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Comment Re:Paved with good intentions... (Score 1) 247

Probably true. On the flip side, if you do nothing, you can be certain that a large number of people will die, and that threat is immediate. Which is worse? Hurting a kid or standing by and watching thousands of people die? I would tend to argue that the latter is far worse. But it should be a difficult decision for anyone with a conscience, because hurting a kid is wrong; it just might be less wrong than the only alternatives available.

Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 397

But by disproportionately attacking non-terrorist anti-government fighters, he is effectively strengthening the terrorist groups by making them a larger part of the population. If I went to Afghanistan and killed everyone who wasn't a member of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, I'd be on a non-stop flight to Gitmo. Just saying.

Comment Re:MacBook Black (Score 1) 54

I could maybe believe that it was caused by a cold solder joint somewhere on the motherboard or inside one of the chips, but the sort of thermal expansion required to cause a short circuit just isn't very plausible, IMO.

It is about a million times more likely that the CPU heat sink wasn't installed properly, leading to a thermal shutdown.

Comment Re:I'm shocked. (Score 3, Insightful) 54

Apple hardware has been getting shoddier and shoddier since Jobs kicked the bucket.

You're imagining things.

  • Many PowerBook Wallstreet machines had to be cracked open every couple of weeks to reseat the hard drive whenever it disconnected themselves from the motherboard. Others shot sparks in the back of the machine because the shielding near the power supply connector slipped sideways and shorted things out. One entire model was IIRC basically recalled en masse to crack open the screens and epoxy the video display cables' connectors in place because they kept coming loose during normal use.
  • The original (black) power cords on the PowerBook G3 series were recalled en masse because of reports of overheating. The cables also kept breaking between the ferrite bead and the connector. These may have really been the same failure....
  • The replacement (yo-yo) power cords on the PowerBook G3 series had so many internal cable failures (leading to scorch marks from the tiny electrical arcs inside the cables) that they were nicknamed "sparky" by folks in the know.
  • The white iBook was notorious for GPU failures (with many customers going through several logic boards per year), as was the first MacBook Pro.
  • The first G5 PowerMac had horrible power supply noise problems that led not only to audible noise, but also problems with internal and external professional audio recording equipment.
  • The first two generations of MacBook and MacBook Pro cables (the non-L-shaped versions) were notorious for breaking internally near the connector.

Note that all of those product releases happened under SJ.

Comment Re:Are they actually powered down? (Score 1) 54

I suppose it could be a bug. With that said, the fact that it is only occurring on some devices and not others leads me to doubt that explanation. After all, ignoring minor differences in vendors for the CPU (and differences in flash capacity), these devices are supposed to be identical, so it isn't as though there are going to be drivers that run only on some devices and not on others. (I'm assuming this isn't only occurring while some device like the camera connection kit is attached; that would almost certainly have been mentioned if it were true.)

That leaves configuration differences as the only possible cause that doesn't involve defective hardware. If it is only occurring on a single carrier, that might be just barely plausible (though very unlikely. If it is only happening on devices upgraded from a particular previous OS, it is barely plausible (though very unlikely).

My money is on either a bad batch of Touch ID sensors or a battery defect leading to overheating and a thermal shutdown.

Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 397

Russia supports Assad, the party recognized by the UN and human rights groups as responsible for the lion's share of the war deaths and over 10k tortured to death in its intelligence centers. However, it's doing this not by opposing the opposition uniformly, but by heavily focusing on non-Daesh entities. If successful, this would leave a conflict between Assad and Daesh, wherein the west would basically be forced to accept Assad. Iran and Hezbollah are Russia's copatriots in this.

Where I come from, that's known as giving material support to a terrorist organization, i.e. state sponsorship of terrorism. How, precisely, has Russia managed to avoid a complete trade embargo from every civilized nation on the planet?

Comment Re:Paved with good intentions... (Score 1) 247

...or, you could just read those communications with Al'qaeda that you say are still on that computer. In fact, you most likely had, or you wouldn't be doing a home invasion on the American dream. And let's face it, if the bomb isn't in the place it was constructed, then it's 99% likely it's already been exploded at it's target location because real life isn't written by script writers trying to pad out a 42 minute long TV episode.

You're assuming that the actual communications were on the computer, rather than merely evidence that communication occurred (e.g. URLs of a known Al Qaeda chat room in the web browser's history). I was assuming the opposite. :-)

And yes, it's a big stretch—the sort of thing that makes for good TV, but that isn't very likely to happen IRL.

Comment Re:Paved with good intentions... (Score 1) 247

A computer system detects the delivery of large quantities of bomb-making materials to an address in the suburbs. You arrest the parents, and they seem completely baffled. You get a warrant and search their computers, only to find that their 13-year-old son has been in communication with Al Qaeda. You know that somewhere in the city, there is probably a bomb, and the only lead is a kid. The kid is uncooperative, and you realize that if you do not get the kid to spill his guts, thousands of people will die.

Comment Re:If that's how Pokemon Int'l treats its fans... (Score 1) 211

Hate to be a dick, but you DID charge admission using another company's IP.

But did he charge admission for the right to experience another company's IP? People didn't pay $2 apiece to see the posters. They paid $2 apiece to go to the party. So he didn't charge money for their IP in any meaningful sense. There's very little difference between this and suing some kid for printing out a picture of their IP and hanging it on his/her bedroom door.... It is, pedantically, a copyright violation, but it isn't the sort of way legitimate businesses behave. It's the way you'd expect a company trying to milk every last buck out of a dying franchise would behave.

Comment Re:Population/Area has to be a factor (Score 1) 278

The SF Bay Area ends where the Silicon Valley begins.

Huh? The entire South Bay is considered to be the Silicon Valley, and most of those cities (Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas, San Jose) are physically touching the SF Bay. Pretty much the entire Bay Area is one continuous valley, with mountains down both sides.

Comment Re: I wonder how those dangerous streets are desig (Score 1) 278

I was actually looking at a plot of accidents when I gave that list, and the hot spots were clustered around those streets. Apparently some of the problems have shifted since the map I looked at. Either way, Market still looks like the biggest, most consistent problem zone to me.

Comment Re:Dear Amazon (Score 1) 223

The announced product-removal is means to the end of making the service available everywhere.

How so? The new Apple TV supports third-party apps. As far as I know, there's nothing stopping Amazon from taking their existing iOS app, turning off a few small bits of code (status bar updates, for example), and shipping it as a tvOS app, available on the new Apple TV by the first day that it arrives in customers' hands.

There is nothing magical or exceedingly hard about Amazon Prime Video. My 2008 Sony can play it. If Google and Apple aren't offering it, it is because they don't want to, not because they can not.

Yes and no. Supporting additional content providers adds complexity that often results in a less reliable product. That's why Blu-Ray players that support all those content providers tend to have more bugs and be less usable than the simple, dumb players. The whole point of opening up Apple TV to third-party app developers is so that all of those companies like Amazon can create their own apps, so that they, not Apple, are responsible for debugging support for their particular service. If history is any indication, in a few releases, Apple will drop support for Hulu and Netflix and will require those companies to provide their own apps, too, just like they did with Google Maps.

The difference is that when they do that, Hulu and Netflix will have an app out within a week, because they already have working iOS apps that don't suck, and it usually requires only minimal effort to add tvOS support to an existing iOS app (unless you depend on features that tvOS lacks). By contrast, Amazon isn't making their app available on tvOS. This isn't surprising. After all, Amazon also deliberately disabled support for mirroring their instant video app on Apple TV even from iOS devices, and for many years, didn't even allow you to watch Amazon Instant Video over cellular, much less do offline viewing, reserving those features exclusively for use on Amazon-branded hardware.

To me, it looks like Amazon is playing dirty, deliberately creating a substandard user experience on iOS in a naïve attempt at coercing Prime streaming users to buy Amazon-branded hardware. I'm not sure whether they are really so clueless that they don't recognize the importance of the iOS market, or are just so crazy that they honestly believe people will drop their Apple products in favor of Amazon products rather than just dropping Amazon Prime for Netflix. Either explanation leads me to seriously question whether the Amazon management's heads are screwed on straight. Jeff Bezos needs to seriously reorg that entire part of the company, and bring in people who actually have the spine to create a great product that stands on its own, rather than bowing to pressure from other parts of the organization to sabotage their own product in a misguided attempt to use the poor experience as a stick with which to beat their customers into submission.

Want iOS users to actually switch to Amazon products? Create a first-class user experience with the Amazon app on iOS so that users will see it and think, "Wow. Amazon writes great software. I wonder if their tablets are just as good." By doing the opposite, you pretty much guarantee that no iOS user will ever take your products seriously, including your streaming service.

Then again, for Amazon, this is nothing new. At last check, KF8 flowing books (Kindle books with actual support for CSS) still don't work on iOS devices after how many years? It seems like Amazon does its best to make their iOS experience as subpar as humanly possible. So when it comes to them pitching a fit and refusing to create an app for tvOS, let me be the first to say, "Don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out."

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

You're missing my point. There have already been dozens of cases of folks breaking into point-of-sale terminals and compromising the card reader systems. Unlike hitting someone with a hammer, those compromises can happen A. mostly anonymously, and B. remotely from anywhere in the world. Once a communication endpoint (defined as a display terminal in the case of the customer endpoint) is compromised, no transactions made through that endpoint are trustworthy, period. And once you've compromised the terminals, there's nothing stopping them from turning any arbitrary chip-and-pin card into a master key that can be used to make purchases for free.

It doesn't matter that it is harder to crack a terminal than to add a skimmer, because people have already done the work. It's like DRM; once one person breaks the crypto, the movie is out there in the wild. Once one criminal organization cracks the POS terminals, it becomes trivial for anyone to access those systems by trading with someone who already has access. And it just becomes one giant silk road or whatever, but for credit card transaction abuse instead.

Comment Re:I wonder how those dangerous streets are design (Score 1) 278

You need both. You need some streets that are clearly for cars and some streets that are clearly minor streets for pedestrians. And you need to make it possible to avoid those minor streets except possibly in the first or last block or two of your trip. The problem with SF is that there are too many miles of streets that are all designed to be pedestrian-friendly, so drivers start ignoring all the visual cues like curbside parking and start driving like they're on the freeway. At the same time, the pedestrians act like they own the roads. This is not a good combination.

Market St., Oak St., Fell St., and Guerrero St. are where all the accidents occur. I haven't dealt with any of them but Market. That one is awful for many reasons, the biggest being that there needs to be a major boulevard going in that direction, but there isn't one, so everyone used this divided four lane that then got turned into a divided two lane as buses took over lanes, and now has been turned into a bus/cab-only road, which just spreads the problem out to adjacent roads that weren't designed to handle the extra traffic and creates further difficulty actually getting anywhere by car. I predict that the accidents will just shift to Oak, Fell, Geary, and Mission, with no real statistical improvement overall. A much better solution would have been to ban pedestrians on Market, and then set up some pedestrian overpasses or underpasses at about every fourth intersection. However, the businesses along Market street wouldn't have liked that....

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T