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Comment Re:Roundup backpack=bad ? (Score 5, Interesting) 130

The problem is that neonicotinoids are about as close to an ideal insecticide as we could hope to have. They're effective on a broad spectrum of insects, they don't harm plants, and they're really quite safe around mammals. For example, dinotefuran has an oral and dermal LD50 in rats of > 2000mg/kg, is not known to be carcinogenic, and is not known to be a neurotoxin. It's also essentially non-toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates (important because of chemical run-off.) I'm not saying I'd sprinkle it on my breakfast cereal, but I wouldn't get sick from it.

They just happen to be 50 times as lethal to bees as to any other insect. So even the lowest doses used to control economically damaging pests are still going to kill huge numbers of bees, because the tainted nectar and pollen that comes back with the bees feeds the colonies.

I really like the stuff for INDOOR control of greenhouse pests. Outdoors, I won't use it.

Comment Re:Cloud-connected means disposable (Score 1) 101

It's not their "fault" because they were under no contractual obligation to provide support. Why should they continue to make their expensive resources available for free, when they're not making them any money? Especially when they're running out of money and a sugar daddy like Fitbit shows up with a wad of cash.

This is textbook capitalism. Nobody sells you stuff in order to make you happy; they sell stuff in order to make money. Never, ever forget that.

Comment Re:Fitbit must die (Score 1) 101

Sorry, I'm calling 100% bullshit on this one.

The fitbit app has never asked for access to my contacts, and it would only request access if I asked it to "Add Friends" and explicitly tapped on the "Contacts" button. All the "friends" I've added have been done so without granting access to the whole contact list, I've simply typed in their email addresses. And it's never sought access to my "call history", or whatever other evil conspiracies you imagined it might have done when you typed etc., etc.

Now go be a good son. Give the fitbit back to your dad, apologize for being overly paranoid, show him how it works, and help him keep up his health.

Comment Re:so what? (Score 2) 101

The real issues I see are that fitness trackers [...] don't provide workout plans to meet the needs of the individual [...]

Everything else you said is spot on, but you missed on this one. If you're interested and motivated, the Fitbit app offers a few generic workout videos and plans, but they offer a "Fitstar Personal Trainer" app, which does provide personalized workout plans. Open the Fitbit app on your phone and tap the "Guidance" compass icon to get started. Once upon a time, many years ago, they would link you up with an actual human trainer, but I don't know what they offer now.

Comment Cloud-connected means disposable (Score 4, Insightful) 101

It's not Fitbit's fault; it's the entire business model of the Cloud. Sell some cool tech thing that's cloud-dependent, run low on cash because those servers aren't paying for themselves, get bought by a bigger company. Fitbit just knows how to play the game, for now.

Who's really to blame when you buy a cloud-dependent toy, with no service contract to guarantee cloud availability for the next 25 years? What other outcome were you possibly expecting to happen? The only rational question is, "how long will I get to play with my cool toy until the company pulls the servers down?" And you should factor that limited lifespan estimate into your purchase price.

Comment Re:Unless it costs more (Score 1) 130

The current processes work pretty well. My dentist can get me in the chair, pop in a tooth-colored filling, and get me out in less than 20 minutes, at which time I'm free to eat whatever I want, and it costs only a few hundred dollars. If I have to have a temporary tooth cap, wait ??? weeks for the regrowth to take place, make another appointment to get the cap taken off, pay the patent-inflated price for the magical tooth-growing sponge, and then pray I don't get tooth or bone cancer, I think I'd rather stick with the old fillings.

Comment Re:Fixing this is too expensive (Score 5, Informative) 75

The problem is too expensive to fix, but not for the reason you mentioned.

Many passengers struggle with flying, due to inexperience, carelessness, distractions, or fear of flying, or they lack the mental capacity to understand everything they need to do. These people need the simplest possible way to access their flight info. That means helping them as much as possible by printing the booking code on the luggage tags, flight coupons, boarding passes, everything.

So far, it's much cheaper to accept the risk of a few people messing with the flight info, rather than dealing with millions of scared, confused, and/or angry travelers stuck in an unplanned layover because they didn't have the ability to access their connecting flight information.

That could change if someone figures out how to monetize this hack safely, but that's very unlikely. The booking code isn't the only security measure in place. The hackers can change a flight, but a passenger complaining at a gate will win out over an online change; anyone attempting to cash in on the fraudulently changed ticket risks felony theft and fraud charges.

Comment Re:I'be been a Mac user for 13+ years (Score 1) 254

Given the description of the test includes repeatedly downloading the same pages on an "internal" hosted server, they're at least attempting to control for variables like automatic updates, random network scans as a result of malware attacks, or variations in advertisements delivered. An "external" test risks exposing the machine to too many random power draining events.

Or do you mean "external" as in an external simulated mouse and keyboard instead of an "internal" script? CR has always been scrupulously careful in their testing methodology. Since it would be almost impossible to fairly compare a shell script with a batch file, it seems highly unlikely they would trust a test script.

Comment Re:How many DNS queries can it launch (Score 1) 154

Nope, this was certainly not a Windows problem. I'm running the same suite of extensions that you are, on Firefox 50.1.0, on Windows 10 (on a 3 year old tablet with only 4GB RAM and over OpenVPN, no less.) The page loaded instantly for me. I had no problem scrolling to the bottom and back to the top.

Of course now my battery is dead... :-)

Comment Re:Who watches the watchers? (Score 3, Interesting) 147

Emergency agencies where I live train and use ham radio volunteers to operate communications in their mobile command centers. A ham friend of mine trains with them occasionally. The expectation is the hams will still get through if and when the standard tech fails. They don't deploy hams for normal police actions, but if there's a natural disaster or other emergency, he'll be there.

I wouldn't rely on the ignorance of others.

Comment Re:Dealing with Oracle is risky (Score 5, Funny) 295

Once the lawsuits were over and SCO was finally unplugged from the life support lawyers, Darl McBride was leaving the courthouse. Ironically, he slipped on a banana peel on the courthouse steps, and as he fell, he dropped the mantle of 'Litigious Bastards'. Larry was walking by, picked it up, and tried it on. It was still warm and comfy! So he brought it back home, had the tailors in the licensing department do some alterations, and now he's going to put it on as everyday wear, just like Zuckerberg and his hoodies.

"And that, my children, is how the Ghost of Larry Ellison came to haunt the valley. Now, off to bed with you all!"

Comment Re:Irony? (Score 1) 181

Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this right now gave $3, we wouldn’t need to fundraise for years to come.

Odd, I seem to remember them promising the same thing last year, too. It seems the Washington Post remembers as well. I guess if the price hasn't changed, they either are woefully underfunded/overbudgeted (discussed in plenty of comments above but I'm assuming not), are drastically miscalculating for inflation, or it's just pure greed.

Given that their income was $82 million and their annual expenses were $66 million, I think don't think they're miscalculating by too much. That's a buffer of only a quarter-year's worth of expenses. And if they invest that excess money in endowments, they'll have a more stable budget and less need for fundraising.

Another way to look at it is that it's providing resources to grow. Now, I don't know what or how they might want to grow, but I do know that it's harder to grow when you've got no money for it.

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