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Comment Threat? (Score 3, Insightful) 227 227

Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) are a huge threat to both security and intellectual property.

But, security is a huge threat to productivity. Is it possible that while the employees were being drilled on security, they were being held accountable for productivity and not given tools that were nearly as productive as their PEDs? For example, everyone likes to yell at the guy who's not paying attention to the meeting because he's texting, but they forget that the same technology allows you to send the on call guy to the meeting and have an 95% chance he will be able to actively participate. The alternatives are to have a second meeting or hire another tech so there is one on call and one available for the meeting.

People immersed in security all day sometimes forget that security is about tradeoffs, not eliminating all sources of "insecurity". A good general rule is that if a security policy is being widely ignored, then it is probably not properly aligned with the organization's goals.

Comment Re:Roughly, how did this happen? (Score 1) 173 173

The answer is easy; no one who really cares about security was at the design table.

Also, custom circuits seems to be expensive in the auto industry. I recently had to replace a daytime running light controller on a car - it cost about $130. I opened up the old one and it was nothing but about 20 discrete through-hole components on a custom circuit board, mostly transistors and resistors. If you build everything on a programmable general purpose platform, you only pay the hardware costs once.

Comment Re:Just patch your car .... (Score 1) 173 173

Just patch your car

Maybe in this case it's feasible. My Mazda3 cannot be customer patched and the dealership hates to do it because it takes two hours to do, but the factory only pays them for an hour of labor. I have zero trust that the auto industry will figure out patch rollouts in the near future. Also, even if they get patching right, it will just put them in the same shape that computers are now - which is sad shape.

Comment Re:Won't compare well to decade-old conventional t (Score 1) 134 134

Trains didn't use mechanical transmissions before diesel-electric. The torque convertor found in every automatic transmission has its roots in train engines. A good torque convertor can transmit over 95% of the drivetrain power to the wheels even at low (or even zero) rpm. That's why a brake-start on a high performance car with an automatic transmission is extremely effective. For a lot of modern cars that are sold with both AT and MT transmissions, the auto is quicker.

Comment Re:Super-car? (Score 1) 134 134

Actually, a tube frame is the tried-and-true way of making a great handling car. I'm currently building a Factory Five 818, which is based on a steel tube frame. It can easily pull 1.5 lateral G's at track height and 1.3G's at street height. It also is actually available and costs less than $20,000. It also only weighs 400 pounds more than this thing and it has a passenger seat.

Also, this will never be able to be put on the road in most US states without drastically changing the look of the front end. Most states have a minimum headlight height of 22 inches and some have a 24 inch minimum.

Comment Please Change the Language (Score 1) 408 408

I wonder who you have to be to request to have the word "steal" changed so that it rolls in a behavior that you don't like. I hope the answer isn't "The President of Bell Media".

I suggest we all buy a dictionary, plop a bookmark at the word "steal" and mail it to him. Half a million dictionaries should be a poignant message.

Comment Always Been This Way (Score 1) 395 395

It's always been like this. The focus on making new cars cleaner has always had small returns since you are simply making the cars that produce 10% of the pollution better and if you convert them all to "magic pixie dust fuel", you will still be left with the 90% from the broken cars. Previous studies have also shown that the pattern of which 25% isn't obvious. It isn't a simple rule like "old cars produce more NOx". Even a nearly new car can become a polluter without the owner noticing. Fortunately, the solution is both obvious and simple; do a tailpipe emissions test at they yearly inspection.

Comment Re:Brand? (Score 1) 227 227

I'm surprised they lasted that long, but for a specific reason: what they were doing typically breaks microwave ovens. There is a switch that turns the magnetron off when the door is open, but if it opens while there is current flowing, it creates an arc. This arc causes a lot more wear than if the switch had opened with no current flowing.

Comment Re:Sort of dumb. (Score 5, Insightful) 553 553

Not only that... I'm 43 and I consider myself a "Digital Native". At the beginning of my IT career - 1996, I was using workstation virtualization products like Virtual PC and building Intranet applications. Things have changed since then, but I was part of it all and I know it at least as well as any kid whose claim to "Digital Native" is that he used Tumblr and YouTube in high school.

Comment Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 126 126

The airlines don't like this, because if you book NY to LA, they can no longer sell the Chicago to LA seat (except at last minute rates or more often push standby passengers onto that flight) that might normally be $150. So not only are they out $50 on you, they're potentially out an additional $150 on the unsold seat.

They already sold the Chicago to LA seat... to you. Why would it be unacceptable to not be able to sell the seat when they had already accepted the idea of flying someone on that leg for money they already collected? There are legitimate arguments to be made for the screwy fare system, but that one seems less than weak.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 109 109

It's worse than that. If you accept that there is a parallel universe where One Direction didn't break up and decide it matters to you, then you also have to accept that there is a parallel universe where the most heinous thing you can imaging has happened to you. Since you decided to be emotionally invested in what happens in other universes, that should affect you the same way. If not, then the parallel universe thing wasn't science, it was denial.

Comment He has done more to hurt securty than help it (Score 1) 686 686

That was the point. No one is suggesting that the US isn't doing a lot for security, they're suggesting that the US is violating privacy too much in a blind quest for security. Snowden provided proof of this. Anyone who wants more security should move to Russia. Most of us want less, but more focused security. Dragnets aren't a wise use of tax money and aren't very effective.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten