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Comment Re:Like Tomato? (Score 2) 90

Well, if we're getting into the business of banning things on the basis of what they could be used for, let's start with rocks

You joke, but from TFA:

Under the rule proposed by the FCC, devices with radios may be required to prevent modifications to firmware. All devices operating in the 5GHz WiFi spectrum will be forced to implement security features to ensure the radios cannot be modified. While prohibiting the modification of transmitters has been a mainstay of FCC regulation for 80 years

In other words, this is something they've been doing for a very long time, and they are suddenly saying you can't modify things which impact transmitters. It's kind of the things the FCC has been doing for decades.

So while TFA says "yarg, teh open source and teh tinkering" ... in part it's the FCC reminding people there are long established rules in place for determining what you can do with a transmitting device.

If the Federal Rock Administration had been regulating rocks for 80 years, then your analogy might be bullshit.

But preventing making changes to a transmitting device is something they've been doing for a long time. It's not like they're newly asserting this authority, they're pointing out they've had it for decades.

Comment Re:Like Tomato? (Score 4, Insightful) 90

As purely a WAG ... my guess is things which radiate are tested and approved according to some form of standard for interference and the like.

Putting on a new firmware could cause the device to operate outside of those parameters, and would therefore be a non-conforming device.

It's not saying you can't put software on something you own. It's saying putting something onto a device which broadcasts can make changes you didn't expect.

As I said, that's purely a WAG, but it seems like the kind of thing within their mandate.

Comment Re:Economics isnt science. (Score 1) 92

There is a lot arm waving but hardly any coherent solutions.

Which, in fairness to Marx, is no different than any other economic worldview. They're all incomplete or flawed in their own ways by their very nature.

They all try to force the world to behave according to arbitrary "rules", which are mostly observations which don't account for nearly as much as they claim to.

Anybody who claims to have "coherent solutions" in any field of economics is mostly full of shit. I remain unconvinced it is possible to have "coherent solutions" ... merely a bunch of incoherent ideas which are so idealized as to be mostly wrong.

They all hand wave around everything, pretend it all works out in the end ... and they all utterly fail to do anything of substance. Because no matter how you try, the world doesn't give a crap about how elegant your theory is.

Comment Re:Main street economists are charlatans (Score 2) 92

directing scarce resources and re-allocating mis-allocated resources (and resources do get mis-allocated all the time, but in a free market economy the mis-allocation leads to lack of profits that eventually leads to ceasing of that particular activity and for a great reason n - resources that are mis-allocated hurt the economy).

And this is the fundamental flaw in your argument.

Nothing is "mis" allocated, it is allocated where the people who control them put them.

That this fails to match up with your perfect theory isn't a problem with the random, selfish, and stupid shit people do. It's a problem with your model which says people will achieve the perfect outcome your flawed model predicts.

What you're saying is, if people will only behave according to how you believe they should, there would be perfect outcomes. And I hate to tell you, but that will never happen.

I say there is no such thing as perfect outcomes, there is no such thing as rational actors, and there is no collective goal or "proper" allocation of anything. Merely a bunch of greedy, selfish, irrational actors doing whatever the hell makes sense at the time, or what they've been hoodwinked into believing will yield perfect outcomes. Many of whom will utterly fail to play by any rules or with anything other than pure, shortsighted greed.

If your theory can't account for the randomness of the human animal, it's your theory which is defective. Because the human animal will simply NEVER do anything according to someone's theory which has perfect outcomes.

The notion of "they're doing it wrong because it doesn't match my ideology" is the problem here.

Comment Re:Ideology not reality ... (Score 3, Insightful) 92

Nobody can know exactly when a bubble will pop, but bubbles are created by malinvestments, and most malinvestments can be attributed to forced central bank interest rates, and central bank Open Market Operations.

Oh, look .. ideology pulled out of your ass and passed off as facts.

Blah blah blah.

Sorry, this is exactly my point. Show us some empirical proof, or STFU. What's that? Don't have empirical proof? Then you don't have facts. You have ideology.

Comment Something else economists could do... (Score 1) 92

... would be for them to establish sound and sane epistemological foundations for their works. For example they could stop trying to assert they can model human behavior, and instead limit themselves to observations of economical choices made by real, live humans only.

Comment Ideology not reality ... (Score 5, Interesting) 92

Let's be clear: how you think economics is defined by your ideology, and most economics is bad math with unfounded assumptions arriving at un-supportable conclusions.

So, if you're the Chinese government and think you can manipulate markets to suit your beliefs, you'll be horribly mistaken. Likewise, if you subscribe to the ridiculous Austrian School of economics (which refuses to have empirical evidence), then you likewise believe your theory is so perfect it doesn't need to be validated.

Nobody has ever had any proof for "trickle down economics" other than they think it should work and it suits their ideology, but 30 years of actual real world data mostly shows it's utterly failed to work as planned.

Economics is useful to look at what came before, and understand some limited problems ... but in general many people believe once you try to use that to predict things, or influence outcomes you get into a level of complete bullshit and voodoo. Time and time again when people try to take action or set policy based on economics, it fails utterly.

And until economics is based on anything other than sketchy math and ideology, it can never be a real science or have much more meaning than something people use to defend their ideology. But since people never look at economics separated from their ideology, it will never happen.

Economics is mostly a tool to make it look like the things you believe should happen, based on how you want the system to behave, have any actual relationship with the outcomes you expect to achieve with policy. The problem is that is a lie.

But it sure as hell can't be called an objective science. First you have to believe in the ideology and then you believe in the methodology.

The problem is people like to believe that the ideology is objective reality, and that their observations are in fact rules. And that simply isn't true.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 255

Once corporations won the right to have a license which says anything they want, and which they can change any time they want ... legal is whatever the hell they say it is.

Fraudulent and deceptive practices? Read the license.

Shady behavior designed to fool you into thinking you're being chatted up so you'll subscribe? Read the license.

They basically got carte blanche to do anything they want to, any time they want to.

And, really, from what I'm seeing they were also doing some shady dealings in terms of how they were trying to inflate their value in the IPO.

So ... internet company with shady business model trying to nudge people into spending money, and trying to pass off their financials as making them a billion dollar company ... film at 11.

This is why I don't give a damn about sites which want to charge me for a membership, because they have an interest in taking my money, and I don't really have any reason to trust them. Greedy bastards and sales people. Putting them on the internet doesn't change what they are.

Just like companies who want to be able to do direct billing to your credit card, and want to be able to auto-renew without you jumping through hoops to cancel ... you should assume that all websites which want you to buy a subscription are probably a little dodgy, and ran by greedy bastards and sales people.

The business model was to get people to sign up in the belief they'd be getting laid. Which means the lying to you and exploiting that was probably a given. I'm not sure why people are surprised this was happening ... it's the internet, and it dealt with sex ... of course they're lying to you.

Comment Re:Programmed behaviour is programmed behaviour. (Score 3, Insightful) 285

It's not a no-win situation. It just means that self-driving cars have to know when to break the rules. They can and should behave like the best of human drivers.

If you program the car to just account for assholes but still drive safely, then it will basically choke in situations like a four way stop in southern California where every other asshole will just muscle or roll their way through the stop.

The current programming of the car handles that situation. Less aggressively than a human would, but aggressively enough to assert its intention to go, and go.

Comment Re:Programmed behaviour is programmed behaviour. (Score 2) 285

Program to take account of these things, or don't plan on driving on the road.

Duh.

Technology in development is imperfect. Big surprise. These issues are why Google hasn't yet started selling them to the public. None of them are insurmountable, but it takes a lot of time and effort to build sophisticated systems.

What if that was a cardboard box and it swerved heavily in case that box "pulled out"?

The cars can easily distinguish between a cardboard box and a vehicle. Determining whether or not the vehicle has a driver in the seat and might move... that's often impossible. Likely the reason that the car swerved sharply rather than braking earlier is because the badly-parked car was obscured by other obstacles.

If it can't make it's way through a junction where the drivers are following the rules, that's bad programming.

Six year-old programming, note. The article mentions that the current version of the software inches forward to establish intent to move.

and potentially weighs up collision with non-hazard vs collision with small child and gets it wrong

Google cars recognize pedestrians (of all sizes) and regularly notice them even when no human could. I'm sure the car would choose to hit another vehicle over a pedestrian or cyclist.

Really, your whole comment is a mixture of outdated information buttressed by invalid assumptions and layered over with a veneer of blindingly obvious conclusions.

Comment Re:Not normal driving. (Score 4, Informative) 285

Which is always going to be the problem ... because as long as there are human drivers on the road, there will always be cases in which the computer utterly fails.

And any technology future which is predicated on suddenly replacing all drivers with autonomous cars is complete crap and will never actually happen. Because nobody is going to pay for it.

It's the corner cases which will always cause these things to go wrong. And, I'm sorry, but the driver with his right turn signal on who swoops across two lanes and turns left ... or the ones who think they can use the oncoming lane because there's something in their lane ... or who randomly brake because they can see a cat a half mile away ... or cyclists who do crazy and random shit ... or any number of crazy things you can see on a daily basis ... all of these things will create situations in which the autonomous car utterly fails to do the right thing.

As much as people think it will mostly work most of the time, if these things require the driver to constantly monitor it or have to swoop in when the system decides it doesn't know what to do, then the utility of the autonomous car pretty much vanishes.

I just don't see this technology ever becoming widespread or used in the real world, other than by companies trying to prove how awesome it is. Because it's just going to have too many cases which simply don't work, and the occupants will have to be ready to take the controls.

In which case you might as we be driving and actively engaged in the process instead of zoned out and not paying attention. Because the human reaction time is greatly diminished when you're reading the newspaper and suddenly have to take evasive reaction.

Submission + - Wikipedia blocks 381 user accounts for "black hat" editing

jan_jes writes: Wikipedia have announced that they have blocked 381 user accounts for “black hat” editing after weeks of investigation. The reason to block is that the accounts were engaged in undisclosed paid advocacy—the practice of accepting or charging money to promote external interests on Wikipedia without revealing their affiliation, in violation of Wikimedia’s Terms of Use. Every day, volunteer editors make thousands of edits to Wikipedia: they add reliable sources, introduce new topics, expand articles, add images, cover breaking news, fix inaccuracies, and resolve conflicts of interest. In addition to blocking the 381 “sockpuppet” accounts—a term that refers to multiple accounts used in misleading or deceptive ways—the editors deleted 210 articles created by these accounts.

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