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Comment Pity, since I can't accept the EULA (Score 1) 137

Google's Chrome browser, on the other hand, remained unhackable during the contest.

Unfortunately for me, I can't accept Chrome's EULA.

It incorporates Adobe's, which (if I recall correctly from my AT&T Android-based smartphone) has several clauses I can't abide - including a never-compete, don't block updates, don't work on circumvention tools, we can change the license without notice, ...

I don't intend to do anything that might come back to limit my future software work or employability. Clicking through such a license (even if every bit of it is struck down by the courts - which I'm not holding my breath expecting), especially on a device that "phones home" in a way that is easily identified with my true name, is an invitation for an all-versus-one gladiatorial match with two multibillion-dollar corporations' legal departments.

Comment GitHub is in California (Score 1) 74

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. ... I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation [company-owns-all-your-inventions] policies impose.

Because it's already been adressed, long ago.

GitHub is in San Francisco, which is in California and governed by California labor law.

California labor law says that (paraphrasing from memory):
  - As a compelling state interest
  - overriding anything in the employee agreement
  - if an employee invents something
  - while not on company time or using company resources
  - and that invention is not in the company's current or immediately foreseeable business
  - then the invention belongs to the employee
  - (and the employment agreement must include a copy of this information as an appendix.)

(IMHO that law is THE reason for the explosive growth and innovation in Silicon Valley and why other states have been unable to clone it. Invent something that your current company won't use, get together with a couple friends, maybe get some "angel funding", rent the office across the street, and go into business with your new shiny thing. So companies bud off new companies like yeast. And innovators collect where they can become the inventor, the "couple of friends", or the early hires, creating a pool of the necessary talent to convert inventions into companies when they happen.)

What GitHub has apparently done is say to the employees:
"For the purposes of us claiming your IP, your lunch time and breaks are your time, even on company property, and your use of our computers and disk storage for things like compiles, storing code, and web research in aid of your project, does not count as 'using company resources'."

In other states, and other companies even within CA, that might be a big deal. For a company in CA, whose whole business model is providing archives for other people's software projects - and giving it away free to small groups, while charging large groups (or small groups that grow into large groups), it's not a big deal, and right IN their business model.

Comment Re:A mystery (Score 2) 115

This really saddens me too.

I used to avoid Ford like the plague because they were the American vehicle with quality issues while GM was the reliable one.

I know from my Saturn with a stick-shift that GM transmissions turned to crap, as did many other things from GM in the recent decade or two. Ford decided to stop building trash and stepped up their game. I now have a Ford Transit Connect outfitted for passenger as a family vehicle. We love it, we get lots of questions about it, lots of people tell us how much they like it and are considering getting one. It's got a great reliability rating from consumer reports. The GM and Ford of the 80's and 90's switched places in the 2000's / 2010's.

Comment saw a proof of concept several years ago (Score 1) 457

If you think about the makeup of a car the only thing that can be controlled are those with electronic controls.

Which is just about everything these days. Some of the controls, and other devices are federally mandated - like anitlock brakes (which work by turning the bakes OFF in a controlled manner) and tire pressure sensors. Others are there because running a vehicle bus DRASTICALLY cuts the cost of wiring harnesses - like nearly every controllable or reporting device in the vehicle.

A few years ago I saw a proof-of-concept demonstrated at a conference. The researchers had used a flaw in a popular (with auto companies) tire pressure sensor system to achieve remote radio control of the car's vehicle bus. (CAN bus, if I recall correctly.) That let them do a bunch of stuff. Among them was disable the brakes, set the cruise control to a high speed, and make it impossible to shut off the engine or open the doors.

There are a LOT of other ways to interfere with recent vehicles' operation, and at high speed the driver doesn't have time to figure out how to work around such interference even if it's theoretically possible.

Comment "Logical North, Physical West" (Score 1) 469

Regarding "logical north/south" in Silicon Valley":

- Much of the pacific coast of California is not north-south, but northwest-southeast, making "north-south" major highways about 45 degrees off from the nominal direction.
  - In addition, in the area around Silicon Valley (especially the southern part of San Francisco Bay) there is an additional rotation due to the arrangement of faults and the resulting layout of the bay, peninsula, and surrounding mountains (or "big hills" if you don't count them as mountains unless they're snowcapped year around).

So, in and around Silicon Valley, many "north-south" highways actually run almost exactly east-west.

It seems appropriate that, in this part of California, the roads lean about 90 degrees to the left. B-)

Comment Re:Car-Magedon in Fremont last week (Score 1) 469

I happen to commute through the area in question. 680 and 880 run roughly parallel "logical south" of a point a couple miles "logical north" of Mission (which is the shortest connector between them near the logical north end) with Fremont Bvd also roughly parallel and in between them for much of their run. If something clogs 680, Fremont Bvd is the only shunpike available. 880, meanwhile, is usually clogged from several miles logical north of Mission down to 237 or beyond. Again cutting over to Fremont Bvd via Mission is the preferred shunpike (though there's another on the bayward side).

It's going to get worse. Caltrans is doing construction on the relevant clog-prone section of 880. But rather than expanding it, they're turning the existing carpool-during-rush-hour lane into a pay-to-use-express lane - from AT LEAST the Dumbarton turnoff (and probably far beyond) down to 237. If they expand the limited-access times, or if the change repels rush-hour drivers into the regular lanes rather than attracting more from them, the already clogged part of 880 will get more clogged and produce more shunpikers.

Comment Sucking the oxygen out - media ran the pumps. (Score 1) 295

Unfortunately, perhaps, the primary votes from people who wanted a Republican were split between several similar candidates, while Trump very successfully positioned himself as different, as the alternative to "all those guys" (and he *is* different).

IMHO the media thought that Trump would be the easiest for Hillary to defeat and did their best to sabotage the campaigns of the regular - and irregular - politicians in the Republican primary.

They did this mainly by focusing on Trump and giving little coverage to the others. They even spoke of it as "Trump sucking the oxygen out of the room" whenever he entered it - when in fact they were the ones running the pumps.

Once he was nominated, of course, they turned on him - only to discover that he'd promised exactly what voters controlling enough electoral votes wanted, and he wasn't dependent on them to get the word out to his supporters. And the harder they tried to slam him, the more they discredited themselves (while Hillary managed to shoot herself in the foot, up to both knees.)


Comment Re:I think I know their answer (Score 1) 295

The more sensible way to handle this would be to require companies to pay a minimum wage, and not a universal minimum wage, but one that follows the job description or something like that.

But they're ALREADY bringing them in on one job description then assigning them to do other work. There are a couple of reasons for doing this, but one of them is to avoid the appearance of replacing the workers on the REAL job with lower-priced imported labor, without leaving a paper trail showing that's what happened.

One of the problems with laws - "the economy of negative values" - is that the "trading partners" are strongly incentivized to find ways to loophole out.

Comment He's a businessman. He's used to keeping promisea (Score 1) 295

We have had decades of bullshit and hand wringing saying how hard it would be to change ANY law. This guy gets in on a populist platform and makes a lot of promises that most expected him to renege on (in typical politician fashion). He is delivering.

And the political establishment is surprised. But they shouldn't be.

Politicians welch on promises and their voters are used to it. (What are they going to do - elect another politician who promises something they like less?)

Businessmen work hard to make deals that give them a bunch of what THEY want - and promise the other party what HE wants. Then they deliver - because if they make a practice of flaking out, nobody will sign future deals with them.

They also do things FAST - so they can get their capital freed up and applied to ANOTHER deal that gets them MORE of what they want.

So he's used to keeping promises and getting the difficult stuff done right away. What a (pleasant) non-surprise that he's still acting like a businessman and doing it in his latest endeavor, after centuries of politicians have acted like politicians and failed to deliver.

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