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Comment Re:Uber? (Score 1) 640

Most likely it's on Slashdot because the technology (the uber-cool electric car) is being blamed. The father is grieving the loss of his daughter, so cut him a little slack for his momentary lapse of critical thinking skills. If she was that much over the limit then the Tesla's insane acceleration (see below) was most likely not a factor.

Note: I have had the pleasure of driving my company's Tesla. (there was a drawing to get it for a day). The acceleration is impressive to say the least. I had the sense to try it out on a very long, straight, and empty country road. The girl should not have been driving ANY motor vehicle while drunk, but flooring the pedal on a Tesla in that condition is essentially a suicide attempt.

Submission + - How much is "Green Bling" costing your town or city? (startribune.com)

tripleevenfall writes: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune posts a story about the growing prevalence of municipalities using tax dollars to finance alternative energy projects that have extremely long payback periods, or no prospect for payback at all.

One example of the so-called "green bling" projects cited took place in the affluent Twin Cities suburb of Edina, Minnesota. The city installed a $200,000, solar plant on top of its City Hall in 2011 that saved about $1,300 a year in electricity, producing a 154-year payback period. The solar panels only have a useful life of a few decades, so the project makes no fiscal sense. The installation cost was offset by a federal grant of $80,000, and the remaining cost was covered by a grant from electricity company Xcel Energy, and funded by other Xcel ratepayers.

Submission + - Peaceful protesters burn Berkely campus over speech (sfgate.com) 3

mi writes: A protest at UC Berkeley turned fiery and violent Wednesday night, shutting down a scheduled speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The Berkeley Police Department said people threw bricks, smoking objects, and fireworks at police officers. Protesters argued that hate speech isn’t free speech.

Submission + - New Malware Threats: Ransomworm Is Coming, Are You Ready?

mikehusky writes: In 2016, there were over 4,000 ransomware attacks every day. This was a 300% increase over 2015, when there were 1,000 attacks every day, and it’s likely to get worse in 2017.

In the first quarter of 2016, cyber criminals used ransomware to steal $209 million from US businesses with an expected $1B for the entire year. Crypto ransomware has grown in popularity since it started with Cryptolocker in 2013, and we can expect to see more clever ransomware as cyber criminals try to make money in 2017. .Source

Comment If done correctly, this could help (Score 5, Informative) 213

I used to work in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Corrections. I helped set up a special facility (Longwood Correctional Facility) where the only inmates were those whose crimes were related to substance abuse problems. We kept them away from "regular" criminals, provided treatment, and we had a less than one percent repeat offense rate. IF they do this correctly and provide treatment for those who need treatment, I believe that this can make a huge difference. I am not overly confident that it will be done correctly, though.

Comment Re:Is the free trade not so fun anymore? (Score 2) 186

"Care to explain why the Communist party of China has offices inside of Huawei's headquarters?"

Sure. They do that with most large institutions from what I've seen when in China. There's a Party office in all of the universities, too. It allows the Party to keep an eye on things as well as serve as a liaison between the institution and the government when needed. Also, since companies are responsible for handing certain things for their employees that we would not necessarily consider companies doing here in the USA, the Party office helps administer those things as well. It's no huge conspiracy or anything like that. It is just a government that has more direct interaction with people's lives than people in the US would think is normal.

I've been to China many times (mostly to universities) and these Party offices are nothing unusual there.

The idea of "keeping an eye on things" may fit into various conspiracy theories. All I know from my many trips to China about those Party offices is what I've been told by my fellow professors, by the graduate students I taught, and by my friends and colleagues over there.

Comment Malware (Score 1) 612

Mr. Wozniak, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to questions.

What do you, personally, believe to be the reason why there is not more malware on OS X? While I personally believe it to be a combination of improved security in the OS and the lower market share (thus making it a smaller target than Windows), I would like to know your opinion and beliefs on the matter.

Thank you.

Comment Walled Gardens, OS X, and Security (Score 1) 612

Mr. Wozniak, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to questions.

Given the rather open beginnings of the Apple computers, some have seen the turn toward the "Walled Garden" security model in iOS as a step in the wrong direction. Leaving the debate about cell phone security alone, there are theories that OS X itself is moving toward more of a "Walled Garden" approach. While this may be a good thing for the general, non-technical populace, it leaves hobbyists and developers at a loss.

What would you propose as an acceptable solution in order to maintain the hobbyist aspect of computer programming (and even electronic tinkering) alive while taking steps to reduce risk to the proverbial "grandmother who only uses the computer for Facebook and email"?
Technology

Submission + - Can Information and Technology Really Cure Obesity? (hp.com)

slashbill writes: Technology is widely blamed for causing the obesity epidemic but now it might actually be coming full circle and will become a major part of the "cure". From the article: "In 1912, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article decrying weight gain in urban populations brought about by the technology of the day, namely streetcars, the elevator and, the then-latest-thing: automobiles. Perhaps, today we have finally come full circle."
Privacy

Submission + - Meet Elvis: The robot that interrogates people traveling across the border (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Even though it's been 35 years, some folks have a specific King of Rock-n-Roll in mind when they hear the name "Elvis." However you might have a case of the Jailhouse Rock blues if the new Elvis catches you in a lie. That's because this Elvis is AI; an android behind a touchscreen who questions people on behalf of U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) Protection to analyze potentially suspicious behavior and to predict threats. He's an Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time (AVATAR) kiosk.

Tucson News reported that there are not enough CBP agents to handle all of the Trusted Traveler Program applications that require face-to-face interviews. It works by using sensors "to screen passengers for unusual physiological responses to questioning — which can indicate a subject is lying," according to CNN.

  It's not what you answer, but how you answer. Are you upset or fidgeting? CNN reported that it "uses three sensors to assess physiological responses: a microphone, which monitors vocal quality, pitch and frequency; an infrared camera, which looks at pupil dilation and where the eyes focus; and a high-definition camera recording facial expressions."

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