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Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 1) 166

This is actually a fairly recent development. When I was putting together a file server in 2012, I really wanted to use ECC RAM. But 2x4GB ECC cost more than $250 vs $50 for regular 2x4GB RAM. Add in the extra cost of a server motherboard that supported ECC RAM and the processor restrictions, and I gave up and just built the file server using regular RAM.

A couple years later, the price of ECC RAM had dropped to only about 50% more than the cost of regular RAM.

. If Samsung started using ECC memory in all their phones, the cost would be nearly the same with the volume they would be ordering/making.

The cost would be 12.5% more. :)

Comment Re:The EU found a solution to this long time ago (Score 1) 203

The difference is that in the EU, regulations are made by stuffy bureaucrats disconnected from what they are regulating. While this has problems, it at least results in consistent laws.

In the U.S., laws are made with special interest input (lobbying). Manufacturers don't care about recycling, so recycling laws are almost entirely dictated by environmentalist lobbying. Consequently they tend to be excessively strict. Mining laws OTOH have a vested special interest (mining and refining companies) who will lobby against the environmentalist lobbyists. So those laws tend to be a better balance of environmental and industry interests.

The net result is that the regulations and red tape for recycling materials are more strict than for mining and refining the same materials. And it thus becomes cheaper to build things out of new materials than with recycled materials, killing the economic incentive to recycle.

While your EU solution would work, it would probably be opposed by environmentalists. By making manufacturers economically responsible for recycling, you create an incentive for them to get involved in lobbying during the creation of recycling laws. This will result in environmentalists losing sole control over the crafting of recycling laws.

Comment Re:Wrong Headline (Score 2) 93

TFA (which summary quotes) implies the fix was in the February update which Microsoft delayed. So the courteous thing to do would've been to extend disclosure beyond 90 days until after the March update.

OTOH, the entire reason Microsoft had to delay the February update was because they insisted on lumping all the patches into one huge mega-update. If they'd stuck with individual updates as before, then the crucial security patches would've gone out on time, while only the problem patch would've been delayed. So it's still Microsoft's fault.

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 1) 166

You don't need to have everything in triplicate unless you're in a seriously noisy environment. Most error rates due to cosmic radiation are low enough that simply adding one parity bit per 8 data bits (increasing transistor count by 12.5%. not 200%) is enough to eliminate virtually all bit flip errors.

Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 166

As the minimum detail slze of the IC process gets smaller, the potential for radiation to flip a bit gets higher.

I suspect the math works out the same as Shannon's noisy channel theorem. And that as the chance of bit flips (noise) increases due to die shrinking, you can increase the error correction coding to compensate for it up to some theoretical limit.

e.g.. instead of ECC memory having one parity bit for every 8 data bits, you increase it to two parity bits per 8 data bits, and it can withstand a higher error rate.

Comment Bigger problem on rental cars (Score 2) 92

The last three cars I've rented had bluetooth to let you make calls over the car's speakers. But the bluetooth functionality also does other stuff like sync contacts and call logs. I could view previous renters' call logs and sometimes the names associated with the calls. The latest car I rented was new so there was no previous renter. But it would also load your text messages over bluetooth and read them back to you over the speakers. I made sure to wipe those before I returned the car, but I'm pretty sure most renters won't know to do that.

Comment Re:Ways around this (Score 4, Informative) 432

That wasn't a change, it was maintaining the status quo. The U.S. operates several extra-territorial checkpoints in Canada (and other countries). If you're leaving certain Canadian airports for a flight to the U.S., you clear U.S. customs and immigration while in Canada. This simplifies things at the U.S. end (there are a lot fewer Canadian airports than U.S. airports, so fewer staff are needed this way), as well as allows Canadian flights to travel directly to U.S. airports without any U.S. customs and immigration presence.

The program has been in operation since the 1950s. Absent any disagreement on immigration policies, it is logistically the more efficient way to operate.

Comment Re:The border exception is a usurpation. (Score 1) 432

The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution only applies to U.S. territory. That was the whole rationale for putting a prison in Guantanamo Bay - it is not U.S. territory. Technically it is Cuban territory being leased to the U.S.

CBP operates under the policy that U.S. border stations (including at International airports) straddle the border between U.S. territory and not-U.S. territory, hence the 4th Amendment doesn't apply if you haven't yet been granted admission into the U.S. If you're trying to enter the country, their contention is that they can search whatever they damn well want to. The Constitution does state the Federal government shall protect states against invasion, so border searches vs the 4th Amendment pits one section of the Constitution against another. The SCotUS needs to decide which takes precedence, but given that all countries need to protect themselves from unlawful entry in order to maintain their existence, I suspect they'll side with the former.

Ironically, all the court decisions blocking states from protecting their own borders against illegal immigrants (e.g. Texas' and Arizona's laws) work in Trump's favor. Those cases established that the Federal government controls immigration policy and enforcement, not the states. When we had an administration favoring lenient policies towards illegal immigrants, the states had no choice but to comply. Now that we have an administration favoring harsh policies towards illegal immigrants, the states again have no choice but to comply.

Comment Re:How to price yourself out of existance (Score 2) 115

Yeah, this ranks right up there with online newspapers who sued Google for including snippets of their articles on Google News. They won in court, and expected Google to pay them for the snippets. Instead, Google simply removed articles from these newspapers from Google News, and the newspapers' web traffic dropped by 75%-90% essentially putting them out of business.

Comment Re:Registered Mail (Score 1) 163

Registered mail is for tracking a package. If you're sending your tax returns on the day of the deadline and want proof you did your part on time, you send it registered mail. If the package contains valuable, unique and irreplaceable goods, being able to track down who lost it or even receiving insurance compensation won't help you - you're still out the irreplaceable goods.

You don't want to be sending such packages via postal mail, or even via UPS / FedEx / DHL. Instead, you want to buy the person sending it a round trip plane ticket from their town to yours. That way they can hand-carry the package as carry-on baggage and deliver it to you in person. Toss in a few night's hotel and rental car expenses as a courtesy, so they can do a bit of sightseeing before flying back.

The next step down from that is using an air courier. The shipping company pays a random person to escort your package from airport to airport, while they handle the legs from sender to airport and airport to destination. But this is usually done for time-sensitive materials (important docs, live cargo, etc). As it doesn't offer the much protection above regular package delivery service. The only added protection is that the air courier won't get paid if they don't deliver your package. It can still be lost by the shipping company before or after the air leg, or by the airline (if checked in).

Comment Re:Yes - that's called Copyright & Fair-use (Score 2) 141

Bullshit - Facebook's terms of use allow them to redistribute ANYTHING you post to any and all 3rd parties, and even to charge for it.

you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

I was going to say that's the standard legalese any online service needs to use to give themselves the right to make the service function (you need to grant them the right to reproduce your stuff on the computers of people who are viewing it). But then I noticed a subtle difference in the wording. Here's the equivalent portion of YouTube's terms of service:

For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

I've emphasized the important parts. At first glance they seem identical. But if you look carefully, although both ToS use the term "in connection with [the service]", it modifies different things.

  • In the Facebook ToS, it modifies "content that you post". That is, anything you post on Facebook, you're giving them a license to do anything they want with. Basically, anything you post on Facebook, they own and can do whatever they want with, including selling it, up until you delete it or your account.
  • In the YouTube ToS, it modifies "perform the Content". That is, the license you're granting is only for the purposes of playing the video on YouTube. Anything you post on YouTube, you still own, and YouTube only has rights to broadcast it to people viewing it via YouTube (or an embedded link).

Comment Re:FCC can't help ... (Score 2) 205

That would be a valid argument in the product development stage.

The FM receiver is already in your phone. It's just been disabled at the request of carriers so they can make more money via data plans used to listen to music, or in the case of Apple because the manufacturer makes money from streaming services.

Comment Re:How is this lashvertisement... (Score 1) 62

I mean, like many sites, slashdot started in the US, but have international following. Would be interesting to know if the US readership is bigger than the rest of the world combined.

Every country's population is less than half the world population. So by your reasoning, no news relevant to a single country (or groups of countries less than half the world population - e.g. the EU) should be posted to slashdot.

Comment Doesn't seem like it would work (Score 0) 102

I'm pretty sure it's a parody of the Apple ads because I don't see how this would work. The two holes in the straw are at fixed positions so you're still sucking in mostly one layer half the time, the second layer the other half, and you have no way to suck the rest of the drink once the top hole is exposed.

I presume the problem is the two materials in the shake have a different density, so separate out even when mixed? The solution then is to eliminate that gravitational separation. Divide the cup in half with a plastic partition. The chocolate shake goes in one half, the shamrock shake goes in the other half. Take two straws and glue them together at the top. One straw goes in the chocolate shake, the other into the shamrock shake. You suck on both straws at once, and get both shakes at once, from beginning to end.

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