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Comment They must say no. (Score 1) 417

They must say no. They have a duty of loyalty to their employer. They know that their employer is being compelled to direct them to write this code and does not actually want them to write it. To comply with their duty of loyalty, the must refuse. At that point, it would take a court order that specifically named those employees. It will be interesting to see if any court is willing to go that far.

Comment Re:Relevant? (Score 1) 367

As Apple said in it is brief:

"The government also implicitly threatens that if Apple does not acquiesce, the government will seek to compel Apple to turn over its source code and private
electronic signature. ... The catastrophic security implications of that threat only highlight the government’s fundamental misunderstanding or reckless
disregard of the technology at issue and the security risks implicated by its suggestion."

Comment FV-M8 $30 (Score 1) 291

San Jose Navigation's FV-M8 GPS module is available everywhere (including from Amazon) for less than $30. It has an NMEA output and a 1 PPS output for time synchronization. I haven't measured the time accuracy of this module, but the module it replaces had a measured time accuracy of better than 100 microseconds, the limit of the equipment I had to measure with.

Comment Re:What about "Import Grade" (Score 1) 70

For a variety of reasons including incompetence, collateral damage, organizational dysfunction, pandering to win elections, and prioritization of small short-term goals over significant long-term goals. But it's incredibly naive and misguided to fail to appreciate two things:

1) The United States has both statutory and institutional controls over law enforcement and national intelligence that are much stronger than many other country's.

2) Foreign governments do in fact use their foreign intelligence capabilities against United States citizens and businesses, just as we do to foreign companies and individuals.

Comment Re:Why not (Score 1) 70

I'm ignoring the legal and moral issues and looking only at the technical ones.

If access was only for national security, that might work. But the problem is that law enforcement around the country wants access to this information any time any judge anywhere issues a warrant. That would mean the database of such passwords would be accessed by thousands of people around the country every day.

Some of those passwords would protect a twelve year old's text messages with their friends. Some of them would protect critical industrial secrets.

That's totally unworkable. It's like storing the Mona Lisa the same place everyone keeps their wallet.

Comment Re:Might? (Score 1) 410

Did you read the accident report? The car wasn't changing lanes. It was moving from the right side of its lane into the the center of its lane. The bus, moving much faster and overtaking the car from behind, apparently attempted to share the lane with the car.

At least, that's what the accident report, filled out by Google, claims.

Comment Re:20% isn't surge pricing (Score 1) 164

That's probably true. Companies generally raise their prices due to inflation, and introducing a new pricing scheme is often used as an opportunity to adjust prices for inflation. But if they do that, it does mean that it will be longer before the next time they raise prices. So it will probably mean an overall price increase in the short term, as it almost always does after new pricing is introduced. It will eventually be matched by unusually low prices just before the next time they raise them.

Comment Re:A Write Once Register would solve this issue (Score 1) 157

Imagine if a particular algorithm were banned in the US. You might say that Intel could have a write once register that, if set, would stop the CPU from executing that algorithm. But then you need hardware to detect what algorithm the software is making the CPU perform, and that's not simple. I'm pretty sure your write once register idea is closer to that level of difficulty.

The FCC was responding to a case where an interference mitigation algorithm was either disabled or implemented incorrectly. The device was operating on a frequency it was authorized to operate on, but not correctly following the high-level interference minimization algorithmic requirements for that frequency. This is not a hardware on/off switch but a sophisticated software algorithm that the FCC requires to be implemented, and tested for correctness, to legally operate on frequencies that can interfere with radar systems.

I strongly disagree with the FCC, but this was not a reasonable alternative.

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