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Comment: Re:The web is shrinking (Score 1) 394

by Midnight Thunder (#48624033) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

The problem is when Google decides something is good for everyone they don't give us ways to switch back to the old behaviour, even if that change feels like a middle finger. You can have a thousand people open bug reports and Google devs will politely tell you that they know better than everyone else. Sometimes it makes me want to grab a bunch of eager developers and fork Chrome. In the meantime there is still Firefox and Opera to move to.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 394

by Midnight Thunder (#48624017) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

For the session tokens, their values can be encrypted and they can be tied to an IP address. If the client does not need to do anything special with the cookie values, then the server can do whatever it wants. The session ID cookie may not even need to be encrypted and instead the server side holds which IP address the session is locked to, so it can't be reused.

Comment: one way streets and other inconveniences. (Score 1) 604

by Midnight Thunder (#48607723) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Don't live next to the freeway if you don't like traffic

Sometimes that is the only place to live. Gating a community is not a better option either.

The solutions I have seen in other places include:
    - narrowing the intersections to reduce speed of traffic
    - making one way streets that locals know how to use, but end up diverting traffic back onto the main arteries.
    - introducing speed bumps to slow traffic
    - lowering speed limit on these secondary roads
    - blocking part of the street with a park, to force traffic to have make more detours
    - adding public transport lanes, while sacrificing car traffic lanes.

The solution will depend on the exact location and will probably end up being a hybrid

Comment: Re:Censorship (Score 2) 183

by Midnight Thunder (#48572063) Attached to: Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

The problem I see here is a symptom of Europe run by people who are from another era, at least in terms of thinking. The reaction by the papers is a natural one, but it is more of a knee jerk reaction that trying to understand the technology and how it works. What we need are younger people getting into politics, at least in terms of technology advisors, such that decisions aren't being made based on a reality that is 40 years past.

For the journalists, often the best way to be able to write open their own country is actually to be based outside of it. The irony is that sometimes a true patriot needs to be outside of their own borders to raise the issues that that would rather be swept under the carpet.

Comment: Wi-fi? (Score 1) 40

by Midnight Thunder (#48529931) Attached to: Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

They could have probably achieved the same thing by just having people use their wifi service? No GPS needed. The bonus is devices such as tablets could be used too. Sure it would mean needing to sign into wifi, but maybe giving people choice between wifi and GPS?

Maybe as an extension, they could even have someone walk the line, in busy locations, taking orders on a tablet, equipped with a card reader?

Comment: Re:open-source voting machines. (Score 3, Insightful) 127

Paper ballots are pretty damn open-source.

Just because a voting machine is supposedly running open-source software doesn't preclude tampering - hardware or software.

I can remember one wise lecturer in my computer science course gave a challenge to come up with a system to solve a customer's problem. Being CS students we designed everything requiring the use of a computer. At the end he asked us if we had considered whether a non-computer based system would have actually have done a better job. While in the particular case the answer was no, it did show us that sometimes we use technology for technology's sake and not to solve the problem in the best possible way. Voting machines should be approached in the same way and the opti-scan mention by another poster certainly seems to strike the right balance between solving the problem and not throwing the wrong technology into the mix.

Comment: There are many paths (Score 2) 594

by Midnight Thunder (#48292677) Attached to: Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

There are many paths to the future and not taking isn't really one of them.

While Virgin Galactic may be about rich space tourists, these people should be seen as early adopters, helping bring down the price for the rest of us. The research and development here also provides a different technology approach than the bigger space companies, which are still focusing on traditional launch vehicles.

The challenge in the space industry is getting new investments from beyond the government and communication satellite operators. Space tourism provides an alternative private form of funding, helping develop new technogies and techniques. These billionaires probably have no way of spending all their money and this provides a nice way of providing funding for space and a way for them to do something they might enjoy with their money.

As for the test pilots, well I would prefer to see an automated flight as the first test flight, followed by a manned mission, but it may be too hard to provide a good system to deal with the unknowns. Test pilots fly with a passion and accept that never returning is part of the risk. It doesn't mean they should be treated as expendible, since we are talking about lives and highly skilled people, but we should accept that there is a risk which we must accept.

For the engineers and business owners knowing that a life is at stake should be incentive to double checking everything, even the assumption that it couldn't possibly fail. Everything fails, so it is more about asking in what conditions could it fail.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie

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