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Comment Missing Metrics (Score 1) 345

Seems to me that this program is missing some critical metrics of driving safety. As an app it has the potential to monitor other phone activities while driving. I think that beyond the basic GPS based speed / location measurements and the accelerometer data they should be interested in how distracted the driver is by their mobile.

Say they're texting or browsing the web while driving but still doing the speed limit. The way this program is being described there would be no penalty. In reality the driver is by far more of a hazard to those around them and should pay a higher premium as they are more likely to be involved in an incident.

Comment Re:Glad someone is challenging this (Score 1) 566

I understand that speed limits are too low, but you're comlaining about getting a ticket for doing something illegal, because the exact extent to which you were violating the law was off by a fraction?

The thing is with speeding tickets magnitude matters. There is a graduated scale for the fines with larger fines and more points for exceeding the speed limit by more. So yes it makes sense to challenge the magnitude. If you get a ticket for 12 mph over the limit the fine is say $150 plus 2 points (numbers I'm pulling out of my ass but are fairly representative), now if the automated camera is adding 4 mph more on top that puts you at 16 mph over which would then put you at a $225 fine and 3 points. This is a nontrivial difference.

On a side note, as a designer of roads and bridges I can say that the speed limits are influenced by the geometry of the road and the location (i.e. while it may be geometrically possible it is a bad idea to have a residential street posted for 50 mph). There are some cases where unscrupulous towns/villages/cities will post a lower speed limit than the surrounding areas as a way to increase revenue. This is can be challenged court and is frequently overturned. Also in areas where there are lower posted speed limits for things like curves (black on yellow) and construction areas (black on orange) the lower limits per MUTCD are not enforceable as those signs particularly the black on yellow are just suggestions. To lower the posted limit the signs must be the standard regulatory black letters on white they can only jump 10 mph at a time (i.e. you can't go from a 45 to a 25 in one jump) and there must be advance warning signs "reduced speed ahead". When in doubt about a speed limit or regulatory sign or even a traffic light timing consult a good highway engineering text and the MUTCD.

Businesses

Submission + - Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency (fbi.gov) 15

roman_mir writes: This FBI file is about a North Carolina man, who is convicted of minting silver coins, which compete with the currency issued by the US Mint.

The 67 year old is is facing 15 years of prison time and $250,000 fine as well as confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver and silver coins.

Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.

In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.”

Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

Of-course the value of the US dollar under the US government has been in steady decline ever since the creation of the Federal reserve bank. Here is some data on how much value US dollar lost only in the last 25 years.

US Mint does not like competition, so it would be interesting to see its take on JP Morgan announcing that they are accepting physical gold as collateral with its counterparties.

Google

Submission + - Google People Finder Aids Japan Quake Victims (bbc.co.uk)

JustABlitheringIdiot writes: "Google has launched a version of its Person Finder service for people caught up in the Japanese earthquake.

The website acts as a directory and message board so people can look for lost loved ones or post a note saying they are safe.

It is designed to be embedded on websites and social network pages to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Several thousand records were submitted in the first few hours of the service being up."

Comment Re:Use aliases. (Score 1) 323

recieving one rejection letter after another

Whoa, you mean people still send out rejection letters? Generally I never hear back from prospective employers (I've applied to probably 12 different companies over the last year heard back from 1), even when I try to follow up myself I get nowhere. After enough time passes I just give up hope completely.

Comment Re:The smart phone got him off? (Score 1) 254

Plus, they have the incentive of getting a day's pay for just sitting around in court surfing the web on their laptops until the case comes up and gets dismissed.

As a side note, police districts typically pay officers time-and-a-half or double-time for Court time.

Having been involved first hand with several Law Enforcement Agencies and actually knowing people in the courts who are the traffic clerks (they process all those tickets etc.) I can say that at least in my small end of PA the LEO's are not on overtime of any sort while in court. Typically the court block schedules the officers hearings (may attend several hearings back to back) on a day he is on his regularly scheduled shift. The officer then goes "out" at the court, meaning that he is occupied and will not be responding to other calls. After the hearing(s) the officer will then go back "in" and continue responding to incidents as needed. If he is off duty, he comes in on his own accord, most officers will not do that, on extremely rare occasions if you did something crazy or the officer has a bug up his ass will you see them not on a regular shift. If the prosecuting officer cannot attend because they are occupied with another incident or they are off the case is dismissed.

Comment Is it possible (Score 1) 312

to create an alternate to PSN that people with hacked/homebrew systems can access? I see no problem Sony wants to lock you out from their network to preserve the playability/integrity of it, in fact that kinda makes sense to me. Just develop and manage a network just for the people who want to cheat/exploit and then everybody can still play. Access to the alternate network would probably require you to install some sort of patch redirecting your connection there which should be easy enough if the system is already rooted.

That's just my $0.02 if somebody wants to explain I'm more than happy to learn something new.

**Disclaimer** I am not a gamer and know nothing about the PS3

Apple

Submission + - First iPad-Only Newspaper ‘The Daily’ (eweekeurope.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The world’s first iPad-exclusive newspaper ‘The Daily’ will be unveiled today by News Corp

The first digital newspaper designed exclusively for Apple’s iPad is being launched today, with a subscription fee of about 62p a week.

Dubbed ‘The Daily’, the world’s first ‘iNewspaper’ is a joint venture between technology giant Apple and media conglomerate News Corp.

The paper will have neither print nor web edition, as news stories will be pushed directly to subscribed iPad tablets.

However, readers will not receive constant news updates throughout the day. The Daily will issue a single daily edition, following the model of traditional print newspapers.

After months of secret collaboration, the official launch will take place this afternoon in New York, with News Corp executives as well as Apple’s vice president of Internet Services Eddy Cue attending the event.

Botnet

Submission + - Waledac Had Cache of 500k Stolen Accounts (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers have discovered that the gang behind the once-and-future botnet Waledac has gathered nearly 500,000 stolen passwords for email accounts, along with close to 125,000 sets of pilfered credentials for FTP accounts.

The discovery isn't so surprising in its details, but rather in its scope. There are a slew of Trojans and info-stealing pieces of malware around these days that are designed specifically to seek out and steal this kind of data. Email passwords, which often are simple and reused on other accounts by victims, can give attackers access to far more than just a victim's mundane message exchanges with friends. Email accounts can lead to online banking credentials, credit card accounts and other high-value data.

Researchers at The Last Line of Defense, a security firm comprising professors and grad students from universities around the world, analyzed the data that the Waledac crew had gathered and found that the email credentials were being used in spam campaigns designed to evade real-time blacklists and other filters.

Idle

Submission + - When the system bug is actually a person (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: An anonymous IT developer tells the tale of his first big project: developing a purchasing system. It worked flawlessly, but after a few months, purchase orders stopped happening. As he investigated the cause, he found no technical issues. But the company had made one change that showed how even perfect technology can't overcome human behavior.
Security

Submission + - Hackers Capitalizing on New Vulnerabilities Faster (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A report released today showed that in January, hackers were quicker to respond to and exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities. According to the report, there was a 61 percent exploitation rate of new vulnerabilities discovered in January — in a typical month, exploit activity falls between 30 percent and 40 percent — making this a significant spike.

Half of there new vulnerabilities rated as "critical" were targeted, opening doorways for an attacker to execute any command(s) on a target machine...

NASA

Submission + - NASA Finds 20 New Comets, 33,000-Plus Asteroids (ibtimes.com)

iamrmani writes: NASA said its Near-Earth Object WISE (NEOWISE) mission has discovered 20 comets and more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, in addition to 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs).

Comment Re:computerandvideogames.com comments (Score 1) 218

Would you accept a locked-down device that offers a cheaper product, or is it 100% about the principle? For example, armed with the knowledge that Amazon can pretty much delete any book they want from your device at their whim, is there a price low enough that you'd be willing to pay? $1 / book, $20 for the device itself, for example.

Sure we all have our price. For the device if it is a locked down single purpose device I can't see paying more than the cost of the actual plastic and silicon it's made from plus maybe 10% for profit after all they did develop this wonderful device. For something open I'm willing to be more reasonable and I'll pay what would be expected, with the exception of if you are charging me 100% markup above materials, but that's not really reasonable anyway.

For media that I cannot control I would be willing to pay up to and no more than absolutely nothing. If I paid for it and you can take it away, I may as well not have paid for it because I sure as hell will NOT pay for it again. Give me a product that I can control and use the way I want to and I'm willing to pay a fair price for it whatever that may be $0.75/song $15-$20/book etc.

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