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Submission + - The Incentives For Software Firms To Take Security Seriously Are Too Weak (economist.com)

dryriver writes: The Economist reports: "The software industry has for decades disclaimed liability for the harm when its products go wrong. Such an approach has its benefits. Silicon Valley’s fruitful 'go fast and break things' style of innovation is possible only if firms have relatively free rein to put out new products while they still need perfecting. But this point will soon be moot. As computers spread to products covered by established liability arrangements, such as cars or domestic goods, the industry’s disclaimers will increasingly butt up against existing laws. Firms should recognise that, if the courts do not force the liability issue, public opinion will. Many computer-security experts draw comparisons to the American car industry in the 1960s, which had ignored safety for decades. In 1965 Ralph Nader published 'Unsafe at Any Speed', a bestselling book that exposed and excoriated the industry’s lax attitude. The following year the government came down hard with rules on seat belts, headrests and the like. Now imagine the clamour for legislation after the first child fatality involving self-driving cars. Fortunately, the small but growing market in cyber-security insurance offers a way to protect consumers while preserving the computing industry’s ability to innovate. A firm whose products do not work properly, or are repeatedly hacked, will find its premiums rising, prodding it to solve the problem. A firm that takes reasonable steps to make things safe, but which is compromised nevertheless, will have recourse to an insurance payout that will stop it from going bankrupt."

Submission + - Why Taser Zapped Its Name: It Wants To Be A Tech Powerhouse (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Taser announced this week it has a new name, Axon, as part of its aggressive push to dominate the burgeoning market for body cameras and related subscription-based software—and put some distance between itself and the stun gun for which it is widely and controversially known. (It also announced an initiative to solidify its strong lead over the competition while the market is still young, offering cameras and cloud storage free of charge for a year to any eligible police department in America.)

Though the gun generally gets high marks from law enforcement—and has given the company a monopoly in police stun guns—it has generated plenty of controversy since many people shot by the “less-lethal” weapon have died or been severely injured. “We’ve seen the need to do this” for a few years, says Smith.

Hadi Partovi, the Silicon Valley investor and founder of the nonprofit Code.org, says the broader, more public-facing brand will help the company recruit top programming and AI talent—part of a shift he’s been pushing for since he joined the Taser board in 2010. "To be able to start a new business, especially a new business in a completely different road—it would be as if Facebook started something new, and then that new thing became bigger than Facebook itself.”

Still, the bold moves raise a lot of questions about the company's business practices and the way that body cameras are being deployed.

Comment Not Keeping Up. Horseshit. (Score 4, Insightful) 87

"In fact, with Chrome's regular additions and changes, developers have to keep up to ensure they are taking advantage of everything available. "

Uh, no. You don't. The page you developed yesterday (or in 2000) should display just the same if you did it right in the first place. If not it's the browsers fault, not yours for "not keeping up". It's a fucking web browser.

Comment Re:Likelihood by race (Score 1) 209

Playing with percentages can get easily confused which is what I suspect happened to you because your math is way off.


Percentages are handy for comparison, but can be easily confused or used to conflate facts.


... a white man is several times more likely to be shot by a black man, than the other way around

Thus, 1/1,046,032 whites was an interracial murderer. A black person statistically has to meet over 1M whites to run into an interracial murderer (whitey is pretty safe these days, apparently). ...1/92,176 blacks was an interracial murderer. A white person has to meet 92K random blacks to statistically meet an interracial murderer. ... 1/32,608 black men was an interracial murderer. Thus, any random young black man is 240% more likely to murder a white than any random white person is to murder another white person and any random young black man is 20,900% more likely to murder a black person than any random white person is to murder a black person.

You are simply reading the GPs text differently. It hinges on the meaning of the phrase "likely to be shot by a black man", where one can read that as either "likely, in the course of daily life, to be shot by a black man" (my interpretation) or "likely, upon seeing a young black man, to be shot by him" (your interpretation, and possibly the GPs).

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982