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Comment Monitor (Score 1) 172

It's not clear exactly how Microsoft will detect inactivity, but it's possible the company could use Windows Hello-compatible machines or detect idle activity and lock the machine accordingly.

My monitor at work has the ability to detect if someone is sitting within a certain distance from it. If no-one is in range then after a couple of minutes it would automatically turn off the screen. The distance can be defined in the settings.

I'm sure there are a small number of people on here (who will likely comment) whose working patterns means that this wouldn't work for them - but it seemed to work for the 500 odd people we have on the floor.

Comment Re:I Love my sonos, but... (Score 2) 23

Ok, you want to be a leader? How about coming out with a well thought out product every decade or so?

I love Sonos too, but their current line up is several years old. Have speaker and wireless technologies not moved on at all?

Not to mention the state of the app. Despite the open letter from their CEO over a year ago accepting that they might have missed the boat on streaming technologies and need to catch up there is still no AirPlay support. No Chromecast audio either. No bluetooth. If you're going to pay twice as much as the competition, then it would be nice if you could actually use your speakers with the main technologies out there.

But that's okay, because they've been concentrating on the local music capability right? For example, acknowledging that 4 people in the house might have completely different music tastes and do not want to merge their music library into one big pool? Nope, nothing has changed.

In the last couple of years they've launched their TruePlay app, added Apple Music and allowed Spotify users to control the music from the (superior) Spotify app. That doesn't seem to be very much to me.

Comment Re:I have an Apple Watch (Score 1) 232

The above use cases pretty much mirror mine (as someone who does a lot of cooking, brewing, and woodworking, I find "Hey Siri, set a timer for _____" particularly useful when my hands are covered in _____). Thanks for the show-me-pictures-of tip — didn't know about that one. I also use the Wallet app several times a day for loyalty and membership cards. You can create your own for places that don't offer an app or Wallet integration (YMCA, Biggby, etc.) using PassSource. Works like a charm, and if you include the latitude and longitude when creating a card, you'll get a notification when you're in the vicinity. Lastly, I just upgraded to Sierra at work, and am really digging being able to unlock my workstation just by walking up and tapping a key (I wish it would work in reverse too, locking the machine down when I wander off to a meeting).

Comment No duplication of functionality (Score 1) 232

"I don't want a watch that duplicates the function of my cell phone or computer,"

That requirement alone pretty much leaves you buying a nice Swiss analogue watch and, as a nerd, marveling at the technical feat of engineering that went into creating something that can keep time (and date) without the use of any electrical components.

Plus, it'll last a lifetime, the battery won't die out, can still be serviced many years from now, doesn't need to be charged every night, won't be rendered obsolete and will actually look nice on you.

Comment Re:Good luck getting contracts! (Score 1) 234

There are a ton of cultural differences. I remember reading a fascinating book called 'The Culture Code' by a Frenchman who moved to the US at a relatively young age.

He points out, for example, in the US, the kitchen is a central gathering place in the home, and nice, stainless steel appliances are a status symbol. In France, on the other hand, guests would never ever see the kitchen, so the appliances are chosen strictly for utility.

Comment Re: Good (Score 1) 445

You know, the western world already has a whole body of law on 'how to know what you wanted' after you die. It's incredibly complex, but very simple: write a damn will. You should have one anyway, and update it every few years.

Check your state/provincial laws, but you can probably write one yourself, pretty easy. In Ontario, a 'holographic,' or completely hand-written, will is perfectly legal and valid. You can also find 'write a will' kits and templates easily enough, and they'll include health care directives, living wills, and all that stuff. If your estate is too complex for a mad-lib style will, you should already have a lawyer on retainer to do that sort of thing.

Comment Re:Presumed consent (Score 1) 445

I agree. While I too think it's somewhat silly to be concerned about ownership of body parts after death, this effectively causes ownership of the corpse (or at least parts of it) to pass to the state, unless you opt out. So while your property, finances, etc. pass to your family members by default, your own body comes under control of the state by default (who cedes it to medical professionals, it seems).

So?

Death rituals are important to many people, especially loved ones who have to go through mourning. As the summary notes, many families DO object when it comes to this, even if they may be in favor of organ donations in the abstract. Does the state's interest in keeping other people alive outweigh the family's interest in their mourning ritual, particularly when it involves the actual physical parts of that loved one?

No, the state's interest doesn't, which is why the person has the first, last, and final say. The family's wishes, of course, should have no bearing whatsoever; if Johnny's family is all against organ donation, but Johnny is for it, then Johnny's organ's get donated.

I'm all in favor of increasing organ donations -- making it trivial to sign up at any opportunity, etc. But what this law is effectively doing is removing ownership of the deceased person from the family and passing it to the state. I'm generally skeptical of any "opt-in" policies, and this one seems a bit worrying in terms of what it's saying legally about what the state can do.

No, what it's doing is setting up a default action when no other instructions are specified. Just like everything else that happens when you die; if you haven't specifically declared what happens to your property, chattels, dependents, and so on, there are default rules that kick in and attempt to dispose of everything. Just, up till relatively recently, those default rules were 'buried in accordance with local majority religious views.'

Just to throw out some "slippery slope" possibilities -- could the government also decide that you are "opt-in" to a DNR order by default? If it would save on healthcare costs, perhaps speed up organ donation (and thus save lives), could that also be justified? If that seems extreme, how about if you're on life support in a coma? How about a persistent vegetative state? At what point can the state's interest in your organs outweigh the slim possibility you might ever wake up? Why let those organs deteriorate in that body for weeks, months, or years? What about those who don't have family members around to argue legally that organs should NOT be harvested yet?

They could, sure. Hell, the government could, in theory, simply designate you for organ donation for the high Party officials, enslave your children, and induct your beloved cat Mittens into their harems.

Some of these scenarios may seem more extreme than others, but it seems like this seemingly minor "change in default" could have other legal consequences in the future in terms of how many decisions family members have control of in determining what happens to a loved one who is potentially near death. How far can the state's interest go here in superseding the wishes of the family?

Well, this is why we've seen developments in things like living wills and treatment directives. You assume that 'family members' should have a large amount of say in what happens to a loved one. I question that assertion; have ever since that episode of The Practice when Rebecca was badly injured, needed a blood transfusion, and her Jehovah's Witness parents refused it on religious grounds, on her behalf, while her friends and coworkers all swore up and down that Rebecca was not an adherent, and would want the transfusion.

We in the west also have a lot of State control based on old religious strictures; I, for one, do believe that a person (not their family, or the State) should be allowed to choose to die.

Really, though, needing to tick a box saying 'Opt out of organ donation' is an incredibly low burden to place on people, especially when you just build it in to something like a driver's license application. Especially given that it places zero duty or burden upon you; it would be one thing if you were required to give up your organs, AND had to submit to regular health checks to make sure you were caring for those organs properly, for example. But once you're dead, you have zero need for your organs. So if you want to assert control over them, well, we have mechanisms for doing exactly that, and require people to do them already for such things, like directing that they do or don't want to be cremated, for example.

Comment Re:Never saw this coming (Score 1) 168

If by 'blind hope,' you mean 'tracking down all possible leads, then sure.

And really, what does this cost the police? They send a request to Amazon saying 'please send any recordings that happen to exist for this account for this timeframe,' and Amazon sends back either a) any recordings that happen to exist, or b) a note saying that there aren't any.

I really fail to see the problem here.

Comment Re:Never saw this coming (Score 1) 168

Depends on what they are asking for. If they know that the person said "Alexia, where should I hide the body." Then yes. If not then they are stupid.

How do they know, without checking?

All of the arguments I've seen here are boiling down to 'it's stupid.' I don't think so. I've had Siri trigger while listening to audiobooks or podcasts that haven't said anything I'd interpret as 'hey Siri.' It's not out of the realms of possibility that something might have gotten triggered, and an incredibly small chance is better than not checking.

And in a few years, who knows? Maybe when being murdered, people sill start shouting 'Hey Siri, I'm being murdered! Hey Alexa, I'm being murdered! OK Google, I'm being murdered!'

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