There were a couple of interesting IT-related snafus, errors, and problems last week. We start off this week’s edition of IT Hiccups with a popular polygraph system that may well have incorrectly identified thousands of people as being economical with the truth when they actually weren’t. Lafayette LX4000 Polygraph System Accused of Minimizing “Technical Glitch” for Years The McClatchy publishing company ran a series of disturbing stories in its papers over the weekend about a polygraph system called the Lafayette Instrument LX4000, which is widely used by U.S. state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the military and intelligence agencies. The articles note that the polygraph has had a long-standing “technical glitch” that may have incorrectly shown people as being untruthful when they were not. According to McClatchy, one agency that extensively uses the LX4000 system to screen applicants is the Federal Bureau of … [Read more...] about IT Hiccups of the Week: Lie Detector Lies?
State lemon law
Consciousness is more familiar to us than any other feature of our world, since it is the route by which anything at all becomes familiar. But this is what makes consciousness so hard to pinpoint. Look for it wherever you like, you encounter only its objects – a face, a dream, a memory, a color, a pain, a melody, a problem, but nowhere the consciousness that shines on them. Trying to grasp it is like trying to observe your own observing, as though you were to look with your own eyes at your own eyes without using a mirror. Not surprisingly, therefore, the thought of consciousness gives rise to peculiar metaphysical anxieties, which we try to allay with images of the soul, the mind, the self, the “subject of consciousness,” the inner entity that thinks and sees and feels and that is the real me inside. But these traditional “solutions” merely duplicate the problem. We cast no light on the consciousness of a human being simply by redescribing it as the … [Read more...] about The Unobservable Mind
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to.”Depending on your point of view, the preceding phrase could mean a variety of things. It could mean that cars aren’t as well-built or excitable as they were in the past, or on the flip side, it could mean that they are in fact safer, more capable, more efficient, and more sophisticated than their antiquated (and carbureted) predecessors. In 2015, most would likely agree with the latter perspective, and yet overall owner satisfaction is on a steady decline.The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its annual Automobiles Report earlier this year, and in regard to passenger cars, new vehicle contentment sits at 79 out of 100 points. That’s down 3.7 percent from 2014, and although it is a passing grade, it’s not exactly honor roll material. 2015 was the third straight year of depreciation, the report says, and overall satisfaction now sits at its lowest point since 2004. In fact, the only … [Read more...] about If new cars keep getting better, why is buyer satisfaction plunging?
There may yet be life in Aereo.After the Supreme Court appeared to deliver a death blow to Aereo by ruling its service was unlawful, the company has latched onto a part of the court's decision in an effort to stay alive.The Supreme Court determined that Aereo flouted copyright rules by retransmitting programming without a license.Aereo let users watch broadcast TV over the Internet for a monthly fee. Its rationale, according to CEO Chet Kanojia, was that its "cloud-based individual antenna would provide consumers with a convenient way to use an antenna to watch the live, free-to-air signals broadcast over public spectrum that belongs to them."Aereo's goal was to create a legal way of providing consumers with more flexibility in how to watch TV. The company tried to use a loophole in the federal 1976 Copyright Act as legal justification for its service, but the Supreme Court disagreed. Yet there was some wording in the court's written decision that gave Aereo a wisp of hope.While Aereo … [Read more...] about Aereo Aims to Make Lemonade From Supreme Court’s Lemons
When Apple brings out a new phone, my advice typically is to wait a couple of months for the problems to surface, and then they will either be fixed or known and you can make a more educated decision.However we haven't seen the number of problems with the latest iPhone since, well, ever.To summarize, the antenna is badly designed, the signal strength software is inaccurate (and evidently has always been inaccurate), the proximity sensor that's supposed to keep your face from dialing the phone is broken, battery life is in the toilet again, and the new OS is crashing. In related news, Apple has discovered rampant fraud on iTunes. Folks are comparing this new phone to Windows Vista, which is kind of ironic and funny if you aren't Apple or a user dealing with these problems.But the iPhone 4 isn't the first phone that has sucked, and given that you are tied to these things for years, I wonder if there shouldn't be a cellphone lemon law.Also last week, Amazon launched a new Kindle in … [Read more...] about OPINION Do We Need a Cellphone Lemon Law?