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Comment Re:I'm shocked (Score 4, Insightful) 178

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USA.

Why? It seems like a fair sentence to me. There was no "whistleblowing" here that I can see. His disclosure compromised field agents, and could have done real harm. He was apparently just leaking classified info for his own benefit. This guy was not a Snowden, or even a Manning.

Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 1) 481

Isn't this the same attack vector that can be used with any finger print scanner?

No. Many modern fingerprint scanners check for a pulse, and/or detect subsurface structures that do not show up in a lifted print. Apple claimed that this scanner did both of these checks, but apparently they were lying, and it actually does neither.

Comment Re:Easy! (Score 4, Insightful) 481

Remember that a hacker won't know which of 5 fingers the owner uses, so that's another layer of security

Actually, many people have up to ten fingers. Personally, I use my big toe.

But this shows that Apple was less than honest in their claims about pulse detection, and sub-surface tissue detection.

Comment Re:Ok, so they know when you want another drink... (Score 2) 90

The drinks mostly fill on their own in response to a button and IIRC, the fries are now on a timer.,

In some areas of Europe, McDonalds order-takers have been replaced with touch screens. As you would expect, automation tends to be higher in places with higher wages.

Comment Re:I seriously doubt we'd build the ISS now (Score 5, Interesting) 112

Why did it have to be assembled in tiny pieces instead of using big components with heavy rockets like Skylab was? If the ISS was made of big components with a heavy lift rocket, it could have been assembled in only 5 Saturn V launches (at about $1 billion a launch) or 1 Sea Dragon launch. Reviving a heavy lift rocket program would have paid for itself.

The whole point of the ISS was to give the space shuttle something to do. Using heavy lift rockets would have defeated its purpose.

Comment Re:Oh my god (Score 3, Interesting) 403

It will cost more to supervise someone who does not want to work than it will to automate the job or hire someone productive.

No it doesn't. If their job is to do an automated task, the task can have a built in quality control. If they don't meet a minimum standard, then they don't get paid.

Example: My wife runs a educational website where teachers/parents can upload content. But before kids can access the content, it must be reviewed for inappropriate content (porn, profanity, etc). She uses Amazon's Mechanical Turk to hire workers to screen the content. 90% of the content is new, but 10% is randomly inserted content that has already been screened, and is known to be either be either appropriate or inappropriate. If the Turkers don't handle these tests properly, then their work is discarded, and they don't get paid .

The workers she hires are from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. But never from America. I see no reason that welfare recipients shouldn't be put to work on tasks like this instead of munching potato chips in front of the TV.

Comment Re:GMA 600? Last years Atom? $200?!? (Score 4, Informative) 214

yeah it certainly isn't a raspberry pi competitor. why buy this when you can buy a netbook for almost the same price??

Also, this thing is huge. Several times the size of a Raspberry Pi. It appears to require a wall wart, whereas a RPI can be powered from USB.

and check this out, 8 gpio pins. whee... no idea if any da/ad pins.

... and none of the GPIO pins can do hardware PWM. So this board is not much use for robotics.

Comment Re:Broken on first day (Score 3, Insightful) 148

How long does it take to etch a PCB (mould) and how long does it take for gelatine to cool down (finger cast)? (The method that Mythbusters used)

The Mythbusters episode was from 2006, and was done on a sensor that was even older. Technology improves. In a decade, it can improve a lot. Their technique would almost certainly not work today. Apple's sensor requires a pulse, and detects deep skin layers that do not show up on a lifted fingerprint.

Comment Re:Googlers? Really? (Score 2) 53

Solar powered aircraft will never be a viable means of transportation

Transportation is not the only use for aircraft. Solar powered planes would be ideal for surveillance, and as communications relays. For these applications speed is not important, but long loiter time and low maintenance are big benefits.

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