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Comment Be serious (Score 1) 233

Based on my observations of people traveling public transportation such as the subway or riding in car pools, I suspect that any time saved due to autonomous vehicle use will be spent surfing the web or incessantly checking social media to see if someone, anyone, as offered up a new crumb of intercourse to consume.

Comment Re:Good lord.... (Score 2) 176

Perhaps the answer to this conundrum will be found to lie with the source of the funding for the study. The study certainly seems to be measuring things strangely. I don't see any other way to judge the portion of the report you found fault with as anything but "math challenged" - "Out of the 58 percent of iOS devices that failed, iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate (29 percent), followed by iPhone 6S (23 percent) and iPhone 6S Plus (14 percent)."

"Failure" must be being measured as the discovery of a fault of some kind, not overall device failure, but even with that interpretation I can't make sense of the math.

Comment Re:$70K sounds pretty low (Score 1) 77

I suspect its not so cut and dried in many cases (give me the money, you get your law). Its more like the money buys access to the ear of the politician, and the politician's ear is filled predominantly with one point of view, that probably sounds well thought out and reasonable. Unless the politician has the time to go out and seek an alternative view (and that may take a lot of time, because the alternative view may be poorly understood/poorly bankrolled), the politician could just be happy to be passing a reasonable law that makes sense to a lot of people. So $70K to get the chance to explain your side of things to a lawmaker might even seem like a lot of $$, and you might even feel put upon that you had to put up that kind of money to get the person to listen to you. After all, you are a citizen, aren't you?

Comment Re:Not new - safe combos.Have to prove that you kn (Score 1) 209

Hmmm. How about this - if I have hidden evidence that ties me to a crime, can I be ordered by the court to tell the police where I hid that evidence? By analogy, if I have hidden evidence on my phone by using encryption, can I be ordered by the court to tell the policy how to "find" the information on my phone by revealing my password/encryption key?

Comment Re: "common sense regulation?" Really? (Score 1) 170

I would love to see the data backing up your claim that most gun owners in the United States support keeping people on the "no fly" list from owning guns. My experiences with people who own firearms tells me that they generally believe in the private ownership of firearms, and that they are against the restriction of that right by non-judicial means, especially through a mechanism as opaque as the "no fly" list. As soon as someone such as yourself uses the words "common sense" while talking about firearms, it is a strong indicator that you likely picked up your talking points from the folks who do not believe in the private ownership of firearms. They adopted the "common sense" phrase a while ago for use in discussions on this topic, and they use it fairly indiscriminately to refer to any proposed restriction on private ownership of firearms that they are pushing. (They are also fond of claiming that they know what "most gun owners" think). From my own personal viewpoint, it's a matter of living under the rule of law. At first blush, this might be taken to mean that any rule enshrined as a law is valid. I think it means more than that. I think that it means eliminating hidden subjective determinations as well - the whole bit about "due process" and the right to face your accuser, right to a trial by jury, etc. The restriction of rights requires that kind of "rule of law", not a secret decision to place someone on a secret list without even recourse to the US code requirement that all citizens have the right to review all government records pertaining to them, and to petition for corrections to those records where they are in error.

Comment Re:Caller id spoofing already broke that. (Score 3, Interesting) 120

How about some variation on holding the telephone company responsible for the falsified CallerID information? The false information gets there in the first place because the phone companies let anyone with a digital interface supply their own CallerID information. Perhaps the phone companies should develop a screening process whereby they don't accept CallerID information from a subscriber if it doesn't match a previously agreed-upon pattern (for the text, and for the number). Legitimate uses of injected CallerID information are for things like Direct Inward Dial trunks handing out the internal PBX routing number; this would fit the pattern for the number, and the names could be prefaced by some kind of approved organizational identifier.

If the CallerID information could be guaranteed to lead back to the real call initiator, then the Federal reporting forums for illegal and harassing phone calls could have real data to work on. As it stands now, I can report the illegal robocall, or the call even though I'm on the "Do Not Call" list, but even as I report it I'm pretty sure nothing will happen because the CallerID information I'm using to identify the actual caller is falsified. And... good luck getting an actual organization name out of an individual should you choose to speak to one on a robocall. They know better than to give you an actionable name.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 1) 406

My mother-in-law spouts out with stuff like this. What's funny, is that I've driven up and down and across the US quite a bit in the last few years, and I have yet to see all the gross examples of crumbling infrastructure that are supposedly out there. I have also seen my entire family, getting by on USDA food surplus cheese, powdered milk, and eggs in the 1970s, achieve reasonable levels of living, with their own homes, vehicles, and no more welfare/food stamps etc.

Ironic that you push for people to vote for gun control (which we already have plenty of), then talk about people slowly loosing more of their freedoms. How about we encourage people to be civil and respectful to each other, everyone all together. That might work better.

Comment Re:Time and place (Score 2) 284

Perhaps more to the point, if people start using VPNs so that they can view porn while they are at a family restaurant, McDonald's may choose to start blocking VPNs (like my local library did). And that would screw up my ability to securely access my Contacts, Calendar, and e-mail while I'm chowing down at lunch or dinner while I'm on the road.

We are all members of a *society* - anyone who wants to be anti-social should excuse themselves and head for the woods or the mountains. Good luck finding porn there. If someone likes the benefits they gain from society, they should understand that they need to put up with some restraints as well. (Don't they sell stroke mags at convenience stores anymore for the wankers?)

Comment Re:Fair vs. Free (Score 1) 148

I think Microsoft already made the argument that free/open source software was a threat to the commercial software industry and needed to be reined in, that using Microsoft's typical FUD wasn't going to be enough, and that they now needed to be fighting standard protocols, using tactics such as "embrace, extend, and extinguish." See Given the revealed and suggested tactics, its not hard to imagine that a different attack vector could be funded.

Comment Re:Can't stop the signal... (Score 1) 288

The problem could be removed, easily. Eliminate the completely artificial premise that just because a person makes a particular noise, they have the right to control all subsequent times that noise is made, and to be enriched by all subsequent times that noise is made. Will society really cease to function if that premise is no longer valid? Will all music suddenly vanish? If all corporately-produced music did vanish, would our lives be left less rich and meaningful?

Musical performers would still be able to make a living, if they are good enough, putting on live performances for other people to attend. They would probably have to adjust the cost of a live performance to account for the competition from recordings and other performers with the same music/sound... and some of them would have to find another line of work.

Comment Re:No. (Score 4, Insightful) 262

I think health insurance is for everyone, because the risk of having expensive health problems exists for just about everyone, especially if health issues due to accidents are included. This is similar to automobile insurance - everyone who drives carries insurance, not just the bad drivers. However, insurance companies of all types love to have reasons to divide people up into very small risk pools, and charge people more for insurance if they have even a casual relationship to some risk factor that indicates that they may make claims (or higher than average claims) against insurance. In the US, auto insurance companies are using things like people's credit score to determine how much to charge them for automobile insurance, on the basis of a belief that people with certain ranges of credit scores are more likely to be involved in accidents, apparently.

For health insurance, the risk of the health companies getting access to too much data about individuals is that they will start charging individuals for insurance according to their perception of the risk of insuring those individuals. Even if they could correctly screen people into various risk categories, this would be detrimental to the overall way insurance works in general - a large pool of people are charged for insurance based on the average risk in the pool. Everyone pays a more or less affordable rate, and when the risks materialize as claims, those claims get paid off, but the insurance company doesn't have to pay out more than they took in (if they did, they would go out of business).

If only sick/unhealthy people get health insurance, then the cost of that insurance has to be high, because they will have a higher rate of claims. Those who are fortunate enough to have great health might forego insurance, but on average most people expect to have some issue or other that might require insurance coverage, so on average most people will want insurance. So more people get insurance, and the average cost of insurance goes down because the average claims rate across the larger pool is lower.

The higher the certainty of people making claims, the less of a solution "insurance" is - insurance is intended to spread risk among a large pool. It seems to be very hard to get people to understand that on average, people cannot expect to get more out of an insurance plan than what they pay into the plan. If that were so, the insurance company would go out of business. As much as people may dislike insurance companies (and many insurance companies have earned the dislike/hatred of their customers), they provide a substantial social benefit when they perform their basic risk management function.

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