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The Internet

Quebec Bill Would Force Internet Firms To Block Access To Online Gaming Sites (montrealgazette.com) 100

New submitter rotoblobule writes that in order to help Quebec's lottery service fight against illegal gaming sites, "the Quebec government is currently passing bill 74, which will impose mandatory banning by internet providers of a list of online gaming sites." Here's stories about the pending legislation in French and English, and a relevant excerpt from the bill itself: "To monitor online gambling, the Consumer Protection Act is amended to require Internet service providers to block access to illegal gambling sites entered on a list drawn up by the Societe des loteries du Quebec, which must report...if service providers fail to comply with the Act."

Comment their "world" ignores the environment (Score 1) 210

These clowns manage to opine about the state of the world without mentioning "environment", " climate ", or " species ". It's nice that war and violence are down, but ignoring the fact that overpopulation, habitat destruction, and climate change have brought our home planet to the sixth great extinction event is unforgivable. The world IS falling apart, you deliberately clueless assholes.

Comment Re:Forget Tesla (Score 1) 162

Why not develop a great technology and license it to the real auto manufacturers like Honda and Toyota and GM and Ford? All of them want to get into the EV business but their tech isn't as good, .

What great technology is there to license? All those automakers already work with suppliers selling batteries, motors, inverters, etc. and have all sold compliance EVs in small numbers with those parts. A new licensor or part supplier would have to be dramatically better to get in the door. "Better" here means way cheaper, and cheap requires volume and the manufacturers apart from GM are refusing to commit to high-volume EV sales. So you'd have to convince a number of manufacturers that your widget is the future and hope their combined orders of 10,000 gets you to volume discount production. GM did invest in Sakti and a failed battery startup, it seems nobody has been that much better at the other parts then existing suppliers. And Magna International developed the whole drivetrain for the Food Focus EV, and the result is Ford is even less interested in selling a Not-Invented-Here design.

I would love the existing big manufacturers to realize they're missing out on a revolution in transportation and be desperately investing in any idea that keeps them relevant in the electric auto business. They aren't.

Comment Re:More competitors is a good thing (Score 1) 162

[Nissan] helped develop the CHAdeMO standard for charging EVs, and the rival CCS standard is just an inferior rip-off and the Tesla one clearly borrows a lot of ideas from both.

CHAdeMO: 62.5 kW, CCS 90 kW, Supercharger 120 kW, (Porsche's Turbocharger 800 V proposal is ?? 240 kW if it's SAE DC Level 3). The politics of standard-setting are terrible, but each is an advance. CHAdeMO is a separate connector to the SAE J1772 they all support.

Most importantly, Nissan makes an affordable EV that demonstrates that for most people the limited range is not a problem. ... Nissan built a charging network and proved that range anxiety is something you quickly overcome and isn't a big deal anyway.

The Leaf is a fine car and is deservedly the best-selling EV of all time. But waiting 30 minutes to recharge the car after every 75 minutes of highway driving is no fun. You don't get stranded, but you don't take long trips.

Comment Re:the "connected class"? (Score 1) 162

Who would want to buy a car for 100% more than the competition's car?

Cars are not like electronics. New cars range in price from the $12,815 Nissan Versa to million dollar exotics. It's not clear to many of us what you get in an expensive German car that is 100% more expensive than a comparable American/Japanese/Korean car, especially after you add expensive options that are included in the cheaper car's premium model.

One of the great achievements of Tesla is to build an expensive electric car that is not just the best production EV, but also compares well with premium sports sedans, luxury hybrids, and supercars. I welcome other purpose-built EVs, but unless Faraday/Apple is building a pickup truck, there isn't much uncontested space to compete in.

Comment KDE versions, my experience (Score 1) 155

I do kind of hate how KDE has to break everything and start over for each new QT version.

tl;dr: Then don't upgrade. Or trust your distro to do the right thing. There's no one KDEN any more.

KDE tends to group a rethink of their project to a new Qt version, why not? Software evolves. KDE4 introduced plasma, phonon, solid. There is no single "KDE 5". The KDE Frameworks 5 reorganizes the KDE libraries, and the new Plasma 5 desktop changes the theme and graphics stack. http://blog.jospoortvliet.com/... tries to explain what's going on.

I started with Kubuntu 9.04 which ran KDE 4.2, and by 4.4 it was trouble-free. The recent Kubuntu 14.10 -> 15.04 upgrade switched me from KDE4 to Plasma 5.2, I think Kubuntu is the first major distro to jump to Plasma 5. It was a seamless upgrade, everything just worked despite the seismic changes underneath (systemd, Plasma 5, etc.). Plasma 5.2 in Kubuntu is using various libkf5 packages and libqt5core5a according to http://packages.ubuntu.com/viv... , but I believe not all the KDE apps have switched over from KDE4. It's interesting that in the blog post above Jos Poortvliet writes "I'd recommend moving over your work desktop or laptop for [Plasma] 5.4." In my experience Plasma 5.2 and the KDE apps are in good shape, better than the audio and display problems I had with KDE 4.2. I reported a couple of medium-priority KDE bugs that were fixed already so I added the Kubuntu backports PPA to get Plasma 5.3, and it's better still.

YMMV.

Comment Re:get the phone apps syncing with desktop Firefox (Score 1) 90

Why not use the web service you want to, and simply use Mozilla Sync to provide the bookmark to it.

Because web services spy on you and share or sell what you give them and everything else they discern about you. Firefox with cookie and tracker blockers reduces some of your exposure, but why have any? My calendar, to-do list, and movements are nobody's business but my own.

Comment Re:get the phone apps syncing with desktop Firefox (Score 1) 90

That's my 2 cents, it merely takes $20M to implement.

Plus a lot more to operate the data centers needed to store and sync all that data around. ...

True. The sync payload isn't that big for the apps I mentioned. Music is a lot to transfer but with de-duping of everyone's identical Taylor Swift tracks it isn't so much to store, though i can't see how you maintain encryption with de-duping. I deliberately left a photo-video app off the list because it's a huge amount of unique data that you do want backed up and your favorites sync'd. So maybe you pay for cloud media storage and only Firefox-sync metadata. Or web apps sync big data with OwnCloud or FreedomBox running on your router, another open alternative that's struggling for investment and mindshare.

I really want an alternative to Android, but it's an even bigger challenge than I thought.

Comment get the phone apps syncing with desktop Firefox (Score 5, Interesting) 90

Much of the value of Google's contacts, calendar, music player, etc. on Android is I can access the data from any browser. It's so useful I grit my teeth and share my personal info with evil Google. Firefox OS has its own HTML5 versions of those apps running locally, yet they don't run in desktop or Android Firefox. If the apps did run in every Firefox (and eventually any standards-compliant browser) and Firefox Sync securely kept the apps' data in sync (FF Sync is encrypted, so no one can spy on my personal data) then i would find it pretty compelling.

That's my 2 cents, it merely takes $20M to implement. I like Firefox, and I enjoy the sync. Having open productivity apps running in a browser fits with Mozilla's mission. I want more stuff running in a browser without spying, because it levels the playing field for Linux and could lead to a lightweight boot-to-browser environment for my phone, laptop, desktop, and tablet. Part of Google has that vision with ChromeOS, but they can't let go of the lock-in and dominance Android gave them. It's depressing seeing everyone piss all over Mozilla instead of supporting an alternative to picking a closed proprietary environment provided by a spying corporation.

Government

The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police 161

New submitter Cuillere writes: In the fall of 2014, a hacker demanded the Seattle Police Department release all of their body and dash cam video footage, prompting chaos within the institution. Although it was a legal request per Washington state's disclosure laws, Seattle's PD wasn't prepared to handle the repercussions of divulging such sensitive material — and so much of it. The request involved 360 TB of data spread across 1.6 million recordings over 6 years. All recordings had to be manually reviewed and redacted to cut out "children, medical or mental health incidents, confidential informants, or victims or bystanders who did not want to be recorded," so fulfilling the request was simply not within the department's capabilities. Thus, they took a different strategy: they hired the hacker and put him to work on developing an automated redaction system. "Their vision is of an officer simply docking her body cam at the end of a shift. The footage would then be automatically uploaded to storage, either locally or in the cloud, over-redacted for privacy and posted online for everyone to see within a day."

Comment Jevons Paradox does not apply (Score 1) 119

A 150-year old observation about markets and business production does not apply to individuals spending money to reduce consumption. Sure, a few people who overspend to get a more fuel-efficient car will maintain their gasoline budget and take extra trips in it, but far more will take the money saved on fuel and spend it on other things. Sure, those things have their own energy costs, but a fancy Apple gizmo has far less embodied energy than the gasoline the owner saved. Besides, those wacky environmentalists spending $$$ to consume less energy are likely to spend some of the money saved on additional energy-saving measures.

Read the Wikipedia article more carefully, there are so many caveats and non-linearities that it really is a weak argument even before you consider individual consumers' motivations.

Comment Re:Same strategy back in '94 (Score 1) 462

Good summary except for this part

Toyota had a similar mindset as GM, but couldn't compete on ZEVs

No one tried to compete on EVs. GM spent money on the amazing EV1 but was never serious about promoting it and simultaneously lobbied to kill the ZEV mandate. Meanwhile the original Toyota RAV4 EV was a fine car and some happy pioneer owners are still running theirs because Toyota sold 300 of them instead of leasing, almost by accident.

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