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Comment: Re:No new iPod Touch, no update (Score 1) 117

by ShaunC (#47930859) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Without a mobile phone, how would you go about reaching roadside assistance or emergency services?

Any shitty old mobile with no service plan will work to call 911, as long as the battery's charged. A few people you know are probably tossing their old phones in the garbage every year, or you can get an old LG flip phone and a car charger for $20 on eBay.

As for roadside assistance, just take off your pants and stand in traffic! Someone will stop sooner or later.


FBI Completes New Face Recognition System 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-know-what-you-did-last-summer dept.
Advocatus Diaboli writes: According to a report from Gizmodo, "After six years and over one billion dollars in development, the FBI has just announced that its new biometric facial recognition software system is finally complete. Meaning that, starting soon, photos of tens of millions of U.S. citizen's faces will be captured by the national system on a daily basis. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will logs all of those faces, and will reference them against its growing database in the event of a crime. It's not just faces, though. Thanks to the shared database dubbed the Interstate Photo System (IPS), everything from tattoos to scars to a person's irises could be enough to secure an ID. What's more, the FBI is estimating that NGI will include as many as 52 million individual faces by next year, collecting identified faces from mug shots and some job applications." Techdirt points out that an assessment of how this system affects privacy was supposed to have preceded the actual rollout. Unfortunately, that assessment is nowhere to be found.

Two recent news items are related. First, at a music festival in Boston last year, face recognition software was tested on festival-goers. Boston police denied involvement, but were seen using the software, and much of the data was carelessly made available online. Second, both Ford and GM are working on bringing face recognition software to cars. It's intended for safety and security — it can act as authentication and to make sure the driver is paying attention to the road.

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 5, Insightful) 146

by ShaunC (#47914439) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

This highlights one of the benefits of the dealer model, there are almost always a *lot* of dealers to choose from and try to get a better deal/experience/vehicle from.

I'm of the opinion that it highlights one of the disadvantages of the dealer model, you often have to go from one dealer to another, haggling and bullshitting, before finally settling on the car you want at a price you feel comfortable with. I'd rather have one place in town that sells what I want, with a clearly marked price, skip the haggling, and do a transaction. Maybe some people enjoy the car buying "experience" but I look at it like any other purchase. I want to do some research ahead of time, walk into the store, buy the product I came for, and leave. It's 2014, it's no longer reasonable to expect consumers to waste an entire weekend trying to buy a car.

Comment: Re:911 was down for us Friday night (Score 1) 607

If you live in the region that I suspect you do, 911 was down because massive amounts of rain flooded utility easements and fucked up some copper that AT&T is replacing. If you have any modicum of evidence tying an Apple software update to the problem, take it to the media, I'd sure love to see that story.

Comment: Re:If I was in the NFL I'd be pissed (Score 1) 404

by ShaunC (#47881265) Attached to: Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

I'd be wanting to work at 110% of my ability 24/7, if I was forced to learn/use a device foreign to me I'd be pissed. I don't care if it's a surface, iPad, or chalkboard, let me work in a way that's most productive for me.

Would you look at that differently if you were making an NFL player's salary? I'd happily toss my Android phone and my iPod Touch and replace them with whatever shitty Microsoft devices my boss wanted me to use, if he started paying me a million bucks a year.

Comment: Re:It's not apple this time! (Score 4, Insightful) 134

by ShaunC (#47861943) Attached to: Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

Well it's easy enough for pretentious 9 year olds to use for playing Minecraft, at least that's all I got out of the commercial. Pretty sure the blame for this phone's flop lies squarely at the feet of Amazon's marketing department or whoever they hired to produce the TV ad. The phone itself barely makes an appearance in the commercial, it's just a couple of kids yammering about how they're going to stream stuff and play games, followed by a double plug for Amazon Prime, which I'm still scratching my head over. I don't need to buy a new phone to get Amazon Prime.

Is Amazon trying to sell an actual product here, or just selling the idea of a digital babysitter? Either way I guess I'm not their target audience and I sorta wonder who is.

Comment: Re:Not Enough (Score 1) 524

by ShaunC (#47858581) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Regardless, most of us really don't need to stream HD from our homes.

True enough. But a lot of people do like to do that (or have to, for work), they sit around streaming themselves or their gaming sessions on Twitch or LiveStream, or conferencing via Skype and GotoMeeting all day long. Plenty of people have jumped onto the cloud backup bandwagon, and it shouldn't have to take several hours to upload today's differentials to Carbonite or Mozy. And like you mentioned, even digital photos these days can easily hit the 4MB range, so shipping the rugrats' birthday party gallery to grandma can take an hour all by itself.

Whether ISPs like it or not, the upstream is becoming just as important to residential consumers as the downstream. The days of an ack-traffic-only upstream are done.

The world is not octal despite DEC.