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Comment Re:Some places are impossible. (Score 2) 53

I'm not sure how long it's been since you last tried to park in San Francisco, but about 5 years ago the city started a program called "SFpark". Basically it's a system where parking meter prices are set dynamically, based on demand. I think the goal is to have the smart meters on each block set prices just high enough so that there is one free space on that block. There's an app that lets you check how much it costs to park in a given place, and there's a cap on the cost.

So if you're parking in an SFpark area, it should virtually always be possible to find a spot, if you need it badly enough to pay the price (up to ~$6/hour).

The land that a parking spot in SF occupies is worth more than the typical car that is parked on it. I imagine it's the same in New York. It's crazy that a society would give this away for free - we don't expect free cars, but for some reason many (most?) people feel entitled to free parking.

Comment Re:Why is Softbank... (Score 0) 267

SoftBank Group Corp. started out in 1981 as a distributor of computer software. As software is called “soft” in Japanese, the name “SoftBank” literally means “a bank of software.” We chose the word “bank” based on our grand aspiration to be a key source of infrastructure for the information society.


Comment Re:Six million Alexa installs... compared to? (Score 1) 229

Different market. If your have to wake your phone up first, it's not voice activation.

Not sure how Siri works, but on certain Android devices (ones with low-power speech processing hardware) Google Now can be triggered by saying "OK Google" without having to wake your phone up first.

Comment Re:Egypt blocks Google... end of story (Score 3, Informative) 87

According to the article a lot of cloud service providers and CDNs allow HTTP host header redirection, so the Egyptian government would need to block a lot than just

China also had to create a domestic tech industry to replace all the foreign websites that it blocked. A country the size of China can pull this off, but Egypt is much smaller...

Comment Re:No mention of the internet architecture of cour (Score 2) 87

Being part of a botnet engaging in a DDoS attack is just one of many things that could go wrong with IoT devices.

I'd be more worried about hackers disabling my IoT-enabled alarms (e.g. smoke alarms, burglar alarms) or IoT-enabled door locks and garage door opener. ISPs can't do anything to help with that.

As a point of comparison, many Android handset manufacturers refuse to even provide security updates during the two-year contract period. I expect IoT device manufacturers to be even worse.

It should be illegal for companies to sell devices if they won't provide security updates for a reasonable period. It should be illegal to sell a device that cannot be patched if security flaws are found - this is just negligence.

Comment This is not about drivers (Score 5, Informative) 150

From reading the comments, it seems a lot of people are misunderstanding the situation here. I think even the summary is missing the point! This is about passengers hooking up with other passengers, not with drivers.

Uber Pool and Lyft Line are services that let you carpool/fare split with other people. You request a ride, and it tries to match you up with people who have requested a similar pickup/dropoff point.

It's common to make small talk with the other passengers (just like you would with a taxi driver, or a regular UberX/Lyft driver) and people have realized that this provides a social pretense to meet other people and chat them up. FTFA:

Although passengers have no control over whom they’re partnered with, there’s a high-enough density of young, single people in a city like San Francisco that occasional romantic interludes happen. As people share the ride to their respective destinations, they have a bit of downtime to get to know one another...It’s speed-dating on demand, and the people doing it say it’s better than Tinder.

Lyft has even experimented with features to facilitate this:

Comment Re:Init alternatives (Score 1) 338

99.9999% (six nines!) is 31.5 seconds of downtime per year. If you get an outage, it's not reasonable to expect anyone to be able to investigate anything in 31.5 seconds, let alone fix it. So any system with six nines of availability must be architected so that it is a cluster of servers, with automatic failover. If a single server crashing can take out your availability SLA, then the system needs to be rearchitected.

With 99.99% (52.56 minutes per year) of availability, having a backup server will still help. Even on a sysvinit-based system, there are so many things that could go wrong that cannot be fixed in 52.56 minutes. What if the hard disk crashes? You've barely got time to replace it and reinstall the OS, so you really need one that's already set up and ready to go.

If meeting your uptime requirement depends on having easy-to-debug boot scripts, then something is very wrong.

Comment Re:Please get informed (Score 2) 667

I doubt Trump will surprise. Nixon may have created the EPA, but under Trump it will be headed by Myron Ebell, who is an outspoken climate change denier.

Let's assume for a moment that you're right, and that Donald Trump and Bob Walker just want to shuffle programs between different agencies, without changing the total dollars spent. If the goal is to "de-politicize the research", how does this reorg even achieve that? Why is NASA's research more political than the research by the EPA?

Moving NASA's Earth Science program to Ebell's EPA would very clearly be the end of it. This isn't a neutral approach to scientific research, it's political spin on an attempt to defund climate change research.

Comment Re:Unless we know the number of non-dupes. (Score 1) 488

Which once again begs the question why Comey broke the FBI guidelines to not insert himself in the middle of the political process, especially so close to the election.

My guess is that it's because the Republicans humiliated him in a congress hearing and Comey didn't want this to happen again, so he erred on the side of "openness". Even if this does go against DOJ policy and maybe even the Hatch Act.

I'm a Hillary supporter, and I think the whole email "controversy" is silly, but I have to admit that even I found this entertaining:

Comment Video (Score 2) 94

I'm surprised TFA doesn't have a video. This is what they're talking about:

For some reason people these days always seem to want to "disrupt" things. It's not enough to create something new; you have to destroy everything that came before you to be considered a success. I think Intel's drone show looks nice - it's very serene and calm - but fireworks are explosions. This is not necessarily worse or better, it's just a different thing from fireworks, and doesn't look like it'd create the same atmosphere.

On a semi-related note, those who like fireworks might this: It's a daytime fireworks show that uses colored smoke trails, as well as microcontrollers to synchronize detonations. Some very cool effects.

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