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Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 72

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 72

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 191

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 349

It's the "list of critics" that I kind of have problems with. You see a RT score, but which set of critics does it account for?

When I've looked at the site (which I only have a few times), the "critics" are a laundry list of names and often web-based publications I've never heard of. I don't doubt that many may have interesting critical viewpoints, but I'd kind of like some sort of filtering mechanism to tell me who's a valid critic and who's just a crank like me with opinions.

Comment Re:Let's put tons of ammo together in a massive pi (Score 1) 99

I would expect any significant ammo storage facility to consist of a series of bermed bunkers with enough concrete or earthworks to contain or redirect blast forces up, far enough away from the next bunker that any fire wouldn't easily spread to the next one.

At a minimum this could be hand-dug trenches lined with sandbags and sheet metal roofs and at maximum concrete bunkers.

Comment Re:Maybe not (Score 1) 225

Well, if you start with the premise that you're engaging in an unsanctioned protest with violent elements you're already risking a lot of legal exposure. You can be charged in Federal court with felony riot, so if you want to avoid exposure to non-ideal justice then maybe the best advice is stay home and rant on social media.

Obviously coordinating a disinformation campaign targeted at undermining and misleading Federal police agencies is dicey business to put it mildly. That being said, planting useless information on burner cell phones is a kind of passive resistance. You're not being *asked* for this information, it's being taken and they will be interpreting it under their own discretion.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 2) 234

I think you'll always have police groups lobbying for increased funding based on citation amounts generated, no matter where the money goes. If you put it into the general fund, they'll claim that increased spending on police budgets is net-zero budgeting because the spending is balanced by the citation payments. Even returned to the tax payer they will assume that the same amount as increased spending is offset by tax credits and not an additional tax burden.

I think the only sane solution is that fines and citations should be earmarked for the Public Defender's office. They're chronically underfunded anyway and it seems to me that a balance is created when increased enforcement winds up increasing the resources of criminal defense.

Comment Re:Because Manufacturers Suck (Score 1) 99

Can you imagine having to wait for, say, Dell to OK to every package for your next "apt-get update"?

Except Dell will do just this if the update has anything to do with hardware, and in most server environments a lot of it does. I've done the dosey doe with Dell on their server platforms with drivers, debating whether my problems are due to the vendor-supplied drivers sucking or whether the Dell-provided drivers six months behind the OEM vendor are at fault.

I think the problem carriers worry about is unapproved software that effects their networks. My guess is this is pretty remote in reality. but shikata ga nai.

Comment Re:So, the gist of it is... (Score 5, Interesting) 225

More than a burner, they should coordinate their burners. Load them up with tantalizing information that wastes a ton of investigation time, but being careful not to have any actual prosecutor conspiracies.

Use burners with known weaknesses or backdoors and set them up with passcodes or weak encryption so they look legitimate but are easily broken with diagnostic software.

Emails about stuff supposedly buried in parks, or sunk in lakes at specific GPS coordinates. Treasure-map fantasies. Rent a storage space and decorate it with Independence Day decorations, but make it sound like it's full of anarchist equipment.

Bonus points if you can capture video streams of the Feds digging up a park or walking into a storage locker filled with decorations.

If you did it right, they might get tired of grabbing phones with the idea that they won't know which ones have real solid info and which ones will leave them chasing their tails.

Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 127

There's a whole world of people for whom the bargain side of everything matters more than the thing they got a bargain on.

My dad is like this -- he will always put up with inferior quality or drastically reduced choice if it saves him a buck and it really has nothing to do with his financial status. In fact, he often has broken or otherwise unusable things cluttering his life that he can't use but can't get rid of because he "spent good money on them"

Meanwhile, he spends so much time shopping for a low price that he doesn't have much time left to enjoy the thing he was looking for a bargain on or the experience is so degraded by low quality that he doesn't get any enjoyment out of it.

In terms of this, it's ridiculously expensive for an average at-home movie night. There's a million movie choices for $5 or less at home.

But there's a lot of ways I could see $30 being reasonable -- a big new movie for a group, people with kids who'd spend $30 on a babysitter alone, etc. It kind of doesn't have to be the greatest movie ever made, because it's about the larger experience. Sure, you could do it 6 months later when it hits Redbox, but by then the impetus is gone because it's just another title.

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