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Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 3, Informative) 322

by mrex (#46708183) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

You are mistaken about how cockpit voice recorders work. They record much more than "the last two minutes of talk before a crash". They typically record two hours on a continuous loop, and in the wake of the MH370 event that will probably be increased to eight hours or more.

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 4, Informative) 322

by mrex (#46707357) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

I'm leery of reducing a job as important as police officer to call-center working conditions.

That's a straw man argument. Nobody has recommended that we "reduce police officer(s) to call-center working conditions". Recording their on-duty interactions is as appropriate for police officers as it is for pilots. When something goes wrong and innocent people die, the public deserves to know why so that lessons can be learned. That's why we have cockpit voice recorders, and that's why we should have video and audio recording of all police interaction with the public.

If they aren't doing anything wrong, they have nothing to hide, right...?

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

by mrex (#46707317) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

As I read these responses, I'm forced to wonder: would any of the posters tolerate having every spoken word recorded by The Boss throughout their shift? Even one of you?

That's the case for a great number of ordinary workers, and especially for those whose jobs entail great responsibilities, particularly the safeguarding of human life.

Pilots' every spoken word are recorded by "the boss" during flight. Call center employees interactions with customers are often times recorded by "the boss", heavily scrutinized, and used to evaluate the employee's performance. US government employees with high clearances surrender their privacy almost entirely, and fully expect that their communications are monitored.

The job police do is vital to the functioning of society, but it carries at least as much potential for abuse than any of these others I just mentioned. A police officer who does not perform his job appropriately puts the public at an extreme level of risk. It is appropriate that, given this extreme degree of power, we monitor, check, and balance their behavior through a commensurately extreme degree of supervision.

Comment: TV Reality (Score 1) 150

by mrex (#46660783) Attached to: Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

Isn't it sort of an indictment of our culture that we do something for casual entertainment that we would never allow ourselves to do for the purposes of advancing human scientific knowledge?

+ - FTC Settles with Sites over SSL Lies->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The makers of two major mobile apps, Fandango and Credit Karma, have settled with the Federal Trade Commission after the commission charged that they deliberately misrepresented the security of their apps and failed to validate SSL certificates. The apps promised users that their data was being sent over secure SSL connections, but the apps had disabled the validation process.

The settlements with the FTC don’t include any monetary penalties, but both companies have been ordered to submit to independent security audits every other year for the next 20 years and to put together comprehensive security programs."

Link to Original Source

+ - Office For iPhone And Android Phones Is Now Completely Free

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In addition to releasing Office for iPad, Microsoft has also updated Office Mobile for iPhone and Office Mobile for Android with a major change: both are now completely free for home use. You can download the new versions now directly from Apple's App Store and Google Play. Microsoft says the decision was made in order to align Office Mobile for Windows Phone with its iOS and Android counterparts. As a result, Office Mobile now lets smartphone users view, as well as edit, content on the go for free. An Office 365 subscription is no longer required for editing."

Comment: Re:but their streaming service sucks.. (Score 1) 490

by mrex (#46604081) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

So basically, you're a "videophile", and your evaluation of Netflix's stream is colored by the fact that you loathe anything lower quality than IMAX. That'd have been worth mentioning in your original post. Nothing wrong with being a format snob, but don't act like the problem is that Netflix's bar is too low when you know good and well that the real one is that your own personal bar is set very very high.

+ - One Person Successfully Removed From U.S. No-Fly List->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In February, Judge William Alsup ruled in favor of Rahinah Ibrahim who sued the U.S. government in 2006 after she was mistakenly added to the no-fly list. Now, the Department of Justice has finally decided it won't appeal the ruling, making Ibrahim the first person to go to trial and get herself removed from the list. 'But Ibrahim's case, as just one of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been placed on such lists, shows the system's opacity. First, the only surefire way to even determine if one is on such a list in the U.S. is to attempt to board a flight and be denied. Even after that happens, when a denied person inquires about his or her status, the likely response will be that the government “can neither confirm nor deny” the placement on such lists. The government's surrender in Ibrahim comes on the heels of a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union that shows just how insanely difficult it is to contest one's status on the government blacklists (PDF).'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:but their streaming service sucks.. (Score 1) 490

by mrex (#46587387) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

Have you seen how low bitrate and over compressed Netflix is?

Netflix dynamically scales depending on the quality of the network path between you and them. It's never quite Blu-Ray quality, but if you have good network speeds it's not bad at all. You probably have a crappy internet connection, or a provider who is QoSing Netflix.

Comment: Bikesheds in Spaaaaace (Score 1) 127

by mrex (#46585553) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

Seriously, they're all functionally the same suit, just with three different-but-equally-hokey electro-luminescent designs. I appreciate what NASA is trying to do here in terms of involving the public. Their intentions are laudable. This is as close to literal "bikeshedding" as it gets, though, and so it feels more than a little patronizing. Evidently what NASA thinks that the public cares about is style and no substance. Maybe that's not as untrue as I wish it were, but I can't see something like this as an effective way to pique the interest of "those" people.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think, for the good of the space program, we need to make Justin Bieber an astronaut.

Comment: Re:Hardware write locks? (Score 1) 192

by mrex (#45748195) Attached to: Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards

I don't really understanding what you are saying.

What I'm saying is that a SIM card is a computer designed to operate in a way that I find philosophically repugnant and deleterious to individual rights. As a computer, it both stores and processes data, but is specifically designed to exist as a black box that locks out the owner and frustrate attempts for the owner to exert control over how or what data is processed on their device. Thus, it violates the principles of open computing in a fundamental, and very dangerous, way. The technology is specifically anti-consumer, anti-citizen, and anti-property-owner. SIM cards are not there for your benefit, and do not serve your interests. They are designed and built specifically to disempower you, their owner and operator.

I don't like, and do my best to avoid using, technology like that. You should, too! Normalizing this kind of technology ultimately causes real harm to real people. Industry and government have a deep and abiding desire to make us all into passive consumers rather than empowered and active users of computers and networks. Technologies like SIM, CableCard, proprietary firmware, etc. are one of the main tools they leverage to accomplish this.

I believe that computer owners should be free and empowered to leverage their property in any way they see fit. Technology should work for, not against, its owner.

Comment: Re:Hardware write locks? (Score 1) 192

by mrex (#45740523) Attached to: Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards

Fair point. I can envisage scenarios where modifying the SIM remotely would be helpful. Then again, I can envisage scenarios where it could be a very, very bad thing. My main point was user empowerment - if I can choose between two models of a device, one with a hardware lock, one without... I'll be happy with that.

Not like cellular device security is anything but an oxymoron anyway...

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus