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Comment Re:So backwards... (Score 3, Insightful) 167

Well, now you're making a very different argument than the original "companies should not profit from products that might kill people." But I'll bite anyway. There are plenty of products that, though used correctly, can under some circumstances cause injury or death.

A very obvious one is medication. There are many medications that can have serious side effects, including death, when taken exactly as prescribed. We continue to use them because the benefits outweigh the risks.

You mentioned chainsaws. It is true that the majority of chainsaw accidents happen because of operator error. However, that doesn't mean that all of them do. The only way to completely eliminate the possibility of harm is to not use a chainsaw. But again, we continue to use them because the benefits are big enough.

There does need to be a standard for how safe autonomous vehicles need to be before we allow them on the roads. But setting that standard at "they need to never cause a death" is not only unrealistic, it is totally inconsistent with how our society deals with other potentially dangerous products.

Comment Re: The climevangelists are busy today (Score 2) 237

Bullshit. Modern diseases are not caused by foods that have been eaten for hundreds of thousands of years. They've been caused by modern processed crap such as sugar, white flour and industrial vegetable oils.

A lot of them have been caused by the fact that without modern medicine, we wouldn't survive long enough to experience them.

Comment Re: also in the news ... (Score 1) 469

It's funny, I've thought a time or two about leaving IT and starting a lawn and snowplowing business. Why? Pay isn't quite as good, but except in the winter when you're plowing, you set your own hours, don't need to interact with people, and the pay is pretty damn good just the same. If only for allergies....

Our 'lawn boy' is an 18 (now 19?) year old gay kid. He's been mowing lawns for 3 years, every summer. He has bought his own new truck -with cash - and all the accessories you'd expect. He makes at least $70k/year after taxes, and that's just with the people we know are his customers, paying voluntarilly, in cash/check, $20-40 at a time.

No 401k or insurance necessary.

Those poor lawn boys...

Chrome

Google Reducing Trust In Symantec Certificates Following Numerous Slip-Ups (bleepingcomputer.com) 75

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes from a report via BleepingComputer: Google Chrome engineers announced plans to gradually remove trust in old Symantec SSL certificates and intent to reduce the accepted validity period of newly issued Symantec certificates, following repeated slip-ups on the part of Symantec. Google's decision comes after the conclusion of an investigation that started on January 19, which unearthed several problems with Symantec's certificate issuance process, such as 30,000 misused certificates. In September 2015, Google also discovered that Symantec issued SSL certificates for Google.com without authorization. Symantec blamed the incident on three rogue employees, whom it later fired. This move from Google will force all owners of older Symantec certificates to request a new one. Google hopes that by that point, Symantec would have revamped its infrastructure and will be following the rules agreed upon by all the other CAs and browser makers.
Software

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware (vice.com) 496

Tractor owners across the country are reportedly hacking their John Deere tractors using firmware that's cracked in Easter Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums. The reason is because John Deere and other manufacturers have "made it impossible to perform 'unauthorized' repair on farm equipment," which has obviously upset many farmers who see it "as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time," reports Jason Koebler via Motherboard. As is the case with most modern-day engineering vehicles, the mechanical problems experienced with the newer farming tractors are often remedied via software. From the report: The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it. A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for "crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment [...] arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software." The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software. It means that only John Deere dealerships and "authorized" repair shops can work on newer tractors. "If a farmer bought the tractor, he should be able to do whatever he wants with it," Kevin Kenney, a farmer and right-to-repair advocate in Nebraska, told me. "You want to replace a transmission and you take it to an independent mechanic -- he can put in the new transmission but the tractor can't drive out of the shop. Deere charges $230, plus $130 an hour for a technician to drive out and plug a connector into their USB port to authorize the part." "What you've got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market," he added.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 270

If every bank involved agrees the invalid signature is valid, what happens to the money?

Stealing a coin here or there from a wallet that hasn't been touched in a while would be more "practical", and for all we know, is being done now.

Anyone can audit the blockchain, not just miners.

It'd be possible to find every bitcoin not traded in the past 3 years, assert it "lost" then the attacker fraudulently claim them with the attack given, and it's possible he could liquidate after the theft without anyone noticing until he's cashed out.

It's not just miners checking the transactions.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 270

I do understand Bitcoin, and what you are describing is impossible. Bitcoins cannot be transferred from one account to another unless you have the private keys to the account that currently holds them. It's like a signed check - it can't be transferred to another account without a valid signature.
United States

IEEE-USA Criticizes Failure To Reform The H-!B Program (ieee.org) 239

Slashdot reader Tekla Perry writes: IEEE USA says H-1B visas are a tool used to avoid paying U.S. wages. "For every visa used by Google to hire a talented non-American for $126,000, ten Americans are replaced by outsourcing companies paying their H-1B workers $65,000," says the current IEEE USA president, writing with the past president and president-elect. The outsourcing companies, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy in 2014 "used 21,695 visas, or more than 25 percent of all private-sector H-1B visas used that year. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Uber, for comparison, used only 1,763 visas, or 2 percent," they say.
On Friday, IEEE-USA also issued a new criticism about the lack of progress in reforming the H-1B program, saying "At least 50,000 Americans will lose their jobs this year because the president has yet to fulfill the promise he made to millions who voted for him."

Comment Bad TV Adjust Box? (Score 3, Interesting) 184

Stella's (2600 emulator), implementation of 'Bad TV' adjusts is just amazing. It simply wasn't the same playing 2600 games with perfectly clear graphics. In fact, some of those old games COUNTED on a little bleed and fuzziness! I have mine set for RF with a little bit of drift - just like the old days with my uncle's G.E. 25" lightning-struck set.

If you haven't seen the 'Bad TV Adjust' feature on Stella, it's worth a look - and that got me thinking (always dangerous!)...

What if you could construct a box that would take an RGB-based analog signal, run it through the same formulas that Stella borrowed, and then output that to an LCD or OLED? That way, you could get all the scanlines and composite NTSC color drift you wanted... If it didn't delay things too much, that is.

Comment Restoring tissues and organs (Score 5, Funny) 94

I know it was demonstrated awhile back that a rabbit kidney could be cryopreserved and then restored to function.

Seriously, the longer I live, the more it seems plausible that one day it will be possible to cryopreserve a human brain and restore it to function later. One day human lifespan may be greatly extended in a way that looks like this:

McCoy: "He's dead, Jim."

Kirk: "Bones, do something!"

McCoy: "Sorry, Jim, there isn't anything I can do."

KirK: "Why?"

McCoy: "Because he's dead."

Kirk: "How do you know he's dead?"

McCoy: "Because there's nothing I can do."

Kirk: "Because he's dead?"

McCoy: "That's right."

Kirk: "But I was talking to him just one minute ago!"

McCoy: "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a spiritual medium! I can't bring back the dead anymore than I can cure a common cold."

Spock: "Doctor, we could take him back to the ship, dissolve any blood clots, restore circulation, and restore homeostasis by molecular repair. He could fully resume duty within days."

McCoy: "Spock, leave doctoring to doctors! What this man needs is a decent burial."

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