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Comment The Decline of Big Media has been Noticed (Score 1) 216

This is the government realising that the internet is taking control of ideas away from big media and giving it to the people ... of the whole world. Unfortunately some of the people are apparently paid by the Russian government and that's going to be hard to deal with. Big media is relatively easy for the government to control, or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, neither of them like the change in the status quo. Luckily for those in the US, you have strong constitutional protections for free speech.

Comment Re:Not new, just a holiday reminder PSA (Score 1) 178

The precise details of the Earth's rotation just aren't that important, except to a few hundred professional telescope operators

My guess is that there are way more navigators than astronomers who need accurate time. Navigation is essential for safety. Sure, celestial navigation is only a backup for GPS these days but I think we'd all prefer that there was a backup available. The US Navy certainly thinks so. At the equator, four seconds makes a difference of one nautical mile.

The US has been pushing for the abandonment of leap seconds for some years but has so far failed to have the standard changed.

Comment Re:Is there a precedent for this? (Score 1) 215

The physical safe analogy is not a good precent for strong encryption because no safe was secure against the government. If the evidence was important enough, they could find a way to open any safe to access it. (It costs less to break open a safe than it cost to make the safe.) As far as we know, correctly implemented strong encryption can be secure against any attack unless a brute-force attack is stunningly lucky. This makes governments uncomfortable.

Banks certainly have to comply with lawful orders to search safety deposit boxes. There's no great burden on them to comply; they have the key. If you want to make an analogy from this, imagine a bank invents some technology such that they themselves can't open the boxes without the customers' passwords. Now a lawful order to open a box translates into a huge burden; they can only comply by finding a way to break their own technology. Not only could this be expensive, but it would also greatly and permanently reduce the value of the technology.

Comment A Tesla on Autopilot is NOT a self-driving car (Score 1) 198

Repeat after me: "a Tesla on Autopilot is NOT a self-driving car." Do not take your hands off the wheel. Be ready to hit the breaks when necessary. I'm sure it's there in the manual: read it.

It's probably time for Tesla to publicly announce that they're changing the name of this feature since it's the public (and sales staff) perception of its capabilities that is causing problems. Didn't the German government demand this change recently too?

Comment Highlighting this Capability is a Good Thing (Score 1) 161

Releasing software allowing the editing of spoken words in audio recordings is probably the best way to ensure people know this capability exists. Everyone knows about Photoshop and the kinds of things it makes possible so that the old phrase "the camera never lies" is known to be obsolete. If audio speech editing capabilities were somehow kept from the public the potential for abuse would be much greater.

Comment Re:Utter bollocks (Score 1) 171

It's bad math for dumb people. Profits are positive, by definition.

Sorry if you find the maths and financial concepts too hard, but it actually makes way more sense to calculate the percentages this way. Otherwise you're excluding the market impact of all the companies who make a loss. How can you sensibly compare figures from quarter to quarter and from year to year if you're excluding a different set of companies each time depending on who makes a loss? There's a boundary between simplifying concepts so that more people can understand them and oversimplifying to the point of being wrong; you've crossed it. If anyone is trotting out "bad math for dumb people," it's you.

Comment Re:EA Need To Do The Right Thing (Score 2) 121

I'm pretty sure that any attempt by EA to send money to embargoed countries is going to be seen as illegal and is even more likely to attract the attention of the authorities than processing the original purchases. For one thing, they won't be able to claim ignorance; any refund attempt would be clearly corporate-sanctioned embargo breaking. If you must blame someone, let it be the US Government; their law punishing presumably innocent citizens of selected countries is the root cause of this injustice. EA's only contribution has been some incompetence from which they are unable to recover.

Comment Re:Muh Rights (Score 1) 197

Uhm... it says right in the part you quoted which part of the law it violates.

Just because the article says it violates the law doesn't make it so.

They have these other things, called statutes or "laws," that are in addition to the Constitution.

And they have still other things called courts who get to interpret both the laws and the constitution. There's no mention that courts have ruled on this situation yet.

The key thing I note is that both laws require the ad to indicate a preference. When you place the ad with Facebook you can indicate a preference for who the ad is targeted towards but that's not the same as the ad itself indicating a preference. Could be an interesting case though IANAL.

you're taking alliteracy to a new level

When accusing someone of being illiterate it's always good to know how to spell the word. No, it wasn't a typo on your part: the "a" is about as far as you can get from the "i" on the keyboard.

Comment Re:Is it really hard to figure out? (Score 1) 176

It wouldn't be exactly simple but it would be possible. The main issue would be that GPS transmitters near the Kremlin that were installed by anyone other than the Russian authorities would be very quickly noticed by them and would be relatively easily located. Since the anomalies appear to have been present for a long period of time it's a pretty safe bet that they're being caused by the Russian authorities.

Comment Re:Is it really hard to figure out? (Score 3, Informative) 176

GPS coverage can't be disabled or modified by the GPS satellites selectively over such a small area as the Kremlin. The satellites are essentially just sending the time and their location continuously and their antennas aren't very directional. Anything they did that affected accuracy at the Kremlin would have to affect a wide surrounding area as well. Any localised effect as described has to be local jamming which almost certainly means official Russian involvement.

Comment What's the Good of High-Frequency Trading? (Score 1) 209

He used their millisecond advantage against them.

What if all trades were batched up and handled on something like one-second boundaries, i.e., kill off high-frequency trading? What would be lost? As far as I can tell, almost all of its effect so far has been to advantage the high end traders who have the resources to compete. There would also seem to be substantial risks of instability. Since the traders are free to use any algorithm they like there's no way to guarantee the stability of the whole system.

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