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Comment Re:Sometimes... (Score 4, Interesting) 159

They're becoming increasingly rare, and therefore expensive, but you can still get all of those features in used cars. The lead additive for gas is very hard to find in first world countries, but there are still places you can get that to complete the primitive automobile experience.

Don't forget, older cars are also easier to fix after a crash because they don't have those stupid crumple zones that newer cars have. Instead of trying to minimize impact to the owner, who is obviously the most expendable part of an old car during a crash, older cars maximize their own well being, knowing that there will always be a new owner. Older cars have the strongest anti-hacker technology available and many are immune to the effects of an EMP.

However, don't forget that modern cars have some benefits also. Older cars rarely have appropriate surfaces to affix your iPad so all of your music, movies and games are right in front of you during your boring commute. While the obvious solution of attaching them to the windshield with velcro is simple, most older cars have non-vertical windshields making it harder to reach controls at the bottom of the screen.

Many high end newer cars are susceptible to hacking, in the near future making it possible to steal and deliver the car to a chop shop or international shipper all from the comfort of mom's basement. Compare that with the intrinsic security of the '74 Ford Pinto - entirely immune to theft, even if left in the worst part of town with the doors unlocked and keys in the ignition.

This tangent brought to you by the Coalition for Reductio Ad Absurdum.

Comment Re: Sounds like deliberate theft by Comcast (Score 1) 180

On the other side of that process, Comcast is betting that doing all of that will take you a few hundred hours of your time, as well as considerable expense to collect $1,775.

IIRC, you can't ask for legal fees or reimbursement for your time in small claims court.

I'll bet Comcast also knows how long someone has to file a lawsuit, whether in small claims court or not. If they can keep pushing off the issue a few months at a time, they'll hit that limit. It's the same game as telling the guy to go back to his bank to dispute the transaction when they're well aware that it's long past the time he can do that successfully.

The moral of the story is that the legal system is on their side and they know it. If you look past the extremely uncommon large judgements (which will be appealed and otherwise delay payment indefinitely), you'll find a lot of time and money goes into collecting relatively little money. IMO, every time you have to deal with our legal system, you lose.

Comment Sounds like deliberate theft by Comcast (Score 5, Insightful) 180

If someone tells you they'll send a check in 3 months, you may want to look at how long you have to dispute a transaction. In most cases, after 3 months you're out of luck and they know it.

If the rep laughs at you and says it'll be 3 months, that suggests that this kind of stuff happens all the time and they have a canned response to delay you.

There are a lot of seedy companies that will pull scams like this and just wait out the clock until it's too late. That's why it's important to review your statements and dispute transactions right away if you suspect they're wrong. If it turns out you were wrong, you can cancel the dispute and no harm, no foul.

Comment Re:Why do you need Uber? (Score 1) 92

It may help newer or aspiring Uber drivers.

If you go to most manufacturers and tell them you don't have a job, but you want to buy a decent car so you can work as an Uber driver, they probably wouldn't give you a lease based on an intention to work.

Whereas, if this deal with Toyota integrates with Uber, they can look at your past Uber driving history and determine if you're a good risk, and if you don't provide enough rides and won't be able to make payments, they can monitor that and terminate the lease to reduce their exposure.

Comment Re:Guess We'll Never Know... (Score 2) 99

The funds would never have been available for those purposes anyway.

No government would fund those, else how would they convince people of the need to raise taxes? Do you think it's a coincidence that education, law enforcement, etc are always underfunded, no matter how many times those reasons are used to justify new taxes, bonds, etc?

If the net result is that the FBI spends that much less time and resources going after people who violate federal statutes against pot in states where it was been legalized, lets call it a reduced-loss for society as a whole and move on.

Comment Re:The BSD and MIT licenses are the only real opti (Score 1) 100

Microsoft uses BSD code. They couldn't do that with GPL code.

I don't like Microsoft or their products, but I would rather they use BSD code written by people who understand what they're doing than have Microsoft, yet again, reinvent the wheel.

When there's no possibility of the end result being open sourced, would you rather someone commercially benefit from using BSD code, or live with whatever fundamental security holes they can introduce starting from scratch?

Sometimes, "freedom" has to include the freedom to be a douchebag.

Comment Re:deja vu (Score 1) 394

I sat next to a guy in a physics class that only showed up for tests with his HP 48G, plugged in the numbers and passed. That's when I bought one and learned to program it. Not because it was easy to pass physics tests, but because it was a good calculator and that was one of its many capabilities. I still have more than one of those today.

I had engineering teacher that said if you knew enough about your calculator to store notes on it, and the subject matter well enough to know what to store, you would probably make a good engineer.

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 1) 585

The FBI doesn't need specific data from the phone to convict the dead guy. They don't expect the phone to contain a video of the guy committing mass murder, to nicely tie up the investigation and prosecute the dead guy in court.

They want whatever information is on it so they can find other potential terrorists. That is rather non-specific. They already have backups and other information provided by Apple and others. The request for help in retrieving whatever else may be on the phone sounds exactly like a fishing expedition. There's a lot of non-mass-murder-related-data that would exist on a phone.

The argument here is whether or not the government can compel a company to produce a new tool and precedent that is potentially harmful to that company. There's no danger of this suspect rising from the dead to commit mass murder while Apple and the FBI take this through the courts. Both sides have reasonable and unreasonable aspects to their positions. This is why the courts exist, to resolve how we, as a society, will address these conflicts.

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 2) 585

There are people who believe the FBI needs Apple to help so they can catch the terrorists. Nevermind that they know who it was and he's been dead this whole time.

It is somewhat reassuring that the result wasn't more heavily skewed towards "FBI should investigate terrorists", suggesting more than a knee-jerk reaction to the whole issue.

Comment Re:Still a bad idea (Score 1) 488

It's good to see a few people on this thread having similar experiences to yours. The vast majority of experienced professionals I've talked to about jury duty have been dismissed.

I've gone to jury duty interested in seeing the whole process end to end, but always get dismissed. The process would seem more impartial if they needed a compelling reason to dismiss a juror.

One time, I got dismissed from a jury because I was taking a Japanese class in college. The defense attorney took umbrage with that class in particular, though he forgot what college I was attending, my major, and my line of work, because he had to ask all of those questions a second time. I can only assume that his defense was based on the idea that white people should not be sued by Indians when the white guy rear ends the Indian guy.

Another time, in a drug possession case, one prospective juror came out and told the judge he thought it was immoral to lock people up for victimless crimes. At least that seemed like a legitimate reason someone could not be fair and impartial.

Comment Re:Still a bad idea (Score 1) 488

I had a physics teacher who told us he would miss class for as much as a week, until they found out he was a physics teacher and dismissed him.

I've also been excused from every jury where I've been selected and went through the questions to potential jurors.

You're right that there's nothing about the system that provides conclusive proof that there is a bias. However, it seems an odd coincidence that every analytical person I've talked to about jury duty has been excused every time. The plural of anecdote is data.

Comment Re:Everyone "knows", the new legal standard (Score 1) 171

If their argument is that the data is harmless, they should be required to publish everything they collect.

Let private citizens look through the data and have the same harmless view of police and politicians cell phone data. I'm sure there would be a big market for data about the location of every cell phone that spent more than 5 minutes in close proximity to a police station, how recently that occurred and how frequently it happens. It would be a great way to find undercover officers, speed traps, and confidential informants. Sure, that data would be most likely used to help commit crimes, but isn't that already happening when it leads to criminal charges by way of parallel construction?

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