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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.

Comment strongest attack vector in existence (Score 2) 119

I know there are still a small percentage of people out there that still click on every email link they get, but I would hope that phishing is a dying art and not much would ever come of this. I know that most of the people I supported would not be this amazingly stupid, nor would many in the entire company.

If you work in an IT capacity, I suggest you rethink architecting your security profile based on trusting users not to click on links sending them to websites hosting malicious exploit code.

You might have the smartest CS graduates working in your organization. Each one of them has a computer-inexperienced relative whose had their email compromised in one way or another. From those compromised email accounts, messages are sent to your coworkers that can contain solicitations to view content hosted on a remote website. The possibility of your teammates following those links is especially high. Once the exploit code has hit the desktop OS, it's inside your network. If you have vulnerable routers, the attackers can use the beachhead of the first compromised desktop machine to change the DNS settings on the network router. Now, every single user in the organization is vulnerable to being redirected from "" to "" while they still only see the friendly google search page in their browsers when they try to do a search.

Don't trust the end users. They're the weakest member of your corporate security.

Comment not bashing Kim (Score 1) 90

I'm not saying Kim is the one who shouldn't be trusted. I'm saying the implementation cannot be considered to be 'encrypted'. If the operator has the ability to decrypt the contents of the cloud-shared files, then the content is subject to national security letters, snooping, hacking, etc. If the operator of Mega has to be trustworthy, then the implementation can't be trusted because the operator is the easiest part of the architecture to compromise.

Comment don't trust new mega competitor (Score 1) 90

This is a very telling quote--

As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues I don't trust Mega anymore. I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore.

If his implementation of Mega was dependent on the 'trustworthiness' of the operators, then it was never truly encrypted. Nor should we expect his next iteration of cloud filesharing to be fully encrypted.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department