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Comment Re:Littering (Score 1) 84 84

As if they had enough problems, now Malaysian Airlines will get fined for littering

I flew on Malaysian airlines recently and got two empty seats next to me. That hasn't happened on a US plane in a long time.

Back in 2008, I had an entire 737 all to myself (well there was one other passenger). Flight Attendant told us to sit wherever we wanted and that she wasn't going to do anything but read a book. If we wanted something we were to hit the call button and she would bring us whatever we wanted for free. But just a few weeks ago I had an empty row in economy plus to myself from Houston to San Francisco.

Comment Re:Onstar (Score 1) 49 49

Onstar is basically GM having the balls to charge the customer for the equipment that GM uses to gather personal data and to sell navigation and other services that mostly your phone already does for free.

It boggles my mind how gullible people are. I'm amazed that people don't all just refuse to buy any car with Onstar in.

While I agree with you, the point of OnStar IS to collect personal data about GM drivers, you must concede that OnStar came about long before smart phones and Google Maps on a mobile device. In fact, the service was launched in 1996 for model year 1997 cars. The security holes and issues in OnStar have likely existed from the very beginning. Who knows how long they've been exploited for, but we can assume that the people who designed the hardware and software for OnStar had not yet learned the lessons about security that would be so crucial towards the end of the DotCom bubble.

Comment Re:Bad news for recovery of the black boxes (Score 3, Insightful) 84 84

Right, but the wing itself doesn't...

Surely you jest. The inside of a wing is almost all empty space or fuel storage. The wing is not a solid piece of aluminum. It's full of sealed air pockets. The flaperon (as it was not the entire wing that they found) is just a small portion of the wing. It is very light and far less dense than water as it would not have any fuel storage, wiring, or other materials inside of it. Unless the outer shell was compromised across several of the inner compartments, it would float quite easily.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 859 859

Except for when they don't - something went wrong in the transaction (and you don't know because you don't have a receipt), the end result will be the manager of the station calling in a drive-off theft and you get to explain why you thought you had paid. Always get a receipt from Pay-at-the-Pump.

What? Dude pass the crack pipe and take a break before taking another hit. The pumps don't even turn on until the payment card tendered is authorized for a transaction. What that means is that the card processor received a request and passed it along to your bank. You could stop the transaction there and you will still see it as a pending transaction on your credit card for up to 2-3 days. So no. No one is going to call the police on you because the payment wasn't properly captured. That is not your fault, or responsibility. At the absolute worst case, you'll have to authorize them running a new transaction. If they can't find a record of how much you pumped, that is the station's problem, not yours.

Comment Re:Night-time pop-up urinals (Score 4, Informative) 209 209

Why don't they just install night-time pop up urinals, like other cities have done. I know them from London, Paris and Amsterdam, but here's a video for one in Watford Fairly straight forward solution, and no more stinky city.

Have you been to San Francisco? There is a HUGE homeless community there. They used to have public toilets 24/7. Free ones at that. Then the homeless people started living in them. So then they started charging a small fee (I think it was originally around $0.50) to try and keep the homeless people from living inside of them. Eventually, they removed the public toilets because the public was unable to use them anyway. They need to solve the homeless problem until they can solve the public toilet problem.

Comment Re:Why an OS? (Score 1) 147 147

There's something to this kind of news... Why do they even put an operating system on such a specialized device, that is dedicated to only one task? The point of an operating system is to be able to run different programs on the same machine. It's certainly easier to build over one, but is it worth the trouble?

If this is the product that I think it is, then it is a fireproof safe specifically designed to keep computer data safe through a short but intense (up to 2 hour) fire. Some of the more "sophisticated" models allow you to backup and retrieve data without removing the drives from the safe. I'm not sure what value that provides, to be honest. But the USB port and computer OS are likely to provide access control to the data inside the safe.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 434 434

The emails were classified retroactively because they should have been classified and would have been classified at the time that they were sent. They bypassed security regulations when they generated the email and, as such, they were not marked classified from the beginning.

Comment Re:Which is why you don't let this stuff connect.. (Score 1) 98 98

... the company servers if you give a shit about security.

The whole BYOD argument has been debated to death. Point is there are two camps here.

Camp 1 says "No, because security" and Camp 2 says "Yes, because I'm lazy and like my toys."

Hmmm no bias detected in that statement... though you did openly admit that you're a camp 1 member later on. I will tell you right now that I've worked for several companies with people like you calling the security shots. I can also tell you right now that I will never carry a company phone, no matter what my boss wants. Most engineers I know have zero interest in a company phone. The only people I know who do want one are managers and sales types. If you want somebody outside of those two groups to be connected, you have to allow BYOD to some extent. You may not like it, and you may think its all about the toys, but that's just because you're way too uptight and don't realize that people want a work life balance. Carrying a corporate phone is like having an electronic leash around your neck.

You can have all the security in the world if you disconnect your network from everyone else. No one will be able to get anything meaningful done. You have to balance the needs of your employees with the needs of the business. I would never work at your business unless I was absolutely desperate. Thankfully, I have never been that desperate.

Comment Re:You know ... (Score 1) 213 213

This might bet the point at which Apple without Jobs falters.

You can't introduce the "revolutionary" new product and not have the killer use-case for it. You can't release "teh smartwatch" and have no idea of WTF people will use it for.

You know that this is exactly what Apple did with the iPhone, right? The original iPhone was just a glorified iPod until Apple allowed 3rd party developers to start writing their own apps. I rarely use any of the software that originally shipped with the iPhone - the only exceptions being the texting app and the calendar app.


Techies Hire Witch To Protect Computers From Viruses and Offices From Spirits 231 231

schwit1 writes: It may seem like your computer or smartphone is possessed by an evil spirit sometimes when a mysterious bug keeps causing an app to crash, but if you truly think your machine has been invaded by an evil spirit, there's someone who will take your call — Reverend Joey Talley. A Wiccan witch from the San Francisco Bay Area, Talley claims to solve supernatural issues for techies. Business Insider reports: "Talley’s website says she welcomes issues too unusual or dangerous to take the the straight world of Western helpers. But she also says no problem is too big or small, even, perhaps, your printer malfunctioning. However before you jump on the phone, you should be aware that Talley’s services do not come cheap. She charges $200 an hour (though a phone consultation is free)."

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 2) 294 294

I would love to get some confirmation otherwise.

See Four for information about how the EMV transition will work. Basically there are two entities involved in determining whether to use chip and pin for each transaction. The card issuer has to issue a PIN for the card. The payment processor has to have hardware and infrastructure to verify the PIN in order for the chip and PIN portion to work. The payment processor works on behalf of the merchant accepting the transaction. Everyone wants to pass the financial responsibility of fraud up the chain from merchant to the card issuer. Eventually the US will transition to chip and PIN just to avoid liablity.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294 294

In case you didn't know, the cards that most banks are now issuing in the US are chip and signature, not chip and pin like in Europe, and I understand that there are some spots that DO NOT accept chip and signature

My understanding is that it is a two part process. The US is doing chip and signature for a few years and then will transition to chip and pin once the hardware all transitions. The purpose of the transition is due to a legislative change that puts the liability for transaction fraud on the weakest link in the card processing chain. If the card is EMV capable (chip and pin/signature) and the card reader is magnetic swipe, then the merchant bears the liability on accepting the swipe. If the merchant has EMV terminals and the card is magnetic swipe only, then the card issuer is liable. Most people in the US would not know their credit card PIN unless they routinely make cash advances. In a year or two the banks will start issuing or forcing people to reset their PIN somehow.

Comment Re:The. ignorance is strong in this one. (Score 1) 294 294

If I had to guess, this isn't a case of "government tapping into my bank account", but rather a case of having previously given them payment information tied to this account, and as a "courtesy", they auto-renewed the registration when it was due. Heck, an "auto-renew" setting may have even been turned on and forgotten about...

I would not be surprised if you were guessing incorrectly. The California DMV website makes no mention of auto renewal. Part of your registration fee is a "Vehicle License Fee", which is a tax on the vehicle's value. Since it is a tax (and deductible from your federal taxes), the California State Franchise Tax Board probably uses its authority to automatically take it's money from your bank account directly. I could be wrong, however.

Anyway, when I left the state of California I found that California gave me one of two options: A) Pay income tax for the year you give up your residency at the non-resident rate, even if you did not work a single day in the state of California. B) pay state income tax on my out of state income even for tax years where I was no longer living in the state until I forsake my residency. They'll do whatever they can to get as much money as possible from you.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.