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Comment Re: non-story (Score 1) 114

There are degrees of off/standby. It's good engineering practice and environmentally that when you "soft" power down, you turn off as many internal circuits as you are able and only retain basic functionality required to turn back on again.

LED off
Camera sensor off completely
WiFi chip in low power / periodic transmit mode
CPU at lower clock speed or sleep mode with periodic wake up timer.

Not doing this means that the camera designers were either:
1) Lazy and unprofessional
2) Planning to retain the camera functionality for nefarious uses.

Comment Re:NYC taxi system could DESTROY uber (Score 2) 210

The main difference in the business models is that Taxi companies have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a taxi license/plate/medallion, the supply of which has been artificially restricted by government regulation. This forces costs up for them and prices up for customers.

There is no such regulation on Uber and so they are competing on unequal terms.

I'm not a big fan of taxi companies but they have a point. In order to be fair, the Government may need to start handing out some refunds on taxi licenses / medallions.

Comment Re:What's so hard about R-Pi mounting? (Score 1) 197

I use several ODROID C1's as micro servers in my closet, and hands down the RPi2's are much more stable. Not sure about the C1+ though.

Sure, the C1 is more powerful and that's the reason I bought it, but they are finicky on SD card compatibility and often fail to reboot properly. They are also electrically more sensitive - touching some of the exposed pins makes them reboot, grounding is a mess, and one unit I have seems to not like booting unless I have a serial console plugged in.

By comparison the RPi just works.

Comment Enough of the voting machines. (Score 2) 172

Many countries around the world have proven that paper and pencil voting is reliable, traceable, and scalable. Even in countries with mandatory voting where the turnout density is higher than the US.

In Australia, most public schools & town halls become voting centers for the day, so most people don't have to travel far and the numbers are manageable. A small army of trained electoral commission recruits control the process, and do the counts at the end of the day. The results are in that evening, which is plenty fast enough.

Paper voting has several distinct advantages:
1) It has a visible and tangible chain of trust, and can be directly inspected by the lay-person.
2) It directly involves people in the democratic process, not machines
3) A lot of the money required to run the election goes to individuals, not corporations.

Comment Re:Statists will not go quietly into the night (Score 1) 330

A similar system to medallions is in place in Australia. Here they just call it "plates".

Anyway, there is a limited quota and they have become freakishly expensive. As a result taxi operators have had to raise their fare accordingly. There seems to be no downward pressure on prices which is bad for consumers.

It's interesting that Uber are challenging this but they seem not to care if they break the law, and I feel bad for the plate/medallion holders who are having their government regulated investment eroded. It's a shitty situation for a lot of people.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 518

They are not ejected from the thruster so are not propellant in any traditional sense. That means you can potentially use it in places where you don't want to be spraying people nearby with radiation, like on a hover car!

That's what makes this thruster so special, it's a sealed, closed system and there is nothing external to exchange momentum with.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.