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Comment: Re:Why such paranoia ? (Score 1) 299

Frankly, I'm more concerned with hackers or script kiddies bricking thousands of phones for lol's, than I am about hypothetical law enforcement abuse of it, but it remains a possibility.

a PC packed with FPGAs and a microcell could work as a rolling nuke that cracked and bricked every cell phone in a 2 klick radius

I think any sane implementation of this would require the brick command to be signed by the carrier's PKI or some other fail safe to prevent brick commands from being spammed or spoofed.

Comment: Re:FCC doesn't have a mandate to answer to the pub (Score 1) 140

The FCC is supposed to answer to Congress. Congress makes the laws that define the scope of FCC responsibilities. The FCC should only listen to the public as it pertains to regulated entities doing something wrong or the FCC not doing its job.

The FCC is an independent agency. Congress defines the scope of it's powers and the president appoints it's chairman and members of the board. However, when exercising those powers within the scope of it's statutory authority the FCC is answerable to no one, not even the president. If the FCC pisses off congress they have the power to redefine the scope of it's statutory authority, but that's about it.

I do agree that the FCC head should never be a shill for the regulated industries.

Agreed. If congress had any backbone they would place ISPs under Title II by statute and take the decision out of the FCC's hands.

Comment: Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (Score 2) 533

by flink (#47466745) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

It's almost like there's this sort of happy medium built into the system where the Federal government represents the small government that doesn't intrude while more local governments (States and Municipalities) which offer more representation to their constituents can serve the role of the larger government.

The problem is that large corporations wield even more undemocratic power at the state level. A big company (or even just a small one that employs a lot of people locally) doesn't even have to spend much to gain influence. They just have to make noises about moving operations to another state and they can get all sorts of concessions out of state and local governments. So a lot of reforms, particular things that relate to labor or benefits, are harder to enact at a state-by-state level.

Comment: Re:Profit before subsidy? (Score 1) 247

by flink (#47384053) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

Ha, well 40mpg is highway. My commute is 16 city miles round trip, all of then city miles, where I get substantially less than 40mpg. What it boils down to is I'm paying $200/mo car payment + $120/mo for gas. If I could trade that for $300/mo for the car + cost of electricity, I think it would come out basically even, especially if maintenance cost are lower or the car lasts longer than a comparable gas vehicle.

Comment: Re:Profit before subsidy? (Score 1) 247

by flink (#47383659) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

I just did the calculation for myself, and compared to my $15k 40mpg Hyundai, and given the amount of gas I go through on a weekly basis, if I pay sticker price for the model E it will be just about at the break even point. Any subsidy is just gravy. My current car is only 2 years old, so I won't be in the market for a while, but I'll definitely take a long hard look at a Tesla when I am.

I can't be that unique. Hopefully this car will find it's niche.

Comment: Human Subject Review (Score 1) 160

by flink (#47375195) Attached to: Facebook Fallout, Facts and Frenzy

I haven't seen a human subject review or impact statement mentioned in any of these /. articles. Did Facebook even do one before proceeding with this research? If so was it reviewed by an ethics panel before they proceeded with the experiment? If not, then they should definitely be held responsible for any negative outcomes.

Comment: Re:Overreach much? (Score 1) 216

by flink (#47248941) Attached to: US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

My 2006 buick detects if someone is not wearing a seatbelt and turns off the passenger side airbag if no one is in the passenger seat

.....WHY??? Sure, it might be unnecessary if no one is sitting there, but what possible benefit is conferred by disabling an airbag?

It might be a child safety thing. An airbag can kill someone below a certain size, especially if they are not wearing a seat belt, so it's likely programmed to disable itself if there is less than e.g. 80 lbs in the passenger seat, or if the belt is not buckled. In those scenarios an airbag deploying would do more harm than good by turning an otherwise low risk slow speed crash into potentially fatal one.

Comment: Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

by flink (#46891475) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

to be honest, I'm really surprised by the absolutist nature of gun nuts. Many people are uncomfortable with guns in their communities. instead of rallying against any moderation or worse like in the summary threatening people, find ways to compromise and come to consensus. it doesn't have to be black or white.

I'm someone who would like to see a whole lot less weaponry in our society, but I'm still on the side of the "gun nuts" because as much as I am not a fan of the proliferation of firearms, I'm even less of a fan of abridging the constitution. If people are serious about gun control, lobby to have the 2nd amendment stricken or altered, but don't try to weasel around it legislatively.

I personally feel that the 2nd amendment is somewhat of an anachronism, but part of living in a democratic society means putting up with laws you don't agree with. If we don't defend the 2nd so long as it is the law of the land, we can hardly complain when the 1st or 4th amendments are weakened as well.

Comment: Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (Score 1) 242

by flink (#46396551) Attached to: Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

Also consider that while a large truck does carry a significant amount of weight, they also distribute it over a significantly larger contact patch. While I will grant you that load on the asphalt is still higher than most cars, it's not nearly as straight forward as one might think. If someone with more time could google a comparison, that would be very enlightening.

Damage done to the road rises exponentially with the load. The rule of thumb is damage to the road is proportional to (gross weight / # axles)^4. A single fully loaded tractor trailer can do as much damage to a road as 1000 passenger cars. So I don't know if the higher fuel tax trucks pay completely offsets the additional wear they put on the roads.

See http://www.pavementinteractive...

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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