* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Blackout at Samsung NAND factory destroys chunk of global supply

DougS Silver badge

You can't "safe shutdown" a fab line. There are chemical reactions taking place on the line that require exposure to light, if the light isn't there at the right time that batch is ruined, and given that it takes a few weeks to get wafers through from start to end that means a lot of work is ruined.

As for "why they don't have a generator for backup power" I'll bet they do. But as anyone who has ever worked in IT knows, having a generator and having that generator always come in when it is needed are unfortunately two different things...

Crypto crackdown: Google bans ads for unregulated currencies

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Re: Greater Fool

Bitcoin is very thinly traded so the price is largely a fantasy when people start talking about bitcoin's "market cap". If even a tenth of all outstanding coins were offered for sale, the price would probably drop to $500 in an hour.

The Great China Tech Panic is just posh xenophobia

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The US needs to accept it will no longer be the dominant economy

It is a simple numbers game, China has nearly 4x the population so once they approach a third as productive per capita they beat us. They were also under-developed during most of the industrial age, up until maybe 40 years ago, so they have a lot of natural resources to exploit that have already been exploited in the US.

There's nothing the US can do to stop this, being isolationist/protectionist against them is only going to hurt us in the long run.

NASA on SpaceX's 2015 big boom: Bargain bin steel liberated your pressure vessel

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Feel free to invent a working warp drive.

I'd settle for an almost working warp drive. We could try it out on people like Trump and the Kardashians until minor issues like the ship and everyone on it being crushed into a singularity are resolved.

DougS Silver badge

We have done better than wheels. They are limited in where they can go, so when we want to go up we use wings or rockets.

OK, deep breath, relax... Let's have a sober look at these 'ere annoying AMD chip security flaws

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Re: Pot and Kettle

Plus Intel had known about the flaw for six months by the time the Register reported on it. If you can point to an incident where the Register independently discovered a CPU flaw and gave 24 hours notice before publishing an article, please feel free to educate us. Idiot.

Doctor finds physical changes to astronaut's eyes after ISS stint

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Re: Internal eye pressure

I get that intraocular pressure test every year. I'd had the 'puffer' thing the last 3-4 years, but last time he did the thing where they numb the eye and have that thing touch it. I asked him why, he said that's more accurate so he likes to use it every few years as a sanity check on the results. Luckily the pressure is right where it should be, so I can look forward to the puffer the next few years...

DougS Silver badge

Contact lenses

I wonder if he'd been wearing contacts (especially more rigid varieties like the ones from 40+ years ago) if it might help maintain the shape of the lens. Perhaps Kelly would have not suffered the vision loss if he was wearing dummy contacts?

Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results

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Google is NOT the source of this

If people want to be "forgotten" they should be required to go after the sites that Google is indexing. Google isn't storing information themselves, so if t here are sites that maintain past criminal records, old news articles or whatever say is "DougS was convicted of murder in 1998 and sentenced to 20 years" I should have to go after them. Why should I be involved Google when all they are doing is indexing pages owned by someone else?

It is pointless to even involve Google in this - if it becomes commonplace that people use this invented "right to be forgotten" then people who want to search someone's history will take to doing it on Bing, DuckDuckGo and every other search engine that has its own crawler. The "crime" here, if there is one, is on the sites that have this "offending" content available - especially when some people seem to be of the crazy belief it should be expunged from Google worldwide, instead of just in that country!

What happens if another country passes anti-censorship laws saying that search results of past criminal behavior cannot be expunged - which country's laws take precedence?

Russian boffins blow up teeny asteroids with tiny laser... to work out how to nuke the real thing

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Re: terrified even the loonies who built the thing.

Given how much energy is released in even a moderately sized earthquake, I think we'd need to be talking gigatons or more likely teratons of explosive yield to "split the crust".

Look! Fitbit's made a watch that doesn't suck!

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Re: Four days!

Unless you're going to wear it while sleeping, taking it off at night to charge isn't a big deal. Since the purpose of Fitbit is basically to count steps, only sleepwalkers need to be wearing it while sleeping.

Privacy folk raise alarm over schools snooping on kids' online habits

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Damned if you do...

Parents will demand to know why the school isn't monitoring what kids are doing, the minute a kid sends an email or IM using school computers/networks stating he's going to shoot up the school weeks before he shoots up the school (a US only problem, admittedly)

In reality the schools are going to lose most of their ability to monitor students before long, as kids won't have any reason to use the school's wifi network - especially if they want to do something they don't want monitored / filtered. Prices for data keep dropping, and once 5G becomes widespread wifi in public places like schools will start to seem rather quaint.

Mozilla sends more snooping Web APIs to smartphone Siberia

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Re: Making it user enableable is probably the worst thing to do

How are they going to "force" the user to enable it? If you think by popping up a dialog asking it that will "force" the user to enable it, then I guess you can force the user to do anything that you can make a dialog pop up for?

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

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Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

So if I'm ever going to be sentenced for a crime I should be an asshole to the judge, hoping he compensates for it by giving me a shorter sentence than if I was polite? Seems like a risky strategy!

DougS Silver badge

Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

That's because in our system we only get a choice between two sociopaths. Other countries have different electoral systems where you get choices between multiple sociopaths, and I suppose if the numbers are high enough occasionally a non-sociopath manages to slip onto the ballot somehow - though you'd still have to identify him/her and overcome people's tribal instincts when it comes to voting to actually put that non-sociopath into office.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

Probably, but one can always hope he will be as big of a smug asshole in his probation hearings as he is the rest of the time, and serve the full seven years!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

If the judge had been influenced, why not give him the maximum sentence? I know I would have had I been responsible for sentencing, which is probably why it is a good thing I'm not a judge.

Hell, I would have looked for a reason to sentence him to 107 years, because I think society would be better off if he never had a chance to be a part of it any longer!

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

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Re: "it's a [..] electric bus that automatically switches between tunnels and lifts"

Even if you could dig straight down in hundreds of places easily (you can't, any decent sized city has all sorts of infrastructure down below, not all of it properly documented) and lower a 14x faster tunnel borer you're still left with the problem that its speed is limited by all the work required before it can drill anywhere.

You may need to go a hundred feet or more below ground level (in some cities multiple hundreds of feet) to get below existing subway tunnels, piles driven into the ground for skyscraper foundations, etc. If you go down deep enough that you know FOR SURE there's no infrastructure there, you have higher pressures, more heat, more water, and of course potential voids (i.e. caves) subsidence, etc.

Where I live is nothing remotely close to a major city like London or NYC, but there are caves 20-30 feet underground in multiple places downtown. Back in the 1800s they were used as beer cellars by breweries operating in the area. If there are caves at such a shallow depth, who knows what there would be if you went down 60 or 70 feet to get below the lowest possible depth of the foundations of the tallest "skyscrapers" in town (like 15 stories or so) You might be tunneling along and your borer drops 100 feet into a massive cave. Or might remove just enough rock in a certain area that a massive subsidence causes damage to the foundation of a building above.

This Boring plan is ludicrous. I used to have a lot more respect for Musk but he's totally lost it with Hyperloop and then this boring idea! What's next, personal airplanes for traveling into major cities that require using EM catapults on the roof of tall buildings and arrestor cables for landing? Makes me wonder how much involvement he really had with Tesla and SpaceX, versus just doing a good job hiring people who could actually make his dreams a reality. Because there is no one he can hire to make the Boring company a reality.

HP is turning off 'Always On' data deals but won't say why

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Red Pocket in the US

I had a need for small amounts of data for an LTE router (as a backup to my credit card processing and for a fire panel that must have connectivity with 24 hours of backup power, which would cost a fortune to provide for my fiber) and found a Red Pocket deal for $55 on eBay for a year of service with 500MB of LTE data each month (no rollover I don't think) Considering the prices for data only plans typically offered here in the US, that's a steal!

I just got the SIM today so I haven't even figured out if it is possible to refill, but even if not getting a new SIM yearly is not really an inconvience, and I figure the price for something like this can only go down in the future...

Rant launches Eric Raymond's next project: open-source the UPS

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Re: It's not that simple

There are some powerpacks that output at both 5v and 12v. Series wiring would step up the 12v to 24v, if there was a demand for a third output at 24v.

Might be a bit much to expect it to be useful for a desktop beyond a simple one - it would need a hell of a lot of power to backup a gamer's PC with the ridiculous graphics cards used these days.

DougS Silver badge

300 watts for 15 minutes?

Talk about setting a low bar, that's hardly more stored energy than a high end phone powerpack provides (something like 85000 mAh based on 115 volts in the US - I've seen powerpacks in excess of 50000 mAh) Granted you can't draw even a fraction of 300 watts out of one, but that's mostly a matter of how the batteries inside are wired together.

We'd be better off with a spec for a DC UPS, that outputs at multiple DC voltages (5, 12 and 24 volts) since everything you're plugging into a typical UPS ultimately runs off DC anyway. Granted there are a lot of oddball voltages out there like 9, 15, 19.5 etc. but given the wide range that the typical unregulated power supply that comes with a laptop or router outputs, you're almost always going to be OK with using whichever of 12 or 24 volts is closer to your intended voltage.

Perhaps in a few years a lot of devices will be powered by some form of USB-PD and simplify things enough that an open source DC UPS can handle most stuff you throw at it.

CableLabs backhaul spec gets speed boost

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Re: Time for terabit DSL so competition is maintained

Where do you live that the telco was willing to run MILES of fiber to service a single home? (I presume, unless you had a ton of neighbors that also were getting hooked up)

Around here if you are more than a quarter mile off the cable company network you have to pay per foot (at some outrageous rate, a guy I know who lives in the sticks said they were quoted several thousand dollars to run the 2000 feet from the highway to their house, so he stuck with Directv for TV and a Verizon LTE router for internet) and the telcos would laugh at you if you suggested fiber. They'll only run copper because they are legally required to, but it only has to provide voice service they are under no obligation to make it provide serviceable DSL.

Fiber is better, but totally unnecessary since 10 gigabit symmetric on cable HFC networks is here today (well at least possible where I live though while they've gone DOCSIS 3.1 I don't think they have the equipment for full duplex yet since only businesses would be interested in a speed like that) Fixed wireless 5G will offer gigabit symmetric in a few years and maybe terabit DSL too at least in some areas.

Running fiber to the home costs about $1000 PER HOUSE to trench fiber from the curb in an existing neighborhood. The cable company is running aerial fiber in areas with poles since it is armored (and as a result very expensive, but that's necessary due to the potential for overhead lines to come down due to icing) but all telco fiber plus any fiber going to homes from the one regional LEC doing fiber in a nearby town is 100% underground. You won't lay that at 10 kph, it would take months or quite possibly over a year to run a few miles depending on how many other buried services there are, what roads/waterways had to be crossed if they have a conduit path, etc. To get fiber at my business it took two years for them to run the last mile, though I'm sure it wouldn't have been quite that long if they'd made it their #1 priority to run that last mile down a major highway.

DougS Silver badge

Time for terabit DSL so competition is maintained

Hopefully the guy basically who invented DSL and presented a paper last year outlining a way to do terabit DSL (that's at 100 meters IIRC, and still 10 gigabit a kilometer away!) is able to make that happen. Otherwise there is going to be a distinct lack of choice since fiber deployments in the US have slowed greatly the last few years as they've figured out running fiber to every house doesn't make economic sense unless they can do it while the houses are being built.

Its either that, or hope fixed wireless 5G becomes very widespread very fast. Because the local cable monopolies that exist across most of the US will be a very big problem for pricing (and neutrality) in the future if not...

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

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Can hardly blame him

First of all he's a software developer that's been pressed into service as a sysadmin. OK, pretty much all sysadmins start out as something else since you can't get a college degree as a sysadmin, but still. Second, he's not even a senior guy, as can be inferred since he consulted a guy more senior than him after this happened.

The blame is with the company who are too cheap to get proper sysadmins, or if it was a small enough company that maybe that wasn't feasible should have at least made allowances for that and given him more time to develop and properly test the scripts.

Though I do blame him for having a script execute ANY 'rm' command involving a variable without doing a LOT of sanity checking to make sure the variable is set and set to a value that was expected, and if removing a relative path that the current working directory is as expected.

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

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Doesn't suck, but it might blow

If you read the application, it isn't just a gasket but also suggests a membrane that allows air but not liquids/particles in so that when the key is depressed air is forced out and helps blow away the debris.

Auto manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to security

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF??

Does it give you a choice of WHAT it scrapes, or just give you a yes/no to access your music and oh yeah grabs all that other stuff just because? I'm not sure phones have the same protections about what can be grabbed once you 'trust' a device it is connected to. Looks like they need protections for individual items similar to how apps have to be separately granted permissions to touch contacts, texts, photos, etc.

While you could perhaps understand grabbing contacts if it has some voice integration to tell your phone to call Joe or whatever, grabbing all your texts and location data should not be allowed. By either the phone or the law - because you know damn well if it is grabbing and storing that, it is getting uploaded to the automaker when you bring the car in for service (or maybe sooner, if it can connect via wifi or LTE) What they do with then, who knows, but it can't be good.

Another reason not to upgrade my car that's too old to directly interface with my phone!

Slingshot malware uses cunning plan to find a route to sysadmins

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I don't buy it

Claiming this is an example for why the US govt hates Kaspersky is implying that all other malware companies are working with the US government to hide CIA/NSA created malware from detection. Do you really believe that to be the case?

Anyone selling malware who cooperated with the US government to hide US malware would be out of business if that was revealed, so such cooperation is an extreme risk. Who would ever trust that company to defend their PC after that, regardless of what promises they made?

No US company should want to risk undetected malware sitting on their PCs. Even if they (stupidly) trusted their own government, what guarantee would they have that this US sponsored malware hadn't been compromised by other countries, or that this malware doesn't block fixes to other exploits that patches were supposed to close?

Such a revelation would be pretty much an eventual certainty, given how often US government secrets have escaped i.e. Manning, Snowden, etc. Given the Trump administration's even more lax handling of classified data than Clinton, things are only going to get worse for the US government's ability to keep a secret.

A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

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Re: JJ wrote, ""...starting to decline at an accelerating rate."

Since they have only started to decline in the past year or so, it is way too early to declare the decline is accelerating.

What matters for companies like Apple and Samsung isn't whether smartphone sales are declining, or accelerating a decline or whatever, but whether that's the case in the higher end segment. If buyers of sub $100 smartphones (both new and >$100 phones that cost < $100 as used) start keeping their phones until they are five years old, but buyers of $500+ phones are still buying every couple years, then Apple and (to a large extent) Samsung aren't really going to be affected. It will be the Chinese brands that will be hurt.

Is anyone aware of any market data that shows sales trends of phones in different price ranges?

DougS Silver badge

What features could they add to make you upgrade?

A phone that's a couple years old is perfectly fine, and one that's 4 or 5 years old would be fine (with a refreshed battery) for those with modest needs.

There are some things on the horizon that might become a reason to upgrade, like "bigger" or "faster" or "better camera" were for a time. If they can make folding phones that will really last a couple years (I sure wouldn't buy one of the first ones!) and have a useful aspect ratio before/after folding. Or do some AR with the rear camera so it can be integrated into the display - that's more of a "build it and hope they come" sort of thing since it is neat but it isn't clear how genuinely day-to-day useful that will be.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'll go with that.

Not sure what sort of "usability nightmare" is being referred to. Having trouble getting used to swiping up instead of hitting the home button, or looking at your phone to unlock it instead of placing your finger on the home button? I thought it would take some getting used to, but after a couple days both became second nature.

Since everything else works pretty much the same with the X as it did on previous models I'm not sure what else it could be...

Hansa down, this is cool: How Dutch cops snatched the wheel of dark web charabanc

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Re: Fake news

C'mon, like there's really a country that's almost entirely below sea level where people make shoes out of wood. How gullible do you have to be to believe that?

Got some broken tech? Super Cali's trinket fix-it law brought into focus

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"Apple is the only poster child for destructive repair monopolies"

Maybe check out ifixit.com's repairability ratings before making that claim? iPhones are easier to fix yourself (especially as far as battery replacement) than many popular Android phones like Samsung Galaxy. I swapped the battery on my girlfriend's iPhone last fall, took less than 10 minutes and I'd only done it once before on a different model years before.

If you want to be able to pop the back off and swap batteries, well, there are still some phones out there that will let you do that, but making that a law would be stupid. I am glad the days of having a loose battery door on my KRZR that kept falling off are in the past! Besides, the only things practical to fix/replace in any phone are the battery and display. How are you going to replace a bad wifi chip, or flash with too many bad sectors, when they're microsoldered onto a board with a lot of other stuff?

I await the inevitable downvotes for daring to say something against Reg reader's strange obsession with going back in time to battery doors.

For all we know, aliens could be as careless with space junk as us

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Re: totally new take on..

Even for an advanced civilization it would take many many years to enclose a star in a Dyson sphere, so we aren't going to observe it on the scale of our recent ability to image extrasolar planets. We might want to look for unexplained IR radiators...

Global race for 5G heats up with latest US Congress bill

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Re: They only need smaller cells for higher frequencies

5G is using CP-OFDM modulation instead of OFDMA to resolve that issue, since it is localized in the time domain. It may be using shorter symbols too (I don't know all the details on 5G to be sure) but not NEARLY as short as if it used the same modulation as LTE.

DougS Silver badge

They only need smaller cells for higher frequencies

If they use existing spectrum in the 600-2600 MHz range, they can keep the same cell size. For the higher bands like 28 GHz they'd need very small cells but they will be very low power so they can site them almost anywhere. They won't need the large unsightly antennas that make current towers so difficult to get approval for, and lower power levels will leave fewer NIMBY objections (especially since if the NIMBYs don't know a site is nearby they can't complain)

Uber-Lyft study author jams into reverse gear over abysmal pay claims

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I took talking about "profit" instead of "wage" to mean that gas, car maintenance etc. was already deducted, and the $3.47 (or $8 or $10) an hour was the "profit" after those expenses are deducted.

Hence the comparison to a minimum wage job, where your entire wage is "profit" when measured the same way. Obviously in both cases you have to pay for food, housing and so forth so you won't have anything left over after a minimum wage job whether it is at McDonalds or driving for Uber, but those expenses are the same whatever minimum wage job you have.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Still compares apples and oranges

If you aren't spending much to get to said minimum wage job (i.e. long drive etc.) then it really is, because you won't end up paying any taxes on such a low income.

IBM's homomorphic encryption accelerated to run 75 times faster

DougS Silver badge

No it is ready to be productized, or so say IBM salesmen who will make more commission the beefier servers they sell!

What took you so long, BlackBerry? Facebook BBM suit is way overdue

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Re: Long overdue?

There was money to chase the moment Facebook bought them for $19 billion. Why wait until now?

DougS Silver badge

Messaging goes back a long way

IRC had presence, as did the messaging built into many BBSes in the 80s and 90s. Blackberry probably only scored their patents because they wrote them in the tired old "X, but on mobile" form to distinguish them from earlier versions of mostly similar capability like IRC, AIM, ICQ and others that came before.

The main thing BBM added that others didn't have was the ability for companies to set up their own server, like they were already used to doing with email (well you could set up your own IRC or ICQ server but only really techie companies would do that) It also had encryption "always on" instead of requiring enough hassle to set up that few do it (kind of like email encryption remains to this day) The earlier messaging solutions like IRC, AIM etc. didn't have encryption because they didn't want to expend unnecessary resources on the server end when customers weren't demanding it, but for something targeted at businesses (and where businesses were paying for the server with a nice markup for Blackberry) it made sense.

Fresh docs detail 10-year link between Geek Squad informers and Feds

DougS Silver badge

The incentive structure certainly favors the low paid Geek Squad guy planting evidence. He'd have some handy once he finds it on someone else's computer.

All he has to do is wait for someone to come in who "looks the part" of a pedo, and has a lot of rather extreme porn on his PC. Tossing in some kiddie pics amongst the horse pics or whatever else might be there would be more believable than planting them on some old lady's computer that's got nothing but recipes on it.

Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

DougS Silver badge

So the police want the hospital to do their "dirty work"?

Is the guy free to refuse treatment if the hospital wants to give him a laxative, or whatever they do for someone who hasn't pooped in 46 days?

It isn't clear to me if the reason the guy hasn't pooped is because he's been starving himself, or just gone on a liquid diet and refusing to eat solid food. Not having pooped in 46 days might be a health issue depending on why that is, but starving or nearly starving oneself would be. If the hospital gives him IV nutrition, and he refuses solid food or laxatives, what then? Get him healthy and then back to jail?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Lamarr, Lucky to be alive

Or, as a previously unmentioned alternative, PC Plod have got it wrong again and there are no drugs.

If there were no drugs, why wouldn't he just poop and prove it? That's like suggesting if you were caught holding a knife covered in the blood of the victim, with the victim having written "Kernel did it" in his blood on the wall next to him before dying might have meant "Kernel tried to save me by chasing off the real killer and that's why he's holding the knife".

Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners

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Re: Wouldn't they get similar data every year?

I'm sure they're working with Foxconn or someone like that to produce OLED for them so they can avoid giving Samsung money, but AFAIK they will still be buying from Samsung for the next cycle. There are others producing OLED panels for phones, but not set up to produce in the huge quantities Apple will require.

Half the world warned 'Chinese space station will fall on you'

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Not a problem

I never said I'd ship it. Something like that would be marked "buyer pick up only", of course!

DougS Silver badge

I live in the northern US

If it falls in my backyard look for it to be auctioned on eBay soon, hopefully for enough that I can retire or at least rebuild my house since I doubt my insurance covers Chinese space stations falling on it.

Hackers create 'ghost' traffic jam to confound smart traffic systems

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Re: In the new automated world we are creating...

No, they just have to restrict who is allowed to feed information into it by having some overall government-level authority allowed to issue certificates for communication, and quickly revoke ones that become compromised.

This is never going to be something where the FSF can create an OpeCar project that can autonomously drive along the roads. It has to be closed. Because if you let anyone feed information into it, as you say you can never anticipate all the ways of misusing it and counter them in advance.

Google assisting the Pentagon in developing AI for its drones

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A company without ethics developing AI for the military

What could possibly go wrong?

US Army warns of the potential dangers of swarming toy drones on US soldiers

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No problem

The DoD will just ask for $50 billion a year increase in their budget to study the problem and come up with a defense, and no doubt the idiots in congress and the chief idiot in the White House will oblige.

Rhode Island proposes $20 porn tax. Er, haven't we heard this before?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Dan Johnson of KY

Perhaps they want to see them banned because they blame the availability of porn (alcohol, name your vice...) for their problems instead of themselves.

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