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Submission + - Why Don't Mobile OSs offer a Kill Code? 1

gordo3000 writes: Given all the recent headlines about border patrol getting up close and personal with phones, I've been wondering why phone manufacturers don't offer a second emergency pin that you can enter and it wipes all private information on the phone?

In theory, it should be pretty easy to just input a different pin (or unlock pattern) that opens up a factory reset screen on the phone and in the background begins deleting all personal information. I'd expect that same code could also lock out the USB port until it is finished deleting the data, to help prevent many of the tools they now have to copy out everything on your phone.

This nicely prevents you from having to back up and wipe your phone before every trip but leaves you with a safety measure if you get harassed at the border.

So slashdot, what say you?

Comment Re:USPS Investigation? (Score 1) 143

USPS is bad for many other reasons, too. The post office where I live (a major city) is basically open in a narrow window from 8:30 to 5:00 on weekdays and a short four-hour window on Saturday. Need to ship something out? Unless it can wait until Saturday, you'd better plan to take time off from work unless you're willing to leave it on the side of the road for hours. And if the sender requests that something be held for pickup, that means you have to pick it up during that window, too. By contrast, there's a local UPS store that's open until 7 M-F and until 5 on Saturday, and a major FedEx depot that's open until 8 M-F and 5 on Saturday. It's just a much better experience.

And USPS tracking is borderline useless. It typically provides little more than a delivery confirmation. UPS and FedEx track it at every point along the way so that you know almost exactly where your package is at all times, and so do they. This makes package loss much less likely.

Comment Re: Sounds too simple to be true (Score 1) 918

This is what is being lost beneath the racism, the Indians, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. are not your enemies, they're just people trying to make a buck. Your enemies are Americans.

Specifically, the wealthy ruling class. Of course, some of them have also managed to trick a lot of Americans into believing that immigrants are the enemy by pushing an exaggerated sense of nationalism. I'm still trying to figure out how they win by damaging the income of other members of the ruling class, but I'm sure there's a financial explanation somewhere if you dig in deep enough.

Either way, the whole system is rigged, and the people at the top always win. It's just a question of which group of people at the bottom get screwed when they do.

Comment Re:How is FILMING "speech"? (Score 2) 168

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Everyone calls the first amendment "free speech", but it also covers the press (aka, video recording), and peaceful demonstrating.

Comment Re: pointless (Score 4, Funny) 169

Just because you have a "smart" TV doesn't mean you're stuck using the "smart" bits. Plug in an HDMI cable or three to the video source of your choosing, and you never have to touch the smart OS stuff unless you want to.

Just because it has a network connection doesn't mean you have to connect it to a network.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 245

I personally would assume we always assign primary responsibility to the owner/operator. It is their responsibility when buying/operating to do their due diligence on is it safe/legal... If the manufacture sells the vehicle under false pretenses then the person/company with the business contact should settle with the injured party, then seek compensation as needed. Of course if the owner cannot cover the damages, then sure bring the manufacture in directly.

I still think the most difficult part is going to be on expected minimal reactions. Very few auto accidents have a single contributing factor, so when a road isn't properly maintained, sun is interrupting optical sensors, a truck stops in a intersection, and autopilot drives into the side of the semi without trying to avoid the accident. The primary responsibility will still be the truck driver, as they started the chain reaction with a illegal move.

Of course the manufacture will be expected to take corrective actions, or risk direct action against them to force it. Regulations will need to evolve to apply this pressure, to keep a constantly improving minimum standard of safety.

Comment Re:Anyone remember when cents/GB was used? (Score 1) 24

Stacking dies with many layers might help bring cost down by letting you burn out fuses on defective dies and then do part binning based on the number of functioning dies. I'm not sure if the defect rates on flash would yield a significant benefit from doing so or not, though.

Comment Re:Well yeah (Score 1) 353

That's actually a good argument for the Universal Basic Income. No punishment for seeking independent income, no way to cheat for it since every citizen is entitled to it.

Part of the depression of government dependence is probably related to various bureaucrats lording it over you and the knowledge that if you manage to make a bit of money independently, you could lose all support and end up on the street.

Comment Re:Well yeah (Score 2) 353

That's why we need a safety net that makes it more or less OK if robots take your job.

Don't forget that they can even indirectly take your job or at least cut into your pay. Imagine if robots take 25% of the jobs out there. Some small fraction of those people will then be applying for your job, and they'll probably be cheaper than you.

Comment Re:Obsolete (Score 1) 96

Bots creating GoFundMe pages have replaced bums, no need to stand on the street holding a tin cup when you can create a bot to create an online story of distress and have it beg money for you.

That's what this article is about. There are two bots standing on the street corner holding their tin cups, jostling each other for position, and spilling half their money in the process. The AI is converging on a solution using cooperation, where each bot assesses the traffic, and parcels out the begging duty to the robot more likely to succeed with that particular potential donor.

In other words, "two bots one cup".

Comment Re:Call me crazy... (Score 1) 89

Apparently that's part of the solution here. That's why the specs aren't bigger.

Personally, I could use a bit more storage, but it seems fine as-is. I don't need a phone that can do CFD in the background, I just need it to communicate. Voice, text, email, some light web browsing, and an SSH client. It should be fine for that.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 245

If your statement applies to a 27 year old man, it applies to an 80 year old woman. Both in this scenario would have bought a self-driving car from an auto manufacturer. I chose her as an example to highlight for you the absurdity of expecting the end user to have the engineering expertise necessary to be liable for not choosing their mass market self-driving car carefully enough.

But if you prefer, what failure of expertise might a 22 year old liberal arts major show in choosing a m,ass market autonomous vehicle would attract liability for an engineering failure?

Perhaps the real reason you're upset is that your argument hinged on an unreasonable expectation of the consumer's engineering knowledge.

As for your comment about DRIVER error, that would be the autonomous system designed by the auto maker. It would not be the person who punched in the address of the university and pressed go before cramming in an extra 30 minutes of studying for the exam.

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