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Comments

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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

laird Re:So then they get another warrant ... (490 comments)

You can sue anyone. That person might end up winning the lawsuit, but that doesn't mean that they weren't sued. And beyond that, they had to spend time and money to defend themselves, so it's not at all reasonable to pretend that if they won the lawsuit it was identical to it not happening.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

laird Re:Sanity... (490 comments)

Particularly given the FISA Court's nearly 100% history of agreeing to anything requested by the prosecution, it's comforting that the ultimate control over data privacy doesn't rest with the courts. If the judiciary were truly independent, as they much more used to be, I'd be more comfortable trusting the courts to balance the interests of the prosecution and the accused.

yesterday
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

laird Re:Parallax. (422 comments)

Apple's using "thin" as a measure of engineering excellence. That is, they are engineering all sorts of tricky things, like special display stacking and chip arrangement techniques, in order to make their phones ever thinner. And, of course, thinner = more elegant, lighter and more convenient.

It's a bit like how Intel focused on clock speed as their key goal, and spent a fortune optimizing their clock speeds (with chip design tools optimized for clock speed, etc.).

In both cases, people who didn't care about that metric saw it as wasted effort, and argued that the companies were being stupid. But in both cases, by focusing on a clear goal they focused their engineering teams on, and delivered, ever improving products, and they gave consumers something that they cared about, even if the people doing the complaining didn't.

2 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

laird Re:Parallax. (422 comments)

Apple never ships technology first - they take emergent technologies and push them into the mainstream. 3" floppy disks, mice, GUIs, USB, LANs, networked printers, MP3 players, DVD burners, smartphones, digital music stores, tablet computers, etc., all existed before Apple's versions, but they generally kinda sucked to use. Apple took the technology, make it more usable, and delivered it in mainstream consumer devices. So now they're trying to do the same thing with digital wallets and smart watches. Do you really want to bet against them?

With Apple Pay, the current digital wallets really suck, and Apple's got all the right players aligned, with what looks like great usability and security, so it might really win big.

With the Apple Watch, Pebble and Google have decent products, so it's not as clear a path to success - I'd bet that Apple makes a good business out of it, but don't dominate.

2 days ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

laird Clarity is required (236 comments)

This proposal just serves to muddy the clear definition of the role of an ISP, and they can then use that ambiguity to create problems and extract more revenue by charging to fix their problems. It's critical that there be a clear definition of an ISPs role in the network, and the IETF has maintained those clear distinctions for decades now. Let's not let the business deal-makers muck things up!

3 days ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

laird Re:For Guys Who Are About 40th in Political Contri (531 comments)

Perhaps you should have done more research than 5 seconds in Google.

Democrat donors are at the top of the list of reported donations because they are more likely to report their donations. The whole point of how the Koch brothers route their money, and money funneled through their network of PACs, "think tanks", etc., is to hide the fact that they are funding it, so that their organizations all sound like "independent" supports of the Koch agenda. So they route it through "non-profits" or by providing non-cash benefits (e.g. providing a free vacation / educational conference), and of course pumping a fortune into "independent" issue campaigns, which are unregulated and whose funding sources are largely unreported. And, of course, the un-reported money flow is much larger than the reported money flow.

And you really can't equate the two.

In terms of assets, the Koch Brothers have 20x as much as Soros. So that's not even close.

And in terms of tactics, the Soros' political donations are well documented and transparent - be is open about what he supports, and he lobbies and promotes it in an open fashion. The Koch Brothers' money flow is generally hidden, and goes to subversive organizations like ALEC that literally write legislation, give it to legislators, who they give free vacations and political donations to, and has them pass it, sometimes literally in the middle of the night behind locked doors so nobody can see what they're doing. So you can't equate their tactics.

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

laird Re:Simplier solution at the carrier level (233 comments)

All the law does is increase the cost/effort of reselling stolen phones. It's impossible, as with any security measure, to prevent anything 100% of the time. But if you make it more complex/expensive, it discourages the attack because criminals will move on to easier/more rewarding targets.

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

laird Re:Can we opt out? (233 comments)

The law doesn't give the state the ability to do a remote wipe, it gives the *owner* that ability. See the difference?

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

laird Re:Kill Switch for the CA Cell Phone Market (233 comments)

CA is big enough that manufacturers will do what it takes to sell there. If they manufacture cars for CA, with separate *hardware*, then they can easily make phones for CA, where it's a trivial software configuration difference.

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

laird Re:Worldwide reach (233 comments)

In the 'old days' hacking was about learning and proving coolness (e.g. by breaking into something and proving it, but doing no damage because that's not cool). These days much of it is about money. Either way, there's not much reason to go brick a bunch of phones randomly - you'd just piss off a lot of people, leading to arrests when the figure out who did it.

about three weeks ago
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Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers

laird Re:Hey, great idea here, guys... (76 comments)

It's what CarPlay does. Which apps Apple approves is up to Apple, though they showed about a dozen apps on the web page and invited inquiries, so it doesn't feel like they're aiming at "a few carefully selected partners". The language on the page is about apps being well designed not to distract users from the road.

about three weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

laird Re:For Guys Who Are About 40th in Political Contri (531 comments)

The Koch brothers get criticized a lot because they're secretive billionaires with a political agenda, who pump their fortune into the US political system through sneaky means on a massive scale, funneling their money through hundreds of "anonymous" groups so that it's difficult to trace, writing legislation to promote their agenda and businesses, and trying to get it passed when nobody is looking, and generally doing their best to subvert the democratic process. Oddly enough, the vast majority of Americans don't approve of their methods, and don't agree with their agenda, so their behavior generates criticism when it's discovered.

And don't think for a minute that Republicans don't expand government - when they're in charge, they expand the government, and run up spending and debt, faster than Democrats. They just like spending money on different things than Democrats - wars and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, for example, rather than education and infrastructure. That and they like to regulate people's private lives a lot more than Democrats, while Democrats prefer personal liberties and regulating businesses.

about three weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

laird Re:Not Net Neutrality (531 comments)

It's not just dropping packages. ISPs can come up with all sorts of ways to distort traffic to extract more revenue, which can be far more subtle (and evil) than selectively dropping packages. For example, when customers try to go to Google, the ISP could send them to Bing (for a kickback), or rewrite Amazon affiliate tags so all Amazon purchases pay a percentage of the ISP. These aren't hypothetical - look at what wireless cell phone companies do to their customers and to content providers - it's a nightmare - and ask yourself why they haven't done the same thing to the internet? And if there aren't any rules enforcing good behavior, ask yourself how long those companies good behavior will last in the face of the opportunity for increased profits?

And do those arguing that they don't want the FCC "regulating" the internet, ask yourself what happens to the internet if there aren't any rules, but all participants start breaking everything possible in order to extract fees?

about three weeks ago
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Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers

laird Re:Standards? (76 comments)

Note that the car companies care about compatability, and there's a while ecosystem built around using cigarette lighters into cars. That's why they're all over minivans - they're no longer for cigarettes, they're now the standard car power plugs. :-)

That being said, cars are starting to get USB jacks. That's a good thing. But car technology changes slowly, for good reasons - if they put something into millions of consumer cars, people have to live with it for many years, so they are cautious about making changes.

about a month ago
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Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers

laird Re:Standards? (76 comments)

I'd think that as a part of integrating iPhones/Lightning cables into cars, Apple would have to commit to supporting the technology for 5+ years, with backwards compatibility, so that people could plug their phones 5 years from now into the car that they buy now and have it "just work". Both the car companies and Apple care about that. Google too, most likely.

about a month ago
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Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers

laird Re:Hey, great idea here, guys... (76 comments)

Except for power, of course. Plug in a phone into a cable and it's got high speed data and power. Connect a phone via bluetooth and it's got decent speed data but a power drain.

about a month ago
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Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers

laird Re:Hey, great idea here, guys... (76 comments)

Apps that run on phones are fantastic for in-car use: Waze, NextExit, GasBuddy, etc.

They just want to be on a larger display, and integrated with the driver's controls.

Which, amazingly enough, is what CarPlay does.

about a month ago
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Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

laird Re:Just red tape? (142 comments)

For nuclear power, there's a similar argument to military - do you want your key infrastructure to be dependent on a supply chain that's not under your control? Imagine, for example, that key components come from China or Korea, and those countries decide to cut us off so we can't get repair parts. That could (eventually) force the US to have to either operate unsafely or shut down power plants.

This isn't theoretical - the US has done exactly this to cut off allies who became enemies, grounding their airplanes, shutting down their nuclear power plants, screwing up their telecommunications, etc.

about a month ago
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Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

laird Re:Just red tape? (142 comments)

I was replying to the comment that said "Let's not hamstring projects with a feel good but impractical 'Buy American' requirement. That's the main reason for military gear being so overpriced. If Korea, Japan or China can get components to us faster, more power to them.".

For civilian products, using whoever is most competitive can make sense (though our policy of paying companies to decimate their US manufacturing and engineering capability is stupid). But for military systems in particular, outsourcing to China or Korea is a fantastically bad idea. Even if it costs more, it's worth it to maintain control over the supply chain because the risk of not doing so is unacceptable.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics

laird laird writes  |  about two weeks ago

laird (2705) writes "Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations

Crowd-sourced collaborative innovation is changing the face of modern medicine. e-NABLE, a global online community of humanitarian volunteers is leading the way by designing, building and disseminating inexpensive 3D printed prosthetics. Come join the e-NABLE organization and thought leaders in medicine, industry and public policy for a ground-breaking, industry-defining event at Johns Hopkins Hospital that will include the delivery of donated prothetic hands to children with upper limb differences.

We will unveil the new e-NABLE 2.0 hand, developed by Ivan Owen, Peter Binkley and Frankie Flood – the world’s first crowd-sourced, crowd-developed prosthetic that incorporates the collective intelligence, learning and experiences of e-NABLE’s online global community, parents and children who are using the devices themselves.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Come learn about the future of 3D printing technology and the medical field, why the prosthetics industry should welcome this technology and get more information on policy issues and the upcoming FDA regulatory workshops in October.

You will have the opportunity to learn how to create a device, meet vendors and get information on various 3D printers and will get to witness children receiving their first 3D printed hand devices created just for them by our e-NABLE volunteers.

We are making history and changing lives. We invite you to join us!"

Link to Original Source
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$1B of public domain research released to public!

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Wikileaks has released nearly a billion dollars worth of quasi-secret reports commissioned by the United States Congress. The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to abortion legislation. Nearly 2,300 of the reports were updated in the last 12 months, while the oldest report goes back to 1990. The release represents the total output of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) electronically available to Congressional offices. The CRS is Congress's analytical agency and has a budget in excess of $100M per year.

Although all CRS reports are legally in the public domain, they are quasi-secret because the CRS, as a matter of policy, makes the reports available only to members of Congress, Congressional committees and select sister agencies such as the GAO. Members of Congress are free to selectively release CRS reports to the public but are only motivated to do so when they feel the results would assist them politically. Universally embarrassing reports are kept quiet."

Link to Original Source
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Are Content Delivery Clouds the next step of CDNs?

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Is the Content Delivery Cloud model the next step after CDN's? "A Content Delivery Cloud is a system of computers networked together across the internet that are orchestrated transparently to deliver content to end users, most often for the purposes of improving performance, scalabaility and cost efficiency. Extending the model of a traditional Content Delivery Network, a Content Delivery Cloud may utilize the resources of multiple CDN networks as well as end-user computers ("the cloud") to assist in the delivery of content." With coverage, research and commercial services emerging, is the Content Delivery Cloud coming sooner rather than later?"
Link to Original Source
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http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/news/200

laird laird writes  |  about 7 years ago

laird writes "Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.

Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks.

The P4P Working Group consists of content-distribution-technology providers like BitTorrent, Pando Networks, LimeWire and VeriSign's Kontiki, as well as broadband companies like Verizon and AT&T, and hardware makers like Cisco Systems. There are close to a dozen members so far. The P4P operates under the guidance of the Distributed Computing Industry Association, a group that wants to foster legal peer-to-peer content distribution.

P4P's plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don't overload ISPs' networks with too much sharing."

Link to Original Source
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laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laird writes "The principle of voting in the United States is that votes are cast in secret but tallied in public.

This principle is incompatible with the current practice of using voting systems whose inner workings are trade secrets owned by the voting-machine vendors. Those same vendors pay for their systems to be tested, and the results of those tests are also trade secrets — you guessed it — owned by the vendors.

Full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/story.php?sto ry_id=3234 ."
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laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Laird Popkin writes "Pando Networks, known for integrating BitTorrent into email with a slick little, consumer-friendly client (and tons of very fast Linux servers), has extended its software to support web and RSS publishing of large files. TechCrunch has a nice writeup. There's more technical information about Pando at Pando's tech site."

Journals

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Just found journal

laird laird writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just found the journal system here on Slashdot. Is it clever or over-reaching? Given that people build reputations on Slashdot, it kinda makes sense. Though if you host your life on Slashdot, well, I guess that says something too...

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