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Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

jonwil Re:Police legal authority (162 comments)

The issue here isn't that AT&T or Verizon are handing over data.
The police are basically using devices produced (without the cooperation of carriers in many cases) that essentially "man in the middle" cellular telephony signals to capture the information they want.

4 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

jonwil Re:Its a step forward, but not a permanent solutio (142 comments)

There are plenty of ways to make cars better without going all-electric-all-the-time. Firstly they need to close all the loopholes in the fuel economy regulations that give free passes to big gas guzzling SUVs and crossovers (like the one that doesn't count them for fuel economy purposes if they happen to be capable of running on E85 even though most of them will never see a drop of E85 in their lifetime or the loophole that made the ugly-as-sin PT Cruiser count as a truck when it clearly wasn't or the regulation that allows big pickups and SUVs to gain weight to avoid fuel economy regulations and guzzle even more gas)

5 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

jonwil Won't happen if the utillities get their way (516 comments)

Many utilities in the US are fighting rooftop solar through various means. The south-eastern states in particular are the worst for this.

Utilities are getting laws passed banning the "solar lease scheme" so popular in other parts of the US. And getting laws passed banning off-grid solar installs. And not providing net metering (either "you get paid for your excess electricity" or the "electricity you feed into the grid offsets what you use when the sun isn't shining but you wont get any money if you produce more than you use" model). And doing everything they can to push electricity generated from dirty black coal or nuclear reactors built to outdated 50s era designs instead of clean green energy.

about a week ago
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Launching 2015: a New Certificate Authority To Encrypt the Entire Web

jonwil How will they get other browsers to support this? (210 comments)

Being backed by Mozilla, Firefox will obviously support it, as will SeaMonkey and Thunderbird (since they use the same set of certs as Firefox from the same NSS tree). But how will they get the other big browser vendors to support it? In particular Microsoft (you can bet VeriSign will be using its very close relationship with Microsoft to lobby hard for MS not to support this in IE)

about a week ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

jonwil Re:Toronto Municipal Gov't divided (169 comments)

Is it the City Council who dont want it? Or is it the Toronto taxi companies lobbying behind the scenes?

about a week ago
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NYC To Replace Most of Its Payphones With Free Gigabit WiFi In 2015

jonwil Re:How about some public toilets NYC? (106 comments)

Here in Brisbane, there are quite a few public toilets (that is, toilets managed by the local council for the benefit of the public). Not just in the CBD but also in public parks and areas all over the the place.

about two weeks ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

jonwil Re:Why isn't then the price exploding ? (323 comments)

The problem is that companies like Mars, Hershey's, Nestle and Cadbury aren't willing to pay more for their cocoa since that would mean making the end product more expensive (or making less profit). If you increase the price (to cover the higher cost of the cocoa), less people will buy your product and more people will buy from your competitors (who haven't increased the price)

about two weeks ago
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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

jonwil Re:No (135 comments)

Write to your city government and ask why they continue to sign these exclusive deals...
I suspect the answer will be "without the exclusive deal Comcast has said it wont invest into its network" (which is probably true)

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

jonwil Re:Private Links != Paid Priority (258 comments)

The problem is that Comcast is deliberately refusing to upgrade its links to big backbone providers like Level 3 in order to force providers like Netflix and others to pay Comcast for private links.

If Comcast would invest some of the money they get from subscribers on actually upgrading the links at their peering points, there wouldn't be an issue and those peering points wouldn't be so congested.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

jonwil Re:None are economically viable (418 comments)

If that's the case they should drop subsidies for the airlines as a whole and instead say "any airline providing service to airport xyz gets a direct payment for the flights they run" to make flying to airports that wouldn't get service in a purely competitive market viable.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

jonwil Re:240km/hr? (418 comments)

The real question is, would the advantages of a high speed train from, say, Washington DC to New York (leaves from a central station instead of out at the airport, dont need to go through as much security crap, dont need to be there hours in advance, don't have to worry so much about luggage, faster total door-to-door time etc) outweigh the disadvantage of paying a fair bit more for the ticket than you would pay to fly between the same cities on one of the cheaper airlines?

about two weeks ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

jonwil Re:It's only worth it (237 comments)

Brisbane proper does well. Whats missing is more resources devoted to better service levels in areas like the northern gold coast, suburbs like Ormeau, Coomera, Pimpama, Pacific Pines, Oxenford etc.

I have family who live in the area (Upper Coomera near the Masters Hardware and Woolies and stuff) and the last bus through that area leaves Coomera Station at 5:07 or Ormeau Station at 6:01, totally useless for anyone wanting to commute to Brisbane. Weekends get even less service.

about two weeks ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

jonwil Re:It's only worth it (237 comments)

Not all cities have crappy public transport. My city (Brisbane, Australia) has excellent public transport if you live in the right area (to be fair, there are areas with lousy public transport but some of that is due to some political stuff and lack of resources rather than a genuine intent not to provide service to the area. (i.e. service would be better if the resources were there)

about two weeks ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

jonwil Re:Don't wear a watch... (415 comments)

There is a reason the Swiss are regarded as making the best watches in the world.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

jonwil Re:Call Comcast? (405 comments)

The reason why big email providers would be blocking business IP ranges from big ISPs like Comcast as well as residential is probably because they have seen too many people with a "Comcast Business Grade" connection, and no knowledge of whats going on get infected with the same spam-bots as residential connections.

about two weeks ago
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Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

jonwil Re:It is all about baseload (488 comments)

What about solar thermal plants? These use mirrors and reflectors to concentrate the sun onto some form of liquid and heat it up. The stored heat energy is then used to generate electricity later when the sun isn't shining. It can certainly be baseload.

That said, if the country/area building them doesn't get enough sun its possible to use up all the stored heat energy and have neither stored heat nor sunshine to generate more. So a country like Australia that gets lots of sunshine lots of the time should be building these. A country like Denmark not so much.

about two weeks ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

jonwil Re:While you're at it... (242 comments)

It never occurred to me that Cryptonomicon would be better as a TV series but yeah a TV series would be amazing.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

jonwil Re:Some people use laptops offline (181 comments)

Ummm, just because AT&T aren't doing inflight internet doesn't mean that the companies currently offering inflight internet like Gogo, OnAir and Panasonic are suddenly going to stop providing it.

about two weeks ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

jonwil Re:I'm sure it will suck (242 comments)

yeah my mistake, I got confused. It was originally made by Warner not HBO (although Warner owns HBO)

about two weeks ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

jonwil Re:While you're at it... (242 comments)

William Gibson's Neuromancer should be made into a movie. Just as long as they get the "Cyberspace" stuff right (there are some "cyberspace" type scenes in Jonny Mnemonic that are exactly how it should be done.
Cryptonomicon is another book deserving of a movie (and with all the current stuff going on, the modern-day parts of the book are scarily topical)

about two weeks ago

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