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Comment Re:A great way to piss off your audience (Score 2) 243

The restrictions are just way too limiting. It's a big universe, and CBS/Paramount should "make" space for proper fan fiction, not beam-it-out in wide-dispersal mode.
I for one, will think twice before spending any money on any new Star Trek ventures going forward. Very, very disappointed.

They are not restrictions They are guidelines.

Also, the only reason to follow them is to eliminate any risk of getting sued. That's it. If you follow the narrow path it lays out, your production will not raise the ire of CBS.

Nothing says you must, but you run the risk of what the Araxar guys are facing. Of course, if you're at this point, it might be wise to not just talk to a lawyer, but talk to CBS for a licensing opportunity.

Because once your "amateur" production starts becoming professional, it might be time to actually license the work. And once licensed, you're free to do whatever the license lets you.

Of course, it costs money - about $50K to enter in licensing talks. But if you want to put in a big flashy production with top names in production companies and such, you might just have the money to actually negotiate a license.

For the rest of us, these guidelines ensure that your kids acting out Star Trek and posting it on YouTube is a safe thing to do.

Comment Re:Actually this is a good thing for the autopilot (Score 1) 347

No, this was something the driver did not avoid. We don't know if/when the driver saw it, or if the driver could see it.
It is likely the driver was staring at their phone and not looking at the road because they assumed the car's autopilot mode worked.

Autopilot mode isn't "hands off" or true autonomous driving. In fact, Tesla's implementation doesn't even use the GPS. It's really a more sophisticated lane keeping and cruise control system. It can change lanes, but you have to command it to do so.

In fact, if you take your hands off the wheel, you have about 30 seconds to get them back on (with the car steadily warning you) before it automatically comes to a stop.

So why have it? It can reduce driver fatigue - if you're in heavy stop-and-go traffic, the autopilot will keep pace and slow down with traffic, so you're not spending lots of time and mental effort accelerating and braking. Given it's an electric car, doing so efficiently can be a challenge, so a computer makes sense.

It also helps because highway driving is some of the most boring around, and remaining awake at the wheel is quite difficult, so a momentary lapse of attention is not so bad.

It's why it's called "autopilot" and not self-driving. It's like a plane's autopilot - a lot of more basic units are single axis units and they're really meant to help offload some of the pilot's work. Of course, more modern units (until you get to airliners, single and dual axis units are the norm) have an emergency recovery vbutton that tries to get the autopilot to help re-stabilize the plane.

Airliners have the fully automated autopilots with 3 axis plus throttles. Even then the planes can't take off by themselves, though if suitably equipped they may be able to land.

Comment Re:"Adding no Value" (Score 1) 291

As the subscriber (and therefore the person actually ponying up some cash) I can say that there is nothing Apple is doing with regard to spotify that has 3 dollars a month value to me.

Well... not having to give your payment information to Spotify is one. Apple doesn't share ANY purchaser information other than an ID that really can't be tied to anyone. So not having to worry about another site having your personal information might be worth it. I don't know if signing up for Spotify requires giving them your personal information, or if you can just pay $13/year and be done with it (since a lot of personal information is just so they can bill you).

Second, Apple offers a robust set of payment methods - even if you don't have a credit card you can use Spotify on iOS - just buy an iTunes gift card and use that. Granted, many services offer it nowadays, but iTunes ones seem to go on sale regularly - you should be able to find them for 10% off face value always, and 20% off happens often enough.

Of course, everyone assumes Spotify's app is the best in the world, and that Apple didn't reject it because it doesn't work on iOS 10, or it crashes, or some other thing. (One does wonder if Apple even reviews Google's apps, given how many of them crashed on startup - as if Apple intentionally did it to show people how bad Google's apps are).

Comment Re:They aren't already? (Score 1) 73

First client uses a vendor-hosted EMR system that they access via RDP connection to the vendor servers. There's literally almost nothing on their local network anymore except their timeclock software and web browsers. Even document scans go directly from the scanner to the remote using TSScan or the like. If someone infects a machine on their local network, does it trigger a breach notification?

No, because no patient data ever hit the local PC.

Second client (actually several) uses a mixture of local desktops and terminal services, but everything patient-related is done within the EMR client software, which cleans up after itself when closed. The only patient data that might be on desktops is anything cached locally by the EMR package during that session. The items most likely to be troublesome would be EOB PDFs received from insurance companies, which are accessible from billing user logins. Does a desktop ransomware infection trigger a breach notification?

Yes, because was the EMR software running, in which case there was cached user data that was potentially transmitted?


Yes, because unless the EMR software scrubs the local disk, the data can always be recovered by an "undelete" type utility. Thus every patient whose record was accessed by that machine has potentially had their information compromised.

Third client migrated to a fully-hosted browser-based EMR package and again saves very little locally - everything's "in the cloud" for them except incidental office documents. Does a local PC infection trigger a breach?

Potentially yes, depending on how "little" we're talking about. Because generally when the information is updated with test results, etc, the document is put onto the PC then uploaded to the EMR website. But the local file is never deleted (you can bet people won't delete it because they forget or are lazy, etc). In which case yes, it's a breach because PHI data was there.

Only in the first case where no patient information hit any local storage would it not be breached. But once patient information hit the disk, even if it was a temporary cache, all bets are off. Especially if it's updated through a browser and local files were accessed to upload test results, etc. Because few people if ever delete them.

And think about it this way - if the malware resulted in having to pay to get operations going again (like that hospital that paid $20,000), then there's obviously a breach. Because only in these three scenarios it doesn't matter - you wipe the infected PC and start over - the data is stored elsewhere so recovery is simply a wipe and reinstall away.

But if you had to pay to continue operations, you're definitely breached.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 206

That's the problem with SMART. If it says something is bad, it is. If it says everything is good, you don't really know for sure -- you may just be one bad sector away from hitting the "too many bad sectors to remap them all".

Huh? There's a SMART attribute that already says "number of remapped sectors". It should be zero. It might hit 1 or 2 if it's a portable drive treated badly, but that's it. Once it starts hitting double digits, the drive is generally going. It may have a few months of error free operation left, but in general the remapped sector count will rise and rise and eventually the drive will run out.

It's far from silent - in fact, you also want to check out the "number of pending remaps" which is the number of bad sectors the drive has yet to remap as well. (Drives only remap sectors when that sector is written to, at which point pending remaps decreases and remapped increase.

Either way, it's an easy tell.

Comment Re:For the hundredth time... (Score 1) 361

In roughly a century of driving, humans have learned one strategy: slam on the breaks. The choice is "break, or don't". When the driver is replaced by a bot, the choice is STILL "break, or don't".

I swear, this nonsense about algorithms implementing moral calculus is just a scam to get philosophy professors a few more speaking engagements.

Exactly. (It's "brake", btw).

If you see a situation where this might even remotely be possible, then drivers typically SLOW DOWN so there's not only more time to react, but if there is an accident, the outcomes are better.

Heck, today we have systems that apply the brakes - should a car or pedestrian accidentally walk in front of the vehicle, it warns the driver and if that doesn't work, slams on the brakes.

Heck, I read of another one - three lanes - big transport truck on the left, you in the center, tiny car on the right. The situation is then stated that the car will edge closer to the car on the right, putting "in danger" that vehicle. Maybe, if you consider a situation where for some stupid reason everyone is traveling side by side the whole way. Most reasonable drivers don't actually try to put their cars abreast like that because it leaves little maneuvering room - either accelerate to pass one of the vehicles slow down to be behind the truck, etc. The other name for that is to not spend an extended period of time in someone's blind spot. and to leave room for the other guys to maneuver suddenly (perhaps the tiny car needs to change lanes).

Seriously, a lot of these "scenarios" seem to be put together without a thought to simply avoiding it altogether, you know, regular driving. Short of mechanical failure, you shouldn't be there in the first place. And if your brakes quit working, well, the option is not us vs. them, it's the best way to stop the vehicle which would be to crash head on into something (cars are very strong on a full frontal collision - so good the NHTSA and IIHS don't do more than perfunctory tests because any car that doesn't score a 5 on it isn't even worth certifying anymore). Of course, the genuine goal is to reduce speed so all forms of alternative braking should be used to reduce speed to the point where a full frontal collission is a bumper tap. If it's electric, regen braking works extremely well to slow a speeding vehicle down to a walking pace. In an ICE, you shift gears and let engine braking work. If necessary, you stop the engine and let it turn

Comment Re:5 years too late (Score 3, Informative) 159

There is a certain karmic justice in Apple having to formally address an idiot who thinks a slab with rounded corners is worthy of intellectual property, given that apple has asserted the same.

Except, Apple's rounded corners patent was a DESIGN patent. As in it was looks. You had to have a device with rounded corners, AND a grid of icons AND a row of icons that's static. See the "AND"s? Android by default had none of those. The default Android look had rounded corners, a row of icons that was static, but NOT a grid of icons (ever wonder about the clock widget? Natch).

Design patents also only last 5 years. You can actually manufacture a phone that looks exactly like the iPhone 4 or 4S right now and Apple cannot do anything - the design patent has expired.

In fact, Apple's rounded corner patent has also long expired.

This guy's patent is actually a UTILITY patent. If it's actually valid, it would cover ALL smartphones on the market - there isn't an exception that would exclude any phone on the market.

Comment Re:Oh the horror for mouse land. (Score 5, Informative) 189

Why the f*ck are we still wasting this gas on such stupid things as party balloons. Why wasn't this completely verboten years ago.

Well, technically, the party balloon helium is quite impure, and it often is economically unviable to refine it for scientific usage.

That's the only reason why it's still around - it costs more to make it useful than to use what we have in the reserves that are usable.

Contrary to popular belief, the party balloon folks are just as price sensitive, and a bottle of the good He is much too expensive, so they buy the crappy impure He.

Once supplies dwindle to the point refining party balloon He to lab grade is economically viable, then we won't have He balloons anymore.

Comment Re:Where do I sign up? (Score 1) 88

That's interesting. I had some CT's taken, I asked for the 'image data' (I work in the 'healthcare industry' & have specific knowledge of the format of this data. So besides even thinking of taking it elsewhere I was going to 'play with it' some day to make a 3D model of the area of my body they imaged just for 'shits & giggles'), I was given it on CD in 10 minutes.

Well, if they have the data available immediately, then making a copy for you is basically free because it's right there.

The problems arise once the data hits your charts and gets archived. It's LESS accessible now because it's now part of your chart and since it can be fairly large, it gets put into cold storage almost instantly. And once it hits there, it takes time and effort to retrieve the data, and some cold storage providers charge to retrieve the data.

Plus, this is for medical records, which are often scattered about - electronic, paper (those manila folders aren't going away - most practices haven't digitized those even if they use EMRs), paper stored in an offsite facility, etc.

If you ask immediately while the data is still on the hard drive prior to archival (to your medical record) and deletion (off the local hard drive), the cost is practically zero

Comment Re:warranty length (Score 5, Interesting) 186

the more annoying thing is, that for a device this expensive, the warranty is only 1 year long. apple even tried to bring that crap to EU. fortunately, apart from UK, the whole EU has 2 year warranty on everything.

And you didn't realize that EU citizens are paying for an extended warranty?

Apple's probably one of the best examples as their "EU Tax" is low - take the US model, add AppleCare (to satisfy EU warranty), add in the requisite VAT (20-25%) and convert to Euros, and you come out pretty close to the cost in Europe.

So if you hate 1 year warranties, when the Best Buy cashier asks "DO you want the extended warranty", say "Yes". In Europe, Australia, etc., guess what? You can't say no, you don't want the 2 year warranty, let me save the 10-20%.

Turns out everyone's really been factoring in the extended warranty into the price for Europe.

TINSTAAFL. In North America, they ask if you want the extended warranty. In Europe, Australia and other countries, they answered for you.

Oh, and yes, if you open stuff, it's fine. it's when you try to fix stuff you have problems. Warranty fraud is a huge thing, and you will see people try to claim "No, it wasn't submerged in water" even though it's clearly dripping water all over the counter.

It's a really big problem and as much as everyone would like to see more repairable stuff, the real problem is too many people just are not skilled enough. The good ones will just open it, see they can't fix it and put everything back. Most people bumble through things and make things worse

Even the law says that - if the damage can be traced to the failure, the warranty can be voided. For most devices, opening them and trying to screw around with stuff can be traced as the cause.

The problem is not the 1% of people who go to iFixit and get their replacement parts and tools, it's the 99% who don't and try to "fix" it but make things worse. Because the vast majority of those lack the skill, care, precision, tools, education, etc to not mess anything up. It's why iFixit can get all high and mighty about it, because they don't see the other end of it. Perhaps a stint at a retail customer service desk should help realize that people who use iFixit generally know what they're doing.

Comment Re:DEC Tag? (Score 1) 188

Because these youngsters don't even remember/know that DEC was a company so when they see the "digital" tag they associate it with some sort of digital system like streaming digital content off the internet.

Given the demise of DEC, I've been seeing their logo literally everywhere - seems once the trademark expired, everyone googles for "digital logo" and up it pops, trademark free.

I've seen it on "digital" music effects boxes as well...

Comment Re:WTF is happening (Score 1) 197

The thing is, Civ is a simulation. History can be boiled down to dates and events and other boring crap that has nothing to do with life.

But that's the scholastic view of history, which makes it absolutely worthless to anyone. History isn't about dates, names, places and events. It's all about the leadup - how did the events of World War I lead to the Nazi uprising? Why did normal German citizens do nothing about the Nazis?

Yes, it's somewhat important to know the dates of WWI and WWII, but those are facts, and facts can be looked up in a book, online, whatever. Memorization of those dates has no practical use.

What has practical use is knowing the background to all these events. How did our form of justice evolve? The Constitution of the United States is an important document, but what's the background behind it?

History is known for repeating itself, and it's far more important to know the leadups and background of the events than to know dates, times, places and people.

Something like Civ can simulate.

Rote memorization is out. Google/Libraries/Books/etc are the tools for that. What's far more important is the analytical part of history. The real issues are why and how. For example, rather than knowing dates and people of Brexit (which are just pure facts), what about analysis? Could the rise of the Leave voters be traced to any other event in history and how does it compare with what happened? (Think - rise of unions, or other sort of events). Can the effects of Brexit be predicted based on similar happenings in the past? These are the sort of questions we should ask in History. Not Hitler's birthday.

Comment Re: How can this work with European smart cards? (Score 1) 181

And having a choice about whether you use your card as credit or debit matters. Credit cards have tons of cardholder protections by law. Debit cards have fewer protections and have $50 of cardholder liability, regardless of fault (many banks will waive this, but it's allowed by law). Merchants also get in on the act by steering people to use certain cards in certain situations. For small purchases, merchants steer you to a credit card if possible, since their fees are percentage-based. For larger purchases, they'd rather you use a debit card, since the fees are a legally-capped flat fee. Last I checked, it was capped at about $0.45. per transaction, which means that banks all charge exactly that amount. If you're only buying a candy bar at a convenience store for $0.95, they pay almost half of the revenue (not profit!) as a card processor fee, and they probably lose money on that transaction. With a credit card, that same purchase has a $0.04 (and fractions) fee.

Actually, no. Credit cards have transaction fee that's a per-transaction PLUS a percentage. Usually it's anywhere from 10-30 cents per transaction plus 1-5% of the amount.

Debit cards do vary a lot - the merchant may pay 45 cents max, but they usually have another per-transaction fee paid by the user (usually 25 cents or so). Some merchants actually refund you 25 cents as they eat that cost too.

That's actually one of the big reasons why Apple did the whole 30% thing - they new that at the very worst, selling a music file for 99 cents meant their transaction fees would be nearly a third of the total, and basically set their rates to cover the cost. They also did things like batching, so if you bought two songs, they'd charge you once, so they'd make a little money. (This was, remember, over a decade ago).

As for the US - it's mostly inertia. Retailers and banks are completely scared of introducing too many changes at once - "friction" in sales is something they want to avoid. Chip+Sign basically imitates as closely as possible the existing swipe+sign mechanism and people are used to signing their credit card receipts, so they keep it to avoid friction in having to teach a shopper how the newfangled credit cards work.

Comment Re:NTP (Score 1) 170

Do we really need it anymore now that we have NTP running on most of our smartphones, computers, etc.?

I do miss the "time lady" though. Or "popcorn" - (767-2676, or 767-1111). "At the tone, the time will be, 9:38am. *BEEP*"

Assuming everything is set properly, you can still be wrong on the time. Timezones, Daylight Saving Time, etc. Anytime you screw with the clocks, you run the risk of having the time set wrong.

So it's nice to have a source of local time that's correct to confirm the time is correct.

That's why the calls spike around the time change - because people aren't entirely sure anymore.

Comment Re:It's the design not the part (Score 1) 361

There are a few problems.

First, Park is all the way at the top, or a distinct motion. If it's a lever on the center tunnel, pressing the button and shoving it all the way forward until it stops should be park. I don't care if there's feedback or not, if I hold the button down, shove it all the way up to the stop and let go, park it is.

Other ways might be a stalk shifter, which pressing it IN puts it in park (up is reverse, down is drive, away is neutral).

Next, the car has an LCD on the dashboard, between the gauges. Know what's prominent? The current shifter position! Yes, it says "Park" on the shifter, but it also says "P" on the LCD. It tells me what position it's in without me glancing down. So before I turn off the car, I can check that it says "P" and the parking brake is set (idiot light) and make sure the car is completely ready to leave (lights off, wipers off, etc).

Given all cars have a color LCD in the gauge cluster, there's no more excuse - if the car's not in park and the driver's door is opened, the LCD can say "CAR NOT IN PARK" and flash the dashboard lights light a Christmas tree (while darkening all other interior lights - the goal is to draw attention to the display - which it will if it's the brightest thing there). If there's a central nav screen, guess what? It can do the same and point down at the shifter.

If necessary, it could then force-park it (electronic transmission - the shifter is merely a fancy switch)

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