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Comment: Re:Extended Range (Score 2) 120

by Teancum (#48678007) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

Lotus also retooled the production line that Tesla was using, which is another thing that killed the Roadster. Lotus didn't have a problem with Tesla continuing their relationship (well, sort of), but that would have also required some additional engineering effort to retool the customized components that Tesla was using.

In short, like you said... it would require a whole new redesign from basically a clean sheet of paper that only superficially looks like the original Roadster. The battery technology would still be largely the same, but even that has evolved over the years.

Comment: Re:Stupid/Misleading Title (Score 1) 117

by Teancum (#48676633) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

Even if it was sold for a penny, there may still be contract restriction on resale as well as criminal and civil restrictions on what other things they can do with such things. North Korea in particular is banned from the sale of munitions (including computer software in some cases), so I think ITAR would definitely apply to a used but functional aircraft carrier. At the very least, a "right of first refusal" clause could be put into any sales contract where the DOD would need to be offered and informed about any resale in anything close to its current form. Historical easements might also be applied by the various historical organizations that could further complicate any resale or even use by anybody except for demolition without having those easements being cleared.

I would agree with you that turning it from a sale into a contract does make some legal distinction though, as it can mean that the DOD would be required to address issues like asbestos found in compartments that weren't documented, classified documents that weren't properly removed before the contract, and a few other minor issue of mainly liability that the Department of Defense would need to address in a demolitions contract that instead would need to be held by the company doing the demolition work.

Comment: Re:Voicemail evolution (Score 1) 234

by swillden (#48674093) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

You obviously don't work with customers.

I do, actually. Well, they're more partners than customers, since we give them our code and they sell it. But, yes, I have a lot of meetings with outside parties. We convince about half of them to join our Hangouts from their laptops, the others we add to the meeting via phone. Outside of meetings, we communicate entirely via e-mail. Voicemail is still irrelevant.

At IBM, my role was entirely customer-facing. Voicemail was still fairly rare, though teleconferences were the norm. Most communication was, again, via e-mail or face to face.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 291

by weiserfireman (#48667921) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

I live in a very rural area. I am a Captain in a volunteer fire department. I have been doing this for 10 years. I have also been an EMT as well.

There is a reason cell phones are not relied on in emergency situations. An Incident Commander may use one when he is talking to the Mayor, or maybe a Hazmat specialist in another State, but he never uses a cell phone when trying to talk to someone inside the building.

Why? So everyone can hear what is being discussed. I may not be part of the conversation, but I may need to know the conditions on the other side of the building that the IC is talking about.

Dispatch also monitors the fire ground radio traffic so that they can anticipate requests for additional support. '

In the event of a major disaster at hotel property, where we might bring in specialized search and rescue teams, that we don't normally train with, such as a building collapse, Jamming of wireless signals by the hotels network is not going to be an issue. If the collapse didn't shut down the network, it will be down shortly after we shut off all power and utilities to the building.

But again, the hotels are not asking for permission to block Cell Signals. They are asking for permission to treat mobile hotspots like rogue APs, as if they are a potential threat to their wireless network. The technology to interfere with these hot spots, isn't random jamming that will interfere with Cell phone usage, or emergency radios. It is deauthentication packets aimed at the hotspots and the clients of the hotspots. It doesn't interfere with the radio environment per se, it is interferes at the layer 2 or 3 level.

It won't affect emergency communications in any way shape or form. That is a red herring.

There are lots of real reasons to dislike this proposal without inventing problems that don't exist.

Comment: Re:Voicemail evolution (Score 1) 234

by swillden (#48666989) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

At work, my extension is tied into my email. When someone leaves me a message, it's sent as a wav file to my email, and I can listen to it from my mobile device.

Where I work (Google), telephone calls are all but dead and voicemail is completely dead. Pretty much everyone lists their personal mobile number as their phone number in the directory (or a Google Voice number that forwards to their mobile), because getting business calls at home or whatever is a non-issue because no one makes phone calls for business. Communication is via e-mail (for formal communications, messages that don't seek quick response, or group distribution), instant message (for short, timely discussions) or face to face/video conference (Google Hangout). Some groups, especially SREs (Site Reliability Engineers -- sysadmins, more or less), also use IRC, mostly because it stays up when other stuff breaks.

Further, the etiquette is that nearly all non-email communication starts with an instant message. This is true even if the other party is sitting right next to you, unless you can tell by looking that they aren't deeply focused on something. There are only two times a phone is used, one rare, the other extraordinarily rare, and in neither case would voicemail even be useful.

The rare case is for a (generally informal) meeting when one party for some reason doesn't have access to Hangouts. The extraordinarily rare case is when something is on fire and someone's attention is needed at 2 AM Sunday morning. The latter has never happened to me, though I have called a couple of colleagues. Even then, a phone call is an unusual step; normally you wake people up via the pager system (whose messages are delivered via various means, sometimes including automated phone calls) and proceed to communicate via IM or VC.

It's not just Google, either. Prior to Google I worked at IBM which where communication similarly revolved primarily around IM and e-mail, though meetings were primarily via teleconference, not video conference.

From what I can see, voice is generally declining, and voicemail is leading the charge.

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48664827) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

One thing you can do in many states is to get an initiative or referendum started that can take the issue directly to the voters. My experience in such matters is that when such ground rule changing questions get on a ballot (with enough publicity and other factors too), the voter turnout is usually quite strong. I also find that the voters tend to get the issues involved.

Getting the rules for how people get elected, with single alternative vote, instant run-off, or some other voting system will go a long, long way to fixing the system. It can happen, and I've even participated in getting such things done including forcing the state legislature where I live to pass a law instead of waiting for the results of the referendum to be counted. No, I wasn't just a signature gatherer but somebody who was organizing the whole thing. I've been involved in three such petition drives and know a little bit about how to get stuff like that done for a relatively small cost (in the mere thousands of dollars range, not millions, for a state-wide effort).

The question that needs to be asked is how much do you really want to see a change, or are you merely going to cast your lone 3rd party vote and think that will make a difference?

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663833) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

I'm not advocating or asking to have explained why documents should remain classified. What I'm complaining about is why federal agents whose job is to process information are being explicitly told they can't learn about classified information from a public source like a newspaper or a blog when ordinary citizens are capable of obtaining that information? It is this duplicity that I'm complaining about which makes federal agents have less knowledge about stuff happening than ordinary citizens... in some situations.

If some CIA analyst can pick up the Washington Post and read the same newspaper that is dropped onto the desk of Kim Jong Un, why should he go through some mickey mouse bullshit to declassify that same newspaper article?

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663769) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

I would suggest you watch the video I referenced. It explains not only why you have two parties, but also why the vast majority of people don't want to bother voting either. At a recent municipal election that I participated in, my city had an abysmal 5% voter turnout. I have to presume it is because the other 95% of the registered voters didn't feel it was worth their effort in spite of the fact that over half of the taxes they pay go to those municipal officials. That was a non-partisan election too! (aka no party affiliation was permitted on the ballot.... candidates ran strictly on their own name alone).

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663735) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

If you want to make a difference and change what is happening, you need to change the way voting takes place, not just simply throw your vote away by voting for a 3rd party. You had better believe that it takes action, but merely voting "present" isn't going to matter.

Study up on alternative voting systems, and when you get the opportunity make sure that you encourage something other than First Past the Post voting happens. I convinced the members of my local voting precinct to change to Instant Run-off voting instead. Yes, there are other voting systems, but almost anything is better than First Past the Post. That was just for minor stuff, but you need to give ordinary people the experience of voting in some other manner, even if it is just for class president or who is going to be stuck going on a beer run at midnight.

It is much more than just money in the system, it is noting that the entire system for voting is broken in a critical way.

Comment: Re:prior oath to defend the Constitution (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663677) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

The contracts specifically reference parts of the U.S. Code noting that penalties involved for violating what happens under such contracts can be prosecuted under federal law. So yes, these contracts do override specific laws.

Drug cartels can also write up such contracts, but I doubt you will get them to have a federal judge be the enforcement and interpretation arm of those cartels. That is the difference. On the other hand, if you work for IBM or some other private company (with damn good lawyers writing up employment contracts), you similarly don't want to violate the terms of your contract as you will end up in front of a federal or state judge where you can be prosecuted for violating trade secret laws criminally as well as HUGE civil penalties that would trash your life fiscally.

There is a reason why NDAs are effective. I also wouldn't want to screw with an NDA given to you by a drug cartel as that might end up with a horse head laying next to you instead.

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663527) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

There should be an common sense exception for things in the public domain but these rules were created before the internet existed and foreign powers didn't indiscriminately share everything.

This is a cop-out excuse. The duplication of information has been a problem since Gutenberg developed the printing press and enabled the mass dissemination of knowledge. To claim this is a new phenomena and something that needs common sense rules simply goes to show how silly such rules are in the first place.

There is a good reason why the 1st Amendment exists in the U.S. Constitution, and specifically mentions printing presses (something the authors of the U.S. Constitution knew about). The 1st Congress also passed laws about official state secrets, including their applicability with activities related to the War Department. The damage that a faithless traitor could make was also seen in the form of Benedict Arnold, whose damage of the American Revolution still can't be completely determined, and was made very apparent at the beginning of the USA to those making such rules.

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48663379) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

I'm not trying to say that just because some information was leaked to the press that it automatically needs to be declassified. It is very likely (almost certain) that information being passed around in the public by news reports is imprecise, lacking some critical details, and certainly not the complete story. There are indeed valid reasons for keeping something classified even when the whole report or project has been dumped out into the open in a public manner (however that happened).

I have seen some books and reports getting classified simply because of a single word that is different from a public document. I understand how that can be a big deal.

Still, you are confusing the declassification process or the need to maintain secrets with something that is already out in the public domain. It is two very different situations, and here you are trying to tell an analyst that they can't have access to information that they may even need to know simply because some upper level official is hoping to make that public knowledge secret again. My complaint is about telling somebody who is dealing with this kind of information that is in the public domain that it is somehow a secret.

It is just denying reality, and doing so officially. If your next door neighbor knows something about a piece of intellgience, somebody who is a civilian, why should a government agent be expressly prohibited from learning about that same fact?

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 291

by weiserfireman (#48661809) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

First responders are not supposed to rely on cell phones as a primary communications link.

While some areas are trying out 700Mhz emergency communications, most first responders have not adopted it yet. 400Mhz and 2Mhz are the most common ranges in my area.

Most Cell phone jammers will not affect those radios. The type of jamming (flooding hotspots with deauth packets) that the hotels are doing, has no affect on first responder radios

Comment: Re:prior oath to defend the Constitution (Score 1) 161

by Teancum (#48660623) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

Those contracts are even more detailed than a simple oath of office, and spell out with penalties what the consequences of revealing national secrets might be. Snowden is screwed even more because of the contract as opposed to simply being told verbally that some information is supposed to stay private within the government.

The question at hand is that once the Snowden documents have been spread all over the internet, significant parts published in newspapers and spead even more widely beyond even the internet, can somebody use that information and then subsequently repress the publication of a document or other artistic work when that information is already widely available? As significant, can somebody make money from that repackaging of that information?

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.