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Comment: Re:Can't we just say people took naked pics? (Score 1) 218

by Vellmont (#47416759) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

All those erase cycles would wear out the flash memory much faster.

The wear limits, and wear leveling on flash memory are such that even with heavy usage you'd still outlive the lifetime of the phone by an order of magnitude at least. (on the order of 1,000,000 erases). A phone is never even going to approach heavy usage. So I reject the idea that we can't erase because it'll wear out the flash memory prematurely.

Comment: Can't we just say people took naked pics? (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by Vellmont (#47412969) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

Why do we still talk like we're in middle school? Why the code talking? "personal pictures", "manhood"? Can't we just say they found pictures of guys penises, and nude to semi-nude women?

People take nude photos of themselves, don't realize it's still on the phone, and sell the thing. The fault lies with the cell phone makers who aren't actually doing real deletes of pictures. That's just dumb. Back when storage medium was on a hard drive, and computers do a LOT of IO, deleting the reference to the file made sense to improve performance. But all phones use flash as storage, and there's simply not a lot of IO that's going on in your typical phone usage. The OS should be wiping the file, or at the very least remove the reference, and wipe the file at a later (but soon) time after (like perhaps while the user is typing something and is otherwise idle).

The reality is phones get stolen, and the data is far less secure than on a PC. The OS needs to keep up with that. Deleting data for good should mean actually deleting the data. The shortcuts that've been done in the past should be a thing of the past.

Comment: Re:The Future's So Bright (Score 2) 403

by Vellmont (#47410039) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Bad developers are bad no matter what. But good developers make less mistakes in a language where there's less freedom and ease to make mistakes. The recent openSSL bug is a good example. The person who made the mistake isn't a bad programmer, but he did make a dumb mistake. Something that wouldn't have even been possible in an intepreted language.

Tools DO make a difference. They can very easily save you from yourself and not allow you to do things that you really shouldn't be doing.

Comment: Re:NO-NO-NO, a thousand times NO! (Score 1) 463

Which tells me that something is wrong with the warning systems if Pilots are ignoring them. Pilots aren't idiots, but a warning system that's too sensitive is useless. If the check-engine light on your car comes on all the time because your gas cap isn't tight enough, do you start ignoring it? Then when it comes on for a legitimate reason, you're probbably going to still ignore it.

I don't know what's going on here, but the fact that two different pilots ignored warning systems in the same plane that led to disasters tells me the problem might not be with the pilots, but with the warning systems. Why are the pilots ignoring them? Hubris is one answer, but a warning system that trains you to ignore it is another.

Comment: Maximum Overdrive. (Score 1) 142

by Vellmont (#47388785) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking

Finally an excuse to re-make the terrible movie Maximum Overdrive. If you're one of the 99% of the population that's never heard of it, it's a movie where the trucks go crazy, drive themselves, and try to kill all of humanity. An interesting concept, but horribly executed. Based on a book by Stephen King, some nut let him direct it.

Comment: Re:That's not going to make (Score 1) 105

by Vellmont (#47383431) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

Umm.. you do realize that if the Google technology is all that great, then the experienced cabbies can just get one of the traffic broadcast tools.

Which is better, experienced London cabbie+technology, or some random guy+technology?

The london cabbie is also regulated on price. Ueber has "surge" pricing, so you can suddenly be gouged by Ueber when they detect a period when they can get away with charging more.

Comment: How to prove the source code maps to the binary? (Score 4, Insightful) 178

So.. Microsoft let governments of the world look at the source code at your special center, and then double-dog-swears that there's nothing fishy going on between then, and compiling the source code, like say a patch applied somewhere in the build process? Riiiight.

If you WERE to put a backdoor in, that's probably how it'd be done. Would you really want a backdoor explicitly in the code for a developer to find? Of course not, you'd put in something only a few people know about. The secret to secret keeping is limiting the amount of people who know.

The other way to hide the backdoor is to make it a hard to find bug. Plausible deniability is quite high.

I have to believe this is good news though. It means a lot of foreign governments are suspicious of closed source software, to the point where Microsoft has had to announce a plan to make their code however less closed source.

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 2) 1311

by Vellmont (#47356433) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception


If you claimed to have a religious belief that you shouldn't pay for certain types of healthcare, you would be by definition, not an atheist.

As far as your odd plan to create a religion based on this belief... well go right ahead, but be prepared to act like a religion. Courts aren't stupid, and they aren't going to let you make up your sham religion for the sole purpose of evading the law. It's an old con, and the court system is wise to it.

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 1) 273

That's simply not the same thing. The private limo industry is NOT a taxi service. Limo services aren't point to point, they're hiring a private car for the day or night. They're also FAR more expensive, and rely on reputation of the limo company.

Taxi services are normally dispatch services, with the drivers operating independently. It's VERY different from a limo service in about every way.

Taxi services are now suffering because of a combination of historic greed and anti-competitive actions. By that, I mean the sale of medallions, which brought in revenue to cities (greed) and made it difficult or impossible for people to start a taxi business (anti-competitive).

If cities want to eliminate the medallion program, stop the sale of them, etc, that's totally fine with me. But creating an unregulated industry to compete with a regulated one is simply unfair, and frankly possibly even unconstitutional. You can't make the laws apply to one set of people and not another. Uber is clearly a taxi dispatch service. Why should the law not apply to them, but apply to everyone else?

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 1) 273

You've missed the point. The system can't survive with a regulated and unregulated market. The regulated market will have higher costs, and have to charge higher fees. So the regulated market will become smaller and smaller, and likely more expensive. Do you really want the choice where the safe, knowledgeable driver is extremely expensive, and your only alternative is some guy in his shitmobile who barely knows the city?

only ones bitching are those who run taxis who now get slightly less profit.

I don't run a taxi service. I don't know anyone who runs a taxi service. I rarely take taxis. I'm bitching.

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 5, Insightful) 273

This isn't replacing the taxi industry with a technology, it's pitting a highly regulated industry (taxi cabs) with an unregulated variant. Taxicabs pay huge amounts of money to run a taxicab. If you want to loosen regulations on taxis, fine. But Ueber is an attempt to create an unlicensed, unregulated market where a licensed regulated one exists. It has about zero to do with technology.

Comment: Re:Sunshine is the Cure (Score 1) 163

by Vellmont (#47340941) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

Exposing your skin (arms and face are sufficient) to sunlight is supposed to reset your body's clock when you travel.

The major thing that regulates the sleep/wake cycle is recently discovered 3rd light receptor in your eye. Sunlight will produce Vitamin D, but I know of no research that says exposing skin to sunlight will do anything for your circadian rythms. (Of course if you expose your sun, you'll also expose your eyes unless you shield them for some odd reason).

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin