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Comment: Re:Casper is Concerned (Score 4, Informative) 352 352

So, do really pale "white" people get mis-labeled as ghosts? Inquiring minds are somewhat concerned because they are rather pale....

One of the articles I saw about this mentioned that in the past, light-skinned people had been identified as dogs and seals. Strangely, there was no outrage about that.

Comment: Re:Stop interconnecting systems (Score 2) 165 165

There's no reason why the infotainment system can't have read-only access to the engine control module (with write access physically prevented by the hardware). You won't be able to modify the engine management without physical access to the car, but that's the way it should be anyway.

The problem with this logic is that "read-only" access still implies that the unprivileged system can poke the privileged one and cause it to do something. It will probably also have to pass some kind of data to the privileged system as well. Read-only or not, that opens the door to several kinds of exploits (buffer overflow, etc.).

Comment: Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 1) 272 272

Yeah, the idea is idiotic. You blow up the NEO. Wonderful. The million pieces still have the same mass, velocity and therefore kinetic energy heading towards the planet.

You don't blow up threatening space objects. Space is really big. All you do is give the object a little nudge while it's still far enough away. The little nudge is all it takes to miss the planet by a very large margin.

OK, I'm going to stand 50 meters away from you and shoot you with a shotgun. I'll give you a choice: would you prefer me to use a slug, or an equivalent mass of birdshot?

Also, blow it up far enough away, and the center of mass of the object could pass right through Earth without any of the bits actually hitting us.

Comment: Re:One industry loses, another industry gains (Score 1) 389 389

In this case, the legal industry will welcome the plethora of deep-pocketed targets available to be sued when an accident occurs with a self-driving vehicle.

haha... you think you'll be allowed to buy one without signing a EULA transferring all liability from the manufacturer to you?

Comment: FDA Certification Part of the Problem (Score 4, Informative) 42 42

The reason a lot of these devices use outdated OSes is that it has to be FDA approved. I used to work on some hospital networks, and not only were some of these systems running out-dated operating systems, they couldn't have any security updates applied without losing their FDA approval. We kept these systems locked in solitary confinement behind firewalls (with no Internet access), but you still have to be able to get to them over the network to actually use them (and worse, occasionally by remote radiologists coming in over a VPN from who knows where).

Comment: Re:Could you tell a difference at distance? (Score 4, Insightful) 535 535

So, if you DON'T report it you can be fined and prosecuted at least for a misdemeanor according to the last paragraph. So the principal is screwed both ways and cannot use common sense like the rest of us would...

No he's not... There's a world of difference between:
Operator: 911, do you have an emergency?
Overreacting principal: OMG! There's a guy with a gun on campus!!!1!one! Help! I have the school on lockdown!


Operator: 911, do you have an emergency?
Reasonable principal: There's some guy wearing a Star Wars costume here. He has what's probably a prop/toy gun, but I'm required by law to report firearms on campus. Can you send an officer to make contact and make sure it's just a toy?

Comment: Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509 509

Don't forget that after the camera is off and nobody is watching you will resist arrest, get physically assaulted and tazed because you know you resisted. In the end resisting arrest will stick and see it was all justified.

Cops need body camera's and a hard and fast law that anything not captured on body camera the cop can not testify to. Were past the time where we need to or should trust the cops word as to visible facts, technology is capable of giving an impartial viewpoint.

What we need are cheap and ubiquitous "cop panic button" recorders.
They would work like this:
- Simple hardware - microphone, flash storage, battery, USB port, button, sealed case.
- Upon pressing the button, it starts recording. It CAN NOT be shut off until it's destroyed or the battery dies.
- USB port allows read-only access to anyone, but requires a key file (not just a password) to modify/delete

This presents cops with a tough situation. They can't order you to do something physically impossible (turn it off). If they take it with them, it records everything they're doing (radio conversations, talk to other officers, etc.), potentially for the rest of their shift. If they destroy it, they're destroying evidence. About the only thing they could do is "lose" it and claim it never existed.

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 1) 1097 1097

"Texas". That's really the only part of that sentence you need. I would be surprised if the people attending and local homes weren't about as well armed as the police in the article.

Unfortunately, the Curtis Culwell Center where the event took place is owned by the Garland ISD. I don't think it's a school, but as a TX CHL holder myself, I'd be very leery about carrying there without some serious research (it's either owned by the city, in which case it's illegal for them to prohibit licensed concealed carry, or it's a school, in which case it's illegal to CC regardless of whether it's posted - being a test case would be an expensive proposition).

Gotta love those "(legally carried) gun-free" zones...

But otherwise, yeah... in TX, in any gathering of 100 or more people in a place where it's legal to CC, there are going to be at least one or two armed, statistically speaking...

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 3, Informative) 1097 1097

Given the uses for a gun exactly what use would you have for one that would merit bringing it to work with you?

If you are so afraid that you need to carry a gun to work with you, then you may want to consider moving to a safer area.

Life long gun owner here, but I see no reason to bring one to work with me.

As a TX CHL holder, the main reason I'd have a pistol at work is that I'd like to have it with me before and after work. Those two times are when most of the running around/errands get done, and if I can't have it at work, it would mean driving home, getting it, and going back out again. I don't particularly like leaving it in the car (secured or not), because it's just too easy to break into, and too difficult to get an IWB holster on and off unseen while sitting in a car.

Comment: Re:!switching back (Score 1) 622 622

Other explanations might include buying SUVs to tow new recreational toys such as a boats, snow mobiles, etc. There aren't many hybrids on the market that are set up for towing.

This is actually a really good point about new "normal" cars these days. I drive a 2001 Toyota Solara (2-door Camry, basically), which has a 2000lb tow rating. It works great to pull my single PWC trailer (~1250lb wet), or other smallish utility trailers around (and, BTW, gives me way more hauling capacity than an SUV or pickup on the few occasions that I need it, not to mention that FWD is better than RWD on slippery boat ramps). Most of its contemporaries also had 1000-2000lb ratings.

Most new cars these days don't seem to have any tow rating any more (which I would guess translates to warranty denials if you have a hitch installed), leaving your only option to buy some kind of truck or SUV.

Comment: Re:I'm driving a rented Nissan Pathfinder while my (Score 1) 622 622

And why is it that the bigger the pickup, the greater the odds that they will back into parking spaces?

Because backing in makes it easier to get large/longer vehicles parked straight. Going head-in, you constrain your steering to the space between neighboring vehicles, while backing in lets you position the rear of the vehicle, then steer it in straight. This goes for parking ANY vehicle in tight quarters. Generally, the people that actually know how to drive their large trucks are the ones you see backed in. The others are the ones parked crooked head-in.

Plus, it's safer to back OUT of traffic, than to back into it.

The computing field is always in need of new cliches. -- Alan Perlis