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Comment Re:Tail End Event (Score 1) 728

100 billion dollars of the cost had nothing to do with the response. That's a pretty devastating cost - more than ~1600 dollars per domestic passenger in 2001. Even if we spread that cost over 10 years, we are talking about 150 dollars added to every single plane ticket sold in the USA.

The fact is, 9/11 didn't devastate the airline industry because the Government stepped in and protected the airlines from lawsuits they surely would have lost. It seems reasonable for the US Government to do what it can to prevent further tail-end terrorist attacks. Sometimes, their actions are unreasonable, though.

Comment Tail End Event (Score 1) 728

"The risk of a terrorist attack is so infinitesimal and its impact so relatively insignificant"

9/11 was one of those tail-end events that proved this wrong. I totally agree with them that security has gone too far, but it's stupid to claim a risk and its associated costs are insignificant just ten years after we learned that they really aren't.

Some perspective: 9/11 cost at least 100 billion dollars in actual, immediate costs - this is over 10x the entire global airline industries' expected income this year. 100 billion dollars pales in comparison to the final price tag, which included massive loss of life, a fall in global markets, and the USA's misguided overreaction to the whole thing.

We are still paying the price, with higher security when we fly.

Comment Re:An insult of a fine (Score 2, Informative) 215

"Let's also assume that everyone who was overcharged was overcharged the bogus fee of $1.99 per month. The period in which the bogus fees were charged was about 3 years."

Wrong assumption. I am one of the people who got charged the fee, but it only happened once or twice in a three year period. You only get the fee the months you accidentally pressed the button. The issue is that pressing the button loads a webpage, which uses up ~0.5 kb. Then, Verizon rounded that up to 1 MB, and charged a couple of bucks.

Comment Kryder's Law (Score 1) 681

Kryder's Law is an analog to Moore's Law, and states that magnetic disk density doubles every year or so. As long as this law is roughly true, raw disk space per dollar will be cheaper in magnetic disks than flash. See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=kryders-law for more information. With the explosion in information out there, I believe disk space per dollar is a critical criteria for many industries and applications.

That said, consumer computing will be dominated by flash memory (it's already half way there). Consumer demand for disk space does not increase exponentially like capacity, so even flash capacity will be overkill at some point. Instead, consumers will value random access speed and dependability (especially in portable computing).

Comment Re:No, google admits to collecting wifi packet dat (Score 1) 157

It is true the fundamental problem lies in a lack of security. But Google shouldn't be recording it, especially because their cars so thoroughly scan the country.

And your example of photographing someone in their house is not a good one, because that most likely breaks well-established privacy laws. Yes, even if the person left their window open, they likely have an expectation of privacy because they are in their home.

Comment Re:Not a netbook? What? (Score 1) 348

This is basically a 12 inch laptop (I don't know why everyone is rounding 11.6 to 11). Netbooks started as 7 inch laptops, then creeped up to 9-10. Now we want to classify 11-12 inch laptops as netbooks?

At some point we should call it what it's always been called: a compact laptop

Comment Re:7.0? Really? (Score 1) 292

I'm confused, are you saying the lower (version #)/(number of years out) a browser is, the better? Are you saying Chrome isn't a useful browser?

I don't primarily use Chrome, but I respect it as a browser and consider it fully functional/useful.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 2, Insightful) 118

It's tough comparing quake/doom with duke. Quake was designed to scare you, duke was designed to make you laugh (and sometimes scare you). It's like the difference between a serious horror movie and a campy evil-deadish one.

All three games were ground-breaking in their own way.

Comment Re:Free for all, or app market? (Score 1) 244

The problem is that outside-the-wall apps can cause security and privacy concerns. If a fart app steals an employee's emails, his company will blame RIM first and him second. Especially when Apple, a viable competitor in many regards, can guarantee that something like that will not happen on their phones.

As much as limiting a phone's recreational functionality sucks for the user, companies see it as a service.

Comment Time Warner does it too (Score 1) 280

I got a notice from Time Warner about three years ago regarding a movie I was supposedly sharing. They suspended my internet until I clicked a button promising I wouldn't pirate anyone. They also warned me I only had one warning left (i.e. on my third strike they would discontinue my service).

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