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Comments

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Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar

ScrewMaster Re:Lather, rinse, rage (507 comments)

Ripples occur when there are rapid stops. A very gradual slowing down should really minimize the downstream effects, providing other drivers are paying attention and not following so closely that they have to slam on their brakes when the speed of the car in front of them decreases even the slightest.

Everyone seems to believe that, but it's not really true. Here's what some Japanese researchers found (watch the video):

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/those-inexplicable-traffic-jams/

about a year ago
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Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar

ScrewMaster Re:Lather, rinse, rage (507 comments)

It's the idiots who accelerate to the last possible moment to close the gap with the guy slowing down in front of them who are causing the ripples.

A common misconception. Some Japanese scientists demonstrated, using several cars on a closed track, that even when people are trying their best to maintain a constant speed and distance ... they simply can't. Those "ripples" occur regardless of driver behavior when there is sufficient traffic.

about a year ago
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Copyrights To Reach Deep Space

ScrewMaster Re:Earth law vs universal law (247 comments)

Can human apply the earth laws, such as copyrights, into other corners in the universe?

Yes, but only until the Psychlo space probe happens across Voyager I. At which point copyright will rapidly become irrelevant.

about 2 years ago
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Zero-Day Exploit Market's Biggest Customer: the US Government

ScrewMaster Conversely ... (1 comments)

The article also claims most exploits are being sold to agencies of the U.S. government. It does raise a concern though. What if Black Hats got more serious, and the US government would become a victim?"

Conversely, what if the cyberwarfare units of certain other countries (one in particular comes to mind) stepped up their game ... and we weren't ready?

about 2 years ago
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Whose Cameras Are Watching New York Roads?

ScrewMaster Re:Treaspassing (376 comments)

None of this is a problem. There is a paint available that makes it very hard to photograph your license plate and as far as I can tell, this is a great thing.

This paint is designed to overexpose photos from cameras that use a flash to illuminate the license plate (i.e. most redlight cameras). It's doubtful that these cameras are using a powerful flash to illuminate each passing car or they wouldn't be so stealthy.

There are a few of those flash types around where I live. Damned irritating, especially at night where I get my retinas blasted on the way to the grocery store.

about 2 years ago
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Whose Cameras Are Watching New York Roads?

ScrewMaster Re:Treaspassing (376 comments)

Your supreme court agrees you have no expectation of privacy on a public road, now shut the hell up and enjoy your "freedom".

Maybe not. But we still have to right to know where the Hell our tax dollars are going. The police may have the "right" to put up those cameras (and that is debatable) but to deny knowledge of the things, or who or what is monitoring them ... well. That simply should not be allowed. Having no expectation of privacy does _not_ mean that anyone can put up a camera on public property.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices

ScrewMaster Re:Justice was fairly served (200 comments)

We all got mod-bombed on this one. Interesting.

about 2 years ago
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Call For DOJ To Reopen Google Wi-Fi Spying Investigation

ScrewMaster Re:Priorities (82 comments)

As I recall, they DID fess up in the first place, and that's what led to all these investigations. If they'd just quietly stopped, nobody would've ever known. Wanna bet what choice they make next time?

Yes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ...

about 2 years ago
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Call For DOJ To Reopen Google Wi-Fi Spying Investigation

ScrewMaster Re:Priorities (82 comments)

See ALEC

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices

ScrewMaster Re:That seems corrupt (200 comments)

I would have thought a ruling by a judge would be needed to render something banned from import. So the power to regulate allows government agencies the ability to make profound and legally binding decisions without need for court systems or due process? I was not aware the ITC were experts on IP.

They're not, and you're right ... they just ban stuff because a lawyer makes a convincing argument to a bureaucrat who hasn't the slightest idea of what the subject matter is, or how it relates to the product class in question. This will still go to court, and ultimately I suspect the ban will be lifted. The ITC is where everyone goes to get fast action without any court time.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices

ScrewMaster Re:Justice was fairly served (200 comments)

Google has a long history of trying to weasel out of agreements and payments just because they're 'Google'. In turn, Microsoft spends billions an year towards their R&D (Microsoft Research). They also work with the pioneer in the industry, Nokia, which has developed pretty much all the technology we base mobile phones today on. They deserve to be paid. Not only do I see victory for justice, but a long term crackdown on Google's illicit business practices. It is time to step up and show Google the door. If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Troll, do you have even the slightest idea what you are talking about?

No?

Well, okay then.

about 2 years ago
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London Hacked Its Own Traffic Lights To Make Sure It Got the Olympics

ScrewMaster Re:It's not hacking... (202 comments)

It's not hacking...it's optimization.

Actually ... it's cheating.

about 2 years ago
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Is Google the New Microsoft?

ScrewMaster Re:If Google's changes are trivial, are DropBox's? (492 comments)

They certainly didn't invent it, not least because their service is a shell for Amazon S3.

Which is interesting, as Amazon now offers their own (currently much less functional) competition to Dropbox, called CloudDrive.

about 2 years ago
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Is Google the New Microsoft?

ScrewMaster Re:Short Answer (492 comments)

I dunno. The only products which have really made my jaw drop in the last decade have come directly from Google (Earth, Street View, ...etc)

Everything else has been pretty much evolutionary.

Actually, this comparison to Dropbox is largely irrelevant. Google has long had the stated intent to move everyone into the "cloud" (whatever that is at any given time.) If anything, this is another piece to their plan to unseat Microsoft as the dominant operating system supplier, and you do that by eliminating the very need for Windows and Office. Logically, if you want people to use your Web-based operating system and practice ubiquitous computing, you have to permit them to store their data online as well their applications. "The Network is the Computer." Oh wait ... that was Sun. But where Sun Microsystems failed, Google is succeeding.

This isn't so much competition to Dropbox as it is a logical and necessary step along the path they've been on for some time now. Now, whether you agree with where they're going, and whether it will ultimately be good for society is another issue entirely. But this is not Google being like Microsoft and deliberately stepping on a smaller competitor (although that may be the result), but rather Google being entirely consistent with their long-stated goals. It just took them a while to get here.

Keep in mind that there's already plenty of competition to Dropbox, besides Google Drive you have Box, SkyDrive, Amazon's CloudDrive, and a host of other similar services, both free and paid. Google isn't even giving away the most free storage, either ... I got a 50 Gb. Box account awhile ago. It has certain limitations, but it's free and it's ten times bigger than what Google is offering.

Ultimately, though, the key to Google's approach is not how many gigabytes their giving away, but the integration with their other services. If all you want is free online storage, there are many better options to Google Drive right now, Dropbox being one of them (functionally Dropbox is about the best of them, I'd say.)

This is Google going head-to-head with Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon for as big a piece of the online pie as they can manage to convince us to give to them.

about 2 years ago
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Android Ported To C#

ScrewMaster Re:c# what a lousy name (351 comments)

There's an enormous intersection. In fact, I'd be very suspicious of someone that claimed to be a programmer but wasn't musical or otherwise creative.

I'm a programmer and I'm writing a sci-fi novel. Does that count?

about 2 years ago
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Android Ported To C#

ScrewMaster Re:c# what a lousy name (351 comments)

They should have renamed ado.net as Db.net.

Really, this is all much ado about nothing.

about 2 years ago
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Apple Patent Reveals Gift-Giving Platform For NFC-Based iDevices

ScrewMaster Hm. (110 comments)

"This 'gifting' of which you speak ... is that anything like 'squirting'"? -- Steve Ballmer

about 2 years ago
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Japan To Be Without Nuclear Power After May 5

ScrewMaster Re:Who Would Have Thought? (267 comments)

Yes, only Chernobyl was run by not for profit communists.

You and I must be thinking of different communists.

That's because none of us are actually thinking of communists, but of totalitarians. Regardless, the issue is not one of profit motive but of competence and solid regulation.

about 2 years ago
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Japan To Be Without Nuclear Power After May 5

ScrewMaster Re:Who Would Have Thought? (267 comments)

So we either accept the risks, doing what is possible to mitigate the worst of them, or declare the whole civilization thing a big mistake and go back into the trees.

Yes. As Cecil Adams once said, "It would be of great comfort to me if the Teeming Millions could learn to think rationally about such things."

I'm not so good at climbing, myself, so I think I'll just revert to the caveman lifestyle.

about 2 years ago
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Facebook Says It Has 'No Intention' To Abuse CISPA

ScrewMaster Re:Trust (103 comments)

Is it time to begin a mass exodus of Facebook?

"I'm afraid that time has come and gone my friend." -- Professor Rapson, "The Day After Tomorrow"

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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FBI Raids Texas Data Centers, Seizes Everything

ScrewMaster ScrewMaster writes  |  about 5 years ago

ScrewMaster (602015) writes "According to this article in Wired, the Feds raided at least two data centers in Texas. Apparently, the agents were indiscriminate in their seizure of equipment, not limiting it to those companies/individuals actually accused of illegalities. The disruptions caused by the FBI's activities are widespread, and have caused millions in lost revenue to companies not involved in the alleged crimes, many of whom may have to close their doors because the FBI now owns all their server equipment and customer data. One of those affected commented that "the FBI appears to have assumed that all the servers located at Crydon's address belonged to him, and didn't seem to understand the concept of co-location." That would appear to be the case: an FBI spokesman commented that "My understanding is that the way these things are hooked up is that they're interconnected to each other" (perhaps Ripley was right after all, and IQs did drop sharply while she was away.) At first glance, this sounds a lot like the old story of the cops who were assigned to confiscate some equipment, and brought along a crowbar in case they had to "get anything out of the computer."

The original complaints were registered by AT&T and Verizon, but apparently the FBI based their belief that criminal activity occurred upon the statements of a single, disgruntled ex-employee. Do such shotgun seizures and the resulting collateral damage constitute reasonable behavior on the part of the FBI, or is it as uninformed and barbaric as it looks? I know how I'd feel if I were one of those outfits that suddenly found themselves out of business because the Feds didn't have their act together."
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Google Dev Phone 1 Banned from Paid Apps

ScrewMaster ScrewMaster writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ScrewMaster (602015) writes "According to this article, Google is not going to allow programmers who have purchased the Dev Phone 1 to purchase paid apps from the Android Market. I just signed up as a G1 developer, and was about to plunk down the $399 for a Dev Phone 1, but now I'm going to have to think about it. I know that Google is interested in preventing (cough) "piracy", but does this seem like the right way to go? I know the Dev Phone 1 is primarily a developer's tool, but I would like to actually use the thing, and not have to spend another $180 from T-Mobile for a regular G1 just for the privilege of buying software."
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RIAA going after songwriters' revenue stream

ScrewMaster ScrewMaster writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ScrewMaster (602015) writes "The Hollywood Reporter tells us that the RIAA wants the Copyright Royalty Board to lower the royalty rate given to songwriters. Interestingly, the big online music distributors (such as Apple) want to lower it even further.

Gee, is there anyone looking out for the rights of the artists anymore?"

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