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Comment: Re:this would expose an enormous state secret. (Score 2) 236

by Insightfill (#47784447) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

closing a 60 billion dollar a year facility would instantly land a quarter of a million americans unemployed

We've got a crapload of roads and bridges that need to be redone, and the deficit is shrinking at a staggering rate. The government has been able to borrow money at a NEGATIVE effective APR since for about six years, but has been blocked from doing so.

I say we give the 60 billion to infrastructure, which will employ a lot more than a quarter of a million people in the long run. Instead, we rely on an accounting gimmick to take money from 10 years out to pay for 10 months of the Highway Trust Fund.

Comment: Re:Provisionally, I'm OK with this: (Score 2) 256

by Tom (#47772679) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

I don't trust software to take control away from the driver.

While I completely agree, subjectively, I also understand enough psychology and statistics to know that a) the feeling of control is mostly emotional, not rational. It's why your mother in the passenger seat is scared in situations where you as the driver are completely cool - you are in control, she is not. That she's more easily agitated only makes it more visible. It's a well-documented fact that experiencing the same situation once in control, or even just seemingly in control, and once not in control is experienced very differently.

Statistics, on the other hand, show that even at this early stage, autonomous vehicles have a better-than-average track record. So while you may feel less safe, the numbers say that you are actually more safe.

etc that won't be participating in this V2V conversation.

Which is why autonomous or semi-autonomous (assisted driving) vehicles do not rely on one input source alone. V2V is not intended to replace all the sensors and stuff, it's one more input source.

Great, but that doesn't mean you're now free to be inattentive! If anything, cars should be less safe and speed limits higher to force people to pay attention, or else.

Humans are really, really bad at paying attention to monotonous tasks for extended periods of time. The sooner our cars drive themselves completely, the better.

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 1) 256

by Tom (#47772649) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

If the speed at which most drivers are comfortable on a road is too high for safety

...it could be that drivers systematically overestimate their abilities and underestimate the dangers. Given that we've evolved to live at walking and running speed, moving only our own bodies, it's not a big surprise that our brains don't give us the correct clues at 180 km/h or even 50 km/h when driving a one ton metal thing.

Subjective driver comfort is not something I would use as a measurement for safety.

Comment: privacy (Score 1) 256

by Tom (#47772639) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

Yeah, because V2V has about 300 m range. Posting my location to people within view range is really a massive "privacy concern".

We complain about patent trolls getting trivial patents for non-inventions by taking something totally normal and adding "with a computer" to it, but sometimes we do the same. Licence-plate reading cameras are a privacy concern because they can enter your location into a global database in near real-time. Telling people electronically what they could see with their own eyes? Hardly a privacy problem. If we were talking about a system to intercept these signals and update some global database, yes - but that is just the license-plate-reading-camera problem with a different technology. The problem in either case is not having a license plate or having V2V, but the people turning local information into global information.

And other than license plates, it's easy to solve it. Your car could automatically generate a new random ID for itself every time it stops for more than a minute, for example. Pseudonymity is quite cute when you understand it.

Comment: question? (Score 2) 181

by Tom (#47763593) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, [...] Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds?

Are you fucking kidding me? This is so plainly in the "if it's not illegal, it ought to be" category that it's really difficult to think of a more clear example.

It's a direct attack on a competitors system, intended to deprive them of their ability to deliver their service. In IT security terms we'd call it a DOS.

If this rumoured playbook exists, someone ought to go to jail for it. To me it's bright as daylight and even asking the question seems stupid.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 5, Interesting) 333

by Shakrai (#47761971) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

We ALL know how Politicians get bought and sold so let's cut the "total" bullshit here.

Yes, they do. But not all of them and certainly not in the manner that the GP presented. One needs to actually understand how the system works before one condemns it and/or proposes fixes for it. Incidentally, most of the people in politics hate the system as much as you do. You think they enjoy spending so much of their day begging people for money so they can fund their campaigns? The real world isn't House of Cards, most people actually enter public service for noble reasons, ranging from the mundane fixing of potholes to the desire to advance a social cause. The problem is two fold:

1) Campaign finance reform is inherently suspect because it's passed by people who have an incentive to make it harder for incumbents to lose elections. There's a reason why opponents frequently referred to McCain-Feingold as the "Incumbent Protection Act"

2) Meaningful campaign finance reform would require a Constitutional Amendment; the idea I most liked was the notion of precluding private donations but giving every American citizen X dollars to allocate as they see fit. It's an awesome idea but one that's utterly unconstitutional. Perhaps you should start building a network for this concept rather than spouting talking points about money going into Senators pockets?

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 1) 281

by Shakrai (#47761921) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Having everybody live off a high protein diet is unsustainable. There are whole segments of American society that couldn't afford it, never mind the third world, and even if money was no object it would be completely unsustainable from an environmental standpoint.

It's cute though that you took what I was saying and morphed it into "cutting sugar is unsustainable"; all I did was condemn your silly paleo diet, not the notion of cutting sugar or making other healthy lifestyle choices. One can cut out soda (or even enjoy it in moderation) without adopting a made up diet that claims to be what our ancestors ate.

Of course, physical activity is even better. I eat whatever the hell I want. You can do that when you're averaging 30 miles a week of running. Pass the cheesecake, mmm'kay?

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score -1, Offtopic) 333

by Shakrai (#47761861) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Of course they will, while comcast is telling them this, they are stuffing wads of money in the senators pockets.

You know that talking point is total bullshit, right? What you describe would be a felony offense in the United States. Nor can corporations give money directly to campaigns. They can donate to PACs, which are a special animal in the American political system, but they can't donate directly to campaigns or candidates. When people tell you that "Big oil/telecom/Hollywood/whatever gave X dollars to Y candidate" they really mean that the employees of those industries gave X dollars to Y candidate. Work at a gas station and donate $20 to your State Assemblywoman? That's added to the total donation from "big oil" when her opponent needs a talking point.

I realize such intricacies don't make for good talking points but it would be extremely helpful if people would at least learn how the system works rather than spreading FUD that only serves to undermine the tenuous amount of faith we have left in our system.

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 1) 281

by Shakrai (#47759107) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Try doing any cardio of moderate to heavy intensity (which you really ought to be doing, if you want to live a long life) without carbs. Your diet is a fad and an utterly unsustainable one (from an environmental standpoint) at that. If you really want to live like our ancestors did start having sex at 10 and forgo modern medicine. You'll be dead in your 20s and the carbon impact of your selfish lifestyle will cancel itself out.

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 1) 281

by Shakrai (#47756217) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

she says this while sat there drinking coffee

What's wrong with coffee?

If she doesn't change her lifestyle, i'm estimating she will be bedridden within 5 years and dead within 10, whereas if she put some effort in, she would have a chance of living a lot longer.

Except she won't be. And that's the problem. If they take their blood pressure and cholesterol meds they fucking live forever and just keep on eating. Meanwhile the rest of us get to subsidize their lifestyle choices because our healthcare system doesn't allow insurance underwriters to take lifestyle choices into account. The 40 year old sedentary fat ass pays the same as the 40 year old marathon runner.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 522

Fight the local monopolies. That is the only truly important thing right now.

This is one of the places where LOCAL politics comes into play. The person who votes for/against these local monopolies is likely your neighbor who also has a full-time job somewhere else. They're easy to find, easy to approach, and often listen to their constituents.

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 1) 281

by Shakrai (#47756171) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Yeah... and I have found something that works extraordinarily well at burning fat: sprinting. I do a 15 min jog and then 10 reps of 20s sprints/10s rest. Somehow, this basically just completely bypasses the normal laws of physics and starts telling your body to burn fat immediately

Fat metabolism doesn't work that way; your body can metabolize a finite amount of fat in a given time and when the muscles call upon more energy (as they invariably will if you're sprinting) the difference is going to come from glycogen. It does take a few minutes for the fat metabolism to get going -- this is one of the reasons why distance runners warm up and/or start slow in long runs -- though there are interesting studies that suggest caffeine can accelerate the process.

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 2) 281

by Shakrai (#47756069) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

The human body is designed for long periods of rest and short bursts of activity, e.g. running away from / after some animal. While sustained exercise does burn a lot of calories and have other benefits, short bursts put muscles into high energy mode constantly so as to be ready.

The human body isn't "designed" for anything but it is remarkably adapted to endurance events. You almost can count on one hand the number of animals that can keep up with a human through a moderate endurance race (5k or 10k) never mind a marathon. Horses, dogs, the ostrich, and a few others. It's no mistake that we domesticated the first two in that list. Humans have even been known to beat the horse at a marathon on particularly hot days.

Point being, I'd question your claim that the human body is "designed" (adapted is really a better word, FYI) for long periods of rest w/short bursts of activity. What you've described there are the big cats and other ambush predators.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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