* Posts by AVee

71 posts • joined 11 Aug 2011

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Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

AVee

Re: AMD's new marketing slogan: "Intel outside"

I used to peel of those 'Intel Inside' stickers when I came across then and stick them onto the nearest thrash can...

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work

AVee

Re: Agreed - software patents, like business process patents, should not be allowed

"This implies that the idea already existed within Apple prior to Mr. Eastman's email to Mr. Cue."

It also implies they idea is obvious to someone working in the field and therefore should not patentable. However, neither Apple not Mr. Eastman will ever say that out loud...

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot

AVee

Re: Simple solution

I agree completely.

However, the question is if that result can be achieved by just a ruling of the Supreme Court. They first and foremost need to apply current law as it is right now. Of course they have some room to decide what is a reasonable interpretation of the current law in this case, perhaps enough. But changes are a change in law is needed to actually get something like this sorted properly.

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

AVee
Trollface

Re: Happened to me

I'd do that. I changed jobs moths ago and still have access to the Sonos in my old office.

An you know, once I've got access to someones speakers my motto is "Never gonna give you up..."

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

AVee
Coat

Re: WTF

Yes

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule

AVee

Yeah, I'm hearing very little of that in all these discussions. I didn't dive deeply into what they build, but at first glance it seems pretty sensible. And even where it isn't sensible according to our standards, it's open source so it can be adapted where needed.

But somehow most countries seems to insist on reinventing the wheel...

Stack Overflow banishes belligerent blather with bespoke bot – but will it work?

AVee

Re: Stack Overflow is dead anyway

They used to have quality content, way above average. Yet they don't seem to understand why that was the case. Now they want to engage as many people as possible, so the quality of the content will move towards the average. It's stupid commercially too, they completely owned their niche but are giving it away to compete in a larger market where they don't have any advantage over the competition. You can get 'average' in lots of places.

Also I'm not sure about correlation and causation here:

"Our data shows that people who receive the comments flagged by the robot disengage at higher rates and take longer to come back and post again."

It may be the case that people who don't have any commitment to the quality of their questions or answers are both more likely to disengage and more likely to receive 'unfriendly comments'.

Either way, it shows the mindset. They don't want to provide high quality content, they want to capture as much people as possible. Good luck competing with Reddit, Facebook, etc

If you use Twitter with Firefox in a shared computer account, you may have slightly spilled some private data on that PC

AVee
Holmes

No shit Sherlock

"...and to be cautious about the personal information you download on a computer that other people use."

You don't even need this bug to track what other users are doing on a system with shared user accounts. If it's a system you can trust, this doesn't matter much. If not you can get screwed in many other ways...

The one case where it might matter is if someone gains access to your system after the fact. In that case something may be stored on disk which shouldn't have been there. Although I doubt a bit of cached data from Twitter is going to be your biggest concern.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

AVee

Re: Paris...

Oh man, how I hated those AZERTY keyboards. I spend a few weeks in France once running around a factory doing stuff on all sorts of systems. I was switching between AZERTY keyboards on the local machine's to the QWERTY keyboard on my own laptop all the time.

The worst thing was a pretty random password that was nicely committed to muscle memory, so much so I needed to visualize a keyboard to actually be able to spell it out. That password was needed fairly often, and contained a Q. Getting it right at the first go became a rare thing.

The lunches where very nice though...

Hypochondriacs – are your eyes all blurry? It's just YouTube trying to cut video-stream quality worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic

AVee

Re: Virtue signalling.

It probably isn't costing very little, more likely it's actually saving them money on bandwidth and processing costs...

Iowa has already won the worst IT rollout award of 2020: Rap for crap caucus app chaps in vote zap flap

AVee

Re: Short Message Service

That, or a simple voice response system where people dial a number follow instructions and punch the numbers in. And for $60K you can probably have both so people can use the method they prefer.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?

AVee

Re: But How ?

Why would I allow Cloudflare (or any other DNS-Over-HTTPS) provider to collect and sell my data instead of my ISP? Worse, my ISP will still mostly be able to collect the same data from the traffic (yes, the may be multiple sites behind a certain IP, but SNI headers will be nicely visible to the ISP). So switching to DoH just means there's now two parties with the ability to track me. (see also: VPN)

AVee

Re: But How ?

I'd say feeding them invalid data is just as effective as blocking, also for an individual. It protects your privacy, wasn't that the primary goal? If on top of that it annoys the advertisers a bit, that's a nice bonus.

Besides, they are constantly trying to hide the fact they are tracking me. I think it's fair game to hide the fact you are blocking them by just sending crap, it doesn't even need to be believable to achieve that.

Tracking President Trump with cellphone location data, Greta-Thunberg-themed malware, SharePoint patch, and more

AVee
Facepalm

New (York) Times

The article is well worth the read. I was left with the warm fuzzy feeling there are still journalist that care about our privacy. All may not be lost yet...

...and then I opened the web debugger and saw all the network requests to all sorts of different domains. Turns out they are contributing to this whole endless tracking habit as much as everyone else. We've build an entire economy around this, it's not going away unless we loose our addiction to 'free' content.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space

AVee

Re: Run the numbers?

I'm not an expert on what is for sale on the airplane market, but I guess the whole recertification/retraining issue is a really big deal for Boeing. It's probably not just the extra costs for both Boeing and the airlines, if it's a different plane and not just a new version of an existing one the buying decision changes. Customers forced to buy a different type of plane where they must do the retraining of crew anyway will suddenly start comparing all options and may decide to switch to a different manufacturer. Once that happens Boeing has lost that customer for the foreseeable future.

It also might indicate Boeing is not capable of producing a really competitive plane and relies on the deep buy-in of it's existing customers to survive.

Tesla has a smashing weekend: Model 3 on Autopilot whacks cop cars, Elon's Cybertruck demolishes part of LA

AVee

Re: I Can't Stop Myself

You seem to imply there is a moral side to this. That's where you go wrong.

Firstly we're probably living in a simulation anyway. Pedo guy said so himself on multiple occasions, so it's probably not even real humans being killed. (Let the implications of that sink in for a bit...)

Secondly, progress has always required sacrifices. That how it's always been and the fact that the progress is just for the shareholders and the sacrifice comes from others is no reason to change that.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

AVee

Re: SOP

That's not how dealing with government clients works. The mechanism is simply, they write a tender, you read that, estimate how much you can charge for the stuff the didn't specify and then you respond with a price based on that. Once you win the tender you either do the bare minimum forcing then to pay for extra stuff to get a working solution. The customer either pays up or cancels the whole thing in which case you claim breach of contract and get your money without doing the work. In both cases there will be outrage and newspaper articles, but that doesn't matter because with the next tender they will hire you again if you manage to be the cheapest on paper.

AVee

Agreed as well. There a plenty of hard working, knowledgeable and well-intending government workers. But there also are plenty which aren't any of that. I've got plenty of counter examples, ranging from ignorance and stupidity to huge indifference and downright fraud. The uncomfortable truth is that despite all the rules it's still pretty easy to 'persuade' government officials to certain buying decisions. In some case it might even be easier as there are so many rules to hide behind.

Googlers fired after tracking colleagues working on US border cop projects. Now, if they had monetized that stalking...

AVee

Re: I find the argument bizarre

There are only just two approaches if you live in a black and white world where everything has to go to the letter and nobody is capable of making a judgment call. You are suggesting two systems in which common sense does not apply. I'd rather live in neither of those, but in one where common sense is applied.

In a lot of places something which clearly goes against the intention (though not the letter) of a law is still illegal. So you can strike a balance 'What isn't allowed by the law is forbidden, anything which clearly goes against the intent of the law also is forbidden, everything else is allowed'. In this case, if the intention of a set of rules is to create a work environment where people feel save and you do something which clearly makes people feel unsafe, even though not specifically forbidden, it can still be a violation.

Also, the potential abuse is why 'those in power' should not be the same people as those making judgments. It's called 'Separation of powers'. Now in corporate environments this separation rarely exists, and I don't see it in this case either. Usually there is just one 'power', called money. (For an other example, see what happens if the president gets to appoint the head of the FCC...)

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE

AVee

But the sites that matter lag behind:

$ host -t AAAA theregister.co.uk

theregister.co.uk has no AAAA record

They are 'working on it', like everybody else...

UK Info Commish quietly urged court to swat away 100k Morrisons data breach sueball

AVee

Re: Duty of care

Having a duty of care and not succeeding does not automatically mean there's a liability. Stuff happens and you can't reasonably prevent everything all the time. Their only obligation is to take care, not to succeed in all circumstances.

But yeah, they do have a duty of care, and stuff happened. So now it's up to the judge to decide if they have taken sufficient care or if they could reasonably be expected to have prevented this from happening.

Double downtime: Azure DevOps, Google cloud users put the kettle on

AVee

The German solution

It seems like Microsoft resolved the Azure issues using the tried and tested German solution: "Reboot macht immer gut."

From https://status.dev.azure.com/_event/157751654:

"We identified the issue with identity calls and our engineers rebooted the ATs to mitigate, which has brought the system back to a healthy state."

So that's fixed, it probably won't happen again...

Communication, communication – and politics: Iowa saga of cuffed infosec pros reveals pentest pitfalls

AVee

There was very little reason to cuff them and drag them into jail. And even less reason to keep them there, once the situation was clear. As such they where unfairly caught in the middle.

However, if the situation indeed is that they signed a contract with someone not allowed to authorize that test there is a public interest in pursuing it further. The question is if the pen-testers should have known this and/or had the obligation to make sure the people they where dealing with had proper authority. This is a very interesting one, you can't have random people be allowed to break in anywhere just because another random person signed a piece of paper. But there (probably) also is a limit to the amount of research you can reasonably expect a pen-tester to do before signing a contract. And behind that there is the question if the testers are personally responsible or if their employer is (as they signed the contract).

Having a judge rule on that might actually provide a clear framework which I'd say is useful for the pen-testers mostly.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket

AVee

Re: Would someone explain

I read the story you linked, and the fine was dropped eventually.

Also, although I don't know the local situation, it seemed the driver wasn't (probably despite all the best intentions) making a smart move there. Turning into a bus lane isn't very likely to be useful because it makes more sense for the emergency vehicle to use that lane to avoid traffic in the first place. On top of that this driver didn't stop but kept driving in the bus lane, which isn't very helpful either. As such, while a fine maybe a bit crude, I can see how that driver probably needed to be educated a bit...

Sod 3G, that can go, but don't rush to turn off 2G, UK still needs it – report

AVee

One of the main reasons they are expensive to replace is the fact they are remote. Getting somebody qualified to thousands of locations all over the country is expensive regardless of the hardware. So even if such a converter would be a feasible option it still would not fix the cost issue.

That's not to say hardware costs are not an issue. 4G modules are still 4-5 times more expensive compared to 2G only, even in bulk last I checked. For certain applications that will double or triple the total hardware cost. For that reason alone there's plenty 2G only hardware still being produced and deployed...

AVee

Re: Set a date, and stick to it.

So? Seeing 2G switched of is not on my bucket-list, so it can stay for my lifetime ;-)

We can just keep 2G running as the baseline mobile technology. And at the same time 3G can be phased out as 4G takes over. Much like FM radio is still there even though DAB exists and will be replaced with DAB+ in due time. Like FM radio 2G is simply the lowest common denominator, and will be for quite some time.

As it it the cost of replacing a 2G only devices is huge, not just phones but all sorts of connected devices (smart meters are mentioned, but there a many more like burglar alarms, alarm buttons for elderly, loads of sensor equipment...) That will all need to be replaced. However, 3G devices (and there are far less of those) can mostly fall back to 2G. (And those that can't probably will actually benefit from an upgrade to 4G making it an easier sell.)

And to be honest, I doubt providers will want to switch of 2G because they are still making good money of all those devices out there. Forcing those customers into replacing equipment which is all over the country isn't going to go down well. A lot of them will start taking a serious look at possible alternatives (like Sigfox and LoRaWan) if they need to replace their hardware anyway.

Hundreds charged in internet's biggest child-abuse swap-shop site bust: IP addy leak led cops to sys-op's home

AVee

Re: Fair play to the authorities

That's indeed one of the points. You can even use Tor to get your stuff from China to that server in the USA anonymously.

But it goes beyond that, my main question is whether hidden sites solve a real problem or cause more misery than they are worth. Not Tor itself, just hidden sites. Because the above is possible, it seems they are not needed to get most information published. So it might be that the only 'added value' of hidden sites is to enable publishing things so unacceptable absolutely no-one anywhere in the world is willing to host it. As I said, I haven't made up my mind yet, so feel free to prove me wrong. But while a see enough legitimate uses of Tor to run a relay myself, I have a hard time figuring out what legitimate problem hidden sites to are solving.

AVee

Re: Fair play to the authorities

I haven't completely made up my mind about this yet, but perhaps hidden sites shouldn't exist in TOR. Uses like this always seem to involve hidden sites, while the legitimate uses are generally about either direct communication, or access to information and far less about publishing.

That makes sense, the bar for publishing content on the internet already is incredibly low. For pretty much anything there is a country where you can publish it and a hoster which will put it online for you. Once that is done users can still use TOR to access it. So TOR doesn't really seem to solve a big problem there.

What hidden sites provide is a way to publish content that nobody in the entire world is willing to host (and admit to hosting it). It seems to me that this is a clear indication that the content universally is considered objectionable, and as such perhaps should not be facilitated by TOR.

Don't get me wrong, I do support the general idea of TOR, to the extend that I run a relay. I also realize it's always going to be a trade-off between the benefits and the undesirable things it allows. I just have the impression that with hidden sites specifically the benefits are rather small and perhaps not worth it.

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack

AVee

Re: Feel old

To me the main plus is centralized storage. That is relevant because it makes sure history stays around when moving systems and history is searchable server side.

The other important difference is the lack of open protocol forcing you into a specific product/vendor...

Microsoft, GitHub staff tell Satya Nadella: It's time to ice ICE, baby. Rip up those tech contracts

AVee

Sad state...

When you stop and think about this it shows you how f'd up the US is right now. I mean, there's ethics involved when choosing who you will and will not do business with. But surely any government department in a decent democratic country should be a safe customer in that respect...

Also, going after companies is not going to change much, it's the politics where stuff needs to be fixed.

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it

AVee
WTF?

- "Data is more and more important"

Yes, I mean, I really don't know how they even managed to make radio programs for nearly a hundred years now without it...

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row

AVee

Re: Why is it even an issue on SE?

I'm not so sure about that. It's a Q&A site, it should be about the questions and the answers. There are plenty users where it's impossible, to know their gender/desired pronoun, if you address people directly it's generally easy to avoid (you use the username, and 'you' generally. Frankly, it's hard to think of a case where dragging gender into the discussion isn't horribly off topic. You managed to write the above post without any reference to gender. I replied to it, addressing you directly, without running into issues. I didn't phrase things differently, gender doesn't come in to play when speaking in second person.

Generally it only becomes an issue when talking about users other then the one you're addressing. Because in the third person gender is relevant. But there it's generally possible to avoid it by just mentioning the user by username, which is often a good thing for clarity anyway. So to me it seems pretty much a non-issue which can only be a distraction from the actual topic being discussed.

eBay eBabe enigma explained: Microsoft bug blamed after topless model slings e-souk's emails at stunned Brits

AVee
Mushroom

Hash collision is one option, but I'd guess that would be a backend thing, and MS is telling people to update their apps...

Hash collision or not, it is somewhat worrying. It means there is room for error in the way Outlook serves data belonging to a certain account. This time it's just an avatar, but it makes you wonder if the same might happen to an actual mail for example. That would potentially be, erm, even more interesting.

Home Office told to stop telling EU visa porkies

AVee

Or better: They change the procedure and just accept anyone with a passport, that saves them changing the ad and a boatload of paperwork. The millions of pounds saved can be used to fund the NHS instead!

(Come to think of it, why no just allow free movement of people. Maybe we can start some sort of union between countries for that...)

Git the news here! Code quality doesn't count for much when it comes to pull requests

AVee
Facepalm

Reputation makes the world go round

It's not just about sticking around, it is about quality too. And about having to deserve a reputation, a reputation which is about sticking around, but also about quality and usefulness.

There's nothing unexpected about this, actually it is fully to be expected. This is a very good example of the purpose reputation serves. Frankly anyone surprised by this outcome basically isn't qualified to do the research...

Reputation allows us to rely on the work of somebody else without basically having to check them every step of the way. Ideally (and it's never flawless and might even fail big time) someones reputation is well deserved and actually tells you more about the quality/usefulness of his code then a code checker will. For better of worse it is just the way humans interact with each other all the time. How you could think open source projects are somehow an exception is beyond me.

For me, I'd take a pull request from someone I trust to be able to write good and useful code over stuff from a random stranger or somebody known to get it wrong any day, even if the code-quality tool tells me otherwise. Unless code quality tools improve very very very much reputation will be a more reliable measurement of quality.

Alternatively one can of course spend a lot of time actually doing in-depth reviews of pull requests. That would make a difference, but takes huge amounts of time and it often it's just not worth it.

UK privacy watchdog threatens British Airways with 747-sized fine for massive personal data blurt

AVee
Thumb Up

To get a car analogy in: If you replace your tires because they are worn below the minimum thread depth, the costs of the tires are deductible, regardless of whether you replaced time on time of to (way) late. However, the fine you get for driving with worn tires is not deductible. That seems remarkably in line with common sense...

Thank you for clearing that up, to many people here seem to think companies can just deduct fines where clearly the can't.

Cocaine, psychedelics, DMT? They sure knew how to party 1,000 years ago: Archaeologists make startling discovery

AVee
Joke

Party like it's 999!

Nuff said...

Tractors, not phones, will (maybe) get America a right-to-repair law at this rate: Bernie slams 'truly insane' situation

AVee

Re: Clarity needed here - swap out components?

"The reason you can do that is because the regulators made sure that the companies used a standard (OBD) and did not come up with proprietary connectors and protocols."

FTFY...

What bugs me the most? World+dog just accepts crap software resilience

AVee

> "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?"

That's a nice cliche, but it simply isn't always true. Sometimes the band aid is an ounce of cure where a pound of prevention is needed. I mean, we could get rid of all hard surfaces outside so our kids never get a scratch. Or we can buy a box of band aids, I know which is cheaper... (Obviously, there are plenty of cases where it is true.)

It's very simple in the end, the customer is just not willing to pay for quality. That's also not a problem that's unique to software, you see that everywhere. It's a problem of a culture where we only look at initial costs and fully expect to replace things pretty quickly. To some extend it even makes sense, often software is going to be outdated way before all bugs are fixed.

But yeah, I'd rather like to see high quality software build for the long haul. But that does mean you can't jump on every latest technology bandwagon, you can't be buzzword compatible etc. Basically it will be very boring software, and maybe that's a good thing.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

AVee
Meh

Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

> This tended to cause the aircraft to nose up in some circumstances, which could cause a stall.

That's the thing that gets me. There's all this talk about sensors and software, redundancy, pilot training etc. But before all of that it seems to me that the physical characteristics of this plane are significantly worse then it's predecessors (at least in some aspects). Didn't the problem really start there?

I might be reading to much into it, but it seemed to me Boeing try to squeeze a bit to much out of the 737, which backfired pretty badly.

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

AVee

Re: Fake news

Seems like Twitter is clearly broken and needs to die.

FTFY

Pretend Python packages prey on poor typing

AVee

Re: The Real Problem is a Bit More Complicated

I guess the combination of both is the actual solution. What a distribution provides is a curated feed of packages. Right now it is the only curated feed we have for Python packages, so at the moment it is the only solution. Now I've tried doing exactly that, only use the Debian provided packages for a Python application. I failed. The solution seems to be obvious, we need a feed of Python packages which is properly curated. To me it doesn't make sense to use the feed of a OS, they have other priorities. But it does need to be managed the same way, the Debian model works and could well be applied to a Python specific repository.

Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

AVee

Re: Deiberately missing the point???

Nonsensical hyperbole. There will always be a market for cheaper rental acommodation, and so there will always be landlords willing to offer it.

There will always be more margin in higher end accommodation, so a sensible landlord will always rather provide that. No conspiracy, but the net effect is the same.

AVee

Re: Good Grief!

Well, if the food banks work as expected you wouldn't be hungry and you indeed wouldn't have the right to complain about it. The food banks don't even have to be spiffy, they need to be functional. That still leaves enough to be said about how desirable or effective a specific solution to your hunger is, who should provide it, who actually needs it etc. But no, you can't complain about bing hungry if your not actually hungry. Just like the queen can't complain about being poor.

Run a server on your Gb/s Google Fiber? OK, fine, fine ... maybe a small one

AVee

Re: To be honest

I once ran a mail server on a connection which explicitly prohibited this. I noticed in the log once that the ISP was actively doing relay checks, but never heard a word from them. So they knew I violated their TOS but didn't care because it wasn't causing any trouble.

Still, it's annoying because a TOS like that can be used against you at any time. When running a business you really don't want that hanging in the air. In the case of google it cynical to find clauses like that in their TOS because they are always claiming ISPs should be net-neutral and not interfere with the content of the data. If they really believe in this they shouldn't care if the traffic on their network is bittorrent upload or files served from a webserver. But google only seems to believe in net-neutrality when it's in their favor...

'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

AVee

Re: No problem

I wouldn't bother. The fire didn't affect the passenger cabin and didn't spread quickly. The driver was (according to Tesla at least) even warned about the situation. To me it seems the car handle the fire rather fine actually.

THE TRUTH about beaver arse milk in your cakes: There's nothing vanilla about vanilla

AVee

Re: Come on

"I call BS."

Nope. A dutch TV program which tracks origins of consumer products to show how they are created dug into this earlier this year. And yeah, the stuff exists, is being collected from killed beavers and being sold as a natural flavor. Getting a food producer to admit they use it turned out to be a different story, but the stuff exists and is being sold.

The two episodes covering this are online here:

http://keuringsdienstvanwaarde.kro.nl/seizoenen/2013/afleveringen/14-03-2013

http://keuringsdienstvanwaarde.kro.nl/seizoenen/2013/afleveringen/21-03-2013

The program is in Dutch, but contains some stuff (the start of the second episode) which takes place in Canada which are in English (with dutch subs). It shows a Canadian trader with a shed full of dried anal glands...

Boffin's claim: I have found how to get girls into tech

AVee
Holmes

Re: The bigger picture

Equal opportunities, fine. Moving heaven and earth to get more women into IT whether they want it or not is a totally different thing. I've seen quite a few women in IT I'd happily work with (there is one I'm still trying to hire), and quite a few who should be doing something else. But the same is true for men in IT. The only opinion I'll have on women in IT will be based on the quality of there work. And frankly, anything else (even if you wrap it in big words like 'gender equality') is sexism. Isn't getting hired 'because you're a woman' the biggest possible insult for any woman looking for a job in IT?

It's time we get over this and stop bickering about this men-women thing. When that happens it stops being about us and them (which ironically might actually do more than anything else when it comes to women in IT).

Oracle reveals secret recipe for free DIY storage cloud

AVee
Mushroom

Re: Not a Dropbox replacement... yet!

If you want sync, try http://owncloud.org/ That should count as a dropbox replacement.

[Mushroom cloud, because an ordinary cloud is just too cool]

Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

AVee

Re: The difference between mobile use and drinking and simulators and reality

The simulator point is valid I guess, being in a real car with a real risk of getting killed if you screw up does (I'd hope) make a difference. I know that I tent to fall silent on phone conversations while driving when 'interesting' stuff happens on the road, because I get distracted from the phone call. In a simulator however, the call might well be more important, at least subconsciously. It is really hard to take a simulation just a serious as real live.

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