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  • Sep 20th, 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Meanwhile, in Japan...

    Neat article. Thanks for linking it.

    These micro grids are explicitly designed to deal with situations where the main grid is down. Situations exactly like those caused by Hurricanes.

    Of course, if you're a power company, the idea of losing 25% of revenue because of local production is terrifying. Which is why Florida Light and Power would never let that happen.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 12:33am

    Re: Re:

    the person with 51% can tell the minority owners to pound sand.

    That's not how it works at all. On one level it does, but on another minority shareholders do have legal rights. If the 51% does something too horrendous, they can sue and win.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 12:14am

    Re: And lost his scholarship

    So... Lawsuit incoming. Actually there could be one regardless, but anything where speech affects his education from anywhere that takes government money is asking for it.

  • Jul 31st, 2017 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know about that. Security guards are able to remove hecklers, even from public events, city council meetings, etc.

    Actually they can't legally make content-based removals of people. Doing so anyway is a criminal act

    Yet this does happen. Even in congress, cheering observers are significantly less likely to be thrown out than those shouting vulgarities. That's not a bad thing, but it's a known and accepted part of the first amendment.

    I wonder if the defendant would have had better luck by phrasing her ban as an action to ensure the space is available to all audiences. That by temporarily curtailing his speech she was allowing others to speak that would otherwise be intimidated.

    In general, the answer to these things is clear community guidelines, and have the moderators follow them. While allowing some flexibility is important,* it's also important for moderators to be as impartial and consistent as possible. Regardless of the topic and speaker.

    * Zero tolerance policies end badly.

  • Jul 13th, 2017 @ 12:17pm

    Re: A Better Mousetrap

    Not really, because the ratings aren't all bad. Nightly News probably has reasonable ratings, but they wanted it just a bit higher. So, they used the intentional misspelling to not have a weekend that they knew would have bad ratings counted.

    Of course, as has been mentioned this screws anyone with a DVR, since the show doesn't get recorded. It's also relatively easy for Nielsen to fix. Just add a step where the data is cleaned up. Possibly have someone set up a mapping by hand to re-name the shows.

  • Jul 13th, 2017 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's one major problem with that sort of government propaganda. It may work internally, but it alienates everyone else.

    That's not a good thing when everyone else has the power to take their ball and go home. From the EU perspective, having several million people suddenly unemployed won't be fun. Just like the financial chaos would suck. They're trying to avoid it, but as long as they give advanced notice, they can at least soften the impact.

    On the UK side, a hard brexit without any new trading treaties would wreck their economy. As in prices for any good going to or from the UK could almost double due to tariffs and additional customs restrictions. At least they use their own currency, so that problem has been avoided for now.

  • Jul 10th, 2017 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Who is paying for the credit card refund fees?

    Probably the developer.

    With that said, it's a cost of doing business. You can think of it in two ways:

    First, the fees are less than a marketing campaign. The safety net factor means more people will try the game.

    Second, a refund policy means if something horrible goes wrong there's less likely to be a public backlash. People can still be unhappy with the game, but if they get there money back, they're less likely to cause as large of a firestorm. Think about No Man's Sky. While it would still have been a horrid game, if players could have gotten refunds they wouldn't have been nearly as upset.

  • Jun 28th, 2017 @ 12:29pm

    EU Problems

    The fun comes the moment that Google is sued in the EU for de-listing a website because of something like this. It's going to turn into a catch 22, where the EU says Google can't de-list something, and Canada says they must.

    Given that the company that's being de-listed has French assets it's not as far fetched as you think. The EU has a massive anti-Google crusade going right now, and don't seem to be thinking about long term consequences.

    At this point, it looks like Google's best option is to pull out of Canada entirely, and get a US court to rule that the Canadian ruling is overly broad.

  • Jun 14th, 2017 @ 9:30pm


    EU laws may require

    This is going to bite them so hard. The moment it's an EU citizens data in question Google is going to face massive EU fines. Except, if they don't comply they're in contempt in the US.

    This is exactly the reason why Microsoft has refused to turn over the data. They know that the moment they do so the EU will burn them alive.

  • Jun 13th, 2017 @ 6:49pm


    A prosecutor would have a case against Tumblr. A random citizen, not so much.

  • Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 11:52am


    When it comes to being racist and blocking immigration, look no further than Japan.

    They have major problems with birth rate, and an aging population. However, "no gaijin" is a common thing that westerners hear if they go into even the wrong restaurant in the multicultural areas.

    Japan is hoping for a robotic revolution, because they aren't allowing people in.

  • May 24th, 2017 @ 2:17pm

    An issue that will probably be fixed

    The ability for websites to determine if a browser is running in private browsing mode is a concern in general.

    My bet is Mozilla and (maybe) the Chromium team will work on preventing this sort of detection in the future.

  • May 3rd, 2017 @ 7:35am

    Re: You gotta love that "contract"

    Oh, that contract was extremely valuable. It let the company stall for quite a while.

    The original deadline was Dec 31, and it's already May. Early leaks become less valuable the closer the media is to public release, especially if there's more work to be done by the production company.

    Also, all this communication they had with the hackers would probably be extremely useful to law enforcement.

  • Apr 3rd, 2017 @ 1:15pm

    Does Vice still have it

    Barring an appeal to the Supreme Court, the RCMP will get their man['s communications]

    Serious question. Does Vice media still have those communications? If they turn anything over, they can consider themselves done in comparison to other organizations. Plus, the whole journalistic ethics thing.

    Given all that, I wouldn't be surprised if they've already destroyed everything.

  • Mar 21st, 2017 @ 11:22am

    Pilots not exempt!

    Fun fact. These days pilots use iPads instead of a 50lb bag of paper charts. Nothing in the current instructions exempts those pilots. While it obviously means airlines and package services (UPS, FedEx) can't fly their pilots out to these places it's actually even worse.

    If the affected airline's own pilots are exempted they will have to start carrying that extra 50lb bag, and go back to old paper charts. So, best case is pilots considering US trips to be crap duty. Worst case is the latest paper charts haven't been sent to the pilots, so they just can't fly the route. There are in between options, but that's a best/worst case scenario if pilots tools are actually banned.

  • Mar 1st, 2017 @ 4:58am

    Re: How to win with such a team...

    Another option is to limit certain voting choices. So, the coach says here's 3 or 5 choices we think will work. Pick one.

    People get points when they pick correctly. That plays in with the possible weighting system, and lets people have a personal score.

    The tricky part is defining what gives points. A goal is obvious, but maybe number of yards traveled?

  • Feb 28th, 2017 @ 11:00am


    Quick question. Many countries have additional privacy requirements for minors. What's the likelihood that this company is now in breach?

  • Feb 6th, 2017 @ 1:32pm


    The USPS can open your mail! Under certain circumstances at least. I haven't been able to find too many articles discussing the issue, but here's one:

  • Feb 6th, 2017 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Filing Cabinets

    See my post about distributed filing systems for more information. My analogy was just that, and isn't perfect.

    The problem with this ruling is it's forcing Google to make huge technical changes to their infrastructure. I'm talking Billions of dollars worth here. At best, Google can spend a couple million to put in hacks and treat the person under investigation as a special snowflake. Except, if those hacks do involve moving data out of say the EU, then Google just broke EU law. Especially since, everyone but this judge believes ordering Google to move things so the Feds can get it is a seizure.

    Even ignoring the dubious international legality, the US really doesn't want to be known for having courts that can force company's to completely restructure their internal organization on a whim. The cost to implement the court order means this will be fought as long as possible. If Google loses, then this is additional (not codified) regulation international companies will be wary of when dealing with US markets.

  • Feb 6th, 2017 @ 10:10am

    Distributed File Systems

    I wouldn't be so sure of that.

    Google is a major contributor to distributed file system development. These are things that look like one "disk" to anyone accessing it, but are based on man hard drives running on many different computers.

    These systems are "intelligent". So if I were in Japan, it would see that and slowly move my data over to an Asian data center. Because, that way I'm not waiting for signals to travel halfway across the world and back again every time I want to read an E-mail.

    Here's a more likely example: Someone in Japan sends me (in the US) an E-mail. Google recieves that E-mail at their Asian data center, but knows I'm in the US. So, whenever I read that E-mail, or if the US data center has extra space and Google have spare bandwidth, Google will transfer it over to the US.

    Managing such a system has to be a huge effort. To find where a specific file is, they have to: find all the data blocks, map those blocks to actual disks/machines, and find out where those machines are. The best part is there are multiple copies of each block, so if a machine dies it doesn't take data with it. Then, 5 minutes later the system could shift and move all that data overseas.

    The tools just aren't designed to say that this file must be on this machine. The way Google dealt with China was just setting up an entirely separate network. That is why orders like this, or the possibility of the EU requiring all data to be stored within it's borders scares Google so much. They'd go from one distributed fault tolerant network, to a bunch of small vulnerable networks.

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