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Comment Hold down power button and ... (Score 5, Informative) 243

... keep holding it down.

Seriously, this is such an unconscionable violation of basic privacy that even people who have done nothing wrong should automatically have that reaction. And anybody who has done something wrong should know better than to use a fingerprint for unlocking anyway. What was this supposed to prove other than that they have a judge who will rubber-stamp any order no matter how appalling?

Comment Re:Budget and Timelines (Score 1) 333

First, no reactors built in the past twenty years (except in China, IIRC) lack those safety features. Passive safety might not be an official standard from a regulatory agency, but is still effectively a standard.

Second, yes, passive safety most certainly does make a plant significantly safer than active safety, particularly when you have two plants right next to one another. Imagine a scenario where a containment accident occurs at one reactor, along with a fire that damages the external power feed to the second reactor. At that point, it is unsafe for people to bring diesel fuel in to keep the emergency generators running to keep the pumps running to cool the second reactor while it shuts down, and suddenly you've gone from one meltdown event to two.

Comment Re:Creating Structural Monopoly (Score 1) 190

Maybe you missed where I said, "apart from the existence of the cable authentication". Yes, they still require those ICs. What I meant was that AFAIK, Apple isn't going after companies that make fake Lightning cables with their own homebrew fake authentication chips unless they advertise them as being genuine Apple cables. Similarly, they're not going after third-party companies that wire up resistors to the two data lines to enable fast charging, so long as they aren't advertising them as being Apple chargers.


Governor Cuomo Bans Airbnb From Listing Short-Term Rentals In New York (nypost.com) 151

An anonymous reader quotes a report from New York Post: Gov. Cuomo on Friday bowed to pressure from the hotel industry and signed into law one of the nation's toughest restrictions on Airbnb -- including hefty fines of up to $7,500 for people who rent out space in their apartments. Backers of the punitive measure -- which applies to rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present -- say many property owners use Airbnb and similar sites to offer residential apartments as short-term rentals to visitors, hurting the hotel business while taking residential units off the Big Apple's high-priced housing market. Enforcement, however, will be a huge challenge, as thousands of short-term apartment rentals are listed in the city despite a 2010 law that prohibits rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present. Violators could be turned in by neighbors or landlords opposed to the practice, or the state could monitor the site to look for potential violations. But beyond that how the law would be enforced was not immediately clear. The new law won't apply to rentals in single-family homes, row houses or apartment spare rooms if the resident is present. But will apply to co-ops and condos. Airbnb mounted a last-ditch effort to kill the measure, proposing alternative regulations that the company argued would address concerns about short-term rentals without big fines. Tenants who violate current state law and list their apartments for rentals of less than 30 days would face fines of $1,000 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second and $7,500 for a third. An investigation of Airbnb rentals from 2010 to 2014 by the state attorney general's office found that 72 percent of the units in New York City were illegal, with commercial operators constituting 6 percent of the hosts and supplying 36 percent of the rentals. As of August, Airbnb had 45,000 city listings and another 13,000 across the state.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 1) 190

If Apple was truly concerned they would issue a spec for free.

There is a specification. There are minimum requirements for separation between low-voltage and high-voltage sections that are part of various electrical codes and safety standards. These knock-offs don't meet those safety standards. They should not even be legal to import into the United States, much less sell.

The fact that Apple's designs greatly exceed the standards to the point of being exceptionally paranoid is nice and all, but not strictly necessary. But failing to meet the standards is very bad.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 483

If you've ever used Lotus Notes then you know where most of that support comes from. What a steaming pile of crap.

IBM uses a ton of custom in-house applications that they can't sell to other companies because they're such garbage, and I'll bet 90% of that crap doesn't work on Macs.

Buying a bunch of Macs is probably one IT group's way of getting out from under another IT group's crap.

Comment Re:Budget and Timelines (Score 1) 333

That's not really the point. The point is that over time, those plants will get taken offline and replaced by newer designs, and we'll be safer when that happens. If you're going to bring a new plant online, ideally, you'd like it to be based on the newest, safest designs, rather than something that met NRC regulations before Chernobyl.

Comment Re:Creating Structural Monopoly (Score 1) 190

The requirements are well documented by third-party teardown, and dozens of companies make chargers that include the necessary pull-up resistors. So as the GP said, Apple is doing nothing to prevent third-party chargers, and apart from the existence of the cable authentication, is doing nothing to prevent third-party cables, either.

The problem is that there seems to be a strong correlation between willingness to pretend that your products are genuine Apple products and willingness to cut corners in the design that result in dangerous products. Legitimate third-party chargers from known brands generally work very well. Fake chargers that try to look like Apple products are a different story. It is legitimately hard to squeeze the necessary electronics into such a small package, much less to do so safely. As a result, Apple knock-offs tend to be significantly less safe than chargers made by people who aren't trying to pass their products off as Apple hardware.

And the knock-off fake Apple cables tend to be low-quality junk that fails after a couple of weeks of light use, unlike more legitimate third-party cables (e.g. Amazon Basics), which tend to be at least as reliable as Apple's cables, if not more so.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 4, Insightful) 190

It's not FUD. From all accounts, these things fail with alarming regularity. When you have insufficient distance between high-voltage and low-voltage traces, when you get some extra moisture in the air that condenses in the wrong place, it can easily trigger an electrical arc that delivers 110VAC to your 5V line. In addition to roasting any device that's attached to it, such an extreme over-voltage event will give you a nasty shock if you're holding the device at the time even under the best of circumstances, and that is enough voltage to kill you under the worst of circumstances.

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I'm still waiting for the advent of the computer science groupie.