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Comment Re:UCC (Score 1) 333

Exactly, companies are sued for false advertising all the time. Now that the game has been exposed, I'm sure the lawyers are running in circles to be the first to file such a lawsuit and up it to class-action status. Of course, at best the average customer will end up getting a coupon to exchange any partly used bottle of false Aloe Vera for a free bottle of "real" Aloe Vera while the lawyers get another mountain of $$$ and the manufacturers continue milking consumers on other undetected falsehoods.

(I sure am optimistic today, aren't I?)

Comment Re:government regulations (Score 1) 333

OTOH, to play devil's advocate, if customers can't tell the difference and the product on the shelves serves the advertised purposes, is it really fraud?

I predict that the manufacturer (I bet CVS/Walmart/Walgreens all rebrand the stuff from the same company) will come back and say "maybe we didn't use real Aloe Vera, but XYZ is an equivalent substitute" followed by updated packaging adding in fine-print the words "or equivalent". Step two will be legitimate manufacturers adding the word 'real' and upping their prices in exchange for claiming that their ingredients are verified by a so-called independent third-party lab.

Comment Re:Besides the obvious informmercial (Score 1) 45

The article is admittedly useless in giving details of the hack, or what he managed to do.

Assuming though that the exploit gave him full access to the router's configuration (which the article seems to imply), that would make it trivial to add a sniffer to intercept unencrypted traffic, alter DNS settings to point to a compromised database, or otherwise instigate man-in-the-middle attacks of unencrypted traffic. The article specifically says that we should encrypt all of our traffic over public Wifi, which (combined with not ignoring bad certificate errors) is the only way to avoid/detect such MITM attacks.

Comment Re:You don't understand what "can't" means. (Score 1, Insightful) 534

When you say "I can't pardon someone..." that doesn't necessarily mean you are prohibited by law. It can also mean you have a moral or practical objection that prevents you from pardoning the person.

Just because Slashdot is heavily Snowden-sympathetic doesn't mean we should be deliberately misunderstanding the position of people opposed to pardoning him. You cannot have national security if individual people outside the chain of command decide to buck the classification system. We need better whistleblowing systems and better oversight, but you can't have every college grad deciding he knows better than everyone else. Because while sometimes he does, other times he gets lots of people killed over something stupid.

Exactly. Obama knows full well the difference between what he can legally do, and what he can justify (to himself and to the nation) doing.

Snowden broke the law. There is no avoiding that fact. He may have done it for moral reasons, but he still broke the law and didn't even attempt to go down any of several legitimate roads of objection available within our national security framework for so-called 'whistle-blowing.'

If Obama were to outright pardon him for his crimes, he would be implicitly condoning those actions and inviting chaos.

Now, if Snowden were to turn himself in, and be formally convicted and sentenced in court it would be a different matter. At that point the President could use the power of pardon to commute his sentence on moral grounds without actually condoning or encouraging the original crime.

Comment Re:Adoption? (Score 1) 203


I do believe, however, that those with the resources and need to conceive a child through artificial means should also have the responsibility to adopt a child in need (for when they are ready to care for a second child), or at a minimum to make a generous donation to help children in need.

Comment Re:Mobileye understands lit. Musk doesn't. (Score 2) 218

Not that again: Once again, the only stats that show Tesla safer than human drivers compares Tesla divided highway driving (the safest kind of driving) with human driving in general.

And that is also the only stat that matters for the Tesla Autopilot. The system was only designed to be used on divided highway driving. Any other usage is not supported or encouraged. Just because early versions of the system didn't prohibit the driver from engaging it on unsupported roads, doesn't mean that those use cases are supported. They clearly state that the driver is responsible for paying attention, and that it should only be used for highway driving.

Comment Re:Did it occur to them that no one wants them? (Score 1) 86

Don't forget that the current demo of the HoloLens is for *developers only*. Think of how much the Occulus Rift has improved from the tolerable-for-short-periods DK1 vs the first commercial release. Not that I generally like defending MS, but the ad campaigns reflect what MS hopes to achieve for the final product, not the current prototype. They need to up the FOV and resolution significantly before that device is ready for market ... and when it is it looks like MS is ensuring that there will be plenty of software available from the start.

Anonymics is right about the 'uncanny valley' problem to, at least to a degree. The HoloLens' AR is a much different beast than full immersion VR. They need to achieve a high enough resolution/optics to display text clearly, but they aren't creating a virtual world so simple charts and cartoonish characters (which even a modest GPU can generate at very high resolutions) will be sufficient for intended uses. (Intended meaning the HoloLens is not designed for immersive virtual reality games, though I'm sure people will try using it that way anyway and be confused of why VR and AR are not the same thing).

Comment Re:Great! (Score 0) 266

Exactly. The entire premise of this is control of people. Time to block the IR port, kids.

I don't envy younger people; the world is turning into a liberties hellhole on them.

This is an IR signal that would be picked up by the camera itself, not necessarily a dedicated IR port.

In any case, the solution here is quite simple either:
A: Don't use Apple products (recommended)
B: Buy a cheap IR filter from china to stick over your camera. (ebay will be flooded with these the moment the software is actually deployed). NOTE: Not to be confused with visible light filters that block everything but IR and are sometimes erroneously marketed as IR filters.

Comment Lunch, the Least Important Meal; except when first (Score 1) 300

I very rarely eat breakfast. In fact, I rarely have an appetite until I've been up for at least an hour or two.

When people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I generally reply that Lunch is the least important meal of the day - except when it's first. And for me, Lunch is almost always first ;-)

Comment Yes; It just takes more work (Score 1) 183

It's not as shiny and takes more work than using the big name solutions (ie: Nest/Google), but the options are out there.

The RadioThermostat works over your choice of WiFi, Z-Wave, or Zigbee (pick up to 2 protocols). The cloud service is easy to setup and includes a convenient app, but the API is fully documented and compatible with a number of open source home automation servers. You can easily disable the cloud service if desired, or reconfigure it to point to a server of your choosing (local or remote).

I'd say it'll be another year or two for the various open source home automation servers to mature to the point that they'll be as convenient to setup as the commercial systems. For now, unfortunately, it's still very much a developers-only world of roll your own solutions, unless you happen to be using the same devices that are supported by a single software package.

I currently have a Z-Wave lights, RadioThermostat, a discontinued system providing leak and motion detectors over a custom serial protocol, TI SensorTags, RF blinds and LED lighting that I plan on controlling via my home server. The hardest part I'm finding is actually controlling the RF devices, while I've given up on the ebay LED light strip controllers and am working on custom Arduino-based controllers there.

Eventually I want to add a Smart lock to my front door to give me keyless entry, but I've yet to find a smart lock that I feel is both secure and not dependent on a third-party server literally holding your (master encryption) keys hostage so you can't freely create your own digital keys at will (looking at you, Kevo).

Comment Re:Where the Money is going (Score 1) 49

Agreed. In fact, back in the days of DSL ruling broadband internet services, we had exactly those same regulations here in the USA. My mother is still using the same independent DSL provider she has for ages, which leases/shares equipment and lines with the local telco.

The problem is that when the cable companies laid their wires later on, most municipalities granted them exclusive access to those lines in exchange for paying the full expenses. That, plus differences in the way Cable COAX vs Telephone wiring works, makes competition on the same line here infeasible.

OTOH, it would probably be a lot easier for the same regulations that applied to the copper lines be extended to the newer Fiber optic lines, also generally operated by the phone companies, but we'd need elected representatives independent of corporations before that will ever happen ;-X

Comment Re:2014 experience with USA public transit (Score 1) 110

Let's be fair. Our public transit system is more like a second world country ;-) With the exception of certain historic lines (ie: San Francisco's trolley's), the rolling stock doesn't date to the 50s, but can be as old as the 70s or 80s, though most cities with trains that old are in the process of actively refreshing their stock.

I've visited Europe several times now, but have yet to visit Asia. The older parts of the public transit systems in Europe are generally comparable to the US, though I'll admit they do a better job of keeping them clean. I think that's in part due to European cities actually hiring janitors for their subway systems, and actively keeping the homeless out. European systems are generally newer, more expensive, and better connected for travel between cities. Conversely, European cities are generally less friendly (and more costly) for automobiles.

Keep in mind also, that subway systems in the US are around 100 years old, whereas most systems in Europe are significantly newer, or have been almost completely rebuilt in the last half-century. Public transit systems in the US are also focused just on moving tourists and commuters within big cities; smaller cities, suburbs, and transport between cities is generally done via car in the US. This isn't necessarily better, but it is a significant difference in culture. And the only thing that changes more slowly than culture is government-funded infrastructure.

Comment Re:In related news... (Score 1) 110

I grew up in NYC, and have been living near DC for almost 10 years now.

It's not so much that the DC system is in a greater state of disrepair (NYC's subway system is breaking down all the time), but rather that the DC system is much more fragile. In NYC, there are both local and express tracks, and in lower Manhattan multiple lines within a few blocks of each other, such that when a section of track needs repair, it is much easier to re-route. Growing up, the only time the entire system ever shut down was for a strike. In recent years though, weather-related concerns have caused multiple system-wide shutdowns as water levels rise and the system becomes more fragile with age.

The DC system is also relatively new, and was built as part of a unified plan, meaning that if there's a design or manufacturing defect somewhere, it's more likely to affect everything. NYC (and likely Chicago) subways have been built up over the past century (originally by independent, competing companies) and contain different generations of equipment making it less likely that any given issue will be systemic to the entire metro system.

In the case of the big Red Line crash a few years ago, that clearly showed a poor design of the DC Metro system. Instead of having a fail-safe backup system from the beginning (ie: there are physical emergency break triggers at red lights in the NYC subway system), they were entirely dependent on a system of computer sensors with a human operator serving as an insufficient pseudo-backup.

Comment Re:Continuum - Finally (Score 1) 88

That was the LapDock which ran a (crippled) Desktop Linux distro when you put the phone in the dock. The dock itself supposedly was useful for turning Raspbery Pi's into fully functional laptops when they went on clearance, but unfortunately I broke my HDMI connector on the dock and only got to try that for a few minutes . . .

Comment Use the KISS Principle (Score 1) 128

I used to have a similar setup at my old place (though without a dock for the laptop, and adding a TV as an occasional tertiary display). While I agree that some sort of smart KVM would be ideal, this is a case where it's best to keep it simple. There's no need to spend $$$ when all you need to do is be smart about what you connect, and press a few extra buttons to switch displays.

My approach was something as follows:
- 4 Port KVM Switch (USB-capable, $20 from newegg)
- 2x Monitors, 1x TV, 2x Desktops, 1x Laptop
- All computers connected via USB to KVM for switching keyboard/mouse. If I were to do it today, I might bypass the KVM and setup QuickSynergy on all machines instead, or in addition.
- Right monitor connected to KVM to switch (VGA) between Desktop 1 secondary display and laptop external output
- Desktop primary output connected via DVI, one to left monitor, one to right monitor
- Desktop 2 secondary display via VGA to left monitor and Tertiary DisplayPort to TV

Both desktops always output to both displays, but each used a different monitor as its primary. I could use the monitors source buttons to quickly switch either monitor between inputs, with the KVM on the second monitor enabling a 3-way switch between the 2 desktops and laptop.

At one point though I actually got annoyed with the KVM, and just used the laptop on its own, and kept 2 sets of keyboard/mice on the table (one for each desktop).

The one feature I wish I had today, was eye-tracking/mind-reading software that automatically switched my keyboard/mouse to the computer+display I'm looking at.

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