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Comment Who needs them anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 184

I stopped wearing a wristwatch 10+ years ago. It was annoying to wear while using a laptop.
There's clock on my phone, computer, car, radio, egg timer.. I don't see the point in carrying extra one on my wrist.
Smartwatches seem even more pointless to me, redundant and limited functionality and horrible battery life.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 455

If women choose not to go into computing fields, why should they be forced (or even encouraged) to do so?

It seems to me that most offices would benefit from having a sensible balance of both genders. For whatever reason, women tend to have a different approach to problem solving than men, which might add value in itself. It might also motivate people to be a little bit more aware of certain aspects of coexistence that are often somewhat neglected in an all-male office - IOW it might make the office-atmosphere a little nicer.

Why isn't there a similar push to get men into kindergarten education or nursing?

Isn't there? When I had young children I heard about that constantly; men can make a very valuable contribution to the traditional women's jobs. We simply have a different approach doing things (and it hasn't got a lot to do with the Trump approach to women either).

How about letting people pick the field(s) they want to go into without telling them what they "ought" to do based on a pointless metric or percentage?

An excellent idea - the problem, in many ways, is that we culturally condition each other to believe there are certain things we can't or shouldn't do. Boys learn that they shouldn't do "girl things", like playing with dolls or similar, and girls learn in the same way that there are certain things that are "boys only". This is, in my view, a stupid waste - one of my favourite examples is the amazing mathematician, Emmy Noether; I wonder how many brilliant women never got to excel in science simply because "science is a boy thing" and their interest wasn't encouraged.

Comment Re:Why does the ESA have a worse record of landing (Score 1) 104

... what is it that is lacking in the ESA program that is not able to get landings right?

One of the contributing factors is probably that there is less redundancy; I think ESA are trying to pack as much science as possible into a limited budget. I think also, the lander part of the program wasn't necessarily the main ambition, although it would have been very, very nice to our own vehicle down there. I think everybody agrees that space missions are unsustainably expensive, so we really do need to find (safe) ways to reduce the costs a lot; this is no doubt another important part of ESA's space mission designs.

Comment Re:Don't use Facebook (Score 1) 98

Of course he doesn't understand. If you click on the name he uses, you will see that most of his comments seem to be jeers that he hopes are efficient put-downs. He isn't trying to understand or engage in an enlightened discussion, he just wants a howling match from the safety of his bedroom.

Comment Re:Halfway There (Score 1) 417

It's not "gun controllers bringing it up", it's manufacturers working on them. What do you have against manufacturers developing new products?

I have absolutely nothing against manufacturers developing new gun safety products and offering them on the market. The concern with these "smart" guns is that they'll be mandated by law. This has already happened in New Jersey. The 2002 Childproof Handgun Law says that three years after "smart" guns are available for sale in the US, all guns for sale in New Jersey must be "smart". The law doesn't require that the guns be in any way reliable or have obtained any significant market share, just that they've been available for sale. So if these actually make it to market people in NJ who want reliable guns are screwed. And if any other states, or Congress, passes a similar law, then all of us are screwed.

Actually, I'd have no problem with smart guns if they were really reliable. And there's a really simple reliability screening test we can use: offer them to military and law enforcement personnel. Cops in particular should see a lot of value in smart guns because cops occasionally get shot with their own guns. However, they also need their guns to be extremely reliable, and big departments and the FBI have the institutional resources and motivation to seriously test them. So, once the technology reaches a level where police are not only willing to use smart guns but actively want them then it's fine to mandate them for civilians.

Of course, thanks to the NJ law, civilians are going to fight like hell to keep these things off the shelves, which means that the years of refinement needed to make them reliable is never going to happen. Not in the US, anyway.

Comment That's not what they did though. (Score 1) 421

They went in and searched everyone's phones. Unless there's an important detail we aren't being told here, that's unconstitutional. The 4th amendment says "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The important part there is "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That is in there specifically to ban general search warrants. The idea is the police can't go to a judge and say "We think there is something illegal in a house somewhere in this 500 home neighbourhood, we'd like a warrant to search the houses," and the judge issues them a blanket warrant allowing them to search any home there, and look through anything in said home. That isn't allowed. They have to say specifically where it is they want to search, and what it is they are looking for, and also why they have probable cause to believe that what they are looking for is there.

If you read the article they say right at the bottom "I think it's very questionable whether the 4th Amendment" -- which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure -- "allows such an open-ended extension of the search warrant."

Comment 5th amendment and it would seem so yes (Score 3, Informative) 421

It isn't 100% clear, there is no cut and dried supreme court ruling and there have been some conflicting lower court rulings but in general the opinion of the courts seems to be that you can't be forced to hand over a password/code/etc because that is something in your head, which falls under 5th amendment protections against self incrimination.

The 4th amendment is what would be used to challenge a broad search warrant like was issued in this case. Without knowing the specifics I can't say for sure but this sounds like it would be an illegal search since it was a general warrant and that isn't allowed. The police aren't (supposed to be) able to get a warrant to just search anyone or anything in a given place, they have to be specific. This doesn't sound like it was, and so would probably be a 4th amendment violation.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 326

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) 279

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 The issue isn't (just) speed - it's (also) range. (Score 1) 44

LTE is already pretty darn fast, so losing a little performance isn't going to make that big of a deal. It's not as if you can torrent to your hearts content without killing your cell phone bill.

The issue isn't just speed. It's also range.

At any given speed, the Qualcom can support it at substantially lower signal levels. 6ish dB in a lot of cases, a bit less in some, enormously more in others.

Look at the graphs in TFA. In addition to some specific pathologies that penalize the Intel chip farther, the bulk of the graph has the drop off looking similar but with the Qualcom shfited 5 or 6 dB to the right. (Those squares are 5 dB wide.)

6 dB is four times the effective signal strength, which corresponds to twice the range. That maps into four times the area served at that speed from a single cell tower (important in sparsely-served areas), deeper penetration into buildings and the like (in more heavily-covered areas). It can also map into more data pushed before a given area and channel allocation's bandwidth is saturated. 3 dB corresponds to twice the effective signal strength, 1.4ish times the radius, twice the area served.

If the modems were equivalent and the problem just the layout of the board and antenna, you'd expect the two curves to be the same shape but just offset. The shape is substantially different, so (board issues or not) something else is going on.

Comment Re:Account Recovery (Score 2) 105

Google no longer supports non-security questions for account recovery.

FTFY. Security questions are a joke. The answers are almost always easy for an attacker with a little bit of information about you to find, and a lot of the time the legitimate user can't remember them. Moreover, those two traits are strongly correlated: the harder it is for an attacker to find the answers, the more likely it is that the user won't be able to find them either.

Everyone should stop using them.

Comment Re:Reason (Score 1) 105

Google doesn't actually want your phone number for security. Google wants your phone number so that they can link the account in their database to other information that contains your phone number.

The number is to make account recovery possible in the event you've forgotten your password. The assumption is that attackers won't have access to your phone. That assumption is violated if your telco will transfer your number to the attacker's phone, of course.

If you prefer not to give your phone number to Google, don't. Just turn on two-factor auth using a non phone number-based auth method, either the Authenticator app or (better yet) a security key, or both. Then download and print out some backup 2FA codes and keep them somewhere safe. Google won't have your phone number and you won't be vulnerable to mistakes by dumb telco customer service reps.

Comment Re:Don't use Facebook (Score 1) 98

There are ways to publish such videos without such insane restrictions.

Of course, but that is hardly the issue here. They are trying to promote important health awareness information as widely as possible, and facebook is, regrettably, popular. It is a real shame that unenlightened prudishness shall stand in the way of such a noble purpose. And as the saying goes, all things are pure to the innocent; or in other words, the more prudish you are, the more you have to be ashamed of, clearly.

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