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Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 865 865

That's okay, we make up for it at the refinery and drilling platforms.
Only if you know that the charging station isn't getting its electricity from coal or gas, like almost 70% of electricity generated in the US.

The only thing impeding electrics is politics

The two things impeding electrics are politics and battery size/weight to storage ratio. No wait...
The three things impeding electrics are politics, battery size/weight to storage ratio, and the high cost of solar power. Umm...
The four things impeding electrics are politics, battery size/weight to storage ratio, the high cost of solar power, and the fear of nuclear power
Amongst the things impeding electrics...

It's like the original iPod. The original slashdot review was right - No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. Where it was wrong, and why the iPod won, was because you could buy music in iTunes and you couldn't do that with other mp3 players. In the same way, the technology that beats ICE will not necessarily be faster, or cheaper, but rather, will have some other benefit that ICE can't compete with. Lots of people here are saying they can't wait for autonomous vehicles - I would agree that is a game breaker that will disrupt individual car ownership/commuting.

If you ask me, soon all cars will become basically plug-in hybrids, to take advantage of regenerative braking and high torque of electric, with petrol to deal with range anxiety (even more than actual range problems).

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 2) 865 865

cleaner (in all senses)

Some PZEV ICE's have emissions that are cleaner than the outside air. A modern electric scores a lot of points against an 80's k car but the quality of an ICE is a moving target.

If past technological jumps can serve as a guide, the big switch to electric will occur, if at all, not because the new technology beats the old technology in things that the old technology is working on as well, because new technologies almost never can catch up to the benefits of an old technolody. But rather, it will occur when the new technology does something that the old technology doesn't do at all, not even poorly. I'm not sure what that is yet, but if electric car advocates are waiting for electric vehicles to catch up and surpass ICE, they might have a long wait

Comment Re: The real benefit to this system (Score 1) 68 68

In theory, yes, the ref announces, say, "3 minutes", and the game is supposed to end in 3 minutes, but that is just an approximation. It is generally understood that if the "real" stoppage time was 3 minutes, 10 seconds, but one team is in the middle of an attack at 3 minutes, 9 seconds, the ref will let the series play out before blowing the whistle.

The evidence is the disproportionately large number of games with a game winning goal in stoppage time, which end a second or two after the ball is inbounded again. And the infrequency (like, never) of a theoretical "buzzer beater" that was kicked before the whistle blows and then disallowed because the ref blew the whistle ending the game while the ball was in-flight.

Comment Re:The real benefit to this system (Score 1) 68 68

This. If baseball wanted to have a set strike zone, they would have invented some kind of moveable net like device like a goal. But the human element is a big part of the sport. There is an aesthetic quality that is essential in most sports that defies simple mechanization, and in baseball, that is the strike zone. In basketball, it is the little travel before a nice dunk, and in soccer, it is the amount of stoppage time. If every travel was rigidly called, or if a soccer game stopped at exactly the correct time, even in the middle of good possession, these sports would be worse off.

Comment Re:Consider the background of auto makers (Score 2) 158 158

The question isn't what I think *should* be, it's what I think about what they already *did*. Of course I think that banks should have to encrypt data over their website. And I would support regulation that requires it, and enforcement of that regulation. But not holding them responsible for something that wasn't in the rules when they did it.

Further, there is a big difference between being able to sniff packets in the clear and reverse-engineering a car's ROM. How perfect does a car's system have to be before you don't fault them? No system will ever be unhackable, so when whatever system they use gets hacked, are they always going to be held responsible in hindsight in your eyes?

Comment Re:Consider the background of auto makers (Score 4, Insightful) 158 158

If a carmaker builds a car that explodes in a normal accident, then they are negligent. But if they build a car that explodes when someone fires an RPG at it, I don't blame the automaker.

The kind of hack that takes control of a car and disables the brakes is not an accident. It is like someone cutting the brake lines. And we don't require car manufacturers to make brake lines out of triply reinforced kevlar and steel so that people can't maliciously cut through them, nor require automakers to wrap the car in fireproof material in case somebody douses it in gasoline and sets fire to it. They just need to be enough to make it through standard operating conditions, not outright attacks.

There will always be security holes as long as there is enough reason for someone to want to take control of a car. So although I think it is a good idea for carmakers to build better systems ("Mercedes Benz - the only luxury car that isn't affected by the ZeusMobile trojan!"), I think assigning liability in hindsight is a bit harsh. But some additional regulations that require some of the obvious best practices (air-gapped systems, etc) would also make sense.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 2) 157 157

The points that you (and AC) raise are legitimate concerns, and the way that they have been addressed is by giving ex ante review by the courts on probable cause and ex post review as to the admissibility of the evidence. Of course one can always say that these reviews are insufficient, but the whole point of a warrant is for the state to acquire specific evidence of a crime, and the proper time for the target to challenge it and have it reviewed is ex post. If targets were able to challenge warrants before they were executed it would give criminals plenty of opportunity to destroy evidence that they knew the government is looking for. And if you are saying that 2 judicial reviews are not sufficient to ensure justice for the accused, then why would 3 (including Facebook who at the end of the day doesn't care as much as you do) provide the standard of justice that you want?

Note that this is very different from a subpoena, which is what Facebook argued the warrant was really like. With a subpoena, the whole process is 2 sided, because the subpoena'd party is being asked to actually create evidence, such as answering questions in a deposition. So there is no fear that the evidence can be destroyed - it doesn't exist yet! However, actually getting the evidence that you want is, by its very nature, more difficult because it is not simply sitting on the floor of a garage or something.

But the important thing to point out is that it is much easier to serve somebody with a subpoena than it is to obtain a warrant. If Facebook had won, it would have meant that investigators would have had to prove the probable cause standard to obtain the warrant (like a warrant), then would have to fight to actually get the information (like a subpoena) which really doesn't make sense.

If you think that warrants don't currently provide sufficient protection for individuals, then you should provide those additional protections to all defendants, not just those whose potentially incriminating evidence is "on a computer." But before you say that you want targets to have their say before a warrant is executed, think hard about what that means for the man standing in the doorway, trying to read the warrant as the police show up at the door, trying to figure out what to do next. If he doesn't speak up, does he lose his right to object to the warrant at trial? Does he have a time limit for how long he can review it? The fact that the target can't contest the warrant before it is served is actually a protection because it puts the review in the correct place - in a courtroom in the bright light of day instead of a traffic stop or a sidewalk pat down.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 1) 157 157

Fourth Amendment:

[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This is not something new at all, and not at all at odds with the 4th amendment. The 4th amendment protects you from "unreasonable searches" - not *all* searches, and they can't issue the warrant in the first place without probable cause (as determined by a judge who signs the warrant). Lastly, the place to be searched (Facebook) and the things to be seized (photos and comments) are well specified. Where is the 4th amendment violation?

If you lived at any time since the founding of this great Republic, and stole your neighbor's pig and ate half of it, then hid the leftovers at a friend's house, then the authorities could search your friend's house looking for the the remaining bacon, even though you did the crime and it is your neighbor's property that is being searched. Just because your friend's house is now "on a computer" and the incriminating evidence is a photograph instead of a pig doesn't change any of that logic.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 5, Insightful) 157 157

This case has nothing to do with "nonsensical legislation." It is straightforward rules of evidence and criminal procedure. The judge didn't say the warrant was OK, she just said that:

1) an invalid warrant "on a computer" is the same as an invalid warrant i.r.l. Meaning that a properly issued warrant gets served, then the thing the prosecutor wants to search gets searched, then if the defendant has reason to believe that the warrant was improperly issued or the search was done improperly, then those issues get brought up at trial to determine the admissibility of the evidence obtained from the search. It's what you see in courtroom dramas when evidence gets thrown out at trial - note that it is getting thrown out at trial, not being prevented from being found in the first place.

2) Even if the warrant was improper, Facebook isn't the defendant here and isn't the right person to challenge it anyways. Let's say the prosecutors suspect that you used rat poison bought at the local mom & pop general store to poison somebody. And the mom & pop store doesn't have any computers - you paid cash and they just took an old fashioned carbon copy imprint of your credit card. So they get a warrant to go through all those paper receipts to prove that you bought the rat poison. The mom & pop store isn't in the position to challenge that warrant, only you are. This case with Facebook is the same thing just "on a computer"

If we want to hold that "on a computer" isn't anything unique or different for patent purposes, we can't argue that "on a computer" has a different meaning for rules of evidence in a criminal proceeding.

Comment Re:I was really excited about this (Score 1) 134 134

Any time you have an in-group/out-group dynamic, you have to be careful that it doesn't turn into one of the many times in human history when that becomes a source of unspeakable pain and suffering. Snubbing the contributions of other nations in the control room paid for by American taxpayers by employees whose paychecks are paid by American taxpayers is not really comparable to, say, African colonization or the First World War. Maybe you can hope that humans stop seeing some people as part of their group and other as not part of that group, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Since that way of viewing the world seems to be hard wired into humanity, I think it is great when it gets channeled into increasing human knowledge, or even scoring more goals than the guys in the red jerseys, rather than "let's slaughter them because they talk funny."

Comment Re:Good point, but Uber is a bad example (Score 1) 432 432

I'm not sure I understand how "surge pricing" will increase drunk driving fatalities. I guess you are thinking that someone gets out of a bar to go home, and because surge pricing is too expensive, they drive home themselves instead of calling a cab/Uber (or instead of someone else setting one up for them). But the limitation on the availability of cabs is because there are more people looking for cabs than there are cabs on the street. Surge pricing brings more cabs out on the street, since supply curves slope upwards. With more cabs on the street, there are more drunk people getting rides home. You can't have a scenario where surge pricing is in effect because there is a lot of demand for cabs, and at the same time, having less people using cabs.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten