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Comment I wonder how many of these 0-days are really new (Score 2) 227

For all we know, the CIA might have written deliberate vulnerabilities to be patched into production code. Either that, or maybe they bullied software companies into ignoring certain vulnerabilities that would otherwise be fixed. Considering how many tech companies have been enlisted by big-government and how many cover stories have been busted, nothing can surprise me anymore.

Comment The panda eats shoots and leaves (Score 1) 331

The panda eats shoots and leaves.
The lack of a comma means that "and" is the conjunction between "shoots" and "leaves". What is the panda doing? Eating.

But consider this:
The panda eats, shoots, and leaves.
What is the [armed] panda doing? Eating, shooting, and leaving.

In the first example, there is no comma, and therefore the words are interpreted as a single action.
In the second example, 2 commas create a list with exactly 3 items.

How hard is it to disarm a panda? All you have to do is get rid the commas.

Applying the panda scenario to today's crisis, it becomes obvious that commas determine the number of items on a list, and words in the absence of a comma are interpreted together when there is no punctuation to group them any other way.

Comment Re:Oakhurst Dairy is not correct (Score 1) 331

I agree. It seems bizarre to determine a truck driver's eligibility for overtime based on what is hauled in his truck. Would any legislature deliberately create a situation in which a truck driver is _sometimes_ eligible for overtime (hauling Atari "E.T." cartridges to the landfill) and sometimes not (hauling frozen chicken to a warehouse)? What if a trucker performs both activities in the same week?

The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.

I think the lack of punctuation explains what the legislature intended. The number of commas determines the number of items on the list. The last item is everything after the last comma. Notice the lack of punctuation in "shipment or distribution". Those terms belong together because there is no punctuation to indicate otherwise. In like manner, there is no punctuation after the "for" so we end up with "for shipment or distribution". What does the "for" clause apply to? packing. The last item on the list is "packing", qualified by the rest of the words. If the legislature had something else in mind, they would have written this differently.

Comment Re:I'll believe it when I see it (Score 3, Informative) 119

DIrect quote from the article:

But Cape Cod is a region famous for its pastoral ocean views, including the one visible from the Kennedy compound at Hyannisport. Once built, the wind-power plant would be faintly visible on the skyline of this tourist-dependent community, particularly during clear days.

"We wouldn't build a wind farm in the middle of Yosemite," Robert Kennedy Jr., son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, has argued. "People want to look out and see the same sight the Pilgrims saw."

I mentioned it because there have been numerous wind farm proposals near Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, and ALL of them have been defeated. The excuses change every so often, as the NIMBYs align themselves with whatever allies they can find.

Comment Re:Fingers crossed (Score 3, Interesting) 121

There is a free service called NoMoRobo that implements a massive cooperative blacklist on a grand scale. I use it on my Comcast phone (requires multiple ring). One of the few workarounds for tele-scammers is to falsify caller id with a random number in the victim's area code and exchange. Most telemarketers who call me are dumped by NoMoRobo after the first ring, but once in a while I see what appears to be a local call from an unrecognized number. Any number I don't recognize ends up in voice mail, which is where telemarketer calls go to die.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 300

Apple needs to rediscover the wisdom of Frasier Crane: "If less is more, just think of how much more more would be."

They need to do a serious re-think about the missing ports, crappy Intel video, soldered RAM/SSD, glued batteries, etc. Apple has effectively discontinued the MacBook Pro and renamed a slightly beefed-up MacBook Air to take its place. If they're going to abandon the Pro market, they should at least be honest about it.

Comment Re:Exaggerate much? (Score 2) 168

Not an exaggeraion, IMHO. The impact of patent abuse is a lot worse than a few cases you hear about. It's the cases you DON'T hear about, where the mere threat of a bogus patent lawsuit is enough to suppress competition and prevent new products and services from reaching the market. This ruling in this case does not provide a universal solution to the problem, but it's a good start.

Comment Re:Battery life is not the real issue (Score 3, Insightful) 254

You are correct about managing battery charge level, power drain, depth of discharge, etc. But it's not easy to get 4 solid years of service out of ANY battery in a portable electronic device. Does it happen? Sure. Reliable? Depends on who you ask. 1000 cycles is about 3 years of everyday use, maybe 4 years of Monday-Friday use. Managed batteries work reasonably well on phones. Then again, phones take a beating; the average user can be expected to lose or break their phone before the battery dies. Most laptops are not subject to that much physical abuse. I'm OK with a phone that lasts 3-4 years, but I expect more out of a well-maintained laptop.

Apple seems to think that battery lifetime is good enough to limit the number of in-warranty replacements, while not so good as to extend the useful life of the product beyond 4 years. They may be right, but I'm not so sure a 4-year disposable laptop is worth what they ask for it.

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