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Comment Re:Insecure by design ... (Score 1) 50

Mod this UP! I wholeheartedly agree. Most of the IOT stuff is more cool than useful and it's not even that cool. It's this obsession with the "cool" factor that will get people hacked in the IOT age. I, for one, dread it whenever another connected device comes on the scene. Windows 10 now is a spy machine. What?! Yes, it defaults to all the sensors on the computer to be turned on and listening/watching/recording EVERYTHING. Supposedly so you can just say: "Okay, Cortana, what time is it?" Seriously?! Is this really all that cool? Especially in light of what you give up to have it? All your life continuously recorded and stored at some MS/Google/Apple/Amazon server? Most disturbing part is that people not only want and demand it, but are willing to pay money for it! We are paying for companies to spy on us! Waiting in lines to pay for it, in some cases! Ridiculous. And at some point (probably when it's too late) masses will realize: "Holy shit, Batman, we are completely encased in spy equipment that is insecure and untrustworthy!" Perhaps it will turn around before then and some design practices will change, but I am not seeing it at all. Between trying to get the latest wizbang feature on the market and just bad business ethics we are headed for a disaster. Enjoy your smart watch! I will stick with "dumb" devices for as long as I can. Heck, my newest car is from 1998 because in 1999 this same car got updated to a fly-by-wire throttle control instead of the good old steel cable. Well, the electronic throttle control goes bad often and costs $400 to repair/replace. My steel cable has not failed and if and when it does will cost $40. The advantage of the electronic throttle was to do traction control and such, but honestly, if you have good driving skills you don't need no stinking traction control. We routinely trade skill requirements for gadgets. The compromise we make is security, privacy, cost, etc. Just because we do not want to answer our (already smart) phone that's in the pocket we need a watch to do it for us. Yep, makes sense, LOL.

Comment Re:No. Hell No. Bad Idea. (Score 2) 480

Very well put. I think there should be an actual "None of the above" choice on the ballot. If the count of that choice reaches a certain high percentage, say 50%, the elections should be considered null and void and new elections with new candidates should be run. This way we may have a chance at actually getting the rascals out of the government. Oh, and on topic, elections MUST be conducted in public place with privacy booths. Online voting as tempting as it may sound in this day and age of not getting off the couch for ANYTHING is a bad idea because of possible coercion and voter manipulation. Public polling place, with private voting booths and paper ballots. Count the ballots publicly. Also, voting should last 3-5 days covering a weekend and off hours to accommodate people working night shifts, etc. There are many improvements we can make to the current voting system, but taking it online is not a good one. Why do people think that anything technological is automatically superior to low-tech alternatives? Paper ballot is still the most reliable way to record votes.

Comment Here's a bright idea... (Score 2) 117

How about car manufacturers provide an option for NO computer in the car? My newest vehicle is a 1998 Volvo S70, but if I were to buy a new car I would be attracted to a NO COMPUTER option and a $2000 savings. I really have not used GPS or a smartphone in my car ever and I want to keep it that way. If I really wanted a computer in my car, I would much more appreciate an interface such as OBDII (OBDIII?) that expanded access and control to things like climate control and audio system. I could then choose my device (and OS) and connect to the car using an app written for that device to interface with cars. This, of course would make car dealers very unhappy. How else can they charge $900 for GPS maps update then? We as consumers must clamor for no hardware from auto maker other than the standard interface to have some basic control over the vehicle. Then BYODevice and BYOApp and you're off. That would be truly open, everything else is a lock-in. Perhaps I am just old fashioned, but in-car infotainment is a recipe for disaster on the roads anyway. But that's a whole other discussion.

Comment Re:Um.. (Score 1) 277

As long as they are doing what they need to be doing, how much electricity savings are you going to get and is it worth the PITA to change them. I have a system with a 15+ year old 12 GB drive in it. I have a much lower wattage appliance to replace it, and have for several months now. I just haven't had the time to swap it out.

You could just replace them with a few 8GB memory sticks that take much less resources to run, make less noise, have no moving parts and are cheap to procure. Seriously, anything under 1TB is a joke these days. Wasting resources on running a 4.3GB array is just silly and if it's done for silliness' sake, that's a different matter, but in practical terms it's really a joke.

Comment Re:Owners shouldn't work on their cars (Score 1) 238

I am sorry, but by that logic all the lawnmowers, chainsaws, snow-blowers, etc. in the world should have highly sophisticated ignition systems with locked down ECUs. I think not. I think you are highly misguided, though your heart is in the right place. You can most certainly make an open system that is just as efficient as a closed one. This is all about exclusion and not improving emissions. Big business doesn't give a rat's ass about the emissions. All they care about and are legally required to care about is bottom line and shareholders' profits. If I can not repair my older car due to the stupid error codes in the ECU I need to go out and buy a new car and junk this one. I just made an environmental impact that far exceeds keeping the old less efficient car running. Get it?

Comment Re:OS X is THE superior OS (Score 1) 540

The virus numbers need to be adjusted for market share. According to the article, Windows has abot 90% of the market share, OSX 10%, so the virus numbers need to be adjusted accordingly. If and when OSX reaches 90% market share I am willing to bet it'll be lauged by as much virus activity as today's Windows. It's just natural, not defending one side or another. Virus author tries to reach as many machines as possible, hence the imbalance of Windows viruses vs. Mac. Trust me, Macs are virus prone.

Comment I am blissfully unaware (Score 1) 181

It may be just me, but I had no idea this existed. I am not on FB, G+ or any other social network. My phone is not "smart" and I still think I want a dumber one (B&W display that I can see in sunlight would be nice. I have no need for video or photo on my phone, but I would love it if I could have a clear conversation on it in somewhat noisy environment). I still treat internet as mostly a search and entertainment vehicle. Is that why? I am just not aware of existence of this text with pictures thing. In my everyday internet use I just do not see the crap that most people see. Then again, I don't watch TV and am really lost when people discuss commercials or TV show characters. I don't put much effort into avoiding the shit, just make a conscious decision to do it and it just gets done. Try it, your life will get a whole lot simpler and you may actually see human being next to you (in your life or on the subway). I recommend it. It's like a toilet flush of your mind.

Comment Re:And money changes hands... (Score 1) 373

If you want to drastically reduce paper junk mail check out I had great success using that service. Stopped pretty much all of the numerous catalogs that just would not listen when I asked to stop sending crap. Now I get almost zero junk mail. Only supermarket circulars and home improvement store circulars. For some reason those can not be stopped even by god. Other than that, Ad-Block Plus is awesome and as long as it allows to go back to the way it was before by clicking a setting switch, then I am good with that. When I see a web page that is not filtered by Ad-Block (on other people's browsers) my head starts spinning and I am immediately overwhelmed by the BS. I will never buy anything from the obnoxious advertisers on principal. The only way to vote on this matter is with our wallets.

Comment Simple soulition (Score 1) 367

A very simple solution is so obvious as to be overlooked by those blinded by gadgetry. The solution I am talking about, of course, is to go low-tech. Downgrade the handset to a simple phone-only (single purpose device, how quaint!) unit. I would prefer a monochrome display one at that so I can see it in sunlight like my first cell phone, but that's an aside. I have not yet owned a smart phone and the way things are progressing I doubt I ever will. There is no law (yet!) that requires a person to carry one. So why? These things suck at pretty much everything they do, especially making phone calls. They are terrible cameras, terrible computers, terrible TVs, terrible GPS receivers, terrible music players and terrible phones. And on top of it all they provide a single point of failure for your privacy. So, stop the wining and throw away the unnecessary gadgetry that is more cool than useful.

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