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Comment Re:Imagine this... (Score 1) 224

... do /you/ know how to ensure every bit of data is cleaned off your phone at the flash level?

No, but Apple does (so do others); they could easily bake this functionality into their devices.

But ignore this for a moment, shall we? The plain fact of the matter is most phones are just not that interesting. A factory reset is enough for the vast majority of users.

Comment Re:Rural deliveries; from base trucks (Score 2) 147

I am deeply skeptical about aerial drones because (a) apartments, (b) residences have boundaries. They may be visible (like fences and gates), but they exist for a purpose. Would anyone like a cargo drone with six propellers whirring close to their children's heads? Perhaps children who are playing with their own drone in the backyard? Further, Amazon is sure to be followed by other shopping sites and third party logistics providers - all with their own drones crossing residential boundaries willy-nilly.

So maybe I don't want drones in my backyard. How does Amazon know a drone is permitted to deliver to an address? One way is to match the billing address to the shipping address. But that means gifts are excluded and must be delivered manually.

Comment Rural deliveries; from base trucks (Score 4, Interesting) 147

Drones executing rural deliveries, launched from some sort of 'base truck' a human drives to a central location to launch and monitor multiple drones. That's pretty much the only use case for drone delivery.

Of course, a fully functional delivery system is symmetrical -- you can send stuff _back_ using the same channel. The base truck should also accept the farmer's *own* drone returning a non-functional item to Amazon.

Comment Re:Alternative media. (Score 1) 301

Yeah, 100% spot on. The typical YouTube content creator is not going to miss their monthly $12.95 Google check for 200,000 views (warning: made up numbers).

The point this really drives home is video ads are asymmetric. Youtube's harvest of 'viewer attention' is huge (to the order of billions of dollars a year in value). Only some of this benefits advertisers. Of which, Youtube earns a smaller fraction. And its content creators earn the smallest fraction of all.

The perverse outcome is this may end up making distasteful content more palatable. Only because it won't have ads running all over it. So viewers of an extremist spouting off of how the 'other' is sin, and associating with them is wrong, get an ad-free experience that makes them more receptive to such content.

To balance this effect, YouTube needs to run politically neutral 'public service announcement' ads on hot-topic content at the same frequency as ads on its other normal content. Why should only cute kitten and baby videos suffer?

Comment Putting my lawyer hat on (Score 1) 337

From US DoJ letter :
"Title II mandates that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity. "

UC Berkeley plans to remove some content that is properly closed-captioned and accessible. This is in response to the complaint about related, inaccessible content.

Legally speaking, isn't this denial of services by reason of disability? Especially if removal is so onerous it'll take months to execute?

I think UCB should step back and rethink. Take the DoJ letter for what it is -- a lawyer's note, not a judge's ruling. A hasty response to its more strident points (i.e. pay compensation to the two complainants) is likely to get UCB into more trouble, not less.

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