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Comment: Passengerless vehicles? (Score 1) 435

by Comboman (#49674377) Attached to: Will Robot Cars Need Windows?
As many others have pointed out, the windows serve many purposes beyond aiding the driver. In fact there is very little in a car (other than the controls and instrument panel) that are specifically intended for the driver (mirrors maybe?). A better question would be, what could change in a passengerless vehicle (package or pizza delivery, street cleaner, snow plow, Google Street View camera car, etc)?

Comment: translation (Score 1) 359

by Comboman (#49559829) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

When the iPhone first came out it didn't have apps. People where expected to use the browser for 3rd party apps.

Translation: The app store wasn't ready when the 1st gen iPhone was released (Apple had already been experimenting with 3rd party apps for the iPod before the iPhone was even announced). Like all Apple products, the 1st generation is beta testing of an incomplete product (iWatch buyers beware).

Comment: Radicalization (Score 5, Insightful) 179

by Comboman (#49385949) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack

If you do it right, you don't even need to change the references:

Desert Youth Radicalized by Bearded Religious Zealot
He seemed to others like a typical teen; having fun with his friends, going into town to pick up some power converters. But the boy's foster parents were worried he would follow a local anti-social, desert-dwelling hermit on some "damn fool ideological crusade". There are reports the old man may have lied to the youth about his birth father's involvement in the religious movement in order to gain his trust. From there, the two joined up with a couple of mercenary smugglers involved in human trafficking in an attempt to sneak past coalition blockades and gain access to military facilities. The old cleric apparently martyred himself in the initial attack on the base, which only strengthened the youth's resolve to follow in his mentor's footsteps. Even the mercenaries appear to have been radicalized, abandoning their business interests to join up with the movement.

Comment: High-speed rail instead? (Score 2) 226

by Comboman (#49343735) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC

While still ridiculously expensive, a high-speed (or even regular-speed) rail line linking Asia and North America would at least be a little more practical. No need to build (and man, and resupply) gas stations/rest stops/etc every 50 miles or so across thousands of miles of frozen tundra. I'm not sure how far a train can go without needing to refuel, but they never have to stop to pee.

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 2) 213

Sure there is. All you have to do is use stegnography to encode your message into a photo, then use that photo in what looks like a spam email message, then pretend your computer is taken over by a botnet and send the spam to a few thousand email addresses (including the one you actually want to send to). Absolutely no useful metadata there.

Comment: Re:Weird Al.... (Score 5, Informative) 386

Weird Al is safe for two reasons:

1) He gets permission from every artist prior to doing a parody, despite the fact that he doesn't really need to because...

2) US Copyright law makes specific mention of parody as fair use. Some parody is subtle, but Al's is broad and obvious. I would like to see a lawyer try to argue his works are not parody.

Comment: Also fails history. (Score 1, Informative) 648

by Comboman (#48856513) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Since BASIC was introduced in 1964 and C was not released until 1972, it is highly doubtful that BASIC is in any way "based on C". BASIC is patterned after Fortran and to a lesser extent Algol. Those language also influenced C, though in different proportions (more Algol, less Fortran), but any claim of BASIC being C-based is quite laughable.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.