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Comment: Legal expectation of objective privacy (Score 2) 165

by sjbe (#48214625) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

However, the argument that when you're out in public you don't deserve any privacy needs to die. The law in most places may not have kept up with technology and its implications

It's not that you have no privacy in public but rather that your expectations of privacy are (and should be) rather limited. You might be noticed or you might not be but you should have no objective legal expectation that your actions will go unnoticed by anyone. As a general practical matter is is basically impossible to provide you with the sort of privacy you might expect in your home when out in public. There are legitimate public safety concerns as well as practical considerations. Are we supposed to avert our eyes because you walked by so that you can pretend you went unnoticed?

Comment: Privacy != Seclusion (Score 1) 165

by sjbe (#48214543) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

When someone spies on me electronically, that spy doesn't actually know whether I'm in public or not.

Explain how the airport does not know you are in public when you are standing in a security line and broadcasting a radio signal.

Airports have lots of rooms where I could be that are not public.

You are confusing seclusion with the legal concept of privacy. They are not the same thing. The airport is not private property owned by you. Generally speaking you have no objective expectation of privacy anywhere on the airport grounds so long as your Fourth Amendment rights to unreasonable search and seizure are not violated. It does not matter if you are alone in a room or standing in a public area.

I can't see any justification why the fact that people can see me would mean that people can electronically spy on me.

Nobody is spying on you. You are BROADCASTING your presence. Get a clue. If it bothers you then turn your radio off and it won't be a problem for you.

Comment: Put away the tinfoil hat and turn your radio off (Score 5, Insightful) 165

by sjbe (#48214001) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

No, the privacy implications of this are downright creepy. Because the most unsettling thing is governments and corporations feel they have a right to this information.

If you are in an airport your are IN PUBLIC. Your privacy rights are significantly reduced when you are in public. You have no legal expectation of privacy in public. There is nothing remotely creepy about this. In fact I actually think this is a fairly clever use of the technology which allows people to easily opt out if desired.

And, it's not like you can opt out .. unless you simply don't fly.

There is an incredibly easy solution. Turn off your Wifi. Tada! Problem solved. If you have Wifi turned on then you are quite literally broadcasting your presence to anyone who cares to listen. It's like shouting at the top of your lungs in the airport and then telling everyone you have no way to opt out. YOU are the one broadcasting. It is YOUR choice. If you don't want people to listen then turn off your radio.

Comment: Re:What certification means (Score 1) 95

by sjbe (#48212977) Attached to: What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

In addition most companies introduced ISO 9001 in the hopes to improve product and service quality.

Most companies introduced ISO9000 (and similar) because their customers required them to do so. If you are in the supply chain for automotive and want to do business with Ford or its suppliers you will be required to be ISO9000 (or TS16949) registered. Same thing with aerospace and the AS equivalent standards. Some take it seriously and use the quality system as intended but plenty of them just regard it as a pointless bureaucratic hurdle to be circumvented whenever possible.

What most missed is the simple fact that you need to do something with all the data you collected and actually improve the production process.

I don't think they missed that. I think most don't really care because that takes work and costs money. They get the registration so that they can continue to do business and they do just enough work to get that done but no more. There are all sorts of conflicts of interest too. For instance the company getting the ISO registration gets to pick the auditor. If the auditor gets too tough on them the company can (and will) hire a different one. Thus the auditors have little incentive to rock the boat so that they will get paid and the company being audited has every incentive to pick an auditor who will not dig too deeply.

Comment: Re:Jaded hipsters (Score 3) 95

by sjbe (#48205911) Attached to: What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

All because he sold questionably valuable software company in the Internet dotcom boom.

There is no question. Paypal is quite valuable - worth billions of dollars. Whether you personally like the product is of no consequence or relevance.

The rest gets easier when you have millions in capital.

Easier != Easy. There are plenty of people with the sort of capital Elon Musk has and damn few of them have accomplished anywhere close to as much. Few have even started one company as successful as Paypal, Tesla or SpaceX much less three.

I mind Slashdot's endless fellating of him more than I mind him.

Then go somewhere else and take your condescension with you. Nobody is forcing you to be here.

Comment: What certification means (Score 2) 95

by sjbe (#48204781) Attached to: What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

They get all that done AND do all the technical documentation crap that other people pretend makes their components so expensive.

That's really not that big a deal. Being AS9100 or ISO9000 registered basically involves documenting the stuff you already have to do anyway in order to run your organization well and then actually doing what you document. It's really not all that big a deal. It doesn't mean you produce a good or bad product - it simply means you say what you do and do what you say. Pretty much any company that wants to do business in aerospace is AS9100 certified just like almost every company that works in automotive is ISO9000 (or equivalent) registered.

Anyone who claims that ISO9000 means they produce a good product is either lying or doesn't understand what ISO9000 means. Same with any of the other quality standards.

Comment: Jaded hipsters (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by sjbe (#48204725) Attached to: What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

Yet another Musk fantasy with no hope of becoming reality. Wake me when he DOES something, rather than pie-in-the-sky fantasy.

What have you done that is so spectacular? Go ahead and dazzle us.

Elon Musk has founded several very influential companies, turning those industries upside down in the process. You actually think starting Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX is not impressive? If that doesn't impress you then you plainly don't understand what all that means. You don't have to like the guy but he's certainly earned a measure of respect for his accomplishments.

Comment: A big war chest isn't enough sometimes (Score 2) 95

by sjbe (#48204645) Attached to: What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

Anyone with enough money and willingness to throw that money at a "problem" will be able to compete.

Just because you throw lots of money at a problem doesn't mean you'll ever make a profit. If you cannot make a profit you will eventually go out of business. A bottomless (or effectively so) checkbook isn't necessarily enough. For example Microsoft may never make back all the money they invested in trying to make the Xbox competitive. Sure they "competed" but it was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

Comment: There are some actual uses (Score 1) 78

by sjbe (#48203765) Attached to: DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

So, other than some moronic social experiment of "information wants to be free so if you see what's in my fridge what's the harm" ... what the hell would I want one for? What benefit does it give me?

A good question. I've heard a few answers that make some sense, mostly revolving around service and maintentance. I leave it as an exercise to you to determine whether these uses are actually of any value.

1) An internet connected device can notify maintenance services in the event of equipment failure automatically. You could have a service contract whereby the "health" of the machine is monitored by qualified service companies and service scheduled as needed possibly even before failure.

2) It would allow data gathering for manufacturers regarding operating conditions and usage to help improve designs and optimize performance in real time. Perhaps manufacturers could offer an improved warranty in exchange for such monitoring capabilities.

3) Some devices like refrigerators may integrate displays on the door and any time there is a screen there are potential applications for internet connectivity. For example if you use an online grocery service (like Amazon's) you could reorder milk or other items directly from the fridge the moment you realize you need them. You could also display movies or stream music through the fridge for entertainment while working in the kitchen.

4) Monitoring your stove to actually make sure you turned it off. (No I wouldn't allow it to be turned on remotely - just off)

I'm sure there are more. You have to think a little harder about how and why such a thing might be helpful. To make use of internet connectivity you have to completely re-evaluate how you use the device and what features might work well with it. No you probably aren't going to hook your toaster up to the internet but there are actual applications that make sense for some people in certain circumstances.

Comment: TV without ads is expensive (Score 1) 126

by sjbe (#48197437) Attached to: Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

According to Nielsen the average person watches: 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day.

I *might* watch that much in a week. There just isn't that much worth watching most of the time. I guess I'm an outlier. I cannot fathom why anyone would give a crap about the latest Kardashian family hijinks.

What's really sad is people don't insist on ad free TV, or a 3rd party candidate...

That costs money. Watching advertising just costs time. If you have a lot of money you can trade money for time. If you don't have a lot of money you trade time for money. Simple fact is that most people either can not and/or will not pay what TV would cost if it were not ad supported. Furthermore it's unlikely to ever really be offered because there is too much money to be made with advertising.

People don't support third party candidates because the deck has been stacked by the two major parties to make it almost impossible for any third party candidate to get elected.

Comment: Pick a valid criticism of Windows-plenty to choose (Score 2) 113

by sjbe (#48196179) Attached to: Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

Windows is at least as fragmented as Android.

Look, I don't like Microsoft any more than most people here but that's just nonsense. You can grind you ax against Microsoft in plenty of ways that don't require making stuff up. It's not like there isn't anything legitimate to criticize about Windows. Your "evidence" that Windows is fragmented involves versions of Windows that were released over 10 years apart. That's not fragmentation - that's just normal development. The fact that Microsoft sells several versions that release different features depending on your license code isn't fragmentation - that's just price discrimination. Microsoft only sells a relatively small number of versions at any given time - FAR less than the number of Android versions available for sale.

There are dozens if not hundreds of companies selling highly customized versions of Android. Want to upgrade to Google's latest code? On most devices you are out of luck unless you want to go to the hassle of jailbreaking. There are even info graphics detailing Android's problems with a horde of different versions and makers.

Comment: Rural highways (Score 1) 397

by sjbe (#48195909) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Every section of road I've ever seen that has stop lights also has speed limits much less than 60 mph.

You need to get out more. I have stoplights on the road I live on where the speed limit is 50mph and there are plenty of rural highways with stoplights and speed limits of 60mph. They're not even remotely hard to find. My daily commute has 10 miles of travel with speed limits of (mostly) 55mph and traffic signals at every major intersection.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal evidence from cheap guns (Score 1) 331

by sjbe (#48186841) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

well, we could always ask someone who knows. How about the patent holders for Nylon?

That is one synthetic and quite likely not the most appropriate one. There are plenty of plastics with significantly lower glass transition temperatures. I don't know enough about them personally (I'm not a chemist) to know which might be appropriate for a rifle stock but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a suitable material out there. HDPE maybe? Nylon is used a lot in higher temperature applications so it might not be the right choice for cold.

If you are going into extreme environments (cold, hot, vacuum, underwater, etc) you are very likely going to need different materials than you do for every day use in what we consider normal conditions. If I'm going to be dealing with temperatures of -40C then one should fully expect to need specialty gear and that obviously could include a rifle stock. I remain unconvinced that there is no synthetic material that would be suitable for a rifle stock in very cold weather.

Comment: Re:Pace of innovation (Score 1) 251

by sjbe (#48181107) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Jobs used to do yearly hardware updates of iDevices with at least one big new feature. Retina displays, Siri, that sort of thing. Apple seems to have stopped doing that now, unless maybe you count the rather underwhelming fingerprint scanner.

Technology released since Steve Jobs died include but isn't limited to: ApplePay, Lighting cables, the iPad Mini, Touch ID (which is NOT underwhelming), larger screens, IOS7 and IOS8, Mavericks, Yosemite, AppleWatch, Healthkit, Homekit, Continuity, 2nd Gen Mac Pro, iCloud, 64 bit Aseries processors, iTunes Match, Family Sharing, and probably more I'm not thinking of off the top of my head. Plus of course various and numerous incremental improvements to their existing product lines.

Now some of these were in development while Steve was still alive but pretending that Apple hasn't done anything since he died is willfully ignoring the facts. Is it enough? Time will tell. But the notion that Apple stopped innovating the moment they threw the first shovel of dirt on Steve Jobs is absurd.

NFC and health apps are a good example of what they do now. Features that have been around for a few years, playing catch-up. I

And yet NFC is barely used and health apps remain poorly integrated with existing technology. I haven't yet seen a single person use a phone for NFC payments in person. I know some do here and there but it's hardly commonplace. Same with phone based health apps that aren't on iPhones. Some people use Fitbits etc but they don't integrate well and the ones that do integrate don't do so any better to Android than to iOS. Health monitoring devices and apps are in their infancy and NOBODY has really cracked that market - not Apple or anyone else.

In fact NFC is kind of a joke because you can only use it for payment, meaning a clunky Bluetooth interface is the only way to transfer small amounts of data between devices and you can't use NFC tags.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. NFC has nothing to do with Bluetooth and is used for different purposes. Saying NFC is only used for payments is hardly damning. That is a huge deal. The company that cracks contactless payments with smartphones is very likely to rake in a ton of money. Apple's new ApplePay service has as good a shot at it as anything I've seen. We'll see if it pans out in due time of course.

Comment: Standard parts and ammo (Score 1) 331

by sjbe (#48180885) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

If you have "unfailing reliability" why change it? It's a weapon not a computer.

Several possible reasons come to mind. Using more standard ammunition is probably the most likely reason. Same with parts and repairs. Good as the 303 might be, it might be causing some significant logistical heartburn getting specialty ammo out to remote locations. They can be converted to a standard 7.62 NATO round but it's probably not worth the trouble.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.