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Comment Re:Fine them?!?! (Score 1) 136

Thanks, perhaps that was what they meant and I read too much into it.

In that case, I would completely agree, there needs to be a real deterrent to make it clear that this behaviour isn't acceptable, and it does need to be meaningful for rich people as well. Things like losing the right to drive and ultimately, if they continue to drive anyway, their freedom for some period of time, not just fining them 10% of this year's earnings or crushing their car.

Comment Re:empty lives? (Score 1) 136

I've played plenty of games over the years that I have enjoyed greatly and wanted to play more. You know what I never found, though? I never found that I couldn't resist the urge to play them at the same time as I was in control of a heavy, fast-moving metal object in a crowded area full of vulnerable people.

Anyone who truly can't control that urge demonstrably has serious mental health issues that make them a danger to themselves and others, and they need to be taken into care and properly looked after for everyone's safety and preferably to help them recover.

But let's be honest, how many people really couldn't resist that urge and have genuine mental health problems, and how many could have controlled themselves just fine but simply didn't care and knowingly did something extremely dangerous without regard for the potentially tragic consequences?

Comment Fine them?!?! (Score 1) 136

Fine them and remove their licence? Seriously? They killed someone and it looks like they did it in a way that was entirely avoidable with no mitigating factors. This should be tried as whatever form of manslaughter/murder in the local laws represents causing death through gross negligence.

At a minimum, people like this should be locked up on public safety grounds, and should be prohibited indefinitely from controlling any vehicle if and when they are released until they can show that they are now safe and responsible.

Comment Re:I can say this despite liking the iPhone (Score 1) 212

In this case, form is function--part of the function of a mobile phone is to be portable. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have been more careful with it--supposedly the 6s is less bendable, which means they could design it to be strong AND skinny, if they want--but part of what I want in my phone is for it to be as invisible to me as possible when I'm not actually carrying it.

Whether or not that meets your goal for 'function' is another question. I can easily see other people wanting a phone that's considerably more robust. With the thinnest case I could find, I've had my 6 for two years, dropped it many times and not had any breakage problems. (I do have a faint blue streak in the middle of my screen which Apple tells me may be due to excessive pressure on that spot, but as its cosmetic and not a functional problem, they won't do anything about it.)

We don't all have the same functionality goals. It's part of your job as a consumer to decide if your idea of function lines up with the manufacturer's.

(It's worth noting that sometimes form is exactly the function--jewellery and other fashion items and ornaments are a good example of this. Do not denigrate people that carry phones for a reason that also has to do with fashion; for them, that's ALSO part of its function. It's not up to anyone else to decide if that's a worthwhile use or not. Even nerds carry things for 'fashion' reasons--sometimes we pick something that's objectively the ugliest, bulkiest, whateverest item to telegraph that we're the nerdiest kid on the block to all the other nerds. There's nothing wrong with that either.)

Comment Re:The end justifies the means (Score 4, Insightful) 295

Somewhere around 20-40% of the info in these documents will turn out to be wrong or misleading in some critical way.

I'm sure that will be a great comfort to the alleged witches as they drown.

Also, just because some personal data is correct, that doesn't mean the entire world has any right or need to know. People suffer unfair discrimination or worse because of perfectly legitimate personal matters all the time, which is the most compelling argument for the importance of privacy.

Comment I plug my phone in in the car too (Score 1) 380

...And it goes through the lightning port. I bought a third party adaptor that fits in behind the standard stereo (in a 2006 VW!) and while I actually have to have two adaptors (iPhone 3G to iPhone 4--something changed in the 30-pin layout or something, and then a standard 30-pin to lightning adaptor on top of that) I can still control my phone from the steering wheel. The sound quality is, of course, very good.

When I borrowed my friend's car, I used my USB/Lightning cable to plug into her Sony deck. That worked fine, too. Charged the phone as well.

So I don't know what he's talking about when it comes to cars. There are a few ways around having to use the headphone jack or bluetooth.

Comment Re:Would they believe (Score 1) 346

Wow, what kind of super-futuristic place did you live in with your fancy-pants downloading and modems and BBSes? In 1983, I think I was still typing the source code for games from books into my little ZX81, and praying that I didn't knock the 32K RAM pack loose and crash everything before I had a chance to play!

Comment Re:FYI (Score 5, Insightful) 346

So if you are posting with any handle other than "Anonymous Coward" you will need to provide that handle to your friendly neighborhood spy.

Or just not travel to countries that don't treat their visitors with respect and basic human decency.

There are many places I would love to visit in the world, far more than I ever will be able to in one lifetime I expect. Why would I voluntarily subject myself to the kind of culture we're talking about here, when I can be welcomed as both a tourist and a business person in so many other places?

Obviously some people have no choice, and I hope things work out OK for them, but this sort of policy seems absurdly counter-productive for people who do have a choice and do care about the way they are treated.

Comment Re:Happening to people incoming to the US? (Score 2) 346

The fourth amendment actually uses the word 'people' and not 'citizens'. In cases where the lawmakers or framers intended the rights to be extended only to 'citizens', they make that explicit (i.e., for voting).

http://scholarship.law.georget...

So, no. Your assertion probably isn't true. But I'm not a lawyer--or even an American!--so my cursory search around the internet isn't worth much. Then again, it appears to be more than you've done...

Comment Re:Sounds like a great idea! (Score 4, Informative) 275

Actually, there does appear to be a somewhat reasonable third choice: Microsoft will apparently also be offering a security-only bundle each month, though it looks like you'll have to install it manually if you're not using WSUS as it won't be fetched via Windows Update. You still won't be able to cherry-pick individual updates, but at least it won't come with all the other stuff you probably don't want -- unless they decide to call some of that "security".

(There's a specific question about this, and a response from the Microsoft guy confirming that a monthly security bundle will be available for all of the different Windows 7 variants, in the questions below the blog post itself.)

Comment Re:We need a new image, or a big list of KBs (Score 2) 275

For comparison, the Win 7 Pro machine I'm running this on has a little over 200 installed security updates (relative to Win 7 SP 1, I assume). It also has about 100 other updates, the overwhelming majority of which were installed by the supplier before delivery since I stopped installing non-security Windows updates by default long before this machine arrived.

I, too, would love to see a slipstreamed image that could be used to reinstall Windows 7 if necessary after this new silliness has taken over.

Comment Re:Nice as a default, not as a mandate (Score 3, Interesting) 275

We've stopped installing almost all recent updates from MS anyway, since we basically now consider them more dangerous than not patching anything except clearly identified security vulnerabilities.

My concern with the new plan is whether any machines that need a fresh installation after October will no longer be able to download the currently available updates of our choice. If Microsoft make the Windows Update system only work with the new monthly roll-ups and won't supply the previous individual patches any more, that would be significantly worse than just not offering any new patches outside of the monthly roll-ups.

Comment Re: Worldwide news are always US only. (Score 2) 256

The entire global technology infrastructure begins and ends with the United States. [...] Intel, AMD, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook.... All US companies.

That looks like a reasonable list of most of the biggest US companies in computing today. You might have added a few more, notably Amazon, and perhaps the big PC manufacturers like Dell.

However, for their size and resources, many of these companies have done remarkably little to advance technology infrastructure in the last few years. Almost all of them became big on the back of a small number of very successful products or services, but many of their more recent attempts to diversify have failed horribly. Today they mostly survive because they're so huge that they can afford to buy almost any other business that is actually innovative and potentially disruptive to their market dominance, and that's also how a lot of "their" innovation happens. Most of them are going to be in trouble if one or two geee that lay golden eggs die, and in several cases there are warning signs already.

Meanwhile, you kind of forgot all the Asian giants and quite a few European companies that actually make most of those smartphones you mentioned, not to mention many of the household appliances we buy, huge amounts of telecomms infrastructure, huge amounts of transportation tech...

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