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Comment: Re:Red Light and School Zone Cameras (Score 1) 145 145

Or, people could take minimal effort to not be a giant POS and not habitually run red lights and speed through school zones.

This would be a valid comment if not for the fact that most municipalities implemented cameras in such a way as to entrap as many people as possible, rather than enforce safety. For example, shortening the yellow light duration (sometimes below the legal limit) on all of the intersections where red light cameras were installed. Or setting the school zone speed cameras to act on the "reduced speed when children are present" rules at times when children aren't present and the yellow lights on the sign aren't flashing.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 3, Insightful) 819 819

They are far removed from the action, the consequences, less involved.

What an odd thing to tell yourself. On the contrary, the drone often watches the target for hours before the strike, and then sticks around after the strike doing damage estimations. You're trying to tell me that that's "far removed" compared to an F18 dropping a bomb from high altitude at near supersonic speed and being basically out of visual range by the time the thing impacts?

Comment: Re:Misleading (Score 4, Interesting) 266 266

So in other words they're saying it could have been too contaminated to tell where it came from.

More like there was already contamination there from other sources, so it was impossible to say for sure if the fracking was at fault or not.

Which opens up an interesting possibility for the whole fracking controversy: what if the fracking in and of itself isn't causing contamination, but something about it exacerbates already existing issues (e.g. natural sources of contaminates or long forgotten buried crap from the first half of the 1900s). Sort of like how someone might claim to be allergic to wifi, and even show symptoms when a router is turned on or off nearby, but in actuality it's the high frequency noise from the power supply switching kicking off their previously undiagnosed anxiety disorder.

Comment: Re:Just like PC's I want reliability and eficiency (Score 1) 287 287

A 1/4 liter honda CB250, which has probably the most fuel efficient small displacement engine ever built, doesn't even get that much and it weighs 350 pounds.

It's also not enclosed and aerodynamic. The drag coefficient of a cruising (as opposed to racing) motorcycle with an upright rider is around 1.2. Compare this with a racing bike and a fully tucked rider that can get maybe .5 if they're lucky. A modern car is around .25. If you plug that into the drag equations, it comes up to a cruising bike with upright rider taking some 40+ HP to overcome the drag at 65mph, while a passenger car is more like 10HP at that speed.

Comment: Re:Get over it (Score 1) 190 190

Actually at the time that this happened, I hadn't ever used a credit card to pay for a meal in this manner (I was always eating fast food back then, and the card never left my posession.) I have recently though, but haven't had any incidents of unauthorized use recently either.

The restaurant was just an example. There are still hundreds of ways someone could copy off your card even while you look and observe nothing wrong. Since you seem to be having trouble imagining your own scenarios, I'll give you another one: ever notice the security cameras at places of business focused down on the register? Those are there so the loss prevention guys can see the workers hands when the register is open and count the bills they place or remove if it comes up short. How carefully do you think they guard that video? A few minutes with security footage and liberal use of the pause button could get you plenty of card numbers and security codes. And ignoring any kind of technology at all, any person with a decent memory could steal the numbers no problem unless you exclusively swipe the card yourself (hoping they didn't put a skimmer on the machine at the beginning of their shift) while keeping black tape over the front to deter casual glances.

The bottom line is that if you give a business enough money to charge the card and a human handles the transaction, you've given at least one person all the info they need to charge it anywhere else they'd like.

Comment: Re:Get over it (Score 1) 190 190

Bad guys steal SO MANY card numbers from crappily built ecommerce web sites that the daily files of such card numbers REQUIRE A 64-bit FILESYSTEM.

Right, but why are you buying from sketchy startup e-commerce sites rather than the more established and well known places (e.g. amazon, newegg, etc.)?

Comment: Re:Get over it (Score 2) 190 190

I've had my credit card information stolen maybe 5 times (probably from a hacked website as I never lost my card.)

I almost guarantee it was stolen from physically using it rather than a hacked website. You know when you pay for a meal at a sit down restaurant and they take the card into the back? All they need to do is photograph both sides of the card and they have all the info they'll ever need to go on an amazon shopping spree. If they wanted to get slightly more risky, they could carry in a magstripe reader (the electronics are tiny now, it could fit in a pocket no problem) and use that to make perfect clones of the card.

Hell, when I worked for a small photography company there was an order form that had people write their card info down as one of the payment options. We weren't trained to handle the forms with any particular security in mind. If I'd been inclined to steal card numbers, 60 seconds with my smartphone could have given me more than numbers than I'd know what to do with (plus emails, passwords, and PIN numbers during little league season since the form had the kids name and DOB on it and we all know how good people are at picking passwords).

It could even be stolen via someone putting a skimmer over the magreader and keypad at a gas station. I've seen pictures of the things in action. Most were built such that unless you know what that gas stations keypad and card reader should look like, you'd really have no way of telling if there's a skimmer or not short of prying at both the reader and the keypad to see if they come off.

This is why I always laugh when the less tech savvy individuals I know seem to think they're somehow being safer by never using their credit cards online. If the site is encrypted and properly secured (I'd assume the big ones like amazon, newegg, etc. are), and your computer isn't loaded with viruses, there's less danger using your card online just because the human element is out of the equation.

+ - Apple pushing music labels to kill free Spotify streaming before Beats relaunch->

mpicpp writes: Aggressive tactics from the music giant have garnered scrutiny from the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice is looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources. The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering. DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits.

Apple has been using its considerable power in the music industry to stop the music labels from renewing Spotify’s license to stream music through its free tier. Spotify currently has 60 million listeners, but only 15 million of them are paid users. Getting the music labels to kill the freemium tiers from Spotify and others could put Apple in prime position to grab a large swath of new users when it launches its own streaming service, which is widely expected to feature a considerable amount of exclusive content. "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one music industry source said.

Link to Original Source

+ - No, NASA did not accidentally invent warp drive

StartsWithABang writes: As Slashdot has previously reported, NASA Spaceflight has claimed to have vetted the EM Drive in a vacuum, and found there is still an anomalous thrust/acceleration on the order of 50 microNewtons for the device. While some are claiming this means things like warp drive and 70-day-trips-to-Mars are right on the horizon, it's important to view this from a scientist's point of view. Here's what it will take to turn this from a speculative claim into a robust one.

Comment: Re:physics is wrong.. no need to expell (Score 1) 480 480

You've basically just described taping a magnet to a pole and suspending it in front of your car in order to make it go forwards, only in a slightly more complex way such that it's hard to see that's what's being proposed.

You seem to be forgetting that accelerating the particle towards A produces a backwards force. By the same token, diverting it sideways doesn't cancel out whatever backwards momentum it still contains, nor does hitting other particles to slow down (they hit other particles in turn and eventually transfer all the way to the back).

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.