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Comment: Coincidence? (Score 2) 108

by PopeRatzo (#47941983) Attached to: Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

It's interesting that this story hits Slashdot the same day as the story about Apple double-pinky swearing that they'll never, unh-uh, not ever unlock your iPhone for law enforcement any more.

I don't believe a fucking word. They'd throw a baby off a bridge for a $2 bump in their stock price. It's the same with any corporation, but they're closed ecosystem just means there's no way to protect yourself.

All this "canary" bullshit begs the question why, if Apple really cared one little bit about their customers, don't they just come out and say what they have to say. Apple may be one of a very small handful of corporations that actually could stand up to the surveillance regime. As far as I'm concerned, tacit complicity is worse than loud complicity. Especially when your selling yourself as someone who can be trusted with peoples' mobile payments and personal information and when you pretend you "Think Different". Remember the famous 1984 Apple ad? They are now part of the problem.

Comment: Re:Scam (Score 1) 115

I'm using the example that was often cited in the 90s, you're 3 hours into your vacation and are worried you might have left the stove or coffee maker on.

Here's a radical idea: an automatic shutoff. You know, like those $10 electric water kettles have had for years that shut themselves off when they reach a boil? You could have a stove that simply shuts itself off if it fails a state check. Come on, your example sucks. A 50 cent circuit that does automatic shutoff is a hell of a lot less expensive and intrusive than giving your stove and coffee maker an IP address and having to connect to it via a cell phone. And I hope you're vacation isn't on some relaxing beach or national park where there isn't cell phone service, or you're screwed. Meanwhile, the auto-shutoff would be looking out for you even if you happen to be water skiing without your cell phone clipped to the belt of your swim trunks. Yes, your example sucks.

Otherwise you have to worry the whole time, or call somebody and beg them to visit your house

So it's easier for you to accept an "Internet of Things" and all its attendant costs and loss of privacy, than it is to make friends with a neighbor you can call and actually check on your house?
Maybe you need a different type of "connectivity" in your life, friend,.

Networked coffee makers were, of course, already decades old, though most were custom built.

I have a cheap coffeemaker from Target that turns itself off after 2 hours. Which is great because coffee only gets nasty if it sits on a heating element longer than that.

I find it... unlikely... that you truly cannot find your own examples of where information about "things" is useful to the owner of said things.

It's not about not finding examples. It's about those examples not being worth the cost in terms of money, effort or the loss of privacy. Read my post. That was the punchline: It's not worth it.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 246

by swb (#47940805) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

I thought the one with the population density of Houston was more interesting as it implies a more livable density than Manhattan. A slight reduction in density might allow for grow-local kind of agriculture, too.

There might be actual incentives to encouraging the development of a megacity. The energy savings in transportation would be huge and there's probably a lot of other economies of scale to be gained. If other populated areas became equally less dense the environment might improve.

The downside is that all big cities have a gross aspect to them, especially poorer ones.

Comment: Re:We need to rethink things (Score 1) 115

Of course, none of this will happen, because it requires that we create a set of standards that everyone abides by.

It won't happen because our lives have been monetized for the benefit of a very few. It won't happen because now we are the consumables. The Internet has become a tool of tracking, behavior modification and political control.

Comment: Scam (Score 1) 115

The "Internet of Things" is a solution without a problem. There is nothing about the Internet of things that could not be accomplished without the built-in violation of privacy. When are people going to figure out that a large percentage, if not the majority of all new technical "solutions" are actually methods of taking something from you, instead of providing you with some service or improvement to a product? Once you get past the novelty, it's actually quite an ugly picture. From "smartphones" to mobile payments, "connected" appliances and all the rest, it's not meant to make your life better, but to alter your relationship to your possessions in order to enrich someone who does not have your best interests at heart. It's not enough that they've turned the Internet itself from a revolutionary platform for communication and the sharing of data into a shopping mall where the product is you. Now they have to turn your very life into a terrarium for their own enrichment.

And the worst part of the Internet of Things is that it's just not worth the price, no matter the price.

Comment: Your DL and plates are fucked, but phone works? (Score 1) 429

by swb (#47939247) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

So the brick managed to destroy the license plates and your driver's license or other cards with your name on them in the car, but your fucking phone still works? And you happen to have a contact for your wife in your phone that says "WIFE" and not just her first name?

Comment: trust but verify (Score 1) 429

by PopeRatzo (#47938303) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

And we should believe Apple why? Who thinks that if Apple gets a national security letter that they're not going to comply? And what about access to the increasing proportion of data that is stored on Apple's servers instead of the local iPhone? Is Apple going to say no to the NSA/FBI/CIA on that, too?

We've heard these promises before.

Comment: Re:When doing anything involving the ocean (Score 4, Interesting) 189

by swb (#47930343) Attached to: Wave Power Fails To Live Up To Promise

The original screws were probably bronze, not brass. Bronze has no appreciable zinc while brass contains a lot of zinc. Immersed in sea water, brass will dezincify and corrode.

Most marine raw water systems use bronze fittings for this reason.

Stainless isn't suitable for below the waterline applications because the chromium can't form a protective oxidization layer due to the lack of oxygen exposure.

Your boat would have sunk with brass or stainless screws.

Comment: It doesn't seem to make sense (Score 3, Informative) 486

by swb (#47926891) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

I don't really understand the political or economic motivations of Scottish independence.

The political side would make more sense if Scotland was greatly different than UK culturally and had a significant short-term history of English subjugation. The Scots really aren't an ethnic or racial grouping, except at some micro level and don't seem to have a serious complaint regarding discrimination on language or religious grounds.

The economics make less sense -- Scotland has been economically integrated with the larger UK for a long time. Had Scotland split off in 1850, it would have been at a time when economies were smaller and much more locally self sufficient and it would have had time to develop into something that The economy seems much more regional now and it will be a hard transition to a more standalone economy.

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"