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Comment vocabulary (Score 1, Interesting) 146

How about the CEO eliminates the word "cold-pressed" juice from any public discussion, since it's pretty much meaningless and one of the menu-enhancing words to make people think something is more elaborate or valuable than it is? When have you had juice that is not "cold-pressed"? It's all fucking "cold-pressed". So stop saying that.

It's like "Locally-sourced Niman Ranch charcoal-seared pork chop". A load of enhancement words that just try to make you think something more than it is. It's a fucking pork chop. It's fucking juice.

Comment fast solution (Score 5, Insightful) 66

$1 penalty per leaked / stolen record, imposed by the FTC/SEC/SSA/CFPB will quickly remedy this problem. As long as the value of private personal information is intangible, the value it will be assigned in companies' risk assessments and capital plans is $0.

But I guess that would be a burdensome regulation under our new regime.

Comment editors, please. (Score 3, Interesting) 49

Cmon, editors, you need to think about these stories before you blindly post them with stupid, uninformed headlines.

Apple dictating to its retailers what prices to offer for their own manufactured phones is not "price fixing". Price fixing in the traditional sense is when competitors in a market collude to artificially set the price of a good that they otherwise should be competing on, which deprives the free market of alternatives.

This is a case of Apple setting its own product's pricing. And something is being lost from the Russian story and what they mean by things like Recommended Retail Price / MSRP, but this is not "price fixing". Please use some judgment before using inflammatory / inflated headlines.

Comment who's time are you paying for? (Score 0) 160

Tech companies seem to want to push the point of on-demand services to the ridiculous edge.

People, there's a reason that you go to the mechanic's shop, or the doctor's office, etc. etc. It's because their time is quite valuable and the equipment they use is specialized.

Making someone whose time is of high value travel unnecessary distances (i.e. a low value use of time) will make them have to charge higher prices for that unnecessary time, compared to if you yourself can bring the car to them.

Maybe for people who can afford to pay for a mechanic's travel time will opt for this (or whose time is more valuable than the mechanic's), or in markets where mechanics are underemployed. But for the majority of people, I think this will be expensive.

Just as an example, if a mechanic's time is ordinarily $100/hour (fully utilized), and they work an 8 hour day for $800 -- now if they have to travel to you for 30 min before each 1.5 hour job (and set up equipment, pack up equipment, etc), instead of 5.3 jobs per day they can only do 4 jobs per day (6 hours work instead of 8 hours) and they would have to charge $133 per hour. Are you willing to pay?

Comment coasting and getting paid, and getting soft (Score 2) 199

The failure here isn't mostly that a card was designed wrong - that could happen for anyone briefly given the task of designing and printing up cards.

The travesty is that a company that is presumably being paid MILLIONS of $ to do this job, was skating by with non-thinking process and doing deliberate testing and rethinking of the card design. They got lazy and assumed that every year, nothing goes wrong, so we don't need to be checking or improving what we do. (with regard to the actual big night's event, not saying there's not other work that goes into it)

If something is that important, imagine what you should do to make it as bulletproof as possible - like you're designing cards that hold the nuclear launch codes upon which millions of lives depend. You would create a design and testing process that:

- tested what would happen if some element of the card delivery / reading chain failed or was accidentally broken
- tested different card typography and layout designs
- tested the kinds of people who would be involved in delivering and reading the cards (e.g. blind people, old people, nearsighted people, drunk people, anyone who you'd likely encounter on the night)
- etc, etc, etc.

They got by for years without being rigorous about this part of their job, and this time it bit them in the ass. Don't get complacent.

Comment definitions? (Score 4, Interesting) 266

ok, so you're going to require manufacturers to make repair manuals and parts available to the general public. What's to stop them from writing in the manual, "purchase and install Comprehensive Assembly #012934" and selling that part which is basically a replacement for the entire unit? Who's to contradict them if they say that the unit is not serviceable?

Comment don't get confused (Score 4, Informative) 126

Don't read this story as a ruling against the police / government being allowed to compel individuals suspected of criminal activity to be forced to give fingerprints. That is not what's at issue here, and the decision doesn't affect that.

This story is that the wholesale screening of individuals that the police have no otherwise suspicion of a crime, shotgun style, is being ruled against. Just like the case several years ago when police sought to have an entire small town's male population give DNA samples to match some evidence they had of a sex crime. The judge in this case tossed out the willy nilly use of police power to compel people wholly unrelated to the issue, not under suspicion at all, from having to give evidence.

When you're suspected of something specifically, you can definitely still be compelled. Just like being compelled to give a breathalyzer, or DNA when a court orders you to.

But as a more practical matter anyway, 10 tries of different people's fingerprints, and the phone will be wiped regardless... so there's a limit to how useful the technique would've been to begin with.

Comment not buying it (Score 4, Insightful) 117

As much as I'm a supporter of personal privacy rights and data privacy, Amazon is way off with this argument. It is so clearly an attempt to forestall future insistence / requests by authorities for Amazon to be involved in extracting data and having to devote resources to this kind of request. Kind of like Apple with the iPhone but for less believable reasons.

First of all, the 1st Amendment protection is about the right to speak and publish opinions, or the right not to be forced to speak or publish opinions. Neither Amazon's nor the victim's right to speak or right not to be required to speak a certain message is at stake when the Alexa recording's history is discovered. The same would hold for your or my browser history being subpoenaed as evidence. That is a privacy issue, not a free speech issue, and nowhere in the Constitution is privacy an enshrined right, much as even I would like to believe.

These would be much more plausible arguments for Amazon to take:
- That the government has not demonstrated that delving into the user's private search history is relevant or may advance the case at all,
- That the data is not the property of the individual but rather a trade secret, or
- That Amazon is an unrelated 3rd party and should not be compelled to cooperate in something which it is peripherally related.

I actually think Amazon might fail on all of these fronts, because if the Alexa can record things like the sounds of a crime or victim asking for help, it's pretty plausible that they could be compelled to do so for multiple good arguments. It's not even like the data is being heavily shielded or stored securely as a selling point, as Apple's was. The very purpose of Alexa's data is to make purchasing and buying things from Amazon easier! It would be like Nest saying that the video it recorded in someone's home who got murdered was private and subject to free speech protections. Because no one shares videos, right?

Comment has it come to this (Score 4, Interesting) 193

My first question is why this has to be a bill, when through the normal course of judicial process such evidence would be tossed out by courts for being improperly obtained.

Then I remembered that in the area of national security and border / immigration enforcement, the executive branch has pushed their own discretion so far that Congress / courts really do have to put protections like this into law for it to be heeded. Basically they have been cut out of the loop of immigration and border enforcement as just bystanders, because the executive branch has all the guns, and it only comes to Congress/courts' attention when someone makes it in (and isn't kicked out immediately) and survives long enough to file a habeus petition.

The real check and balance needed would be for border agents and officials who abuse their authority to be penalized for it.

Comment skeptical (Score 2) 62

I do not believe Apple will find it cost effective or find it tolerable to build phones in India to the same quality as it is used to. Now, of course they will have done their own extensive analysis, but I imagine the following issues in plenty (even just supplying phones to the domestic Indian market):
- unreliable electric power (could be mitigated with huge backup generators)
- unreliable / poor quality road transport
- much less extensive or linked supply chain
- related to this, lower general quality of contributing required parts
- manufacturing and trade zone subsidies less transparent, more bribery
- more political interference at all levels of government interaction - simply refer back to the requirements to sell in India to begin with

I predict, and I would love to be shown wrong, that Apple will find this environment to be frustrating to no end. There are reasons that major electronic hardware manufacturers do not have world leading operations out of India.

Comment Re:Warrant issued upon probable cause (Score 1) 216

Well, the testimonial privilege on statements you give you your spouse, doctor, priest, etc. is about protecting them from having to testify about private information given in confidence, where to break that confidence would breach a trust between two people with an obligation.

This is about a device that produces data no matter what, and there is no presumption of privacy or confidentiality. Very different.

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