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Comment I am, and should be, liable. Also implied warranty (Score 1) 50

I have a toy plane and toy quadcopter, also known as drones. I fly them (tell them to fly themselves?) at an athletic park, in the middle of several soccer fields. Surrounding the soccer fields are open, undeveloped land. Sometimes the wind picks up unexpectedly or there is a mechanical problem and they crash. Then I have to go find it in the trees or whatever.

If I chose to send my drone (toy) flying around a busy parking lot and a gust of wind sent it crashing into a baby stroller, I would be responsible. I sent the drone flying, I'm responsible for any consequences. (On the other hand, if I use it to assist in a search and rescue mission, somebody may give me credit for doing that.) Anyway, I bought it and chose a time and a place to put it in the air, and where to direct it to go. I hold the "off" switch and the "abort, come home" switch. It's my responsibility.

Also, if my drone suddenly flies off course at full speed and crashes into something fragile AND other owners of the same model report the same type of malfunction, I'm going to ask the manufacturer to reimburse me for any damages I had to cover. There are implied warranties they would be in breach of.

I see "self driving" cars exactly the same. If I buy one, I can let it drive on a road in Arizona that's straight for 45 miles at a time and I only see another car once every 20 minutes, or I can turn on "self driving" mode on a busy freeway. I can keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road ready to respond to emergencies or I can choose to watch Youtube in busy traffic. I'm responsible for how I use the device (via my insurance company, whom I pay to absorb the risk). If the car suddenly accelerates at full throttle in a traffic jam, I'm going to hold the manufacturer responsible for the defect, but as far as other drivers are concerned, my car hit them. My car is my responsibility.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 29

Not to mention that Valve knows well enough that Microsoft is working hard to throw as many obstacles between their feet to make Steam as unusable as possible in Windows to promote their own game store.

Valve, of all companies on the planet, has a VERY good reason to push for full blown Linux support in gaming. And that's basically what Linux needs if it wants to take off.

Because, face it: What reason does Joe Average still have to use Windows? Internet? Nope. Every major browser, mail system, video player you might want is available. Document writing? Nope. Libreoffice is good enough for personal use.

What's left for Joe that ties him to Windows is gaming. Yes, there are a lot of other applications that are not available on Linux, or not at the same quality. But they are mostly things that are niche products that are interesting to a very small subset of users. The only big issue that remains is actually gaming.

Comment The last time I dropped some hydrogen metal (Score 1) 102

I would tell you about what happened the last time I dropped some metallic hydrogen, but neither I nor anyone else has ever dropped the stuff. Therefore nobody really knows what happens when you drop it. This sample was too small to track as the diamond shattered.

They think it probably turned to gas (sublimated), but it may have remained solid and might be under the lab bench right now. Or maybe some other, unexpected thing happened - maybe it reacted with oxygen in the air to form water. Nobody knows until the try it again and watch closely.

Comment Yes, poorly worded summary (Score 2) 54

Yes, I read the judgement and the court wrote that there is a fifth amendment concern. Specifically, the judge pointed to another major ruling recently that by unlocking a phone via a password (or fingerprint), the person is effectively testifying that it is their phone, under their control, and they can decrypt and encrypt it.

Also, the application for the warrant was deficient on traditional fourth amendment grounds, specificity of what and who would be searched, and what the police expected to find where. They wanted to use the fingers of everyone present at the house (resident or *visitor*) to search every electronic device in the house. So a delivery man dropping off a couch at the time would have his phone searched.

The judge indicated that the police needed to be more specific. Something like "we want to search Bob Smith's Galaxy S5 for a file called 12yroldfuck.mpg because we believe he downloaded that file to that phone on February 12th, based on [evidence]." That would solve both the 4th amendment specificity issue and the 5th amendment issue - if the police already know that the Galaxy S5 is Bob's, the act of him unlocking it doesn't provide new, testimonial information.

I think what the summary was trying to hint at is that the ruling doesn't prohibit the normal process of taking fingerprints incident to arrest.

Comment To be the phone company (Score 2) 88

ISPs are now subject to Title II regulations as common carriers - the rules written for Verizon and AT&T now apply to ISPs. Ponder for a moment how many regulations a thousand bureaucrats have written over the last several decades for phone companies.

The order which lists which regulations now apply to ISPs as well is 400 pages. Here is is for your reading pleasure:

Note that's not 400 pages of regulations, that's 400 pages of REFERENCES to regulations. The total regulations will be in the thousands of pages.

Comment The (400 page) requirements you can read. $3.25 (Score 2) 88

I just spent two days filling out forms and schedules for the IRS, in order to report the fact that I owe them $3.25. All those forms might make sense for a big company; it's asinine that I had to do all that to calculate $3.25 in federal unemployment tax because I earned $530 from a side business last year. My total tax forms for that $530 business are probably 40 pages of tax forms per year. I fully support distinguishing between a company like Verizon vs Ray Morris Inc when it comes to reporting requirements.

The subject of the present action is categorizing ISPs as common carriers under Title II - classifying them as phone companies. Title II was written with AT&T in mind, assuming the related company will have a team of people dedicated to compliance. It wasn't written for small companies. Here's the Congressional statute (not too bad) and 400 PAGE FCC order on applying it to ISPs:

You say *complying* with the order should be easy, I dare you to even try to READ the order. There are 400 pages in the order itself, many of which refer to other FCC regulations you'll need to read. Make sure to read the part about how you're not allowed to bring up a new connection or remove an old one without a certificate of preapproval from the FCC.

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