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Comment Re:I wouldn't do business with a pager based compa (Score 1) 240

And sails are far more reliable than diesel engines; clearly modern international shipping is just a fad following what's new and shiny.

It's called weighing the benefits. The benefits of a modern smart phone far outweigh the limited benefit of a reliable pager for the vast majority of scenarios.

Comment Re:Job is forfeit. (Score 1) 184

People often forget the NSA has a 2nd role as equally important to their spying operations.

They are mandated to give guidance on securing the US Government and industry against threats - and they rightly encourage departments to use encryption to avoid eavesdropping.

It's their job to encourage domestic encryption, and to try to break foreign encryption.

Comment Re:raspberry pi about 50$ does just fine. (Score 1) 247

Depends entirely on the load. If after USB load on CPU and the normal routing load on the CPU are combined and the total CPU load still has room to spare, then load it up and be done with it.

In my experience building routers using X86 hardware in the past, the CPU and RAM were so many orders of magnitude greater than a hardware router that neither was a bottleneck to performance. Even with crappy old hardware useless for any desktop use.

I haven't played with a Raspberry PI, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's more than adequate for the task, even with the extra performance cost of USB (gp was warning against the Pi because of the USB hit). It sure is cheap enough to play with and find out :) If it's not up to the task, at least you have a Pi to play with for some other project!

Comment Re:Insanity. (Score 2) 126

That other $160M will probably need to be spent on the satellite itself (design, construction, monitoring, orbital adjustments, etc). There went the budget! Not to mention ruining your citizen's night vision even more than what they currently experience.

Street lighting is a good solution as it can be installed only where necessary. Blanketing an entire city with uniform night time lighting is an incredible waste of resources.

Now if it could be used for energy generation or telecommunications instead, then I think there's something to the idea.

Comment Re:Aaaaand.. (Score 1) 248

So you'd rather have US technology sector look like Detroit. Union jobs ensure that the union bosses live well and the workers still get screwed as the jobs move overseas anyways. Only difference is the risk of taking the entire company down to foreign competition instead of individual roles within the company because the company gets locked-in to whatever staffing model existed when times were good.

If your job can be done cheaper elsewhere, it will be. It's only a matter of time, and protectionism and unions will only delay the inevitable and harm the particular company or industry overall. The key to having a successful career in a specific locale is to continuously prove increased value as the company and markets naturally change, or to have a job that requires physical presence.

Even surgeons are going to start facing pressure as remote-controlled robotic operations are becoming a reality. The expensive ones with subpar work will cry when they no longer can afford the lease on their BMWs, and the ones that are at the top of their fields will be in even more demand than they are today, but will be operating in more than just the one city where they have their current practice.

Comment Re:Pain? Really? (Score 1) 225

1. Yes, low battery is my fault - but I wasn't anticipating spending 20m on my phone in active data modes troubleshooting an app at midnight. Other users would likely not have identified the problem and been able to fix it. I can think of a lot of other scenarios where a developer cuts off access to an old version of an app leaving users stuck (not supporting older OS versions is another good example).
2. App size limit on iOS is imposed by Apple because AT&T and Verizon demanded it - nothing I can do about that if I want to stick with iOS.
3. I have no idea how many versions back my copy of the app was - nor do I have a way of knowing. But a webapp (which would have been completely suitable for this use) would not have had a versioning cutoff issue like this.
4. The risk of running out of power was do to wasting time troubleshooting and downloading a new version of the app. Had the app been working I would have been able to use it within my remaining battery life without cause for concern.
5. I'm not arguing that all apps should be webapps. I'm countering the gp's claim that auto-updates for apps are a panacea.

Comment You know what else prefers safety over freedom? (Score 4, Insightful) 395

Cattle.

Yes, I agree the government - at least if it's not nefariously self-serving, which I doubt, but let's assume... - WOULD have an easier time finding bad guys by violating fundamental rights. But they should NEVER have the right to do so, because fundamental rights are the last line of defense against tyranny and dictatorship,

If the government has a hard time fighting crime and terrorism because they have to preserve individual rights, well, tough titties. That's their problem. People should never accept any debasing of their rights for the promise that their government will have an easier time keeping them safe. Those who think it's an acceptable tradeoff deserve to be carted off to the sheep pen.

Comment Re:Pain? Really? (Score 1) 225

Um - you missed what I said. The app stopped working because the app servers wouldn't work with an older version of the client app, and the updated client was pushed out to the app store while I was in-flight.

Turning off auto-update altogether would have guaranteed the app didn't work either. My point was that turning on auto-update isn't the panacea the grandparent post was claiming.

A web app would have been perfectly suitable here (initial payload for UI is trivial in this app as most of UI is real-time mapping which is downloaded on-demand anyways) and wouldn't have crapped out in the same way due to out-of-sync client installations.

Try being more professional in your comprehension and conversation skills.

Comment Re:Pain? Really? (Score 1) 225

It's not a strawman. I have several apps on my phone that haven't updated even though I turn on auto-updates and hit OK because of stupid restrictions on things like maximum app size over wifi (I have unlimited data so it doesn't matter). I also almost got screwed the last time I flew as the app I was using for my ride from the airport to home failed and disappeared from my launcher, and my phone was almost dead. Turns out there was a required update for it to work that was issued while I was *in-flight* and the app store didn't auto-update. I had used the app successfully 6 hours earlier on my way to the airport. Luckily I was able to delete and reinstall the app, and still book my ride before my battery drained.

Comment It's as old as search engines (Score 5, Insightful) 163

People rarely realize how much stuff they put on the internet about themselves, willingly or not. Since the internet never forgets, it's usually quite easy to dig up a lot of information about almost everybody. All it takes is a lot of time and knowing how to look.

Do the exercize: try to unearth bits of information about yourself: it's scary how much you can find out (or rediscover) about yourself in a mere couple hours...

What surprises me here is that government agencies who should know better dismiss plain old search engine stalking as a valid method for finding out what someone is up to, or has done.

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