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Comment: Turn off Facebook video autoplay (Score 3, Informative) 108

by trawg (#47848737) Attached to: Facebook's Auto-Play Videos Chew Up Expensive Data Plans

If you're logged into Facebook, this link should take you straight to the settings page where you can disable the auto-playing of videos:

This should work for most people - although my brother (on Mac OS X) was not able to see the 'Videos' sub-menu (which for me appears in the list on the left at the very bottom).

I only use the FB website on my mobile (the constant addition of new permissions turned me off the app), and am not sure if you can disable it within the app.

Comment: Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 465

by trawg (#47732237) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

I don't think anyone here disagrees that what he did was wrong and he should be punished - certainly most of the comments I've seen agree with that.

I think most people just disagree with the severity of the sentence - jail time for a single instance of copyright infringement just seems completely disproportionate. Putting him in jail costs a fortune - thanks, privatised prisons - and doesn't seem to do much for rehabilitation (in many cases, doing the exact opposite).

Extensive fines, community service, etc - there are other options.

Comment: Re:Gas station (Score 1) 190

by trawg (#47728505) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

And for comparison, just how long does it take to build a gas station?

A great question; I suspect it's a while.

Certainly to get rid of a gas station - at least in Australia - is a big deal. There have been a few removed from my area in the last couple of years; I was amazed that the sites sat empty for so long (premium real estate!) but then discovered that there are regulations from our EPA about how they need to be cleaned.

I think it's a minimum of one year before they can be "reclaimed" for other use. I suspect an electric charging station doesn't require that kind of overhead!

Comment: Vision and attention (Score 1) 142

by trawg (#47623875) Attached to: New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

My partner is a vision and attention researcher, so I've absorbed some fascinating information about how vision and attention are related.

You can be looking at something but not actually paying any attention to it. Further, your attention works differently at different depth planes - so while you might be focused on the HUD thinking that you're still aware of what's happening on the road, you almost certainly are not.

This sounds like an interesting device but - based on my partner's research and what she's said about it - it doesn't seem like it deals gracefully with issues of attention. I think there's definitely the potential for regulatory restrictions on devices like these if greater risk is demonstrated.

Comment: Re:We should add our own encryption??? (Score 2) 176

by trawg (#47522973) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

You realise dropbox is free, right? Why should they do something expensive like offer encryption on a service that is (a) free, and (b) for sharing files. Sharing's hard if your stuff is encrypted, and sharing is the source of most of Dropbox's value.

I'm a paying Dropbox customer.

I would love a feature that lets me client-side encrypt my files before they go to their server; one where the keys never left my machine - being aware that if I lose them, I lose all my data.

I would want the client software to be open source though and suspect that might not be in their interests.

Ultimately though I think they've made a conscious choice to not offer a feature like this not because they don't want to or because NSA, but because they see it as a support nightmare.

I tried a few of the alternatives that do client side encryption - Wuala and SpiderOak. I found them completely painful compared to the simplicity and elegance of Dropbox.

Comment: Re:And what about Economic Terrorism? (Score 1) 242

by trawg (#47520013) Attached to: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

The 1% are just playing the game that US politicians were happy to sell to them. I can't fault them for their scummy behaviour. I can't hate them for taking advantage of a system that is broken.

Your elected officials are supposed to be standing up for the citizens, not selling out their office - and their country - to the lobbyists that basically seem to control the fate.

The really sad part is everyone feels stuck in this two party system, this horrible false dichotomy that has been carefully manoeuvred by interest groups to accomplish basically nothing - except preserving the status quo. Well, and sending it on this downward spiral into a scary police state.

I wish I could contribute to Lessig's Mayday campaign, because it is one of the few genuine attempts at reform, but I'm not a citizen or permanent resident (though I currently live in the US). I volunteered some time to help their technical team and wish I could do more.

Comment: Armstrong was a cool dude (Score 2) 52

by trawg (#47505033) Attached to: NASA Names Building For Neil Armstrong

His biography First Man is a great read. Armstrong seemed like a classic "Right Stuff" guy; I'm sure the book paints him in a positive light but after reading it I couldn't think of anyone else I would want to be the first person to set foot on the moon in the name of humanity.

I think a better tribute from NASA would be to get us back to the moon. Maybe they could name the first permanent settlement there after him?

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 0) 45

by trawg (#47426899) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

I would say you are 100% correct - in the Android ecosystem. I am exactly the same; I have a relatively new Nexus 4 and before that I had a Nexus One that I used until it was basically a painful experience because it just kept running out of space.

The N5 is basically the same phone and there's not a lot the Samsungs offer that interest me.

But Apple has a different model - they don't have thousands of different options. It's just one new model every couple years. They have a prestige associated with the iPhone that has almost /nothing/ to do with what the phone can actually do - it's just about having the new phone.

Most of the people I know who live in the iPhone world are largely non-technical types. With few exceptions they all want to be on the latest version - baffling to me as someone that actually looks at features.

Maybe this will taper off but so far I think Apple are just killing it.

Comment: Re:Praise the Courts (Score 1) 532

by trawg (#47330477) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

Isn't that what NY's argument was here? Let's agree to do something to reduce the health care burden by "working together" to reduce the impact of gigantic sugary drinks?

Attempting to limit the problem of unplanned pregnancies by increased focus on planned parenthood is an awesome idea. I'm just not sure how different it is, conceptually, to trying to limit the problem of obesity/mass sugar intake/etc by limiting the size of sugary soft drinks - which I think is a stupid idea. Just not sure how I can reconcile those feelings.

Comment: Re:Nice looking bike... (Score 2) 345

by trawg (#47279265) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

Incorrect. "Loud pipes" are compensation for a small penis.

FWIW, I have several friends that ride bikes. None of them are the sort of people that I would classify as the type that would do something just out of some sort of inferiority complex.

They uniformly tell me that they see loud pipes as a critical safety measure to make drivers aware that they're there.

I do not know if drivers in general (i.e., around the world) are uniformly bad at paying enough attention to notice riders (of bicycles or motorbikes), but certainly here (Brisbane, Australia) people seem to be pretty woeful at their situational awareness when driving.

For me, that is enough to keep me off the road on a bike. I don't even like driving much (my car was new in ~2004 and now has ~38,000km on it).

One of my motorobike riding friends was recently hit by a clueless driver while on a bicycle.

tldr: enough drivers are so bad at being aware of what is aorund them that loud pipes help make riders safer (... or at least, feel safer. I don't know if there is data showing that they are).

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 1) 142

by trawg (#47115753) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

What that guy probably means is that he bought a policy on the Obamacare exchange, and his doctor wouldn't see him because he doesn't accept that policy.

But that can happen anyway, right? Presumably doctors change what insurance they accept at certain times depending on what market conditions exist and how they go with the various insurance companies they have to deal with?

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins