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Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 5, Informative) 907

by Neon Spiral Injector (#47994905) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

A friend of a friend has a car with one of these. It might be possible to bypass it, but blocking the signal isn't the solution. He parked his car in an underground garage, and when he came back it wouldn't start. Turns out if the disabler hasn't received a ping in a certain elapsed time it also disables the starter. He called the loan company, and they had to send a technician to get the car to start, and be able to drive out of the garage.

Comment: Re:Glaring Mistakes (Score 1) 226

I think this leads to a more pressing question: How do you decide where to balance technical accuracy with accessibility for the majority of people who won't understand it? Does the show count on getting away with some minor mistakes, knowing that 99+% of the audience won't catch it?

I've noticed several mistakes myself (in the handful of episodes I've watched with my girlfriend, who loves the show), especially around quantum physics (my preferred subject of study). I always wonder if they're deliberately introduced, or if they are genuine mistakes by the writers and/or actors due to lack of understanding or knowledge.

Comment: Re: I hope not (Score 1) 511

by Max Littlemore (#47754293) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

You can also write bad procedural code in an "OO language" because that is also a methodology. I see that crap all the time; giant 50+ line methods that do a bunch of things and all the utility functions are procedural-style class methods. Lots of Rubyists don't have any idea even what the difference between OOP and Procedural is, they just assume they must be doing OOP since they're using an "OO language."

... and in some cases breaking with OO methodology is the correct approach at least for Java. I'm thinking of squeezing performance out of an Android app on low end devices where it's a good idea to use the "static" keyword all over the place and in doing so treat member variables as globals and functions as effectively global subroutines. I think of it as risotto code - a big bowl of starchy mess that's a bit less stringy in appearance than spaghetti and potentially harder to get your head around.

Which sort of brings me to my view on whether or not Java is cool. Java itself is kind of like a swiss army knife that can be used to do just about anything you could want to do. It comes with a huge amount of bloat to that allows it to handle just about anything and while it's almost never as good as a specialist tool but you can always make it work. Swiss army knives are cool to boys between about 8 - 16 years old give or take. An adult with a swiss army knife in a leather pouch on their belt on the other hand is never cool.

Useful maybe, but never cool.

Comment: Re: Automated notice not necessary here (Score 1) 368

by Mattcelt (#47664535) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

IIRC AT&T (I can't find a link, so my details may be off - YMMV) lost a case regarding this several years back, claiming that their "we may record this conversation" disclaimer applied to only the originally-disclaiming party.

To wit: if the other party consents to the recording of their own volition, you do not need to get additional consent to record, in any state. Their "this call may be recorded" statement provides their blanket consent to all recording.

Comment: Re:Time capsule or doomsday timer (Score 1) 170

So what do you do when technology and law provides such an attractive feast for "content 'owners'" that it becomes impossible to purchase anything outright, and everything you pay for comes in the Netflix model?

To answer the OP's question, there is a solution: TecSec*. It provides a crypto-wrapper of sorts that allows for external data (literally anything quantifiable; e.g., geolocation data, time data, etc.) to be used as a condition for decryption. The notable caveat here is that you need a trusted source for the information to be used for criteria. But while difficult, it's possible to create a solution that will withstand (literally) the test of time.

* Full disclosure, I am an acquaintance of the CEO, but we met because of the technology; I'm offering my opinion as a security professional, not a friend.

Comment: Re:Ripe for abuse (Score 1) 106

by Mattcelt (#47166889) Attached to: Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Agreed. Though I can only speak anecdotally, every wealthy person I know - which I'm defining here as would not need to earn any more money between now and the day they die and still live comfortably in their chosen lifestyle - is not a spendthrift.

One of the wealthiest men in the world balked at an aircraft avionics upgrade that cost less than his income for one day.

And more often than not, even seemingly-frivolous expenditures have ulterior money-making options that may have long-term returns. Richard Branson may seem a spendthrift, but I assure you that nearly everything he does has long-term gains in mind. (He is not the person referenced above, btb.) Some pan out, some do not. But an expenditure that is knowingly not a good buy is a rare event.

I don't know if the research is still the most current, but in the Millionaire Next Door study, the ONLY absolutely consistent factor for American millionaires was their marriage to frugal wives.

Frugality is very heavily correlated to wealth gain and retention; to the point where I'm comfortable calling it a factor in causation.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.