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Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome

Branciforte Re:But can you actually trust it? (100 comments)

Boy, are you full of crap. When has Google cooperated with the NSA, any more than the law requires? What reports? Post credible links or GTFO.

about 4 months ago
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Data Center With a Brain: Google Using Machine Learning In Server Farms

Branciforte Re:A little top heavy! (26 comments)

I actually work with Jim Gao. His design doc was already open in another tab when I saw this article. Jim's a really smart guy. Really nice guy too.

I can't talk too much about it. You have a huge amount of electricity coming into the DC, on the order of a lightning bolt, and it has to be intelligently choreographed to make the best use of it. Then you have to carry away the heat. There is a lot of machinery to do that, and by accurately predicting where and when power is going to be needed, both for servers and for cooling, you can allocate your resource (chillers, transformers, fans, etc...) most efficiently. It's complex. It involves weather patterns and coolant flow rates and even minor things, like when the heaters turn on to keep the oil in the generators at the right viscosity in case of an emergency. You need to know all that stuff to decide where to best route (provision) the power. If you statically allocate power to cooling and other subservient systems, you lose the opportunity cost to use that power for more server machines. The more intelligently you can control things in real time, the more efficient you can be.

The coolest part is Jim had a clever idea, wrote it up, and it became reality based on its own merits. Jim is relatively new and junior at Google, but that didn't matter at all.

about 5 months ago
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Google Announces "Classroom"

Branciforte Re:dont worry (143 comments)

Like gmail, and search, and docs, and everything else except the handful of projects they did cancel with a huge amount of forewarning and ample substitutes?

about 5 months ago
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Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

Branciforte Re:Bad example (800 comments)

No, it really isn't.

First of all, homicide is not the same thing as murder. Homicide is when you kill another person. Murder is an unlawful homicide with malice aforethought. Manslaughter is an unlawful homicide. There are all sorts of legal homicides, like self defense and accidents.

Seconds of all, by driving a car on a public road, you are assuming a duty of care to those around you. Other people in the streets are reasonable relying on you to push the breaks when necessary. Watching a train hit some people... there was no duty of care there.

So, watching someone die, and not going out of your way to save them, then is not murder. Occasionally, some state of town will attempt to criminalize it, with a so-called "Bad Samaritan" law. It doesn't work in practice. There are too many thorny issues. In legal terms, such actions should be left to the courtroom of the conscience.

about 5 months ago
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Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

Branciforte Wrong. There is no duty to act. (800 comments)

Killing someone by inaction is definitely not murder. At least, not in the United States. There is no default duty to act to save someone. You might have a duty if you are a life guard or a scuba instructor or a police officer. But, by default, there is no duty to act.

An Olympic swimmer can stand on the beach and watch a little girl drown. It's not a crime. It's not right, but it's not murder.

about 5 months ago
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Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

Branciforte Re:Why isn't anyone in jail? (108 comments)

The answer, of course, is that it was a civil trial. The Feds and criminal penalties have nothing to do with it.

about 6 months ago
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Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

Branciforte Re:On the subject of collusion (108 comments)

Only, that's not what happened. No one said anything about fixing salaries. They just agreed to not go out of their way to steal employees from each other. Nothing stopped you from going to one of the ten to get whatever price the market would bear.

And you are free to have ten people sit around a table and decide what price you are willing to work for.

about 6 months ago
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Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

Branciforte Re:Misleading headline (108 comments)

The market was still free. Everyone was free to seek a better job at a competing company. Nothing was stopping them. A few companies decided not to COLD CALL each others employees. People at Apple were free to go interview at Google, and people at Google were free to go interview at Apple. Everyone was completely free to negotiate whatever price the market would bear.

It comes down to this: There was a small group of people who were willing to ditch their current company for a pay raise, and now they have the gall to complain that they have to actually call the other company. Boo fucking hoo.

about 6 months ago
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Google's Business Plan For Nest: Selling Your Data To Utility Companies

Branciforte Re:You are the product (167 comments)

Techno-hipster crying "Wolf!" Quick, alert the media.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

Branciforte Re:No (421 comments)

So, you do realize that "voyeurs, pedophiles and creepy stalkers" are using any of the many available spy glasses that don't obviously have a camera on them, right?

about 8 months ago
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Through a Face Scanner Darkly

Branciforte Re:Great.. (336 comments)

My wife and I were turned down for a house rental because there was a sex offender with the same first and last name as me.

It didn't matter to them that the sex offender had a different age and middle name.

about 9 months ago
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Google Poised To Settle EU Anti-Trust Probe

Branciforte Re:Better idea (55 comments)

You'll need about 1,000,000,000$ US for your first datacenter. All of the hardware needs to be in close proximity to get reasonable communication latency in your distributed indexing/processing.

There is a reason why competing search engines aren't popping up left and right.

about 9 months ago
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Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

Branciforte Re:Never about search (205 comments)

Google's core business has always been about finding patterns in large amounts of data. Matching advertisements to users is just another form of pattern matching.

about 8 months ago
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Google Buys Home Automation Company Nest

Branciforte Re:I'll be keeping mine (257 comments)

I work at Google, in the facilities automation group. Google is really good at designing warehouse-scale computers that maximize the efficiency of electrical usage and heating/cooling. I suspect that this Nest acquisition is an attempt to leverage some of their heating/cooling expertise.

I fully expect that no one will believe this and will chalk it up to an advertising opportunity.

about 9 months ago
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Bennett Haselton: Google+ To Gmail Controversy Missing the Point

Branciforte Re:Really missed the point (244 comments)

Google+ *IS* a login service with some common settings.

The problem is that there is a social page that is also known, by the public, as Google+.

about 9 months ago
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Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA

Branciforte Re:congrats guys and gals (293 comments)

Google is required by law to hand over information if there is a legal request, not an illegal one. Just as you are required to hand over your PC and encryption keys if there is a legal request made by a law enforcement agency.

about 10 months ago
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Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA

Branciforte Re:congrats guys and gals (293 comments)

I work at Google.

Before anything was reported by Snowden, plans were already in place to protect user data. It started with the switch to HTTPS, continued with us encrypting user data on disk, and we were beginning to encrypt data that was transferred between datacenters. The revelation that the NSA was tapping into undersea cables only accelerated the timeline.

about 10 months ago
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Google to Pay $17 Million to Settle Privacy Case

Branciforte Re:violation of trust (109 comments)

Google hacked your browser? Or they just used a standard web technique to get results for a +1 button and Safari piled on a bunch of extra cookies?

Why would Google do this? If we assume that it was intentional, they must have known that, with all the scrutiny the company faces, someone was going to figure it out? And what would they get in return? A little bit of data on the handful of people who upped their Safari privacy settings and are unlikely to click on ads.

Does that make sense?

about a year ago
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The Case Against Gmail

Branciforte Re:Google's Product (435 comments)

Did you think that the data on your hard drive is any safer from a "simple court order"? Good luck fighting that.

about a year ago

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