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Comment Re:HTC should stop competing with Apple and Samsun (Score 4, Informative) 152

Interesting ideas, but to play devils advocate, there are many problems with what you propose.

Primarily, this many SKU's is completely uneconomical for a company that's already seeing declining sales and profit margin. It's not just the number of models, it's the fact that they'll have to make multiple versions of each one for each country and carrier, and storage capacity.

-- HTC Universal: In addition to all the flavours of 3G/H+, you want support for all LTE frequencies? Good luck with that. Even assuming that it's technologically and financially feesible to cram that many different radios into one handset, it's still not useful. Many CDMA providers will not let you bring a phone to their network that has not been purchased through their stores. Even some GSM providers that can't block it will make it as difficult as they can. Even then, how many people really need access to more than 2 networks at most? The market would be incredibly small, and the cost of the phone would be enormous.

-- HTC Marathon: Interesting. But it's probably more reasonable to just sell one phone of any type with an option of multiple officially supported battery sizes.

-- HTC Pure: It's possible, and I'd buy it, but chances are it won't happen. Officially selling a non-Nexus pure-Android phone implies that your Sense brand is not as great as you'd like. So it's unlikely.

-- HTC Tinker: There is no way you'll ever get a phone that officially supports both Android and WP8. Microsoft would never allow that. And there is no convincing non-carrier reason you need to lock your bootloader on any device. Having a specific version just for the unlocked bootloader seems wasteful. Just unlock them all.

Overall, it makes more sense to just make one or two phones and include whatever of these options are feasible.

So instead of everything you proposed, they could just release the HTC One with an unlocked bootloader, varying internal storage, provide downloads for officially supported AOSP images, and multiple battery sizes. That's actually feasible and economical. That doesn't satisfy every possible niche, but it gets to the big ones, and the increase in production/engineering cost is much less significant.

But it still won't happen. Fact is that the cost of catering to these niches is probably far more than then the associated increase in revenue. Best you can hope for is an unlocked bootloader.

Comment Re:Definition of enemy (Score 2) 469

I completely agree that the US extradition case against Dotcom is flawed, but your analogy is also flawed.

All of the crimes you listed only effect people within the country that the laws apply to. Copyright is different, particularly when applied to copying things via the internet.

The **AA could make the argument that by facilitating piracy of their content online, Dotcom was hurting their sales within the US, and in fact was using US servers to do it.

A more accurate analogy would therefore be if someone in NZ (where the drinking age is 18) was selling alcohol via the internet to 19yr olds in a US state where the drinking age is 21. He would technically be in violation of the law in the US, but not in NZ. So the question for the purpose of law is, because internet was used to conduct this transaction, where did the allegedly-illegal act take place? NZ or US?

I'd argue in my hypothetical case that the US would have grounds for blocking the transaction, but at the same time, the guy in NZ cannot be charged or extradited and would be free to continue to attempt his operations.

Of course all of this legal stuff goes out the window when you involve powerful lobbies and the ego of American government, which when combined can essentially create whatever result it is they are looking for regardless of the actual law.

Comment Re:No Right to Anonimity when Committing a Crime (Score 2, Interesting) 342

I think it's about time there was a response to this Black Bloc crap.

Two responses:
#1 - It's not like these people utterly destroyed downtown Toronto. There were some cop cars burnt and some windows broken, but that doesn't excuse putting 1100 people into makeshift concentration camps for days. And potentially putting someone in jail for 10 years for wearing a mask while performing vandalism is beyond excessive.

This isn't happening because people wearing masks are genuinely dangerous. This is happening because those in power and those that vote for them, don't like having their authority questioned.

#2 - My buddy was physically at the site of the protest when the cop cars were set on fire, and I was a few blocks over. It's not like the police were overrun, they voluntarily withdrew despite outnumbering the protestors significantly. Following that they left those cop cars out there for hours and hours before anything happened to them. My buddy lives next door, and he called the cops and warned them that there were people milling around the cars and getting bolder. He called 3 times over the period of an hour, and every time they said they had other matters to attend to.

In our opinion the police deliberately left the cop cars exposed in an attempt to incite precisely the response they got. That way they could justify the massive crackdown that came immediately after.

That doesn't excuse burning cop cars or breaking windows. But proper police action could have stopped much of that. 10 year sentences, fake laws, and 1100 people in holding cells wasn't needed.

Comment Not really surprising (Score 5, Informative) 342

Other fun things this government has instituted:
- Mandatory minimum sentences. Despite all the scientific evidence showing it doesn't work, and the original creators of similar US policies testifying that it's a mistake.
- Actually PLANNING to dramatically increase prison populations through increasingly draconian crime policies, despite all evidence showing that crime is decreasing.
- Requiring the approval of the PMO before any government-funded science is discussed publicly by the scientists that performed it. You know, just like the USSR.
- Making the long form census voluntary, thereby making a key source of government data largely unreliable.
- Destroying the long gun registry against the protests of all levels of law enforcement. Admittedly it went far over-budget in it's creation, but once it exists, why spend further money getting rid of it?
- Introducing a bill to publicly debate the possibility of re-criminalizing abortion.
- Attempted to pass legislation requiring ISPs to provide facilities for warrantless monitoring of all internet communication. Fortunately the outcry was a little too great, even for them.
- Continuing to move forward with a plan to buy F-35's, a plane we don't need to fight an enemy we don't have, and lying to the public about the cost. A cost which is continually increasing to the point that even the US is rethinking their procurement strategy for this aircraft.


Submission + - How Would Driverless Cars Change Motoring? 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that as Nevada licenses Google to test its prototype driverless car on public roads, futurists are postulating what a world of driverless would cars look like. First accidents would go down. "Your automated car isn't sitting around getting distracted, making a phone call, looking at something it shouldn't be looking at or simply not keeping track of things," says Danny Sullivan. Google's car adheres strictly to the speed limit and follows the rules of the road. "It doesn't speed, it doesn't cut you off, it doesn't tailgate," says Tom Jacobs, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Driverless cars would mean a more productive commute. "If you truly trust the intelligence of the vehicle, then you get in the vehicle and you do our work while you're travelling," says Lynne Irwin, an engineer and director of the Local Roads Program at Cornell University. Driverless cars would mean fewer traffic jams. "You could get a lot more people moved at a higher speed on an existing road way," says Irwin. "Congestion would be something you could tell your grandchildren about, once upon a time." Driverless cars could extend car ownership to some groups of people previously unable to own a car including elderly drivers who feel uncomfortable getting behind the wheel at night, whose eyesight has weakened or whose reaction time has slowed. Finally car designs would change. "When you get to a technological change, the first thing we do is we mimic what people are familiar with and comfortable with," says Sven Beiker, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University. "People like to look out the window so I suspect we'll keep windows in some shape, but maybe they don't need to be quite the way they are now. If cars aren't going to hit each other, maybe we don't need bumpers.""

Submission + - Game Of Thrones On Track To Be Most Pirated Show Of 2012; Pirates Still Asking H (techdirt.com)

TheGift73 writes: "Much like the North, Game of Thrones cannot be held—it's too big and too wild. Matthew Inman warned HBO that they should make their content more accessible or risk driving people to piracy, but that isn't really HBO's style. Now jilocasin points us to the news that Game of Thrones is well on track to be the most torrented show of 2012, and nobody can deny that HBO's foolish subscriber-only distribution is a primary reason for that. Approximately 25-million times have people decided to pay the iron price for the show, and as the comments on Reddit attest, it's often because the gold price wasn't even an option. Others pay for the show but still pirate for the sake of occasional convenience:"

Submission + - Genome Sequencing Costs Plummeting (technologyreview.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From the article "The cost of sequencing human genomes is plunging—in the most advanced genomics centers, it's falling five times faster than the cost of computing. Increasingly, people are getting their DNA sequenced by companies and research labs in a search for clues about genetic variation and disease." Interesting comments made on data storage problems of sequencing every person on the planet.

Comment Trois-Rivières banned stoning (Score 1) 370

In 2007 a medium sized town in Quebec, with a muslim population of 0, explicitly banned stoning people to death.

Because apparently the existing laws against murder and capital punishment didn't send the right message.

It's the same concept here. Of course terrorism is already illegal, but that's not the point. Few politicians can resist any opportunity to publicly hate-monger and generate faux-controversy.

Comment They likely made a deal with those ISPs (Score 5, Interesting) 159

There was a previous case involving BMG that was stopped because CIPPIC intervened and showed that you can't plausibly identify an individual based on an IP address, and that there were huge privacy violations involved in just handing over subscriber information. http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2011/09/hurt-locker-lawsuits-about-to-detonate.html We have a Privacy Act here in Canada that is supposed to prevent these sorts of things.

In this case the Voltage (movie production company) moved so fast that there was no chance for anyone to intervene, and the ISPs didn't put up any kind of fight, so the court process was mostly a formality. On top of that, Bell, Cogeco, and Videotron provided all the subscriber info within two weeks of the ruling.

Two weeks is a very short time. With the same situation in the US, I think Comcast and Time Warner said that it would take them months and months to find all the information.

My guess is that Voltage approached Bell, Cogeco, and Videotron much earlier and made sure they would not be putting up a fight. And possibly even got them to start collecting the information early. By making sure it moved quickly they minimized the chances that CIPPIC could get involved and block it as they did before. This is why they didn't include other ISPs, they wanted to make sure the ISPs they were dealing with were just going to just go along with it, and smaller providers like Teksavvy would have very likely stood up for their customers and drawn CIPPIC into the battle with them.

Now that they have all the information they need, I'm sure that individual suits will start. But the situation in Canada is a little different than the US, and the suits may not work as well. Here we have something of a precedent showing that this information should not have been provided in the first place. Furthermore, if the defendant is able to win, Voltage will be forced to pay the defendants legal fees so it's not quite the same extortion racket it is in the US.

Comment Re:Result of Truancy Laws (Score 1) 725

Let those parents find another place for those kids so they can get something catered to them without impacting the rest of the kids.

That would work great if we all lived in our own bubbles. Unfortunately, kicking kids out of school has consequences for everyone.

It's not merely a coincidence that those with less education are also more likely to be arrested, engage in criminal acts, have health problems, and generally have much lower incomes. Where do you think the costs for arresting, imprisoning, medicating, and subsidizing these people comes from? It comes from the people who were lucky enough to get the familial and educational support systems required to get a good job. So either you pay for, and force children to get the specialized education they require, or you'll pay for it the rest of both your lives as your taxes are used fund a massive police state.

I'm not saying every kid can make it, or that there shouldn't be punishment for significant offences. But punishment, by definition, occurs AFTER something bad has already happened. It's far cheaper and more ethical to invest preventing people from becoming criminals, than in coming up with new and more elaborate ways of punishing them after they do.

Comment Re:Result of Truancy Laws (Score 2) 725

You cannot teach someone when they are not willing to learn. If a child doesn't want to learn they should be expelled from school and given working papers. Why punish those that are there to learn with disruptive people?

Haha are you serious? We're going to allow children to choose whether or not they want to go to school? And force those that don't into child labor? These are great ideas. You'd be right at home in England in the 1700's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor#Historical

The reason school is mandatory is because if it were optional, many children just wouldn't go, and their parents wouldn't force them. The result would be an overall decrease in average education level, pushing the US even further down that curve.

The problem in this case is that militant conservatives think that the answer to every problem is stronger and stricter enforcement of an ever increasing number of rules. But you don't inspire children to learn under a harsh regime of terror.

Comment Next up, regulate Netflix (Score 2) 109

At the same time as this is going on, the CRTC is holding a "fact finding mission" to discuss whether or not online video like Netlfix and YouTube should be required to meet CANCON regulations. This means a minimum amount of Canadian content, and paying taxes into a fund to drive the creation of more Canadian content.

Of course this idea is retarded to anyone reading this. How exactly do they propose to enforce content rules on YouTube? Block it at a national level until it's able to show it complies with the rules? Would YouTube even care?

But Bell, Shaw, Telus, MTS, and many other telecom, cable, and content providers are complaining that they can't possibly compete with an $8 a month Netflix account, so they want it regulated/taxed/restricted/throttled. Only Rogers said they didn't see the need to regulate Netflix. You'd think the CRTC (a regulator whose primary purpose is to protect the consumer) would see Netflix and YouTube as an opportunity to increase competition in the marketplace and drive down prices for consumers. But in reality, the CRTC is so deeply influenced by the incumbents it's supposed to be controlling that a internet video tax seems somewhat likely.

Why have a regulator that only further reinforces incumbent and monopoly actors?

I'm not saying remove all regulation, that would make things even worse. What we need is a regulator whose sole focus is increasing market competition, and maximizing consumer benefit.

Comment The audio is the easy part (Score 1) 116

I work as an aerospace engineer and we use similar methods during design testing. It's not just cockpit audio that is recorded, there are tens or hundreds of thousands of parameters from systems all over the aircraft. To be honest, the audio may not even be that useful, if it happened fast enough there is a good chance the pilots didn't even know what was going on.

To go through 100,000 variables and prove beyond reasonable doubt that a specific variable directly caused the crash will probably take far more than week. They are likely aiming to just narrow it down to a certain system within that timeframe.

To give context, I recently spent a month trying to narrow down the cause of a failure in a high fidelity engine simulation. And that was a single system that we had the luxury of knowing everything about, and had the ability to rerun the exact situation repeatedly and tune various parameters to determine a cause. Even then the cause is never any single thing, it's often a huge cascading series of minor deviations from the norm leading to an unforeseen combination of events.

Comment The issue is a bit overblown (Score 2) 429

1. These sorts of exploits are found for every device all the time. This one was just famous because people used it to get root access to their own phone.

2. @comex et al are not immediately irresponsible and evil for exploiting and exposing a vulnerability. Isn't that what DEFCON and BlackHat devote entire conventions to?

3. If Apple just provided a safe way to get root access to your own device (like every other computer you've ever purchased) people wouldn't have to resort to using security holes.

4. With the the 2G iPhone and iPod Touch now unpatched by Apple, the only way to secure them is to jailbreak them and install the Cydia patch that is now available. Ironic.

Comment The A380 Runs on WEP (Score 2, Interesting) 260

Well the entire A380 doesn't run on WEP, but the entire cabin entertainment system does.

And having been involved in other parts of the A380 design, I can tell you that data security problems were not even on the product development radar. Non-IT engineering companies view IT the same way that the rest of the world does and generally doesn't design against malicious uses, only accidental failures.

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