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Comment Re:There is no voter fraud! (Score 1) 215

235 million registered voters, barely over half of which voted.

Still an anomoly? At the presidential level, possibly. Though 74,000 votes separated Obama from Romney over 29 electors in Florida, for example.

But you don't even have to drop to the state legislature to see small numbers matter. In 2014, Martha McSally beat Ron Barber in Arizona for the US House of Representatives by 219 votes. That's a pretty slim margin for a district with 640,000 residents.

So, actually does matter.

Comment That's gonna be a nope (Score 3, Insightful) 70

" quality of finish, all of these little details that make a beautiful design"

Yeah, that's nice and all, but what we really want is usability. Freedom from the advertising deluge. Control. Everybody and their brother can make a svelte 3D mockup that looks beautiful. But in the end it's going to come down to software. It's why Apple ruled the roost early on. A beautiful piece of garbage is still a piece of garbage. And, tbh, we have enough of that out here at the moment.

Comment Re:Non-lethal?! (Score 1) 154

It depends on how the law is actually worded. A prohibition on lethal weapons is not a legalization of non-lethal weapons. FTFA:

"Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones." (emph mine)

While it's true that anything that is not prohibited is permitted, this bill does not somehow make non-lethal weapons "legal" where they weren't yesterday. Aside form the FAA having a few things to say on this topic (including "NO!"), unless the statute defines lethal weapon narrowly, any weapon which *can* kill, even if that is not the sole purpose or design, is still a "lethal" weapon. Usually, the definitions of those things go something like "can result in death," which would include anything which has ever caused, or could be reasonably considered to potentially cause death.

tl:dr, this story isn't about weapons on drones, it's about corrupt politicians watering down restrictive in laws for their friends at the expense of public safety.

Comment Re:Dumb Idea (Score 1) 104

Modular is practical in PCs because there is s much extra space it's easy to fit things in, there are few structural loads, and power is almost never a limiting factor. The modular laptop market, where these things matter more, the options are fewer. Move into ultra-books and your options shrink again. Tablets even more. Phones - well, up until smart watches came out, phones were the end point for miniaturization of portable computers in mainstream usage.

Interest will always be there, but the need/desire for modularity in phones is almost always going to be sidelined for size, weight, and battery life.

Comment Re: in-vehicle concierge (Score 1) 341

You answered

      "for some reason the car companies are very obsessed and hell bent on adding every piece of tech to a car they can."

with the previous sentence

      "To me this is all marketing crap. And I don't need Google or Microsoft or Apple in my dashboard, collecting analytics..."

If your grocery store is getting a cut of revenue enhancement by selling your data, you can but the car companies are trying to figure out how to get in on the game.

I'm not opposed to the tech for the most part. What I am opposed to is poorly designed UIs and inexplicable operational choices which make the operation cumbersome or dangerous/distracting.

Comment Re:Obey traffic laws; offer emergency override (Score 3, Interesting) 231

Why would they need to? You're in a self driving car that's going to obey traffic laws - they can just follow you to your destination without fear of loss in pursuit. It's not like you're going to "get away" in a self driving car or the car will be operated in an unsafe manner. If it's a single officer, you'll be followed until the car stops. If it's multiple officers, all the have to do is get in front of and to the left and they can "guide" your car onto the shoulder and stop safely.

There's no operating condition where they actually need an electronic remote disable.

Comment If only they weren't in the boondocks (Score 4, Funny) 269

It's a shame they don't live near a major technology hub. These little backwater towns just don't have the resources to lure competent IT staffers away from the cities where you have large computer-savvy people.

Where did they say this was?

Comment Obey traffic laws; offer emergency override (Score 5, Interesting) 231

The big red button. If you press it, the car will continue to your destination unless physically disabled or completely blocked, regardless of non-traffic signals. It needs to be there for times when it is unsafe, or the occupant feels unsafe, with questionable external conditions (fake emergency vehicle signals, etc). And cops should be just fine with that because self-driving cars will otherwise obey the rules of the road (i.e. not speeding or running traffic signals), so if they really need to stop the car they can (a) surround it and slow down/stop to prevent the car from moving or (b) follow it to its destination - which in an emergency should be selectable by the operator as the original destination, the closest police precinct, or closest hospital emergency room entrance. There is no need or reason to offer electronic remote kill capabilities.

By choosing a fully automatic car, you give up a level of independence in return for convenience. I, for example, don't carry a sidearm or wear protective body armor today. That puts me in an inferior position to those who do, or those who have greater physical strength. It doesn't bother me because I evaluate the chance of needing such things is smaller than, say, being struck by lightning. I trade the convenience of lower kitted weight and bulk for an inferior defensive position.

Comment Nobody sells that stuff (Score 1) 567

The money is in a rental-only model. For a mere $649/month you can get coverage of the 2.4GHz spectrum. The $929 version will cover you for 2.4 and 5GHz. Specialty versions which can cover you over the 1.6-2.2GHz LTE bands to reduce or eliminate effects of cell phone towers are $2349/mo, but include the 2.4 and 5 GHz dampers as well.

You may ask if $25k a year is expensive. The question you should really be asking is - is your health, or the health of your child, worth it?

Comment Re:Yeah, nice, but (Score 2) 251

The cap will grow when more people start hitting it. It may seem like a revenue center, but it's a management tool. They'll set the bar somewhere in the top 1-5% of customers usage to keep those with voracious appetites down. They know there would be backlash if all of a sudden many of their customers started getting overage charges. Now that may change if more and more people get used to such a thing, but I expect those caps will rise with the overall usage patterns - again, just to make sure that everybody on the network (who doesn't have to call CS*) stays happy with their speeds.

I still haven't had a single note from Comcast, and last month I uploaded about 2TB of data (Crashplan decided to re-sync my entire server after a version upgrade, even though the server had just uploaded that same chunk 4 months ago).

*There is no such thing as a happy customer that has to deal with Comcast CS, so the more people they can keep from calling, the better off they are.

Comment Re:Cable networks are shared bandwidth (Score 1) 251

With any kind of load balancing, you're still going to get at least 1/300 of it. And 1/300 of 10Gbit is 33Mbps. Now, that's not the best speed in the world, but it's your *floor*. Based on the actual performance of my internal Gb network, I could have about 20 big fat teenagers all hammering the network and still be limited by my internal bandwidth.

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