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Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 236

Again, I disagree. I mind it greatly and am worried about it already.

The police have authority over vehicles only in order to protect and/or restore order. Once an unpredictable driver is removed from the equation, there is no possibility for disorder (other than glitches in or compromise of the firmware or system, but those are much larger problems), and so the police authority should be scaled down appropriately. Accountability and oversight are primary concerns and authority should not exceed those mandates except in true emergency situations.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 5, Insightful) 236

I disagree vehemently with the assumption that police should individually have control over vehicles once they've become automated.

Police have control over vehicles now primarily to stop the behaviour of drivers who are breaking motor vehicle laws. At least conceptually, self-driving vehicles should not break any laws, removing this incentive.

Self-driving cars will also be networked, providing central command-and-control capability on an infrastructure level. So for those situations where vehicle movements need to be regulated (construction, etc.), the central authority will handle modifications to ordinary traffic patterns and flow.

There are two completely irrelevant pieces of information in the summary. 1) "the occupant looking down at his smartphone". Why would this matter? And 2) the person being 'barrelled' towards is a police officer. It shouldn't matter who is at that end - the vehicle should recognise a living being and react accordingly. That is or is not police makes no difference.

I can't think of a valid reason an individual LEO should be allowed control of an individual self-driving vehicle, ever. There is simply too much potential for abuse.

Comment Re:And (Score 2) 236

I disagree, though not for the reasons you cite here.

If I were sovereign state with computer-based attack capability, I would do exactly this.

The entire nation now keeps a clock which is distinct from the rest of the world. If they were to release some sort of malware, they would have an exceedingly simple way of preventing the attacks from affecting its own systems simply by looking at the UTC offset.

Even if that isn't the impetus for the change, it would be idiotic for them not to use it for that purpose.

Comment Re:Somehow I'm reminded of Kirk (Score 1) 114

Cheat: "To violate rules in order to gain advantage from a situation."

He is specifically trying to find a way around the rules that does not violate the letter of the law. It is ipso facto not cheating.

It's a novel and creative approach, and shows both his personal initiative and ability to think outside the box. I would offer him a post myself.

Comment Re:Get over it ! (Score 3, Insightful) 370

Well said, the pair of you. What's more, $10 billion, while a lot of money to the rest of us, is a molecule of sweat on a lip of the bucket (i.e., not even a drop in it) compared to the US national budget.

There are what, 200 million taxpayers in the United States? That means that the Pentagon spent about $50 per taxpayer. I'd say that much can afford to be "wasted" without really hurting anyone.

Besides, $10 billion is literally less than what Americans spent on Starbucks coffee last year alone. (2014 US revenue for Starbucks was $12.4bn.) You can't really complain about these projects when it's less than your coffee, can you?

I'm certainly in favour of responsible spending at the government level. But the OP (and TFA, for that matter) clearly doesn't understand the scale here, using these numbers for political grandstanding. This is less than 2% of the DoD's yearly budget... being spent over 15 years.

There really isn't much of a story here.

Comment Re: what will be more interesting (Score 2) 662

The Beeb are not a government organisation. They are independent of HMG (at least in name).

They are not directly tax-funded. Subjects in the UK pay a TV licence (currently about £145, IIRC) that subsidises the organisation in the UK.

The BBC in the UK are, I believe, non-profit - meaning only that they spend all of their £5 billion+ endowment each year. The details are less clear on BBC Worldwide, at least as far as I can find; I have a sneaking suspicion that that organisation is actually a for-profit centre and somewhat independent from the BBC in the UK. Don't quote me on that, however - it's conjecture and speculation on my part.

Comment Re:Are the CAs that do this revoked? (Score 2) 139

If you can't trust that the entity with which you're exchanging information has the security of the information as their highest priority, no amount of securing of channels is going to help.

How do you know the person handing you the fingerprint hasn't switched it for a manky one?

How do you know the server that generated the key hasn't been compromised?

For that matter, how do you know that the remote entity hasn't been strong-armed into simply giving over all of your information? A government threatening to shut down a business or jail its workers shifts the priority to their own self-preservation, which means that in most cases, you're fucked.

The Certificate Authority model is the best one we've been able to come up with to date. It's been around for 20+ years, and while it does have its flaws, it is the least flawed system I've seen proposed.

Comment Re:Look and Feel case of the music industry (Score 1) 386

OTOH, it may actually make it easier for us. Canon in D is very clearly in the public domain, and if every song using four chords is a derivative work, then all the songs you mentioned are themselves ineligible for copyright, at least in part. So while I couldn't reproduce the lyrics of "It Was Good" by Better than Ezra, I could reproduce the chord changes exactly and be entirely worry-free* that I was infringing on his copyright.

*worry-free that I was actually infringing. I would still have to worry about a potentially very-expensive court case.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 110

I have a pair of the Plantronics Backbeat Go 2. For a $70 bluetooth set, they are more than adequate. I have used them daily for nearly a year with no major problems.

Battery life is approximately 4-5 hours for phone conversations; slightly less with louder and/or bass-heavy music. Recharge time is slower than I'd like (about 0.5x discharge time), but they're not bulky, are fully flexible (no hard parts between the buds), and very comfortable in my ears. I wear them around my neck constantly so there's no risk of damaging them in pockets. I also run 5-10k with them at a stretch with no discomfort or real risk of falling out.

My only complaint is there's no way to disable the 'play' button functionality on android devices over bluetooth (only with wired headsets, argh), but overall they're as close to the holy grail of bluetooth talking/running phone/music buds as I've ever found.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.