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Comment: Re:Safety (Score 1) 937

by Chalex (#45908919) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

"And if *all* the cars on the road aren't autonomous, then the autonomous ones are mostly a traffic hazard with no clear liability."

There's something missing from your logic leap there. It's more like "And if *all* the cars on the road aren't autonomous, then the autonomous ones are still the cars most likely to react correctly to any hazardous situation."

Comment: Re:Nice dodge (Score 1) 189

by Chalex (#40644695) Attached to: Bas Lansdorp Answers Your Questions About Going to Mars

The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson addresses this issue a bit (along with all the other issues).

In those books, the colonists (numbering 100 for the initial batch) are split on whether "contamination" of Mars is acceptable or not. Eventually, a group splinters off, much like the staunch environmentalists we have in the US today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_trilogy

Comment: if you pay $10/mo, you can't really expect damages (Score 5, Insightful) 450

by Chalex (#39217085) Attached to: Linode Exploit Caused Theft of Thousands of Bitcoins

Back when I worked for a web host company, we occasionally (rarely) had some issues where customers got screwed. In the worst case, your VPS is on a box where multiple disks die in a RAID array, and you don't have backups, and that's that.

We were customer-friendly, so we would refund the customer's hosting charges if something went terribly wrong. But if you're paying $19/month, you can't really expect us to refund you more than $19/mo when something goes wrong.

There's a rule of thumb in physical security; you should spend ~5% of the value of the thing to secure the thing. E.g. ~$1000 bicycle means ~$50 bicycle lock. If you're using a $19/mo service to hold $10k worth of value, you better be taking some other precautions. These guys were doing the equivalent of keeping $10k in cash in a $20 lockbox in a public place.

Comment: Re:4:3 comes back! (Score 1) 537

by Chalex (#39084075) Attached to: iPad 3 Confirmed To Have 2048x1536 Screen Resolution

You're right, higher resolution (ppi) means that text can still be legible at a slightly smaller size. But that also means that the high ppi is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for the people that also want large font size, so they can have the same exact experience as reading a piece of paper.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone want to use a kindle? (Score 4, Informative) 155

by Chalex (#35270396) Attached to: Would the Developing World Use E-Readers More Than Laptops?

You are confusing the hardware device with the Amazon service. Amazon has gone to great pains to make it super-easy to buy things from their bookstore directly on the device, and manage those purchases on your device through the Amazon website.

But the device itself is a regular e-reader, you can put files on it via USB and manage them via the filesystem or an app like Calibre. And Amazon does not manage books on the device except the ones that you buy through the Amazon service.

Most people who complain about the Kindle have never even used one.

So to address these complaints directly: 1. "sharing" a book is a feature of Amazon's DRMed service. It doesn't apply to regular e-books. 2. They promised they'd never delete a book from a person's account again again. And again, that only applies to DRMed books purchased through Amazon.

I tend to get my books from Project Gutenberg or manybooks.net and then manage them via USB with Calibre. You could load most of Project Gutenberg on a Kindle and send it to a place without network (but with electricity) and it would be much better than sending them trunkfuls of books.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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