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Comment: Fixed location implies constant surveillance (Score 1) 122 122

As far as I've heard, in the US Stingrays are used selectively in a given area from mobile platforms for brief periods. From the details in this story, it sounds like they're at fixed locations, which says to me that they're intended as a tool of constant and permanent surveillance. Since the legit tower IDs for an area are known, it should be a straightforward matter to build hardware (or maybe just run an app in a phone) that detects when a Stingray -- which will present an anomalous ID -- is operating and see exactly how much they're turned on. I'm guessing that something like this is how The Independent tracked down so many in such a short time. It also makes me wonder if a phone app could force the phone to use only a known-legit tower instead of allowing itself to be subverted by a Stingray.

Comment: Not recruitment, retention (Score 3, Insightful) 260 260

If you've made your own language, you're more likely to keep your experienced employees because there are fewer places for them to go to if they jump ship. Sure, there will be companies that use the language because they have to develop software for Google or Apple, but the employees are going to be a lot more locked-in than if they were experienced in something more widely used such as C or Python.

Comment: Cops (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

Something I've lately been wondering: has anyone yet figured out how to get a robot vehicle to recognize when a cop is behind them with flashing lights and to pull over? Or, if an emergency vehicle is approaching with siren blaring, do likewise? Seems like that would be a good way to hijack the load of a robot truck.

Comment: Apply this to voting? (Score 1) 681 681

Since Nye is in effect saying we're mostly a bunch of barely-literate, benighted voodoo practitioners in terms of science, I wonder where he'd come down on having a poll test for scientific literacy? Or maybe just eliminate voting altogether and adopt rule by technocracy.

Comment: Re:About right (Score 1) 246 246

This isn't a gun issue - it was a BB gun, which is a half step up from airsoft. Not sure who the "us" in "do it like us" is, but in the end it's a robbery issue, not a gun issue. Armed robbery with a knife would be much more dangerous.

The danger comes from your victim possibly being armed himself and, fearing being shot, initiating a shootout himself. That would be a lot more dangerous than using a knife since anyone involved could potentially die, not to mention neighbors, bystanders, etc.

Comment: The smartest response (Score 1) 825 825

If the US imposes this tax, while crediting the company for any tax paid overseas, then the smartest response would be for the foreign taxing jurisdiction to impose its own 19% tax rate and just take the money for itself. The company ends up no worse off, and the country where the money is gets the dough instead of the US. Or maybe US companies will just reorganize and make their foreign operations separate corporations and take shares in them instead of keeping all that stuff under one corporate roof.

Comment: Re:only trying to help? (Score 2) 154 154

Exactly my point. They are only trying to make money for themselves, and if exploiting a disaster make them more money, they will do that. Yet here we have people (like the OP) trying to claim that they are 'ensuring there are enough drivers'. Bullshit.

In crises, you get rationing no matter what. If you don't regulate prices you'll get rationing thru price. If you do regulate prices, you'll get rationing thru scarcity. Putting limits on Uber means you deny some billionaire fat cat some money, but you also deny the people who really need a ride and are willing to pay for it the ability to get one. I'd rather have the latter system where I can get what I need and am willing to pay for, because I can always decide I don't need it that bad, but I can't conjure a car out of the air when prices are cheap but cars aren't available.

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 154 154

They could still pay the drivers more, without charging the passengers more, if they actually want people to believe they are only trying to help.

If Uber were smart, they'd do just that in order to establish themselves as a reliable resource during emergencies. It would be good PR and also make it politically tougher for the local power structure to shut them down. Sure they'd lose money during crises, but they'd make up for it with a ton of revenue during normal operations.

Comment: Claymores and Mexican meth drones (Score 1) 236 236

A claymore mine is significantly heavy. A small autonomous drone is incapable of achieving the lift necessary to carry one. A drone large enough to carry one would be military grade hardware anyway. Military grade drones can be spotted quite easily.

The scenario you have painted here is a farce.

The typical payload of a domestic RC plane (the usual device to be refit as a domestic drone) is around 2 ounces. The extended battery and the flight control system take up the vast bulk of this. Hobby "Drones" can't carry much more than a ball point pen around.

According to Wikipedia, a Claymore weights 3.5 pounds. The "Mexican Meth Drone" that crashed in a Tijuana parking lot recently was carrying 6 pounds of drugs, and pictures of it don't scream "military grade hardware". Granted they got greedy and overloaded it, but sounds like 3.5 pounds would have been no problem.

Comment: Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (Score 1) 307 307

He is not an idiot, he is a politician trying to twist the meaning of the word "Net" and make it mean "Application".

That makes him an idiot.

No, it makes him another participant in rent-seeking, which is what net neutrality is about, at its core..

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 134 134

That's not an answer. Slashdot headline says, "Driven largely by oil price weakness." Where's the evidence for that statement? It makes no economic sense that renewable energy investment increases because its competition gets cheaper unless 1) It's due to subsidies, and/or 2) It's due to the coming on line of projects that were in the pipeline before oil took a dive.

Comment: Re:why start after the fact? (Score 1) 219 219

They should do what traffic cams do and keep a constant feed that overwrites itself, then if it triggers that it needs to keep the recording it has the last 30 seconds already. Seems stupid to start recording after they're already suing a taser...

If the LAPD uses the same policy as other departments with body cams, the officer will be instructed to activate the camera whenever about to interact with the public. In which case, the Taser activation would be backup just in case that didn't happen for some reason.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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