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Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 5, Insightful) 473

I need to agree. Germans take a lot of pride in Engineering as a culture. To say the German Engineers took short cuts just to pass US tests seems more unlikely than a strict Wink-Wink-Nudge-Nundge from the Bosses to the engineers with the side effect of or-else.

Completely agree. Not to mention that most engineers work to a functional specification. The software controlling what the emissions control computer reports is a pretty simple concept: pull readings from the on-board sensors and push them onto the output bus. Anything that deviates from that would need to have been driven explicitly by somebody. Code that detects emission testing equipment and conditions doesn't just get added by a couple of engineers on a whim.

I'm sure that a program manager was given the EPA requirements and told "You must meet these (by any means)." That PM passed them on to the engineering team with clear instructions that the limits must be met, one way or another.


Volkswagen Boss Blames Software Engineers For Scandal ( 473

hattig writes: Today VW's Michael Horn is testifying to Congress and has blamed the recent scandal on engineers saying: "It's the decision of a couple of software engineers, not the board members." However, 530,000 cars in the U.S. will need to be recalled for significant engine modifications, not a software fix. Only 80,000 Passats are eligible for the software fix. There is no word on the effects these modifications will have on the cars' performance, fuel consumption, etc. The BBC reports: "The issue of defeat devices at VW has been a historic problem, points out a Congress panel member questioning VW US chief Michael Horn. In 1974, VW had a run-in with US authorities regarding the use of defeat devices in 1974, and in December 2014 it recalled cars to address nox emissions."

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 1) 67

What is right wing about filing a lawsuit to unmask a doe, suing that person, then settling for a much smaller amount. It seems this is used by many different trolls, and likely doesn't have any political ideology behind it. It is sleazy though. Filing a lawsuit with the intention of settling just to get a payout is wrong. It is short circuiting the justice system for personal profit.

Yeah that's neither right nor left, it's the universal language of greedy bloodsuckers.

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 3, Interesting) 67

What is right wing about that process? The Democrats support the movie industry, not the Republicans.

The fact that Democrats support something doesn't negate the possibility of something being right wing. The Democrats are not ideologically pure, or ideologically homogenous, and very few of them can be considered "left".

To me, pretending that copyright is only about property rights, and ignoring the fact that copyright was also supposed to be about free speech and about making material available for free to the public after a limited time, is definitely "right wing".

Comment Re:DMCA needs to die (Score 1) 67

This has nothing to do with the DMCA, this is a straight out copyright infringement lawsuit being filed. The real problem is that the methods the copyright holders (or the copyright enforcement goons acting on their behalf) are using to identify torrent users aren't good enough and its good to see at least one judge willing to call these enforcers out on it.

Exactly. Would have been nice for judges to start doing this 11 years ago, but glad they've come around.

Submission + - All Malibu Media subpoenas in Eastern District NY put on hold

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: A federal Magistrate Judge in Central Islip, New York, has just placed all Malibu Media subpoenas in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island on hold indefinitely, due to "serious questions" raised by a motion to quash (PDF) filed in one of them. Judge Steven Locke's 4-page Order and Decision (PDF) cited the defendant's arguments that "(i) the common approach for identifying allegedly infringing BitTorrent users, and thus the Doe Defendant, is inconclusive; (ii) copyright actions, especially those involving the adult film industry, are susceptible to abusive litigation practices; and (iii) Malibu Media in particular has engaged in abusive litigation practices" as being among the reasons for his issuance of the stay.

Comment Re:Well if this is true (Score 2) 99

Then both those companies are shitbags.

Well, at least Verizon is telling people about it (albeit discreetly). Who knows how much sharing goes on behind the scenes?

There should be strict industry regulation of this kind of thing (ads, tracking, etc) a lot better than currently is.

If you even pretend to care about your privacy or reject this kind of advertising, it's better to just assume the worst. Block all advertising. Block all third-party scripts. Strongly consider blocking unknown first-party scripts.

And finally, next time someone in advertising or marketing whines about ad-blockers, consider following my wildly successful three-step program:

1) Explain that it's their own greedy-ass fault that people block this shit.
2) Punch them in the face.
3) Remind them that they should probably just commit seppuku.

Comment Re:Its laugh track is a crime against humanity (Score 5, Informative) 403

Um, they do have a live studio audience []

Yes, they make a big deal about their "live studio audience", but that doesn't mean it isn't annoying as hell. In fact, I'd prefer it if they used a laugh track, because at least then they'd adjust it so it doesn't sound like a bunch of inebriated hyenas. Of course, just because they have an audience doesn't mean it isn't rigged:

A friend of mine has been to a taping of the show. They spend 20-30 minutes getting the audience ready with a stand-up comedian and other fluffers. Their whole purpose is to get the audience excited and in a laughing mood. They really pile on the hype about their laughter making the show successful and how important the reaction is. They talk about the microphones needing big loud laughs. Etc.

When the show finally starts filming, it's a rare scene that's filmed in one take. Therefore when the show is edited, they will independently choose the "best" laugh and use that for final take. In that sense they do use an edited laugh track, it's just one that's created by the current audience.

Then there's the dialog pacing, which is constructed to suit the exaggerated laughing instead of the comedy. This awkwardly false nature can be easily seen if you take away the laugh track or (less subtley) replace it with a caricature laugh. This is a problem with a lot of sitcoms, but Big Bang Theory seems to be especially bad.

Now take a look at John Cleese's approach on handling audience laughter while filming Fawlty Towers. Here's an example from A Room with a View. Compared to that, Big Bang Theory feels stilted and forced, while Fawlty Towers has a more natural rhythm that's so much easier to laugh at.

Of course, it also helps that Fawlty Towers had good writing and actually is funny. Two things Big Bang Theory can rarely claim.

Comment Re:Let me recycle my joke from Reddit (Score 1) 257

Hey, at the risk of going against the popular opinion, fried SPAM is actually pretty good. I'm just saying.

"Spambled" eggs (scrambled eggs with diced fried spam) is fantastic. The salt in the spam seasons the eggs and the result is pretty delicious. Toss in some mushrooms, onion, pepper and whatever else you like in eggs and you have a meal.

Comment New Tab (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Firefox 41 also removed the New Tab URL preference (browser.newtab.url), telling people to use a third-party extension instead.

The reason? Malware can change the setting. Full stop. That's it. So, because someone's computer is already compromised, and that malware changed a Firefox preference (alongside doing things like, you know, running a keylogger), Mozilla decided to cause headache and grief for everyone else. And to top it all off, if you want to continue to configure the new tab URL, you should use an extension written by some random guy.

I just don't understand the mentality. Choosing the default URL for a new tab seems like such an obvious feature, yet it's getting ripped out too, like so many others that Gavin Sharp has pissed on. Fuck Mozilla.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.