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Comment Re: Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 671

One obvious way is if it blows the warm air across the A/C's heat sensor, triggering it to do the actual cooling.

Another is if it pushes the heat toward areas of weaker insulation and away from areas of stronger insulation. If the outside is cooler than the inside, then the temperature will leak out more rapidly. If the outside is warmer than the inside, then the warmth will leak in more slowly.

Another is if you're in building and where a vaulted ceiling fan is pushing floor 2 heat down to floor 1. My last house was like that, and I kept the fan on constantly because the floor-by-floor difference was enormous.

Another is if the temperature was not evenly distributed within the room's bottom (eg. because one wall is an exterior wall, or one shares a wall with the kitchen, or there are electrically powered devices in there acting as heat sources). Redistributing will directly cool those parts at the expense of parts further away.

Comment Unacceptable! (Score 4, Funny) 139

This sort of reckless openness in communications sends the message that so called 'disasters' are a free-for-all for pirates, child pornographers, and terrorists.

Any right-thinking citizen would agree that a few unimportant people staying buried in rubble is a small price to pay to secure the internet against intellectual property theft and anonymous communication by evildoers.

Comment That's honestly pretty surprising. (Score 1) 164

It's not a huge surprise that the reliability of Apple widgets isn't appreciably better than high end Android gizmos; Apple is hardly the only company in the world that knows how to shove a bunch of solid state hardware into a tight space; and to the degree they are atypically skilled at it they usually end up focusing on extra skinniness and similar aesthetic considerations that don't necessarily enhance reliability.

What is surprising is that 'Android devices' as a whole would perform so well. It is the blessing, and the curse, of Android that pretty much anyone can slap it into almost anything; and vendors take full advantage of that. I would have expected the floods of dire crap to drag down the average reliability rating considerably.

Comment Re:Time to update firewalls. (Score 1) 87

Some software attempts a compromise(Chrome's certificate pinning isn't applied to certificates authenticated against a locally imported trusted root; but is otherwise); but anything that either refused to make exceptions or simply doesn't integrate with the platform's certificate handling very well should break SSL decryption with just certificate pinning.

That's often not the only inspection mechanism in place; but anyone who can actually break SSL without access to a trusted cert is currently being very quiet about the matter.

Comment Re:Why blame wealth? (Score 2) 155

Probably because lying poor people are rarely in a position to mount a slick astroturf campaign through an apparently-neutral third party entity they are covertly buying influence over.

That makes it pretty tricky for them to foster nearly as much cynicism, unleash more PR flacks on the world, or get their objectives turned into policy.

In a vague abstract sense you can condemn all liars equally on moral grounds; but when it comes to the consequences of their behavior the ones with no power simply aren't in the position to be as dangerous.

Comment Re:Thanks, developers! So agile! Much evergreen! (Score 5, Insightful) 220

The nasty trick in this case is that they shouldn't have had to test against a zillion awful webcams to know that they had a problem.

The USB Video Class Spec and Microsoft's own driver for it defines support for both uncompressed and compressed video output; and for programs to negotiate with a UVC device to change video parameters.

The extra abstraction layer they added between the driver and the applications only supports one uncompressed format; and breaks if you try to negotiate for something different. That's not a weirdo edge case with somebody's ghastly rev. A product that never should have made it out the door; that's "break a substantial portion of a spec we used to support and hope everything turns out for the best". Not good.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

It does seem to be the case that any business with 'EZ-franchise' opportunities or heavy use of consumer credit gets pretty slimy; but it's hard to dismiss it as wholly analogous to a 'bubble' when panel prices have continued to fall and people continue to be pretty interested in using electricity.

The vendors might well be chasing a bubble, I suspect that, in the end, it will turn out that selling "own your own business opportunities" will prove more lucrative than owning one of those "opportunities"; but the buyers of the solar capacity (while quite possibly paying the early-adopter penalty for jumping in before the product has matured) aren't really good bubble candidates.

Comment Re:This will go well... (Score 1) 201

Indeed, it's far from an original concern; but it does seem like one that could be a nagging problem.

Aside from any zOMG Society!!! questions, they are taking on a game-balance issue: people get frustrated when they lose; but get bored of winning if you don't provide the convincing illusion of a challenge. As long as you are just building sex toys, that's not a problem; but it will be trickier to impress people with 'love' that they know has nothing to do with them. Unconditional love is handy because you can't screw it up; but being the recipient of love-so-durable-even-our-customers-can't-fuck-it-up probably won't leave you feeling terribly lovable. Even a puppy is higher standards than that.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982