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Government Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags 55

Posted by timothy
from the dept.
darylb writes "The NHTSA's website appears to be suffering under the load of recent vehicle recalls, including the latest recall of some 4.7 million vehicles using airbags made by Takata. Searching recalls by VIN is non-responsive at present. Searching by year, make, and model hangs after selecting the year. What can sites serving an important public function do to ensure they stay running during periods of unexpected load?" More on the airbag recall from The New York Times and the Detroit Free Press.

Comment: Re:so... (Score 1) 81

by gweihir (#48189675) Attached to: IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division

My condolences on having to actually fix this type of mess. I usually only get to look at it and tell people that the code is insecure and sucks for some other reasons. Decent hourly rate though, do not go lower. Going cheap for software production has to be expensive, or they will never understand what they are doing wrong.

Comment: Re:Distasteful stuff, but should not be illegal (Score 1) 416

by gweihir (#48188975) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

From all the effort to fight pictures and not a lot effort to actually prevent children from being harmed, I conclude that the children are not in any way important to the people making these laws. Hence criminalizing drawings, renderings, text, etc. the same as documentation of actual abuse is just logical.

Comment: Re:Moral Imperialism (Score 2) 416

by gweihir (#48188925) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

The problem is that there are a lot of things some people, sometimes even many people, find not acceptable, but it is still a very bad idea to make them criminal. For example, there are lots of people that do not like atheists. Make that criminal?

And then there is the little problem that all these arguments are based on escalation (i.e. first they look at images then they rape children), while substitution also has merit (i.e. instead of raping children, they just look at pictures). Without a solid scientific basis, outlawing drawings could well result in much more harm to children. Despite what the public seems to believe, there is no "obviously" here. It might even be necessary to allow some people free access (because they substitute), while strictly denying it to others (because they escalate). Any knee-jerk reactions, like the current ones and those of the near past are likely to do more harm than good (i.e. get more children abused), if history is any indicator.

United Kingdom

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK 416

Posted by timothy
from the we-know-what-you-were-thinking dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from the UK, as reported by Ars Technica: A 39-year-old UK man has been convicted of possessing illegal cartoon drawings of young girls exposing themselves in school uniforms and engaging in sex acts. The case is believed to be the UK's first prosecution of illegal manga and anime images. Local media said that Robul Hoque was sentenced last week to nine months' imprisonment, though the sentence is suspended so long as the defendant does not break the law again. Police seized Hoque's computer in 2012 and said they found nearly 400 such images on it, none of which depicted real people but were illegal nonetheless because of their similarity to child pornography. Hoque was initially charged with 20 counts of illegal possession but eventually pled guilty to just 10 counts.

Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own 166

Posted by timothy
from the funny-how-things-catch-on dept.
SmartAboutThings writes The smartwatch market is still in its nascent form, but with Apple releasing its AppleWatch in early 2015, things are going to change. And Microsoft wants to make sure it's not late to the party, as it has been so many times in the past. That's why it plans on releasing its own smartwatch, which would be the first new category under CEO Nadella. The device could get launched with two specific features that could make it stand apart from other similar devices — much better battery life and cross-platform support for iOS and Android users. A release before this year's holiday season is in the cards, with no details on the pricing nor availability. (Also at Reuters and The Inquirer.)

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.