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Comment BOSE = terribly privacy policy (Score 5, Interesting) 231

My wife bought a Wave IV Soundtouch with a 30-day return policy - the only good policy they have and the one we exercised.

Want to set the thing up and use the features you paid for like Internet radio? You have to use the app. The first thing the app requires to even start setup is access to your location. WTF? Then there is their so-called "privacy" policy (which is currently so private that they have broken links on their site so you can't even find it now) that allows them to track your listening (which could even include AM, FM, CD, etc), combine it with other info and sell or use it for marketing purposes.

In the words of my sound engineer friend: BOSE stands for Bring Other Sound Equipment.

Submission + - Test flights planned for cargo drone prototype

linuxwrangler writes: Backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, drone startup Natilus is attempting to reduce global airfreight costs by 50% through the use of autonomous cargo drones. To reduce regulatory and infrastructure burden, they plan to have their cargo drones take off and land on water 12 miles offshore and fly over uninhabited areas below controlled airspace. Shipments that take 11 hours in a 747 would take 30 in the drone but at half the cost. Container shipping is less than half the cost of the drone but takes three weeks. Test flights of a 30 foot prototype over San Pablo Bay north of San Francisco are planned for this summer.

Submission + - DJI proposes remote drone ID requirement

linuxwrangler writes: Chinese drone maker DJI proposed today that drones be required to transmit a unique identifier to assist law enforcement to identify operators where necessary. Anyone with an appropriate receiver could receive the ID number but the database linking the ID with the registered owner would only be available to government agencies. DJI likens this to a license plate on a car and offers it as a solution to a congressional mandate that the FAA develop methods to remotely identify drone operators.

Comment Tipped over does not imply speed (Score 5, Informative) 227

"Given that the Uber vehicle has flipped onto its side it looks to be a high speed crash, which suggests a pretty serious incident..."

In one past life I learned accident investigation and in another extricated victims, both dead and alive, from vehicle collisions. I have to call malarkey on the "high-speed" claim.

Cars can tip over at very low speed. I've seen at least two such crashes within two blocks of my house. In one, a driver ran a stop sign and clipped a small SUV which tipped over onto the opposite sidewalk. The entire accident scene covered, perhaps, 30 feet edge to edge.

In the other, a driver drifted into the parking lane sideswiping a parked car such that the door-panels hooked which caused the car to rotate then roll.

The "high-speed" car in both cases was traveling 20-30mph.

Though the provided photo does not show a large surrounding area, neither car looks crushed - just some body-panel denting and debris is right next to the car vs. scattered down the roadway and "nobody was seriously injured."

Nothing about this suggests high-speed.

Comment Buying an Oscar (Score 1) 38

"...Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made no secret about his desire to win an Academy Award..."

And he's throwing cash around to do it. According to FiveThirtyEight, "Loving" and "Manchester by the Sea" are roughly tied in ad-space purchases in the Hollywood Reporter which is over double that of their nearest competitors:

Comment Really?? (Score 1) 290

Why limit it to a country. Why not states? Or counties? Cities? In California alone we have many cities well over $100,000/year and others well under $10,000. Which arbitrary geopolitical line do you chose?

More germane to those of us in the US is why not limit the price that can be charged for drugs to the maximum charged anywhere else in the world. If it's profitable there, it can be profitable here.

Bottom line is that it is the legal responsibility of corporations to put their shareholders' interests first. Or, in the analysis of the movie "The Corporation", the corporation is a psychopath.

Comment Regulation? (Score 1) 257

I'm not a big fan of over-regulation but that might be the only fix. When deemed a sufficient social good, manufacturers are required to warrant and support certain products for a minimum time. Auto emission controls are one example.

Perhaps some congresscritter would find that the promotion of cyber security and reduction of e-waste would make requiring a 5-year support period on mobile devices a worthy regulation.

Of course they would end up calling it something like the Security of Cyberdevices and Reduction of Electronic Waste Universally, or SCREWU act of 2016.

Comment Re:Feinstein is one of those (Score 3, Informative) 241

Yes, she runs as a Democrat but must be a

While she does support some liberal stances on gay marriage and on occasion has voted for small scaling back of some surveillance programs her overall record is far from liberal.

She is fiercely pro-corporate supporting H1B programs and nearly every pro-Hollywood copyright plan she sees.

Her anti-free-speech sentiments are seen both as the main Democratic sponsor of the failed Flag Desecration constitutional amendment and in bills supporting unilateral US censorship of the Internet.

She was the original Democratic supporter of the PATRIOT act, supports numerous hard-stance "tough on crime" acts and called for the immediate arrest and extradition of Edward Snowden.

She is pro death-penalty.

She is against any substantial limits on spying having joined Republicans in voting to give the executive branch authority for international surveillance of Americans without the need for FISA court oversight and for continuing civil immunity for providers who assist the government is such activities.

Meanwhile, her husband Richard Blum's firm CBRE is poised to earn $1 Billion on the sale of closed post offices.

Her sponsorship of this idiotic legislation should not surprise anyone.

Comment Great Planning Disaster (Score 5, Insightful) 474

Due to the volumes of documentation available, BART is the longest section in the book "Great Planning Disasters". But the failures are human and the disaster started with the initial lies. After authorization of the new district and system failed a couple times at the polls, it was finally approved at the ballot as a system that was promised to be fully funded by fare-box revenue. It was designed with the idea of maintaining San Francisco as the economic core of the Bay Area. And almost everything was non-standard. They assumed people would drive to nearby stations then transfer to BART. That didn't happen at the rates expected and they *still* have a severe lack of parking. They claim they are getting over 20-times the customers they originally predicted and they *still* can't cover costs.

When it couldn't be built on budget, a temporary 0.5% sales-tax was imposed throughout the district. When it couldn't even come close to covering costs from the fare-box, the tax became permanent. I now pay for BART through sales-tax, property-tax and various federal and state subsidies. Despite this, a couple years ago the BART directors claimed they had a "surplus" and reduced fares. This when the tracks howl due to insufficient maintenance and, obviously, things are falling apart.

BART has had 40 years to save and plan for maintenance and upgrades and has utterly and completely failed to do so. Now that they have suddenly figured out that stuff wears out, they want 3.5 billion more.

Answering critics of the California high-speed-rail projects a state politician responded, "they said that about BART in the beginning, too." I fear he is all too correct.

Comment Re:Great idea (Score 1) 206

Wrong. Jpeg *loses* important detail. There's a lot of information that is available in a 14-bit uncompressed file that is discarded in the conversion to an 8-bit file with lossy compression. You got that amazing once-in-a-lifetime shot but it was underexposed a stop or two. No problem in raw when jpeg might well be totally unusable. Too bad for Reuters.

Every camera that a serious photojournalist would use has a myriad number of built-in features from HDR to monochrome to white-balance and many other color adjustment parameters. You can often even do cropping and other alterations in-camera. Those alterations *only* impact the jpeg files, not the RAW file. In fact, many photographic competitions *require* the raw file to be submitted along with the final image.

I'm not associated with Reuters in any way though I have had numerous photographs published in web and print both local and international.

I only shoot raw.

Comment Off the roads, now! (Score 0, Troll) 471

Although the government has been saying they are still legal to drive and sell I can't see how that is true. They do not meet the requirements to be on the road and any use should be immediately prohibited with VW ordered to repurchase all affected vehicles at original price and to pay all costs for replacement transportation until impacted drivers can obtain a US-legal alternative. Only then can we discuss the punitive damages.

This was not an accident or slight disagreement. It was blatant and intentional cheating to get a non-conforming vehicle to circumvent the tests. The whole lot of these jokers has already been discovered to "pass" EU mileage standards by running the tests at high altitude, with the belts removed to reduce drag from the alternator and other equipment. They even removed seats, overinflated the tires, taped all the seams and ran the test on a hyper-smooth track. When called on it their response was, "well yes, the test definitions should be improved but it would be unfair to alter the standards without a few year advance notice."

1. Build dirty car.
2. Insert malware to pass the tests.
3. Profit!

Until #3 turns from profit into devastating loss they will keep doing it.

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