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Comment Re:Real bad news (Score 1) 327

This is precisely correct.

Apple have made the lightning microcontroller proprietary and directly licensed only from themselves (as anyone who has seen the "this accessory is not supported" error when trying to charge their idevice can tell you). They have now purchased a headphones manufacturer, so the next logical step is to force users to purchase either their own hardware, or hardware which earns them a licensing fee.

This is about device lock-in; an attempt to create monopolistic conditions legally (if only barely so). I saw this coming as soon as they purchased Beats - I was actually surprised the 6 series hadn't already eliminated the 3.5mm interface.

Personally, I hope the attempt fails miserably. There was a time I loved Apple... but no longer. They have taken Microsoft's entire 2003 playbook and made it even worse for the consumer.

Comment Re:Snow, ice, etc. (Score 1) 258

I think this highlights the basic problem: roads (including hazard warning design and all markers and visual elements) are designed with human consumers in mind. An AI is, by its nature, playing a losing game by trying to translate non-native (i.e., human) elements into machine language and adaptation.

What will happen as autonomous vehicles become more ubiquitous is inclusion of machine-consumable elements into road design. Wireless lane markers, inter-vehicle (mesh) information sharing, and other technologies will be incorporated, making the 'I' in 'AI' a lot more unnecessary in that sense.

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.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.