pass through, the biometrics data is linked to the passport or other reference. At a minimum, one can confirm that someone claiming to be a returning resident really is the same person who left; and that a departing visitor really is the same person who entered; and if there is a maximum time for visitors (default or visa), whether a visitor has overstayed his/her/its maximum time.

My point, though, was more about the reflex reaction of "big government spying on us". This isn't spying - it's gatekeeping, and it's one of the few legitimate purposes of such data. The problem, as with so many other things like wireless toll passes or license plate scanners, is limiting the usage to those few legitimate purposes. I don't mind being tracked on the occasions that I cross the national border; I *do* mind that the information I gave to get my passport, and the photos, become the base for identification systems tracking people all over the place "for our own safety".

Comment: Modernize: complaints. Don't modernize: ditto. (Score 5, Insightful) 97

Come on, people, be realistic. Slashdotters are the foremost people complaining about antiquated low-tech approaches to problems and how they could be sped up, and probably half of us already use fingerprint or face recognition on our devices. Yet we're also among the people most aware of the negative impacts of such systems and the potential for abuse.

This isn't random scanning, or general surveillance - this is a Customs checkpoint, where their ENTIRE JOB is to know who is passing in and out of the country. This is one of the ONLY places where such technology is justified. The danger isn't the open explicit mandated checkpoints, it's the misuse of this technology at every commuter station and the entrances to entertainment or shopping venues - and the availability of government-collected information (which we are coerced to provide) to commercial interests for non-public purposes. Though on a practical level it's more likely to go broke because someone got access to my finances through stupid commercial activity.

Comment: Re:Obama (Score 1) 50

by DutchUncle (#49272183) Attached to: ICE Tells Reporter Its Secretive Drone Program Isn't Newsworthy
Reid and Pelosi and everyone doing strategy for the Democrats should be eliminated. All these years they have kept letting the Republicans take the initiative, frame the discussions. and define the terms of discourse. They are constantly two steps behind and on the wrong foot. Hell, Sansa Stark could do better, let alone anyone who has ever played any strategy games. Play the damn game by *all* of the rules, including backstabbing and poisoning the well like the Republicans do, and that includes the "knee to edge of board" variant that the Tea Party keeps trying to pull. Even this Clinton email thing is being handled badly, whichever side you agree with; the response - the very same day - should have been, "Yes, I ran my own email, just like I did for years before that, and the server is in the former President's house guarded by the Secret Service, and by the way all of you were receiving my emails ALL THOSE YEARS - didn't any of you idiots ever notice my return address all this time? and nobody cared all this time? But go ahead, assholes, because if you seat a committee to look into email, we're going to look into EVERYONE's email. Yes, including the ones with the dick pix and the dominatrix mistresses. Go ahead, I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours."

Comment: Logitech webcam $24; built into GPS for $10? (Score 1) 188

It isn't expensive to start rolling out as part of the new generation of Neverlost hardware. Eventually they'll check on who's driving ("You only paid for one driver and signed for one insurance coverage, but we see that both of you were driving..."), once their lawyers have finished changing the microprint that nobody reads before they sign.

Comment: Re:This sucks. (Score 3, Insightful) 299

by DutchUncle (#49243429) Attached to: Sir Terry Pratchett Succumbs To "the Embuggerance," Aged 66
This is a self-contradicting problem. I have absolutely no interest in killing myself or being killed, unless and until I'm incapable, which is precisely the point at which I need help. What I want to be able to do, while capable, sane, and demonstrably *not* in any immediate need and *not* under any duress, is set up the contract (oops, the "will and testament") that specifies the conditions under which I want to be assisted off this mortal coil since I can't do it myself any more.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.

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