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Comment: love the wording (Score 1) 528

by brre (#32465730) Attached to: Microsoft Talks Back To Google's Security Claims
"[some say] we're doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else"

Jeez, how many levels of indirection is that?

Are your products secure? Or not?

I'm doing a better job turning water into wine. I can't do it. But some folks say I'm doing a better job making water more like wine than anyone else.

Comment: another incorrect use of "content" (Score 1) 514

by brre (#32465674) Attached to: Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme
content providers and advertisers will need to start thinking about a data budget

You mean media providers.

The content could usually be conveyed with far fewer bits.

Rewarding those who get to the point could be a good thing.

I don't need flashing graphics to tell me it's gonna rain tomorrow.

"It's going to rain tomorrow" will do. Same content.

Comment: Re:Are they just worse drivers to begin with? (Score 1) 388

by brre (#31695380) Attached to: "Supertaskers" Can Safely Use Mobile Phones While Driving
Excellent points. The case is hardly compelling that "it's safe for supertaskers". It's equally likely that something else entirely was going on with those 5. To make the case that this is safe under any circumstances would require far more convincing data than this.

Comment: tech fix is a dubious approach here (Score 1) 432

by brre (#29983452) Attached to: FCC/DOT Want High-Tech Cure For Distracted Driving
Changing norms is probably what's needed instead.

The norm now is use the device anywhere: home, office, car, bathroom, supermarket, elevator, hospital, wherever. The world is your telephone booth. We all want to hear (one side of) your conversation. It's OK to force that on us. It's OK to threaten our lives and safety with it (the research shows that it's incompatible with safe driving, period). Go ahead. Do it. Anywhere. Everywhere. It's normal.

We can change that norm. A good place to start would be where it's just plain unsafe: driving while talking on your cell. The new norm: we regard that exactly as we would drunk driving: completely unacceptable. We treat it like that. We make law that treats it like that. Over time, that would save lives and limbs. A good new norm.

How to start changing the norm: stop talking on your cell while driving. You. Right there. You too. All of you. Now. From this day forward. Don't do it. When you see others doing it, be appropriately horrified. Have the same attitude you would towards someone's drunk driving. Not cool. Not acceptable.

We have no tech fix for drunk driving. But we have reduced it dramatically by changing norms.

Tech fix sounds great to techies. Probably not the solution here. If you put in tech fixes and don't change norms, you'll probably just see a lot of evasion of the tech fix.

Comment: Re:A word from the Devil's advocate (Score 1) 584

by brre (#29898381) Attached to: No Hand-Held Devices In Ontario Cars
Yep. "Just drinking coffee"? What ever made anyone think the car was a restaurant? No, you don't have a right to drink coffee while driving. You have a responsibility to drive safely. However the research shows that talking on your cell is uniquely distracting and for much longer periods of time while driving.

Comment: biology is not destiny (Score 1) 117

by brre (#29496025) Attached to: Birdsong Studies Lead To a Revolution In Biology
We see a lot of confusion on that point. "It's in your genes, there's nothing you can do about it". Oh? Bad eyesight was in my genes. I got eyeglasses.

The plasticity of the brain was already known to be very high. Now we have reason to believe it's even higher than previously known. Genes are great, I love 'em, but a lot happens after conception.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden