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Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

allypally Red flags (287 comments)

For safety, we should enact laws that require a robot with a red flag to walk in front of any driverless car.

There is precedence: http://www.greatachievements.o...

about 3 months ago

Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

allypally Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (579 comments)

Where I live we have a twirly thing that works well for blind and other disabilities:


Just needs scaling up so 5+ pedestrians waiting to cross can check one while the motorists have no clue (until they upgrade their Google LightChange App of course -- there is no end to this escalating lights war).

about 7 months ago

NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

allypally Ignorance is no excuse (245 comments)

A basic legal principle is that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

It may be a factor in applying penalties, but it does not affect the finding of fact re guilty or not guilty.

If the NSA has historically used perceived complexity of operation as a reason for turning a blind eye to their legal obligations, they may be guilty of massed conspiracy.

about 8 months ago

Swedish Police Use WhatsApp For Surveillance Ops, Share Intel With Civilians

allypally Re:Common problem. (37 comments)

> all passwords must be at least seven characters an include mixed case and punctuation

People can and will work around any barrier that stops them working, even if they are now working in an unsafe environment.

I worked somewhere once with those rules, plus the password had to be changed monthly, and no reuse of ones you'd used previously.

Pretty much everyone would have a compliant password today that was a slight variant on the unforgettable:


about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

allypally Mainframe exit (533 comments)

Returning from a routine (sub or main) on an IBM mainframe or PC (plug compatible) will have happened billions of times before the other PC was even invented. That head start may have been eclipsed by later, more widespread, architectures, but we'd need an intern at a tech job interview to estimate when that happened.

        LM 14,12, 12(13) restore content
        SLR 15,14 set completion code to zero (implies success)
        BR 14 return to caller/op sys

1 year,7 days

Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

allypally HP Improved keyboard (459 comments)

I have a HP/Compaq laptop where they "improved" the keyboard by adding a column of keys to the left of ctrl/shift/caps lock/tab/esc.

The added row of keys are useless things like "open print control panel" "start calculator". It took my muscle memory months not to be starting the printer whenever I wanted to press ctrl.

There were ways to disable all but one of the extraneous keys, but no way to map them to anything useful.

That one ergonomic horroshow has put HP/Compaq off my preferred supplier list forever.

1 year,8 days

Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

allypally Re:NoScript (731 comments)

You make lots of good points.

My computer is, among other things, a gateway to my valuable data. I'd be mad to consider running untrusted code on it.

Now, if the ads come as signed and certified and verified and have insurance for any damage they cause -- well, then I might take the risk.

But random code freshly downloaded? No way.

1 year,9 days

Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

allypally Public domain even worse (335 comments)

The big problem is that criminals are accessing the internet using public-domain inventions that are intrinsically anonymous. I mean, of course, by using keyboards.

Until we have a properly secure keyboard -- with govt approved letter order, built-in camera, and a mandatory license needed before you can use it -- the bad guys will continue to score easy wins against our freedoms.

1 year,11 days

The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden

allypally Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (354 comments)

Snowden has mainly revealed metadata -- what info collection programs exist, rather than actual data -- what was collected.

The NSA has emphasised what it does is benign as in mainly collects metadata.

Metadata -- no harm. no foul on either side.

1 year,24 days

Can a Japanese AI Get Into University?

allypally Artifical behavior (91 comments)

But could it spend a year boozing and partying when it gets there?

about a year and a half ago

New JavaScript-Based Timing Attack Steals All Browser Source Data

allypally Re:Yes, there is a simple fix (167 comments)

Slightly simpler fix: disable all unsigned Javascript.

Javascript should come with guarantees that it does not contain malicious code, an auditable path back to who wrote it, and industry-backed insurance against it damaging the machines it runs on.

That way, many more of us will be happier to let this (currently) malware vector run on our machines.

Of course that would require a little bit of infrastructure to enable. But the main beneficiaries -- the advertizers -- have known they have been edging toward the Jayacalypse for a long time. They should have had a "Secure JS" mode up and running years ago.

about a year and a half ago

KWin Maintainer: Fanboys and Trolls Are the Cancer Killing Free Software

allypally Re:Wow, just wow. (406 comments)

Any form of writing is a form of censorship.

If you write "Mary had a little lamb" you have forcibly suppressed an infinite number of other statements you could have written in order to write that one.

Worse, you have deliberately written "Mary had a little lamb" instead of cogently arguing a position I hold.

By failing to publish cogent remarks in favor of my position, you have censored me.

That's my completely reasonable assertion based on your definition of censorship.

If you argue otherwise, or if you ignore me, that is censorship.

about a year and a half ago

Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

allypally Primes closer together? (248 comments)

Also means that there must be at least one prime in every sequence of 70 million integers.

Means I can put an upper bound on my prime search script....If it searches 70,000,001 consecutive integers and claims to have found no primes, I'll know the bugged little script is lying.

That's a helpful debugging heuristic. Thank you, Pure Math.

about a year and a half ago

UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?

allypally Picky (626 comments)

A good rule of thumb is:

If you are going to be a meat eater, don't be a picky one.

Eat cow but not horse? Picky!

Eat crab but not spider? Picky!

Eat dog but not cat? Picky!

about a year and a half ago

The FAA Will Let Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Fly Again

allypally Plain truth (32 comments)

Oh, when will the world learn that battery state of the art is simply inadequate for mobile devices such as iPhones and Dreamliners?

Stick to tethered devices that draw mains power through cords - such as xboxes and trains - and all will run much more smoothly.

about 2 years ago

Speeding Ticket Robots — Laws As Algorithms

allypally Long time problem (400 comments)

This has long been a problem if you drive through different jurisdictions in one journey.

You get caught on five small towns' radars or speed cams between pee breaks. The tickets arrive in the post weeks later.

But the question of fairness is secondary to the finding of fact. To paraphrase an old criminal maxim: if you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime.

about 2 years ago

EFF Urges Court To Protect Privacy of Text Messages

allypally Re:Logic (93 comments)

Why not give it a try!?

A simple FOI request to your local police department should suffice to get some idea of whether the principle is sound or not.

about 2 years ago

Making Robots Mimic the Human Hand

allypally Terrifying (43 comments)

We now have a robot that can remove our tires.

What hath we wrought!?

What when this thing escapes the lab and goes feral on city streets?

We puny humans may be able to guard our cars against this menace. But what of the self-driving Googlecars? They will be helpless against its stealth attacks.

We invented the wheel, we should not just give that up to the robots or it'll be Judgement Day all over again.

about 2 years ago

NASA Trailer To Be Shown Before Star Trek: Into Darkness

allypally Lost opportunity (158 comments)

Just think how much more awesomer this would have been if made by the IRS. Cheaper too - they already have a Star Trek set and costumes.

about 2 years ago

Study Finds Universe Is 100 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

allypally Re:The difference between science and religion (245 comments)

The Bible has been under continual re-interpretation.

Take any Bibical statement:
* don't eat shellfish
* keep slaves
* don't be gay

We can show fuzzy date ranges for which the statement was uncontroversally true through to it being considered symbolic only.

From that, we can scientifically predict the half-life of a Biblical truth. Thus, today:

* we do longer need to kill witches
* we don't really need to keep the sabbath holy
* gays are pretty much normal people to god now
* being wealthy no bar to heaven

And tomorrow? Just apply the Biblical truth half-life test to predict!

about 2 years ago


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