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Comment Re: Same rules apply (Score 2, Informative) 303

If you see a TV on sale at $500 and you add that TV to your shopping cart, you should "expect" to pay $500, not $250.

Nope. There is no such expectation - the advertised price can be different from the actual sale price for a lot of reasons: sales taxes, special discounts, etc. For example, 20 minutes ago I bought an Audible audiobook for 10% of its normal price because I have its Kindle counterpart.

I have a story - 10 years ago we were supporting a website for a small online outlet. One smart-ass user tried to game the checkout by pasting 16384 spaces into the "Coupon code" field that caused the discount multiplier algorithm to malfunction and return zero. So the total checkout price for a large purchase became zero.

We canceled this order and threatened the "buyer" with a lawsuit after talking with our lawyer. It turns out that there were two significant factors:

1) Since the total price was zero, it couldn't be classified as a sale. So no consumer protection laws kick in. However, even if the buyer had paid $0.01 then it would be a different story.
2) The fact that the buyer entered a very long sequence of spaces can be classified as an attempt at wire fraud.

As I understand, none of this applies in this case. The Brick should shut up and pay up.

Comment I still have the raw data (Score 1) 189

that I used for my paper 15 years ago. It is on a tape, that is somewhere in a drawer, that I have no tape drive for. On the other hand, the LaTeX file and the C and FORTRAN programs I used to evaluate and create the data and write the paper are still on a hard drive that is running on a computer in my network and I can access it right now. I probably can*t compile the the program without change (was written for Solaris and DEC machines) and maybe not even run LaTeX on it without getting some of the included styles, but still it is there.
Since my work was in theoretical physics and numerical the loss of the raw data is probably not as bad as long as you still have the software, but I guess for an experimental physicist the problems would be much greater to keep the massive amount of data they sometimes have and if lost to reproduce the data.

Comment Re:Remember TEMPEST? (Score 2, Insightful) 264

The "audio" in question is most likely all below 24 kHz, that being the Nyquist limit for the 48 kHz sampling hardware, unless it happens that some phones can actually sample faster, and have microphones that can respond to higher frequencies.

The instruction rate of the CPUs in question is many times that frequency.

It doesn't sound likely.

Comment Remember TEMPEST? (Score 5, Interesting) 264

TEMPEST was a details-secret government requirement meant to defeat means of eavesdropping on classified computer data from its electromagnetic emissions. I guess they need to include audio too.

My impression is that the noise comes from the power supply, not the CPU. I can certainly hear it with some computers, and it is related to work on the video card in my experience. I'm astonished that you can actually pull data from that, and in fact I'd like to see independent confirmation before I believe it.

Comment Re:Music and muzack... (Score 1) 328

I'm totally opposite. I tried to enjoy classical music but it always seems to be too bland for me. I might listen to a classical music track once or twice, but I never really want to keep listening to it.

But if somebody takes a good instrumental track, adds nice vocals (choir singing is super-good) and at least somewhat decent lyrics then I won't be able to stop listening to it. Alas, I probably have almost all of the bands that do this :(

Also, I like to listen to some movie soundtracks even though they might not have lyrics or vocals. I guess that the memory of the story from the movie is enough.

Comment Re:When you have a bad driver ... (Score 1) 961

Many older vehicles don't have ESP or ABS at all... Should these vehicles be made illegal?

Ideally, yes. Practically, old vehicles get grandfathered into these laws to avoid too much backlash. Besides, the number of old vehicles decreases pretty fast.

Lower end vehicles often don't have such features either

Not anymore. ABS brakes are mandatory in EU for new cars as well as tire pressure sensors and lots of other systems. ETC is going to become mandatory very soon.

And it makes sense. Once a safety system shows that it's effective in reducing casualties and it's not excessively expensive then it should become mandatory.

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