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Comment Re:Better go arrest Google execs (Score 1) 110

"Intent" is difficult to demonstrate given that it lives in the minds of the accused. The website itself is based on content-agnostic algorithms. I'm sure it's true that it has a higher percentage of illicit use than google does, but that's probably true of Tor and VPN services as well. Would we be comfortable shutting those down on the same justification?

Personally, I find it hard to find any "good intent" behind hosting, e.g., The Anarchists Cookbook. But it's well-established that that doing so is protected speech. Is pointing people to IPs where they can request to receive copyrighted bits of information more insidious than pointing people to how they can make a pipebomb?

I am fine with shutting down criminally entrenched websites and prosecuting the persons involved. But the free speech protections we are promised in the US are quite broad and in almost all cases we refuse to risk weakening that simply to avoid the possibility of mischief. If Google can deliver 10% questionable content under that protection then I think someone who delivers 90% questionable content must be protected as well. I don't see how the fundamental nature of the right could change simply because we get more day-to-day value out of google.

We could enforce the law by, you know, going after the people actually breaking copyright by uploading and downloading copyrighted material.

Comment The early bird gets the worm, (Score 1) 156

but the second mouse gets the cheese. Uber may survive being one of the early distributed ride hailing services, but the danger is that the spend so much money in the process that they go bankrupt and only the name will carry on after someone buys it in a fire sale when the company assets are liquidated.

Comment Re:We're All Dying (Score 2) 510

I represent someone in that demographic from a small engineering school. Among my admittedly non-mainstream group of friends I'd guess at least half know what KDE is. I'm not sure how many actually use it vs. GNOME, but it's common for them to have a Linux or Mac laptop. Laptops have become work devices -- they're what you take to project and study groups. *nix works great for that, and easy to get everyone using the same software (within a college student's budget, no less). I'm sure other places are different, but one anecdote deserves another.

Comment Bomb researcher not impressed with IED (Score 4, Insightful) 179

Expert: I mean, look at it - it's a bunch of nails and duct tape around a low explosive core which doesn't have nearly the proper confinement for even 50% of the maximum shock wave capable, much less the ability to transition to detonation. And this wiring - that's just disgraceful - the solder didn't even flow properly here, and this is entirely unsheilded - anything could set this off accidentally, even a cell phone. If you were in my training program, you're fail miserably.

Terrorist: We used one of these yesterday to kill 25 people and injure another 70 in a market in Aleppo.


Comment Re:Newsflash (Score 1) 191

People DON'T want to have to change their phones, it's true - it's a pain in the ass. What they didn't ask is if people preferred to have phones that are no longer supported or have significantly inferior components. There's nothing wrong with an iPhone 3Gs. Personally, I think it was the most ergonomic model. But it's no linger supported, doesn't get OS security patches, most apps won't run on it any more and the camera, let's face it, sucks ass compared to today's phones. Just go back 2-3 years and you see a pretty big performance gap.

I'd answer I never want to change my phone again. But I sure as hell don't want some laggy, grainy-camera, unpatched handset either.

Comment Did they ask how many people wanted old tech? (Score 2, Interesting) 191

I get a brand new phone every 2 years for free. I paid into the system once about 6 years ago, and now the sales price (or trade in value) of my 2 year old phone is equal to or higher than the brand-spanking-newest phone on the market. Now when I say "free" what I mean is that I don't pay any more to have a new phone than I would pay for identical service if I were to keep my phone forever. My plan rate is basically fixed no matter what device I use.

So instead of having a CDMA locked phone with dial-up modem speeds and 8GB of memory and a mobile OS which is no longer supported (which also means being locked out of revisions to the applications I run), I have this year's latest and greatest, with a pen to take notes on the screen, enough space to hold everything I need, two options for biometric authentication (if I should choose to use them), a camera which is as good or better than my last point-and-shoot, significantly more secure storage, and internet that is faster than all but one of the land-line providers to my house.

I would love to have a phone that never needed upgrading, sure. But I'll bet Greenpeace didn't ask if you wanted a phone that was insecure, limited in usability, and had poor performance on current generation software.

Comment Re:Enough "autopilot" stories already... (Score 1) 277

Slashdot has a hard-on for Tesla, and slashdot commenters have a hard-on for pointing a finger and Musk and laughing every time he doesn't get something perfect. Everyone here has an inferiority complex because they didn't become a billionaire and then go get to found a car company, a solar company, and a space company that lands rockets like science fiction movies. *shrug*

Comment Re:Who the f*** would pay this? (Score 1) 213

How much would you pay to get back into your house at 11:30pm on a Saturday night when it's 20 below zero outside and your smart locks have all been hacked? No need for a $5k ransom - it needs only be a couple hundred dollars, repeated many times, to be profitable.

Or in the case of a thermostat, a remote override that switches a heater on full blast on a hot summer day or - better yet - begins switching between heating and cooling on a heat pump, which will burn out the compressor in under an hour and cost a couple thousand dollars to replace. How many people will think of cutting the breaker in time? Not too many.

Comment Emergency service call costs (Score 3, Insightful) 213

Do you have any idea what a licensed installer charges for an emergency visit on a Sunday morning? That $25 thermostat is $50 because you don't get to buy the one that's on sale at Home Depot, and the cost to knock on your door is going to be close to $150, and then the rate ticks forward at $100/hr. And at the end of your $300 emergency service call, you'll be left with a dumb thermostat and a $200 paperweight.

Comment Re:Contrary to the reviews I'm seeing it's a winne (Score 1) 77

I can't believe that Zerolemon won't have a battery case that will last several days within a month or two of release. Replaceable batteries are nice, but portable chargers are getting more common and more compact, and with those you don't have to completely shut the phone down and reboot to swap in a new battery. That's one of the things LG definitely got wrong with their G5 battery - a 20mAh internal cell to allow "hot-swapping" would have been a killer feature.

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