DTNS 2647 – Searching For 2015

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comEurope’s clamping down on piracy while the US tries to sneak in a cybersurveillance bill. Tom Merritt and Scott Johnson talk about that and why “Facebook” is still the top Google search of the year.

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6 thoughts on “DTNS 2647 – Searching For 2015”

  1. More driver assistance can’t come quickly enough in cars. Last night on my regular Wednesday night commute home from a weekly D&D Encounters event I run the following happened.

    — Less than five minutes after leaving the store I was nearly killed by a driver going the wrong way on a freeway. Literally–the person was driving highway speed Eastbound in the wrong direction in the left lane of a Westbound freeway that is heavily traveled. Approximately 30 seconds after the wrong-way driver passed within a couple of feet of my car, he tragically ran head-on into a motorcyclist and killed the poor rider.

    — Fifteen minutes after this, on a surface street I used to get from the freeway to the Interstate, someone left a parallel parking space and made a U-turn behind me to travel in the same direction I was going and they did not turn on their headlights. This was approximately 11:00 pm so there’s reason other than stupidity or total incompetence that the driver didn’t turn on their headlights. Fortunately they were behind me and not in front of me.

    — Approximately ten minutes later as I was about to get off the Interstate, one of the digital traffic signs indicated a lane was closed several miles ahead due to a crash.

    Mind you that trip stood out because it was exceptionally bad, but it goes to show how stupid and incompetent a lot of people are when it comes to driving.

    Cars may not need to be completely autonomous, but they do need to be “smart” enough not to let some damned fool idiot drive the wrong direction in lanes of travel, forget to turn on their headlights, or crash into another vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, or roadside objects. The car should at the very least lock up the brakes, shut off the engine, and blast a warning in the cabin that you’re being a moron and need to learn how to pay attention and drive properly or call a cab or an Uber driver instead.

  2. The long distance jammer (that causes a drone to go in controlled descent mode) was discussed in the twit.tv show ‘Know how’ a couple of weeks ago.

    Robert Ballecer was very amused by the device, but after showing the video he immediately commented, laughing and headshaking: “You cannot use that device. Any form of jamming radio communication is illegal.”

    (I haven’t researched this, but surely, jamming GPS signals, at any range, is illegal.)

    Tom, in your discussion with Scott Johnson it’s not clear whether the two of you were thinking about protecting the White House from rogue drones, or whether you were thinking about citizens using this technology to protect their privacy.

    For citizens: regulators cannot possibly allow any form of GPS jamming.
    (Maybe for the White House, as the only exception.)

  3. I’ve heard you mention a discussion that took place in the Slack client a few times now. How does one join in on that?

    Also, I’m with Ken from Orlando on driverless cars being something we’ll all benefit from!

  4. The fact that anyone uses Google as a default is surprising to me.

    1. They track everything you do. Do you not care for your privacy? Well you use FaceBook, so that answers the question.

    2. If you are logged in, Google tries to give you the results they think you want to see. I would rather get the unvarnished answers.

    I do use Google for some things, but mostly DuckDuckGo is more private.

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