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Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 81

a cop can stand there and listen to what you say, even record it if they want. It's a public place.

The difference is that it used to take some effort to track what one person was saying in those public places. With technology making it nearly free, we're all facing every public moment of our entire lives being stored forever in some law enforcement database.

I'm fine with the local police getting copies of business' surveillance tapes, interviewing people, and checking telco logs to piece together my actions, AFTER there has been some credible accusation that I've committed a felony. But doing it all day, every day, in minute detail, storing it forever, etc., is massively crossing a line into police-state territory.

Your argument is akin to peeping toms protesting their innocence because you don't have an expectation of privacy when absolutely anybody could have been standing on a ladder, with a high-powered scope, taking pictures through the crack between the curtains, so it's all your fault, not theirs.

Comment Re:'"We are looking into the matter" (Score 1) 116

I had to read this carefully before I realized that the US state of Georgia was complaining, rather than the country of Georgia.

The word "state" appears EIGHT times in the title and summary. You can read it quite carelessly, and it's still difficult to miss the context.

There's plenty of problems to complain about, here... This is not one of them.

Comment Re:"Feel forced?" (Score 1) 233

No one sat down and said they wantd to make taxis more expensive 'just because'. There are reasons for that extra cost that protect the public

There's certainly some of that, but all too much of it is rent-seeking, lack of modern technology, and hanging onto depreciated business models.

The insane price of NYC taxi medallions for example. Technology allowing drivers to rate passengers, therefore allowing expensive trouble passengers to be left without a lift. Technology allowing passengers to get prices and comparison shop rather than being locked-in to the rates of whichever taxi pulls up, and depending on the route they take. Better utilization by telling drivers where passengers are. Technology that forces passengers to pay without cab drivers needing to tackle cheats. etc.

I have no love for Uber / Lyft abusing their employees, skirting innumerable laws, and throwing money around to try and get themselves exemptions, but it's easy to make the case that the traditional taxi system was incredibly inefficient and rather corrupt, for no good reason.

Comment Re:Banish cars from the city center (Score 1) 235

Allow service vehicles, public transportation, cabs and bicycles, and everyone will be happy.

Okay, sure. Just as soon as I figure out how to get my SUV registered as a "service vehicle"...

Don't even try to tell me it won't happen... There's widespread fraud just in handicapped placards, because parking a few feet away is too much hassle for some people. You think the ultra-wealthy will resign themselves to riding the bus with the peasants? Not a chance, they'll find any means to maintain their status, privilege and convenience.

Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 2) 131

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

Just the opposite. Breitbart is not only non-paywalled, but they're one of relatively few sites who still offers full-text RSS feeds. Paywalled sites are trying to pay for their unbiased reporting, rather than taking funds from partisan sources who will be happy with endless financial losses to further their agenda.

Comment Re:The survey between the commercials. (Score 1) 137

it must also be annoying to know that when they for example do show movies, between the commercials, then it has been cut to fit the time slots. So you can never expect to see a full movie on TV.

Longer movies aren't always better. Plenty of cases where the TV version cuts out the tedium and really improves the film over the original version (Pluto Nash comes to mind). Plenty of examples where the added material to the "Director's Cut" slows down and basically ruins a decent movie, rather than improving it (Dumb and Dumber, Chronicles of Riddick, etc, etc.)

Comment Re:The litmus test (Score 1) 121

While I agree with everything you've said, you're making false equivalences... One (huge) mistake doesn't turn a legit news organization into a supermarket tabloid, just as a few lies on one side doesn't balance out a voluminous blatant and continuous intentional disinformation campaign on the other side.

THAT is a perfectly valid reason why discussion on the topic tends to be one-sided, even if problems on the other side need to be resolved as well.

Comment Re:So much for public charging locations (Score 2) 242

Should be trivial to construct a USB charging cable with inline fuses (or sacrificial caps/resistors/diodes), maybe adding $1 to the cost of the cable, and protecting your expensive devices from not just intentional sabotage, but also cheap, poorly engineered chargers, which might just kill you.

It was already bad hygiene to plug-in a USB cable that has the data lines intact into a public port, as all your data could be quietly siphoned off, and malware loaded on. If this new threat gets people to pay attention to previous threats, we might all be better off for it.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 177

No. I was using residential PV installs only as one tiny example to put things in better context. There's no reason to debate the pros/cons of it here. Those issues are irrelevant to the question of whether solar power plants should be single multi-terrawatt beasts, or several smaller multi-megawatt sites.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 177

So that's the largest solar plant in the world and it only outputs 648 MW? I'm having trouble finding something to compare this to since the nuclear plant near me generates 846 MW with one unit

Unlike nuclear, there's NO REASON to have one single huge central solar plant, so it's a terrible and dishonest comparison to make. Let me put it this way... How much power do you get out of the nuclear power plant at your house? Maybe on your roof or somewhere in your yard?

First you have to try and establish that having one big single central power generating plant is some sort of benefit. It's easy to argue that it's not, as distributed generation has fewer transmission losses, lower up-front build-out costs, greater flexibility (buy-up whatever land is available), etc., etc.

Comment Re:Sigh. How many major standards wars is this? (Score 1) 72

Why do tech companies even do this? Why can't everyone just agree on a standard and stick with it from the start instead of having a war that means us consumers who buy gear from the wrong side will suffer.

There's millions of reasons...

Waiting for an agreed standard is no good, because that takes forever. And most standards just merge together a few of the most popular proprietary methods and call it a standard, so you can't just start on step 2 in any case.

Adopting whatever came along first is no good, because what comes later might have higher requirements and crippling yourself to the older one gives you little or no benefit.

It can be slow and expensive to design something that makes everybody happy. Sometimes you have to do what's best, right now, for your product.

It's often less expensive to start simple and proprietary, then convert and adapt later, when something better comes along, or once it eventually becomes competitively priced.

Companies don't want to spend all their time and money designing and developing infrastructure, only to have some cheaper imitator with the 2nd mover advantage come along and undercut them and be able to use their work without effort.

Companies only need a big enough market to develop economies of scale. Making their market larger than necessary to do that offers them no extra benefits.

And that's just scratching the surface.

Comment Re:Obsolete? (Score 3, Informative) 142

dvgrab works on Linux but you can't view the tape as it comes in.

That's not true at all. Linux has no file locking, so you can quite easily view the video file in real-time as they're being created and extended. A simple tail -F VIDEO.DV | mplayer - should work, though adjusting cache sizes might be necessary for some formats.

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