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Comment normalization (Score 1) 26

Once we have been desensitized to mass surveillance of this sort, it will become commonplace.

First they use it for sporting events, then all events with police presence,.then all the time because its cheaper to keep the system active than risk missing something and getting sued.

And thus continues the fall. However with the generations now who love to watch themselves on internet tv, I am not sure if anyone will be left who remembers a world where everything wasn't recorded and archived. If you haven't used an advanced camera system lately, they are approaching zoom, enhance, track, television style skills that was nothing but a CSI joke 10 years ago.

Comment 80mph = 128.747km/h (Score 1) 567

"Freeway speed limits should be 80."

80mph = 128.747km/h. That's so bad for fuel efficiency, there should be no other reason as to make it illegal!

I agree what you say that everyone drives 10 km/h over the speed limit and that immediately jumped out at me as the most flimsy part of the obviously premature faulting of the driver.
However, as that holds true, many roads in the country are 100km/h, or 110, so if everyone drives 10km/h over that then we get to your number of 128 anyways. The point is people will just drive 140 in an elevated speed limit, because hey, 10km over.

(this also serves the police of course, they can pull over whomever they want if everyone is breaking the law)

If what people are saying, that the autopilot didnt "see" the car, is true, then they very well should disable that shit until they fix it!
That's a real issue, a bit of speeding is not.

Comment Re:So that makes it OK then (Score 1) 671

If Putin instead decided to target the RNC they might uncover discussions of voter suppression efforts or other dirty tricks.

You don't need the Russians to reveal that the Republicans want to suppress voting, the Republicans make voter ID and reforming the Voting Rights Act an open part of their political program.

What's truly bothersome about the DNC emails is that the Democrats are so completely sanctimonious about being the guardians of the voting franchise, yet they're completely willing to undermine the primary election process by hindering or sabotaging a candidate who posed a significant threat to their preferred candidate.

So what do they REALLY value, free and fair elections where the outcome might not be what their power brokers want, or a fraudulent process that they control through manipulation? To me, they are cynical to the core and their only belief is self promotion.

At this point, it's becoming less and less a question of policy (since really, no meaningful change in the status quo will actually happen no matter who wins) but a question of voting for the candidate who seems the least cynical and dishonest. At this point, I'd rather vote for a candidate who's up front about being an asshole than I would one who's going to lie continually.

Comment Re:Hard to fathom they would actually build cars (Score 1) 135

I guess that's part of my question. A lot of car parts do come from the existing global parts supply chains, so building a "new" internal combustion vehicle wouldn't be that hard because almost nothing about it would be unique or proprietary and would be available from suppliers, right down to complete power trains.

With electric cars, though, there's a lot of engineering synthesis between the batteries, the drive train, even the braking (for regenerative braking) and in some ways, even the chassis considering the weight/safety issues relative to batteries.

While it's "just electric motors" and "just batteries", you're not building a golf cart, you're building a car where capacity/distance are major selling points and where innovation is ongoing, meaning that these systems aren't parts bin parts, many of them are highly proprietary engineered systems that can't easily just be bought off the shelf if they can be bought at all, especially when the buyer is Apple and the vendors of these products might not want to cede the market for electric cars to them.

With ICU cars, the incremental improvements in powertrains are miniscule, so nobody has a problem selling you their engines or transmissions and the rest of the car literally is parts bin parts from Delco or Bosch or the like.

Comment Re:Not just at the border... (Score 1) 317

I've noticed there are quite a few cameras trained at cars in the Arizona checkpoints I've been through. I wonder if they have some kind of collation system that's able to identify cars via license plate readers who have been through an actual border crossing and then compare the occupants from high resolution cameras trained at the passenger compartments.

In theory, foreign cars that have already cleared the actual border and seem to contain the same occupants would be ones you would possibly want to reduce scrutiny on since you've already checked their IDs and vehicle at the actual border, possibly adding some kind of reasonable time window for the car to have been driven from the border to the inland checkpoint.

That way, if you crossed into the US, did the entry-to-the-US thing at the border you would be of less interest at an inland checkpoint and can be waved through faster, cutting crossing delays at the inland checkpoints.

Comment Boats that can fly (Score 1) 155

Sea planes are mostly planes that can use water as a takeoff and landing surface, but don't generally operate on the water as seagoing vessels.

Has anyone ever built sort of the opposite, a vessel that can fly but has some designed in ability to stay on the water more in the manner of a boat?

Maybe with gas turbines for electric generation, electric motor props and a electric pod drives retractable into the fuselage for marine propulsion?

Perhaps the engineering is too complex or it would do neither job well enough to be worthwhile, but it seems like there may be some interesting niches where rapid access to a remote ocean location is desirable but where there's some task needed where loitering and maneuvering on the surface of the water is desirable in ways or for time periods that an airplane isn't useful.

Comment Hard to fathom they would actually build cars (Score 3, Insightful) 135

I mean whole cars meant for consumer sale.

While it's not like they don't have the cash (in Ireland..), but vehicle assembly is a huge job and I'm guessing that many of the parts for an electric car aren't something you can necessarily just get out of the Bosch parts bin or get from jobbers.

My guess is they're building one to try to understand them from the ground up to be suppliers of technology or to lure a major carmaker without an electric car into building it for them.

Comment Re: TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 229

And if they compel me to provide fingerprints, not only should I not have to tell them which fingerprint may unlock the device, it should be up to them to convert my fingerprint into a useful tool to actually unlock the phone.

Hopefully device manufacturers will include a configurable time window for the time to PIN/password fallback. It would be useful to adjust it based on usage from anywhere 0 to days, depending on what you think your exposure is.

Comment Cortana -- forcing it more place you don't want it (Score 1) 363

I'm generally happy with Win10 on both my laptops.

But Cortana? Why isn't there an option to disable it completely who don't want it? And why does putting it on the lock screen (hey, if its locked, maybe that's to keep anyone from doing anything, including random voice tasks..) feel like they're just jamming it somewhere *else* it's not wanted because people are ignoring it on the task bar?

I really would like to hear actual meetings where highly paid people at Microsoft think running around like a third-rate Apple knockoff is a good idea.

In addition to seeing some kind of supporting data driving these decisions. Either they'd confirm that research shows shoving Cortana everywhere actually adds to its usage, or they'd confirm there is no data, this is all mental masturbation to further fantasies that badly imitating Apple is actually a strategy.

Comment Can you play Xbox 360 games on it? (Score 1) 137

We won an Xbox 360 in a school raffle two years ago. The Xbox One had just been released. But because it had and the 360 had been on the market for a while, we were able to walk out of a pawn shop with a half-dozen games for less than $50.

I think our total game investment is maybe $100 up to now, and the count is probably 15 or more.

If you can play 360 games on the One, it might make a decent Christmas present if we don't lose the games we own or have to maintain two systems.

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