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  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Insurance and tickets

    1. Insurance policies are issued to drivers based on the driver's record, age, location, and other actuarial factors. If the driver is not a factor, then I don't see an insurance company issuing a policy "to a car."

    I'm not sure that's correct. My insurance policy is specific to the car. I'm not insured under my policy if I drive, say, a friend's car. Moreover, there are terms in my insurance that insure someone else driving my car as a "guest driver."

    The cost of my insurance is affected by my driving record, etc., as I am listed as the "primary driver." However, the policy sure appears to be tied to the car, not me.

    In fact, I could easily see an insurance company issuing a policy that sets terms on driverless operation. At first, those terms would probably be expensive, given the lack of data on driverless performance and accidents. However, I would expect that the cost of insuring driverless operation would come down fast, as I expect driverless operation to be a lot safer than human operation. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see policies issued that charge a premium for people who insist on driving themselves.

    1. Traffic citations are issued to drivers based on their actions while in operation of that motor vehicle. I don't see law enforcement willing to attempt to stop and ticket a driverless car.

    What makes you think it would ever be necessary to ticket a driverless car? They don't break driving laws, save temporarily to improve safety (one of those interesting things that the Google driverless car devs had to program in: without the ability to temporarily speed, tailgate, etc., driverless cars were found to be less safe when running on the road with other cars with human drivers). Indeed, the advent of the driverless car is likely to precipitate a budget problem for many cities, as their ticket revenue dries up.

    In any event, if an officer did decide to ticket a driverless car, it wouldn't be hard to issue a ticket to the owner, based on the license plate.

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 2:13pm

    Liability? Hmm ...

    I am assuming that this restriction revolves around liability. It makes some sense: if a *driverless* car is fulfilling a ride request from, say, Uber, and the car gets in an accident, who is liable? Currently, it's most likely *Tesla*, not the owner. After all, the owner wasn't anywhere near the car at the time.

    For owners that contract with the Tesla Network, liability will likely be spelled out in the contract that the contractors sign with Tesla. However, Tesla has no control over the terms that, say, Uber makes with their contractors. Thus, the restriction to the Tesla Network.

    This notion does make me wonder, though: what about liability for *anyone* riding in the car without the owner? Wouldn't the same problem apply? Perhaps Tesla is willing to shoulder the potential liability since that's a much less frequent occurrence?

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Liability? naw...

    I would expect that the Tesla Network would explicitly address liability for their driverless cars, probably by spelling out the terms in the contract they make with their contractors. However, Tesla has no control over the terms that non-Tesla-Network services set for their contractors, and currently that would likely throw all liability for problems onto Tesla, not the owner of the car.

    If/when legislation specifically spells out how liability falls out for driverless cars I would hope that Tesla would be able to, and would proceed to, relax these restrictions. However, in the current legal framework, this is not unreasonable.

  • Aug 2nd, 2016 @ 5:30pm

    The link is clear

    The link is perfectly clear, Mike. The KKK are "bad guys." The First Amendment permits them to say whatever they want to say, but they're still "bad guys." Lawbreakers are also "bad guys" - at least, according to the FBI - as are those who help them, like Moxie. The First Amendment allows them to say whatever they want to say, but they're still "bad guys."

    Remember, a person is never a villain in his own eyes. An FBI spokesman is likely to have a rather black-and-white view of the world, with the FBI white and the FBI's suspects black. To him/her, Moxie is self-evidently wrong-headed, like a KKK member, and no reasonable person should agree with him. Engaging in a debate with him would only elevate his ideas to the public, as if they had some possible validity. Therefore, they won't.

    Mind you, I certainly don't *agree* with this spokesman. He or she clearly has no perception or conception that the FBI might ever abuse their power, nor that there may be times when breaking the law might be a good thing (Rosa Parks comes instantly to mind). However, I can certainly *understand* why they would make such an (outrageous) statement.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 10:07am

    Re: video quality

    Moreover, that's the irony of this whole mess. If T-Mobile had limited BingeOn's effects to only partners whom they had worked with to auto-adjust the quality, and left out the throttling, they could legitimately call this a customer benefit. There are still the issues of opt-in/opt-out and just how easy or difficult they make it to turn it off and on, but those are less important to most people. It's the throttling that brought on the uproar.

  • Sep 23rd, 2015 @ 1:45pm

    Mandate encryption

    Since the EU-US Safe Harbor set up is under review anyway, modify it to require that any data transferred out of Europe and into American servers must be encrypted in transit and at its destination server. It would make the verification process more significant (and, thus, more expensive) but it would go a long way toward re-legitimizing the process.

    The beauty of such a rule is that it would prompt many companies to simply encrypt everything in-transit and on-server, rather than trying to set up something specific to EU-US. That would be a good thing.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 @ 4:58pm

    Make 'em pay

    Let's see some ordinances passed in cities around the nation that require City Council members to pay the attorney's fees for civil cases that the Council brings which lose. I'm betting that there would be a 99% reduction in said civil cases.

  • Aug 11th, 2015 @ 12:02pm

    It was paid for, so it should be available

    Surely it's only fair that generic manufacturers cannot piggy-back on the work of the original drug companies? (/rhetorical question)

    No, it's not fair. The manufacturer was paid for that work, among other things, by the patent that they were granted. If they don't want that data used by other companies, don't file for a patent.

  • May 29th, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Fine

    The fine was 1.2 *billion*. I'm sure that this was taken into account somehow - that's pretty much the only way you get a number that high.

    Yet this was a settlement. There's a natural tendency to assume that they settled for a fine lower than what they actually made. The only other alternative seems to be that they saw a slam-dunk case in the making, so they scrambled to settle before receiving a verdict that may be even worse. This case seems unlikely to be that clear-cut, at least in a courtroom.

  • Apr 29th, 2015 @ 11:12am

    A Form of Welfare

    Copyright system supporters insist that copyright is like a form of welfare: a right to earn money.

    What a great phrase! Let's rewrite the debate: start calling Copyright "Authors' Welfare" or "Publishers' Welfare". The term "welfare" has negative connotations to much of the American public, so if we can reshape the debate with these terms we can perhaps shift public sentiment against these insane copyright terms.

    We can state something like, "It just makes sense to reduce the time that authors and, especially, publishers are feeding at the Welfare trough of excessive Copyright at the public's expense." There, you've insulted Copyright by equating it to Welfare and made it clear that these excessive Copyright terms are stealing from the public by taking Public Domain works away from them.

  • Apr 9th, 2015 @ 1:08pm

    Re: "It wasn't a request"

    I keep wondering that, myself. Why have the courts been so obliging to these blatant rejections of their authority?

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 3:33pm

    Obligatory Princess Bride quote

    “A lot of men have died over [the flag], men and women,” Archuleta said. “We fought to keep our country safe and to keep it free.”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Aug 27th, 2014 @ 2:30pm

    Perhaps this will be a good thing

    If RECAP winds up with a more-comprehensive database than PACER, PACER will gradually (or rapidly?) be abandoned in favor of RECAP. Competition in action ...

  • Jun 20th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: More apologies and misdirection to protect GOOG

    If you don't accept their terms, you're out of YouTube.

    Baloney. You can post whatever you want, for free. YouTube won't interfere with that. Or, you can sign up for their Subscriber program. However, the Ad-Sense program is going away, so if you only post your videos there, they'll go away when that program goes away.

  • Apr 15th, 2014 @ 4:59pm

    Re: ME3 ending

    Someday, years from now, one of the main developers of ME3, who by that time will no longer be working for EA or Bioware, will come out and reveal how the ending of ME3 was messed up so badly. I am impatiently waiting for the day.

    My guess is sheer arrogance of the lead developer, possibly aggravated by time pressure. However, I could readily be off.

  • Nov 26th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    Bad and Worse

    I am concerned about the massive database that the NSA (and others) are compiling, because despite the fact that "I have never done anything wrong," I understand perfectly that I am, along with almost everyone else in the US, technically a felon due to the proliferation of laws. I now, or soon, will live at the sufferance of those with access to this database.

    I am more concerned because the same database can and will be used to influence and/or control our elected representatives through blackmail. If it hasn't happened yet, it will - always in the name of patriotism, of course - and I then begin to wonder why there are so few representatives who are up in arms about the deceitfulness of the NSA. I'd think that the reps would be more paranoid, and more worried about what that database might eventually contain on them ... unless they already know, and are keeping quiet as a result.

    Before Snowden I'd have dismissed this notion as a laughable conspiracy theory. I'm not laughing anymore.

  • Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    what they wanted initially was known as a 'pen register', and amounted to giving the NSA access to monitor who a person was contacting/possible content monitoring. However, because that data stream being monitored is encrypted, the pen register told them nothing.

    That's not what I recall. As I recall, Lavabit refused to comply with the pen register order. That's when the NSA went to court to force Lavabit to comply. Things escalated from there.

    Clearly, Lavabit didn't implement a "proper" PGP system, with encryption/decryption happening at the client *only*, or handing over the SSL key wouldn't have granted access to users' emails (which seems to be what's being argued). I'm not sure how Lavabit did provide its secure email services, though.

  • Oct 10th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Possible out

    I wonder how a judge would react if, in court (a la the Lavabit hearings), the judge ordered that the company turn over their cert and the company rep responded that, sure, they'd do so, but that they were then contractually bound to notify the CA that the cert had been compromised, which would lead to the revocation of the cert? Can a judge order a company to willfully violate a contract like this?

  • Sep 10th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: This is supporting evidence that root CA is pwned

    Sorry, AC, this is not nonsense. MITM certificates is exactly what we're talking about here, and it is the mostly likely method used to achieve this "FLYING PIG" operation. I myself can think of 3 ways that the NSA could acquire MITM certificates, and there are probably more:

    1) Issue an NSL (or equivalent) to a medium-sized CA demanding an MITM cert. Even a large CA would be reluctant to challenge such a thing, and a medium-sized CA wouldn't have the corporate courage nor the resources to do so. They'd roll over quickly.

    2) Get a mole into any given CA and have them supply an MITM cert at need. We have already seen that the NSA does, indeed, seek to plant moles in various companies. CAs would be a prime target.

    3) Steal a CA's private authentication key so that the NSA could sign their own MITM keys at need. Pre-Snowden, this would be laughed off. Now, it looks quite likely. Again, this would be a prime target for the NSA to acquire if it could, and it has billions to spend to achieve that.