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Comment: Re:Uh huh (Score 2) 207 207

by bkaul01 (#48576673) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

Yes. NFC directly supports contact info and URLs, and can be used to initiate a Bluetooth connection for file transfers. The former will definitely work; I don't know if the implementation of the latter is fully cross-platform or not. "Tap to Share (NFC)" shows up as an option for sharing photos on my Windows Phone, but I've never tested with an Android user to see if the file transfer goes through.

NFC, however, just transfers encoded text; I don't know if it could be sufficiently secured to use directly for transferring DL info, though perhaps it could be used to initiate a connection via an app using Bluetooth.

Comment: Re:Praise Legacy Data (Score 3, Informative) 336 336

by bkaul01 (#44422201) Attached to: How Outdated Data Distorts Doctors' Pay
While it's true that doctors and hospitals set their own prices for the uninsured, that doesn't mean the uninsured are being screwed. In practice, it's often just the opposite: if you're paying directly, they'll give you a significant discount to not have to deal with the insurer. However, if they submit a claim to your insurer on your behalf, they can't give you that discount. I know a number of people who have encountered cash prices less than half what the insurer would be billed, from both dentists and doctors.

Comment: Re:Genius judge (Score 1) 540 540

by bkaul01 (#43986445) Attached to: Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid
This may not apply to Hollywood, but in engineering and scientific research fields, hiring student interns is (1) far cheaper than having an experienced engineer or researcher do many of the more time-consuming low-level tasks, and (2) gives us kind of an extended interview period and lets us develop a relationship with them, so that if we've got a position open after they've finished their studies we already have an idea of whether they'd be good candidates.

Comment: Re:not surprising (Score 1) 416 416

by bkaul01 (#43781301) Attached to: Google Drops XMPP Support
No kidding. Microsoft keeps upgrading its services (Outlook.com, Skydrive, etc.) while Google keeps crippling or screwing up its services. That could be part of the explanation though: Google removes EAS support so Windows/Windows Phone won't work as well as Android and iOS with its services; Microsoft adds Gchat support to Outlook.com, Google decides to drop XMPP to break interoperability; Microsoft announces added support for CardDAV/CalDAV to WP to work around the lack of EAS, what's Google's next move? etc., etc.

Comment: Re:The best part of the article is at the bottom (Score 1) 555 555

by bkaul01 (#43731971) Attached to: N. Carolina May Ban Tesla Sales To Prevent "Unfair Competition"

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If Congress passes a law to prohibit people from spending money to advertise their ideas, you are abridging both the people's freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. The alternative is that the government can prevent political discourse of which it does not approve ...

Comment: Re:Leadership should be about ideas not bankrolls (Score 1) 555 555

by bkaul01 (#43721385) Attached to: N. Carolina May Ban Tesla Sales To Prevent "Unfair Competition"

The reason the Supreme Court said that money = speech is that the primary use of money in politics is to fund political communications, primarily in the form of TV advertising these days. It's neither constitutionally permissible nor even desirable to prohibit people from involvement in political communications; doing so would undermine the entire concept of a free, democratic government.

I agree that the current state of political funding, corruption, and cronyism is troubling. But the answer isn't to somehow mandate that people pay for others to communicate things that the payer disagrees with, nor to prohibit a person from paying to spread a message he does agree with. That would be highly counterproductive.

Comment: Re:The best part of the article is at the bottom (Score 2) 555 555

by bkaul01 (#43721277) Attached to: N. Carolina May Ban Tesla Sales To Prevent "Unfair Competition"

There are a few problems with that idea, the most obvious being constitutional protection of free speech, free association, etc. More fundamentally, you can't ban involvement in the political process and still maintain a free, democratic government.

The only effective way to get money out of politics would be to get everyone in our culture to stop watching TV and become impervious to advertising. The reason campaigns cost as much as they do is that TV advertising is incredibly expensive, and that is because it works. You can't constitutionally prevent people from being involved in spreading the message of their choice, so the only way to cut down on the money involved in doing so is to reduce the cost of transmission. Sadly, that will never happen.

Comment: Re:The Testing Process is Flawed (Score 1) 374 374

by bkaul01 (#43644597) Attached to: Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate
Chassis dynamometers are calibrated using data from coast-down tests that account for drag, rolling resistance, etc. Coefficients obtained from real-world coast-down tests on a vehicle are used in the dynamometer control system to impose speed-appropriate braking on the rollers, and thus the dynamometer test results exactly match real-world performance.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately... (Score 2) 118 118

by bkaul01 (#43643939) Attached to: The Body's "Fountain of Youth" Could Lie In the Brain

While this information is interesting from a research standpoint, it's likely to be near-useless in the long term.

They demonstrated an ability to slow or halt age-associated cognitive decline in the mice; that could potentially have real long-term utility in dealing with age-related phenomena such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Comment: Re:Playing back a recording (Score 1) 107 107

by bkaul01 (#43549367) Attached to: Aereo Ruling Could Impact Pandora
Copyright doesn't restrict dissemination of information/knowledge. It restricts outright copying of others' work without their permission. You can still paraphrase and re-explain the information contained therein all you like. You just have to do it yourself, in your own words/tones/images/whatever.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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