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Comment Re:This is what happens.. (Score 1) 494

I'm sure at some point someone in engineering said that this was wrong, that they shouldn't cheat like this.

Perhaps, but I suspect it's more likely that someone in engineering said, "Hey, ugh, you know you can't really hide this little forever, right? It's going to get discovered at some point either by EPA statistics analysis showing vast differences in results depending on testing methodology or by the aftermarket guys disassembling our ECU code and talking on the forums."

Engineering *had* to know this was going to get discovered at some point. That's what really amazes me here. Why on earth would you be so stupid as to proceed down a path you knew full well was going to exploded in your face? Someone ignored that warning.

Comment How was this detected? (Score 1) 411

I wonder who discovered this software bug and how it was detected. I can understand someone running stats to determine a ratio of cars of a certain make/model failing road side sniffers vs. the same make/model passing the test at testing stations. But do they really do that or is this a case of some aftermarket enthusiasts sifting through the ECU code and "chatting" about the interesting results they found? I can't find any mention of how it was detected, only that it was.

Comment Re:i'm waiting for actual enforcement of 2nd amend (Score 1) 698

all we need is testing and licensing before you get a gun.

Oh, you mean we need some subjective restriction in place so that we can start expanding what's "good enough" on that test until nobody can actually qualify? I see. Excellent idea. It worked in MD with their requirements on concealed carry permits, right? Oh, sure, sure, MD has a concealed carry permit option. Just submit qualifications and the state police will dutifully review and blanket reject, I mean carefully consider, your application based on merit.

Comment Re:Yeesh (Score 1) 584

This becomes rediculously obvious to anyone who has spent any time around little kids.

As a father of two girls, observing the behavior of them and their friends at home and in the day-care, it *is* rediculously obvious that it the girl have just a big inclination as the boys to play with cars, lego bricks and Spiderman costumes. It is the parents - mostly the mothers - who buy them all the pink princess crap.

Ugh. I was going to ignore it in the first post but now people are quoting and repeating it. What's *ridiculous* is that nobody can fscking spell ridiculous!!! I'm not exactly a grammar Nazi, but damn, come on! Doesn't that spell checker in your browser work!? Even if you don't know how to spell it, doesn't the big red underline on the word clue you in?

I'm going to go ahead and assume you're still using Lynx and have it configured for some ancient version of vi that didn't have any sort of spell checker built into it. That's the only way I'm going to be able to sleep tonight.

Comment Re:How do you spend 1/3 a billion $ and get Firefo (Score 1) 161

Presumably a good chunk goes into keeping the accommodations, uh, humble....

It's funny how well an organization can get along working out of a simple little office building until they have money coming in and then they need a big, fancy headquarters.

Comment Re:Subaru Impreza (Score 1) 195

They are ridiculously easy to take apart and put parts in, everything is setup very logically, and parts are interchangeable within a few years of the model.

Kind of a bummer, though, that the fun version had port-side injectors and a top-mount intercooler. How long to change plugs? Seriously?

Comment From another OEM fighting couterfeit copies (Score 4, Insightful) 572

We had a similar situation come up with one of our older products. People copied our initial hardware designs some 12 years ago, built (crappy) knock offs and sold them as their own along with copies of our chips to go along with it. The black market was clearly going to run us out of business and I despised the idea of having to basically compete with ourselves just to keep handing new features over to leeches. It was infuriating to the point that I had seriously considered just shutting the business down and moving on to other things.

Instead, we spent a LOT of time redesigning our stuff to prevent anyone from (reasonably) being able to do that again. We basically wasted an entire year just dealing with counterfeit issue rather than improving our core product.

Luckily it paid off and we were able to shut that whole black market segment down. But at one point we had to consider the same option FTDI did. We gave thought to effectively bricking devices that we were able to identify as counterfeit or, worse, someone would send us one of these counterfeit packages asking us for support or service on the item. We had to basically return to them a chip and adapter we knew, without a doubt, was a bogus copy of our stuff.

It was hard, but we knew full well we could not possibly damage or keep something they had purchased through what they considered legitimate channels. FTDI should have realized this as well. They royally screwed up on this one.

It's a little strange, though, because if you buy something somewhere and it ends up being a stolen item, you're obligated to give it back to the original owner. I mean the police trail leads to your doorstep, you're out the item you bought whether you knew it was stolen or not. I guess the same concept doesn't applied to IP somehow. I'm not even sure how it would. I guess IP isn't really "property" after all.

Comment Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (Score 1) 248

From Wikipedia: "The radio program This American Life reported in 2009, that, contrary to claims made in the case, the accident report contained no information on the secret equipment on the plane except to note that secret equipment was present, a fact which had been reported in the press at the time. The program interviewed the daughter of one of the crash victims who described the government's claims in the case as fraudulent."

So, basically, you and a crash victim's daughter describe the government's claims as fraudulent. Great. Oh and probably a number of plaintiff lawyers on the victim's side when the whole mess was retried too. But they're always claiming stuff is true right up until it's proven false in court and then they're "terribly disappointed" by the verdict.

Bottom line here is that the case was retried because a bunch of people were convinced the original claim was fraudulent and STILL some FIFTY years later, the courts found the claim to be valid. It was appealed and the District Court found they were valid too. Nobody had any dog in the fight any more at that point. So if the claims still seemed valid to those guys that specialize in such matters, I'm inclined to believe them. There was no fraudulent claim to privilege at the time and we need to stop yelling there was. Even if you disagree with the decision, you have to accept that there's enough gray area in this case to warranty a little restraint in the usage of it as an example everywhere.

However, the cause of the plane crash was determined to be a fire in the engine. What does a fire in the engine have to do with secret surveillance equipment on the plane? Why would an engine fire be privileged? How would its disclosure impact national security?

No...not the cause, the report itself. They didn't want to release the report. It contained broader information that they didn't want other governments to know at the time. It had no specific secret equipment details, but it did have mission details that (when considered 50 years ago) were secret. Read the 2005 appeal section of that wiki pedia article you quoted. And keep in mind that the original plaintiffs in the case were offered unrestricted access to the remaining survivor and turned it down. They could have surely gotten the information they needed about the fire had they just called that survivor to the stand. But, no, they wanted the full report released and then everything got all hung up at that point.

Comment Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (Score 3, Informative) 248

It should be noted that in the seminal case that established the state secrets privilege, United States v. Reynolds, the government used the national security argument to hide negligence.

That original claim to privilege was retested in the early 2000s once those "secret" documents had been declassified and *still* the court found that the government had *not* abused its state secrets privilege. It may be your opinion that the government tried to hide negligence, but that's not the accepted opinion and not the one reached by many trained scholars (judges, lawyers) actually practicing in the field on a daily basis. So perhaps you should remove the tin foil hat covering your eyes every once in a while and consider that there may be more to some things than you might first think.

Now, that said, I'm no big government promoter. Far from it. You can read some of my prior comments for examples. What I don't want are for people to discredit the entire concept of major government reform by making such broad statements without addressing the (potentially legitimate) counter arguments. Taken in context, those original claims to state secret privileges seem relevant to me in this particular case.

Comment Code less, get out more (Score 5, Insightful) 548

I wish I had learned to balance real life with coding life sooner. I used to do the same zillion hour marathons everyone else did at one point or another in their coding careers. I loved the challenge and being the one producing the results. But then, eventually, I realized there's really a LOT more out there than that tiny little challenge/reward cycle. Biking, hiking, sports with friends, whatever. You can easily burn through 10-15 years of your YOUNG life living the code only to realize later when you're not so young any more that there were TONS of things you would have enjoyed doing more. You can make up some of that, but not nearly all.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss