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Comment: Re:Seems reasonable... (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by griffjon (#47184595) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

Do you live in the area? I do. The cabs here can suck. A cab in the middle of summer that smells of old smoke, with no AC, in 95F and 10% humidity in the middle of summer is a not good thing.

That said, there are some amazing cabs too - but it's a guessing game. I've been (illegally) kicked out of cabs because my destination was too far or too "dangerous". Cabs get very picky during peak hours on who they pick up and in what neighborhoods they pick up in. Only this year do DC cabs take credit cards reliably, and only because of much-hated and delayed regulation changes based on Uber entering the game.

Do I think Uber/Lyft/etc. need to join in to regulations? Sure. That's a good direction. But sorry D/M/V cab industry, maybe you should have upped your game a long time ago. I have much respect for a good cabbie, but not much for the industry.

Comment: Re:OLPC vs EEPC (Score 1) 111

by griffjon (#46472671) Attached to: Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down?

As I said many, many times during OLPC's early years, they should have brought it to market globally as a secondary source of revenue and driver of innovation. Props to focusing on education products for the least-served, but the OLPC created the industry niche for netbooks (and arguably, then, tablets), and then after hyping it up, refused to enter the market. They quickly got lapped by hardware that wasn't as open or as rugged, but was available to anyone for a low price. Once the netbook market got churning with the usual for-profit entities, they rapidly blew the OLPC out of the water in almost every user-experienced feature.

I'm still sad about how that worked out.

Comment: Doomed to repeat (Score 1) 111

by griffjon (#46472637) Attached to: Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down?

"Papert and Negroponte distributed [computers] to school children in a suburb of Dakar, Senegal. The experience confirms one of Papert's central assumptions: children in remote, rural, and poor regions of the world take to computers as easily and naturally as children anywhere. These results will be validated in subsequent deployments in several countries, including Pakistan, Thailand, and Colombia. [...] Naturally, it failed. Nothing is that independent, especially an organization backed by a socialist government and staffed by highly individualistic industry visionaries from around the world. Besides, altruism has a credibility problem in an industry that thrives on intense commercial competition."

Oh, wait, wrong decade. That quote was from the 1992 attempt to do this with Apple II and Logo instead of OLPCs, Sugar, and Scratch.

My bad.

Comment: Current, meh, but previous... (Score 2) 177

by griffjon (#46190305) Attached to: At my current workplace, I've outlasted ...

At my previous place of employment, I had trouble writing out my "goodbye" letter to the team remaining, as most of the good stories involved people who not only weren't there, but no one left even knew them.

That might be a sign, btw, for any managerial types, to worry about your staff turnover. Just sayin.

Comment: Some great apps (Score 1) 364

by griffjon (#44000861) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Bypass Gov't Spying On Cellphones?

At one level, you're toast, right? You need a burner phone you bought with cash, without using ID, and to activate it without linking it to your person. You need to never have it with you at your commons places to be (house, work, coffeeshop on the corner, etc.) - and once you start talking using apps on a smartphone, you've multiplied the complications here 1000x. If you care that much, you probably should just give up on cell phones.

But, there are a tons of ways to make your usage of cell phones safer and more secure. The Guardian Project is a great place to start - https://guardianproject.info/apps/ - you can get their apps from the Play store, from the F-Droid OSS repo, or as APKs directly. It brings Tor to your Android, OTR chatting, end-to-end encrypted VOIP calls, and even PGP email.

iOS is a bit further behind with all of this, for various reasons.

There was a great guide on this last year, but the site seems to have gone offline. Some intrepid data-rescuers have put the content up on github:

https://github.com/opensafermobile/materials

Transportation

New Flying Car Design Unveiled 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-late-than-never dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Terrafugia has unveiled plans to build a semi-autonomous, hybrid-electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicle for personal aviation. The new design, called TF-X, is in the works even as the company's first product, Transition, is still awaiting production because of technical and regulatory hurdles. Terrafugia's founder says the goal of TF-X, if it can get past the safety issues in both aviation and automotive industries, is to 'open up personal aviation to all of humanity.' But it will have a lot of competition from companies including AgustaWestland, Pipistrel, and the stealthy Zee.Aero, all of which are working on vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles for consumers."

Comment: Re:A couple simple rules (Score 3, Informative) 635

by griffjon (#43173451) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

One great trick, I probably saw it on lifehacker or similar, is to phrase your decisions in terms of priorities - i.e., when choosing to do activity X (TV, long lunch, etc.) instead of Y (gym, run, etc.), consider that you're saying, "no, X is a higher priority for me than Y right now." It's cheesy, but it help keep you focused.

Yes - bringing a home-made lunch saves a ton of money, and is much easier to portion-control with. Don't eat snacks at work (supply yourself with healthy alternatives if need be).

Instead of an hour lunch break, take an hour gym break to a nearby gym, or work with your supervisor for a flex hour instead of a lunch break, show up an hour later (and use that to go to a gym on your way in). You'll be *amazed* at the increase in your afternoon productivity by going to a gym in the middle of the day, instead of stuffing yourself at the nearest lunch spot.

Walk/Run/Bike to or from work - only works if you have access to a shower facility or public transit for one-way commutes at work

Join a gym, *hire a trainer*, set a schedule. I went to the gym 3x/week for 2 years, slowly lost 5 pounds. Added a trainer, lost another 5 pounds ... in 3 months.

It sounds like the company cares about health, which is a great start - getting access to shower facilities at work really opens up a lot of possibilities, so investigate some options there.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 91

by griffjon (#43163663) Attached to: Users Flock To Firewall-Busting Thesis Project

b) Exit nodes don't matter for blocking purposes. Bridge nodes are discoverable, but Tor has made them difficult to discover the complete set, https://bridges.torproject.org/ (or, since that'll be blocked in most useful places, emailing bridges@torproject.org with the "get bridges" in the body) only gives out a few at a time with a captcha requirement, and only sends to https-enabled webmail hosts.

Tor also has an unknown number of private bridges people run and disseminate through their own channels to friends and family and so on. This, plus obfsproxy and related tricks like the flashproxy work from Stanford, make it really really difficult to discover and block enough bridges into the network.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 91

by griffjon (#43163549) Attached to: Users Flock To Firewall-Busting Thesis Project

...and Tor provides much higher privacy for the user, with related tools like leave-no-trace bootable-thumbdrives (TAILS) , and is much, much harder to block than a VPN (Iran just this week decided to restrict all VPN traffic).

Also, basing this off of Windows means that rapidly throwing up new servers is a bit more cost-prohibitive and licensing-restricted than flipping on an Amazon EC2 tor image (not using your free ec2 slot? go here: https://cloud.torproject.org/ ) , or hosting a tor server on a cheap VPS.

I value the guy's intentions, but question his supervisors approval of his field assessment sections.

Comment: Re:She should watch this Ted Talk (Score 2) 524

by griffjon (#42989883) Attached to: Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

My previous place had an unofficial no-meetings-on-friday policy, which meant most people worked - productively - from home on Fridays. Tons of flexibility, and it meant we, as a team, kept ahead of the game because everyone used friday to knock out not only the collection of "oh, if only I had time" pieces that collect over the week, but also those "I need 3 hours, uninterrupted, to really dig into this" big-think pieces. No one overly abused it, and the not-infrequent fade out ~4p still meant the week's overall work was more productive than if everyone worked that last, useless hour on Friday.

That being said, we were a globally distributed group, and had already adapted well to well-calendared and well-prepared-for remote interactions over chat, conference calls and video calls.

Yes, you lose out on the hallway-chats, so it becomes important to have some central hub of people, and to make sure that no one sub-team was completely disconnected from the pulse of the office, but it can be done, and done well.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics

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