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Comment Sounds more like the opposite (Score 1) 171

If TFA is correct, then Samsung tried to put the largest battery possible while keeping the phone as thin as possible. If they wanted more profit, they could've gone with a smaller battery or a thicker design with larger tolerances. Both would've been cheaper for them to manufacture and thus would've increased their profit margin. But they eschewed that marginal profit and went the extra mile for the customer - packing in the largest battery possible while keeping the phone as small and thin as possible. Unfortunately they went too far, to the point where it compromised the safety of the device.

If I had to guess, they probably goofed because this was only their second gen all-metal design. They didn't have the experience to tell them how tight was too tight (at least not until now). They could pack the battery this tightly on their older plastic bodies without problems because battery expansion would just push the rear plastic shell up a little.

Comment Re:I don't care if I know the outcome (Score 1) 119

Yup. If knowing the outcome is what's important, then you only need to watch the last 5-10 seconds of the event; you can skip everything that comes before. Heck, you can skip watching it entirely and just catch the score on a sports news website.

OTOH if the parts before the end of the game have entertainment value, then it doesn't matter if you know the outcome in advance, and there's no need to watch it live. The only benefit of watching it live is that it's easier to find other people who haven't seen it that you can watch it with.

Comment Re:Unclear (Score 1) 314

You're assuming his status and success is due to privilege, not due to ability and effort. You're making this assumption based on his race and gender, not his individual circumstances. That is the definition of racism and sexism. Exactly the same as assuming a black college student is there only due to affirmative action.

Nearly all my entire extended family immigrated into the U.S. in the 1970s and early 1980s. At the time, Korea was a backwater and afraid of all its wealthy citizens emigrating, so it passed a law that each emigrating family was only allowed to take roughly $1500 worth of money and valuables with them. So every one of our families (about a dozen) started in the U.S. with a net value of $1500 - no job, no house, no car, little or no English language capability, and no contacts among the privileged white "elite". I was only 4 when we moved here but I remember - we lived in a government low-income apartment, and scoured garage sales and the Salvation Army store for basics like dishes and cutlery. All my clothes as a child were from second-hand stores - nothing new.

Today, only one of these original families is lower class (the father refuses to get a job and is content to live off government assistance and the mother's meager income). Everyone else has managed to carve out middle class ($25k+/yr) or better lives, most in the top third ($65k+/yr). Three are upper class ($150k+/yr, or top 5%), the most successful of whom owns a multi-million dollar cell phone store chain they founded (a 1%er). Among our second generation (myself and about 30 cousins), one was middle class but is now in prison, one (child of the one lower class family) is lower class but just got his nursing degree and a job offer at a salary that would put him in the top third, one has mental health issues but falls into the middle class when he can hold a job. The rest of us are middle class or higher, with 6 being upper class ($150k+/yr).

This "privilege" you speak of either doesn't exist or has nowhere near the amount of influence on people's lives that you think it does. If you put in the time and effort, chances are that you can succeed regardless of your starting social and financial status. The only statistical deviation from the U.S. norm that jumps out in my family is that over half of us started our own business after we'd saved up some money, rather than were content to remain employees. I think that was due to not understanding pensions, Social Security, nor investing in stocks, so we sought the only other obvious way to assure an income in retirement. But it seems to have worked in our favor.

Comment "Feature" has already killed someone (Score 4, Insightful) 335

The "feature" has already caused at least one death.

Last week, a burglar pried apart some security bars at my business and squeezed in. He was able to make off with some stolen goods because once inside, he was easily able to open the locked exit door. Fire codes require that all building exit doors accessible to the public be openable from the inside even when locked. These laws were made after repeated fires with huge death tolls exacerbated by locked exit doors. That's what the bar on the door you press when leaving most restaurants and stores does. Even when the door is locked, pushing the bar from the inside will open the door. That way if a fire breaks out, you're not trapped inside because the only person who has the key was the idiot who started the fire and is dead.

Same thing with refrigerators - both the old stand-up units which latched shut, and walk-in refrigerator/freezers used in restaurants. Too many people (especially kids playing) were dying after being trapped inside, that laws were passed requiring a mechanism which allows someone inside to open the latch on the outside.

I don't see why cars should be any different. Yes easy egress makes thievery easier. But preventing that is just not worth the potential loss of life. Any car designer who thinks this is a good idea should be locked inside one of their cars on a sunny day until they admit it's a terrible idea. Heck, after dozens of kids dying each year after being locked in the trunk of a car while playing, we finally passed a law mandating a release mechanism inside the trunk. And some idiot car designer decides it would be a good idea to make it impossible for someone inside the passenger compartment to exit at will? Shame on BMW for trying to spin this to the press as a "helpful" feature.

Comment Personally I hope they donate most to nonprofits (Score 1) 166

...but if they sell them,

Where to buy TSA confiscated items for sale:

US state Website address
District of Columbia
Georgia - Online auction sales
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Puerto Rico No website
South Carolina
South Dakota Mgmt/propmgt.htm
West Virginia

Comment It's simpler than that (Score 1) 319

"The group "seems to have been in existence for just a few months"

You mean, roughly coinciding with HRC's failure to mobilize her base, and dawning recognition that she wasn't simply going to ascend the throne as planned?

Rather than invent a giant Russian hacking cabal, it's simpler to recognize:
- fake bullshittery news has been with us on the internet since...the internet. Election seasons in particular have always been rife with "did you hear" watercooler talk.
- its far easier to blame "them" on the internet than to accept that "Liberalism Ascendant" wasn't perhaps as inevitable as some thought, and a really shitty candidate CAN still lose an "in-the-bag" election
- not every story that HRC (note that all the 'false news' stories are one-sided; apparently nobody spread false tales about Trump? Really?) claims was fake was, ipso facto, fake. We seem to have quickly and conveniently moved on, for example, from what was obviously some serious seizure issues that have been hand-waved away as "fake news"

Comment Re:Billing address? (Score 1) 108

Speaking as a former merchant, the billing address, security code, expiration date* aren't required to process a credit card transaction. They're tools the credit card companies give merchants to help prevent fraud (while simultaneously passing laws prohibiting merchants from requiring credit card users to show ID to prove it's actually their card**).

The way it works is that if you're a merchant and you accept a fraudulent/stolen card, the onus is on you to prove that to the best of your knowledge the transaction was legit. The main way this is done is by validating the signature on the receipt matches the signature the card company has on file. When you accept a card, you're supposed to check the signature on the back of the card to insure it matches the signature on the receipt. If the cardholder requests a chargeback and the signature doesn't match, it's instantly game over - the merchant loses and the card company grants the chargeback.

If it sorta matches or (for online purchases) there is no signature, then it falls onto these secondary security measures. The more data the merchant collected which correctly matches the info the card company has on file (security code, expiration date, billing address, phone number, cardholder's birthdate, I think that's all) the better the chances the merchant will win against a chargeback. So it's in the best interests of the merchant to collect as much info as possible to protect themsevles. But on the flip side if you try to collect too much info you make the transaction more annoying for the cardholder, and risk alienating them so they go make their purchase elsewhere. Or (for brick and mortar purchases) you slow down the checkout line forcing you to hire more cashiers and add more cash registers. So the merchant picks the amount of security they're comfortable with. I've always wondered what happens if someone sets up a fake merchant account, runs a bunch of fraudulent transactions without any security checks, then absconds with the money and closes the bank account once the credit card has wired the payments, before any of the cardholders can notice and request chargebacks.

There are some other ways to get fake credit card transaction to go through that I fell victim to about 10 years ago when I lost one of my cards. I promptly called to report the card lost/stolen and figured that was that. But reviewing my card statements, I noticed a fraudulent charge on the second statement after I'd gotten a new card with a new number. After some discussion with the card company, I learned that (1) as of 2007 they still allowed carbon copy credit card transactions. Older readers may recall the credit card machines used before phone and Internet credit card machines. They'd take your card, put it in the machine, put a carbon copy form on top of it, then run a roller over the card to imprint it onto the carbon copy paper. One copy became the customer's receipt, the other the merchants. The merchant would then mail these in for processing and to receive payment. Because of the time delay, the credit card companies would continue to process these even if they were received after the card had been canceled.

"But the date on the fraudulent transaction is after I reported my card lost/stolen. Why was it still processed?" I asked. (2) The thief had processed it as a subscription service. Apparently when people have a card stolen they frequently forget to update their magazine subscriptions with the new card info. The credit card companies got tired of getting into 3-way arguments about canceled subscriptions because the payment was denied due to the card being canceled. So if the transaction is coded as payment for a subscription, the card company will "helpfully" forward the charge to the new card even if the charge was processed using the account's old (stolen) card number.

* (I don't think expiration date is required, but this was a decade ago so I don't recall exactly.)

** (The card companies are also sensitive to not making credit card transactions much more annoying than cash, so they've managed to get laws passed prohibiting surcharges for credit card payments, and prohibiting requiring credit card users to show ID - the merchant can ask, but they cannot deny the transaction if the cardholder refuses.)

Comment Question (Score 2, Insightful) 116

Instead of bio-engineering an organism which collects sunlight and uses it to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, why don't we just plant more trees?

I understand that you're upset that we're not doing more about CO2 emissions. But you have to understand that we're directly in control of those CO2 emissions. If we wanted to, we could stop all our CO2 emissions tomorrow. The problem isn't the capability, it's the desire. We already have the capability, we just lack the desire.

Releasing a self-replicating bio-engineered organism which extracts CO2 from the atmosphere is an order of magnitude more reckless than wantonly emitting CO2 to generate energy. Because once you release a self-replicating organism, you no longer have any control over it. If it turns out our calculations and predictions are wrong about the effects of reducing our CO2 emissions, we can modify our behavior in response because we control our CO2 emissions. But once you release that organism, that's it. It's out of our control. If our calculations were wrong about what the steady state response of the ecosystem will be to the introduction of that organism, we won't be able to stop it even if we desire to do so.

At least with trees, you have an organism which has been around for millions of years so its steady state effect on the ecosystem is pretty well understood.

Comment Re:Elephant in the room (Score 1) 263

The "every small part you ever need at your fingertips at home" revolution didn't happen.... or maybe hasn't happened yet.

But 3D printing is definitely revolutionary in the business world. People are just figuring out how to use the technology now, but it is already having an impact at the very high end... like SpaceX making parts of their super-draco engines with 3D printing. Or 3D printed automotive parts.

Sure, we don't have laser-sintered makerbots available for $75 that can print any tool or part you need in your garage.... but it isn't like 3D printing is a bust.

Comment Re:I thought diesel ran cleaner (Score 4, Interesting) 238

I've wondered about this too. I've noticed pollutants in emissions are measured in PPM - parts per million air molecules in the exhaust. Not in parts per distance traveled. So transportation efficiency (emissions per distance traveled) gets you nothing (volume of air ingested decreases with higher efficiency), and combustion efficiency (more energy produced per cylinder detonation) actually increases PPM even though in practical terms it would be offset by needing to fire the cylinder fewer times to get the same amount of work done. Meanwhile being able to run a lean mixture makes passing these emissions tests a breeze. Heck, you could rig up a bypass to feed intake air straight into the exhaust stream (probably illegal) and drop your PPM to near-zero.

e.g. My 3.0L V6 diesel truck cruises at 65 MPHat 1550 RPM. My 3.2L V6 gas car cruises at 65 MPH at 1800 RPM. 7% higher engine displacement, 16% higher RPM, so 23.9% more airflow volume at the same speed. So even if the diesel put out 23% more PPM than the gas engine, it would actually be emitting less pollutants per mile traveled. The difference is even more pronounced at higher speeds or loads. The diesel can hit 80 MPH at 1900 RPM, while the gas engine will be up around 2400 RPM. 35% higher airflow.

Comment Wish we'd come up with the name "fake news" sooner (Score 4, Informative) 45

A bit off-topic but:

Foxconn is a tech manufacturing giant. It makes a lot of things, including laptops for HP, phones for Apple, games consoles for Sony, and its workers so depressed it has to install suicide nets.

That was fake news. The suicide rate at Foxconn was lower than that of the U.S. at the time of the spike in suicides. The Foxconn suicide myth spread and persists for the same reason other fake news spreads and persists - the people spreading it want to believe it's true, and thus pass it on without first vetting it with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Except in this case the people spreading it are journalists in the mainstream media, whose job it is to review these stories with a critical eye before publishing them. They want to believe factory workers in developing nations were being exploited by western corporations and thus were more prone to attempt suicide, so they recklessly published these stories perpetuating the myth, and still do. Foxconn installed the nets to try to make the Western media shut up, not because there was a greater suicide problem there than anywhere else. I have no love for Apple or Chinese assembly line labor, but this is one criticism they don't deserve.

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