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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

eth1 Re:Salesmen (161 comments)

For me, having two phones makes sense only for two things:
- Keeping all the expense-related things clearly separated in regards with private/business usage.
- Having the ability to turn off business phone while off the clock and actually have some time off.

I find it's worth carrying two phones solely to avoid having to deal with Byzantine expense reporting systems once a month. :P

about two weeks ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

eth1 Re:What? (393 comments)

This is just ULA being afraid they will lose their iron rice bowl.

Yes... The congressmen should be held accountable to taxpayers for allowing themselves to be bought by the existing bloated contractors.

about three weeks ago
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NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

eth1 Re:Why would anyone go willingly to the stadium? (216 comments)

Human beings are social creatures, and enjoy experiencing interesting and entertaining events while in the company of others. For a sports event, sharing the thrill of possible victory or defeat with thousands of other fans around you is also about sharing in a certain camaraderie. Unless you're a fan yourself and already enjoy the game, or if you really hate crowds in general, it's probably hard to understand the appeal.

Which is why I know where the good sports bars are. They're easier to get to, free parking, the food is better, the beer is better, and on game days, they're usually packed with other fans. You have multiple large screens with the better TV viewpoint, too, and they have cable, in case the game isn't on broadcast TV (which is all I have at home).

about three weeks ago
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Judge Rejects $324.5 Million Settlement For Tech Workers, Argues For More

eth1 Re:WTF? Jailtime! Boycott violates Anti-Trust (268 comments)

Settlement? What settlement? This is a prima facie Clayton Act Anti-Trust violation. Multiple felonies, with jailtime due. Amazingly, this appearently exists on paper, so everyone who negotiated or signed it should go to jail.

The Clayton Act makes organizing supplier boycotts a prohibited activity. And that's just what they have done -- organized a boycott not to hire an employee, times the collective number.

That this has not gone to a Federal Grand Jury appears more like corruption than anything else.

By that argument, everyone in a union belongs in jail, too.

about three weeks ago
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The Problems With Drug Testing

eth1 Re:Er, that's a bit confusing (166 comments)

From Big Pharma's perspective, with the involuntary testing of prison inmates off the table in most Western countries, the homeless population presents a viable alternative who are statistically unlikely to pursue litigation.

From a humanitarian perspective, the quandary is "Do we want to allow the weakest among us to make decisions they are unqualified to properly weigh?"

I will leave the ethics to others, but ultimately, as future consumers of these tested pharmaceuticals, do we want to rely on results that are likely skewed because the test subjects were also taking heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine?

It's not the companies sponsoring the test that somehow try to pick this demographic. It's the people themselves. Most of the tests pay the panelists, but it's not all that much. For someone with a stable job, the small amount usually isn't worth the hassle (have to be at the test location during business hours several times a week sometimes, keeping logs, or whatever). Not to mention not worth the possible health risks. For homeless/unemployed/etc., that's their electric bill for this month. It's enough money to them that they routinely lie about health conditions, drug use, etc. on the consent forms.

Only way to fix it is to offer substantially more money to panelists.

(Source: girlfriend who works as a clinical test manager)

about a month ago
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Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

eth1 1 or 1 million (274 comments)

It sounds like they're only doing this when the network is congested in a specific location. Like they're basically prioritizing slowing down the heavy users when things get busy, rather than everyone. I have a much harder time getting worked up about that, especially when they're waiting until people are out of contract and can easily switch carriers.

about a month ago
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Intel Launches Self-Encrypting SSD

eth1 Re:Intel has worked with the NSA (91 comments)

Not to mention that even if you have "nothing to hide," what about when you piss the wrong person off, and suddenly there's child porn on your encrypted drive that obviously only you could ever have had access to.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

eth1 Re:Legal Precedent? (495 comments)

It sounds like every single individual like you needs to start filing small-claims cases against MS. Let them deal with several thousand of those, where the money imbalance won't matter so much.

about 2 months ago
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Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

eth1 Re:Time to Legislate Data Mining (162 comments)

I agree that what you describe makes "consent" useless, but you don't necessarily need to outlaw it.

Just require that:
- any commercial entity that stores information on individuals (with NO exceptions whatsoever) has to provide said individuals a full dump of the data once per some time period upon request, with no conditions or cost attached, along with a list of everyone they've given it to.
- the entity must correct any incorrect information, and can't distribute any information regarding an individual until the errors are corrected.

Not perfect, but it would be a start.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

eth1 Re:Skip technology (208 comments)

Fed-ex the unlabeled passwords

USPS the un-passworded accounts list

Actually, if you're mailing passwords, send the FUTURE passwords. Then once you've verified that the copies have reached the recipients unmolested, change the passwords to what you sent.

about 2 months ago
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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

eth1 Re:Speculation... (455 comments)

Dealers serve a purpose. They need a reasonable profit.

If they serve a purpose, they deserve a reasonable profit. For the life of me, I cannot see what that purpose is. Perhaps you can enlighten us.

Overcharging for maintenance, and conveniently collecting large numbers of scummy sales droids into one location where they can normally be avoided.

about 2 months ago
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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery

eth1 Re:Read the Article! (363 comments)

I think the best use might just be to eliminate range anxiety. Take your Tesla example - replace 100kg worth of Li-ion battery with 100kg of this new one. Now you have 4/5 the easily rechargeable range (which is still more than most people need on a daily basis), but, as long as the Al battery is stable long term, if you run down the Li-ion, or need to take a long trip, you can keep going. All without increasing the overall weight.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

eth1 Re:It true !!!! (711 comments)

Your anecdote doesn't really mean much. Apple has much better retention than other companies, ...

Apple calls it "retention," the rest of us call it "vendor lock-in."

about 3 months ago
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The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

eth1 Re:When you gag the enginers ... (373 comments)

Yeah... note to self: All the good engineers are going to leave, so all of GM's future cars are probably going to be well-described by all the forbidden words.

about 3 months ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

eth1 Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (227 comments)

A Tesla S has an 85kWh battery. To charge that in 30 seconds requires 10,200,000 watts of power - approximately the full electrical service to a decent size skyscraper. That's 42,500 amps at 240V, the full maximum power available to over 212 modern homes and a totally impractical amount of current to handle with any reasonable electrical equipment. So while fast-charging batteries are great and a necessary step forward in technology, the universal adoption of electric cars will require not just upgrading our infrastructure, but a complete rethinking and redevelopment of the electrical grid using not-yet-imagined technologies.

It could also be a grid engineer's best friend. You just have to change the way you think about it - the cars would be a *massive* local storage resource. The VAST majority of people are just going to be plugging their cars in overnight at home, and starting with a full "tank" every morning. I could imagine a system where, once electric cars are ubiquitous, most parking lots and cars would be designed so that when you park, your car just automatically gets hooked into the local grid. You set some parameters on the car for min/max charge levels and buy/sell price limits, and suddenly you don't have to worry so much about demand spikes. Demand goes up, the price/kWh goes up, and once it starts passing the "sell" threshold of the local automobile population, they start discharging into the grid. You just tell the car "keep at least X% charge so I can get home." If I show up nearly empty, and there's 1000 other cars in the lot mostly full, they could charge mine without ever making demands on the grid.

about 5 months ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

eth1 Re:Green wave (364 comments)

I'm fairly sure in parts of the UK they implemented staggered green lights along busy stretches of road. If you accelerated modestly to the speed limit, or just below, the lights were timed to turn green as you got to them.
Those with lead feet would be accelerating hard, then waiting at the lights as you cruised by.

Actually, no. The problem is, they race by, stop, and then are in your way as you cruise up to the green light, causing you to have to slow down/stop anyway.

about 5 months ago
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MIT Researchers Create Platform To Build Secure Web Apps That Never Leak Data

eth1 Re:How can you search data (90 comments)

Well, if you're encrypting, it means the keeper of the data isn't supposed to know what it is, which means they can't do any data mining, selling, etc. of it anyway, which would be where the ability to do queries on the data would be useful. If you're encrypting everything, then all you need is to be able to find the records, and you could use hashed account names or something to index those.

So yes, it would be difficult to search/sort on the encrypted data, but then that's sort of the whole point...

about 5 months ago
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Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible

eth1 Re:Flying pigs (374 comments)

I've always liked the idea of space elevators, but I've also been bothered by a problem that I've never seen addressed, "micrometeoroid erosion". Sure, you can build one. But how long is it going to last, with nothing to protect the main cable/strands/shaft/whatever-you-want-to-call-it from a near-endless --though admittedly low-rate-- series of impacts by speedy dust particles?

I imagine they'd do something similar to how some of the new suspension bridge cables are designed. The main cables are actually cable bundles, and they're made so that individual strands can be replaced if necessary.

about 6 months ago
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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

eth1 Re:HP used to be greatl (385 comments)

HP has been notorious for doing things like you describe... just proves the GP's point, I think. :)

about 7 months ago

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