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Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 347 347

People apologize when they, or the things they sell, make mistakes. Even if it was unforeseeable.

No, they don't. When everybody involved knows that they're looking at the spurious output of a young image recognition process, apologies don't, and don't need to happen.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 1) 347 347

To cite one example, ACORN staffer Clifton Mitchell was arrested and convicted (and did time) for creating fictional voters through thousands of bogus voter registrations. ACORN as an entity was fined $25k for its supervisory role in just his conduct alone. The entire organization dissolved itself while it was undergoing investigation for identical behavior in multiple states.

Comment: Hardware design is just marketing (Score 1) 304 304

Well, I agree with a large part of what you're saying, but you aren't factoring in the hardware design.

Sure I am. Other companies sell hardware that is comparably nice and that if you sold a Macbook Air with Windows on it that nobody would pay extra for it compared to equivalent Dell or HP units. There are Android phones that are just as nicely designed as the iPhone or at least near enough as makes no difference. I've seen laptops that are just as nice as the Macbook Air. The nice hardware is really just a form of marketing. Make no mistake, it's very nice and it no doubt contributes measurably to Apple's success but it isn't the core reason why people buy Apple products.

What makes a Mac special is OS X. What makes an iPhone special is iOS. Take those away and you'll see Apple's profit margins evaporate faster than you can say "shareholder lawsuit".

Comment: All machine errors ultimately are human errors (Score 1) 286 286

"...officials believe that human error was to blame for the incident, rather than a problem with the robot."

The root cause of all problems like this is human error. If you haven't reached the place where there was a mistake by a human then you haven't gotten to the root of the problem. Might be bad machine design. Might be faulty programming. Might be operator error. Might be disregard or ignorance of safety protocols. Might be some combination of the above or a few things I haven't mentioned. But any failure in a machine made by man ultimately is the fault of a human. Might be an innocent mistake and the failure may not necessitate punishment but it will be human error make no mistake.

Comment: Apple is a software company (Score 1) 304 304

Well, enterprises don't want to pay 50% or more for comparable hardware on the basis of aesthetics.

People don't pay more for Apples devices because of the aesthetics - not much anyway. They're nice and all but what people really are paying for is the software. Apple at it's core is a software company. If you put Windows on a Mac or Android on an iPhone (easily done) you'd have no idea if it was made by Apple or Dell unless you looked at the logo. Apple doesn't make their own hardware but they do make their own software and that is what people pay extra for. Their hardware is nice but nothing really special. They just won't sell you their software (usually) unless it is attached to a piece of hardware.

Don't believe me that Apple is a software company? Here's Steve Jobs himself saying so.

Apple does make servers, nobody wants them.

They've made a number of half hearted stabs at making servers over the years but they've never really been serious about it.

Comment: who's responsible? (Score 4, Insightful) 286 286

Pretty clear, according to my understanding of OSHA liability in the US anyway:

"...the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage..."

Lock out/tag out and energy isolation (ie unplugging, as well as well as releasing/securing stored energy (compressed gases, springs, kinetic, etc) is ABSOLUTELY the responsibility of the service person.

Comment: Paths to success (Score 1) 225 225

Jobs is uninspiring to me. Without Woz, there would have been no innovation to sell, but with those two, they had an actual product to show off first thing.

No company of any consequence is built by just one person. The error in your argument is you are presuming that Jobs couldn't have found another path or partner to success without Woz. Given that Jobs built three companies (Apple, NeXT and Pixar) it seems somewhat reasonable that chances of Jobs succeeding without Woz would be fairly high. We wouldn't have Apple but perhaps we would have had something else.

Whether Jobs is inspiring to you or not is a matter of personal choice and I don't disagree. Clearly he was very inspiring to a lot of people. It's ok if you aren't one of them. Personally I respect what he accomplished professionally (hard not to) but he's not someone I idolize or care to emulate personally. I doubt I would have liked to work with/for the man.

virtually every other CEO has done something to better the world... and Jobs's legacy doesn't seem to be one of philanthropy.

There are more ways to improve the world than through philanthropy. As just one small example: the iPhone I have sitting on my desk allows me to easily Facetime with my mother in Texas who is in a nursing home in hospice. I assure you that I regard that as an improvement to the world and Mr. Jobs is in no small way responsible for that being possible. Yes the guy was a major dick in some very tangible ways but to claim he's done nothing positive really isn't fair or accurate.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 2) 347 347

Over here we live in reality, and the reality I that getting one of those IDs requires taking time off from work that we frequently either don't get or can't afford to take

Really. What sort of job do you have that didn't involve showing ID in order to submit the required federal tax forms as you were hired? What sort of paycheck are you getting that doesn't involve you using an ID in order to open a bank account or cash a check? Please be specific about the people who are working full time, so hard, that not once in their entire life can they be bothered to get a form of ID. And, out of curiosity, how on earth did they find time to go register to vote, or find time TO vote? You're saying that these are people who will have their routine trips to the polling place, year after year throughout their entire lives, thwarted because they couldn't take five minutes to stop once for a free ID?

Voter fraud is a literal non issue, a nonthreat to the integrity of the election process

So, you're asserting that there are no elections that turn on a matter of just a handful of votes? You're actually going to say that the many local and state elections (which do things like put congressional and senate representatives into power) don't sometimes get decided by only dozens of votes? And then you're going to assert that papers like the Washington Post, who have reported on elections as recently as 2012 where in just one local review there were instances of local voters fraudulently voting twice ... that, what, the Washington Post is lying? Is that because you think the WP is part of some vast, racists, right-wing conspiracy, and manufactured the records that were produced by the election officials, showing the felony-offense fraud?

Your anxious need to trot out the ad hominem shows how much you're aware that you're BS-ing, so I don't really need to go on. You know you're looking to defend fraudulent practices that primarily favor the one party whose activists have been caught red-handed generating tens of thousands of bogus voter registrations. And you're complaining about the person who suggests it's a good ID to make fraud harder to commit. Your opening comments about how difficult it is for full time workers to stop and get an ID that the already have to have was hilarious, though, so thanks for the entertainment.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 1) 347 347

Which part? The part where left-leaning activist groups generate enormous numbers of bogus voter registrations? Among others, ACORN did just that (getting busted doing it was why they re-organized and changed their name so nobody would keep bringing it up ... and you're probably hoping nobody will remember actual criminal prosecution for those actions). Or are you saying that the coordinated efforts to talk out-of-state college students into double-voting haven't, despite extensive reporting of exactly that, occurred?

Or you could look to no less a bastion of right-wing win nuttery than the Washington Post, which reported on a review showing thousands of people registered to vote in multiple states, and in one local review, caught over 150 people crossing state boundaries just in the DC area to vote more than once on the same day.

One of the county election supervisors who took time to review information in that instance found an example of where someone had been crossing state lines and voting more than once on the same day in local and national elections for over a decade. He said that in a dozen cases he'd reviewed, the purposefulness of the election fraud was plain, and the actions were class 6 felonies.

In cases where congressional seats or governorships can turn on a mere handful of votes, it's no "pile of bull" to point out that people are deliberately, systematically taking advantage of weak ID requirements and a weak registration system in order to fraudulently corrupt elections.

Comment: Testing a man's character (Score 2) 225 225

All of us may be dicks, but very few of us are so dickish as to fuck over even Woz.

That's because very few of us will ever have such an opportunity. While I think most people are generally good and decent, experience has taught me that an awful lot of those same good and decent people are not above temptation. There are a lot of people (including some reading this most likely) who would screw over a friend for financial gain. People will steal if they think they can get away with it. I think Abraham Lincoln said it best - "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Comment: Woz is a nice guy but nice is boring to watch (Score 1) 225 225

Agreed. I would much rather see a movie about Woz.

I think you are firmly in the minority there. I have huge respect for Woz but he's just not all that interesting of a guy. I've read his autobiography and honestly it was pretty dull and I'm firmly in the group that should be the target audience. Furthermore without Jobs you'd have never heard of Woz. Possibly the reverse is true as well but I have a strong suspicious Jobs would have been more likely of the two to succeed without the other. I say that meaning no disrespect to Woz at all. Great guy, great engineer, but he is a perfect example of catching lighting in a bottle.

Not only was his work much more interesting than anything Jobs did, but he's a character who I could actually root for.

The only people who think that Woz's work is more interesting are the sort of people (like us) who read slashdot. Jobs is a FAR more complex and challenging and intriguing character. The fact that you may not like him doesn't make him less interesting - quite the opposite. Flawed characters make for interesting stories. Nice guys doing the right thing is pretty boring most of the time. Nice but not a compelling story.

When I watch a Jobs bio, I spend most of the time hoping one of the other characters onscreen will just beat the shit out of him.

Which is a more interesting take than watching Woz and just thinking "what a nice guy" all the time.

Comment: Not everyone wants a simple life (Score 1) 225 225

And isn't that a better, much more realistic goal a parent should push their kid towards than founding a global tech company?

Depends on the kid. I don't think you can realistically push anyone to be a global tech icon. That has to come from within and requires more than a tiny bit of luck. What you can do though is help provide opportunity and structure and see what happens.

Working a well paying job that allows you to live comfortably and gives you enough free time and means to do something you enjoy at home, what more could you ask for?

Nothing wrong with what you describe but it won't change the world either. Some people want more out of their career than a comfortable life. Speaking for myself I've founded several companies, have run several others and I very much enjoy what I do for a living. I don't just want a basic 9-5 job with a few weeks vacation and a 401K. I want something more than that. I want to create successful companies. You aren't going to do that playing it safe or doing the comfortable easy thing.

Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.