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Comment Re:An important thing to note (Score 1) 611

I can't find one either - I moved out of the states ~20 years ago, and I have NEVER paid that much taxes since then, and much nicer (larger) houses.

NJ property taxes are insane, definitely. They've been insane for a long time, though, so I don't think they're evidence of federal taxes being shifted to the state level.

Comment Re:Missing a big point (Score 1) 502

Nice job of focusing on word choice and ignoring the point. The GP claimed that this would be studied and a fix for the current system would be pushed out, making it safer. My point is that I don't think the car has the sensors needed to handle this scenario, so it's not possible to push a fix to the current system.

Comment Re:Location from Wifi? (Score 1) 89

GPS does not work better with WiFi enabled

Actually, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location more rapidly if it has a good approximate location to start with, which it can get from Wifi location. If your GPS receiver had to start from scratch (no assumption about initial location), it could take multiple minutes to locate you because it has to find and identify multiple satellites, and listen for a full 30-second cycle from each. With a good location estimate plus an already-synchronized clock, the GPS receiver can refine your location in a few seconds.

So GPS does work better with Wifi enabled. And, as you said, location services can use Wifi even when GPS isn't available. In cities Wifi can be much better than GPS because unobstructed views of the sky are hard to come by, and the Wifi AP density is high.

Comment Re:Missing a big point (Score 1) 502

Tesla will make some changes to ensure that this type of accident is avoided in the future, and push at the next update.

I'm not sure that's possible. I think the biggest part of the problem in this case is that the sensor hardware on the Tesla Model S is inadequate for self-driving. The radar doesn't have vertical resolution so it can't determine whether there's enough clear space under an obstacle, and the camera can't resolve differences between a light gray truck and a light gray sky. To fix this you need either dramatically better vision processing software (which may well require better on-board computing hardware), or better sensors -- e.g. LIDAR.

Comment Re:It really is Google's fault (Score 1) 141

Google should have created an OS architecture that allowed for it to push its own security updates while leaving the aesthetic aspects and third party apps of the phone vendors and carriers alone (unless they were fundamental to the security problem).

If there were a clear dividing line between "aesthetic aspects" and "things fundamental to the security problem", that might be feasible. The Android One project has actually tried to draw such a line, but none of the big OEMs are happy with where Google drew it. They want lots of control.

Comment Re:This is an Android Problem (Score 2) 141

I don't see why Google can't figure it out

(Android security team member here)

It's not that Google doesn't know how to do that. It's that Google can't do that while also having a free and open source OS. Every piece that's moved out of the OS and into Play services is another piece that is no longer open. Moreover, if Google does too much of that sort of thing and removes the ability of OEMs to customize and differentiate their devices, they'll ignore Google completely, filling in the missing bits with their own code. Removing components from the OS is a last resort, not a first choice.

What makes things worse are carrier specific builds. Apple managed to do tell them to F off, Google should too.

AFAIK, Google doesn't do carrier-specific builds for Nexus devices (though I know there is some carrier-specific testing). Google can't control what other companies do. Their devices have to pass the tests to prove compatibility or they can't use the Google apps (including Play, which is the biggest carrot), but that's the full extent of the control Google has.

Comment Re:Even if you disagree with the judge . . . (Score 1) 149

The general thrust is: You can't help people commit crimes.

True, but if you do help someone commit a crime, then you should be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a crime, not money laundering. This guy was prosecuted for money laundering and the judge said "this ain't money laundering". If they want to prosecute him for conspiracy, they may have more luck. My guess is they went with money laundering because they thought it was easier to prove or because it had heftier penalties.

Comment Re:Even if you disagree with the judge . . . (Score 1) 149

The reason banks care is that they want to make sure you didn't borrow your downpayment from another bank. So the red flag for them is not the amount or the claimed source, but how recently you got the money. If the cash has been sitting in your bank account for several months -- and doesn't show up as a loan on your credit report -- they're happy to assume it's yours.

So, if the AC's parents gave him the 100K and it sat in his account for a few months, the bank probably wouldn't ask many questions about it. Twice I've used the proceeds of stock sales as part of a downpayment. I sold the stock just a few weeks before the purchase so the lenders *did* question the source of the money and I had to provide documentation to show that it was from a stock sale.

Comment Re:It's not money (Score 1) 149

In many parts of the world, and especially in India, gold is indeed widely used as an "ultimate" store of value. Go to Dubai and you'll see the immegrant workers buying "genuine guaranteed" ingots to take back home

Yep, it has worth because lots of people believe it does. Same as fiat currencies... gold just has a longer history of being considered valuable, so people think less about the fact that its actual value, in terms of stuff you can make/do with it, isn't actually that large.

Comment Re:the real question: legal basis of secrecy (Score 1) 190

So, while customers don't necessarily "have a constitutional right to know if the government has searched or seized their property", the government certainly has no constitutional right to prohibit companies from telling customers anything they want.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessary_and_Proper_Clause

If you grant that the government has a legitimate national security interest in keeping the inquiries quiet, the courts will rule that the Necessary and Proper Clause authorizes the gag orders.

Comment Re:Why would Putin fear Clinton? (Score 2) 764

The man was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he bought some buildings and his overall investments were no better than if he had randomly bought and sold them. He didn't beat the market in some way that isn't obvious due to "timing".

Worse, actually. If he'd put the money into an S&P 500 index fund he'd be much wealthier today.

Comment Re:over-simplification of economy (Score 1) 504

Nonsense. Economics is the study of how people exchange goods and services.

Yes, but apparently a 'successful' economy is one which is always growing...

Sure it is. But the AC assumes that growth inevitably means increasing consumption of natural resources. It can mean that, but that actually only works in a context where the natural resources in question are abundant. Once they become scarce (perhaps artificially), then growth comes from finding ways to use resources more efficiently.

A successful economy is one which is improving the standard of living of the people in it. There is no reason why that process cannot be endless... though the definition of what constitutes improvement absolutely will change over time.

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