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Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 144

Fax was much more popular in Japan than it was in the west so it's no wonder that it is still in use today.
One of the reason for the popularity of fax, in addition to writing, are maps. Japanese addresses have no street names, they use a combination of district/block/house numbers which is very effective at losing people. As a result, it is common practice to send a map to mark a meeting place.

Comment Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (Score 1) 191

Wireless charging is not that good. It is energy inefficiant and you can't move your phone while you are charging. As for data transfer, wires are more secure and more reliable.
Mag-safe type connectors are excellent for frying pots (that's were they were first used) and good for laptops but mobile devices are too light for mag-safe to offer a meaningful advantage.

Comment Re: What for? (Score 1) 191

I think they can get away with it using better materials (thicker gold plating maybe) and electrical protection built in the cable electronics (lightning cables are active).
Remeber that apple doesn't have the same cost constraints as other manufacturers due to their ludicrous sale prices.

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 4, Interesting) 561

This study is interesting as it doesn't show that affirmative action itself has a positive effect. The simple knowledge that affirmative action is in place is sufficient, like some kind of placebo effect.

The idea is : women can win if they try but they don't try unless we tell them they have an unfair and in many cases unnecessary advantage.

Comment Is it about the CPU, or the OS ? (Score 2) 125

Buffer in the main memory, software that optimize most-used code. It looks like an OS job for me, something that could be implemented in the linux kernel and benefit all CPUs, provided that you have the appropriate driver.

According to the paper, it looks like biggest novelty is... DRM. The optimizer code will be encrypted and will run in its own memory block, hidden from the OS. It will also make use of some special profiling instructions which could as well be accessible to the OS. Maybe they will but they say nothing about it.

Comment Re:Direct user consent? (Score 1) 46

Yes, auto-backup-restore from a central server is the obvious solution.
However you have to do it properly, or else, it will become the weak point. You have to be careful of packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks. Your server can be attacked too. And the more convinient you make your backups, the less secure they tend to be.

I think that the best compromise to turn on full disk encryption and that in case of anomaly (such as too many failed unlocks) the phone shuts down. Properly encrypted data are almost as good as a full (secure) wipe and better than an unsecure wipe.

Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 116

Personally I didn't find a correlation between how I struggle writing code and the number of bugs I produce. I'm not sure about why but it's probably because I'm more careful with hard problems.

Anyways, I think the worst bug-generator is code that is hard to test, or not tested enough because of time constraints or poor management. This can explain the correlation : complex code (lots of inputs, lots of steps) tends to make programmers struggle and is hard to test. Also, programmers having a hard time tends to drive the project over budget, and when this happen, testing is commonly sacrified in a misguided attempt to recoup the goals.

I think that if we see developers struggling, instead of trying to "improve" the developers (the hard problem they are solving right now is actually what makes them better), it's better prepare to ramp up the testing budget, and maybe do a bit or code refactoring.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 118

What's the difference between the NSA having 10 ways to hack into your computer vs having 100 ways ?
The NSA can do whatever it wants in both cases. Except in the second case, there'll be less exloits available to the much more dangerous blackhats.

Why are blackhats more dangerous ? Because the NSA will "just" invade your privacy. Blackhats will steal your identity, ransom you hard drive, use your computer as a spambot and turn over your private data to anyone with money (this includes the NSA).

Comment Re:there IS a connection (Score 1) 151

In fact it's not really obscure. One of the most used bus for critical data is ARINC429 and it's a well defined and very simple standard.
If you somehow manage to connect a device directly to the bus wires (you can't do this with WiFi), it is relatively easy to inject whatever data you want. However, connected equipment will double check everything they receive, so you have to craft consistent data, a much harder task. And even then some devices have additional analog sensors so you'll need to fool these too. If data end up inconsistent (the most likely result of your hacking attempt), backups will kick in, because of course, these systems are redundant. And in the last resort, don't forget that there are still pilots on board.
Also you can forget about typical vulnerabilities such as injection or buffer overflows. Avionic systems are too simple for this : data are not interpreted and all sizes are fixed and known in advance.

Sure, these systems are not 100% safe (they are "just" 99.9999999% safe). Sometimes a catastrophic bug may happen like with the Ariane 5 rocket. However, if you have some malicious intentions, attempting to hack the avionics it probably the least effective and most difficult way to cause harm.

Comment Re:Here's an idea! (Score 1) 203

Openness was never the business model of Nintendo. In fact not being open was a key to Nintendo success since the Famicom.
Nintendo is all about good quality exclusive games.

By going open they will compete with the much more versatile Android and iOS devices and the much more powerful PCs and to a lesser extant Xbone and PS4. They simply can't win in the open market.

Comment Re:Um... good for whom in the US? (Score 1) 111

Free is not as good as before. Mostly because its competitors have adapted. They now offer similar prices and services via their low-cost labels.
- Orange/SoSH is slightly more expensive but it has the best network and service
- Bouygues/B&You use aggressive pricing and discounts. Beside 4G coverage, their service and network are rather poor. They are the most direct competitors of Free.
- SFR/RED has a bit of a trouble keeping up with the competition as they don't offer same service as Orange nor the prices of Bouygues. They still have the second best network and may cover a few areas better than Orange.
- Free has few offers but they are very good and cheap. However their network is the worst. They have a deal with Orange which allows them to have good coverage, however mobile data is severely throttled compared to Orange clients.

Comment Re:House of Lords? (Score 1) 282

Xenophobes have the right to speak too, as long as they do it by the rules.
If you deny the rights of a sizable part of the population to express themselves just because the majority disagrees with *some* of their ideas, it's not democracy.

Here is an simplified example of the problem :
- 30% of the population are represented by a "far-right xenophobic party", will always vote against laws favoring immigrants
- 60% are represented by a centrist party that have more nuanced ideas
- 10% are represented by a far-left party that always favor immigrants
In all cases, unreasonable demands made by the far-right and far-left party will never pass. Whether or not you give full power to the centrist party, the extremists will never get the required majority.
Now imagine a controversial proposition favoring immigrants (maybe some kind of reverse discrimination). Let's say that 55% of the general population is against it and only 45% wants it. Normally, it should be rejected. However, if you give full power to the centrist party, it will be adopted. It is because the repartition will be as follows :
- 30% are against in and are far-right
- 25% are against it and are centrist
- 35 % are for it and are centrist
- 10 % are for it and are far-left

Giving governing responsibilities to small parties may even protect against extremes in some cases. Consider the following : same situation as before, except that the far-right party, though some clever political moves, manages to grab 25% of the centrist party, reaching 55% and winning the elections. The ideas of the people are the same, it's just that the far-right party is a bit less extreme than before. In a proportional system the remaining 45% are enough to keep it in check. Without it, the 30% original extremists would win as they are more numerous than the 25% centrists turned right-wing.

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