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Comment: Never gonna work ... (Score 1) 506

by sehlat (#47758739) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

"... stumble out of a pub..."

Like the inebriated gentleman in San Francisco of many years ago? He stumbled out of a pub, crawled into the back seat of a waiting automobile, assuming it was a taxi, and demanded "Take me to the corner of Washington and Clay!" Given that Washington and Clay run parallel to each other, that would confuse the hell out of the computer.

In this case, however, the officers driving the vehicle escorted their new passenger to the lockup so he could sleep it off.

Comment: Major Change in Business Model? (Score 1) 249

by sehlat (#47673739) Attached to: Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

Apple is famous for two things:

1. Having a walled garden.

2. Cultivating the wall and leaving the garden to fend for itself.

Possibly mimic GoodReads, which Amazon uses to great effect as a marketing and curation tool?

Letting the App developers take more of the gelt home would also help. More of them might
be able to support themselves instead of feeding the iMaw.

Comment: "The implant can be used to deliver other drugs." (Score 1) 302

by sehlat (#47409879) Attached to: Wireless Contraception

So in the future, everybody is required to be implanted with this gadget -- loaded with tranquilizers. The government has the activation key, no skin contact required, and if a demonstration or anything else gets "out of hand" the code gets broadcast, the "insurgents" go off into la-la land, and they send in the street sweepers to collect them.

Forget the tinfoil hat. Where's my tinfoil armor?

Comment: Champagne corks pop at Amazon (Score 2) 51

by sehlat (#47320719) Attached to: Barnes & Noble To Spin Off Nook Media, Will Take It Public

B&N bought Fictionwise, where I was buying about $2000/year of eBooks before the publishers managed to kill just about every eBook store that carried their stuff except Amazon and B&N. Neither of them is as well-run or as reader-friendly as Fictionwise and Books on Board were (hint: shopping cart, "tell me when new books by author (x) are available", and store credits along with publisher-over-priced eBooks which could be used to buy more books).

Amazon has more than just books, so they can hang in there, but the Nook division and its former parent company are both doomed.

*sigh* Thank God for Calibre and jailbreaking!

Comment: Re:OK, Whatever... (Score 2) 156

by sehlat (#47131863) Attached to: Security Researchers Threatened With US Cybercrime Laws

Consider that lovely phrase cost/benefit. We're talking *perceived* cost/*perceived* benefit.

As far as TEPCO executives were concerned, the cost of protecting Fukushima Daichi
was enormous, while they could pooh-pooh the possibility of an earthquake which might
need such protection.

Such costs can be reasonably estimated, so perceived cost closely equals actual cost.
However, earthquake probabilities are much easier to dismiss, so it is easy to have
perceived benefit MUCH lower than actual benefit when the earthquake shows up.

Security costs have much the same problem. You can't say for certainty that someone
WILL find a way in if there is one,, so...

"Son, the guards we hire for our caravans look like a loss on the books. But the books
don't show the losses we'll take if we're hit by bandits."

Comment: $5 (Score 1, Insightful) 128

by sehlat (#47131401) Attached to: Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To the Masses

Where is Ford going to save the five dollars THIS time?

Anybody remember the original Pinto, also remembered as a molotov cocktail if struck from the rear? Ford was warned by their engineers that in such collisions, some of the drivers would end up burned alive. Cost to fix: $5 per vehicle. Ford chose the cheaper alternative of paying off lawsuits, without making a serious dent in the Pinto's bottom line.

So I ask again, where will they save money to kill their customers THIS time?

Comment: [sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc] (Score 2) 207

by sehlat (#46635779) Attached to: Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

If the reward for cooperating is torture and more torture, why cooperate? At least keeping silent (or lying in ways not easily checked) can be a form of revenge.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell #pragma is for.