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Comment Re: Not entirely true (Score 1) 92

Posting something about your employer without being anonymous is just plain stupid!

Depends on your employer. I post stuff about my employer all the time, under a slashdot username that is the same as my corporate LDAP username, and have gotten kudos for it. I've also gotten a couple of calls from legal, asking me to be careful about commenting on legal issues, but the attorneys apologized effusively for doing so, and pointed out that they recognized I was being careful but just want to reiterate that it was important.

But my employer is particularly open-minded, and particularly confident in its employees' judgement. You need to understand your context, and YMMV.

Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 256

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 119

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 2) 91

That does suck, though...introductory rates and such are never guaranteed. Still, it beats my Comcast by a pretty wide margin - $70 gets me 30/10, and that's consumer-capped. I'd jump at the chance for 100/100 (or even 50) at $75.

And you're only getting a consumer service level agreement which is, basically, that if it doesn't work they'll fix it when they get around to it. I'm sure the Google Fiber business class service includes a more typical business SLA, with defined maximum response times and compensation for excessive outages. That sort of SLA typically triples the price vs a consumer service with the same bandwidth.

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 1) 91

So, with the price change, that means we'll have to pay, basically, double to maintain our 1 Gbps, otherwise we lose 75% of our speed to pay the same price.

Or, you could drop down to the consumer tier and pay less per month than you currently do... but give up the business-class service level agreement that you have.

If you're getting 1Gbps with a business SLA for $125 per month right now, that's an *amazing* deal. Comcast would soak you for twice that for 100 Mbps. I currently pay $120 per month for 15/3 (Mbps) with a business SLA, though that's because I'm out in the sticks where there are very few options available.

Comment Re:Public Admission of Stupidity (Score 1) 217

So a pedestrian in dark clothes, at night, not hearing an electric car, and jaywalking by stepping out from between vehicles means the driver drives like "a moronic asshat."

you do know that electric cars are almost silent, especially at low speeds, right?

I don't know about the Model S, but the Nissan LEAF isn't. It has a speaker in the driver's wheel well that makes noise when the car is moving at less than 20 mph. Over 20 mph tire noise is loud enough to be quite audible.

Comment Re: Wow... (Score 2) 217

Show of hands: who thinks Elon Musk is above having a staffer make up this email or making it up himself?

I think they're too smart to do something like that. The probability of it being found out is low, but the PR damage caused by such fraud would be extreme. On balance, the expected risk of such a move is way too high. Plus, there's every reason to expect they have received some emails like this.

Tesla does not have a good record of repeat customers


Comment Re:A pattern emerges (Score 1) 156

I understand the concern, but there's really no evidence for it. Your examples of what Samsung and Microsoft have done aren't evidence... and Google has little more control over Samsung than over Microsoft. Could Google decide that it no longer cares about openness? Sure. But we're actually working quite hard to push it the other direction, and I see no reason to expect that to change.

What is the thing you're saying Google has done "in firmware" for Android for Work, but hasn't "flipped the switch"? Android for Work does nothing in firmware, it's all in Android; the only thing remotely close to that is the use of TrustZone for authentication and crypto key management -- and I'm the engineer responsible for those TrustZone components, and I can't figure out what "switch" you're talking about.

Comment Re:why not do this (Score 1) 156

A warning is what we've had for several years now, and it's proven to be inadequate.

I understand this. What I was saying is that there should be a way to disable the new behavior (perhaps a setting in the Developer Options, where ordinary users would never see it) for those who don't need such a muscular approach.

The problem with that approach is that someone selling/giving you a pre-compromised phone would just flip that switch before they give it to you. If you're not going to be bothered by a big warning during bootup, you're definitely not the sort who will dig through the settings and find that problem... or factory reset the device to reset all of the switches.

If the new method really doesn't get in the way, all this is moot.

I think that's the case.

Comment Re:How smart is Snowden, exactly? (Score 4, Insightful) 106

I thought he was just a pretty average govt. tech employee that decided to leak a bunch of documents. Now he seems to be treated like a leading expert on security? Is there something I missed here? Is his research something beyond a Google search?

How does one become an expert on security? Spend lots of time reading, thinking and studying. What else do you think Snowden has been doing for the last three years? He may not have been a security expert before collecting and leaking the documents, but he's clearly a pretty smart guy, and very motivated to care about security and privacy issues. He's been trying to use the pulpit his fame has given him to highlight those issues, and he's also clearly been doing his homework.

Aside from all of that, though, what's the point in questioning his expertise? If what he's saying doesn't make sense, say so. Your post isn't "insightful", it's just a variation of the argument from authority fallacy... in this case trying to discredit his ideas by citing his lack of authority, rather than addressing the ideas themselves.

Comment Re:it didnt work for the soviets, it wont work for (Score 1) 40

Google reports NSL statistics, though with lower precision, based on the deal they worked out with the government. Beyond that, sure, it's possible that the NSA is using covert means without the company's cooperation or knowledge. We know from Snowden's files that at one point they were tapping network connections between Google data centers. Those are encrypted now, but there might be other ways. However, this story provides no evidence one way or the other, and based on this information, the "panopticon" isn't seeing very much and, as I said at the top of this thread, discussions of all-pervasive surveillance aren't related to this story.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

I guess I mistakenly implied that freedom is a boolean condition, but it's not; you can be more free, or less free

Ah, so the possession of free will is a fuzzy value. I don't think that change to the definition makes anything clearer... and it also doesn't refute the notion that free will is just an emergent property of quantum randomness, since from the macro level quantum randomness looks fuzzy-valued, defining probability "clouds" of potential outcomes.

If the functioning of that soul deterministic or not and does it matter and why or why not? You've just pushed the question back to the next turtle down.

Indeed, I have. Plus I've introduced a whole new set of questions about the meaning of free will, particularly if we introduce an omniscient God into the discussion. I didn't claim that adding a soul answered anything, though it does allow free will to exist in a deterministic observable universe by providing another degree of freedom where it can live, non-deterministically.

Comment Re:A pattern emerges (Score 1) 156

To be sure I'm not painting an overly rosy picture... keep in mind that what I said applies only to devices with unlockable bootloaders. OEMs can choose not to allow unlocking, and most don't. That's their choice. At least Google's design explicitly tells them how to go about allowing unlocking without compromising security, and it pushes SoC makers (who actually write the bootloaders, by and large) to implement support for it so that if OEMs decide to allow unlocking they can do it by flipping a switch.

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