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Comments

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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

vux984 Re:well (171 comments)

Yeah, because using my own drone to video in my own backyard is SUCH a douchebaggy thing to do, because it might possibly see over the fence I PAID TO INSTALL and catch a bit of you in your yard while I'm using it.

Its not. And its highly unlikely to fall afoul of the law. That was my point.

Well, if I'm taking video of me in my own backyard them I'm identifiable, and I'm going to hazard a guess that those people in my neighbor's yard that is in view will be identifiable, and I'm not doing artistic or journalistic operations ...

Nor are going out of your way to record them in any way; and presumably you'll blur or edit them out before you post any video/stills online... so...?

10 hours ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

vux984 Re:well (171 comments)

I think it should not be illegal for me to fly my drone in my backyard just because the focal length of the lens on the camera it carries means it will take images of my backyard and a bit of someone else's.

It doesn't appear the law would make that illegal. It proposes to make filming people unawares from a drone illegal. Catching a "bit of someone elses back yard" while flying in your own hardly sounds like you are filming other people.

Certainly the law should not allow someone to damage my drone while I am flying it in my backyard just because they are paranoid that it might have a camera and that the camera might be catching them in its view.

I must have really missed something. Where did it say they may damage the drone in your own backyard based simply on a suspicion that it MIGHT have a camera?

If the goal is to make "doing X" illegal, then make that illegal and don't waste time adding "from a drone".

Your realize we don't actually have the draft proposal in front of us. Perhaps it merely calls out low altitude aerial photography and doesn't call out "from a drone". Perhaps "from a drone" was simply added to the news release because drone is a good keyword that gets hits, and "drone photography" is the root cause prompting this law. But perhaps, just perhaps, the proposed law doesn't specify it has to be "from a drone".

As for the rest, according to the news article:

"However, the proposal has many exceptions, which include permissible taping and photographing for mapping or artistic or journalistic purposes as long as the recording shows several residences and no individual is identifiable. The ordinance also would allow violators a defense if the person destroyed the photos or tapes upon learning of the law as long as he or she did not record or photograph children, sex or nudity or distribute the images or recordings."

So it seems pretty clear that unless you are being a douchebag, you won't run afoul of this law, and your fears about being harassed for flying a drone in your backyard where you might catch a bit of the neighbors yard are just hysterics.

12 hours ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

vux984 Re:well (171 comments)

Why should the platform matter, when the alleged goal is "privacy" and the taking of pictures?

The law reacts to a perceived problem, written by people who are primarily adept at things like fundraising and image management.

"residency" and "citizenship" are prerequisites for the job. "Writing good Legislation 101" isn't.

Should there be a law that makes it illegal to use a tripod with a camera to take pictures of people that violate their privacy? How about using a stedi-cam to do the same thing?

These don't generally allow different vantage points than just holding it. So the rules and norms for already in place for photography are reasonably adequate. A drone enables a heretofore generally inaccessible vantage point. It is the new "problem" in question.

Can I throw my camera up in the air to get over-the-fence shots?

If that actually becomes a widespread problem, then we can expect a new law to be passed.

Just as a law was recently passed in response to someone taking upskirts after it was found the existing laws didn't close off the loophole the photographer was using.

You are right, in the sense that the law outlawing the 'platform to take photos' is silly, that it should be a law defining what a "privacy invading photo" is and then outlawing that.

But that's ultimately a circular argument, since the definition is going to be one that includes "taking low altitude shots of people otherwise unaware, from vantage points a photographer could not normally stand, such as from a drone" anyway; and some smart ass is immediately going to ask... "what I drop my camera on the trampoline and it bounces up goes off and just happens to snap the neighbors back yard, am I a criminal now?"

The issue is not "should be", it is a matter of legality.

The law is an very imperfect expression of what society wants the rules to be, usually written re-actively to problems as they arise.

If your complaint is that its a pretty shitty system, then we agree. :)

If your complaint is that you should be able to take photos of your neighbors yard from a drone, then we don't.

13 hours ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

vux984 Re:Why do we need Auto? (170 comments)

C++ isn't strongly typed

Yeah it is.

Specifically reinterpret_cast. It's almost as unsafe, if not as unsafe, as good old C style casting.

Its exactly as unsafe. The difference is that it cannot happen by accident. You are telling the compiler, in very explicit terms that you WANT the reinterpret_cast behavior.

And strongly typed means you can't change the type.

Casting doesn't change the type of the thing being cast. It just lets you treat the thing being cast as if it were a different type. typeof(x) never changes.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

vux984 Re:well (171 comments)

So, roofers would regularly be violating privacy?

Only if they went up there to take pictures of the neighbors instead of fix the roof.

Did he violate her privacy (during the day, it wasn't obvious from the outside that the elevator walls were see though so if she was a visitor, she might not have known).

First she was sunbathing on the roof of a smaller building adjacent to a taller one. Even if she didn't know the elevator was see through it would have been pretty obvious to her that there was would be all kinds of windows and such on the building overlooking her.

Second, like a lot of law, intent comes into play.

She wasn't really in a private place (given the building next to her that you were in was taller; and second, all you did was happen to see her in your normal course of doing what you were doing.

Now, if you'd rented a room on the top floor, brought your telescope and camera, and spent the day looking for undressed women to photograph and post onto your blog --- then that's an ENTIRELY different class of behaviour, and I really shouldn't even have to explain that to someone.

Even a child can tell the difference between the happenstance of seeing someone naked, and going out of their way to see (and photograph) someone naked. I find it amusing (disappointing!) that so many on /. try to pretend one is the same as the other.

yesterday
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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

vux984 Re:2 GB of RAM (194 comments)

How much of the high price of smartphones when purchased up front comes from an expectation that hardware will be subsidized by an inflated monthly bill for voice and data service?

I actually think you are right here, that a considerable amount of the price is inflated due to the cost rarely being directly paid, preventing competitive pricing to take effect.

We can however, use wifi tablets as a proxy for the pricing. A basic ipad Mini wifi runs $400, a galaxy tab pro 8.4 runs $329; the cheaper galaxy tab 4 runs $250. These are all for devices with ~8" screens give or take.

If we assume (and I concede its significant assumption) that the "savings" by shrinking the screen to ~5" is offset by higher costs making it that small... and then add a $100 cellular radio markup on it.

Then premium phones in a properly competitive market would run $350-$500. Instead of $500-$700.

So it MAY be inflated pricing due to carrier subsidy arrangements; or it may be the assumption that shrinking to 5" actually costs quite a bit more than we allowed for.

If I had to guess its probably a bit of both.

yesterday
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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

vux984 Re:2 GB of RAM (194 comments)

Doesn't add as much as you think.

Bestbuy charges $100 between an LTE tablet and the wifi only one.
Apple charges $129 between an LTE tablet and the wifi only one.

Much of THAT is just profit.

So your $600 to $700 phone? Less than $100 goes towards the "cellular radio" capabilities.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

vux984 Re:well (171 comments)

well, I can see my neighbors back yard from my deck.

Then that has nothing to do with the post you were replying to.

You see in the post you replied to it was stipulated that they had taken steps to secure their privacy, by blocking your normal view.

If you can see it from your deck, then it should be obvious to you that have NOT taken steps to make their backyard private from you.

Now if you had to climb onto your roof and hang off the chimney to get a view that would be different.

Are you seriously saying I can't take a picture from my back deck?

Out of curiosity, even if it were legal, do you honestly think you should be taking pictures of the neighbors in their backyard?

Do you honestly not think that this would be the height of rudeness, even if it were legal?

yesterday
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

vux984 Re:Blizzard entertainment will not comply (81 comments)

(Do people *really* want to take over Battle.Net accounts when their spouses die?)

If I die tomorrow, my family should absolutely inherit access to my steam and gog and other accounts. My kids play those games daily right now.

Why should they have to re-buy everything just because I got hit by a bus?

yesterday
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

vux984 Re:performance never measured in MHz (149 comments)

Did you know Apple was considered part of the PC market in 1992, and had whopping 19 percent share?

Its entirely beside the point. Virtually nobody was comparing Apples to Intels to Sparcs based on benchmarks to make a buying decision.

The decision to buy Apple or Intel or Sparc was made based on OTHER factors (software availability, features, etc), and THEN a buying decision within the chosen platform was made based on price/performance etc.

If the platform chosen was intel, then MHz was the primary performance benchmark buyers used.

Did it compare directly to Apple or Sparc? No, but nobody cared, because by the point you were looking at Intel MHz numbers, you'd already ruled out buying an Apple or Sparc, and were not looking at them. So the inapplicability of a comparison was irrelevant.

Look at the subject line on this thread. "performance never measured in MHz". That's false. Lots of people measured performance in MHz, because it was a genuinely useful metric for a lot of common buying scenarios for over a decade.

This whole argument is silly. Nothing you have said refutes the fact that mhz WAS in actual fact usefully used as a performance metric.

Was it perfect? No.

Did it apply to every platform or comparison scenario? No.

Does any of that matter in the slightest to the question of whether "performance was ever measured in MHz"?

A big resounding: No.

yesterday
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

vux984 Re:Rolling roadblocks (405 comments)

Given that rolling roadblocks are illegal, perhaps the autonomous cars will avoid participating in one.

yesterday
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Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

vux984 Re:See: Anita Sarkeesian (97 comments)

Hypocrites that ask for it deserve no sympathy.

And yet sympathy funded her kickstarter to the tune of $150,000. Again, if your point is that she's deliberately inciting the abuse to collect on sympathy, then you also have to concede the abusers are chumps playing into her hand.

Well, complaining about behavior while engaging in it is like slapping a 'kick me' sign on your back

How was she engaging in the behavior she was complaining about? Was she sending rape-death threats? or writing games wherein you could beat up people she didn't like?

Simply being critical of the gender stereotypes and tropes in video games hardly rises to that level of abusiveness? Give me a break. You can disagree with her all you like, but she was not dishing out what she received.

yesterday
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Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

vux984 Re:See: Anita Sarkeesian (97 comments)

They deliberately push buttons with fallacy ridden, hypocritical content and then label the vitriolic response as proof of their victimhood.

So a woman provocatively asserts 'men are pigs' and then the men respond by BEING pigs... and then she says... "see". Sounds like a slam dunk for her, and everyone who acted like a pig just got played as chumps.

If that's really her game, then you're playing right into it. Only got yourselves to blame.

yesterday
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Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

vux984 Re:See: Anita Sarkeesian (97 comments)

She basically takes $150,000 and takes a year to produce videos

You have the time line wrong:

She creates kickstarter

Some people complain, send her rape-death-threat messages, and turn her online harrassment into a sport.

She reports about THAT on her blog.

Supporters aghast at the abuse she was subjected to respond by donating to her kickstarter to the tune of 150k.

At least that's what the wikipedia article you linked to says; near as I can tell.

yesterday
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Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

vux984 Re:I hate articles like this (191 comments)

. but I don't think copy right works on a per copy basis...

Sure it does. If I author software, I can sell the distribution rights however I like. I can authorize a publisher to make no more than X copies for example. And X could be 1. And I could issue a new license for each copy. (Much software IS effectively sold like this, one license at a time.)

The GPL is "always on and automatic". The offer of a license is bundled WITH the software, and if you make a copy in compliance with the terms, it is automatically licensed.

Sure, the license says "Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License."

But, mend your ways, download a "new" copy, and there is a "new GPL license offer" with it.

The only reasonable way to interpret the GPL is to consider that you are granted a "new" GPL license per copy you make, and that the status of each copy is licensed or unlicensed independently of any other copy.

I simply can't imagine a scenario where a past GPL violation leads to someone not being able to legitimately re-distribute GPL software in the future. Every bit of GPL software you obtain is offering you a new license. The 'vendor' or 'author' of the GPL software can't prevent you, because the license offer is embedded in the software - if you HAVE a copy of the software, you have an standing offer with terms to redistribute it.

2 days ago
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Machine Vision Reveals Previously Unknown Influences Between Great Artists

vux984 Re:Similarities seem kind of tenuous (74 comments)

they have three similar elements (stove, chair, and window)

First you oversimplified the similarities, and you then minimized its significance. Minimizing AFTER oversimplifying is essentially a straw man argument.

The window in Rockwell's piece, for instance, is small and rectangular while the one in Bazille's is huge and arched.

They are both structurally rectangular and similarly proportioned (height vs width).

The chair in the Rockwell piece is actually barely identifiable as a chair at first glance, whereas the one in the Bazille piece is immediately recognizable as a wooden chair.

They are the same thing in terms of scene composition.

They're also three objects that are likely to be close to one another.

But they are not merely close to one another they are arranged in a particular way creating similar scene composition.

Plus, you missed entirely the angular element on the left side. The staircase in one, vs the bookcase in the other, again both serving the same compositional task.

For instance, my aunt heats with wood and has a stove roughly the same distance from a window as in the Rockwell and Bazille pictures

And if you happen to have a photo that not only illustrates the 3 objects in roughly the same positions, with an angular element on the left side, but also that the photo was taken from such an vantage point so as to frame them compositionally in a similar scene... then you might have something.

Lets stipulate that your aunt actually lives in a room just like that. Even then, you might well have hundreds of photos of your aunts home, and not a single one of them have the same composition as these paintings.

I think all this proves is that people tend to put their stoves in rooms with windows and chairs.

And then take a photo from a vantage pont with an angular element on the left, a single chair in the foreground, with a group of people in the background, but not the focal point, catching the wood stove on the right?

How many of them paint this particular scene composition?

Frankly, these paintings ARE remarkably similar -- that one influenced the other is not a foregone conclusion, it could be coincidence, but it certainly merits consideration, even investigation.

2 days ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

vux984 Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (417 comments)

"Killing in war video games is to holding your breath, as killing in real war is to holding your breath while someone holds your head under water."

Video game violence is to war what blowing out birthday cake candles is to fighting a massive and out of control fire at an industrial chemical plant.

Really, comparing them is absurd, and that is the lesson that should be taught. This is a toy. It is so far removed from the real thing -- don't even pretend for a second that you have any real insight into killing in war after playing call of Duty.

4 days ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

vux984 Re:Reduced rights (166 comments)

not entirely true. It just can't install it in c:\program files or your platforms equivalent. It can drop executables in folders you DO have access to though, and run them from there. And even get them to auto run if it puts the start command in a settings file you can edit as that user.

4 days ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

vux984 Re:Reduced rights (166 comments)

This is one of the reasons that I don't use an admin/root level account for normal activity.

A good practice to be sure.

While that also won't prevent all hacks, it drastically reduces my exposure.

Well, at least your device drivers are safe, and its a little harder for you to join a bot net.

But pretty much everything you have of value can be accessed from user space, including all your documents. That's generally what identity and data thief hackers (and state actors) want.

4 days ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

vux984 Re:performance never measured in MHz (149 comments)

but what of the 80486 doing about 80% of the MIPS of the clock frequency, while 386 only 33% and the Pentium I did 150% (e.g. 75MHz == 125 million x86 MIPS) ?

What about it? That just serves to further amplify the improvement from CPU generation to CPU generation.

Some would argue Mac with MacOSX with Motorola chip is a next-gen NeXT, and a LOT of those sold.

Perhaps, but they weren't selling them to people who were basing the purchasing decisions based on their performance relative to DOS/Windows PCs.

There was always another reason.

Not many people buying computers cared about comparing platforms. They picked their platform, and then shopped within it.

In the Intel DOS/Windows PC world MHz and CPU generation were the primary performance stats for comparing two units.

There was virtually nobody out there who decided to buy a sparc vs a mac vs an intel pc based on which was faster.

Its like today, people decide whether to buy an iphone or an android or a blackberry or a windows phone FIRST. Then they pick a 'fast one' or the 'slow one' within the platform. Practically nobody walks in chooses a phone based on a sythentic performance benchmark. Majority of people buy PCs the same way.

Sun was selling 50,000 sparc workstations per quarter in 1992.

Thus it had 0.01% of the market. 20,000,000 PCs sold in 1992 vs ~200k sparcs workstations.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Evidence for another Sony Rootkit

vux984 vux984 writes  |  about 2 years ago

vux984 (928602) writes "There's some preliminary evidence that SOE is heading face first into what may be another rootkit scandal. A poster named Bug started this thread here: (I expect it to disappear if the story gains traction.)

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?&topic_id=520848
and posted his findings to a torrent:
http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7522392/NEW_2012_Sony_Rootkit_Exploit

My read is frankly that "Bug" is overreacting to a lot of the details, and assigning a lot of malicious intent where I'm highly skeptical any exists.

Nonetheless: They do in fact install a browser add-on without any sort of proper disclosure in all major browsers. They do in fact silently add zones to your Internet 'trusted zones' lists. And they are in fact uploading scads of crash data (multiple GB) without user permission or review and its evident that the crash data can contain information the user would not wish to transmit to Sony.

Additionally, the combined effect of the add-on and white listed zones potentially exposes users to remote execution attacks; similiar to the way Sony's XCP could be exploited by 3rd parties. Again there is some circumstantial evidence at least that it is already being exploited in the wild.

There was an uproar here when Microsoft quietly added its .NET Framework Assistant add-on to Firefox , this seems to go way beyond that, and its the first time I think I've seen zones silently added to the trusted zone. I think Sony's crossed a line... again.

In any case, anyone here who plays any SOE titles should at least be aware what Sony is doing and decide for themselves what they think of it."

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