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Comment: Odds of winning the lottery are low too. (Score 5, Insightful) 226

by Gondola (#49752313) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

But people win them all the time. Do we really want to gamble we'll never "win" this particular lottery?

I think the author's point is that we should be exploring for positive reasons. Sure, that's a feelgood strategy to take... but I don't put smoke alarms in my house for positive reasons.

Comment: Re:It showed a lot (Score 1) 355

by bill_mcgonigle (#49747889) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

Right - but you know who didn't show up? Bernie Sanders (S-VT). He claims to be a civil libertarian but couldn't bother to join the other Democrats who came to support the issue.

I think we know where his masters are on this issue - he's deep into the F-35 fighter jet fiasco; MIC is where his bread is buttered.

Comment: Re:Bring Back Background Play (Score 1) 58

Perhaps now they can bring back background play for mobile devices, so I don't have to stay on the youtube app to listen to music/podcasts/etc posted there.

This was the #1 most-requested feature on the YouTube app since it first appeared. Google *finally* released it - and it's the most expensive in-app purchase ever - you have to pay $120/yr to get it.

At the same time they changed the YouTube ToS to forbid third-party apps from providing the same functionality and aggressively started pursuing legal claims against the developers.

"Don't be Evil", 2015 skin.

Comment: Re: *Near* the south pole... (Score 1) 486

by bill_mcgonigle (#49740091) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

That's right. If the story is even true, the point is likely to see how you approach it, not if you get the exact distance right. If somebody grabbed paper and pencil to work out the math and I'd asked this question that would be a serious demerit - he didn't bother checking for requirements. That's the difference between being a competent thinker and a nerd - I don't suspect SpaceX runs on nerds.

Comment: Re:I dont get why... (Score 1) 91

by bill_mcgonigle (#49734931) Attached to: Tweets To Appear In Google Search Results

If you want to know something that's happening right now, you go search Twitter. If you just want to read articles written about something that happened yesterday, you search Google.

Google hates "you go search NotGoogle". Their benefit is obvious - they sell ads for the same searches.

They should have done this five years ago - the old nimble Google of 2001 would have quickly indexed Twitter and Facebook, and every other silo of information. It's only Big Corporate Google that can't acknowledge another source of information for some sort of ego-bruising related reason. "Index all the world's information ... except if it's hosted by a company run by that guy down the street who drives that ridiculous 918 Spyder".

Comment: Re:Schizo (Score 2) 318

by American AC in Paris (#49726361) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

Then Uber comes along and creates a way to share a ride and the driver benefits a little bit as well.

Uber drivers aren't sharing a damned thing. They're charging for a service. That's called doing business, and if you want to do business, you need to follow certain rules, just like anything else in life. You can't just jump up and say "nuh-uh, this is sharing!" when you're really requiring people to pay you before you "share" anything.

If I open a gas station and call it a "fuel sharing service", does that mean that I get to bypass all those pesky rules and regulations for making sure my tanks don't leak into the ground? Or that I don't need to spend all that extraneous money to install safety cutoff switches (like anyone ever -uses- those, amirite?)

Comment: "Ridesharing" (Score 4, Insightful) 318

by American AC in Paris (#49725617) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

If y'all are still telling yourselves that services like Uber and Lyft are "rideshares", you're not paying attention, and haven't been for a long time.

Ridesharing suggests that people are sharing a ride from point A to point B--that is, they're both going that way, and thus are going to slug together to save gas/cost.

Uber and Lyft are effectively taxi services that uses an app instead of a dispatcher. The driver seeks out a fare, starts the timer, drives the fare to their destination, and then seeks out another fare.

The driver is not "sharing" anything, nor is the passenger. This is a taxi service.

Comment: Government Printing Office (Score 1) 68

They figured out a long time ago that it was more efficient and gave better quality results to have one Government Printing Office than ten thousand printing offices - the same logic applies to IT. IT can be both commoditized and customized by qualified individuals - if the Navy needs something special, then the Government IT Office should have to acquire skills to meet the Navy's needs. Intelligence already has specialized IT systems, to handle classification transitions - hire those guys away to the GITO. The Navy should be building ships, not data centers - more Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.

One of the challenges we face is, in fact, internal IT systems and the power silos' automatic turn towards secrecy whenever oversight is required. See: IRS backups, State Dept. emails, SEC authentication, NSA everything, etc. The GAO could have their statutory power if the IT were centralized, which is why it isn't. Where's Rand Paul on this? Filibustering must be good for popularity, but it's not striking at the root.

MAYBE this is the best use of re-tasking the NSA's existing bureaucracy, if killing it outright isn't feasible. Though why would the Navy trust them after how they've behaved? But we don't need a General in charge of the Printing Office, so the IT Office may become trustworthy if it devolves to civilian with strong oversight.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson