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Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 790

by MobyDisk (#48879545) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

The reason for that 'ridiculous' law was that a nosiy car could, in fact, scare a horse and cause it to bolt,

One needs the historical context to make sense of the law. At the time, many of those laws really were created just to stifle the car industry, not to protect citizens from horses. Another example: In some state, the law required the driver to get out of the car, honk a horn, then fire a gun, then do something else equally ridiculous, then they could drive the car.

Comment: Re:4th amendment requires specifics (Score 1) 371

by MobyDisk (#48876667) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

I don't think the term "probable cause" means "can conduct a search without a warrant." Rather, "probable cause" is justification for a warrant to be issued. But I think people get confused on this point because the courts have made exceptions for motor vehicles and that gets mixed up with "probable cause."

Comment: 4th amendment requires specifics (Score 3, Insightful) 371

by MobyDisk (#48857413) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

From the article:

...without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network. It would also allow nonspecific search warrants...

Text of the 4th amendment to the constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The article is light on details, but if it is accurate, this looks like a straightforward violation of the 4th amendment. The devil is always in the details though. The article may be an oversimplification.

Comment: Re:Which is kind of a shame (Score 1) 314

by MobyDisk (#48822843) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

They started to go this route, then abandoned it. Last Christmas I was at Radio Shack and they sold Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, and 100-in-1 electronics kits. I asked for a gift card to Radio Shack, and I got one this Christmas. So I walked in the store to find none of those things were there any more. It was like someone decided they would appeal to the Makers then made a 100% backpedal on that. I hate to use the gift card to buy a $10 cable from them that costs $1 on NewEgg. Free is free, but it still hurts!

They do sell EL wire, and drivers. Unfortunately, the drivers they sell don't even power the length of EL wire they sell. And of course, the employees didn't even know what they do.

Nearby, we have a Micro Center which is what Radio Shack could have been and then some. They do sell all the things I listed, plus 3D printers, discrete computer parts, and general electronics. It's like Best Buy but more techie. I have never seen a Fry's but it might be like that.

Comment: Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (Score 1) 480

by MobyDisk (#48796311) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

In a stable country, open voting is better.

Hypothetically, let me grant you that point. But once the country is no longer stable, can we switch back to the other voting system?

Many institutions work really well if you assume things like honesty, stability, fairness, etc. But much of the U.S. is designed under the assumption that those things aren't there, in order to protect it from ever becoming so. This is because if those assumptions are violated, there isn't some kind of fallback where the people can change back to the old way. We can't ever say "okay, the police are abusing their power again. It's time to reinstate the 4th amendment."

Surveillance is probably the best example these days. If we assume the "watchers" are not targeting anyone other than terrorists, then we should simply allow them full access to everything. This is the intention behind the phrase "There is no reason to hide if you have done nothing wrong." But even in a hypothetically "stable" country, honest law-abiding citizens may fight to keep their privacy, so that if and when the "watchers" become evil, they won't get control.

Free speech and gun control are based on similar reasoning to the secret ballot. Perhaps, one day, once we have permanently eliminated racism, greed, and jealousy then we can switch to the "stable" system. In the mean time, let us err on the side of caution.

Comment: Re:Free? (Score 1) 703

by MobyDisk (#48775523) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

A lot of the high school classes are dumbed down enough that they really don't prepare students for college level courses.

Interesting. This must vary wildly based on the high school and the community college involved. I live in Maryland and found the opposite to be the case.

When I was in community college I was afraid that what you just described would happen to me, so I took Calculus 1 in community college even though I already had it in high school. I then realized that the high school course went further than the community college course and was more rigorous.

Comment: Re:no one cares about your data as much as you do (Score 1) 72

by MobyDisk (#48775415) Attached to: Study: 15 Per Cent of Business Cloud Users Have Been Hacked

I am surprised people were naive to think "cloud" vendors could be trusted with their data.

You are assuming that the cloud vendors are at fault, but the article doesn't really pin the blame on anyone. Everyone's knee-jerk reaction is to blame the vendor, but who really is at fault here?

The article talks about business users sharing files inappropriately, like opening them up publicly or storing files like source code on the cloud which is often in violation of the policies. It says that 15% of business users' accounts have been compromised, but it doesn't say why or how. So we don't know if the cloud vendor was the one at fault, or if it was the users' fault. Looking at the top cloud apps they are listing, they are things like Google Drive, Facebook, and YouTube. So far I don't think there have been any major compromises to these apps, so that indicates that the problem is more likely on the users' side. I wonder if the real report says that.

Comment: This entire summary is a troll (Score 1) 161

by MobyDisk (#48775259) Attached to: HTTP/2 - the IETF Is Phoning It In

This entire summary is devoid of content. It's just a long ranting insult with no valuable technical information at all. It could be talking about anything. This does not belong on Slashdot. With Slashdot these days I just want to downvote entire articles, or be able to edit the summary or something. HTTP 2.0 is probably a good topic to discuss, but not with a summary like this one.

Some will expect McDonald's new french fries to be a masterpiece, while others expect it to be a great example of design. Others will be cynical. There may be an assumption it is 'tastier.' Others will think it is 'greener.' Well the truth is yes, no ,yes, yes ,maybe, only sometimes, and definitely not.

Instead, how about something more like:

The IETF is preparing to ratify HTTP 2.0. This is the first significant update to the most widely-used protocol blah blah blah... However, the proposal is very polarizing because of ...

Comment: Re:Laywood (Score 2) 72

by MobyDisk (#48754281) Attached to: Hands On With MakerBot's 3D-Printed Wood

I have a jammed extruder on my Makerbot Replicator as a result of printing in laywoo-d3. For whatever reason it stopped extruding while I wasn't watching, and when I came back I found it permanently jammed. No amount of unloading or loading will fix it. At this point I will have to resort to some of the more difficult measures such as running acetone through the extruder, or drilling it out, or something like that. The trouble is that I don't know what resin is in the laywoo-d3 so I'm not sure if acetone will work in this case or if I need something else.

I am not sure if my experience is typical or not. While everyone says that Makerbot's announcement is not a big deal, it really is important because it means they have tested and endorse the product. If you just run experimental filaments through your printer you do so at your own risk.

Also note that the failure here might not be the filament at all. Printers need to be able to detect extruder failures and stop the print before the extruder becomes permanently stuck. I think this is coming in newer models, as it is certainly on the professional products.

Lastly: The stuff really doesn't look much like wood. I tried the "cherry" color and it looks more like weak reddish-brown plastic. You can run scripts that adjust the temperature to get a gradient effect, but it just isn't very realistic. The material is very soft and I don't recommend it for most purposes.

Heard that the next Space Shuttle is supposed to carry several Guernsey cows? It's gonna be the herd shot 'round the world.