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Comment: Re:Can we stop using the word 'TAPE' (Score 1) 598

by c0d3g33k (#47768269) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Live-action and animated stories are rarely recorded on film these days, yet we still call them films. Or movies, but I guess that still works because they, you know, move. But generally speaking, there are many words which originated in a context that no longer applies, but we still use those words, so why should tape be an exception?

Tonight on action news 7: Could the death of tape be imminent? Film at 11.

Comment: Police good, people bad (Score 3, Insightful) 598

by c0d3g33k (#47767597) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

"And police officers are now at a disadvantage, because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

Or maybe they have, because they have the legal authority to use force and the citizenry they are sworn to protect and serve do not.

I find it a very disturbing trend that "ordinary citizens" are now viewed as dangerous and "the enemy" from which the noble police (and other official institutions) must be protected. When I grew up, the general tone was that of Blackstone's Formulation ("It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"). Now it seems to be "It's better that ten innocent persons suffer than that one guilty person escape".

Comment: Re:screw both of them, call a taxi. (Score 0) 181

by c0d3g33k (#47761001) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

I tried that experiment this spring, because an event I was attending offered an Uber discount. Took a Yellow Cab to the event, took an Uber ride back to Grand Central.

The Uber experience was better, cheaper and faster. At this moment in time, which is the crucial factor. Uber needs to be consistently and universally better than the yellow cab experience, otherwise they are fucked. In the mean time, they beat the pants off of yellow cab - I used the Uber app on my smart phone to catch a ride and caught that ride with no friction whatsoever. Best experience in my life for quick, on demand public transport ever. Ever. Ever.

It will not always be this way, but right now, Uber was better, and I was skeptical that this would be the case. But they came through.

Comment: Same as it ever was (Score 3, Insightful) 181

by c0d3g33k (#47760629) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report


"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

I think the the Talking Heads and The Who said it all.

My view: If you catch the crest of the wave of the various "sharing economy" services that are popping up, like AirBnB or Uber, you will likely have a good experience. But as they grow and other pressures come to the fore, thus poisoning the well, it's time to get out and move on.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 1) 442

by c0d3g33k (#47696049) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

warning, mild misogyny ahead:

"Put an engineer and a physicist across the room from a beautiful woman, and tell them that if they approach the woman each step must be no larger than half the distance of the previous step. The physicist gives up because he knows he can never reach her, while the engineer starts walking because he knows he can get close enough for all practical purposes".

I detect no misogyny here. Definition: "dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women". The anecdote suggests that pretty much the opposite of misogyny is in full effect here. Maybe a little mild sexism or objectification, but no misogyny.

We need to invent a short, pithy word for people who use words to vaguely imply a general sense of currently in vogue political incorrectness without understanding what those words actually mean.

It's only fair, since there is already a word ("pedant") for what I just did. :-)

Comment: Re:Article got it wrong (Score 2) 101

by c0d3g33k (#47539103) Attached to: Private Data On iOS Devices Not So Private After All

You lost me when you said "expert Steve Gibson". If by "expert" you mean "shameless selfpromoting security wannabe", then OK.

No. These are examples of shameless, self-promoting wannabes:

Steve Gibson at least provides genuinely useful information most of the time and from what I can see does a decent job of teaching non-technical folks to understand and implement good security practices. He's a little hard to take in large doses when I've seen him on This Week in Tech and his website hurts my eyes, but I wouldn't paint him with such a broad brush. He doesn't seem to be a charlatan as much as a well-meaning but occasionally bumbling 'little guy' trying to build a business in the technology/security realm.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 1) 354

by c0d3g33k (#47510327) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

Depends on age and life circumstances.

M-F is when you go to work then come home and drive the kids around to after school activities (which at high school age often run into the evening hours), then rush home, fix dinner, then try to watch something but you're too tired and it's too late to stay awake. On the nights where they don't have something scheduled, you can go out for dinner or some live entertainment if the kids are old enough to stay home alone.

F-S-S (Fridays straddle both categories because Saturday) is when you catch up on the household chores and then plant yourself on the sofa to work through the DVR and Netflix Disc queue because the last thing you want to do is get in the car and drive some more. And the kids don't have homework due the next day (F-S), so they can take the time to watch the Netflix disc with the family.

Anyone else with a different pattern from the three above (including mine)?

Comment: Re:On average, average is a crappy metric. (Score 2) 191

by c0d3g33k (#47365365) Attached to: 30% of Americans Aren't Ready For the Next Generation of Technology

If you don't know, that isn't necessarily always the case. The average of 1, 1, 1, 2, 10 is 3. In that case, 80% are below average.

Well yeah, I do know. Because I went to school and stuff. Your pulled-out-of-your-posterior-to-make-some-sort-of-vague-point sample set is 5. The population of the U. S. is currently hovering around 316,165,718. The distribution you posit would suggest that 80% of the population ranks below earthworms. Any idiot knows a sufficiently large sample set is necessary to derive any meaning from the concept of average. Your suggestion is ridiculous. I wonder which side of the line you fall on? :-)

Comment: Real time streaming for everyone at once is broken (Score 2) 364

by c0d3g33k (#47196557) Attached to: Netflix Trash-Talks Verizon's Network; Verizon Threatens To Sue

The elephant in the room: Requiring streaming for every customer simultaneously with no option for offline playback is a broken model with respect to how the internet works.

Granted, since any customer can arbitrarily choose any item in the Netflix library for viewing, the capability for streaming in real-time needs to work decently well. In practice, however, only the things in "My List" are likely to be viewed by a given customer, so downloading to a local cache would allow playback at optimal quality without needing ideal network performance.

It seems to me the intense desire on the part of Netflix and the "rights holders" for full control, maximum monetization and the deep rooted fear that someone might figure out how to make a copy is the real reason this is even a problem.

I would have no problem with a Netflix client that incorporated some sort of DVR-like functionality so that items of interest could be added to a local queue (sorry - queue is a deprecated term - My Local List). That would be wonderful for situations where the available network is sketchy (eg. hotel, coffeeshop) or not present (airplane, campsite, beach, etc). Rampant sharing could be minimized by allowing only one (or a few) devices to have the locally cached content, and requiring a network connection to download or release a particular item. Or if that's too complicated, just allow a limited number of authorized devices per account that can cache the same content.

I think enough customers would take advantage of this to alleviate the problems caused by real-time streaming and take a lot of power away from the intermediaries.

Comment: Re:How does one determine the difference... (Score 5, Insightful) 389

Between serving the public's interest, and serving one's own interest at the expense of the public? This is intended as a serious question--I like Snowden's idea, but how would we determine the difference between someone who's alerting us to government malfeasance, versus someone who's ideologically bent on disrupting government regardless of whether there's malfeasance or malevolent intent involved?

Wrong question. If the bar is set so high that people like Snowden have to prove their intentions unambigously, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove their credibility, then they are lost before they begin, because the system assures that's never possible. But that's not why it's the wrong question. It's wrong because information about the workings of a government should never be secret except in the most exceptional of circumstances. Revealing information that should never be secret in the first place should not pose the risk of "disrupting government" regardless of the intent involved. If "disrupting government" merely means "learning what we are doing so you can debate the issue and vote to stop us", then the problem is more fundamental than you think.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein