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Comment Re:What is with these space law professors? (Score 1) 178

Ram Jakhu says that the purpose of the Outer Space Treaty is that "there shouldn't be private property in space". So he's claiming a treaty signed at the height of the Cold War established communism in outer space in perpetuity. Hmm.

Even if he's right, which I very strongly doubt, it's a terrible idea. Communism hasn't worked on Earth and is no more likely to work off-Earth.

The environmental arguments are even worse: they assume all human modification of the environment is inherently wrong. That makes sense to the anti-human wing of environmentalism, which is strong in academia, but not to people who value human flourishing more than hypothetical exo-bacteria (i.e. almost everyone).

Comment Re:Already solved (Score 1) 110

Horses need to be fed, watered, cleaned-up after, and groomed. They sometimes get sick with a huge variety of different ailments, which need to be cured in lots of different ways --- you can't just swap in a new part. They have personalities and moods. They grow, get old and die. Outsourcing all that is not really practical because most of it happens where they're stabled; if you outsource that then it's comparable to a taxi, not a personally owned car.

Some gadgetry gives much better cost-benefit than others. ABS braking seems like a high payoff. General-purpose OS running an entertainment system connected to the CAN bus, not so much.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1) 814

Baiting schools into overreacting to security threats isn't that hard. There have been numerous cases involving toy guns, and even kids pointing their fingers like guns (and who hasn't done that?). Do you really think it's a good idea to support families who bait schools into overreacting in search of a payout? Not only does that mean transferring money out of already-strapped school systems, but it makes the lives of school administrators just that much harder.

Comment Re:Already solved (Score 1) 110

It turns out that you do not need to connect a fridge to the Internet for it to do its job well. Internet connection might make certain activities slightly more convenient ... at the cost of an increase in hidden complexity that you'll pay for down the line, e.g. when your fridge is recruited to a botnet.

A horse is actually far more complicated and difficult to maintain than a car, so that analogy fails. Cramming cars with needless gadgetry is indeed making them dangerously complex and we're going to pay for that later.

Comment CIOs will be rewarded for getting security wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 110

Many CIOs will dive head-first into IoT, get a lot of good PR, stock prices will rise and they'll be rewarded. Then their companies will discover the IoT security nightmare, get lots of bad PR, stock prices will sink and the CIOs will blame it on someone else. Result: happy CIOs and IoT vendors and an absolute disaster for everybody else.

Comment Re:Not sincerely held (Score 1) 518

Courts can evaluate whether a belief is sincerely held. This happens frequently, e.g. in perjury cases. So the DMV could require the applicant to swear that the belief is sincerely held, and then in cases (like this one) where it obviously isn't, they can take the person to court to make an example of them.

Comment Amnesia (Score 1) 177

It seems very risky to me to have contractors set up a very complex system (i.e. any software system) and then move on. They will not be able to write down all the information you need to maintain it properly.

Of course this happens all the time already, but that doesn't make it healthy.

Comment HTML5Test is somewhat bogus (Score 1) 165

That's their measure of "standards compliance". Unfortunately it's rather bogus. It includes non-standard stuff like WebSQL, which is not a standard at all and was only ever implemented in Webkit (which Blink inherited). Also, it's just checking for the presence of features and doesn't do any testing how well those features work. So it incentivizes browser to provide a bare-minimum buggy implementation of every feature under the sun, which isn't actually good for the Web.

Comment Re:Bias? Or reality? (Score 4, Interesting) 445

A lot of gifted programs, and this one is no exception, only partially rely on a test for selection decisions. They also rely on teacher recommendations to a large extent. And while I'm sympathetic to the view that you have to be able to pass the test if it's reasonable, I would be shocked if there were no bias in the teacher recommendation process.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]