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Comment Re:Needs rooted phone (Score 1) 160

Yeah I got that part, but I was presuming the standard Android permissions dialog was shown before install, and was just curious as to how the program managed to raise a custom overlay so early. If it's talking about a later-stage specific permission escalation (e.g. SuperSU or as introduced in Marshmallow) while the app is already running, I can see how that works.

Comment Re:Needs rooted phone (Score 1) 160

If that's so, then I guess that limits the damage that can be done to /mnt/sdcard (which could still be enough). I'm surprised that unknown code can be downloaded and executed before the install privileges dialog has completed, though. Or am I missing something else?

At least it's a minor threat to mainstream markets, but I imagine it's aimed more at the vast and growing Chinese base, where sideloading and unvetted stores are the norm.

Comment Needs rooted phone (Score 1) 160

Of course, users can't grant root access to anything, on a stock phone regardless of version. Only rooted phones would be potentially vulnerable, and all others wouldn't show an admin-access dialog at all.

This is on top of requiring the user to actually want to sideload an app called Porn'o'Rama in the first place, if that's what it was really called.

Comment Re: Honest Company (Score 1) 148

If you can come up with a tax regime that has broadly similar impact (to living costs, lifestyle etc) over a population with very wide differences of ability to contribute, and is also effective and enforceable, then I imagine there's some economics departments that might want to talk to you. It's not a simple problem.

The mixed income/consumption tax approach is far from perfect, but most "obvious" alternatives are worse, or are too difficult to administer or enforce.

Comment Re:How dense are you? (Score 1) 147

Ah I see, it's your opinion - hence the redefinition of "fact".

So you feel the only reasonable standard is one a business can meet without difficulty, regardless of the external costs to everyone else. Which of course would mean there'd be no pressure to develop new technologies that meet these higher standards (such as catalytic converters or electric vehicles), and LA would look more like Beijing.

It's obvious that not ALL companies are cheating (Tesla certainly isn't), and there's certainly no evidence that consumers are ignoring these standards either - if they were, VW wouldn't have been faced with such a huge public scandal.

Comment Re: How to tell a regulation has failed utterly (Score 5, Insightful) 147

"Overly ambitious" standards? In whose opinion, the car manufacturers or those who suffer the consequences?

This isn't some civic protest akin to Prohibition, these are regulations designed to avoid Tragedy of the Commons scenarios with real costs to society. In the UK alone, nitrogen dioxide emissions cause 23,500 extra deaths, costing around £13bn per year.

Comment Re: Honest Company (Score 3, Insightful) 148

Corporations already get a sweeter tax deal than "real" people ever did. People can't deduct their rent or supplies or other daily costs of being able to get work done.

Imagine if you only got taxed on your disposable income. Better still, imagine if you lived simultaneously at home and in a tax haven, and your working self paid most of your net revenue as a skill-set licence to the tax-free self who was living it up for you in the Bahamas.

Comment Re:How do you like your lack of control now? (Score 4, Informative) 35

Malware like this is possible because Android *does* offer you control, like sideloading. It's iOS that restricts control (and apparently many users need to be controlled for their own good).

Google can also nuke this shit, but only if its Play Services is installed. Most Chinese android devices are unassociated with Google, apart from using the AOSP codebase.

Comment Re:So they're likely the cause of "Global Warming" (Score 5, Insightful) 85

News: Check out these undersea volcanoes you hadn't heard of. Studies are hinting that their eruptions may be more sporadic than regular.
Assumption: Scientists hadn't heard of these volcanoes either.
Postulate: This must mean any effect they have is new & unaccounted for.
Factoid: A volcano puts out lots of smoke & hot stuff.
Assumption: Volcanoes put out more smoke & hot stuff than people.
Preconception: My lifestyle couldn't possibly be bad in any way, therefore humans couldn't negatively affect the environment.
Oblig. Politicisation: Anyone who says otherwise is a "leftist"
Supposal: All these new volcanoes are increasing temperatures far beyond what people could do.
Conclusion: THAT must be the real reason for global warming! I KNEW it couldn't be us! This explains EVERYTHING!

Congratulations on your data-free chain of reasoning. Wrong from the beginning, of course - as the summary says, these volcanoes are already known to account for 70% of eruptions, so their thermal & CO2 output is already factored in. Plus of course, the data already showed that average volcanic CO2 output is under 1% that of humans, and their thermal output is far smaller again. New studies "hinting" that these eruptions might happen in bursts rather than continuously doesn't change that.

Comment Re: renewables (Score 1) 645

Certainly; cost is always a factor, including for nuclear. Almost anything is possible, given enough time & money, but cost effectiveness is still paramount - IF you consider all significant lifetime factors, including capital, ongoing, post-lifetime, and at least best estimates of external societal costs.

I'd love to see more comprehensive levelised cost comparisons of a much wider range of grid options, including solar & wind backed by a range of different storage technologies, nuclear, and even fossil-fueled options too. It'd be fascinating to see how these have been changing over time, and how they change by site, payoff times, residual/decomissioning costs and externalities. Too much discussion is reduced to "it just isn't practical" and "this is better, because reasons", or "that would be too expensive".

This AETA updated report on energy options for NSW, Australia, is an excellent start, and has some great information in graph form towards the end, including . Unfortunately, a change in government since the original report has resulted in carbon prices being excluded, which is unfortunate as that was a reasonable proxy for the many external costs to society, but even without that it can still add some much needed reality to the picture. Got any links to even more comprehensive studies?

Comment Re: renewables (Score 1) 645

There are many mature grid-scale storage technologies right now, and more that are newer but already commercially available (e.g. reflow batteries). You could argue that cost or efficiencies limit the practicality of some types in some situations, but to repeatedly wave them all away and claim that nuclear is the "only" option (with zero supporting data) requires a deliberate effort to keep one's mind firmly closed.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman