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Comment No shit (Score 1) 469

Also with regards to pin/signature I've yet to see a card and retail terminal that doesn't support both. It is just up to the bank to decide which it likes best and it asks for that. So if you come from Canadaland and use your card, it'll ask you for a PIN, and the American behind you will get a signature. However that American signature card works just fine on the PIN only automated terminals in the UK so long as you've set up a PIN on it. Heck you can see both as an American in Target if you like. Target has upgraded to chip readers now. If you have one of their store credit cards, they'll issue you a chip ONLY card, no mag stripe. It will use a PIN, not a signature. However take out your Visa and stick it in the same machine, and it'll use signature. It is up to what the bank requests as default.

You can argue about if it is a good idea to use signature, but it is absolutely no problem from an implementation standpoint. The terminals do both. When I was in the UK this month, everything happily took my US card and just spit out a signature form, excepting automated kiosks (for the subway and shit) which happily used the PIN I'd set. This was all handled on the design of the system years ago.

With regards to speed I will say that it is a tiny bit slower, even with good equipment, and this is something that the hardware makers are aware of and are working on but it is seriously trivial. On a quality, hardwired, terminal you get a swipe through in maybe 1-3 seconds, a chip seems to take maybe 5-10. Oh no, a few extra seconds, what ever will I do! It isn't like you are waiting for a minute or something. The things that take a long time with chip are usually ones that take a long time (just less of a long time) with swipe, namely wireless ones that have to establish a connection like vending machines.

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score -1) 211

Hard to sue:

  • Her images are now in public domain.
  • She cannot complain that Getty is selling them. They can sell them, they can do pretty much whatever they want because the pictures are in public domain.
  • She can complain that Getty is trying to sell license for these picture. They cannot re-license them nor restrict the pictures usage as, again, the pictures are in public domain and anyone can do pretty much everything they want to
  • I'm not sure how she can complain about not being mentionned on Getty's website. Had the pictures been released under CC-BY, she would have standing ground to ask for her name as per her license. If the picture go into public domain, I'm not sure if she can retain the ability to claim IP ownership over them
  • The strongest case she has, is against Getty threatening other users of her picture to pay for license. As her picture are public domain, anyone can do whatever they want without needing an othorisation, Getty had no ground asking for money. A good enough lawyer could probably bring up a class action suit against Getty for racketeering for any user of the photo threadened to pay for license by them

Comment Broken beyond recognition (Score 1) 359

TL;DR: It's a combination of the state of degradation of a (non durable) smartphone forcing you to upgrade, and the manufacturer's marketing department spending as much resources as possible and doing any trick they can think of to persuade you that upgrading is the best idea ever.

The phone itself forces you.
Once the screen is broken and un-readable.
Or the phone is bent beyond it's breaking point... ...etc...

Phone are very common use objects. They are submitted to tons of abuse simply because of usage pattern.
Smartphone which pack even more functionnality (internet acces, mail/chat, etc.) are even more used and thus abused.

But smartphone maker tend to chose different set of equilibrium points and compromises.
Aesthetic value (the new one is 0.4mm thinner than the previous one and 0.2mm thinner than the competition !) over durability (plastic is considered unfashionnable although depending on the composition it can better withstand some mecanical stress).
Eye candy (more CPU core, bigger GPU) over battery life, etc.

Thus smartphone tend to degrade very quickly.

And once you go to the Apple shop to ask for (over expensive) repairs, clerks are trained to point at how tiny is the difference in price with the then newer model.

Yes, nobody forces you to change smartphones and you could still use an outdated iPhone 1 if you would.
(though the question remains if there are enough OTA update to the radio firmware to remain compatible with the network).

But *very few* people actually, and most of them basically do because they don't have much choice.

Most of the other people will have abused their phone beyond repair (or more precisely to the point where the extremely overcharged repair price doesn't look that cheap compared to upgrading to a new model).
The remaining poeple will have succumbed to the sirens of marketing department and bought a new one because its sounds so much cooler(*) that the previous one. And we all know how much Apple's marketing department is better than everyone else's..

(*: though you have to concede that, as of lately, we seem to have reached the "peak smartphone" and sells are getting a little bit lower, as smartphone have become good enough, and marketers have problems finding new reasons for people to replace their old non-broken phones).

Comment Autopilot vs unmanned vehicle (Score 1) 127

The autopilot systems on the newest commercial jets are capable of handling landings unassisted, at least, if everything is working. This is just not that hard a job any more.

I very well know that.
But still, the thing officially requires a human being to check it, and none of there is currently approved for total autonomous / "unmanned cockpit" for flying people around.

- It *could* fly people around autonomously.
- It *would* propbably fly poeple around in case of an emergency (e.g.: if both pilot an co-pilot are sick and unconscious)
- but normally we still require human attendance just in case, and not nap instead.
it's officially called an autopilot

That's the exact same situation with Tesla (and all the other brands featuring automatic lane following)
- It could drive around autonomously
- in case of emergency, it would probably drive people around (e.g.: if the driver is in an health emergency, se could theoriticaly push a "red button" that automatically sets the destination for autopilot to the nearest hospital and calls 911/112. Or at least the car could safely go park itself to the shoulder and call 911/112)
- but normally we still require a human to pay attention just in case, and not watch DVDs instead.
it was branded an autopilot by Elon

An Arduino with MultiWii (GPL'd) is enough to take a plane off from a field, fly waypoints and take pictures or drop bombs or what have you and then return to home and land again. And that's without any beacon signal from the ground.

And the official precise terminology for that is called an *Unmaned Aerial Vehicle*. (UAV) (Or drone in the common parlance) More precisely an *autonomous* one.
Just like google call their car "autonomous" or "driver-less". Not simply autopilot.

So clearly, the word "autopilot" covers a lot of ground. the common parlance. Specialist tend to use words like "autonomous", "unmanned", etc. in more advanced cases to emphasis the difference.
And that's my point, average joe might confuse "autopilot" with "autonomous unmaned aerial vehicle" (or with "chauffeur" as aaarrrgggh mentionned above).
So although the name sounds reasonable to a specialist, it might get confused by non-nerds.

Elon should have called it "Ship's Commander mode" (as the one which gives orders instead of holding the wheel) sound both mor{e} awesome and a little bit less passive role for the driver.

Do you know what you call a simple computer on a boat which maintains your heading, and does nothing else? Yep, you guessed it, that's an autopilot.

Yup. I even mentioned it in my above post.

And that's why I think "Ship's Commander mode" would be adapted. I would convey in layman's term what they though when saying "autopilot".

The truth is that you cannot get autopilot even activated without a safety lecture, and if you willfully ignore the admonitions of the creators and then turn on a feature that is dangerous both to you and others if you misuse it, you deserve to die in a fireball and the only tragedy is that you may take others with you.

Perhaps someday, the use of autopilot-like capabilities will be regulated, requiring different driver licenses (like manual vs. automatic gear shift). You'll need to pass your license using a car with advanced assistance in order to learn to properly use it (just like manual shift).

Or, maybe the whole thing will just evolved into a massive multiplayer competition for Darwin Awards(*)

(*): the hypothesis that you only have autopilot driver napping behind the wheel and autopilot driver paying attention and at least managing to avoid being taken with the idiots causing accidents.

Comment Durable phone ? (Score 2) 359

Those are consumables.

Given how quickly smartphone obsolesce and how all manufacturer try to require you to buy a new one every 24 months max...

Well that isn't entirely inappropriate to compare smartphones and consumables.

If you only look at durable goods, and you multiply the number manufactured by the useful lifetime,

Wait, what ?
"durable goods" ? "useful lifetime" ? What the hell do these subjects have anything to do with a smartphone ?
Next, you're going to speak about battery longevity. Actual battery. The kind that holds for a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days/hours...

then I nominate the AK-47. Over 100 million have been manufactured, and many are still in use after more than 60 years.

Which would be very hard to say about smartphone.

(But probably still applies to the ancient Nokia plain-stupid-phone that you've forgotten that you still had at the bottom of some drawer. With its battery still at 50%)

Comment Planed obsolescence! (Score 0, Troll) 359

Yes, bitches!
Planned obsolescence works !

It is that because it is so much more than a product.

Yup, indeed. It's not a product, it's fashion. And like with all designer clothes, you need to perpetually throw the old ones away and buy new ones !

- Call me when a car maker start to require you to replace your car every 24months (replacing the whole car, I mean. Literally. Not over billing you for a simple software update over some proprietary extension to the ODB port that they charge metaphorically as expensive as a new car).
- Call me when you need to replace a music record record every few month... no... wait... Okay, the whole purpose of adding DRM to music and introducing a new format every once in a while is exactly for that. So I'll concede the point.
- Call me when you need to replace a book every few months... oh... yeah... right. The whole DRM on e-books and Amazon remotely wiping books. Ok, I'll concede that one too. ...well actually, on second thoughts, it seems to me that the whole industry is whatching carefully Apple, taking notes, and trying to apply planned obsolescence to their own field of work..

Comment Aubout AUTOPILOT name (Score 3, Insightful) 127

I think the name "autopilot" starts to suffer the same fate as the name "hacker": they both have a precise meaning, but in the general use by the public, the meaning has shifted

Hacker used to be someone who is good at McGuyvering, at finding creative uses, etc.
But the press ended up using it for Cracker, someone who just breaks into things, not necessarily showing any creativity.

Same happenned with Autopilot: in aviation, it is a very precise thing - an apparatus which can take care automatically of the small minute details of flying the plane. The human need to provide it an order (a destination) and then only watch over it and control that everything is going well, but not actually hold the commands themselves.
Nobody has ever deigned this for the whole crew to take a nap while it is on.

Same in a boat: the autopilot will keep a destination, so you don't need to hold the wheel. That doesn't mean that you should be napping, you still need to whatch out for dangers, obstacles, etc.

But suddenly, the general public has taken a different meaning: as you say, now the think of it as Chauffeur: the Chauffeur (not necessarily electronic, it can be a human) takes care of everything, while you can safely take a nap or whatch some harry potter.

Elon should have called it "Ship's Commander mode" (as the one which gives orders instead of holding the wheel) sound both mor awesome and a little bit less passive role for the driver.

Comment Re:Horse Shit (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Valve quit crying because they got bored with SteamOS. A major problem with Valve's "flat" model of no bosses and no structure is that they only work on something if they find it interesting. Once they get bored, it languishes. Half Life 3 is a great example. There was clearly more story to tell, they left it unfinished, and there is clearly market demand for a sequel to the point it would be virtually assured to make money. So why hasn't it happened? Because they aren't interested in it right now. It's not a business or creative decision, it is that people are playing with other shit.

Valve is now fascinated with VR and eSports so that is where most of their energy is going. They are the shiny new toys they like, until they change their mind and chase something else. So SteamOS is in the same general boat as Steam itself in that they work on it a bit and maintain it, but there isn't a lot going on because there are few people interested in it.

Also I think they thought that SteamOS and Steam Machines would be like Steam itself: minimal effort on their part and people would just flock to them and use them in droves. Instead the market has responded with a resounding "meh". They'd need to put in a lot more effort to have a chance of making it happen and they don't want to do that.

Comment There is no, it is doomsaying (Score 3, Insightful) 410

Maybe it'll end up being true, but so far there is zero evidence. The only thing so far they've done that would in any way limit Steam is that their universal applications (what used to be called Metro) are Windows Store only. So you can't sell those on Steam. Ok, except nobody but MS makes those because nobody gives a shit. The "universal" part doesn't matter, MS's phones and tablets are in their final dying moments so there's no need to make something that runs both on real Windows and Windows RT/Phone.

At this point Win32/64 programs run better and have less limitations, and also have the advantage of running on all versions of Windows not just 10, so that is what people keep making. MS themselves are releasing their games using their new UWP format, of course, but nobody else seems to give a shit.

So it is a meaningless limitation for now. Programs using an API nobody uses won't work with Steam. Who cares? Other than that, nothing has changed or been limited. Steam runs great on Windows 10.

Will something change in the future? We'll have to wait and see. There's no evidence now though, because it hasn't happened. This is a doomsday prediction, and like most doomsday predictions it is based on what the predictor feels to be true, not actual evidence.

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