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Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 1) 253

by Theaetetus (#47923269) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Yeah, I guess it's not so bad if you assume that you're going to have a case, and that the case thickness will result in a flat back to the whole thing. I hadn't really thought of that.

Still, I think it's a bad choice. It seems kind of dumb to design your product with the idea that the dumb design won't be quite so dumb if you also buy a case.

Agreed. I never used a case with my iPhone, and a protruding lens would've been annoying and probably gotten caught on things on my pockets.

... but I do admit that I'm the only person I know of my friends who doesn't have a case on his phone.

Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 1) 253

by Theaetetus (#47921247) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

And for what? Assuming that they can't make the camera any thinner, make the phone slightly fatter, and make use of the extra space. It's not as though the iPhone 5 was obscenely thick and needed to be made thinner. Hell, just fill the rest of the thing out with additional battery, and give us more battery life.

Although I agree and would rather have the additional battery, most people put their phones in a case, which adds some thickness... The lens will protrude into the case cross-sectional region, allowing the overall phone+protruding-lens+case to be thinner than a thicker-phone+flat-lens+case.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by Theaetetus (#47886747) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

The only slight problem with that is that in order to react at all in time, you must be paying the same amount of attention as you would if there was no autonomous drive system at all. This is otherwise known as the human being in the loop. Removing the human from the loop in aircraft automation has been a source of unending problems, and only recently one could say that it's a reasonably well understood problem - if not quite solved just yet. Don't forget we're talking about trained professional pilots here.

So, when faced with a self-driving car, the relatively untrained non-professional driver will always be so far out of the loop, that there's no way for him to overtake control safely in real time.

If you read the article, in the instances where the automation didn't know what to do, it pulled over and stopped:

Construction work, however, proved trickier. When faced with a partially blocked-off road, the car switched between autonomous and manual modes and then braked to a halt, requiring Urmson, the safety driver, to take control.

The driver doesn't need to react in time - the car does that. The driver merely needs to make the next decision to start moving again and guide the car to where it needs to go.

Comment: Re:Patents cited in article (Score 1) 30

by Theaetetus (#47785907) Attached to: Judge Lucy Koh Rejects Apple's Quest For Anti-Samsung Injunction

The linked article cite the following patents : - Auto-correction/completion on keyboard entry... Il looks quite similar to the autocompletion that you find in some Japanese IME under Linux... which sometimes allow both conversion to kanjis and completion. Auto-correction is quite old on the wordprocessor scene - transformation of email & phone numbers to link AFAIK, most forums and webmails already convert email to link for a long long time. As for Phone number, the extension is quite trivial - slide to unlock it's mimicking a physical (door) lock... so nothing real new...

In hindsight, everything looks trivial. That's why you need to find actual prior art that invalidates the claims. And in particular, mimicking something in the real world may still be patentable, if the patent goes to the method of how it's mimicked. For example, we're trained from birth to recognize faces, but would you say that a facial recognition technology for a computer would never be patentable, because it just mimics that real-world ability? No - it depends on what's actually in the claims, and whether they go to how that simulation is implemented, rather than just the general idea of "recognizing faces" or "unlocking something".

Comment: Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (Score 1) 1262

>be the games journalist who never wrote a review, or even a single word, about Depression Quest Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's a myth borne out of people being unable to use a search engine properly. What's funny is that Grayson himself lied about having written anything about it:

That's what the controversy is over? "Here's a list of 50 games, and oh yeah, this is one of them"? Geez. Are you going to start demanding long form birth certificates from everyone now?

Sure, he didn't write a full-blown review, so he's not technically telling a lie, but he DID give her game preferential treatment in an article he wrote about Steam games being greenlit and there is ample evidence (pictures and video) that Grayson and Quinn were spending private time together prior to that article. I'll let the readers be the judge of whether or not Grayson's choice of her game as cover art was influenced by their relationship.

Well, when you're done clutching your pearls, we'll get you a glass of water so you can calm down. I mean, the way you were carrying on, I thought there was a review, not a "here's 50 new Greenlighted games".

Comment: Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (Score 1) 1262

There's also the part where she's declaring harassment because people are trying to find out the truth about whether or not she unethically used an intimate relationship with a games journalist to promote Depression Quest. The fact that she had an intimate relationship with Nathan Grayson is a big deal, especially considering that they officially started dating less than a week after Grayson's article was published, and there is evidence that the relationship may have existed before that but was kept away from public view.

Ah, yes, would that be the games journalist who never wrote a review, or even a single word, about Depression Quest? The journalist who wrote an article about a reality show, months before Depression Quest was even created, and hasn't published anything since?

Comment: Re:What lessons are the video games teaching? (Score 2, Interesting) 1262

Mod this up please...

Not sure why. Most people on Slashdot should realize that screenshot of a web browser showing a page that says "12 seconds ago" doesn't necessarily mean that the corresponding message was created 12 seconds before the screenshot, but just that the page was refreshed 12 seconds after the message... and then the page could have sat, displayed from local RAM, for minutes or hours before a screenshot was taken.

Comment: Re:That's all? (Score 1) 35

by Theaetetus (#47775277) Attached to: Google Wins $1.3 Million From Patent Troll

Just $ 1.3 million for attorney's fees? And I've been telling clients they should have $ 3 million set aside for fees if they want to pursue a patent lawsuit.

But, I guess this is more breach of contract than a real patent suit, so maybe the "low" fees aren't too surprising.

That - this suit didn't really have anything to do with patents, there was no claim construction or Markman hearing, there weren't prior art searches, invalidity contentions, expert reports, etc. It was just a straightforward breach of contract.

Comment: Not really over patents (Score 5, Informative) 35

by Theaetetus (#47773629) Attached to: Google Wins $1.3 Million From Patent Troll
This was a breach of contract suit over a settlement between Google and Beneficial, under which Beneficial wasn't supposed to bring infringement suits against Google customers. They did, hence the breach. The settlement included a provision under which a prevailing party could get attorney's fees after a breach, and this was just the judge awarding those fees.

That's not to say that there aren't people winning money from patent trolls - there are, in other cases, and the lower standard for awarding fees to the defendant is a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Octane Fitness last April. But this isn't one of those - this is more like Google suing the guy who paints the fences at the Googleplex for doing a shitty job, and then getting attorney's fees under their existing contract.

Comment: Re:the purpose is tracking cars (Score 0) 261

by Theaetetus (#47771929) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Forget the happy horseshit about super-safe robot cars. We don't have those, and they won't work when we do. This is about the ability to track all the vehicles in the world, either by private entities who will backdoor the info to government and political groups, or straight-up security force tracking. Not just here, but all over the world. We are building turnkey police state infrastructure. If you can't grasp this, you might want to contemplate how privileged you are not to ever feel endangered by cops or polical opponents like Scientology or the Moonies. Do not give the monkeys the key to the banana plantation. Once you are in a worldwide prison, there is no escape.

Now go on and tell us about how the fringe on the flag means that the country is really a corporation.

Comment: Re:WRONG (Score 1) 261

by Theaetetus (#47771919) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

This is the wrong way to go about it. The government should not be involved in this at all.

Mandate the standard not the use of the technology. i.e. "IF you are going to implement this safety feature, communication with the other vehicle must happen via RF (or whatever) on X frequency. Pulse Y indicates speed, pulse Z indicates direction..." etc...

Did you not even bother reading the summary, much less the article? "NHTSA believes that V2V capability will not develop absent regulation, because there would not be any immediate safety benefits for consumers who are early adopters of V2V"
Under your proposal, why would any consumer pay extra for a car that "implement[s] this safety feature", considering it doesn't work unless everyone else around has one too?

Anti-government nuttery aside, this actually is one of the areas were regulation and required use make sense.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 4, Insightful) 643

by Theaetetus (#47767467) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

The problem with this is that if all cops feel like they're being audited all of the time, they're less likely to let you off the hook for a minor violation. Then since they have to charge you with something, and there's supporting evidence, you're not going to get a plea or reduction from a mandatory sentence in court.

I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but cops let thousands of people off per day on minor things where people just need a warning.

Frankly, I'm a little less concerned with the "problem" of cops letting off people who do commit minor infractions, than the problem of cops falsifying evidence or destroying exculpatory evidence, beating or torturing suspects, and lying on police reports in order to arrest people who haven't committed any crime. You getting out of a speeding ticket for going 60 in a 55 is less important than Joe Innocent getting arrested for walking in the wrong part of town while black, having a gun with defaced serial numbers planted on him, and suddenly facing 10 year felony charge with an "option" to plead guilty and only get a year (and a felony record).

Comment: Re:Why hasn't it happened already? (Score 2) 233

by Theaetetus (#47757097) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

iPhones have had the ability to be remote wiped for a long time. Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones.

Now you have.

According to the Ministry the criminals used two “well-established schemes.” One of them was hacking users’ email accounts and elaborate phishing pages to glean victims’ Apple ID credentials. The second scheme – which may or may not related to the Oleg Pliss scam – allegedly bound devices to prearranged accounts and used “various internet resources to create ads.” Those ads promised access to Apple ID accounts that contained “a large amount of media content.” As soon as someone accepted the offer and linked their device to the account, attackers hijacked the devices.

Phishing to obtain email credentials and then presenting yourself as the legitimate user, or offering access to free media to suck in greedy people. Social engineering - not the same thing as hacking the bricking/remote wipe protocol.

Comment: Re:Hye, how about this... (Score 1) 113

by Theaetetus (#47751999) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Not quite what's happening here. These aren't people just copying designs. They're usually trying to pose as the original work, including the developer name, to trick people into installing their version.

Slight modification to the GP post, then:

Put another way, the ask is that Google/Apple create a private patent and trademark system.

Comment: Re:Of course they'll downplay it.. (Score 2) 149

by Theaetetus (#47746941) Attached to: Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

OK, but in both cases you need a fire alarm, right? And in neither case is someone legally allowed to disable the alarm, right?

I still don't see any difference.

From the post you're replying to:

The requirements for a hotel should be stricter. If you are renting a room for the night, you should not have to check the batteries in the fire alarm. If you have a three year lease on an apartment, it is reasonable for that to be your responsibility, rather than the landlords.

Add to that that hotels have mandatory annual inspections, with a fire inspector who walks through and checks all of the alarms and extinguishers. You don't do that in your apartment, I'm sure, and yet it's something a hotel tenant relies on.

APL hackers do it in the quad.