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Comment Re:Snowden also did something illegal (Score 1) 334

Which brings up another question. If HRC had used two email accounts, and Podesta or others of her confidantes outside of the government had communicated with her on the private one - not subject to FOIA requests - would that have been fine?

Because that's what I think she used the private email server for. Like she said, anything sent to her from inside the State Department was archived there and available for FOIA requests. But private stuff with personal acquaintances - even if potentially related to her work at State - was not (yes, there are gray areas). I'm sure her haters would not like that - and wouldn't accept her explanations in any case, but given that she could've accomplished what she wanted by carrying two devices, I'm inclined to believe her 'convenience' argument. Sure, she was trying to shield stuff from FOIA - but is that illegal if it's not official stuff?

If the 'two account' solution was legal, then she's guilty of stupidity, hubris - or both. But in any case, the 'classified documents' argument is mostly a red herring. Technically illegal - though without being properly marked (or even classified yet), another gray area). Still, if they'd been sent to or from her State Department account, nobody would've (or should've) batted an eye.

She shot herself in the foot by trivializing the issue and saying she was worried about Chelsea's wedding plans. She should've been honest and said, "I talk with and solicit advice from a large range of trusted friends outside of the Government, and I want them to be able to speak frankly". That was Cheney's defense in refusing to release minutes of his energy commission - which was official government business. Those minutes from those pre-9/11 sessions might well contain discussions of deposing Saddam Hussein from Iraq to get their oil back on the market, but apparently we the public don't have the right to know that...

Comment Re:The data economy. (Score 2) 151

Well, there *is* a difference between selling targeted ads based on the users' data vs selling the data - which Google still does not do. But I'll grant you this, the imperative of a public company is to keep the stock price growing - profit is almost beside the point, except as reflected in the stock price. That means that Google needs to constantly find new sources of revenue. I wish they'd get serious about building up their cloud hosting business and their corporate hosted application business. I doubt that their new Pixel hardware business is going to be a huge revenue generator.

In essence, Google needs a new business model to complement their old one. Otherwise, they've gone as far as they can with targeted advertising, and while I still don't think they're selling my info, I'd still prefer it to be stored anonymously than explicitly tied to my personal account - if only because of the threat of a data breach.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 322

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 274

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

Like Boost, too much simple sugar.

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali). Less than 0.5% of: Nonfat Milk, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Carrageenan, Salt, Ferric Phosphate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

The closest would be Boost Plus, which still comes in short on calories and way too much simple sugar. Look at the ingredients!

Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Canola, High Oleic Sunflower, Corn), Milk, Protein Concentrate, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, and Less than 1% of: Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Gum Acacia, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Citrate, Inulin (from Chicory), Soy Lecithin, ...

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

First, you're not realizing what I bill those customers. I don't want to wave money around on Slashdot but I assure you, you too would drink an unoffensive bottle of Soylent for that much. The main thing it buys me is freedom, and there is no shortage of pleasure coming from that. I can work on what I want most of the time, or not work, if I just keep a few of those customers.

Second, you can't have any of the real pleasures in life without your health. You are evolved to be attracted to foods that would have been infrequent windfalls throughout most of the evolution of human beings. Now, you can have them for every meal, and your body is sending you the signals to do so despite the fact that those foods will ultimately be detrimental to you. If you are still compelled to eat them, there's a pretty good chance that's the addiction talking.

Comment So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

I have some customers in San Jose, and live in Berkeley. Given the horrid traffic and the lack of good trains with little hope that BART's Silicon Valley extension will be done within a decade, I get up at 5AM when it's necessary to work at these customer sites, hit the road by 5:30, and head home around 1 PM.

Obviously, that doesn't leave time for a leisurely breakfast. So, a cold bottle of Soylent 2.0 just out of the 'fridge is about my best option while driving. Warm Soylent doesn't actually seem that much worse, and I've used that during long drives when the alternative would have been fast food.

Yes, I get paid enough to compensate for all of this.

Soylent 2.0 tastes OK, but not so good that you'd eat it just for the taste. It takes care of physical needs and doesn't do anything nasty to my gastrointestinal system. I do not attempt to use it as a total food replacement.

Consuming Soylent, though, leads one to think about how food flavors and other characteristics of food are evolved or engineered to manipulate us, and how this is a dependence or addiction and perhaps the largest cause of health issues in our lives.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

About 61% nationally of fatal crashes involve only one vehicle. The NHTSA says here that in about 70% of fatal single-vehicle crashes, the automobile ran off of the road. This is low-hanging fruit for computer driving to achieve a safety improvement.

98% acceptance? Probably 40 years from the first deployment of true autonomous systems. The rich and businesses go first. Just as luxury cars and long-haul trucks have always been the first to get almost any safety feature.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

So, California conditions other than the mountains. Not a problem for me, and an obvious good place to start.

Regarding cost, they're prototypes. If the system adds $30,000 to the cost of the vehicle, it would be cost-effective for a lot of people here. I doubt it has to add that much.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

Sure but computers have a long way to go before their weaknesses don't overshadow their strengths in a way that amounts to being safer than a human.

I am wondering. People are good at inferring data from context. A ball bouncing into the street is liable to be followed by a child. A wobbly tire might be about to blow out and cause another car to veer suddenly. That sound might indicate a train coming.

Are these inferences not trainable? For certain image classification tasks, computers are already better than people.

Obviously we have a way to go if we take the Tesla approach, and equip the vehicle only with sensors that do not interfere with the vehicle's appearance. But the Google approach, where the vehicle has a good enough radar to sense moving objects that people can't see, might be closer to being able to operate with human-equivalent safety in limited situations. It's still going to need to hand over control on some roads or if it approaches something abnormal. But I'd happily pay for one that handles the highway most of the time.

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When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson