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Comment: Re:Jam Cell Signals in Prisons (Score 1) 176

by crow (#49042885) Attached to: EFF: Hundreds of S. Carolina Prisoners Sent To Solitary For Social Media Use

I just heard a story the other day about prisons installing cell towers that only work with a small list of specific devices (owned by staff). It's a lot like using a Stingray, only being for blocking access instead of monitoring it.

Apparently keeping out unauthorized cell phones is simply too difficult.

Comment: Re:Required vaccine? (Score 2) 178

by crow (#48885861) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

That's the problem with becoming dependant on a behavior that you want to prevent.

The same issue comes up with self-driving cars. What do you do about all the lost ticket revenue when you stop having traffic violations? How do police react when they lose the ability to use a traffic stop as an excuse to find drugs in cars?

How do you fund roads with a gas tax when cars become more fuel efficient and eventually switch to electricity (often generated at home with solar panels)?

Changes happen. Policies will adapt to reflect them.

Comment: Required vaccine? (Score 2, Interesting) 178

by crow (#48885513) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

Assuming this is effective, should it be added to the required list of vaccines for attending school? Imagine if it were impossible for anyone to become addicted to nicotine in the first place. The smoking rate would drop to essentially zero.

What if China required it for everyone?

This has the possibility to completely destroy the tobacco industry.

Comment: LTE (Score 1) 101

by crow (#48872239) Attached to: Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint and T-Mobile

I think Google only really cares about data. Perhaps the Google-branded service will be LTE-only, including voice over LTE. If so, then they don't really care about CDMA or GSM. They may even ignore voice and tell people to use the Google Hangouts dialer with Google Voice.

That would be a pretty reasonable strategy for Google, since they're certainly going to be mostly interested in the data side of things anyway.

Comment: no choice (Score 3, Interesting) 101

by crow (#48872217) Attached to: Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint and T-Mobile

They may be afraid of being made irrelevant by a deal like this, but they're much more afraid of being made irrelevant by a deal with their competitors. Imagine how different the market would be today if the original exclusive iPhone contract had been with someone other than AT&T.

Besides, one likely end scenario if this goes huge is that Google buys their partners.

Comment: Re:i2p has been around for a while (Score 1) 155

by crow (#48793297) Attached to: 'Silk Road Reloaded' Launches On a Network More Secret Than Tor

I run a Tor relay, but I set it up to also allow exit for specific sites, such as Google.

I don't use Tor much myself, but I figure I'm a step ahead of the game by being in the habit of opening most links in a private browser (killing tracking unless I'm tethered to my phone--thanks Verizon).

Comment: Yes, please! (Score 1) 331

by crow (#48788355) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

I just set up a file server (NAS4Free), and it currently has tons of extra space. I would be more than happy to get something back for the extra space until I need it.

For security, I would hope they set up the file servers as Tor dark sites, so even if the encryption fails, there would be no easy way to track down where the storage is.

Comment: HTC EVO 3-D (Score 2) 141

by crow (#48786819) Attached to: 3D Cameras Are About To Go Mainstream

Remember the HTC EVO 3-D? It had a 3-D screen and took 3-D photos and movies. Remember how the revolutionary technology completely took over the market? No, it was pretty much ignored.

I had the HTC EVO 4G which preceded it, and it was a pretty good phone for the day (though Sprint's 4G coverage was horrible--I used it once in the years I had it; too bad they didn't start out with LTE).

3-D has always been a gimmick to attract consumers that has mostly failed. Hollywood is still trying it as a way to get people to have a different experience in the theater from home, but few people seem to care. TV manufacturers jumped on it, but they didn't sell. It's just not something people care about.

Comment: Re:SF Economic Plausibility (Score 1) 300

by crow (#48747375) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

There's a big difference between making irrational choices and presenting a future world where the systems simply wouldn't work as described. From a writing standpoint, you want your readers immersed in the story, not distracted by inconsistencies that suggest the world as described was not given much thought.

Comment: SF Economic Plausibility (Score 5, Interesting) 300

by crow (#48741617) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

Yup, this raise one of my big complaints about some SciFi stories: lack of economic plausibility.

Science Fiction is great for looking at how we might deal with various potential technologies. Readers are perfectly happy to suspend disbelief and accept whatever technology is proposed. What readers aren't willing to do is suspend disbelief and accept people behaving implausibly.

To write good science fiction, you need to accurately portray people. You can make up the technology, but you have to get humanity right. And that means you have to get the economics right.

This is exactly the problem I had with reading the Hunger Games. Everything worked, except why would a society with hover cars and other advanced technology have need of the services of the districts? Surely they didn't need coal, and yet they had a whole district dedicated to mining it. The lack of economic sense pulled me out of the book. Instead of thinking about the characters, I was thinking about why the society that was described didn't make any sense.

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams