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Comment IF? (Score 1) 240

What do you mean "if China ... makes its own ISA or microarchitecture with silicon-level censorship and monitoring, or an always-open backdoor for the Chinese intelligence agencies?" I would expect that is their true motivation here. Any other reasons given are part of the cover.

Comment "Should Be Banned" (Score 2) 805

I like the comments at the end of the article. There are people who recognise this may block someone's 911 call and say it's just collateral damage and the people talking on the phone should be blamed. Holy shit - blame the law abiding people, not the law-breaking?

The closest thing I saw to common sense was a comment that said "These things should be banned." I agree. So does the FCC. Which is why they are banned, ie illegal to own, sell or use!

I want the people in my office to shut-up, but I don't get to tell them to. I just put in ear buds. Duh.

Professor Resigns From Stanford To Launch Online Education Project 162

mikejuk writes "Professor Sebastian Thrun has given up his Stanford position to start Udacity — an online educational venture. Udacity's first two free courses are Building a Search Engine and Programming a Robotic Car. In a moving speech at the Digital Life Design conference, he explained that after presenting the online AI course to thousands of students he could no longer teach at Stanford: 'Now that I saw the true power of education, there is no turning back. It's like a drug. I won't be able to teach 200 students again, in a conventional classroom setting.' Let's hope Udacity works out; Stanford is a tough act to follow."

Comment Outsourced (Score 2) 562

I know it seems like it should be cheaper for Verizon to accept electronic payments, but I once worked for the company that ran their web application servers. Verizon has outsourced that job. The convenience fee likely goes to the outsourced company.

My water bill incurs a $2.95 "convenience fee" as well, and that goes to Western Union. They run the website and transfer the money. For that, they get the $2.95 per customer per payment.

The company is happy because they don't have to process the payments, run the app servers, or pay for the service. The provider is happy because they get all this money for $0 marginal cost. The customers get the shaft and don't complain loudly enough.

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