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Comment Re:I'm not sure this is the right response (Score 1) 140

Except it wasn't about vigilantes taking down an illegal website because society hadn't stepped up to the task. They stole personal data and are now trying to blackmail people with it. Where are the vigilantes who watch over the vigilantes?

Except no such thing happened. Impact Team blackmailed AM - either shut down AM and EM (established men - a prostitution site), or the data will be released. If they wanted to blackmail people, they could've done it, but didn't. Now everyone else is.

And I don't really have much sympathy for users either - Impact Team made a big splash over a month ago when they said they had the data. That means all their users had a month to own up to their significant others. The fact is, they gave Avid Life Media (who own many dating sites besides AM and EM) plenty of time to either contact users that their information may be compromised (1 whole month!), but instead everyone hunkered down and hoped someone was either bluffing or lying.,

Comment Re:CEOs stepping down (Score 1) 140

Protip: The CEO stepping down after a public embarrassment has never been anything other than a publicity stunt to save face. It does not represent remorse or an intent to change policy. At most, it means "we want someone who will do continue to do the same things we've always done but, somehow, will magically make these revelations stop happening".

I think it's more revealing that AM with full consent of the executives were caught doing the same thing to a competitor. AM is not clean and neither are its executives whose email showed them encouraging hacking of toher sites.

Him stepping down is probably a requirement because AM is not an innocent site helping straying spouses, but also into the same game of hacking competitors. Probably for the same reason.

Hell, for all we know, AM may have been threatening one of their competitors with a database release. It's just going to be a lot less innocent and possibly, the execs will have to be charged with the same crimes as the Impact Team.

Comment Re:A simple test is in order (Score 1) 310

Pretend to use a cellphone in her presence. When she starts complaining of symptoms and discomfort, show her that the phone not only isn't on, that it doesn't even have a battery in it so there's no chance it could have been on.

I did something similar to this with a friend of mine who claimed to be able to see infrared light from TV remotes. While he wasn't looking I removed the batteries from one, then called his name and when he turned around, pointed it at him and pushed buttons. He complained about how much that hurt his eyes, and how could I do that to him? Then I showed him the remote had no batteries in it. Needless to say he was somewhat embarassed. Still claims to be able to 'see' IR light though.

Well, I'm apt to believe this lady more than the other case. Why? Because EMF sensitivity is actually real, However, it's generally NOT frequency specific, so you pretty much have to isolate yourself.

There's a guy in Finland who worked for Ericcson who suffered from it, and he got a special EMF suit that worked for a couple of years. He lives out in the countryside far from civilization - including cellphones, power lines, etc.

This lady does the same - she's living far from civilization with no electricity, which lends credence to her symptoms.

However, the problem is, this is two cases among millions who claim the condition. You can easily tell who's BS'ing the condition because they're among regular people - if you have this condition, you have to move to basically pre-civilization. You can't have a car, no cellphones, no electricity, nothing. You can use gas appliances like a stove, but you can't use a motor (with electric spark based ignition).

So what's the easiest way to tell? If they're not isolating themselves in far off places with basically no one around, then it's likely real. If they're still walking in normal civilized areas, it's fake. Sorry, if you have this condition, self-isolation is the only way to get relief. You cannot claim to be "sick of WiFi" when you're walking down the street in any city or town - if you really had the condition, the EMF from *power lines* will do you in. And forget about using technology.

So maybe this lady has the problem. But you know who doesn't? Everyone else. Those who live in the "quiet zone" certainly aren't affected by EMF (remember, power lines also affect them, ditto with cars and other technology). The lady saying WIFi made her kid sick isn't real either - if her kid was really sick from EMF, she'd move to the middle of nowhere.

It's a real condition, but you'll know if the person is lying or not just by how they act. If they're out miles from civilization, no technology, no electricity, no cars or other ICE style locomotion (steam, and old-style diesel engines are fine), then it's likely real. If you're mingling in normal civilization with technology, cellphones, internet, cars, computers, TV, radio, tablets, etc., it's fake. The affliction is pretty broadband going down all the way to practically DC,

Oh yeah, if you want visitors, they have to park their vehicles about a mile away, so you'll want to provide them with a bicycle or other human-powered conveyance. (And no, you can't visit them, because the EMF will be unbearable once you get close).

With that criteria, you can tell Chuck from Better Call Saul is definitely faking it.

Comment Re:I've had this as a plug-in. (Score 1) 127

I don't believe Google employs Flash ads, or at least I have never seen this done. I'd imagine every other manner of ad can still poke its way through to anybody not using an ad blocker, regardless of its source.

Not Google directly, but the ad networks they do own do.

Google controls the vast majority of ad networks online, and chances are, those flash ads are indirectly tracable to Google. DoubleClick and others still serve them up, after all (and Google acquired them many years ago).

Anyhow, autoplay of HTML5 videos will probably die out like the blink attribute - sure it's in the spec, but almost no one will obey it.

Comment Re:truth is... (Score 1) 90

After building a few things with atmel-chip Arduino boards in the last couple years I gave in to my curiosity and bought a couple cheaper CLPD and FPGA boards. On electronics forums there's always people moaning "oh god not another arduino user" and whining how "there's so many other boards that are faster/have more cores/ect ect/why are you still using atmel shit". I ended up choosing Altera-chip boards, for no particular reason. Lower-end Altera or Xlinix boards can be had for $10-$15 from the orient-direct sites. A USB JTAG programmer costs another $5, if one wasn't included. The cost isn't the problem here.

No, it's not cost. It's not power. It's community.

The Arduino is popular because it has a relatively low barrier of entry, and sketches aren't hard to produce. But even then it has one thing other boards don't - there's a community around it helping produce libraries and helping people develop their hardware. So if you wanted to get started, there's millions of tutorials out there helping you from taking it out of the box, installing the software, and getting it to do your bidding within a few minutes.

Sure it's inefficient as heck. But it is easy. And if you're not sure, there's always plenty of people around able to help you figure out the problem.

And it's not all too different in the commercial world - often times, the reason someone picks one thing over another is simply support - if the company is willing to provide support, they'll get picked over someone less willing to support their product.

And heck, I've seen development boards. The ones our company produces are pretty much ready to go once you open the box and apply power to it. You don't have to scramble and sign licenses and other stuff to get binaries that require special licensing after you bought the board - you can be productive immediately after the board arrives on your doorstep.

Comment Re:Its easier now (Score 1) 108

The problem is there is trivial and then there is trivial. Yeah you can get a notepad clone up and going quickly. But if you want to compete with other editors that are out there for free you need to add syntax highlighting, efficient support for large files, likely tabbed content support, fonts, good search, potentially regex support etc. In short: we rarely need to create something completely new now. But we have an endless list of required features to compete. Often few are technically difficult to implement just a huge amount of work to get through and lots of nit-picky things like borders on controls rendering differently on different browsers and the like. You're not solving one of lifes mysteries but you still might burn a week figuring out why one does it different than the other and finding what magic combo makes all browsers happy at the same time.

Or rather, those features came out because the programmer involved didn't have to worry about a lot of stuff - type rendering, graphics, even a lot of the UI is already socked away nicely by the OS. Back in the old days, all that stuff had to be written from scratch, and if you're dealing with PCs, the hassles of configuring the various video modes and such.

Now it's abstracted away, and we can turn to adding real value to the programs rather than just boilerplate. A clone of notepad is trivial, which is the point - we can get the basics going with little work. Then we can add the hard stuff like syntax highlighting, regex and other things that go to the core of the editor, not fluff like how to display a menu and things we don't care about.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 391

No real drivers focus on actually driving and not updating their fb status. Parallel parking is not rocket science it just requires some focus and skill. What is destroying the car industry is all the hippster douche inept millenial lazy fairies. When i was 12 i couldnt wait to get my driver's licence these days the skinny jeans wearing fairies are more interested in posing selfies while duckfacing than being a man who wants to hone his skills

That's because for most people these days, driving is a chore. And North America is especially bad because most places require a car in order to do anything or get anywhere, instead of other places where there's great public transit and people use them.

So what we have here is a bunch of people who do not want to drive, but are forced to. So yeah, they're not going to be drivers because they want to, they're forced to drive. All the inanity on the roads is because they're really wanting to be anywhere else other than behind the wheel.

Face it -forcing people to do things isn't in general a great way to get the to appreciate it. We see it in school where forcing students to read is a great way to kill any desire of reading, ditto with math, science and other subjects, including driving.

Those other places with great public transit like Europe? You know why their drivers are skilled? Because those who don't care to drive, don't have to. I mean, you see how they parallel park - in the gaps North Americans leave between cars, they'd park yet another car in there.

But that's because the drivers do it because they want to, not because they have to.

Comment Re:Will probably fail (Score 1) 94

Some people will probably use it, but it'll be hard to convince people to move away from Twitch, not because it is any better, but because Google isn't really offering any compelling reason to move.

It's like they assume that just because they are Google, people will immediately jump ship. And we all know how well that worked with Google plus...

Well, I can see two places where Google can fix things.

First is ads - twitch is freaking annoying to watch for me - 30 seconds of content, followed by 30 seconds of ads I don't care about (I got tired of the 100th beer ad I saw the past 100 times). All the time you wonder what you're missing in those 30 seconds.

Since Google is the king of ads, if they can solve that problem by mixing the ad with stream or a side-by-side view, that's way more acceptable than simply blocking out the content for the ad. Or do the popup ad thing like on YouTube.

The other thing is better streaming technology - Flash is so dated, and the latency can be terrible. I was watching a livestream because we were playing a game together that required sharing the screen - it was easily a good 30-45 seconds delayed.

Comment Re:attention (Score 1) 134

My problem is, my phone is more interesting than most conversations during social events. I'm socially awkward at best, with esoteric interests. I can only hold a conversation on LeBron or Beyonce for about two minutes before I am bored.

Depending on the event, if there are sufficient people, you will be astounded that you'll be able to find someone who is at least tangentially interested in something you're interested in.

And the trick is to either remove yourself and insert yourself in another group, find someone standing alone and strike up conversation (there are socially awkward people who attend events too, and at least you two have one thing in common).

You won't believe how many people don't care about LeBron or Beyoncé or Kardashian or whatever. They're more than happy to discuss the weather, or even your "esoteric" interests.

Hell, your esoteric interests may be the most interesting conversation among the people who are also bored as hell. A lot of the time, they discuss weather or sports or something as a non-offensive, generic topic of conversation, hoping someone will be able to steer it to something more interesting.

Comment Re:Yeah right... (Score 1) 76

More like the gizmo will never get made unless they have money from elsewhere and are using Kickstarter only as a marketing campaign

You seem to think that's a bad thing. It's the purest form of market research there is - not only did you get people interested in your thing, but you got them to put money behind it.

Everyone on /. keeps saying "they don't make a phone with features X Y and Z that I need, there must be a market". Well, the best way to find out if there really is a market other than you is to try to build it and then get others to buy into it. If you can't raise the money, well, either the market's not as big as you think (and that's why your feature requests are ignored), or you did a terrible job marketing (which you can tell if people are saying "well I would've got it if I knew about it").

Kickstarter is great for that purpose - I've participated in more than a few of them. Sure, they're always late and there's always some issue or another, but it shows the potential.

If you're a startup looking for seed money, being able to answer the question of "but do people want it" and showing them your Kickstarter page showing that 20,000 people have already contributed halfway through is a powerful indicator of potential sales.

Remember, Kickstarter means you found people who are not only interested in your thing, but interested enough to go "TAKE MY MONEY!".

And yes, Kickstarters fail all the time, just like the regular market. Brilliant inventions and stuff disappears as companies go out of business. The only difference is instead of some executive saying this is what we thing people want, creators can literally ask people if they potentially want it.

Comment Re:Cops shouldn't be allowed to take control (Score 1) 234

Exactly.

There should be no remote control capabilities. It should be based on existing standards for controlling traffic.

So the traffic cop controlling traffic? His hand signals are all the control required - they're standard and both human and electronic drivers need to be able to read them and recognize them. That's all the control you need. If an autonomous vehicle disobeys, it's just like a regular human driver disobeying - a traffic citation.

Emergency? Well lights and sirens means pull over to let them pass, so again, car recognizes those signals and does just that.

No remote control capabilities are needed - they shouldn't need anything more than the rules of the road. Why should they need the capability to remotely stop your car when the laws already cover those cases? If a cop tries to pull you over and you refuse, there's already existing law and it makes no difference if it's a human driver or an electronic one refusing to pull over.

Just treat them the same. There is no need for remote control, since disobeying is the same regardless.

Comment Re:Exceeds state authority (Score 1) 188

Maybe this is exactly why California is proposing the bill - to wake the FAA up and get them to do something

That assumes the FAA can just pass a magic wand and the bill is passed.

There are a LOT of stakeholders in this - you have airlines (who have to deal with drones near commercial airports), the military, and general aviation. All of whom have differing and conflicting views. There has to be adequate consultation with those stakeholders, and then you have to talk to the people who operate drones.

Then comes the hard part of trying to balance everyone's concerns and interests against each other. I mean, do you divide drones into various categories? How do you handle licensing (if necessary)? What criteria do you use for classification (battery life? Size? weight?)? If drones are using the system, how do they pay for its use (e.g., ATC and other facilities for general aviation are paid in fuel taxes)? Are there any regulations that need to be adapted and changed to include drones, exclude drones, or take into account drones?

There's no way things like this can be done overnight - there's too much at stake, and it's way too easy to come up with bad legislation.

Comment Re:We like them (Score 1) 252

We realize they aren't pushing the cheapest priced products, it's the convenience we are looking for (prices are comparable to grocery stores, a bit higher than Wally World, at least for the things we use them for).

Well, the problem is it isn't pushing the cheapest price of the product. It just dings you regular price - even if the website has a better deal for you. So if you pay $10 for laundry detergent, and Amazon's website has it on special for $7, you push the button, you're dinged $10, leaving Amazon to pocket $3 more in profit.

And that ignores other specials - perhaps 1 bottle is $10. Amazon carries 2 for $15. Push button, get 1 bottle for $10. Push it for two, you get dinged 2 bottles for $10 each, instead of the $15 bundle.

That's why it's considered "good for Amazon" - they can push you into paying more for the convenience of not having to go to their website and scanning for deals to save money.

(You could, in theory, just put the barcode where you would put your button, then use the amazon app to scan it with your phone and select your deal).

So yeah, they're great for the ultra-lazy who will give up the ability to save a few bucks just to avoid shopping on the website (or app). And no, it's not an emergency if you can wait for the shipping.

Comment Re:Moronic (Score 1) 157

A design can be bad by virtue of not taking into account typical use cases. While I don't think I'd put the stylus in the wrong way I could easily see a kid or a non tech savvy person doing it. And if it happens then the design should save the user from a catastrophic error such as the damage or destruction of their phone.
e.g. Nintendo manages this feat in the DS / 3DS by having a square profile at the top of the stylus. Put the DS stylus in the wrong way and it won't fit. It shouldn't be any harder for Samsung to solve - taper the stylus or make the non writing end a little larger than the shaft so it can't be inserted the wrong way around.

Putting the pen in backwards can also be done intentionally - they go into a holder and you need to eject it to use it again. Sometimes you're just switching between doing a lot of tapping to a lot of writing, and it's handy to put the pen away temporarily. For these cases, I put the pen in backwards - they generally get stuck halfway in so instead of fiddling with getting it ejected, I just grab the end sticking out (especially since some ejection mechanisms don't push the stylus out far enough so it's a tough grab).

It's surprising how many stylus based devices this works on and how handy it is not having to futz with getting the pen out.

Now, the pen isn't locked into position, but if you're switching between stylus and other control inputs, it beats holding it the entire time.

Submission + - Backwards S-Pen can permanently damage Note 5->

tlhIngan writes: Samsung recently released a new version of its popular Galaxy Note series phablet, the Note 5. However, it turns out that there is a huge design flaw in the design of its pen holder (which Samsung calls the S-pen). If you insert it backwards (pointy end out instead of in), it's possible for it get stuck damaging the S-pen detection features. While it may be possible to fix it (Ars Technica was able to, Android Police was not), there's also a chance that your pen is also stuck the wrong way in permanently as the mechanism that holds the pen in grabs the wrong end and doesn't let go.
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