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Comment Re:because (Score 1) 273

Even better: those services can make basically any shape, even those that can't be done by 3D printing. My plastic prototypes are made by CNC instead - I just e-mail the CAD design, and the factory sends it back to me within a few days.

The cost of having those made would've bought me a MakerBot by now. On the other hand a MakerBot 3D printer can't print the size (barely 30 cm in one direction) nor the shape (hanging in the air - would need support structures when 3D printing) I need...

Comment Re:It's always cost (Score 1) 273

Ignoring your time delay, the cost of those parts was two times $50 for a grand total of $100. The printer itself costs about $1000. That's a whole lot of replacement parts to be printed to make it worth the investment - not even counting the time and money spent scanning and refining the model so it can be printed out in the first place. Oh, and I'm ignoring the part where the 3D printed part has to be strong and heat resistant enough, which may or may not be an issue for the part you try to replicate. For many parts this will be an issue.

This should nicely sum up why 3D printing is not the revolution it claimed to be.

Comment Re:You can't (Score 2) 1321

The sad part is that the election organisers accept this.

How hard can it be to add a printer to the voting machine, which basically spits out a marked ballot paper, which the voter places in a ballot box? Best of both worlds. Electronic voting - have the machine count the votes for you, instant results when the station closes. Paper voting - when the station is closed simply count the total number of ballot papers, verify it matches the number of votes the machine has. Should be the same number. The paper ballots allow for a recount, if necessary, e.g. if the totals don't match or if there's a suspected problem with the machine (maybe do a handful of recounts in randomly selected stations to verify the machine's results).

Comment Re:You give us too much faith (Score 2) 403

Indeed. It's not that easy to spot fakes - especially the well done ones that rely on exaggeration and other half-truths.

Unsourced photos? Well, they can just make up a source. How can we easily see it's true or not? Same for all details given in a story.

Not everyone can spend an hour looking up details on every story they read. Usually we just have to put faith in the news outlet, faith in the reporters that write the story, and trust them that it is true and correct.

Comment Overall, code saves lives (Score 1) 280

Sure it's going wrong now and then but overall I'm quite positive code saves lives. For every aircraft that crashes there are probably hundreds if not thousands of crashes that did not happen because of all the pilot aids. For all car crash that did happen, there are hundreds if not thousands that did not happen thanks to all those driver aids - including Tesla's autopilot. Software makes hospitals more efficient, helps to diagnose diseases and develop medication faster, may help doing a quick cross check on known side effects by combining medication, etc. X-rays come in faster, nearly real time. That all saves lives. That it is not perfect doesn't mean it's not effective, the few lives lost to software errors are nothing compared to the lives saved thanks to software.

Comment What's the role of the drone? (Score 3, Informative) 50

Both TFS and TFA are really light on technical details - can anyone shed some light on where the drone comes in play? And also the vulnerability itself - a default password or something more obscure?

Another question would be of course why would those lights even have the ability to install new software in the first place. Is it really that hard to do software right, that no updates are needed for something as simple as a lamp?

Comment Re:$15 per bulb and they STILL suck (Score 1) 50

I suppose that "irreversible" bit will work for any device that does not have a factory reset and allows for remote installation of firmware, thereby removing the factory default firmware and the ability to receive updates. It's quite simple to make it irreversible (easier than making it reversible) as all you do is not adding code to accept firmware updates.

Comment Re:Parallels to other industries (Score 1) 365

DeBeer's behavior parallels other established interests we have read about recently such as taxi "cartels" trying to suppress upstarts Uber & Lyft, or hotel "cartels" trying to suppress VRBO & Airbnb. Jump ahead 50 years. I would wager that taxis, hotels, and natural diamonds will have lost their stranglehold to the likes of Uber, Airbnb, and synthetic diamonds. Adapt or die.

Yeah, sounds great - for the diamonds part, where a single worldwide monopoly may be replaced by numerous small, fiercely competing companies.

For the others you mention - replacing a great number of local monopolies (with highly regulated minimum standards) by a single worldwide monopoly (with no standards nor regulation) is not what I have in mind as improvement.

Comment Re:We've gone too far (Score 1) 104

NOt just them.

A while back there was a story on /. where you could check how unique your browser signature is. I was unique in the then-set of about 15,000 - mostly due to my Linux/Firefox user agent combination. That one was unique.

With the web being "standard" and all, I wonder what the use of such user agents is in the first place!

Comment Re:What the media can learn (Score 1) 56

What surprised me most from TFS is that it puts GPS in the mix. By nature, GPS is a passive technology: you can not track something using GPS without the device itself cooperating. To be able to track a phone using its own GPS receiver you must have a way for that phone itself to switch on the GPS receiver and relay this information to who-ever wants to know it. Normally the only way to do this is to hack into someone's phone: install some malware that relays the info, or break into someones anti-theft account or so.

This in contrast to normal mobile location data, as obtained by triangulating a phone using the network's transmitters. That's the network figuring out where a specific device is, no access to the device needed. This only requires cooperation from the network much easier to obtain using warrants (and of course without the subject knowing they're under surveillance), and is much more in line with the rest of the info cited: being able to get info on phone calls and text messages.

But anyway, sure, all phones can be followed to a certain degree of accuracy. Switching off your phone is the only way to prevent this. Giving it to a friend all the time beats the purpose of having one in the first place.

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