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Comment Re:three reasons: (Score 1) 222

Not the OP, but I don't think that's what was meant... it was more a statement of the fact that if somebody has the money to pay $5 for a coffee or $100 a month for a cell phone plan, then they aren't foregoing the theatre because they can't afford it. Rather, they are choosing to spend money on coffee and cell phone plans instead.

Comment Re:please clarify the term? (Score 1) 68

Codec is short for encode/decode. So a hardware codec would be a chip that performs encoding and decoding of an audio stream. They probably could have used a software codec and ran it on the CPU, but seemingly instead opted to use a hardware codec that would be more optimized for the particular algorithm they were using.

Comment Re:Long settled (at least in US) (Score 1) 139

But the kind of interesting thing here is that discriminating on things based on language skills (deemed to be directly related to the job here by the government), are usually limitations of the law *allowing* employer's to be discriminatory. In this case, the government is *requiring* the employer (Uber) to discriminate and apply these standards.

It would be interesting if there was some way to get a sense of what the baseline language expectations are? Is this just trying to stick it to Uber because they don't like them and are trying to find a way to make it harder for them (and thus are the language expectations, as Uber claimed, too stringent?) or do these drivers really not understand enough language to perform the job competently?

I'm struggling to understand why Uber drivers would need to much proficiency in written English; but maybe that's just me (have only taken Uber a few times but have never had the driver have to write something down).

Comment Re:Mandatory (Score 1) 301

It depends what you're trying to protect. One might be more interested in protecting company secrets than hiding evidence. Sort of like the case a while back where a NASA engineer (might have been a difference agency - don't recall exactly) had his device searched at the border. He hadn't committed a crime, but there were secrets on his phone that might need to be protected from unauthorized access.

Comment Re:Inadvertently attached to an unintended recieve (Score 2) 63

Remember the thread yesterday about police subpoenaing Amazaon's Alexa recordings on a murder investigation? Can an email provider such as google or microsoft be required to supply email threads in a discovery proceeding? What about third party planning/scheduling/defect management/configuration management software? It is one thing if the data resides in the customer's computers/servers and the software vendor never had access to the data. But now a days I see lots of "cloud based" software doing this. Many companies use companies with names like AgileRally or CloudCentral. The entire history of user stories, discussions, projects plans, defects and corrections are archived at some fine grained detail in their servers. If they get subpoenaed in some discovery proceeding on such a patent lawsuit, how strongly would they protect their client's confidentiality? They might have contract to protect it, but at some point the cost of protecting the client might not be worth it for them and they might throw them under the bus.

I don't think there's any question that Google or Microsoft could be required to provide email threads and other data. I think what was novel about the Alexa recordings was the realization that the data exists and that a conversation could be recorded without necessarily being aware that it was.

There is no such expectation with email - when you send an email there is no question that the recipient is going to have a record of it; and most people are clueful enough to realize that their email provider and the recipient email provider also have a copy.

The more interesting question is probably whether Waymo can get Google to provide email records and such without court involvement. Though if you're going to do that sort of thing like steal secrets from Google, you'd have to be pretty daft to host your email with Google.

Comment Re: Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 167

I don't think the name really has anything to do with it. The big worry about this technology is liability, and there is the idea out there that manufacturers are trying to be care ful about advertising what the car can and cannot do.

Tesla I'm sure makes it abundantly clear that the car needs driver attendance. But if you sit there long enough and the car continually makes good decisions, you are gradually going to become complacent and maybe start to think that it really can do more than you thought. This is when you get into trouble because the technology has made enough progress to be convincing but isn't quite all the way there.

Comment Re:Inaccurate headline... (Score 1) 210

The article claims that in 2017, about 600k deaths are project in the US due to cancer.

According to, the population of the world around 3000 BC (assuming this is roughly the Mesopotamian era) was about 14 million.

600k in a year back then would be roughly 4% of the population. This seems very unlikely. If you accept the premise that we are surrounded by carcinogens moreso today than back then, you would expect the cancer death rate to be lower back then. I would also suspect that other forms of death would be more prevalent than cancer.

Comment Re: America hates Hillary Clinton (Score 1) 1069

Definitely... I've been to Florida in August (Orlando - not even as far south as Miami and the southern tip) and it is uncomfortable and disgusting. Will not go back in August.

Palm Springs, CA can be oppressively hot in the summer too, but that's not where tech is - Silicon Valley is pretty habitable all year round.

I come from up north and we get winter, which I tolerate OK, but my coworkers in the valley think I'm crazy.

Comment Re:Solved (Score 1) 295

Although unpopular among many here, in Canada we are moving towards a system of community mailboxes, which is essentially what you describe. Rather than a postal worker delivering mail to each house, there are banks of mailboxes where people get their mail (all their mail). You are issued a key for your mailbox so you can go get it whenever you want, and it is secure. Packages that fit inside the mailbox just go in the regular spot. There are also compartments for packages that are larger to accommodate larger packages. In this case, you receive a key in your mailbox and the box that your package is in. You retrieve your package, and then drop the key off into the mail slot again for reuse.

Works pretty well and for most packages, solves the problem.

Comment Re:Even worse (Score 1) 88

In some respects yes, in others, not so much. Think about a corporate setting where within the context of an office people might leave their machines accessible on a regular basis. They go off to lunch, leave their laptop at their desk. Anybody can now go and grab their laptop, do a hard reboot and extract the passwords. Conveniently, a lot of people probably have filevault passwords that are the same as their network passwords. Now you have another user's network passwords and can do a whole bunch of things on their behalf.

How on earth is it okay, in 2016, to store plaintext passwords for a file encryption tool?

The other potential exploit for this is to bake it into commercially available Thunderbolt 2 devices. Bribe a janitor to leave stick 100 crafted VGA dongles in meeting rooms of the company you want to infiltrate and have the device send passwords either over the network or via some wireless protocol.

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