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Comment No (Score 4, Insightful) 165

I want my search engine to search the web for my query. Do not try to figure out what sort of legitimate use I have for my query, give me the results! Maybe I'm a copyright infringer trying to steal music, and maybe I'm a gun happy lawyer trying to sue the pants of the site owners.

Comment Re:Rats, already upgraded (Score 1) 266

I'm a big apple fan and have "bought in" to their ecosystem, but your statements about legacy support by apple are flat wrong. Apple is both a hardware and software company, so I'll discuss both:

If I buy some software application developed for the current MacOS version, it will probably run on the newest version of MacOS 5 years down the line, _probably_. 10 years down the line, I might be so lucky, 15 years and almost certainly not.

Given that you can still run DOS and Windows 3.1 applications in the current version of Windows, I've pretty much got a guarantee of at least 20+ years of backwards compatibility with Microsoft.

My modern iMac is being currently forced into obsolescence by Apple with new features (AirPlay) being not supported. Generally speaking, you can expect an Apple computer to have partial ability to keep up with the newest OS upgrades for about 4 years. After 5 years, you will probably not be able to upgrade it at all (not because of issues with processing power, but forced obsolescence).

In short, there are many reasons to buy Apple products: design, user interface, ecosystem, the it-just-works thing. Legacy support is not one of those.

Comment Re:Sounds like a movie plot (Score 1) 142

You are making a ton of points, many well considered, a couple less so.

1) F-35 and F-22 are wastes of money.
I'd rate this mostly valid. The way those programs turned out in terms of waste is definitely a problem, however being able to decisively have air superiority is a need. While a Russian or Chinese war will not happen, proxy wars will, and we need to be sure that our fighters can dominate or at least compete. The generation prior to F22/F35 don't. Supporting a next-gen fighter is a good thing, supporting a political boondoggle is not.

2) Our current enemies don't have fighters that can best our current fighters.
I'd rate this invalid. We don't know who our next adversary will be, nor do we know from where they will equip. We need to be able to beat anything a country other than us can produce to be able to ensure the ability to take air superiority as a given

3) We have too many carriers (adversaries have a couple and bad ones at that)
I'd rate this invalid. The carriers are less about tactical ability and need and much more about projecting power and influence. Sending a carrier strike group to the persian gulf or near north korea, enables the secretary of state to put muscle behind words, and that is well worth the cost, boondoggle or not.

4) War between nuclear weaponized countries is mutual suicide.
Yup. And so long as one side is not feeling suicidal, it won't happen. And (hopefully) if it does, it won't involve nukes.

5) Our current military is acting like the cold war is still ongoing.
Somewhat. Petraeus and associates started a paradigm shift about how we approach combat, this has not yet truly taken hold in terms of acquisitions, so in some sense, we are still buying weapons for wars we will never fight, but it is changing. Look at efforts towards littoral combat and multi-purpose ships.

6) Cut our Navy in half and spam enemies off the field.
Nope. This works for _current_ enemies and _current_ technology, and even then, not so much (see USS Cole, or your example of being spammed by sea skimmer missiles). The Navy needs to be smarter and maybe that means fewer ships, but it certainly does not mean cutting it in half just because we can.

7) The military contractor situation is a bloated mess and needs a good housecleaning.

8) We need to stop wasting money on boondoggles like we are.
Yes, absolutely correct, but the devil is in how to figure out what those are _before_ they get funded.

Comment This is exactly something that should be regulated (Score 3, Interesting) 25

Yes, using whitespace well is good. The problems start when a cognitive radio malfunctions and interferes with licensed and in use spectrum.

The crux of sharing spectrum (as any down to earth shared whitespace proponent will tell you) has to do with the rules the cognitive radios use. Liken these to rules of the road or right of way. Traffic on the roads and freeways works (for the most part) because of a common understanding of the rules that govern right of way. These rules are determined by the government (in some cases better than others, try figuring out when you can do a u-turn in a given city).

The point is that while in theory, sharing unused white space is great, the devil is in how you share it. Without rules and guidelines defining this sharing of whitespace will simply be a property grab.

Think radios positioned to transmit constantly when they don't have actual network traffic. Think about radios that start bombing unused whitespace to claim it for a telco as soon as it goes out of use. Defining the rules of the road is a good thing. The EU may do a bad job of this, but it still needs to be done before that grand idea of free spectrum can even begin to have a hope of being realized.

Comment Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (Score 3, Insightful) 289

Granted you did point out a legitimate bias as the lean is that all capture of license plates is bad (something I'm admittedly on the fence about).

For me the real problem is the logging and storing. For each of the legitimate use cases you outlined, there should be no need to store license plates for anyone to whom those use cases do not apply.

For instance, let's just look at the stolen vehicle use case. As soon as the license plate number is processed (i.e. the image processing software has done it's job and associated an actual number to the image), a query is made against stolen vehicles. If the license plate is not for a stolen vehicle, the image and logs are deleted. You may argue that 12-24 hours of activity are needed, so I could see a data log that is that long being legitimate since it might take a day or so to notice that your car is missing.

A similar process could be applied to each use case you outlined. I would be interested in use cases you can identify that make a year's worth of logs sound legit.

Submission + - Amazon split cloud player and cloud drive (

knapkin writes: "On Tuesday, Amazon introduced a new version of its Cloud Player music service, which first arrived last year in a limited form because Amazon did not have licenses from record companies and music publishers. Now, after many months of negotiations, it has gotten those licenses."

Submission + - FCC rules that Verizon cannot charge for tethering (

schleprock63 writes: "The FCC ruled today that Verizon cannot charge extra for users for 4G WiFi tethering. The FCC used the original agreement in the auction of the C block spectrum which said "licensees offering service on C Block spectrum 'shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network, subject to narrow exceptions". So Verizon cannot charge for tethering on 4G service, this begs the question of whether they can continue to charge for tethering on 3G or 1x?"

Comment Re:General observation (Score 5, Interesting) 709

Of course, a primary difference is, one deliberately starts a campfire.

One also deliberately fires a gun.

There, as with firearms, there was no intent to start a fire in the first place.

There was no intent with the campfire to start a wildfire. In both cases, a deliberate and irresponsible act (that is safe in normal wetter conditions) starts an unintended wildfire.

A better comparison would be to wildfires caused by vehicles (hot exhaust parked over dry grass, no spark arrestor, etc.)?

This is a fair comparison only if the driver of the vehicle was intentionally driving around without a spark arrestor or other deliberate *and* irresponsible act. As an example, a police officer who starts a wildfire while shooting his weapon in the course of his duties would be the fairer comparison to your accidental car exhaust fire (although if the grass was that susceptible, I would expect public wilderness areas to be closed to vehicular traffic).


Submission + - Apple Patents Security Measure Involving "Smart" P (

SniperJoe writes: Given the increasingly sensitive nature of data on mobile phones and laptops, including data used to initiate and process financial transactions, Apple has patented a new method of securing password recoveries. This method of securing the credentials used for recovering passwords is based on the idea of "splitting a users password recovery secret among two devices that are never carried together at one time." In this case, a "smart" power adapter and the device. Only by having both of those items can passwords be recovered, allowing access to the phone or laptop. Personally, I travel quite a bit and I have both of those items with me on numerous occasions.

Comment Re:Ah, America! (Score 1) 562

Except that this cost to the merchant is already priced into the goods that you purchase, so we pay for the points and such ourselves via marginally increased prices. By paying in cash, you are simply paying for a benefit that you don't get to receive (and yes, you are increasing the merchant's profit slightly as well). So while paying cash is a nice way to help a small business out, if everyone moved away from cards, prices of goods would drop slightly and the profit of the small merchant would be the same as it is today (even though they would not be having to pay those pesky fees anymore).

Comment Re:why just the kindle? (Score 1) 182

I think alot of you are forgetting what driving without ABS is like. Well maybe not, but my experience on the highway on wet roads combined with following distance of the cars around me backs that up. I'd take a car with ABS acting funny every so often (that I can throw into neutral, via clutch or other) over pure analogue brakes any time.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley