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Comment Re:Test... tickle. Is this mic on? (Score 1) 84

The thing with phones is that if they start doing something they're not supposed to (e.g. running GPS or listening to the microphone when not asked), the limited resources of a phone make it pretty obvious pretty fast. Anyone who's accidentally left a navigation app navigating or a streaming app streaming can attest to this. An app on your phone acting badly will stick out like a sore thumb in the form of higher than normal resource usage. Even real-world cases of malware have had this problem out in the wild. Remember that one blackberry virus that was supposed to be able to spread by proximity during the olympics a few years back? If my memory serves me correctly, it basically amounted to the infected persons phone dieing in a matter of hours due to the radio constantly transmitting, and spread to a number of people counted in the double digits despite being released into a crowd of millions.

The problem with a plugged in device is that it has no such limitations. It can suddenly decide to start logging all audio and you'd never notice the increased power draw. Most peoples home internet is unmetered and much faster than they'll ever need, so it could upload data without anyone noticing. It's large and not in contact with your body 16/7, so it could be running its processor full blast to farm bitcoins using your electricity and you'd be less likely to notice the increased heat. And even if you do pay attention, it's in a consistent enough environment and has enough spare processing power that it could probably monitor things like network traffic and local activity in order to perform nefarious acts only when you're not liable to notice.

Comment Re:About 1% of employees are this dumb (Score 2) 302

I work at an engineering company that had this happen. I saw an email with subject line "test" arrive from department.all@company and thought "wait, this actually happens in real life?" as I settled in to watch the show. To everyones credit, it actually did stay quiet for a while until some smartass replied with "did the test work". That then unleashed a flood of "take me off this list right now!!!" and "stop replying to this email!!!!" emails until someone figured out how to shut it down.

tbh it makes for a really great method of identifying the stupid people in the company. It might be usable as a strategy for selecting potential candidates for the next round of layoffs.

Comment Re:Cherry picked (Score 1) 98

Question: how did they find the errors that the two-human team missed? Presumably with a third human. Does this mean a three-person team can beat out both a two-person team and ASR? Or was there a script that was used to generate the audio? That would raise other questions, such as the accuracy of the speakers.

I had the same question. We ran into a similar problem in a school project making an AI that interpreted results from a polysomnogram. In theory we got over ~90% accuracy, but different humans would score the same sleep study differently, which basically meant that humans got 90% accuracy compared to each other too.

Comment Re:This is the missing piece (Score 1) 132

Oh man, I remember when I found that site about 8 years ago and lost about a solid week reading everything I could find in it. I kind of wish I could discover it for the first time again. It sort of ruined the "space sim" genre of games for me (or maybe more accurately: gave me the material I needed to explain why I was always inexplicably disappointed with them). On the plus side, it made a great resource for writing a hard SF short story for some BS english class I had to take, introduced me to some great hard SF books, and got me reading the Freefall webcomic.

Comment Re:Also kicks out scores from third party purchase (Score 1) 85

The other issue arises when developers decide to screw over the original backers. Release the bare minimum to get their kickstarter payments, then do a 180 on all their promises (because who cares about the original backers, they already got their money from those guys. Time to find a new audience).

Comment Other uses (Score 2) 92

The summary focuses on being able to see through pages, but how fast can it scan them? Assuming cost/complexity factors don't make it prohibitive, I could see something like this being used to rapidly digitize a printed book without having to pause to turn pages or slice the spine open to feed them individually through a scanner.

Comment Re:Well, then, what happened to bookstores? (Score 1) 140

Interesting study, but it begs the question of what happened to bookstores? Most communities have seen a huge contraction in brick and mortar bookstores.

The most common explanation is that many people buy from Amazon rather than go to a bookstore.

The other explanation is that the study is total BS. Asking if someone has read a single physical book in the space of a year is a terrible question to gauge the question of physical books vs ebooks. I generally read somewhere between 20 and 30 books a year, and since the advent of ebooks at least 90% of those haven't been physical copies. Despite that, my answer to the survey would could towards physical books still being in high demand, nevermind that I'm only buying them at a 10th of the rate I was before.

Comment ...what? (Score 1) 140

Sixty-five percent of adults in the United States said they had read a printed book in the past year, the same percentage that said so in 2012

That's a terrible question. Considering that most people who bother to read books even when they're not being forced to generally read much much more than one book per year, it's not really giving a very accurate picture. I got my first e-reader in 2012, and have hundreds of ebooks in my library now (all of them read). Despite all of that, I can still say I've read at least one physical book per year. It's just that the percentage of my reading done on physical books has dropped from 100% to 1%.

Comment Re: Color me surprised (Score 1) 156

And to riff off an old tech support joke, they're called foot pedals, not mice.

Unrelated to the discussion thread but completely related to that anecdote: I knew an electrical engineer with bad carpel tunnel who made a foot pedal for clicking the mouse buttons. He also stripped the guts from a gyro mouse and mounted them on a headset. I think the controls were basically left foot to click, right foot to tell the gyro mouse to start tracking, and then he'd hunt and peck type holding a stylus in each fist. Watching him operate his computer was hilarious. His head would be twitching and jerking all over the place to an accompaniment of seemingly random foot stomps and fits of what looked like overhanded stabbing of the keyboard with a pair of pencils.

Comment Re:This is what happens (Score 1) 156

Yeah you're exactly right, the half of the population who click on anything would totally not do that if only they could see the protocol. Because that's what was keeping everyone safe for so many years back in the halcyon days of innocence when everyone used IE6 and malware was non-existent.

Even if you're dumb enough to click anything and everything, your brain is pretty good at pattern matching. Even the worst offenders when it comes to irresponsible computer usage generally at least subconsciously notice when a URL says something like somenefariousprotocol://Bank0fAmerica.com instead of https://bankofamerica.com./ Speaking from some pretty extensive experience scamming people in EvE Online, I can tell you that even the slightest deviation from what's expected by the target (even if it's not something they're normally consciously aware of) is often enough to jog even the dumbest persons brain into suspicious mode (and if not that, at least a more observative mode) and ruin the entire thing.

Comment Re: Linux. (Score 1) 405

I have found that the biggest problem some people have with Linux is they try to impose Windows on it

That's hardly the issue here, but go ahead and keep responding to things I didn't write (or even imply).

How on earth did you do the install? I haven't done an install in years that didn't require an internet connection to do it. You need to connect to the internet, in the first place, so it is remarkable that your connection and install would kill the driver.

Sumpin seriously odd here.

I don't even know if it's worth continuing this discussion at this point. Offline installs are still a thing, and there's usually (though distressingly less now for laptops) the option of installing with a physical cable plugged in as it's generally the wireless that's not recognized. A simple google search for "linux wireless adapter not recognized" will turn up all kinds of results, and you'll even notice that there are often a multitude of different ways of fixing it for the same adapter, making it a game of russian roulette as to which one will work and which one will leave your computer in some weird state that will bite you in the ass 3 months down the road.

Note that out of many dozens of installs, that's it. That is also less issues than my Windows installs.

Again, the context of that was just odd issues that tend to invite tech savvy people to try and fix them (and subsequently break things), not that the odd issue is somehow making it unusable. And if you're going to claim that an OS (I don't care which OS) runs flawlessly 99% of the time on all of your computers without a single little nuisance thing requiring your attention to fix, you're a liar.

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