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Comment: Re:Benefits are Overstated (Score 1) 172

by tapspace (#48834807) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

I never said that the technology itself is evil. In a world with a trustworthy government and corporations which care about security, this could be an amazing technology. I am a security professional. It's not enough to merely evaluate what the product does. We have to evaluate what other things it COULD do once installed. Western governments are famous for scope creep with their technological endeavors. And, western corporations are famous for their sleaziness.

Comment: Benefits are Overstated (Score 2, Insightful) 172

by tapspace (#48833871) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

First of all, the government has acted irresponsibly with the powers it already has. Giving them the ability to remotely control our appliances is a terrible idea. We have to fix the problem with the unaccountable government and lack of societal trust before we start even thinking about these sorts of pie-in-the-sky, cooperative efforts which require a VERY high amount of accountability by those in control.

Second of all, even if the government can be trusted, the companies that will build these things will not take security seriously. I won't say maybe; I won't say possibly. Definitely. These things will definitely not be secure. Most companies still think they can just take a half-hearted crack at security, let marketing make it sound impermeable to the masses and act surprised when it comes out that the security was crap in the first place. It's pretty much the industry model at this point.

Finally, and most importantly, it's not even clear that smart meters will have the intended effect, that people adjust usage. As another commenter pointed out, when everyone is using electricity at the same time, there is usually a reason for that.

My fear is that these devices will be forced upon the public (they already are forcing the "smart" meters on us), and when the evidence is gathered that consumers don't adjust usage voluntarily, it will be done by force. And, the government does absolutely nothing to make me think this won't happen. Why should we, the public, accept this?

Comment: Re:Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by tapspace (#48745113) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Have you pondered that the purpose is to cut the "think of the children" argument off at the pass? It's up to the rest of us to defeat that logic now before it's too late. I, personally, support Defense Distributed pushing the envelope with both 3D printers and gun rights. What value does a free society have if we cannot tackle the difficult questions like adults?

Comment: Is It Worth Getting a New Job Over? (Score 1) 420

by tapspace (#48701715) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

At what point does a bad office layout drive you to seek new employment? It might seem ridiculous at first cut, but if you work in a terrible office, it really drags on you. And, better yet, how does one find out at a new job exactly what the work environment is like? Interviews are not usually done near the cube farm. Do you ask to see an example section of the building?

Comment: Re:Already lost the "complete freedom" argument... (Score 1) 129

by tapspace (#48547923) Attached to: Economist: US Congress Should Hack Digital Millennium Copyright Act

While your comment is completely reasonable out of context, in the context of this discussion it is completely anti-freedom. The problem here is that the DMCA makes rights opt-in by government, rather than out-out. That is to say that laws like the DMCA assume that you have no rights unless the government or a corporation allows you them explicitly. That is so anti-American it makes me want to vomit. The standard arrangement needs to be that you can do with your property whatever you please as long as you aren't violating other laws which are in place to secure others' safety, the environment, etc.

In summary, you are right that in a civilized society, we can't just do whatever we please, but you are wrong that a sensible solution is to make a law which carte blanche disallows consumers from free modification of their own property. That's like the worst solution to the problem. In a free society (assuming that's what we are), the solution is to create laws which narrowly limit freedoms to promote public good on an ad hoc basis for an explicit and narrow purpose and rely on tort law to fill the gap until such time that new laws with reasonable scope can be created as needed.

Comment: Honey over Vinegar (Handsfree Features) (Score 1) 326

by tapspace (#47901867) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

I've read about this guy's idea, and I can see why it won't catch on. It feels very nanny state. It seems like if we're going to mandate technology to stop people from using cell phones while driving it should be handsfree technology. If we give teens (for example) a good handsfree alternative to texting in the car, they'll use it. So, let's not spend the money trying to jam communications, something that feels very nannyish and is likely to be worked around by drivers. Let's spend the money and give people and incentive to put down the phone and drive. Handsfree texting and calling would do this. Ford Sync does this, but the system is quite inferior to Siri or Google's voice recognition.

Comment: Re: Who would have thought (Score 1) 194

by tapspace (#47885421) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

I love minivans. I spent the best years of my life in a minivan, as a teen and young 20-something borrowing the family minivan. I loved taking a road trip with 5 friends. I loved the comfort. But minivans are not superior to crossovers (which have largely replaced SUVs in the market) in design, fuel economy, safety or color choice (!?). I've been looking to buy a people hauler, and I've looked at crossovers and SUVs. I like the Ford Flex and the Chrysler Town and Country (the classic minivan!). They are similarly specced in terms of fuel economy, price and safety. In fact, the Ecoboost engine option in the Flex gives it superior fuel economy to most minivans. Design? Not even a contest. The Flex wins. More cubic feet, more fit and finish (barely when compared to a T&C) and better powertrain options. The Flex is not an SUV, but crossovers have largely taken the place of SUVs.

I really don't see the value in minivans anymore. Crossovers are better, and wagons and hatchbacks are a solid option if hauling stuff is your goal. Even SUVs get similar fuel economy to minivans these days, sacrificing people hauling prowess per MPG and ease of drivability for superior design and bad condition drivability. You had some axe to grind, but I think you're like the person who rags in American automobile reliability: stuck in the past.

Comment: Re:The obvious solution... (Score 1, Flamebait) 63

by tapspace (#47816165) Attached to: Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

We couldn't find any of these users in our system, so we knew they weren't customers.

That is demonstrably poor reasoning. Anyone who puts their real name on yelp is an idiot.

What's more, most reviews were factually and demonstrably inaccurate.

Specious, and you've already demonstrated specious reasoning.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you sound like a bad business owner, or in this case your friend is a bad business owner. You're demonstrating the telltale signs. Bad business owners often have a difficulty accepting responsibility. Bad business owners twist the facts to support their own side (you've stated that it not possible that these reviewers were customers). Worst of all, this business has attempted to retaliate against customers (I can see little to no reason to attempt to out the Yelp reviewers if not retaliation).

I have a Yelp account, and it's not in my real name. I leave bad reviews (and good ones). You could say I have a history of making bad reviews. You could also say that this business you are talking about has a history of receiving bad reviews. Yelp is far from perfect, but in business-friendly America, it's one of the most powerful tools we as consumers have to bleed dry bad businesses and bolster good ones. If this business wants friends' reviews visible, those people need to get more active on Yelp. That's it. That's the whole filtering algorithm as best I can tell. If you create a Yelp account for one single review, you get filtered. If you write more reviews, you don't.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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