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Comment: Re:Bad Analogy (Score 1) 64

by phoenix321 (#47940271) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

If you have a small enough town with a small enough cell size, it should be blindingly obvious which handset IMSI numbers where usually in the area when a crime was committed.

With enough data, you can simply map out the handset IMSI of the most probable perpetrators. There were 5 instances of a street robbery, at night, and the only common denominator is IMSI xyz that has been in the vicinity and moving around the time of all 5 robberies. It either is a totally unlucky individual or the most likely suspect.

Follow that IMSI with a drone for a few nights, record evidence and then lock these people away.

Note that I don't mind any and all police activity directed against common street thugs, as long as they have reliable evidence against them. (not dealers, not pimps, not smugglers, maybe not even thieves - but violent criminals that assault and rob innocent people or even invade their homes deserve absolutely no mercy.)

Comment: Algorithms are not hindered by wishful thinking (Score 1) 64

by phoenix321 (#47940173) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

We know that people that commit crimes are much more often from certain social and cultural backgrounds. There are untold numbers of "anecdotal evidence" around, but we don't want that to be true. So we tell ourselves white lies, blame victims, discount hundreds of incidents as "anecdotal evidence", pinpoint the few cases outside the norm and fabricate elaborate excuses about why such and such were practically forced to commit crime. We are constantly telling ourselves how we are to blame for not paying enough welfare, not enough education, not giving enough leeway while conveniently ignoring millions of people of other social and cultural backgrounds that simply don't commit any more crime than everyone else, being good people despite being poor and uneducated.

Choices of cellphone contracts and handset make and models are similar along cultural and social bonds. An algorithm will never know about that but detect the significance.

But anyway, even among the groups with the highest part in crime, only a few select individuals are responsible for a large percentage of crime.

Algorithms will find that when IMSI xyz is in the general area, people will get robbed. It will also find that when expensive handsets with IMSI abc where in the area when a phone robbery happened, they will probably be around the next crime area as well, since the thief will either have it now or sold it to a pawn shop in the high crime area.

Comment: Re:Greenie perspective (Score 1) 543

by phoenix321 (#40701301) Attached to: Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?

Just noticed the Peugeot 3008 diesel-electric hybrid is still not available for consumers.

So hobbyists worldwide still have their sporting chance to beat a multi-billion dollar international automaker consortium to be the first to successfully build a modern diesel-electric engine.

Comment: Re:Greenie perspective (Score 1) 543

by phoenix321 (#40701169) Attached to: Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?

Invariably, during the course of this thread, someone will notice that Toyota/Lexus already have several of gasoline-electric hybrids, including a hybrid SUV (Lexus RX-400h). They will then ruminate how big or small (depending on viewpoint) the savings of this hybrid SUV are, compared to vanilla SUVs, with the occasional poster chiming in to tell the world that none of these hybrids have any kind of towing capacity, claiming it is the only reason people are buying an SUV in the first place.

Later, another poster will point out the newly-launched diesel-electric hybrids from Peugeot, which are mass-produced, rather cheap and available right now at every Peugeot car dealer in Europe, rightfully disputing the commercial viability of designing a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain from the ground up and advocate either using the Peugeot itself or at transplant its engine. Other posters will then either bash 'murricans for not having developed diesel-electric first or bashing Europeans, especially the Cheese Eating French from not exporting most of their French cars to the States, which will quickly descent into an all-out flamewar between patriots claiming no French car lasts more than 50.000 miles, patriots claiming to never ever accepting any foreign, especially not a French car and Leftists that cite dozens of instances where American-made cars are either shoddy as well or not American-made in the first place. At this point, someone will then present Japanese cars to be of superior reliability, where the discussion will yet again split, with half joining the discussion for/against the Lexus RX-400h and the other side touting anecdotal evidence where American cars stood unscratched from minor accidents where Japanese cars were utterly destroyed from.

I, for one, would support the proposal of cars with micro-turbines and giant capacitors, if only for the sound they'll make.


Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric? 543

Posted by timothy
from the confuse-both-sides-of-the-spectrum dept.
joaommp writes "So, my team has started a project to convert an SUV into an hybrid diesel-electric vehicle — basically, an electric vehicle with a diesel engine working as a range extender. We've now setup a campaign on Indiegogo to help with the project costs (we are a non-profit team) and later we'd like to, if the project is successful, be able to provide conversion kits and additional kits for elements of the transformation, like the HUD, for example. Why an SUV conversion? Because a lot of people like SUVs (sense of safety, overcompensation, etc) but they're un-economic and environment unfriendly. I'd like to ask all slashdotters if they have any advice or tips for this project. We already have the project well defined but more input is greatly appreciated before we begin tearing apart the beast. So, if you could help providing additional advice and information, it would be awesome."

Comment: Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

by phoenix321 (#40350987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On HTTPS Snooping?

Email, facebook, banking and personal calling can be done on a private smartphone.

Reasonably good smartphones are 100 bucks now plus a few bucks for data. Most people already have a regular cellphone, so the upgrade is not that expensive.

If your employer has a work phone for you, you will carry two phones with you while you're on the clock. Big deal.

The 100 bucks are not worth painting yourself a troublemaker. Sidestep the issue, save yourself from headaches and enjoy having a smartphone. You should get your own and never look back.

Comment: Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

by phoenix321 (#40350941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On HTTPS Snooping?

Then block the traffic or leave it alone.

Someone who opens mail envelopes at work that were marked "private" will get fired or even imprisoned. SSL traffic is also marked "private". Why should that be different?

No one can complain if Youtube or Facebook are blocked at the workplace. People get paid to be there for a different reason than reading their wall posts. If it is allowed to browse privately at work, don't ever touch the data stream. If it is forbidden, then just block the traffic. There is no middle ground here.

Comment: Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

by phoenix321 (#40350921) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On HTTPS Snooping?

The proxy admin can read, include or exclude anything from the HTTPS traffic without anyone knowing.

Bank accounts, mail accounts, Facebook accounts, health care information. From all employees and all CEOs.

This situation cannot ever be acceptable for anyone, that's why no one should do such things from computers they don't control.

Comment: Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

by phoenix321 (#40350899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On HTTPS Snooping?

Close but no cigar.

Even things as simple as Facebook or email passwords can do much more personal harm than access to someone's bank account. Some bank accounts do not have enough money in it to be worthwhile, it is hard to do any transactions that cannot be traced by law enforcement anyway and simply knowing the balance isn't worth too much. But people could give each other Hell if they know email and Facebook passwords.

No one should access any personal information from work nor any other device they do not own or control. Keyloggers, traffic snoopers, remote control must be assumed to always be present in a corporate environment.

Comment: Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

by phoenix321 (#40350855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On HTTPS Snooping?

Great idea!

Everyone must be able to access health care information from work and that connection must be absolutely bulletproof.

Most other HTTPS needs can be declared to belong into your personal time or done via mobile phone, be it banking, social networks or email. But the health care provider that was officially sanctioned by HR and The Powers That Be can't under any circumstances.

If IT can and does snoop into some HTTPS connections, they could snoop into HR and health care connections. No amount of auditing should save them.

But I think it gets even simpler than that. Telling or asking for passwords to social networks is a federal crime now. Unless IT can plausibly demonstrate that do not save any passwords they may obtain in the stream. Which they can't, since they always bite more than they can swallow. They either snoop and save all data at least temporarily or they don't and everyone's happy anyway, as they could as well turn off the transparent filter.

Depending on local laws, this can be varied. The goal should still be to produce a do-or-don't scenario, where doing is highly illegal and the only way out is not doing anything at all, which is what employees want.


DreamHammer Wants To Corner the Drone OS Market 125

Posted by timothy
from the special-interests-with-guns dept.
nonprofiteer writes "The Pentagon is increasingly transforming the military into an unmanned force, taking soldiers out of harm's way and replacing them with drones and robots. In 2011, it spent $6 billion on unmanned systems. The problem is that the unmanned systems don't work well together thanks to contractors building proprietary control systems (to lock government into exclusive relationships and to make extra money). A company called DreamHammer plans to have a solution to this — a universal remote control that could integrate all robots and drones into one control system. It would save money and allow anyone to build apps for drones. 'DreamHammer CTO Chris Diebner compares it with a smartphone OS — on which drones and features for those drones can be run like apps. Of course, Ballista is doing something on a much larger scale. It means that it takes fewer people to fly more drones and that new features can be rolled out without the need to develop and build a new version of a Predator, for example.'"

Comment: Re:Factor in one more thing though? (Score 1) 166

by phoenix321 (#39115007) Attached to: Carbohydrate-Based Synthesis To Replace Petroleum Derived Hydrocarbons?

barrel, gallons, $/gallon, MWh, kWh, kcal/tbsp, kcal/gal, kWh/gal, bushel, pounds, L g/c^3, g/mL, lbs/gal,
bushels/gallon, kcal, kcal/gal, kcal/bushel

You guys need to lay off those medieval units and stop wasting 60% of your clock cycles on UNIT CONVERSION.

Comment: Re:You don't have to BUY a machine (Score 1) 311

by phoenix321 (#39010337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Go Paperless At Home?

And electricity, and light, and probably the company employee clock also.

All which most employees more than make up for by working from home after work, working on weekends without bothering to ask for money or having a meeting with some coworkers off the clock, on the parking lot after leaving or in a bar later.

One (1) bad business decision of any employee costs more than that.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson