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Comment: Re:It had better be reliable! (Score 1) 154

Uh, the neighborhood parts store is the epitome of the above in my original post, they stock or have access to stock of OEM, non-OEM compatible, and rebuilds for just about everything including cars that are out of manufacturer support. Thanks for supporting my point =)

Comment: Re:It had better be reliable! (Score 2) 154

You do the same thing you do with mechanical parts, you buy OEM replacement parts (federal requirements require that a certain number of each part be produced for every x vehicles sold), buy a non-OEM compatible part, or you rebuild or replace the failed component. In the case of the computer controlled battery controller you would install a Tesla spare, a rebuilt Tesla part, another electronically controlled fan, or a simple thermostatically controlled fan with sufficient safety margin to not risk an overheating situation but probably at the expense of some driving range. If you think a 70, or even 20 year old ICE car is going to be a daily driver without some combination of the above you've never worked on anything not supported by a current dealer network.

Comment: OK, if not patents and IP protection, then what? (Score 0) 126

I am well aware that patents are abused, both in pharmaceuticals and other technology industries. But if they're evil and something else needs to be put in place, then what would it be? If there was no way for a company to recover its investment in R&D, how would you propose getting a company to invest in the first place?

Pharmaceuticals are especially bad -- millions of dollars in research, millions in testing and regulatory clearances, plus a new product can take years to get onto the market. If there's no patent protection period on the new drug, then there's no profit in making one. So, I know companies use this example to defend restrictive patents and everyone hates them for it. But, since you're basically patenting a chemical that has a known synthesis process and can easily be made generically, it seems to me there should at least be something in place to let the discoverer make their money back.

This is going to be increasingly more important to fix somehow as we keep shifting further and further to an economy that produces mostly knowledge goods. Unless the trend reverses itself, we're going to have to come up with a system to ensure employment for millions more "knowledge workers" who would have previously been in other forms of labor or manufacturing of physical goods.

Comment: Re: Apple Pay (Score 2) 344

by Just Some Guy (#48163271) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Do you have a cite for this? I'm pretty familiar with how Google Wallet (with and without a hardware Secure Element) works, and I *know* that CC info is presented to the POS in order to make the transaction.

Any of the hundreds of articles about how Apple Pay works. Here's one that explains that the device gives the credit card terminal a 16-digit randomized token and a unique one-time-use CCV. Payment processors use the pair to identify the credit account to bill.

In short, your actual credit card numbers never leave your device. Google for "apple pay token" if you'd like to dive into further detail.

Comment: Re:The problem with this is where to stop (Score 1) 357

by ErichTheRed (#48162591) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

"Also, how is wholesale genetic engineering for positive traits like this really different from eugenics? I don't get it."

It's not, really. And I'm not so sure eugenics is as bad an idea as some people think it is. The main difference is that now we are almost at the point where we have hard data that directly points to what genetic trait changes result in desirable and undesirable outcomes. Old-school eugenics was just about putting someone's subjective thoughts on what would be the ideal offspring into practice. It's a little different when you have data as opposed to someone's opinion. That's IMO why eugenics got such a bad name -- people were just saying that poor people, or people who looked a certain way, wouldn't make ideal breeding partners. They weren't looking at the actual genome and seeing what characteristics a potential offspring would have. The problem is that any scientific modification of the population is against most religious peoples' beliefs no matter how much benefit it could have.

Comment: Re:What about in house applets? (Score 1) 111

by ErichTheRed (#48161055) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

The thing about J2EE was to illustrate that Java is everywhere. Most of those J2EE systems have a Java applet-based front end provided by the same consulting company that wrote the back end. Hence, million-dollar change orders to get it to support something other than JRE 1.6.51 running on IE 6 (as an example.)

Comment: What about in house applets? (Score 1) 111

by ErichTheRed (#48159507) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

The reality of the Java situation is that it's not just consumers hosing their machine by visiting a website hosting an exploit. There are tons and tons of crappy internal Java applications running in businesses everywhere. A lot of them are poorly documented, or the developer isn't there anymore, or the consulting company who wrote it wants a million bucks every time you want a change. Like it or not, Java is the language of large business...I'm sure we're going to be talking about J2EE in 40 years the same way we talk about COBOL. Most of the "mainframe modernization projects" large businesses go through consist of hiring the lowest-bidder consulting body shop to rewrite all the business logic in J2EE running on WebSphere or WebLogic. The consulting shop chooses Java because they can get a bunch of fresh CS grads who have exposure to the language, and it's reasonably portable.

I deal with this all the time. Java introduced the "expiration date" in version 1.7, and it took them months to add in a very poorly documented way to disable the dire warnings that our users get when running internal code. Microsoft made it worse by expiring the Java ActiveX controls that weren't on the absolute latest versions as of August. At least they provided a policy to shut it off right from the start.

Comment: The problem with this is where to stop (Score 3, Insightful) 357

by ErichTheRed (#48158893) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Stuff like this is a pretty stark reminder that we're just a bag of chemicals, even though we've evolved the capability to do things like...post on Slashdot.

This kind of thing is done in a somewhat limited fashion with high-risk pregnancies/IVF to select for embryos that don't have Down syndrome or other profound mental handicaps. And if an ultrasound indicates something wrong further along, amniocentesis is performed. Those tests are easier because it's the absence or malformation of a chromosome, and they're less controversial because the difference between a kid with 10 fewer IQ points in the normal range and a Down syndrome or Fragile X kid is huge. Someone who is otherwise normal might not be as smart, but someone with a mental handicap is never going to have a full life and be a hardship on their family.

Given what we know about genetics now, I actually don't think selecting out traits that are clearly undesirable is a bad thing as long as there's some randomization and some things left to chance. 100 years ago, we only understood that "something" was responsible for traits, not that a particular sequence of nucleotides in your DNA causes the cells they create to behave differently. The problem is that there are still lots of religious people who reject all of this and blame diseases and defects on God's will. Not that Gattaca's a good example, but the main character's defects were a direct result of his parents rejecting genetic engineering and having kids the "old fashioned way," similar to religious people having a huge family, getting a couple of kids with issues, and just shrugging it off as unavoidable because, well, you know, God.

Comment: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 5, Informative) 376

by eldavojohn (#48153407) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
The summary seems to have left out the most interesting tidbit:

According to the Times, the reports were embarrassing for the Pentagon because, in five of the six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been "designed in the US, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies".

Where were they found? Next to the plants set up by Western companies that filled them in Iraq, of course. Who has control of those plants now? Why, ISIS of course. Don't worry, though, the people who thought it was better we didn't know about these things are assuring us that all those weapons were hurriedly destroyed.

Comment: Re:Good in that it provides another option, but... (Score 1) 244

by ErichTheRed (#48152079) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

You bring up a good point, one that causes a lot of friction between the generations. Since Millennials are delaying or skipping the whole parenthood thing, there is often a comparison in workplaces between the 20something who just got done pulling 2 all nighters to get the (whatever) working vs. the 30 or 40something who had to take another sick day because they had to take care of their sick kid. In bad workplaces it amounts to a subtle form of age discrimination. In more enlightened workplaces (like mine, thank God...) there's a better balance where everyone pitches in where they can.

Choosing to be a parent really does mean giving up a lot of freedom. I could make 2 or 3 times my salary if I were willing to travel around the country/world 300 days out of the year and parachute into and out of various consulting gigs. And not that I would want to, but I could work for a crazy SV startup and play the stock option lottery. The problem is that parents who have jobs like this don't keep their families for very long unless their spouses are really understanding or perfectly happy to just keep spending the money you make and say nothing. But, once you do have a kid or two, your priorities shift. I actually want to be home at a reasonable hour and have a stable enough job to make sure we can pay for things and keep the lights on. A 20something "rockstar" IT consultant doesn't have any worries beyond rent and buying grown up toys. (My grown up toy budget is almost zero now, but the other toy budget is quite a bit more!)

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