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Comment It was trespassing so I shot it? (Score 1) 995 995

If someone parked a car in your driveway and it had a dashboard camera, that doesn't give you the right to shoot at it with a shotgun. Plus there's the fact that shooting at a drone turns it from a not-very-dangerous object into a ballistic object (not to mention the projectile(s) you're shooting). A sane person would call the police rather than making a bad situation worse.

Comment Re:Common problem across industry (Score 3, Interesting) 83 83

It's sad but I fight the same battle almost every day regarding safety systems in factory automation. There are specific regulations and best practices that we have to follow in order to determine that a machine is safe for an operator to use, and it falls under the heading of "big E" Engineering, as in the type you need to have a license to certify. We put a lot of effort into making the machine both provably safe, but we also have to make it recover nicely from an abrupt shutdown if someone opens a guard door, etc. Everyone from management, to the engineering staff, to the operators themselves who use the equipment constantly gripe about how much effort we have to put into the safety systems, even when it's their own life that's at risk. Almost every discussion involves someone saying, "why can't we just tell people not to stick their hand in the machine?" The answer, of course, is that the rules are different for a machine that starts and stops automatically, than it would be, e.g., for a table saw or a drill press with an on/off switch. The rules are different precisely because people do stick their hands into machines that are stopped. Engineers are professionals who accept people as they are, not as we wish they could be.

Really we could solve the security problems in "IoT" devices by applying the same strict Engineering principles that we do to safety systems in factory automation. You would do this by functionally separating the part of the system responsible for security from the rest of the system, having certified parts that you can purchase that are rated to various industry best practice security standards, and then having a licensed professional engineer review and sign off on the design. Guess what though... it would cost more money. However, I believe there are certain products, where there's a risk to the public, that should be legislated to require this kind of certification.

Comment Re:A plea to fuck off. (Score 1) 364 364

This problem is with both "online" and "offline" password managers. Certainly I wouldn't use an online (i.e. website) password manager because it's a really juicy target sitting there connected to the internet. People can and will attack it, and at least one online password manager has been hacked. Offline password managers, such as KeePass, aren't as bad. It's all in a single encrypted database file, but you can store it on a home PC, a thumb drive, and in some backup location. The program allows very easy sync'ing between those files. Since the file only contains one person's passwords, it isn't as juicy of a target, and since it's not on an internet facing computer, the exposure is lower. An offline password manager is still a really good idea.

Comment Re:When California wanted a lottery... (Score 1) 217 217

When I looked little while ago (2004?), in the Detroit area the funding was about $6000/yr per student in the inner city and up to $13,000/yr in the suburbs around it. For that money you have to pay the teacher with benefits, a support staff (principle, VP, secretary, janitorial, music, school nurses/psychologists, IT, etc.) and then supplies, bussing, and pay for the construction, maintenance and utility costs on a rather large building. I agree it's not a steal but it's not unreasonable either.

Comment Re:When California wanted a lottery... (Score 3, Insightful) 217 217

Depending on what kind of full time job you had to give up, it could have cost upwards of $50,000 or $100,000 per year for you to educate your 2 kids, given the opportunity cost. Don't get me wrong, I can think of lots of *good* reasons to home school your kids, but saving money isn't one of them.

Comment Re:Taxi company (Score 2) 193 193

"Almost certainly bad" he says, without a shred of evidence... It will not serve you to sum up all the taxi regulations around the world which Uber is falling foul of as being "almost certainly bad for the industry", as that patently isn't true. You are comparing regulations in well-functioning countries with those in fucked-up places, as if they have the same effect in both. You are not doing your argument any favours with that sort of over-simplistic nonsense.

Comment Re:"Automatic" Weapon? (Score 2) 312 312

It seems odd to me that merely installing a solenoid on the trigger would cause it to be classified as "automatic" when in reality, it then falls upon the software (or the way it's wired) to determine if it's semi-auto or auto. It doesn't look like the software is written to work in a fully-automatic mode. I understand that they might charge him anyway, but I would also think he'd have a reasonable legal defense.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.