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Comment: Re:More like a bad design for voting system (Score 1) 57 57

There's also "Bulworth":

Politician is finished due to $I_don't_remember, and decides to put a contract on his
own head. So now that he doesn't give a damn anymore, he is honest towards everybody
for the rest of the campaign (and his life), which unexpectedly proves to be hugely popular.

It doesn't end well.

Comment: Re:Yes, but can it launch Waze (Score 1) 235 235

"What is the population of capital of the country in which Space Needle is located?"

Hound correctly surmises that he's asking for the population of Washington, DC...

The Space Needle is in Seattle.

Correct. Which is in the US, the country with D.C. as its capital.
Read the question again...

Comment: Re:C is not what people think it means (Score 1) 226 226

Wrong. But you illustrate perfectly what I meant when I said the way relativity is taught confuses people. You are actually a member of the vast majority of people that think you can't travel to a destination in less time than it would take light. You can!

No you can't.

If a light ray and your super rocket start from the same point towards the
same destination, the light will always be there first.

The effect of slowed down "clock time" in the rocket doesn't do anything
that would permit you to overtake the light.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 737 737

It could still be hypoxia. Have a look at this video of someone trying to solve trivial tasks while oxygen deprived,
getting things hilariously wrong while happily being completely unaware of the fact.
(That's why "put on your own mask before helping others" is so important: If you don't,
it is very likely that you'll be too far gone to help anyone, yourself included.)

The pilot might have tried to unlock the door, might even have been sure he'd done
it multiple times – while repeatedly activating the lookout.

The descent is a bit trickier, but can still be explained by "completely stupid due to
oxygen deprivation": A descent is usually programmed at some time towards the end
of the flight, and he has done so hundreds of times before – so he did it again.

On the other hand, cockpit doors are solid, but not airtight, so the effect should extend to the
rest of the aircraft after some time. That's a point for premeditation.

Man, I so hope it was hypoxia...

Comment: Re:feels like the 419. (Score 1) 229 229

in Indias case, rampant corruption and high unemployment combined with a tech industry that favours low worker pay and aggressively combats everything from workplace safety to union organization and benefits has led to the tech support scam, born from the confidence and trust of americans and europeans accustomed to the dulcet tones of the south asian tech support worker.

Americans and Britons (what about Canadians?). I doubt you'd find many
Indians fluent enough in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, ...
who'd be available for this kind of scam.

Comment: Re:But can we believe them? (Score 3, Informative) 99 99

Why aren't phones generating their own keys when they're activated at the store? Burn a fusible link if necessary. This would be more secure _and_ cheaper for the carriers. Oh, because NSA has plants on the GSM committees?

No, because the subscriber identity is linked to the SIM card (it's in the name...),
and not to the phone. You can switch a SIM card into any phone (some simlock
issues excluded) and just keep going with your one subscriber identity.

Or put another SIM card in your phone and use a completely different one.
It's great when traveling.

It's a feature - it's even a "we actually want this" kind of feature.

Comment: Re:Company does exactly what it says it does... (Score 5, Informative) 619 619

In the past the end user can still opt to not see any ads, even if they comply with the "acceptable ads" policy. This would be news if they are making a change so that the end user is forced to see a given ad that the advertiser pays extra for, regardless of their extension settings.

They are not.

Comment: Re:Encryption chips? (Score 1) 378 378

If a card is stolen and known stolen, the owner can report the theft and the card is deactivated, whether or not it contains an "encryption chip". If the card is stolen and the owner does not know it was stolen, and the thief also has the pin, then they can use the card, whether or not it has an "encryption chip".

The "not knowing it is stolen" is the point: Magstripe cards can be trivially copied.

The chips do an actual challenge-response handshake with a secret that never leaves the
chip, and cannot be copied (at least not without decapping and some very high end lab gear,
thereby also destroying the card - which prevents the "swipe card through a copying reader
and hand it back" attack).

Comment: Re:Related - the clack of wheels on the tracks (Score 1) 790 790

Guess you don't live in a cold part of the world in the winter, or where it can hit 35C+ in the summer. Around here in Canada, we use 30-50m segments that aren't welded because the tracks shrink and expand so much. Once the temps drop to -20C here, you can lose over an 3cm, and once it gets over 35C with the train's on them they can expand over 10cm causing them to warp off the bed.

Then that's a cheap bed and rail mounting, there's no technical reason for it.

I do live where it routinely gets over 30C, and -20C isn't unheard of (we hit it
two winters ago, and -12C was just last week) - and all rail on main lines is welded.
The expansion and contraction forces are completely dissipated by proper
mounting to the sleepers and go into the ballast, even at those temperatures.

Welding itself can only happen during "neutral" temperatures though, somewhere around 2C

Also: really, slashdot, no degree sign - not even using the HTML entity?

Comment: Re:Yeah and it does things your i5 cannot (Score 2) 197 197

You're actually incorrect. There's enough radiation to lock up computers in low earth orbit, including on board the ISS.

Not really, no. They run quite a lot of unmodified, off-the shelf, near-current-generation laptops on the ISS
(most new crews bring a couple of laptops and leave most of them them there, while only broken ones are
put in the "garbage trucks"). They don't run any worse than on the ground.

True, none of those is mission-critical as in "a failure will kill the crew", but some are experiment-result-critical.
The people designing the experiments apparently are fine with that, so it can't be that bad.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"