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Comment Re:Nothing technical about it. (Score 1) 482

While you're probably correct in general, that's not really always a valid assumption.

At small venues, it's quite possible to hear an annoying cell phone ringing. I was at an Indigo Girls concert recently, and Lucy Wainwright Roche opened for them (really good, and hilarious, by the way). During one part of her performance, she was speaking to the audience (small venue, remember?), and someone's cell phone a few rows back from the front started ringing. Lucy heard the ringing just fine, and asked the person to go ahead and answer the phone so that we could all talk to them. It was pretty darned funny, and hopefully quite embarrassing for the culprit.

Comment Re:Someone cannot math (Score 1) 72

Actually, the article and summary are using long scale 'billion' not short scale 'billion', so the multiplier is 10^12 rather than 10^9. Us Yanks would call it 150 trillion cubic meters. See the wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....

It's 3 orders of magnitude more water than most native English speakers would think.

Comment Re:Even worse... (Score 5, Insightful) 408

Obviously, you've never tried plugging a USB cable into the back of a tower that can't easily be moved (with a lot of connections in the back, it's rather difficult to move unless all of your wires are long). The plugs are sideways. What's up and what's down?

Equally, for micro/mini USB, have you ever tried plugging in your phone in the dark, when it's yelling at you about needing to be charged? For that matter, those connectors are TINY. Can you read anything written on them?

Reversible connectors -- or connectors with an actual OBVIOUS direction -- would be very nice.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 4, Insightful) 527

Like I said, I don't disagree with how LavaBit handled this. In fact, I think EVERYONE should treat federal 'requests' for information the way that Ladar Levinson has, and greatly admire the stand he has taken. I was simply saying that it was more complicated than the summary made it out to be.

That being said, in my personal opinion the fact that the fed can request envelope information with no probably cause is a travesty. I see it as no different than pulling mail out of my mailbox to see who I write letters to and who writes to me. This should be illegal search and seizure

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 4, Informative) 527

Things are a bit more involved than they seem from reading just the summary. The fed originally requested that LavaBit provide them with information regarding a single account (header information only, but on an ongoing basis), which they are allowed to obtain without probable cause. LavaBit refused the initial request, then stalled when given a court order to provide this information (I believe LavaBit was in the right in doing so -- I'm NOT supporting the fed's case, just providing information). The fed took LavaBit back to court, and obtained a court order requiring that LavaBit provide the SSL key, as the fed did not believe that LavaBit would comply with an order for information on a single account. The best part was when LavaBit sent them the SSL key, as a 4 point font printout :-)

In other words, when LavaBit wouldn't provide them information on a single account, the fed escalated to the nuclear option.


4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment Re:Typical way of taking away freedom (Score 2) 276

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of the liberty to take a real bottle of shampoo on an airplane, or the liberty of not having to arrive at the airport an hour or more early only to be subjected to demonstrably ineffective (and possibly, over the long term, dangerous -- although that hasn't been demonstrated because of the refusal of the TSA to perform actual testing) security theater, or the liberty of not having your toddler groped by an underpaid, undertrained, overzealous, security goon.

One of the few truly effective security changes since 9/11 was the very simple expedient of adding always locked, reinforced cabin doors.

While we're on the subject of liberty, someone who had a personal hand in the founding of our country had something very relevant to say about this situation... They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Comment Typical way of taking away freedom (Score 5, Insightful) 276

This is a fairly typical way to permanently take away freedom. Take away a LOT of freedom during an 'emergency', then later give back a small portion of that freedom. People will be so relieved by the small concessions that they forget the larger liberties that they no longer enjoy.

Comment Re:UNLEASH CAPITALISM (Score 3, Insightful) 510

I'm not a big supporter of complete Laissez-faire capitalism, so don't take this the wrong way... But this story is about exactly the opposite of what you seem to think it is. The problem in this case is the franchise law -- which is government interference in the free market, which is anathema to true capitalism -- not with capitalism. Of course dealerships are going to sue -- they've got a nice racket going on, with government backing.

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