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Drones Could 3D-Map Scores of Hectares of Land In Just a Few Hours

flopsquad Re:LOL ... Scores of Hectares? (91 comments)

Two dozen furlongs per fortnight is roughly 0.009 mph (0.014 kph). That's not so much "travelling" as it is "not quite sitting still."

Only a pedant would call him out for that! It's pretty clear he intended to say "bakers dozens of furlongs per fortnight."


Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

flopsquad Re: Not a chance (627 comments)

Bingo, mod parent up. CurrentC is a DO NOT WANT for lots of reasons (especially access to medical data), but making it an ACH payment is a TERRIBLE IDEA.

You have the legal right to tell your bank not to pay out debit transactions that cost more money than you have (overdraft). If you decline overdraft "protection" (really, "can you please rape me with fees" protection), the transaction will fail and you will be charged neither at the POS nor a fee from the bank.

You sometimes have a similar option with your bank, to not pay out ACH transactions that cost more money than you have. BUT, if an ACH payment presents, and your bank declines (per your instructions), they will charge you a fee equal to the overdraft fee anyway. And the merchant/whoever that submitted the ACH payment could have you for a bounced check fee, too.

As to GGP's sentiments... class, raise your hand if you keep a handwritten checkbook ledger of all your paper, electronic ACH, and debit transactions. Now, keep your hand up if you also cross-reference each of your entries against when the bank actually pends and posts all your transactions. Ok, look around you. The rest of us use technology so we don't have to spend hours doing that. And we ought to be able to trust that technology to say if there's enough money in the account.

2 days ago

Here's Why Apple Rejected Your iOS App

flopsquad Re:Apple? (145 comments)

Who are they?

This post, in its few words, may be many things... but a troll? If you squint real hard, you could mayyyyybe get flamebait (fanbait? fanboit?). This seems more like a tongue in cheek way to say something like "I purposefully don't deal with/buy anything from Apple, so they don't exist to me."

2 days ago

FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

flopsquad Re:Sorry They're Changing (571 comments)

At first I knee-jerk disagreed, because of my personal feelings about their crazy "it's ok to break other peoples' stuff" mentality. But looking at it from a HW mfr perspective, you're absolutely right.

I know that my supplier is tough on counterfeits, check. They're already top in quality, check. And also, I will never incur support costs in dealing with angry end-users complaining about bricked chips. My competitors might, if they're cheapos, and that's a competitive advantage. The aggregate cost to cleanup their mess could even outweigh the few cents they saved going with a counterfeit.

5 days ago

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

flopsquad Re:7 Year Old, Not Seventh Grader (216 comments)

Mod parent funny! I thought I had a spare mod point stashed somewhere, but it's nowhere to be found.

about a week ago

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

flopsquad Re:Here's a ? for real lawyers... (697 comments)

The lawyery answer is always "it depends", and this kind of case would be very complex and nuanced, with lots of very expensive experts.

In terms of actual-duke-it-out-in-court liability, my gut says there's a pretty good chance they could be on the hook if something catastrophic happened.

In terms of whats-my-exposure liability, it's pretty unlikely that bricking/temp-fubaring a bunch of usb to serial devices would lead to something catastrophic in the first place. Maybe I'm off on this, depends on what these are most often used for ("Oh Jesus my insulin!!! I'm fading fast, someone get me a printer cable!")

But in terms of oh-god-it-actually-happened-what-do-I-do liability, I'd tell FTDI to settle in a heartbeat. "Grandma died because we decided to get cute with the guts of a device you own" is going to play very poorly for a jury. Could be winnable, but it's toxic.

Pushing this out to unsuspecting, innocent end users through WU and intentionally (by their own statements) jacking with the ID to make the device unusable... I mean the bottom line is the righteous engineer who greenlighted this definitely did not ask Legal first.

about a week ago

NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

flopsquad Re:1..2..3 before SJW (780 comments)

Well who can stand being around a total Maxxinista?

about a week ago

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

flopsquad Re:Patent infringement (123 comments)

You only quoted claims 1 and 8. It's only infrintement if ALL of the claims apply. If 2-7 don't apply, then it's not infrintement. Period.

That is patently false (zing!). You do not have to infringe every claim, a single claim is all you need. In order to "infringe a patent" (not actually a thing), what you're really saying is that every element and limitation of a single claim is being practiced by the infringing device/activity.

If Claim 1 has elements A, B, and C, and limitation L, the competitor's device must contain at least A+B+C-L to infringe. It doesn't matter at all that Claim 2 recites A, B, C, and D with limitations L and M.

about a week ago

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

flopsquad Re:Most hated character flaw (123 comments)

Are we a pommy?** I agree that our "ice cold" light beer stateside is far from the height of brewcraft. But there are very few liquids of any sort that I want to consume at room temperature. Even the best beers could stand to be wine-cellar temperature or a little cooler. Maybe you drink all your beer in a wine cellar, in which case carry on--"room temperature" is correct!

**No offense meant. It's just a funny term I heard from some Australian friends. You'd do just as well to call me a POGWBABOSS (Prisoner of George W Bush's and Barack Obama's Security State).

about a week ago

Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

flopsquad Some strange kind of slashvertising? (108 comments)

Right now I am irrationally exuberant over the HTC One M8, wetting myself with glee over the OnePlus One, and magical ponies are flying out of my ass because the PCMark app is so amazing and primetime-ready.

Am I reading too much into this? Being overly cynical?

about two weeks ago

Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

flopsquad Re:Eltern haften für Ihre Kinder (323 comments)

Not here in the USA, parent's are financially responsible for their children until they are 18. I know because I got emancipated when I was 17 because I had left home at 16 and my parents didn't want to be responsible for anything I did.

That is, as I posted above, not correct.** Your sentence permits multiple meanings, however.

Parents are financially responsible for providing food/care/shelter/etc to (unemancipated) minor children. That may have been important in your situation. Simply moving away from home wouldn't magic away your parents' responsibility to provide for your well-being--you'd have to be self-sufficient and (probably) emancipated.

On the other hand, parents are not, in general, vicariously liable for just any old tort, crime, debt, or other shenanigan wrought by their children. It can happen, usually when a parent knew or had reason to know but failed to act to prevent the child from causing harm. In your case, living independently away from home, it would be very hard for a plaintiff to argue your parents had actual or constructive knowledge of anything, really. You didn't need to be emancipated for your parents to be legally clear of your hijinx.**

But either your folks didn't know that, or they played card #2 with their eyes on card #1.

**The general rule at common law is that acts of minor children are not imputed to parents. Various states have enacted various measures to hold parents liable for certain acts, e.g. those of which they had/should have had knowledge, negligent entrustment with a dangerous instrument, a child's willful and malicious conduct that results in grave injury or death (even then the liability is usually capped). If you grew up in Hawaii, my apologies, you are correct that your parents were liable for pretty much anything you did.

about two weeks ago

Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

flopsquad Re:Yawn (323 comments)

That's entirely incorrect. In both the civil and criminal realms, there are only specific circumstances in which a parent is liable for a child's actions. States say it all different kinds of ways, with different age thresholds for a child's responsibility generally, but one formulation is "A parent is only liable for the tort or violent act of the child if that parent knew or had reason to know the child [had a history of doing X]/[presented a danger to because of condition X]/[was planning to do X]/[was actually in the act of doing X]."

As is the case here, the parent's initial defense was "We didn't have reason to know until it had already happened!" and the appeals court said "Yeah but you had actual knowledge of the ongoing defamatory act and a jury might find you had a duty to stop it."

But in general, no. In the US, if your always-peaceful child spazzes out and punches someone, or does some property damage, or shoots someone (with $notYourGun), you're not generally ("vicariously") liable (as an employer might be) in either civil or criminal law. Another example: you are not liable if they somehow manage to obtain a credit card in their own name and rack up debt, and neither are they (contract is voidable at the minor's will), which is why CC companies don't give credit cards to minors without mom or dad cosigning.

In the sense that sibling AC means, yes, you are "responsible" for raising your kids to not do shitty shit, and for disciplining them when they do. And most parents of conscience would take moral responsibility and pay for the broken window, apologize (and get junior to apologize) for the rude remarks he made to his teacher, or make sure the nasty FB page was taken down.

about two weeks ago

Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

flopsquad Re:Summary is _grossly_ wrong. (323 comments)

Indeed. The GA Court of Appeals did not say that (quoting TFS) "Parents can be held liable for what their kids post on Facebook." What they did say is that the parents' 11 months of inaction, after they were given notice of their son's defamatory FB profile, could constitute negligence. A reasonable jury could possibly find that not telling your kid to take such content down was negligent, and it's a question for the jury. Thus the subject matter of this case is on the internet, but it's not really about the internet. The parents could be liable under the same theory if they knew their son was handing out flyers with this defamatory content and did nothing for 11 months.

For those less acquainted with the trial process in the US, this appeal by the plaintiff parents (of the defamed girl) was from the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of the defendant parents (of the defaming boy). This is type of motion usually happens before any of the actual "trial-y" kinds of things like impaneling a jury and witness testimony, and it's based only on each side's contentions and the undisputed facts that both parties have agreed on. The defendant parents essentially argued, "Based on all the facts we stipulated to, and looking at the plaintiffs' assertions in a light most favorable to them, they still can't win. Even if what they're arguing is 100% right, no reasonable jury could find against us. Judge, can you just end this thing now?"

Specifically, here, it appears they argued something like "The defamation occurred when junior posted that stuff, and we had no actual knowledge, nor reason to believe junior would do such a thing, until after the school told us--long after the defamatory act!" And the trial court judge said, roughly, "Yup, I'm not even going to let a jury hear this, no jury could find you liable for what your kid did. Parents aren't vicariously liable for their kids' torts, etc etc."

The appellate court said, in response, "Um, yeah fine, you're not on the hook for the acts that occurred before you knew. But after you knew, you did nothing to stop it or even inquire into it, and the defamation was ongoing that whole time. This is not an automatic slam dunk for you, defendants; you need to present your evidence and arguments to a jury."

Note that at the actual trial, the parents may be able to present a decent argument for why they didn't do anything (which behavior was very curious to me). Maybe the parents are luddites and they asked their son if he ripped all the bad pages out of the Facebooks and flushed them down the interweb tubes, and he said, "yeah sure." I don't know, but those are the kinds of factual arguments they'll have to make to a jury to explain why they let this go on so long after they knew.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Partners With Docker

flopsquad Re:Translation (104 comments)

clouds will consume enterprise developers

That one got me. Laugh almost woke up the wife.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Partners With Docker

flopsquad Re:What? (104 comments)

I assume MS is providing Windows for showing off mannequins in khakis, and Dockers is providing stylish shoes in a promotion to get people to walk away from the Apple store.

about two weeks ago

Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

flopsquad Re:A government picking the winners and losers? (232 comments)

Meh. On a notional level, I agree: regulate to prevent monopolies and safety hazards (etc) but otherwise let the market decide, the more competition the better. But this little town council doesn't have the power to effect meaningful legislation or regulation of a behemoth like Comcast. They can't break up monopolies or rain down 3-letter agencies.

They do have a choice in not granting what they consider a malevolent hellcorp the license to service their town. That's not The Government picking winners and losers, that's a small municipality saying foff to a bad actor.

FWIW, that "picking winners and losers" line is pretty threadbare as an idiom. It should get its own heading under the Wikipedia entry for the logical fallacy "Appeal to Limbaugh."

about two weeks ago

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

flopsquad Re:wow (571 comments)

Based on the lead inventor he name drops in the video, "Tom McGuire," I found a few recent fusion-related patent applications (filed this year). I couldn't find any issued fusion patents for Lockheed or McGuire.


They are related to a raft of 2013 provisionals, which helps explain why Lockheed was talking publicly about this tech for the first time in the above 2013 YouTube video.

about two weeks ago

Netflix Video Speed On FiOS Doubles After Netflix-Verizon Deal

flopsquad Re:Need municipal network. (204 comments)

^This, a thousand times. Unfortunately, telecom lobbyists spin these kinds of projects---pretty much the most pro-competition thing you can do in the broadband space---as anti-competitive, socialistic destruction of private business.

"Oh noes, big bad Peoria is going to bully poor little NBComcastWarner into bankruptcy! We can't let those damn commies in Big Government provide vital services to their citizens!"

about two weeks ago

Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

flopsquad One could argue (279 comments)

One could argue that the United States is hobbled by an outdated constitution in responding to epidemics.

One could argue that, but one would be wrong. It's such a foolish, sensationalist, clickbaity thing to say that it obviates the need to even look at TFA.

The federal government, and specifically the executive, have constitutional authority to handle crises like an epidemic, coordinate a nationwide response, declare martial law, etc etc, whatever is necessary to address an existential threat. It's not even controversial. You'd get more pushback on renaming post offices

Yes, states have sovereign powers, and there are situations where that creates conflict. This is not one of those situations. If shit gets real (Outbreak style, though ebola isn't airborne), have not a shred of doubt that the CDC will take point and the US Army will roll in if need be. And the states will welcome them with open arms, because states do not have CDCs, or armies, or nationwide strategic stockpiles of medical supplies, or warzone-sized containment apparatus, or the world's best repurposed contact tracing agency, the NSA.

Next issue.

about two weeks ago


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