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Comment Re:BARRIER!? (Score 2) 166

I pay cash for my cars because of three things: 1. I don't buy extravagant cars; the last new ones were between $25K-$30K and the last used ones were half that; 2. As soon as I buy a car I start saving for the next one; 3. A windfall in the 1999-2000 dot-com boom gave me the initial large chunk of cash to start doing this (among other things).

I could have done the same thing even if that windfall had never come, but it would have meant less money into my 401(k).

All this presumed enough income that I actually could save some of it. Not everyone has that, many live paycheck-to-paycheck, and very few have enough to save for cars *and* max out their 401(k), and save for kids' college, and keep some money liquid, etc. I've been very fortunate.

Submission + - Lowell Observatory pushes to name an asteroid "Travyon" (azdailysun.com)

Flash Modin writes: The observatory where Pluto was discovered is pushing to name an asteroid after a black teenager killed in a controversial confrontation in Florida last year.

William Lowell Putnam III says his family is identified with the cause of African American rights, and thus an asteroid named after Trayvon Martin is perfectly appropriate. Putnam is the sole trustee of the observatory, which was founded by Percival Lowell during his search for canals on Mars.

Astronomers at the observatory discovered the asteroid in 2000, but it has not been formally named.

Putnam has already asked the Minor Planet Center once to designate the asteroid "Trayvon," but they told him the designation was "premature." Now that there's been a verdict, the observatory is reapplying in hopes the naming body will see things different.

Submission + - FTC Issues Warning About Buggy, Insecure Home Surveillance Gear (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The Security Ledger reports that U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday made one of its strongest statements to date on the issue of consumer privacy in the fast-emerging market for “smart” electronics: settling a complaint with the maker of SecurView, a line of home surveillance cameras that, it turns out, were just as easily used to spy into the homes of SecurView customers.

In a statement (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/09/trendnet.shtm), the FTC said that it settled a complaint against TRENDnet, which markets and sells SecurView. The FTC had charged the Torrance, California company with misrepresenting the security of its products and selling “faulty software that left (the cameras) open to online viewing” by anyone who knew the device’s IP address.

The complaint stems from a February, 2012 case in which the web site Console Cowboys published details (http://console-cowboys.blogspot.com/2012/01/trendnet-cameras-i-always-feel-like.html) on how a firmware flaw allowed authentication for Internet-connected SecurView cameras to be bypassed, giving any Internet user (with the know-how) the ability to view the surveillance camera’s live feed.

But the agency went beyond that, warning in its statement and accompanying blog posts that the problem of shoddy and insecure software extended beyond TrendNet.

"The Internet of Things holds great promise for innovative consumer products and services. But consumer privacy and security must remain a priority as companies develop more devices that connect to the Internet,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement.

Comment Re:The incredible irony of.. (Score 1) 353

I've wondered about this with regard to call centers. There are stories of call centers where you aren't on the clock until you sit down and log in at your terminal, regardless of how long it takes from the time you enter the employer's premises to get to your terminal. That can be the same amunt of extra unpaid time each day that this lawsuit describes.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 1) 289

Very true. When CD-ROMs first came out, 650MB was unfathomably huge, in that era where PCs had 1-2MB of RAM and hard disks were in the 10-20MB range. Blu-Rays have about 50GB of space, but PCs have 8-16GB of RAM and 1-2TB disk drives. They'll presumably have the same durability that optical discs have always had, but they're not going to be able to back up a typical person's data without using multiple media. That means either manual disc switching, or jukeboxes that are either expensive or mechanically flimsy.

They're talking about the end of 2015. Even if they meet that schedule (unlikely--they may get the technology developed, but you still have to allow a few years for everybody to finish suing each other), they would still need to be something like 3-5TB to be useful as backup media.

Just being able to stuff all eight Harry Potter Blu-Rays on one disc isn't enough justification for Yet Another Disc Format.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 452

The problem, aesthetically, is that it's a giant flat slab in the middle of the center console. A few smaller displays on a better-sculpted console would look a lot more appropriate for a $90,000 car. Nevertheless, my friend who's owned one for almost a year loves his.

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