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Comment Re:Copy machine at stores (Score 1) 56

The main use I can see for such a machine is printing replacement parts for the cheap bit of plastic that breaks in a load of consumer equipment, but where the replacements are too difficult or expensive to buy. Unfortunately, doing that well will also need some kind of 3D scanner so that you can put in the broken bit and modify it (e.g. put in two parts and then drag them around until you have a single object).

Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 215

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment Re: Woosh. (Score 1) 96

Hydrogen, on the other hand, requires dedicated infrastructure to support 100% of fuelling requirements. Not just the stations, but the generation, storage and shipping.

And maybe not such a big deal or practical for trailers travelling the same corridor, but if you miscalculate or there's detours or you run into defective equipment or whatever you're not dead in the water with an EV as long as somebody got a working extension cord. Or even a modified generator if you just need enough juice to limp to the nearest grid connection, seems a few have done that as insurance. Emergency services have also started having charge service instead of tow service if you've run out. With hydrogen that shit had better work all the time, because there's no plan B. I think that alone will put a huge cooler on interest except for very limited niches. You also have a bigger variety of options, like say hotels providing parking with overnight chargers and other locations super fast charging, with hydrogen either you got it or you don't. Which is not to say EVs are without problems... but if we really hit that oil crunch and gas prices doubled-tripled-quadrupled they'd clearly be the ones taking over.

Comment Look up laws on booby traps (Score 5, Insightful) 215

I doubt they'd have a hard time stretching it to over something like this. If you have a device who's only purpose is to destroy something and it goes and destroys something, well you are pretty likely to get in trouble for it.

Remember courts aren't operated by overly literal geeks who think if they can find some explanation, no matter how outlandish or unlikely, it'll be accepted. The law bases a lot around what is reasonable, and around intent. So your attempt at being cute won't work, and you'll be off to jail.

It also may very well be illegal just to have, or be made illegal if not. There are devices that are outlawed purely because they have no legit use. Many states ban burglary tools, which can include things like the cracked ceramic piece of a spark plug (the aluminum oxide ceramic breaks tempered glass easily). If they catch you and can prove intent, then you are in trouble just for having them with the intent to use them illegally.

Oh and don't think they have to read your mind or get a confession to prove intent. They usually just have to show that the circumstances surrounding the situation are enough to lead a reasonable person to believe that you were going to commit a crime.

And a post like this, would count for sure.

Comment These idiots are going to get sued (Score 3, Informative) 215

The problem with a device like this is it is hard to find a substantial legitimate use for it. Given that, they are likely to be targeted for a lawsuit and they are likely to lose that suit.

While it is perfectly ok to sell a device that gets used to commit crimes, you generally have to have a legit reason to be selling it and it can't be something that is totally made up that nobody actually believes. So for example while a crowbar can certainly be used to break in to a house to or attack someone, they are also widely used used to get nails out of things and pry stuck objects apart. As an opposed example a number of companies that sell devices to help you cheat on urine tests have gotten in trouble since their devices had no use other than said cheating.

It is very, very hard to think of a legit use for this and I can't imagine they'll get many legit sales. So it'll probably get them in legal trouble.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 440

I think this Friedman quote still has relevance though:

Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it's jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.

Does it really serve a purpose if you make it harder than it needs to be? And self-driving cars will be a benefit to everyone else. I can go down to the store and get a liter of milk for next to nothing because of milking robots and other automation, if I had to pay a living wage for someone to pull a cow's teats it would cost a *lot* more. All those stores who transport goods will get cheaper. The money people don't pay on taxis will be spent on other things. Everyone can spend their commute watching TV instead of wasting home time. It'll be more practical to live further from the office. Elderly might get around more and live more fulfilling lives. Large groups of people would have the benefits of a private driver, previously a rare luxury. In ways perhaps even better, since you get total discretion and it's always at your whim 24x7.

Assuming you can still find a job, of course. But we've been pretty inventive about creating new needs and services once we could afford to. The burger flipper might be on the way out, I doubt the chef is. A robot vacuum cleaner isn't scrubbing the bathroom or dusting the furniture. The electric lawn mower doesn't do flower beds or trimming the hedge. The washing machine doesn't pair my socks or iron my shirts. Of course you might say that one day we'll have a "I, Robot" assistant that'll do absolutely everything a human does cheaper and better but that's not in 10 or 50 years. Neither is self-repairing, self-replicating and self-evolving robots that work almost by themselves.

Real wages in the US has been flat for quite some time now, but at the same time you've had a massive influx of cheap labor on the global market depressing wages. You don't get a zillion Chinese or Indian employees working for a pittance anymore, when you look at the whole world workers are getting better paid. If it keeps going up, sooner or later it will return to growth in the US too because US wages are normal wages and not super expensive wages anymore. There is no magic that makes Americans stay far ahead of the pack forever, even though that how it's been in the past with the old world destrroying itself with world wars and an illiterate, primitive third world. There are smart people other places too, when they get the opportunity.

Comment Even ones that are tested can have problems (Score 1) 115

I bought an Anker USB C-C cable. I got an LG phone with C, and Qualcomm quick charging on it so I needed some new adapters to be able to charge it at full speed. Gout a couple of adapters, and couple of A-C cables and then said "why not?" and got a C-C cable too. No use for it yet, but I figured I'd get it since I'm sure my next laptop will have C on it.

A few weeks later, Anker sent me a recall notice. Apparently there was a problem in the cables that could cause issues with high power use cases so they gave me my money back and promised a replacement when available.

The issue was actually apparently in the ICs on the cable. Yes that's right, the cables have to have controllers on them too since they have to communicate what kind of power they can handle.

It is likely to be a problem for some time. The good news is A-C cables aren't such an issue since A supports much lower voltages and currents (can only go up to 12v and and like 2.5a) so they don't have to be as insulated and don't need as much protection (apparently a resistor on them does the trick) but still. The C-C stuff though, it will be an issue.

Comment Re:CyanogenMod is the only hope for some devices.. (Score 1) 73

Unfortunately, it's not so great at that. I have an HTC Desire (Bravo in the USA) that still works and I'd like to reuse as a SIP client. Unfortunately, it only runs CM 7.2. That would be fine if it were a patched version, but the latest nightly build was 2013 and that's so old that it doesn't contain an up-to-date certificate list or an SSL client library that supports modern versions of the TLS protocol, meaning that you can't use it for anything network connected.

Sure, the device is pretty old, but it has a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and up to 32GB of flash on the SD card: that's ample for a lot of uses (it wasn't so long ago that I was using a desktop less powerful!) and throwing it away seems horribly wasteful. It was launched in 2010 and the last release (not nightly) from CM was 2012. That's less long-term support than Apple gives for iOS devices and Google gives for Nexus devices. Unfortunately, there's not much money to be made in supporting hardware that the manufacturers consider to be obsolete.

Comment Well that's terrifying (Score 5, Informative) 403

For two reasons:
 
1) no valid crime (in my opinion) was committed
2) it's a two year sentence, besides pissing off a bunch of people, what purpose does this serve?
 
You can't change a person's ideologies by imprisoning them, not without brainwashing them. This seems like the wrong way to address these problems. Imprisoning and fining people for their thoughts and beliefs is likely to cause more people to think this way, rather than deter it.

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