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Comment Re:Devices should be de-brickable (Score 1) 157

Yes, yes, that's all very clever of you, except for the fact that iPhones do have that. You can reset the firmware, or all the internal storage, from a plugged-in computer. Almost every single byte of internal flash can be rewritten by Apple, or, hell, by an end user with iTunes. (I think the only parts that can't be overwritten are the parts that allow the phone to enter recovery.)

These 'bricked' phones? They enter recovery mode just fine, and all their internal memory can be rewritten just fine. Everything works fine there.

The problem here is that the current time, of course, is not part of a system recovery, because the damn current time is not saved to the phone's flash memory. How would that even work?

The clock in an iPhone operates the same way the clock in a PC operates, in a separate very low-power clock-tracking chip that runs off a battery. (Which in this case is the device battery.) There is absolutely no way to alter this from outside the device, and, really, no device has even needed such an ability before. iOS just has a really stupid bug.

And the way the iPhone is designed does not allow easy removal of the battery, which, really, is the problem here. If Android had this problem, it would be laughed off, 'Just unplug the battery, that will fix it'. But you can't do that with an iPhone.

I suspect that, within days, Apple will have produced a iOS update that can be put on the device (Even after it has been 'bricked'.) that either checks the time and fixes it, or just doesn't have whatever bug is causing this in the first place. (In fact, it should be possible to put a tiny image on there whose sole purpose is to change the clock, and then put the *original* image back.)

Comment Re:You CAN'T have ads without tracking. (Score 1) 356

It could very easily happen, by enforcing blocking rules that restrict or eliminate third party content.

That won't work. Even if you don't communicate directly with the third party, you don't have any way to prevent the content provider (who is also the ad provider from your point of view) from passing the information along.

We seem to have latched onto this "third party content" as The Problem, where it's really just a hack du jour for easily spotting a problem. But the only reason a content provider is putting <script src="somewhere else"> into their pages is because it still gets them paid by the "somewhere else." If you hit their own server instead of the third party, they can still forward any requests behind the scenes to anyone, and you won't even know it's happening, but all the same information will be there.

If you eliminate "third party content" you're just going to turn second parties into proxies. And they'll really do it, too. Why wouldn't they?

Comment You CAN'T have ads without tracking. (Score 2) 356

That's never going to happen, so people who think that a compromise might some day be reached, need to let go of that.

Some of the things on the list are extremely easy because the browser itself is ultimately in control. If you don't want animation, for example, then your browser can elect to not animate things. Same for playing sound, executing Javascript, 10kb limit, etc. You're going to get your wish on all of that stuff, assuming you haven't already gotten it already.

But tracking isn't going to go away. Your computer is initiating a conversation with someone else's computer, and there's only one thing you can do to prevent someone else's computer from remembering that it happened: have there be nothing to remember, because nothing happened. i.e. don't request the ad.

If you get the ad, then you get tracking, period. There is no possible compromise between the two sides on this, and everyone who thinks they can have ads but no tracking, is kidding themselves.

Either the ad industry is going to persuade us that tracking isn't all that bad, or the users are going to persuade the media that ads aren't all that necessary. No middle ground exists on this.

Comment Re: Will you stop approving submissions by this gu (Score 3, Insightful) 220

IMHO you're wrong. Battery failure is the biggest reason to "upgrade." Availability of software updates is a close second. CPU, screen res etc are already overkill even on a 4 year old phone. Many phone lives have been extended by replacing the battery, though the industry is "on" that "problem" now.

Comment Re:Corrupt politicians (Score 1) 251

Common criminals have much more to gain from this idea than the NSA does.

It's embarrassing that people are only now beginning to pretend to care about communication security, thanks to NSA getting caught. (Have to say "pretend" because it's not like most people are really doing anything different. But at least they're talking about it. I guess that's something.)

But if we want to take all the threats that plaintext communications exposes us to (our own government, other governments, organized crime, insurance companies, nosey neighbors, political witchhunters, ad profilers, and yes: even the greatest enemy (our own fears, since even when you're not being watched, if you think you might be watched then you're still not free)) and put all that under the blanket label "NSA," that's fine. Just fucking fine.

It's bullshit, but it's ok. Whatever it takes to start going things right. If you wanna pretend the NSA is the threat that's ok because at least, they really are a threat. (Not sure they make the top-ten list, but hey, whatever.) Wear the label, NSA. Big Brother, be the proxy for all the little brothers. You'll do just fine, NSA.

Comment Not as much a boon as you would expect?! (Score 1) 51

The new IRS guidance could be a boon to providers of identity protection services such as Experian and Lifelock, though maybe not as much as one would expect. .. Fewer than 10% of those potentially affected by a breach opt for free identity protection services when they are offered.

That is the boon to those services. The whole point of asking Congress to subsidize a particular industry's customers, is to increase the number of customers.

If widget purchases are tax-deductible, then people will buy more widgets (and fewer gadgets). What's weird is that we still think of income tax as being merely a tax on income, rather than a system for encouraging certain spending and discouraging others. What I want to see, is Hollywood making entertainment tax-deductible. I can't believe they haven't bought that one yet.

Comment Re:we used to not use BAC (Score 1) 259

I will grant that your reading comprehension is shockingly below average, but if you were as stupid as you say you are, you wouldn't be able to communicate it so directly. Show, don't tell.

Your only refuge would have been satire, but when satire lacks humor or insight, the hopeful smiles turn to disappointed sighs. That's not even good craft. C'mon, man!

Here's how I would fix your post, to make it better. I am not an expert writer by any stretch of the imagination; I merely assert that I am your better. So learn:

And yet I had 100 people blow .14 and 101 of them passed the field sobriety tests, so let's stop pretending you have any clue what you're talking about. Since we all know that everyone is identical, that means you're lying if you say your reactions are noticeably substandard at 0.04%.
And even if you were slower-than-sober at that point, so what? You know how everyone is always saying the roads never have any surprises ("Another day, another complete lack of people-who-don't-give-a-fuck-about-their-own-lives darting into the street on that charming block that has both a methadone clinic and healthcare-for-the-homeless clinic(*)") and no other drivers are bad ("I just want to say, yet again, nobody drifted into my lane why they were on their phone. Why do I even still bother to pay attention to all the other cars? Everyone is so well-behaved!")? That lack of there ever being any hazards is why slow reactions don't matter, you lying moron.

The reality is, we have stupid legislators because of people like you, who explicitly said they would not enact a BAC limit based on their personal experience due to the fact that they know different people have different performance at different BAC, and if I had paid attention to what I was ranting at, I would have at least lampshaded (**) that fact.

Don't you see how that would have been a better way to say the exact same shit-for-brain nonsense that you said? This isn't even fancy and I'm sure you could do just as well, if you tried. But you didn't. So the question is: dude, what went wrong?

(*) This is a real place on my commute to work every day. It's awesome but in my fantasy, that same magic stretch of street would also have a 1970s style porn theater, a plasma donation center, a casino, and a sausage factory with a secret tunnel to a nearby funeral parlor. "Hey, why is the sausage factory always receiving shipments of sandbags? Their sausages don't taste like sand at all."

(**) tvtropes link included out of spite. I hope I just made your life shorter.

Comment Re:we used to not use BAC (Score 1) 259

After that, it's been steadily ratcheted down by neoprohibitionists

Please reach for Hanlon's Razor more often. You don't have to be a neoprohibitionist to lower the limit; simply being dumb is good enough. Combine a little dumbness with personal experience and you can form a strong opinion.

I am as far from a prohibitionist as you can get. I love beer. The house is full of beer and every time I drive out of state, I buy beer (oooh, Interstate Commerce!) just to try out products offered by different distributors. The closets are stuffed with aging barleywines.

And yet, I also know that I am definitely impaired before 0.08%. From my subjective point of view, the 0.08% standard is absurdly high. No, I wouldn't be swerving around at that point, but my reactions would be terrible and my judgement .. altered. If I were stupid and also in charge of setting policy, my personal experience would have me set the limit to 0.04%.

Luckily for society, I'm not in charge. But also, I'm not quite stupid enough to fail to realize that different people have different reactions. Again: what I'm saying is that stupidity would be enough, with prohibitionist agenda having jack shit to do with anything.

So you merely have to ask: do we have stupid people in legislatures? ;-) Because if we do, then it's likely there's your true explanation.

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