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Comment Re: "anonymous" and "secure" what a joke (Score 1) 57

I think the goal they are trying to provide is sincere and valid. But, looking over their company, I don't see a reason to trust their implementation. Check the 'about' page and you'll see no description of anyone being a true data scientist with a Masters or Phd. To be credible, they would need to have a third-party security audit performed on their source code. No mention of that anywhere.

Because it's closed-source, you have no assurance the client and server are not juggling SSL keys and allowing a MITM attack to be performed at the request of a subpoena.

An easy step to credibility would be to publish their server's API and allow third-parties to implement their own mail client apps. Then they become a cloud service provider and leave the app development to others (in addition to a feature-poor POC app developed in-house).

Finally, not to beat a dead-horse here, but this phrase isn't confidence-building--

"By using open source encryption libraries, we can help guard against back doors designed to compromise your privacy."

No guarantee against back doors. They're just helping to guard against them.

Comment brick and mortar is an assett (Score 4, Interesting) 203

As the summary suggests, Walmart does have an advantage in its distribution network and storefront locations. At a greatly-reduced cost, Walmart could very quickly compete with Amazon for Same-Day delivery service if that proves to be lucrative.

Additionally, in the not-so-distant future, when autonomous vehicles become the norm, consumers could order online and send their own car to the Walmart distribution center to be loaded up with the groceries, etc. to reduce the cost of deliver.

Comment not a pool of geniuses (Score 1) 492

To some degree, the fact that nearly everyone else who's a hotshot in the tech industry is there means it's easier to find the talent you want there.

I think there's a widespread misconception that San Fran is this big mingling party of 'hot shots.' That talent pool is filled with clueless millennials as much as geniuses. Both groups of recruits think they are geniuses and will attempt to leverage unrealistic salaries.

As easy as it is to recruit from that genius pool next to the Bay, so too, is it easy to lose your genius back into the pool. Might make more sense to get them stranded out in Biloxi...

Comment Mercedes probably isn't cheating (Score 2) 323

I strongly suspect every German brand is doing the same thing in the US...

You know, Mercedes doesn't really sell many of their diesel passenger cars in the US like they do in Europe. I suspect the obstacle is the stringent EPA regulations limiting their ability to deliver a vehicle in the US with compelling gas mileage AND performance.

Mercedes management needs to be scrutinized by shareholders right now. While Volkswagen has been selling dozens of thousands of diesel vehicles in the US, Mercedes management should have been demanding their engineers create similar products. When the engineers shrugged their shoulders saying, "It can't be done without cheating the tests," Mercedes management should have conducted independent tests on Volkswagen TDI cars and alerted the EPA of the fraud. Where's the competitive research?!?!? Mercedes really has dropped the ball here.

Comment Re:And what, pray tell, is a "digital agenda"? (Score 1) 109

Supporting Sycraft's observations, let's just take one segment-- cellphone SOCs. Little-known-fact, the team at Samsung working on the next iteration of the ARM processor intended to power their next cellphone-- they're based in Austin, Texas. Sure, ARM is a British company, but strangely, they have offices in Austin, Texas, also.

If this CISCO genius was speaking the truth, Apple would have Chinese engineers near the FOXCOM factories designing the hardware for all its mobile devices. Oh, wait- Apple has several hundred electrical engineers who happen to have (512) area codes programmed into their prototype iPhones.

Comment Also- preventing oversaturation of service (Score 1) 471

Everything rjstanford is saying is accurate and true. I'd like to add on that these regulations serve the interest of preventing the streets from being clogged with taxis. Most cities limit the number of taxis that can operate on city streets. This is valuable because:
  1. Too many providers lowers pricing making it unsustainable for providers to make a living wage.
  2. Creates congestion (traffic)
  3. Reduces incentive for people to use public transit

Comment Re: They are enabling criminals (Score 1) 471

If the driver has a drivers license...and insurance, what's the problem?

Well, a taxi driver is required to have a chauffer's license which has much more stringent qualifications than a basic operator's license. Also, the taxi must be covered by commercial insurance, which provides much greater amounts of liability coverage to someone injured by the vehicle.

I agree with all the other posters here acknowledging UBER is operating as a criminal enterprise. Millions of other people around the world have thought, "Well, I'll just start my own cab company and drive people around for money." Then they realized the industry is regulated in ways that protect the public as well as the existing taxi providers. So, those millions of people have decided not to pursue this. Then UBER comes along and says, "Screw the regulations, we're doing this anyway." They are profiting handsomely from having disregarded the existing regulations that inhibited law-respecting players from having entered the industry.

This is similar to the travesty committed by Volkswagen with their fraudulent emissions trickery. Other companies like Mercedes were quite poised to deliver diesel consumer vehicles to the American market, but realized the EPA regulations made it too difficult for them to develop a compelling diesel vehicle product that would be competitive with gasoline vehicles in the USA. It's strange Mercedes didn't scrutinize Volkswagen's ability to satisfy EPA regulations with their popular TDI line of vehicles. Their management should have been hitting Mercedes engineers over the heads saying, "Why can't you create a vehicle like Volkswagen?!?!?" Then their engineers would say, "Volkswagen must be cheating the emissions tests!"

Comment Nobody ever called my mother-in-law a hipster (Score 5, Insightful) 535

....and sell like hotcakes to a certain demographic.

Do you really think Apple became the richest company on the globe selling their products exclusively to hipster millennials? That's actually quite a narrow demograph from which to have siphoned such immense wealth. Go check out an Apple store. It's filled with an entire spectrum of people buying their premium-priced products.

This is the same type of stereotyping of Apple's limited appeal is exactly what led to Steve Ballmer's obsolescence.

Comment leveraging existing state of the tech (Score 5, Insightful) 535

If Apple throws as much money at a car as Tesla did, perhaps they can, but they aren't likely to do that.

I fully agree with you, Apple isn't going to spend as much as Tesla did to ramp up production.

At a significant expense, Tesla innovated many processes and designs for their electric cars. Elon Musk threw the patents into the public domain and asked other companies to leverage them. Apple will do that and then build on top of that with their own R & D investments.

Comment lower price means more usage (Score 1) 53

The whole argument that drug users steal or become violent or act in some other untoward manner simply because they can't obtain or pay for their drug is rendered meaningless because if it weren't for the prohibition laws, these substances would be priced precisely based on supply and demand.

I think the addictive nature of the drug causes such an obsession that people's ability to be productive to support the addiction will be affected by it's use. It doesn't matter if it costs $15 or $200. The users will consume as much of it as they can and use the bare minimum of their productive resources to purchase that quantity.

What I'm saying is, if a person is desperate to the point of exchanging oral sex for one dosage of an addictive substance, lowering the price to $15 isn't going to empower the person to spend their time working a productive job and buy a crack rock on the way home from work at the end of the day. The lower price simply means the addict gets to consume more drugs and the person paying for crack to exchange for oral sex just pays a lot less for the crack.

Comment Re:not bashing Kim (Score 1) 90

You offer a reasoned and objective interpretation of this encryption scheme. The part you mention about user-friendliness is important for consumer adoption of a cloud service like this, but it's also the easiest part of the architecture to compromise.

Like you, I haven't thoroughly reviewed the MEGA security architecture, but I've tested the service and can make educated guesses to how it's working. Both keys are stored on the server. The user submits a passphrase that is claimed to be used by javascript on the client side to decrypt the key used on the client side of the transaction.

As you suggest, the javascript can be modified transparently to the end user. There is no assurance to the end user that the passphrase is not sent to the server to be used by the administrator to decrypt the key (that's stored on the server) and then access the user's content.

This security is a technical fallacy. The operators are purporting it to be secure, but they knew from the beginning that the encryption depended on the goodwill of the operators. If the keys don't reside in the hands of the end-users, it's not the real encryption solution Kim Schmitt has been selling.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982