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Comment Re:Literally Hitler (Score 1) 480

Erdogan, alas, ended Kemal Ataturk's enforced secular state in Turkey. The way I've heard Kemalist Turkey described, the military's duty was to enforce a secular state. If an Islamist government was elected, as soon as they started to govern as Islamists, the military would overthrow the government, shoot as many Islamists as seemed appropriate to them ... then, remarkably for this sort of military coup, as soon as things had cooled down enough, hold new elections. "Try to choose more wisely this time. If not... we'll do it again." And they would.

Erdogan was canny enough to get enough of his own people in power in the military, and purge enough of the Kemalists, and the remaining Kemalists didn't catch on soon enough, so ... interesting times.

Not to say that Kemal Ataturk's system didn't have a whole lot of glaring problems, of course.

Comment Nice bit on BBC's "Click" program (Score 1) 448

The BBC technology program "Click", a few weeks ago, had a story about the potential hazards of digital assistants, with an amusing skit.

Guy turns in for the night. The phone rings. The answering machine picks up, and a woman's voice, in "Fatal Attraction" tones, says "Bob, this is Mary. Pick up the phone. I know you think I'm crazy, but I'm not crazy. We need to talk. Bob... Hm... what's the name of that stupid computer thing of yours? Norman, turn the porch lights on. Ah, yes. Norman, unlock the front door. Exxxxcelent." Front door opens, knife-wielding woman enters.

Comment Re:Market failure (Score 1) 575

>If you're rich and can afford to drive everywhere because you don't mind more nights in hotels and there's no limit to the time you can be away, I understand why you don't fly. But when you look down on jetsetters, you're being an insensitive snob.

Heh... I remember a time when "jetsetters" were the rich folks who looked down on the poor slobs who had to drive.

Comment Re:Numbers (Score 1) 575

I bring this up because it seems to me a possible better approach to this nonsense is to simply state that if you miss your flight due to no fault of the airline, you will be charged the fare

Um, they already do that. For decades now, you have to pay a huge fee to have your ticket be transferable.

Or.... fly Southwest. They have a reasonable charge for changing flights. (You can't just not show up for the flight and expect any refund, of course.)

(No connection to Southwest Airlines whatsoever, other than preferring to fly with them whenever possible.)

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 1) 289

Heh... I'd never heard of "coal rolling" before. Yeah, it's stupid to modify an engine to do that, and ought to be illegal.

My (unmodified) old 1986 Volvo Turbo Diesel did a pretty good job of "coal rolling" if I punched it and wound up the turbocharger. I didn't to that to tick off Prius drivers (I replaced it with a Prius when Diesel hit $5/gallon back in 2008); I'd only do it with malicious intent when some tailgater started riding my bumper. Made them back way off. I don't think "that kind of Diesel engine" is legal any more. Not on new cars, anyway.

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 1) 289

... and best of all software updates in an age when most manufacturers can't keep the sat nav up to date.

Bingo. Toyota charges for for one (1) map update than the cost of two (2) brand new Garmin or Tom-Tom GPS units with included lifetime map updates. That has soured me on built-in car nav systems. Google Maps is better anyway, with its real-time routing around traffic jams. If I'm going somewhere likely to not have cell service, I can just download today's offline map.

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 2) 289

I'm on a techie mailing list which includes someone who has a deeper knowledge of the EV1 issues than appears in a tendentious "documentary".

GM was betting on rapid improvement of batteries. By the time they'd have to replace the batteries in a couple of years, they'd have better/cheaper/more powerful batteries. By only leasing the EV1, not selling them, they guaranteed that the batteries would actually get replaced, and not have to rely on everyone paying attention to recall notices, because everyone does not.

The improvements, alas, didn't come in time.

There was a little issue with the batteries, especially as they aged, having a tendency to what he referred to euphemistically as "thermal excursions". Maybe not Samsung Note 7 level, but still, a hazard.

That meant legal liability, increasing as the batteries aged, and the risk of those "thermal excursions" rose. When California dropped the electric vehicle requirement, GM didn't need to take that risk any more.

Yeah, the fans of the EV1 (which were many, it was by most accounts a really nice car) didn't want to give them up, but "leased", not "owned". The legal liability issue was the killer. It could be shown that GM *knew* the batteries had potential issues as they aged, because they did. The owners of the cars could promise not to sue, they could sign a stack of liability releases and disclaimers and knowledge of the risks that weighed more than the cars, and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference in the legal liability to GM. Courts and juries have over and over and over again proved that no release of liability, no matter how strongly worded, or how much the person taking the risk wants it, has any force in the face of some poor pitiful victim of a tragic event wailing in court about the horrible, mean, nasty corporation who sold them the dangerous object, even though their signature is next to every paragraph spelling out each and every hazard, and saying that they swear on a stack of Bibles that they completely understand and accept the risk, and absolve the company of any liability.

I'm not anti electric car. I drive a Prius, and for my next car, I'm seriously considering a Tesla or Volt. But the EV1 issues was far from just the "Evil corporation destroys a non-polluting car because they make money polluting" crap from an exceptionally bad "Captain Planet" episode that's usually presented.

Comment Re:Bigger hack (Score 5, Insightful) 312

Hillary being the Democrat candidate was just party politics as usual. I think the hack was to get a completely non-viable candidate trumped (ha) up as the Republican candidate to pave the way for the coronation of Her Hillaryness. Note how NBC News sat on the "Grab the Cat" video all through the primaries, when it might have done some good, in order to ("Oh, *please* let it be Trump!") spring it as an October Surprise.

Also, note the utterly absurd way the "debates" were handled. The immoderators (deliberately?) steered the "debates" in such a way as to dumb them down into ridiculousness, which plays to Trump's strengths, such as they are.

I think the biggest factor in Trump's win is that the attitude of Hillary and most of the Democratic Party, which is basically "How dare those unwashed nobodies in flyover country fail to show proper gratitude that their betters are willing to take up the burden of running their lives for them?!?", doesn't really play well in those parts of the country they show such open and complete contempt for.

Comment Re:dubious wrt air travel (Score 1) 140

I usually check both Expeida type sites, and SouthWest... remembering that for just about any non-Southwest airline, I need to add $25 per checked bag each way to the price. Southwest is usually cheaper even before considering the checked baggage gouge from the other airlines.

Modified by I refuse to fly American Airlines at any price... though they're usually more expensive anyway. (Long story involving AA not getting me to even one connecting flight, either way, not able to find baggage containing my CPAP for three days; refusing to connect me to the baggage desk at the destination airport 60 miles from my parents' house, baggage only found when I managed to get ahold of someone at the *Delta* baggage desk, who walked over the AA baggage claim and pointed out my bags to the AA idiots.)

(Yeah... I always carry on my CPAP since.)

Comment Remakes of remakes of sequels to remakes (Score 1) 360

If Hollowood would get some ... oh, I don't know... *NEW IDEAS*... yeah, silly thought there, what am I thinking? ... maybe I'd be a bit more inclined to subject myself to their product?

Of the three movies they were touting in TFA, two were remakes.

There's very little of their output that I'd consent to waste what's left of my dwindling lifespan on if it were free.

("Hollowood" was a typo, but I decided to keep it. Pretty much says it all.)

Comment Re:Interesting how few controls there are (Score 2) 129

Email is "From" the CEO, and says something like "Hey, Bob, this account somehow got missed, it's way overdue and the money has to go out TODAY! I'm in important meetings all day and am unable to talk on the phone, any questions, just reply to this email." Either the From address is to a look-alike domain, or sometimes just a gmail/hotmail/yahoo account, or something at one of the many world.com generic domains, or the From address is the real CEO's address and there's a Reply-To somewhere else.

It doesn't work often, but it apparently works often enough.

Comment LastPass gives some domain-squatting protection (Score 1) 126

One thing LastPass will do for you that the copy/paste solutions won't is that LastPass will not autofill your wellsfargo.com credentials into a login page at wallsfergo.com. (Substitute less obvious domain-squatting combination.) For the even slightly security-aware, the "no domains match" is a speedbump between you and total pwnage.

Comment Jailbreaking the simulation and hacking it (Score 1) 418

If the universe is a simulation, there perhaps could be some way of hacking the code from the inside, like the exploits that affect things outside of a virtual machine.

Of course, once you do that, the folks running the simulation say "Oh, crap, not again!", fix the bug that allowed the exploit, and re-start the simulation from the last checkpoint, and we'll never know.

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