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Prehistory's Brilliant Future

TomGreenhaw Re:Banal and boring. (50 comments)

Agreed. Why not let scores go more that -1 and let us filter out the really unpopular stuff? If I wan't to read the really unpopular crap, I can change my filter.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

TomGreenhaw Re:Still a niche company (111 comments)

Fair question. I sold my Z06 Corvette earlier this year, but that's the only car I've ever owned in that price range. I don't really compare the Z06 Vette to a Model S P85, so you're right I may not have enough experience to say its better than other luxury sedans. I have friends with Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and Porche Panamera and I have to admit that they are really nice too.

I felt I had to reply to the comment that electric cars are a liberal pipe dream. I don't consider myself a liberal and Teslas are not a pipe dream.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

TomGreenhaw Re:Still a niche company (111 comments)

We've had ours coming up on two years. By far the best car I've ever owned and driven. It does actually work very well and when maintenance costs and savings on gas are included, its not really more costly than any other comparable luxury sedan.

Tesla may today be a niche company, but its certainly no liberal pipe dream.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

TomGreenhaw Re:Apple Pay (355 comments)

Short answer - tokenization and eCommerce security.

Chip and Pin uses physical contact of the card to the payment terminal. The chip is very hard to duplicate so it essentially eliminates card cloning. The PIN provides a second factor to authenticate a trusted customer at the point of sale.

Apple Pay is a variant of NFC (near field communication) much like Google Wallet with PayPass. This is wireless (contactless).

The specifications for hardware (Level 1) and software (Level 2) for both contact and contact-less payment systems are managed by EMVCo; see http://www.emvco.com/. Apple has chosen wisely to work with existing industry standards with a couple of big improvements. These guys are smart and they got it right.

What is different about Apple Pay is that unlike PayPass and Chip&PIN which send the credit card account number through all links in the system (usually encrypted), a one time use token is created. If an Apple Pay transaction is exposed, only a useless one time token would be divulged. This is much like the DUKPT system used from other secure transactions. If you are curious about DUKPT see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derived_unique_key_per_transaction.

Aside from the technical superiority of tokenization for security over Chip&Pin for card present transactions, how Apple Pay is better is a matter of taste because both systems mitigate card present fraud. It will always be hard to argue that either will be faster than a swipe.

I'm sick of sitting on my fat wallet and if I could get rid of my cards that would be great. Unfortunately I'll still need my cards because most places wont take anything but mag stripe for years (its taken Canada 7 years to get to 90% Chip&PIN at the merchants). If I lose my wallet I have to call a bunch of companies, whereas if I lose my phone nobody is going to get my card numbers. Apps will proliferate that allow loyalty programs and discounts to be offered to me through mobile integration (e.g. Amex has already announced buying McDonalds food with points). Geofencing in conjunction with NFC will further promote targeted marketing and I like the idea of saving money in exchange for loyalty. NFC will also likely be used to do things like open doors, start cars so it will be very convenient.

Apple Pay also supports tokenization for eCommerce. This is huge because card not present is the area where credit card fraud is most persistent. Apple Pay and the variations that are sure to follow will knock the online card fraud guys out of the game.

about a month ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

TomGreenhaw Re:Wonder How Much? (294 comments)

Their voting is probably not motivated primarily by bribes - its Michigan jobs they are worried about.

Ironically, the Tesla is more American made (roughly 55% domestic and a lot more when the batteries are made by the Gigafactory) than its Ford, GM, Nissan competitors (roughly 35% domestic)

about a month ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

TomGreenhaw This is getting ugly (294 comments)

The rationale for enforcing a car dealership model is obsolete. Now these laws only protect special interests who support politicians and are at odds with the interest of the vast majority of the American public.

I'm all for state's rights, but I think its time for the federal government to step in and eliminate this unconstitutional restraint of interstate commerce.

about a month ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Re:Yes (481 comments)

For the most part, I think its a matter of personal opinion, and I'll share mine.

Humans are social animals. For society to function we have certain rules. For example its not OK to kill and eat people. Society would break down. Hopefully everyone agrees the golden rule is a good idea.

Humans evolved to be survivors, and in order to thrive as omnivores we couldn't be picky about what was on the menu and survive. At this point in our evolution however, we can be picky about what's on the menu and still thrive. Coincidentally we are also learning that many of our fellow creatures on this planet are a lot more like us that we could have known before. We are smarter than these animals and if lack of communication is anybody's fault fault, its ours.

So the question is, should we increase the scope of the golden rule to apply to animals. I'm not a strict vegetarian. I eat well treated animals whose existence depended upon support of our food supply. Like you, I don't eat a lot of industrial produced proteins because I don't trust them. I do however extend the scope of my application of the golden rule to intelligent wild animals because I don't need to eat them. Most people have at least some amount of doubt about the morality of eating intelligent animals, and most uf us have the luxury of extending them the benefit of that doubt.

They are more pleasing to me alive in their natural habitat than on my plate.

about a month and a half ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Re:Yes (481 comments)

I totally agree - crows blow my mind. They have complex language, tool use and family units similar to ours.

My opinion about whales was based upon an experience I had several years ago in Maui. A baby whale and then mother slowly came out of the water 6 feet away from our boat and I looked those whales in the eye. There was obvious curiosity and intelligence there.

Its hard to imagine eating something like that. It for me borders on cannibalism.

about a month and a half ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Yes (481 comments)

I'm not an expert, but assuming octopi are that intelligent based upon brain size might be a false assumption. Their brains may be large to support their chameleon skin systems. Octopi are smart, but they don't have long life spans, advanced language or tool use as far as I know.

I do think everyone should take whales off the menu.

about a month and a half ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

TomGreenhaw Windows Classic (554 comments)

Why not have just good old Windows Classic based upon Windows 7. Charge people for annual support if they want access to updates.

Then they could also offer Windows Du Jour that supports contemporary technology.

Everybody's a winner...

about a month and a half ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

TomGreenhaw Re:Distribution and Generation are split (488 comments)

That's interesting. Is most of the power in NYC underground? I'll bet that's expensive to maintain. I've read that hydroelectric power in the Pacific Northwest is super cheap. In Illinois, we get a really good deal 6.8 cents per Kw/Hr for 100% renewable. I suspect its because we have so much nuclear.

about 2 months ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

TomGreenhaw Distribution and Generation are split (488 comments)

For a while now in Illinois, we pay separately for distribution and supply. Using the grid as pseudo-storage where you supply by day and draw by night would lower or eliminate your generation costs but not the distribution cost.

Why would the power companies care as long as they have a viable business model?

about 2 months ago
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Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

TomGreenhaw Re:Who cares? (200 comments)

It also gives more countries the confidence boost needed to launch their own space programs. All this expands the opportunity to grow the base of experienced scientists and engineers for aerospace and other fields which has proven time and again to be a great investment.

about 2 months ago
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

TomGreenhaw Re:more evil things to do elsewhere? (142 comments)

140 square miles is a pretty big patio :-) Considering its pretty much unspoiled Hawaiian wilderness except for a couple of 4 Seasons hotels and its one of the prime spots on the planet.

If nothing else, the guy has good taste in real estate.

about 2 months ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

TomGreenhaw Re:Be careful what you wish for... (326 comments)

I like it :-) Simpler is almost always better.

about 2 months ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

TomGreenhaw Be careful what you wish for... (326 comments)

What if a system like red light cameras were devised? Snap a picture of a car that has a moving cell phone signal. If the photo clearly shows the driver engaging in distracted driving send them a court summons.

None of us condone running red lights, but do we like red light cameras? Have they made the roads safer?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

TomGreenhaw The Watch I Want (471 comments)

Here are some of my notes about small screen applications (glass/smartwatch) that I brainstormed a year and a half ago... Apple/Google/Samsung - please make this product.

Applications:
Time, Weather, Music, Games, Fitness, Universal Remote for Internet of things (car, thermostat, door locks, tv, game controller, camera, etc), Text Messaging, Payments/Digital Wallet, Flashlight, Voice Messaging/Notes, Voice Search, To Do List, Video Player, Hands Free Call, Facetime/Hangouts, Calculator, Calendar/Schedule, Translate, Alerts/Notifications integration, Dashboard/Tracker, Two factor Authentication, Data storage/exchange

Must Have features:
Microphone, BlueTooth, Accelerometer, Compass, Vibrate, iPhone compatibility, Android compatibility, iPhone notifications, Android notifications

Important features:
Camera, NFC, GPS, Touch Screen, Bright LED, I/R Led, Heart Rate,Water Resistance

Nice to have features:
Integrated Phone, Ambient temperature, Body Temperature, Blood Pressure, Video diplay driver/irda, Swappable Band, Swappable Case, Wireless Charging

Key functionality:
Shake gestures, Voice Recognition, Touch screen gestures, Swipe keyboard, Activity context, Use a desktop web app or tablet app to set up, Themes, Reflective display and Backlit Display

The Must Have Features are things that the device would need to support most of the applications' functionality.

The Important Features and Nice To Have features are things that I think would make the device a home run with broad acceptance

Key Functionality are things that many apps on the small screen device would share that would be an important part of the user experience.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

TomGreenhaw Re:Trust us with your payments (730 comments)

I believe there are a number of enhancements to NFC technology in this implementation that mitigates much of those old issues.

You have to use the fingerprint sensor to transmit a one time use token only valid for one specific transaction.

You aren't going to be able to walk by somebody and get their card info for a shopping spree with this protocol.

about 2 months ago

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