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Comments

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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

hawguy Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

That's one more headache for small businesses. Oh great, I forgot to check supplies because I was on Yelp. Now we're out of Dijon mustard. Next thing you know, there's a 1-star review from somebody who loves Dijon mustard. If there isn't any existing law, conspiracy to place unwarranted negative reviews should also be illegal. Competitors and their employees should be barred, or at the very least required to disclose their positions. That would be similar to the financial talking heads on TV who have to say if they own the stocks they discuss.

If the business ran out of Dijon mustard, they deserve the one star review from the Dijon lover -- that way other Dijon lovers can steer clear. Why shouldn't a restaurant get bad reviews for not stocking an expected condiment? If the restaurant doesn't have time to stock basic supplies, what else is falling through the cracks?

5 days ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

hawguy Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

But getting rid of those bikers, which honestly do not belong on the road, could only of helped.

They didn't get the cyclists off the roads (what do you think they did? Build elevated cycling pathways above the road?), they accommodated cyclists on the shared streets.

The cyclists are still there, the cars are still there, but everyone has a little more room, is safer, and traffic moves more smoothly, sounds like a win all around.

about a week ago
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How Astrophysicists Hope To Turn the Entire Moon Into a Cosmic Ray Detector

hawguy Re:By that logic (74 comments)

Your mom is a visible light detector every time anyone looks at her.

Put differently, the moon is not being turned into a detector of anything, but "astronomers are building a telescope" is not a very catchy headline.

But it's not like they are just bouncing the high energy particles off the moon and then detecting them, they are letting the particles hit the moon, then are picking up the secondary effects.

If you want a "your mom" analogy, I think a better analogy would be if they hoisted your mom by crane and dangled her in front of a microwave antenna to make her a "microwave detector" - scientists on the ground will measure her temperature with an IR camera, he she heats up, then there's microwave radiation.

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

hawguy Re:Anthropometrics (811 comments)

Lol they'll post the spacing in metric and people in the US will be totally lost. 145mm of room, wow thats a lot!!!

I know you're just trying to make a stupid american joke but as long as all airlines use the same units, the actual units don't matter when making comparisons. Whether it's mm, milli-yards or SBW(standard butt width), consumers can easily pick the larger number if that's important to them.

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

hawguy Re:Cheapest Ticket (811 comments)

The only way this would work is to place height restrictions on the different classes of seat. I'm an academic and when travelling for work I have to purchase the cheapest ticket. Without a height restriction I would then be forced to purchase a ticket for a seat I physically could not sit down it (I already have to pull out the magazines on US carriers to allow blood flow to my feet).

This can then open the debate about whether it is reasonable for an airline to charge someone extra just for being tall - something they had no control over and which is gender-biased. After all they don't charge more to provide special meals for those with dietary preferences or religious beliefs and, with the exception of medical conditions, that is a voluntary choice. Nor, I hope, do they charge disabled passengers extra for transporting wheelchairs etc.

It's not just height, it's really just the length of the legs as opposed to the torso, or more specifically, the length of the thighbone. Weight is also a factor. Would the airlines have measuring centers where consumers would need to be measured before they can buy a ticket?

If airlines started putting size restrictions on seats, would that mean that smaller people would be forced into buying seats with a less room to save the larger seats for bigger people? Or would the restriction only prevent larger people from buying a smaller seat? When the large seats are sold out, would you be ok with not taking that flight? Sounds like you already manage to fly in ill-fitting seats today, are you willing to give up the ability to fly on some flights in order to get a seat that fits you better?

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

hawguy Re:Anthropometrics (811 comments)

Airlines are running into physical space issues. In their quest for ever more seats

It's not the airlines quest for more seats, it's the passengers' quest for even cheaper fares.

If airline A has 34 inches of pitch with a $550 ticket and airline B has 30 inches for $500, the passengers will flock to the $500 ticket.

Passengers need to start making it clear with their wallet that they are no longer going to fly lower-priced sardine airlines.

If airlines were required to advertise seat pitch and width, then consumers could make that choice, but when even consumers that care about it have trouble finding out exactly which aircraft serves a route for their date of travel and what the seat configuration is, it's hard to blame consumers for not taking it into account.

about a week ago
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Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements

hawguy Re:Agree 100% (253 comments)

I was more surprised with the free overnight delivery and warranty covering accidents.

It wasn't replaced under warranty, it was replaced under a carrier provided insurance plan -- a plan that usually costs around $100/year, yet still has a high deductible. I once bought the insurance, but when I lost my phone about a year into the contract, i found that I could get a used one on eBay for less than the deductible. If you lose or break a new model phone within the few months of release, it may be worth it, but after that, you're generally better off just buying a new phone if you lose yours.

about two weeks ago
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Robot Printer Brings Documents To Your Desk

hawguy Printers are cheap (64 comments)

Is this really more cost effective than putting printers at each seat?

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Publishers Lash Out At Amazon's Policies

hawguy Re:Simple. Easy. (113 comments)

Ugh. So incredibly inefficient. I will consume and process orders of magnitude more information in my lifetime than you will by not clinging to outdated methods of information exchange. Its great that you enjoy it, but keep in mind all of those things that you like will make your books cost significantly more and you will get less information overall due to the physical overhead.

Orders of magnitude more information? How is that possible? Few people have their reading rate limited by the time it takes to buy a book even if they buy it at a store, especially since prodigious readers tend to purchase more than one book per visit. But you somehow read at least 100 times more material than someone that buys books at a store?

I have a feeling that those that prefer to shop in a book store don't measure their reading effectiveness in "words consumed per unit time", but in enjoyment of the book, including the selection process.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Begins Storing Chinese User Data On Servers In China

hawguy Re:What's the problem... (92 comments)

If this was really about latency, Apple could have kept the servers in Japan or South Korea.

Or, you know, in China near a well connected telecommunications hub instead of offshore where the data is routed through a small number of undersea fibers.

about a month ago
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Apple Begins Storing Chinese User Data On Servers In China

hawguy Re:What's the problem... (92 comments)

Apple's statement that its move is to "improve speed and reliability" is clearly bullshit, in light of the recent Chinese government demand that such data be stored in-country. So much is clear and obvious.

However, Apple should be given huge kudos if their claim that they store it encrypted, and that the encryption keys are offshore, is correct. If so, it's a brilliant move. Eat that, China!

how would that even work? When a user in china wants to access his data, that data is transmitted offshore to be decrypted and then the decrypted data is shipped back into China and served to the user? What would be the point of such a system?

about a month ago
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Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

hawguy Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (191 comments)

Work colleague got a new Ford Ranger, the arrow points to the wrong side :-P

That's not the wrong side, it's just that on his Ranger, the arrow points to which side of the pump you're supposed to be on.

about a month ago
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Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

hawguy Re:Great (175 comments)

I'm curious how this could decrease revenue though, because automated scanning is is where the adds come from, and your key would only be as long as effective as a pass-phrase (I assume cloud stored password protected key, with local javascript to unlock the key, and something stored on the local computer to cache the key so the pass-phrase doesn't need to be used constant).

The problem with a cloud stored key that's unlocked by JavaScript with a passphrase is that when the government wants your passphrase they'll either tell Yahoo to silently replace your JavaScript module with one that does keylogging of your passphrase, or they'll take over Yahoo's SSL certificate and inject keylogging JavaScript of their own.

about a month ago
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Sprint/T-Mobile Plan To Buy Spectrum Together May Be Blocked By FCC

hawguy Re:Common sense (28 comments)

A good common sense opinion from Mr. Wheeler and the FCC.

I am not so sure. If the two companies co-own the spectrum, they can each use it where it is most effective. This makes it worth more to them, so they may bid more, thus paying more money to the government, and means that the spectrum should be more effectively utilized, bringing benefits to the consumer. It doesn't seem obvious to me that banning combined bidding is "common sense".

Paying more money to the government is the opposite of "benefits to the consumer" -- the billions of dollars that companies pay for spectrum aren't paid out of "free money", it's paid by consumers.

But it's clear that under the current system, if Sprint and T-Mobile aren't allowed to pool their funds for bidding, they'll be out-bid by the 2 huge duopoly providers, it's unlikely that some fresh new upstart is going to be able to come up with the funds to compete in the spectrum bidding and still have money leftover to build out the network to use it.

about a month and a half ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

hawguy Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

OK, thought of a good counter analogy:

- You've hidden bombs on public transit all over the country, and the list of where you hid them is stored on a server in the UK; should the government be able to get a warrant for that information?

Of course they should... Through a UK court, not a USA court.

about a month and a half ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

hawguy Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

That is a completely irrelevant example. Were not talking about subpoenaing a foreign company or entity. We are talking about forcing companies operating in the US to turn over information that is in their possession (under there control).

The basic concept here is that data does not exist in the physical world. Where the electrons are is irrelevant if the entity that controls it exists in the US.

       

What if the data was in my locked briefcase in Microsoft's London office.... Do you think they should just hand it over to USA prosecutors without going through the UK's legal process?

about a month and a half ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

hawguy Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

Going to take a position I know will be unpopular in this thread, but:

The leverage they have is that you're accused of committing a crime within the borders of the US, and evidence you have access to can be demanded under a warrant that covers details related to that crime. Their physical inability to seize it by force(because it's in another jurisdiction) is about as relevant as their inability to unlock your bank safe. Either way they can punish you for not turning over evidence that is covered by the warrant.

Is there any circumstance where you think USA prosecutors should not be allowed to force foreign entities to hand over evidence without going through that country's legal system?

Like if I'm arrested for smoking pot in the USA and USA prosecutors want to search my bedroom back home in Amsterdam to collect proof of my drug habit, you think its ok for USA police to force my parents to let them search my bedroom back home (or enter their home by force)? Even if my "crime" is only a crime in the USA?

about a month and a half ago
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A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router

hawguy Re:A ton of BS (54 comments)

On board are 20 GPIOs, USB host, 16MB Flash, 64MB RAM, two Ethernet ports, on-board 802.11n and a USB host port.

I think they are referring more to the GPIOs than ethernet or USB ports when saying "with a ton of I/O to connect to anything".

I'm curious what people would want to use these GPIOs for on a router... does anyone have any real-world projects where they use them? Not just "It would be cool if it it did X", but actual real-world projects.

I'd rather have more ethernet ports on a router so I don't have to VLAN my network.

about a month and a half ago
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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

hawguy Re:What's it going to take? (120 comments)

Well, it isn't a myth so much as an untested hypothesis. If you posted on your facebook page "Aunt Nelly is on her way to Tacoma, she's running late and not arriving until the 4th instead of the 1st" and you don't have an Aunt Nelly who has some reason to be in Tacoma that would be suspicious.

Ah, but what kind of actionable intelligence do you gain from the millions of "suspicious" posts that would be detected every day? "Ok boys, be on the lookout for something or something called Nelly on it's way to Tacoma on the 4th or 1st... oh, and here are a list of a million other things to watch out for today". This is why collecting and analyzing "everything" on everybody is the wrong thing to do -- separating out the relevant data is nearly impossible when the data collection is not targeted. Even if you can build out perfect relationship graphs that map to real-world relationships for every Facebook user to let you know when he posts something out of the ordinary, thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of new users join and accounts go dormant every day, and there have been so many password hacks that it would be trivial to take over someone's valid, but little used account. And that's only for Facebook - instead of making a facebook post, the terrorist might post a picture of a clock at Times Square on Instagram (or one of millions of other blogs and other sites) to tip off his co-conspirators.

about a month and a half ago
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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

hawguy Re:What's it going to take? (120 comments)

If there is evidence that somebody has smuggled a nuclear bomb into NYC, then by all means tap whatever you have to tap until the bomb is recovered.

You're perpetuating the myth that the NSA and others want us to believe -- that if only they could collect enough data from all of us, they could stop the bad guys. The problem is that the bad guys already know that someone may be listening, so when they smuggle in their nuclear bomb, they aren't going to call their contact and say "The nuclear bomb is in position, it's in Times Square and will detonate at 4am instead of 1am". Instead, they are going to post a message on Facebook that says "Aunt Nelly is on her way to Tacoma, she's running late and not arriving until the 4th instead of the 1st ".

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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Network Solutions hit with DDOS attack

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about a year ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by TechZone 360 as well as a number of blogs and tweets, Network solutions experienced a DDOS attack today, knocking out DNS resolution for thousands of hosts.

Things are improving on the DNS side, but their website is still having problems. They've apparently posted a message about the outage on their website, but I've been unable to load the page.

They posted a brief message on their Facebook page:

Network Solutions is experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that is impacting our customers as well as the Network Solutions site. Our technology team is working to mitigate the situation. Please check back for updates.

"
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Facebook takes on Google with graph search

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by CNET:

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a press event today at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, billing it as a new way find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.

Graph Search is the social network's response to its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests.

Does anyone have any opinions on FB's latest product?"

Link to Original Source
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Who is WirelessForAmerica?

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "I came across a video for WirelessForAmerica today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyyDIk8W6Kw

It warns of an impending wireless spectrum shortage (only 24 months until the disaster hits!), and how they have just the answer, but of course it's being derailed by special interests.

It came off a pure political video — warning of an impending disaster if nothing is done, their solution uses American Ingenuity, will create jobs, etc.

So what's the real story behind WirelessForAmerica? Are we running out of mobile bandwidth? Is their solution really the best alternative? From what I've gleaned from their WirelessForAmerica.org website, they want to use frequencies that are so close to existing GPS frequencies that nearly all existing GPS receivers would need to be replaced and future receivers would need to be designed to better reject neighboring frequencies."

Link to Original Source
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Power grid change may disrupt clocks

hawguy hawguy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast."
Link to Original Source

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