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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

gnasher719 Re:ToS violation? (179 comments)

As long as I'm getting a ride and paying for it, I'm imagine I'm also free to try to proselytise.

But you are not paying for a ride, right? You are just giving a donation to the nice guy who gives you a lift when they went into the same direction, right? If I'm the nice guy giving you a lift, and you behave like an ass, you wouldn't mind getting thrown out of my car, right? I mean it's not a regulated taxi, it's private people. Or so they say.

yesterday
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

gnasher719 Re:Move a broken down vehicle? (478 comments)

If a driverless car has no manual means of steering, and if it broke down and you had to push it, how could you control it?

If a car with automatic gear box breaks down, how do you push it?

yesterday
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

gnasher719 Re:Not surprising (478 comments)

What happens when the car runs out of gas/charge and you need to push it to the side of the road out of traffic.

What about the car driving to the side of the road out of traffic with the last bit of kinetic energy available? People might be stupid enough to drive until the tank is absolutely empty and be stuck, a driverless car wouldn't. And then there are driverless Diesel cars which most definitely won't run until the tank is empty, because that kind of thing is _expensive_.

yesterday
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

gnasher719 Re:Bad UX, possibly good security (192 comments)

While it's easy for me to see this as a bad design, it's also not much of a stretch to believe that this was a conscious choice. After all, if it were trivially easy to pair a wireless device with the prosthetic, it would be trivially easy to take control of the guy's hand (think "Stop hitting yourself!").

All you need to do is to not pair the arm with the specific iPhone, but to pair it with the AppleID of the user of the iPhone. Which is from a software development point of view ten times easier and absolutely safe. It is much easier to steal an iPhone than an AppleID.

yesterday
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

gnasher719 Re:Another possibility - legal reasons (192 comments)

It was intentionally coupled to a specific device for legal/liability reasons related to medical devices.

Pairing to a specific device is stupid. For example, Apple gives you a one year warranty, but they don't guarantee that you ever get your device back, repaired. So if through Apple's fault your phone breaks one week after you spent $70K, then Apple will happily provide you with a brand new, _different_ phone. And that's common sense and what everyone else does, and nobody complains about it - because pairing with a specific device is stupid.

Out of phone warranty, an iPhone doesn't last forever. Quite possibly not as long as a $70K prosthesis. And people want to buy new phones, sometimes they drop their phones in the toilet, and so on.

The correct thing to do is to pair the arm with the user's AppleID. It's simple, a standard method, and it avoids all these problems very easily. Worst case you buy a new phone and download a backup.

yesterday
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

gnasher719 Strange software design (192 comments)

Apple doesn't allow access to UDIDs (universal device identifiers) anymore, so unless the software is quite old, or requires a jailbroken device, the prosthesis cannot be paired to the device. (That's one of the reason why you can't access the UDID anymore, because pairing information with a device is stupid; the bigger reason is privacy).

The prosthesis can easily be paired to an AppleID plus an application specific ID. However, all information about this would be stored on the device, backed up to iTunes, and could be restored by just buying a new phone, entering the AppleID and password, and downloading the last backup.

If that doesn't work, then these guys must have some really strange and stupid software design + implementation.

yesterday
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Early Bitcoin User Interviewed By Federal Officers

gnasher719 Like buying from a car thief (92 comments)

If the police catches a car thief, they will likely visit anyone buying a car from him. They can't know that you bought his car that he purchased before he started his thieving career, or the car which he purchased himself with money he made from thieving (which would then be legally yours, unlike a stolen car that you bought off the thief), until they ask you.

That's the purpose of interviewing that man - to figure out if he had anything to do with illegal activities or not. Apparently he didn't. So what's the problem?

2 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

gnasher719 Re:Misleading headline (131 comments)

They said they've been receiving reports about a bomb on the plane, not that they put one there. They didn't make a bomb threat; they relayed one.

They better have proof that they received a bomb threat then.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

gnasher719 Re:Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (131 comments)

An even bigger issue than buying replacement batteries is replacing batteries in cell phones that are said to have batteries that aren't replaceable.

So which phones would that be where the batteries cannot be replaced? And we are talking about "cannot be replaced", not "cannot be replaced by the user", or "cannot be replaced by a guy on a market stall".

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

gnasher719 Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (131 comments)

After reading the first 20 posts, and owning an Anker 40 Watt 5xUSB charger which works just fine, I conclude the the fakers will now start faking Anker batteries :-(

4 days ago
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Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

gnasher719 Re:Where? (232 comments)

Read Three Felonies a Day (http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx), then apply this type of technology.

That has been totally debunked. The author claims that the average person commits three felonies on an average day. The examples that he gives are things that very few people do once in their life. So iff you are in the USA, you are not going to commit three felonies today. There is a small chance that you commit _one_ at some point in your life, but that chance is small.

about two weeks ago
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Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

gnasher719 Screenshot looks doctored (160 comments)

The screenshot posted in the article shows a question "Where can I hide my roommate". Unlike the joke question "where can I hide a body", there isn't really any indication that there is a dead person involved. More a case of the landlord entering and not knowing that you sublet your apartment and need to hide your roommate. So it is highly unlikely that Siri would give (joke) advice where to hide a dead body.

Second, Siri doesn't give advice on hiding dead bodies anymore.

Third, Siri never gave advice including swamps.

Fourth, while it is conceivable that Apple would have traces of a Siri search somewhere on their servers (but very unlikely, because it doesn't serve any purpose for Apple, is a privacy violation, and can only cause cost by having to serve subpoenas), and slightly more likely that there would be traces of a search on your iPhone, why would there be a screenshot stored on your iPhone that the police can find?

And fifth, it seems the accused had no iPhone that was capable of using Siri :-) so the whole story is made up.

about two weeks ago
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Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

gnasher719 Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (183 comments)

For what obscure reason should an SSD not come back after a power cut? Care to explain?

When you tell your drive to write a block of data, SSD drives can't just write that block. They can only erase complete 128KB or 256KB pages and write into empty pages. So writing a single block always means a certain amount of bookkeeping information, and complex data structures stored somewhere. If that information isn't flushed properly, it's actually quite likely that a drive could fail after being powered down.

The problem is that making sure that the drive information is always valid after power goes down slows the drive down (unless you have enterprise drives with some huge capacitor that makes sure they can write missing data even when your computer stops supplying power to the drive). And if you care more about benchmarks than about keeping data stored safely, you get drives that don't work after being powered down.

about two weeks ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

gnasher719 Re:RoundRects for everyone! (220 comments)

Note that the Quickdraw "RoundRect" function wouldn't be able to draw the shape of a current Samsung Galaxy phones. The corners are rounded, but they are not circular and RoundRect does only circular corners. You need Quartz and Bezier splines to handle them.

And as you see by the Galaxy phones, Samsung was absolutely allowed to create phones with a shape that is a rectangle with rounded corners. Samsung even has a design patent for rectangles with rounded corners!

about two weeks ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

gnasher719 Re:"Sophisticated" look (220 comments)

It's a mobile. It's basically a rectangular screeen. There's not really much space for design innovation.

In Raymond Loewy's biography, he mentioned being hired by a company whose design was ripped off (in their opinion), and the copycat claimed exactly what you said. So a week later he appeared in court as a witness, with three totally different designs that looked nothing at all like the design that was claimed to be impossible to change.

about two weeks ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

gnasher719 Re:New Design Approach (220 comments)

you think apple is the only smartphone out there with a metal frame and rounded corners?? how cute

Fact is, Samsung did build a phone that looked very, very similar to the iPhone 3GS. Fact is also that after that, they built phones that didn't look at all like iPhones (neither old nor new ones), except I have no idea whether anything they build looks like an iPhone 5c, which itself doesn't look like an iPhone to me :-)

What I saw in the link looks exactly like an iPhone 5s to me, so I'd think there is trouble ahead.

about two weeks ago
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Errata Prompts Intel To Disable TSX In Haswell, Early Broadwell CPUs

gnasher719 Re:Not all that surprising... (131 comments)

I thought TSX would work best with zero contention? You execute code that supposedly does a transactional operation, but because of a prefix code it doesn't actually do anything transactional - unless things go wrong, it rolls back what it has done, and does the same code properly transactional.

So when there is no contention (which is most of the time), that's when TSX is most efficient. An example would be the gcc library std::string code. std::string doesn't need to be thread safe, but gcc's implementation needs to be. However, it will almost never happen that two threads access the same string data. So TSX should be perfect there.

about two weeks ago
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NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out of Order

gnasher719 Re:Sounds smart, but is it? (125 comments)

Loop unrolling is hardly a nightmare, it's one of the simplest optimizations and can easily be automatised.

Good luck. We are not talking about loop unrolling. We are talking about interleaving instructions from successive iterations. That was what Itanium expected compilers to do, and we all know how that ended.

about two weeks ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

gnasher719 Re:Never let the truth (391 comments)

A person with a High IQ and they know about it use it as a crutch to make them feel superior to others, while actually inconveniencing themselves by disregarding advice from people with experience and skills they they have not gotten.

I'd say quite the opposite. I value everyone's experiences and skills and learn from them. But it has happened many times that I was in a group of people who encountered a problem that didn't lie within anyone's experiences and skill set, and I was the one who figured out a solution. That's what intelligence is there for.

about two weeks ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

gnasher719 Re:He claims this himself (391 comments)

Still not exclusive of each other.I.Q. of 197, I merely want to know which test or groups of tests and who did the testing.

Since this was supposedly at some young age: For children, the IQ is calculated as (mental age) / (real age) * 100. A three year old with the mental capacity of a six year old would have an IQ of 200, which is extraordinary, but still not very clever, since it's the same absolute intelligence as a 12 year old with an IQ of 50.

about two weeks ago

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