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2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

Registered Coward v2 Re:Castle Doctrine (266 comments)

is public-facing CCTV legal in those states? What's the difference if it's mounted in a vehicle like a bus or (gasp!) a private conveyance?

You are not recording the conversation with video. Personally, this is an area where technology has outpaced the law.

3 days ago
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2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

Registered Coward v2 Re:Castle Doctrine (266 comments)

My car is a mobile extension of my home. By accepting my invitation to enter, you are accepting the moral and legal obligations that accompany, viz: you consent to being monitored, you consent to being recorded, and you promise to behave yourself lest the recordings be used against you in a civil or criminal claim.

Unfortunately that is not what the law says in some states. What would deb interesting is how a one party consent state would consider who the other party is? the car? The owner even if they are not a party to the call?

3 days ago
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Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

Registered Coward v2 Re:They outsourced their engineering to India (200 comments)

Honestly, is there no lever the Indian government won't sink to to save money?

Yea, but what until something goes wrong and Bob on tech support line tells them they need to reinstall Windows. Or MS tech support calls them and tells them "I have been monitoring your computer and you have a reall bad virus that will steal your information. "

4 days ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

Registered Coward v2 Re:Works particularly well in SA/Victoria (169 comments)

Per TFA, the have added power supplies to maintain voltage when grid voltage dips

Right. But this kind of event happened before solar and wind electrical generation became popular. It simply happened less frequently.

True, but it appears to not have been an issue since companies did not take steps to deal with it or not at least to the extent of adding their own power backup.

Ultimately, power companies have plans to add more storage capacity to smooth out the dips, but they're having to wait for batteries to become available as they are reclaimed from electric vehicles. Even if they wanted to buy the batteries new, they couldn't afford to, because EV builders will pay more. There will be a period of adjustment. But this equipment pays dividends in other ways, as well. The fact that they're adding it only now doesn't mean that the entire cost is eaten by compensating for new faults; they also get the benefit of compensating for the existing faults.

Not really. Whatever preventative measures they took prior to these could be attributed to existing faults. Since these were taken as a result of new issues they should be attributed to those causes. That's like saying if someone buys a reader detector to that detects a new technology as well as the old ones it's costs should be attributed to police using the old and new tech even though whatever methods used to avoid tickets from the old tech worked and thus a detector would not have been bought if the new tech hadn't been introduced. How's that for a shocking car analogy?

5 days ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

Registered Coward v2 Re:Works particularly well in SA/Victoria (169 comments)

Those operations are already completely failure-prone, because they can't handle the least outage in any case. Semiconductor production facilities have power conditioning equipment which covers the entire plant because it's expensive when power fails, or has any other kind of problem. Sounds like these guys need the same thing.

Per TFA, the have added power supplies to maintain voltage when grid voltage dips. This, however, raises two issues with wind and or solar :

1. It's an added hidden cost of power. Sure, the electricity prices may not go up but the cost of power doesn't to customers Ast THFA pointed outré, sat some point companies look to other locations without such problems.

2. Right now, consumers and most businesses aren't seeing a problem because most appliances can handle short voltage drops. However, as the percentage of those sources increase we could see dips that damage appliances or cause consumer or business issues. Expecting them to buy power conditioning equipment isn't a solution that most politicians probably want to suggest, so the producers and or grid companies will have to solve the problem,; whereupon the costs of power will go up as it reflects the actual costs of delivering clean power.

None of these problems are unsolvable but tend to get ignored in the debate. The regulator in Germany already punted the issue by planning "to discuss the problem with experts and associations in detail" which translated to non-politik sprache means "ignore the problem by studying it." Maybe what's needed is for voting machines to experience problems, that cost someone an election, later traced to a power fluctuation. That sort of cost gets a lot of attention from politicians.

5 days ago
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Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Registered Coward v2 Re:I've almost given up on debunking (275 comments)

I've almost given up on debunking conspiracy theories. Those who believe in them, BELIEVE in them. It's like trying to debunk somebody's religion.

I find they eventually come around to "you're part of the conspiracy..."

about a week ago
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Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Registered Coward v2 Sleight of hand (275 comments)

nVidia clearly wants to distract attention from the true flaw - shadows. Everyone knows there are no shadows in a vacuum.

Maybe this should be posted in alt.folklore.urban?

After all, trolling /. is only slightly harder than rec.org.mensa

about a week ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Registered Coward v2 Re:Risk aversion (203 comments)

Wouldn't limiting the transfer of funds, via signed contracts or something, limit the risks of such a thing happening?

Possibly, and it is how most non-kickstarter projects are funded. the problem is not in how funding is done, however; it is in KS desire to assume zero liability for failed projects. If they start deciding if a project deserves more funding then they open themselves up to lawsuits when the project failed. By taking a clear hands off approach they protect themselves while still getting their cut. A start would be for them to refund their 5% cut of the raised funds for failed projects.

about a week ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Registered Coward v2 Re:Why don't they have ice? (249 comments)

They seemed to imply it's an Italian thing but I've been to Italy and I'm pretty sure they had ice there.

Maybe it melted on the trip when they tried to import it

about a week ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Registered Coward v2 Re:Asking to end Child Support payments (185 comments)

It is not really extra effort. He stops paying until he is informed of her current address, at which point he serves her the papers. If he never receives her address, he never makes another payment and no further court action occurs.

There are a few problems with that approach. First, there are already means in place to serve notice when a current address is not known; this erely move stat into the digital age. While there are problems with this approach it's no worse than requiring a notice in newspaper at the last known address; i'd argue in some ways it's better since there is at least some reason to believe the account is active and tis may see the notice. Secondly, suspending payments would not necessarily end his obligation to pay and thus he needs a court order ending the liability for payments. Absent that a court could order him to make the back payments.

Of course, with the ruling I suggested in hand, he might also have a basis for requesting a court order to freeze the account in question, since the address on the account is not that of the registered account holder.

Even so, the person has not been served and thus might be able to fight any legal cation on that basis, leaving him still on the hook for payments up to a final decision. As for freezing the account because oaf a bad address banks have plenty of accounts with bad addresses and all that happens is eventually the state gets the money.

Even if he cannot obtain a court order, he can possibly make the bank uncomfortable enough about the account that they report it to the appropriate government agency for investigation as a "suspicious account" under various anti-money laundering laws.

I doubt a bank, let alone a law enforcement agency, would get worked up over a few hundred dollars being sent to an account with a bad address. Even so, a call to the person making the deposits would reveal they are court order child support an thus case closed.

about a week ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Registered Coward v2 Re:Asking to end Child Support payments (185 comments)

The gentleman in question was going to court to end the court order requiring him to pay child support payments for his now 21 year old son. It seems to me that a better solution would have been for the judge to issue an order to the provide the address for the account where the child support payments were being deposited. Followed up by an order suspending the payments if the ex-wife was not at that address until such a time as an actual address was found (the logic being that if the address the account was registered at was not at that address, then there was reason to believe that the account was actually being used by someone else). Confirmation of the correct account being found would come in the form of the court papers being served. Further the court could have ruled that the suspended child support payments would only be due if the court found in the ex-wife's favor on the petition which the man had made.

True, but that's a lot of extra effort and drags out the process or very little gain. He had already exhausted all reasonable efforts to serve her, and given she was active on Facebook allowing her to be served in that manner was reasonable. It seems to me she was trying to avoid a subpoena so the judge needed another way to serve her with some assurances she would get the notice. The judge could then stop the payments if she failed to appear; and once she noticed she wasn't getting the money could go back to court.

about a week ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

Registered Coward v2 Re:Well, we really should be at that stage by now. (491 comments)

We should have been working hard at improving nuclear power, and solving its problems, to the point that this would, by now, be a no-brainer.

The US Navy has been all-in with Nuclear power. R&D has been non-stop. If they haven't "solved its problems", it's unlikely throwing even more money at it, would do so.

the real challenge to commercial nuclear shipping is the operations and maintenance costs; on the nuclear as well as secondary side. The Navy spares no expense in maintaining their fleet, training crews, and keeping large crews to oversee operations; all of which would add tremendously to the cost of a commercial nuke vessel and likely make it noncompetitive with traditional ones. Now, if you could have upscale how power is produced for space probes an run a nuclear-electric ship with a simple nuke side you might have a winner, at least form a technology and cost perspective.

about three weeks ago
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China's Island Factory

Registered Coward v2 Re:Might want to tighten the bolts on those sabers (199 comments)

International law on these issues is anything but clear, and are subject to a great deal of argument, which is why there are always contested areas.

As for the UK, it's a natural island that has been inhabited by the same peoples for centuries (at the least - you can argue about 1066). Now that's clear.

International law, as put in practice for centuries, is pretty clear: as long as I can beat the crap out of you I can sail wherever I want.

about three weeks ago
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The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

Registered Coward v2 Re:Checks (160 comments)

I gladly accept Nigerian checks on CL. This way the scammers are out of FedEx/UPS fee and I add another fake check to my office collection.

Not a good idea. You are dealing with crooks who may or may not have accomplices near you and you are giving them a real address. Check out 419eater.com for safe ways to do that if you want to bait scammers.

about three weeks ago
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The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

Registered Coward v2 Re:One way to avoid (160 comments)

This isn't your usual 419 scam. They're not offering millions of dollars to suckers.

What they're doing is buying stuff from Craigslist sellers with bogus checks that look awfully real. There's another step where they send a too-large check and ask for a partial refund. The checks are so good that they clear, and the fraud isn't discovered until weeks later, at which time your bank yanks the money back.

There's still hints of the usual 419 stuff in there, but you don't have to be either gullible or greedy. You simply have to misunderstand the idiotic system under which checks are processed, which is most of us. The idea that a certified check could fail, a month after you deposited it, is baffling to the majority of people who think of a certified check as practically good as cash.

The checking system is so screwed up that most sellers need to treat all checks with suspicion. But credit cards are expensive to process, and Paypal... is Paypal.

True, and that is what scam artists depend on to run their con. Banks in the US have to make the funds available after a set period even though the check has not cleared; i.e. the issuing bank has not yet accepted the check and verified that it was a valid check and the funds are available in the account. Most people think that because the bank has deposited the funds in their account that the check is good; a not unreasonable expectation because most checks do not bounce and thus they never realize the bank may not have actually cleared the check before the funds were made available. The law was designed to prevent banks from putting excessive holds on checks but a side effect was to give scammers a new way to cheat people.

about three weeks ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Registered Coward v2 Re:Shortest version (326 comments)

I think I get the distinction he is trying to formulate. Red Hat focuses their products around their GNU/Linux distribution, that is without GNU/Linux they would not have a product. Rackspace on the other hand have a product that would exists even without OpenStack. Their primary gains in reduction of development costs, since other individuals and companies are contributing to the effort.

Basically these are the two vectors commercial companies have with free software. Either they provide ancillary services to existing software, that is they are basically consultants; or they copyleft some piece of software that is not their in business model and as a result reduce costs.

Good point. I can see where they would be considered two distinct models.

about three weeks ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Registered Coward v2 Re:Shortest version (326 comments)

Nothing in Stallman's philosophy precludes profit-driven development - on the contrary, he actively encourages it ! He precludes a certain METHOD of profit generation, not the idea of profit.

Your response is like saying "We can't have pollution standards because saying you can't make profit by dumping strychnine in my drinking water is the same saying you can't make profit at all".

There is absolutely no free software problem with profit.

Of course, and nothing I said is anything remote to your drinking water example. I did point out that profit drives much free software development; if only because it is difficult to maintain enthusiasm for development by volunteers over time or to get bugs fixed that are not of interest to the volunteers.

There is a freedom problem with software that are sold in one PARTICULAR bad way because the harms that it causes to the public far outweigh the profit earned by the seller.

The only thing Stallman has ever done is point out the age-old lesson that if you don't force the medicine seller to tell you what's in his medicine most of it ends up being snake-oil.

However, free open source software is not the only way to do that. The assumption that non-free software is bad and harmful and by extension free software is good and beneficial is incorrect on particle as well ideological terms. Stallman has a very narrow view of what software development should look like and even what constitutes "free." I simply disagree with the idea that his viewpoint is the correct one.

about three weeks ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Registered Coward v2 Re:Free SaaSS can exist (326 comments)

Contract law

But the source is free to the public, there's no terms and conditions I have to agree to. Indeed, it would no longer be Free Software, or at least it wouldn't be Open Source Software according to the Open Source Definition.

There are, as is pointed out in the link you provided, terms and conditions attached to the use of the software; which do not make it any less free. in fact they keep it free.

about three weeks ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Registered Coward v2 Re:Free SaaSS can exist (326 comments)

Again, the AGPL is a license that you must accept to use the software. You focus on the output which is not the issue; the issue is how you may use the software under the license and your obligation as a result of using the software.

Please name the legal requirement that I accept the AGPL in order to use the software. In the US, there is:

* Copyright law * Patent law

Patents aren't the issue here, and copyright law is not being invoked by merely making the software available on the network (and in fact, this use is explicitly defined as non-infringing).

Contract law

about three weeks ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Registered Coward v2 Re:Shortest version (326 comments)

We agree on the definition of the the ancillary services and I agree RedHat makes their money that way. I'd say the dominate class would be things like Rackspace which develops (with RedHat) OpenStack but is primarily selling CPU, electricity, network and renting hardware. The management system they use is just an expense. Microsoft / Azure, Amazon / AWS, Verizon's cloud... would all be in the same boat. Or another example would be HP's work which makes its money selling hardware or enterprise packages to run on top of open source OSes.

It sounds like we are in agreement here. I'd consider Rackspace, Red Hat, et al similar OSS business models.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Get off my lawn

Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  about a year ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "Identifying a nerd was easier years ago — calculator on the belt and a box of Hollerith cards. Part computer program, part note card, and part bookmark, they were a readily available source of nerd badges at any campus. As with many tech icons, they have drifted into oblivion.

So what do you do if:

you got a new computer, or maybe a software upgrade, only to find — error message! — that some of your old files are incompatible.

and the files you have are valuable historical data needed for current research? How about finding a USB compatible Hollerith card reader?"

Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court to hear First Sale Doctrine case

Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  about 2 years ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "SCOTUS is set to hear a case to determine how copyright law and the doctrine of first sale applies to copyrighted works bought overseas, imported to the US and then sold. The case involves a foreign student who imported textbooks from Asia and the resold them in the US to help fund his education. He was sued by the publisher, lost and was ordered to pay $600k in damages. Now SCOTUS gets to weigh in on the issue."
Link to Original Source
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iPads as overhead projectors

Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "A University of Michigan professor has combined iPads with a set of software tools to create an effective replacement for projected Powerpoint, clickers, and the like to allow students to interact and annotate the lecture notes on iPads, iPhones, and computers. As he puts it, he has used these tools to create " show your slides + ask questions of students (multiple-choice, true-false, rearrange lists, image-based and free response — take THAT clickers!) and display the results in real-time + collect and answer student questions + have access to analytical data on student participation + DRAW ON THE SLIDES LIKE WITH AN OVERHEAD!"

Even better — a roller equipped overhead."

Link to Original Source
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Apple Time Capsules Dying

Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "Reports are surfacing of dying power supplies in Apple's Time Capsule drives, leaving users with vey nicely designed 9and expensive) paper weights. The problem appears to be failure of the internal power supply, making it impossible to power up the device. One website logged 260 reports of dead Apple Time capsules since going live last weekend. Apple has not yet responded to reports of this problem."
Link to Original Source
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It's football, not a funeral

Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "From a Notre Dame University press release: In an effort to encourage appropriate behavior, fans will be able to utilize a new text messaging system to report any instances of unruly or disruptive behavior in conjunction with home games, including inside Notre Dame Stadium. The system will be in place beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Fans can simply text 41513 and type into the message the word "Irish" followed by a space, followed by a brief description of the issue and its location. Ushers, public safety personnel and/or University officials will respond as needed.

Interesting use of technology; but even with ND's performance on the field it's still a football game. I guess they expect people to sit quietly and occasionally utter a "nice play" and clap politely. At least you now have a way to complain about cold hotdogs and dirty toilets."
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Registered Coward v2 Registered Coward v2 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Registered Coward v2 (447531) writes "Best Buy has been caught using an intranet to limit price matching of their own web site. http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-watchdog0302, 0,5198012.column?coll=hc-utility-local Apparently, according to a company spokesman, their employees find it difficult to distinguish between accessing an internal site and their own external ones. Of course, they have no problem distinguishing between a higher and lower price nor charging the higher one."

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