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Comment: Re:People need to grow the fuck up (Score 1) 124

by KingOfBLASH (#46763017) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Ahhh but it's not just because it's shiny. Apple is so easy my mom actually bought an iPhone on her own and managed to get all kinds of apps. She wouldn't have been able to do that with Android and don't get me started on what happened when she brought home a PC laptop. (She's been a mac user for probably 7 years but the salesman somehow convinced her to go with a PC, based on price, he sold her a shitty little netbook with the new windows. After 7 years of no computer questions I had to resume my role as her tech support).

They're that easy because they spend a lot of time researching how to be easy to use.

It doesn't matter if a system is technically superior if it is inaccessible to users or hard to understand.

Don't believe me? Well ten years ago on slashdot I heard similar statements about how people should start using Sparcstations or whatever technology was better than the status quo. Despite the better design of the Sparc processors, Intel won. Despite the benefits of Linux / FOSS, most people still use Windows.

Sad people are so misguided, I know, but it's an unfortunate truth about humanity.

Comment: Re:If Apple infotainment is great why dont we see (Score 1) 124

by KingOfBLASH (#46762981) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

If Apple infotainment is great why don't we see it in the airplanes.

How exactly would this work? You'd be able to airplay GPS to the screen in front of you for a turn by turn play?

While it would be great if all cars used some sort of standard system, for now I'm happy they're using any kind of standard.

In a few years time, either Android phones will start having an iPhone compatibility mode, or a standard will emerge.

(Frankly I don't know which will happen since both have happened in the past)

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 3, Interesting) 218

by KingOfBLASH (#46762901) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

This doesn't even need to mean high-rises; European cities manage population densities far higher than U.S. cities with buildings that are mostly 5 stories or less.

I live in Europe and you might find our way of managing population density a bit, well, shall we say unamerican?

In Amsterdam, the local municipality decides how much rent you're allowed to charge in flats. It goes by a points system. Say a shower will be one point, while a bathtub will be 5. Add up all the points and you determine whether you are in a luxury (free market) apartment or social housing.

If you're luxury housing, you can charge whatever the market will bear, up to a point based on the luxury apartment formula.

If you're social housing, only social housing tenants may live in the apartment. Social housing rents are subsidized and they are VERY low. Like say $400 for an apartment in city center. The social housing buildings are owned by non-profits whose sole purpose is to provide social housing.

Now you might think this is similar to the US, but here's where it gets a little different than the US (and a bit unamerican).

Social housing income thresholds are very high, something like the equivalent of $100k a year in the US. Yup, that's right, social housing is designed not just for the poor but the middle class. You might miss having a bathtub, but you won't mind when you live in the city center and don't have to pay ridiculous rent. Of course, to get in social housing you'll need to apply and wait a few years for a vacancy to open up. You can apply once you're 18, I suggest doing as the dutch do, applying once you go off to University. Then, by the time you look for a job, you'll already have a slot. Or you might find an emergency. For instance, if you were just divorced and living in your ex's house maybe you have a reason for priority.

Of course maybe you don't want to pick the city you live in when you're in college, or you made a bad choice. You still have options. "Luxury" apartment rents are capped based on a certain formula. You can get a much higher rent from a luxury apartment, but you'll never be able to charge above a certain rate. So even though you might pay a lot of rent, you won't pay as much as in America. (My 2 bedroom "luxury apartment" rent in Amsterdam, walking distance to city center, is less than the rent on my 1 bedroom apartment was when I lived in Boston -- and I could only afford to live in a suburb, Malden, almost at the end of the orange line).

And, if you were smart and applied when you were 18, you may be able to rent out your "social housing" apartment, and rent a new apartment in your new city with the money. It's technically illegal, but as any economist will tell you, when you apply artificial constraints to supply or price a booming black market is sure to follow.

And "Living Fraud" is a big crime here and there's actually police who check to see if you're following the laws.

Additionally, because of the artificial constraints on rent you can forget about property values reflecting what you could get without these controls. After all, who will pay $1 million for an apartment when you can rent an apartment for $400 a month?

Still want to import European housing policies to the good old USA? The good news is you won't need to hire new police officers you can just maybe reassign DEA agents when you get a more sensible drug policy.

+ - Does Heartbleed Disprove 'Open Source is Safer'?->

Submitted by jammag
jammag (1021683) writes ""Almost as devastating is the blow Heartbleed has dealt to the image of free and open source software (FOSS). In the self-mythology of FOSS, bugs like Heartbleed aren't supposed to happen when the source code is freely available and being worked with daily. As Eric Raymond famously said, 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'...Tired of FOSS's continual claims of superior security, some Windows and OS X users welcome the idea that Heartbleed has punctured FOSS pretensions. But is that what has happened?""
Link to Original Source

+ - The lack of US cybersecurity across the electric grid->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Meghan McGuinness of the Bipartisan Policy Center writes about the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative, a collaborative effort between the center’s Energy and Homeland Security Projects. She points out that over half the attacks on US critical infrastructure sectors last year were on the energy sector. Cyber attacks could come from a variety of sources, and 'a large-scale cyber attack or combined cyber and physical attack could lead to enormous costs, potentially triggering sustained power outages over large portions of the electric grid and prolonged disruptions in communications, food and water supplies, and health care delivery.' ECGI is recommending the creation of a new, industry-supported model that would create incentives for the continual improvement and adaptation needed to respond effectively to rapidly evolving cyber threats. The vulnerability of the grid has been much discussed this last week; McGuinness's recommendations are a good place to start."
Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden Used the Operating System Designed for Internet Anonymity

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "When Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. Now Klint Finley reports that Snowden also used The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) to keep his communications out of the NSA’s prying eyes. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box using a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity that you install on a DVD or USB drive, boot your computer from and you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. "Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn’t store any data locally," writes Finley. "This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources." The developers of Tails are, appropriately, anonymous. They’re protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. “The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,” the group says. But since we don’t know who wrote Tails, how do we now it isn’t some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it’s bad for the NSA, it’s safe to say it’s good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. "With Tails", say the distro developers, "we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.""

Comment: Re:Catastrophism (Score 1) 69

by Neon Spiral Injector (#46759783) Attached to: Saturn May Have Given Birth To a Baby Moon

Velokovsky (and Ackerman) wrote about the birth of Venus, and Mars waging war on the Earth as an actual hypothesis as to how the solar system got to how we view it today. Hogan, as was often his style, took that idea and wove a fictional story around it.

I wish I had recommendations of other lesser known authors of a similar style, but I've never encountered any. For the most part I probably read the same books that most techies do, Asimov, Gibson, Stephenson. It was just a fluke that my mother bought me the fourth book in Hogan's Giants series for Christmas one year, and despite not having read the previous three books I was hooked.

+ - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment-> 1

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Security Of The Most Popular Programming Languages

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Deciding which programming language to use is often based on considerations such as what the development team is most familiar with, what will generate code the fastest, or simply what will get the job done. How secure the language might be is simply an afterthought, which is usually too late. A new WhiteHat Security report approaches application security not from the standpoint of what risks exist on sites and applications once they have been pushed into production, but rather by examining how the languages themselves perform in the field. In doing so, we hope to elevate security considerations and deepen those conversations earlier in the decision process, which will ultimately lead to more secure websites and applications."

+ - Microsoft Brings Office Online to Chrome OS

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "While we are still waiting for the official Windows 8.1 touch-enabled apps to get launched on the Windows Store, Microsoft went and decided that it’s time to finally bring the Office online apps to the Chrome Web Store, instead. Thus, Microsoft is making the Web versions of its Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps available to users through the Chrome Web Store and also improving all of them with new features, along with several bug fixes and performance improvements."

Comment: Re:Twice. (Score 1) 361

by fishybell (#46758765) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
That $400 a year pays for your helicopter ride from the embassy as it's being stormed by the Viet-con-adians. In all seriousness, being a US citizen has its perks, the biggest being access to any US consolate or embassy, but they'll also try to find you body and ship it home if your plane goes missing or your night-club is bombed, and they'll (sometimes) rescue you if you are imprisoned or kidnapped. You can officially renounce your citizenship, but good luck getting back into the US for any reason if you do that.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer