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Comment: Re:Books 4 and 5. (Score 2) 123

He specifically notes this -- see sections 3.1 through 3.3 of the paper.

I think another approach that might be interesting to try would be to model the distance between adjacent POV chapters by a given character given the distribution of their previous POV chapters. For instance, if Arya's POV chapters are 10 chapters apart on average and book 6 will be 70 chapters, you'd probably expect 6 or 7 Arya POV chapters if they're uniformly distributed. On the other hand, Ned's last POV chapter was quite a while ago, and so you would expect that trend to continue. [He could still have a POV chapter via Bran trying to see into Ned's past. That would certainly surprise readers looking at the list of POV characters!]

Comment: Re:Just wait 'til the Insurance Companies get it! (Score 1) 130

Your insurance company could introduce a clause (if it's not already there) suspending your insurance coverage for a short period of time (say a minute or two) after the telemetry indicates that you violated a motor vehicle law. They could claim it was introduced to prevent a carjacker from getting paid for injuries related to the sudden and violent end of his or her high-speed chase, but it could also apply if you went 0.1 MPH over the speed limit just before an accident (trying to prevent the accident by getting out of the way and failing?)

And of course, each and every violation would be a point which would, as X!0mbarg suggests, increase your insurance premium. Depending on the precision of the instruments, even something like crossing a double yellow line could be detected.

Comment: Re:That's nice and all (Score 1) 364

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47870891) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

If you're driving in stop-and-go traffic, texting using your cell phone isn't quite as bad as if you're barreling down the highway at 70, 80, 90 or more miles per hour while texting.

As for differentiating passengers and drivers ... tethering is one possibility. Not electronic tethering, but literal physical tethers that connect the phone to the car and are short enough and positioned carefully enough (for the front seat, in the far corner of the dashboard from the driver above the glove compartment) where it will allow passengers to bring the phone to their ears but will not allow drivers to do so. Any phone that is physically tethered can make a call via the car's antenna; phones that aren't are blocked.

Now sure, drivers could probably try to attach extender cables to allow them to text while driving. And if a police officer sees an extender, they can pull the driver over, confiscate the cable (and possibly the phone), and fine the offender.

Comment: Re:Mixed arithmetic in Matlab (Score 1) 729

Do you really want this:

    A = ones(10000, 10000, 'int8'); % 10000-by-10000 matrix each entry of which is 1, stored using the 8-bit signed integer type
    B = 1; % double precision
    C = A+B;

to blow C up into a 10000-by-10000 matrix of doubles, requiring eight times as much memory as A?

There's also the question of false precision.

Comment: Screw the Streisand effect (Score 1) 116

I want to see them subjected to the Hood effect, named for the Attorney General of Mississippi.

As a coincidence, the headline of the current most recent "Latest News" item on the Attorney General's website is "Pontotoc Woman Going to Prison for Forgery."

Comment: Re:Legislating Technology (Score 1) 233

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47757135) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

I predict that as soon as a phone with the (undoubtedly standard) kill switch is released, someone will write a software program to reverse the locking. For good measure, that software program will probably also users to kill a phone remotely by spoofing the signal to make the kill switch program believe it's coming from the telecom company or law enforcement.

Unless there's a hardware component (say a physical key you need to insert into a slot on the side of the phone) the security WILL be broken quickly because the financial and bragging rights rewards for doing so are huge. If there IS a hardware component, the thief will likely turn mugger and demand the person's keys -- I suspect many people will probably put the key on their key ring.

Comment: Re:All electric grid control systems and networks. (Score 1) 117

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47749825) Attached to: Securing the US Electrical Grid

What about the havoc an extremely large nuclear device could cause on the power grid? According to this other Wikipedia article, "In June 2013, a joint venture from researchers at Lloyd's of London and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) in the United States used data from the Carrington Event to estimate the current cost of a similar event to the US at $0.6-2.6 trillion." To put that in perspective, the 2005 United States budget request from President Bush was only $2.4 trillion and the 2013 budget request from President Obama was $3.8 trillion.

Comment: Government bricking = bad. Script kiddie = worse. (Score 1) 299

I would be less concerned about the government doing this (because there are consequences to doing so -- the Streisand effect being one) than random script kiddies exploiting a vulnerability in the kill switch mechanism by sending a signal to every phone passing a certain point on the highway, for example, just because they can. Given that the government is pushing for this, you know it's going to be somewhat standardized (they wouldn't want to have to use a different process for Apple, Samsung, etc. phones) and so that standard code is going to be a prime target for attackers.

If this does happen, I give it a week or less before the system is compromised and someone starts using it for "entertainment" purposes.

Comment: Re:Basic Rules no longer free (Score 1) 203

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47710973) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

They are still free AFAIK. They also contain only some of the races and classes (dwarf, elf, halfling, and human for races; cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard for classes) and spells that are in the full Player's Handbook. The PHB includes races like dragonborn, half-elf, half-orc, and tiefling and classes like barbarian, bard, druid, paladin, etc. in addition to those from the Basic Rules.

Comment: Re:So ... (Score 1) 218

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47671881) Attached to: How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier

Make the orbital facility completely unmanned. If you're worried about the delay in sending control signals to robotic manipulators with which researchers can perform experiments, send the researchers to the space station. If the orbital facility becomes contaminated, destroy it and let the heat of reentry sterilize the pieces or send it on a trajectory into the sun (which again will sterilize it.)

If it is just an unmanned experiment station, I wonder how small and how inexpensive we could make it.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47582281) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

That is a completely irrelevant example. Were not talking about subpoenaing a foreign company or entity. We are talking about forcing companies operating in the US to turn over information that is in their possession (under there control).

I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but IS the data under Microsoft US's control? Or is the data on a computer under the control of Microsoft Ireland (which I'm guessing is a separate corporation, if for no other reason than tax purposes) to which they've granted Microsoft US certain access? If the latter, could Microsoft US be forced to use the access it's been granted by another corporation to access information owned by that other corporation to grab the data for the US government?

What's Microsoft's corporate structure look like, and does the DOJ have a different answer for that question than the IRS?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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