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Comment Re: chain of custody (Score 1) 90

Probably isn't intended for individual thefts. Instead it'd be an interesting way to associate a single individual with a large number of thefts.

Also if that individual has his own iPhone, they can compare the hashes and tell the FBI who has likely been pickpocketing folks at the such and such venue. Then they can just trail him and catch him in the act, or use it as probable cause to do a search of the location the phone is currently in.

It could also be interesting to assume the "thief" is acting in good faith. What if you using touch ID on a missing phone offered to give the original owner an anonymized way to contact you on your own device, so you can get their phone back to them?

Comment Alternate theory (Score 1) 87

They really aren't messing with songs, in either direction?

People who really like that artist, who would add them to playlists and listen to them on repeat, probably now use that other exclusive service to do so.

When it releases it gets very few plays because most people who like it listen to it elsewhere, and other people might not even be aware that a six-month old album by an artist they only sort-of like just "releasedâ.

The result: it is not in fact a top song on Spotify, do they don't feature it. And they're certainly not going to bend the rules to *help* someone who just made an exclusive deal with a competitor...

Comment Re:Laser beam carries on (Score 2) 57

Doesn't seem too crazy that it would be used for novelty purposes a couple dozen years from now though. You could project rings of glowing dots up a space about 3 feet from the hilt, creating a cylinder of glowing light in the air very similar to the appearance of a lightsaber, but harmless. A great toy for rich adults.

If you did want to use the lasers as a cutting tool (hooked up to a power source) it could actually be a pretty nifty UI. Project a line of dots through the air to show where the "blade" is, and whenever they detect contact as shown in the tech demo focus an intense laser pulse onto that point to cut through whatever is there. No need to inefficiently blast lasers everywhere when you can detect the precise point where the "beam" is disrupted. Since it's using optics technology you could probably set it not to cut things like flesh and cloth while you're at it.

Comment Re:5-year old video (Score 1) 224

That's the ultimate irony: That short film was licensed by Columbia, and was the original inspiration for the Columbia Pixels film. So not only is it not infringing on their movie, it is their movie's goddamn genesis.

Then again, the studio took down their own trailer. I suppose getting the short film they originally licensed is just part of being thorough.

Comment Re:Ratio..? (Score 1) 398

He's off, but not by as much as you'd think, and including water would probably put that scale in better perspective.

If we assume that a "typical intake" of water is one 8oz (~.25 liter) glass, and the LD50 of water is about 6 liters for an average (165lb) person, then we're looking at a ratio of approximately 1:25. That would make the bar for "water" about twice as big as the one for "meth" on this chart.

Ignoring that this is a stupid way to measure danger, their ratio on Alcohol is way too low (though I see elsewhere that they may be talking about injecting alcohol, which completely invalidates the point of the findings since that's not how we typically consume it).

In their own paper they say that the range of low to average usage is 1-4 drinks a day by typical users, then give it a ratio of "1:1.5" between typical usage and fatal dosage. How the heck does that work out? That makes the "lethal" dosage from 1.5-6 drinks a day, which seems way too low. To get to the level of drunk where you risk any sort of death drug-related death (suffocation by vomiting and choking if you happened to fall asleep) you'd have to get to a BAC of 0.2% which is about 8 drinks in one hour for our illustrative 165lb male. ( )

Even if their average dose of "X drinks a day" was actually "X drinks in an hour", the lowest plausible ratio is between 1:2 and 1:4 depending on what you consider "average" daily drinking. To get anywhere near LD50 I'd expect you need to get closer to 1:7 ( ~0.3%+ BAC ) which would be where you start to add unconsciousness and respiratory depression as effects. That would put it between Cocaine and Tobacco, closer to the latter, on their chart, which seems about right.

tl;dr Article should be named "Scientists find new, bad way to measure 'danger' which shows alcohol 10x more dangerous than meth, meth nearly twice as dangerous as water".

Comment Re:Why no taxi company's app? (Score 2) 329

They're not stupid, they just have different goals.

The taxi companies are owned by the people who have invested in medallions. They want their medallions to increase in value and be able to rent them out for large sums, which means they want there to be a scarcity of taxis and no competition. If their drivers make less money, the owners have to charge less to lease a medallion, they make much less regular income, and the value of the medallion itself decreases as well.

Things like investing in a software architecture to deal with ride-sharing style payment/ordering/tracking would eat into those profits on a huge scale, so it would be counter-productive to their goals.

Comment Re:Why the "incentives"? (Score 1) 113

And unlike a sports stadium, this is for a business that actually *makes* things and regularly employs large numbers of people. It's not just going to be a bunch of tourists and rocket fans rushing in for launch for a few hours, buying food and rocket hats from the launch facility, then going home.

First off they're going to be needing a permanent staff for operations, including locals for things like maintenance, cleaning, phone services, construction, and similar jobs that don't make sense to bring a specific person for (the actual operations people will likely not be locals, unless Boca Chica has an unusually high population of world-class physicists and engineers). All those people will now need places to buy food and clothing regularly. They'll need houses or apartments and the associated services and utilities since they will be permanent residents of the area, unlike the visitors to a stadium. They'll want restaurants, entertainment, shopping centers, bars, and so on.

Then there's the side expansion involved in something with an business like this moving in. If this becomes the primary commercial spaceport, then you'll probably see businesses dedicated to building satellites and similar stuff spring up nearby. SpaceX and other companies looking to launch will likely consider creating a sizable assembly area, to cut down on the risky and expensive shipping of giant-ass rockets. There will also likely be call for purely commercial offices to be set up for the companies contracting with SpaceX, to represent their companies locally and maintain their own operations related to their corporate satellites.

Comment Re:what's wrong with public transportation? (Score 3, Interesting) 190

I mean, the short list? Off the top of my head this solves problems like:

- Public transit only becomes economically viable above certain volumes. Anyone in too small an area doesn't have access to it and never will.
- Sometimes public transit doesn't run where you want it to go, especially if you need to make an unusual trip.
- Sometimes people need to go places at times when public transit isn't running, or need to go faster than public transit will allow.
- Some people are disabled, and would have a hard time getting to the nearest public transit stop even in an area that supports it.

There are lots of reasons why this is a useful solution. So many people in my city (Boston) keep a car that they use about once a week for odd or off-hours trips. A solution like this would take all those cars off the side of the road and replace them with about 1/20th the number of shared cars.

Comment Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 1) 91

The flip side, however, is that spectrum is required to compete with these companies. The big telcos might not be too keen on shelling out $X billion at the expense of next quarter's profits, but if buying that means that Rival Startup Inc. can't get any spectrum at all? They just cemented their profits for the forseeable future at very little relative cost.

Given that there his established historical precedent for companies buying up spectrum and letting it languish (see: Verizon's purchase of the 700mhz block A spectrum) and increasing evidence that spectrum availability isn't the limiting factor in cost for the big telcos (it's increasingly looking like subpar infrastructure is to actually to blame, if anything), it's fair to assume that these companies are willing to employ this strategy.

The duty of a regulatory agency like the FCC seems clear: Ensure the market remains fair and that competition works in favor of the taxpayers. Don't sacrifice that for what seems a short term gain, because the amount of gouging that happens when the market is locked up without competition will be far higher.

Comment Re:Walking yes, standing no. (Score 1) 312

I mean, both is probably best. I walk at least 2 miles a day on my commute, and switched to a standing desk a few months ago.

As first-hand anecdotal evidence, I can attest that switching to a sit/stand solution instead of sitting all day helped *immensely* with long term back problems, which I had honestly thought would be part of my life forever. I used to have to take pain pills to sleep at night, and only a few months after switching to a standing solution my back pain is almost completely gone. It's not totally better yet, but it's still receding and the doctor I spoke to thinks that it's lingering damage from the time spent sitting.

The current plan is to see how things progress, maybe add in some exercises to improve my posture a bit more and un-do some of the sitting damage. Six months ago we were discussing physical therapy, drugs and surgery to make the pain go away... seems like a big point in the standing desk's favor to me!

Comment Re:Not sure how standing up would solve anything.. (Score 1) 312

Yeah, I think there's something to be said for getting all the people involved with something into one place for large blocks of time. I don't know that we need the ENTIRE time to be synchronous across the whole team, but a lot of problems get solved really fast because a developer can walk over to me and just say "hey, what's up with this?" and I can walk over to the related people to get them an answer. We solve in 5 minutes of casual face-to-face time and a whiteboard what would take hours of confusing email conversations.

Comment Re:The Birth of a Moon... (Score 1) 71

Also to my understanding, the nature of Roche's limit is that it only affects objects big enough and with enough spin to experience gravitational-based tidal forces. that suggests that objects below/around that size might temporarily form until they collect enough mass and spin to begin experiencing those forces, after which point they'd break up again?

Comment Re: No. (Score 4, Insightful) 246

I mean, fair enough. But if you can access every customer's record on a massive nationwide system by incrementing a single digit? That strikes me as "basically public". I sometimes exploit the same "hacking" to find the page of a webcomic I want to read if I forget the bookmark.

As the article says: Does he deserve to go to jail? Probably. For this? No.

Comment Re:Overreach (Score 1) 366

Short answer? Yes, it was definitely unrealistic and may also have been bad.

Long answer? The "unrealistic" issue is that such a game would cost far more than 500k to make, and anyone involved in game development or software production could see it. Just getting the basic systems in place might have been reasonable, meaning you'd have a stick figure whose sword moved properly, and the ability to register hits from said sword. Adding in things like a movement, multi-character interactions, networked gameplay, graphics, writing, testing, redesigns, etc. would have completely blown their budget out of the water.

"Bad" would likely have become obvious as they began testing their game. These sorts of sword fighting controls have long been known to be problematic, with one big issue being that there's currently no way stop the controller from moving when the in-game weapon hits something. Your controller ends up out of sync with the sword, and you have to try and recover while your character flails around in a nonsensical way. It ends up feeling loose and unsatisfying, and people don't buy in. I didn't see anything in their pitch to overcome that major issue.

As a perfect example of what looks different from a developer perspective, the motion controls in Zelda: Twilight Princess were based on a totally different concept even though they're superficially similar. They sensed rapid movement along one of three axes using a simple inertia-sensing controller and triggered a handul of pre-animated attacks based on which axis moved and a couple other modifiers. (Such as whether you were blocking or running at the time) Clang was purporting 1:1 recreation of your movements onscreen, meaning that the exact movement you make with the controller would be reproduced, and they'd determine a hit based on how that digital sword interacted with a target. It's a far more complex task. Also Twilight Princess likely cost a minimum of $10 million to make, I would estimate somewhere closer to $30 million by the time the Wii version was released.

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