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Comment Re:Non-answers (Score 1) 107

Yeah, they do seem to have been run through a legal/marketing filter, don't they? Certainly don't sound like engineer's answers. I have a sneaking suspicion that her actual answers were swooped upon by serious people in serious suits until we got the above. Frankly, I kept expecting the phrase:

"Thank you for asking. Your question is very important to us. Unfortunately we cannot answer your question at this time. Please ask again later. Thank you. [BEEP]"

To pop up.

Still, the few little nuggets of info we did get were pretty neat. I like about getting more recharge stations in new home building, and standardizing the charger plugs. Hopefully those will have spread a bit more by the time these suckers get down to my price level.

Comment Re:"There will come soft rains" (Score 1) 403

Yes! I was hoping somebody would mention this :) I read it when I was a kid in school, and it chilled me to the bone. I wasn't really into sci-fi at the time, but Bradbury always knocked me out with his stories. He really got into the human side of things in a way a lot of the "space opera" types never did. This particular story is very haunting, and I think comes very close to how it will be--heck, come back and read this thing now, and see how plausible most of it is as our homes get smarter and smarter.

Submission + - Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

drinkypoo writes: We've been discussing the import of automation of over-the-road trucking here on Slashdot in fairly passionate terms whenever self-driving vehicles enter the conversation. Jalopnik reports that The Freightliner “Inspiration Truck” will be the first autonomous commercial truck to drive on American roads. The truck will be demonstrated today.

Submission + - No Justice for Victims of Identity Theft (csmonitor.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The Christian Science Monitor's Passcode features a harrowing account of one individual's experience of identity theft.(http://passcode.csmonitor.com/identity-stolen) CSM reporter Sara Sorcher recounts the story of "Jonathan Franklin" (not his real name) a New Jersey business executive who woke up to find thieves had stolen his identity and racked up $30,000 in a shopping spree at luxury stores including Versace and the Apple Store. The thieves even went so far as to use personal info stolen from Franklin to have the phone company redirect calls to his home number, which meant that calls from the credit card company about the unusual spending went unanswered.

Despite the heinousness of the crime and the financial cost, Sorcher notes that credit card companies and merchants both look on this kind of theft as a "victimless crime" and are more interested in getting reimbursed for their losses than trying to pursue the thieves. Police departments, also, are unable to investigate these crimes, lacking both the technical expertise and resources to do so. Franklin notes that he wasn't even required to file a police report to get reimbursed for the crime.
“As long as their loss is covered they move on to [handling] tomorrow’s fraud,” Franklin observes. And that makes it harder for victims like Franklin to move on, “In some way, I’m seeking some sense of justice,” Franklin said. “But it’s likely not going to happen.”

Submission + - Two Programmers Expose Dysfunction and Abuse in the Seattle Police Department (thestranger.com)

reifman writes: Programmers Eric Rachner and Phil Mocek are now the closest thing Seattle has to a civilian police-oversight board. Through shrewd use of Washington's Public Records Act, the two have acquired hundreds of reports, videos, and 911 calls related to the Seattle Police Department's internal investigations of officer misconduct. Among some of Rachner and Mocek's findings: a total of 1,028 SPD employees (including civilian employees) were investigated between 2010 and 2013. (The current number of total SPD staff is 1,820.) Of the 11 most-investigated employees—one was investigated 18 times during the three-year period—every single one of them is still on the force, according to SPD. In 569 allegations of excessive or inappropriate use of force (arising from 363 incidents), only seven were sustained—meaning 99 percent of cases were dismissed. Exoneration rates were only slightly smaller when looking at all the cases — of the total 2,232 allegations, 284 were sustained. This is partly why the Seattle PD is under a federal consent decree for retraining and oversight. You can check out some of the typically excellent Twitter coverage by Mocek from his #MayDaySea coverage.

Submission + - Mystery person puts shuttered music site Grooveshark back online (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Unexpected revival comes 5 days after Grooveshark execs apologize, shut down. Less than a week after music-streaming service Grooveshark shut down, the site has been wholly reconstituted, brought back to life by an individual "connected to the original Grooveshark," according to a BGR report.

Submission + - Extreme secrecy eroding support for Obama's trade pact (politico.com)

schwit1 writes: Classified briefings and bill-readings in basement rooms are making members queasy.

f you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you've got to be a member of Congress, and you've got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

If you're a member who wants to read the text, you've got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

And no matter what, you can't discuss the details of what you've read.

"It's like being in kindergarten," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who's become the leader of the opposition to President Barack Obama's trade agenda. "You give back the toys at the end."

For those out to sink Obama's free trade push, highlighting the lack of public information is becoming central to their opposition strategy: The White House isn't even telling Congress what it's asking for, they say, or what it's already promised foreign governments.

Comment An interesting idea, actually... (Score 1) 522

(*skips over the inevitable juvenile comments, false equivalencies, and associated detritus that always show up when feminism comes up in geek spaces. I don't even see 'em anymore.) I have to say that for most of my career a lot of the software I've been involved with has been, if not passing the test, fairly close to. At every place I've worked, there have been women on my team at least part of my time there. It tends to fluctuate a bit--at the moment, there's one other on my team, and she's actually a QA (and why *do* we have so many women in QA?). So I guess our last project doesn't pass. Still, the company as a whole passes with flying colors, so that's cool. There's only a few of us, relatively speaking, but we're spread out pretty good. So our code may not intersect often but we're affecting every part of what our company does. So I think that's important too.

In short, I think it makes for an interesting thought experiment, kind of evaluate where you and your team/department/company stand. I'm sure people will get all defensive, yell about quotas and all that jazz, but really it just asks you to think about it for a moment. Not at all unreasonable I think.

Now, if you'll excuse me, build's done.

Comment Re:Thank you, Terry.. it was an awesome ride with (Score 1) 299

You know, Reaper Man was the first Pratchett book I ever read. I was in tech school in the Air Force, just after basic. We got to go off base and go shopping, so I picked up the Hitchhiker's Guide omnibus which had just come out. Another airman saw it, and lent me his copy of Reaper Man. I've been hooked ever since. The guy was flat-out one of the best writers in terms of sheer skill I have ever seen in any genre. Reading Pratchett spoils you, and so much comes off short after you've seen what a real master of the written word could do.

Anyway, as someone up there said, this sucks. Now I'm thinking about that book, and how it was, reading it for the first time... I think I'm going to have to reread it again.

Comment Re:Thought process (Score 1) 227

I can vouch for this. Google was VERY active in the east and south sides of KCMO during the various rollout waves, going out to community gathering places, knocking on doors, the whole bit. And these are not nice neighborhoods I'm talking about either. I was doing voter registration at the time in some of the same areas, and we did tend to bump into each other. They really wanted to get demand sufficient for all the neighborhoods they could, particularly those with schools in. I gotta say they did a pretty good job, too: in our neck of the woods, I think only 3 out of the 70-odd "fiberhoods" didn't qualify.

Comment (^*@$# marketing numbers... (Score 1) 179

OK, so we use vertical resolution for years and years, and everyone susses it out. 480 interleaved? Got it. 720 progressive? Keen. So what genius decided to switch us over to the horizontal resolution? I'll bet you anything it was some schmo in Marketing who figured hey, the horizontal is twice the vertical, so if we use that number instead it'll make our TVs sound twice as good. Instead, it's confusing as hell and deeply annoying for anyone trying to keep u with this crap.

Personally, I think they should do like camera sensors, and go by megapixels. 1080p? 2 megapixels? Got it. 4K? 8 megapixels? Spiffy.

Anyway. I reckon 1080p will hold me just fine for a good while. I'm in no hurry to upgrade. And I doubt many people are.

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