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Comment: Re:If they can... (Score 1) 390

by rlwhite (#46151977) Attached to: Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

They already do. You don't think they use that GPS on your phone? A state DOT official told me he uses it to plan and prioritize roadwork. The state DOT buys it anonymized from various companies in monthly batches. If the DOT can do that, you can imagine what they let law enforcement do. We recently had a convict escape a mental health facility, and they located and caught him in another state via his cellphone GPS. Again, a legitimate use in that instance, but as you say, if they can do it to you they will.

Comment: Re:I feel you. (Score 2) 533

by rlwhite (#46122393) Attached to: The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

These ads make me feel this way too. To me, leaving coding at my job and doing other things in my off time is very important to avoid burn-out. Pursuing something else I'm passionate about is refreshing, and being knowledgeable in other subjects should further a programmer's career because programming is ultimately about codifying knowledge. This career field is fundamentally cross-disciplinary.

Comment: rethink the ads you're serving (Score 5, Insightful) 731

by rlwhite (#45992391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

If I see banner ads or anything else obnoxious, and I can't keep them blocked and still use the site, I'll find what I want elsewhere.

I'm ok with the text-based ads Google is known for, and I'll even click on them when they're relevant to what I'm looking for... because they're not obnoxious! They aim to be helpful!

Comment: They're not the only ones (Score 5, Interesting) 189

by rlwhite (#45892065) Attached to: Carmakers Keep Data On Drivers' Locations From Navigation Systems

I was in a meeting today with a state DOT official who showed how his department buys monthly GPS tracking data on all traffic in the state, combined from companies including TomTom, Garmin, AT&T, etc. by a private company and processed by the University of Maryland. He was able to use it to prioritize road improvements and later show the benefits of those improvements. The data he had (average speeds for small stretches of road at hourly intervals) was quite granular and powerful for what he was doing but innocuous from a privacy perspective. The question should be, who else are these companies selling the data to and in what form?

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren