Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Translation (Rough) (Score 1) 230

by Karl Cocknozzle (#47444969) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

Apparently you never went to college.

Most four-year college kids aren't in technical program. They're in liberal arts programs. Typically they have lots of trouble getting up early enough to get to a 10 AM class, and bitch and moan that an 8-hour day is required to earn an A.

I don't know where you went to college, but if this was the norm you picked a party school. Real university is real work.

Comment: Translation (Rough) (Score 2, Insightful) 230

by Karl Cocknozzle (#47442077) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

"We want to be as wealthy and well-positioned as people who worked their asses off in their 20's even though we couldn't be bothered to educate ourselves after high school and spent our 20's living with our parents, partying, and having a sweet car that we could only afford because we lived with our parents."

Here's a thought: Teach your kids the concept of long-term goals... It worked wonders for me.

Comment: Re:And if it doesn't work? (Score 1) 265

by Karl Cocknozzle (#47433249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Support for off-hour work is part of the job. Don't like it? Find another job where you don't have to do that. Can't find another job? Improve yourself so you can.

He might just need a better boss--it sounds like this one expects the guy to stay up all night for maintenance, then come in at 9am sharp, as if he didn't just do a full day's work in the middle of the night.

Rather than automating, he should be lobbying for the right to sleep on maintenance days by shifting his work schedule so that his "maintenance time" IS his workday. "Off-hour work" doesn't mean "Work all day Monday, all night Monday night Tuesday morning, and all day Tuesday." Or, at least, it shouldn't.

Comment: Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (Score 4, Insightful) 232

by Karl Cocknozzle (#47231985) Attached to: US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

Let me blow your mind right now: all currency is fake. That's what makes it currency instead of bartered goods.

This. Times a million

Every currency (Yes, Virginia, even gold-standard currencies) are completely fake and arbitrary. The difference between fake and arbitrary fiat currency and fake and arbitrary gold-standard currency is exactly one layer of abstraction, because the "value" of gold is in itself pretty arbitrary. It is somewhat rare, but it's "value" is completely generated by the human mind. Which is actually for the best--can you imagine how high the price of gold would be if it was actually useful for something besides making jewelry and helping Fox News scam old people out of their savings with terrible gold investment opportunities?

Humans assigned "value" to gold because it was rare-enough to avoid hyper-inflation, but common enough that you didn't have to worry about deflation. And that worked just fine for a few tens of thousands of years... until there were too many humans for the world supply of gold to adequately represent new wealth and value as they're created.

If a more numerous race of aliens had evolved on this planet they might have assigned value to blades of grass, pebbles, or certain kinds of trees in a similar matter based on their own needs.

Which is why the entire "gold standard" argument (that "our money is fake and worthless") is so stupid: Yes, it is fake and worthless. So is all other money, everywhere--the value comes from the perception. So it doesn't matter if its "backed by gold" or "backed by Jell-O Pudding pops" the fact is, the value is based totally on the perception of value of something. With fiat currency, it's the perception of the value of what you can buy, with "gold-standard" currency it's the perception of the value of the gold. But neither has any "real" value without that perception.

Comment: Re:Culpability at the Top (Score 4, Informative) 307

Why did GM write into their bail-out a few years ago the clause that they cannot be held responsible for malfeasance which occurred prior to that bail out?

Makes me sick thinking about it.

GM's "bailout" was actually a managed bankruptcy with the terms pre-arranged, and bankruptcy in most US states incldues the discharge of liability, not just debts. It is done that way so creditors can't short-circuit the bankruptcy system and just "Wait to sue" until after you're out of bankruptcy protection.

This liability discharge is one of the main features of bankruptcy. It is why the company that polluted the Elk River in West Virginia (leaving the 2/3 of the state without safe drinking water--some of them to this day) declared bankruptcy in short order after the incident--they knew they had no possible defense against the legal onslaught that was coming, and their executives (who were owed sizable bonuses--coal executives really rake it in) wanted to make sure they filed for bankruptcy BEFORE anybody filed suit, because if a suit was pending when they filed bankruptcy that party could go to court to stop bonuses and incentive pay owed to executives from being payed out. Because if the company was facing a bankruptcy judge and had an already-filed suit for billions in damages he would never (EVER) approve bonus payments to executives and would probably listen pretty favorably to a creditor who insisted the executives not be able to loot the place ahead of their judgement.

Comment: Re:Just one detail they've overlooked (Score 1) 355

Well, the vandalism aspect can be "solved" by the simple means of on board video cameras. And since entry to the taxicab would most like require some form of ID prior to the doors unlocking, you could be pretty darn sure as to the identity of the passenger. And the "official" rational for the camera? Why, it's to gauge the customer's reactions to the advertisements. After all, that lets the system present advertisements that the customer finds more receptive.

George Orwell didn't go far enough. Google is correcting that mistake.

...Because on-board video cameras can't be vandalized, of course! And it may be the case that you have to identify yourself before the door opens on the car, true, but that doesn't stop a vandal from hopping in one of the other doors and damaging the car after you've identified yourself... Or they could just steal your mobile phone and summon a robot car with the robot car app...

Trust me: If it exists, there's a way to break it without getting caught. My first instinct is to use the technique used on british speed cameras: Kitchen plastic wrap strapped tight across the camera lens. If done correctly, the camera doesn't look "broken" to a casual observer, but this effectively renders images from the camera a useless, blurry, translucent mess.

Comment: Re:News at 11 (Score 1) 97

Random groupings of people say bad things about major international deal without any supporting evidence.

Seriously, the best they can do is "The language used is vague"? How about doing their own analysis instead of just pointing out that the documents aren't perfect?

I think the point is that the language is intentionally vague to conceal the meaning from an uncritical public. If critics of the agreements say they contain language that "could allow" certain bad things to happen, proponents can smear-them as "conspiracy theorists" to discount their point of view, and a pliant, lapdog corporate media will lap it up, eagerly.

Comment: We treat ours grand! (Score 3, Insightful) 255

...We promoted him to Director and now he sits in his office being distracted by shiny things, allowing the rest of us to accomplish the actual business of operating our department.

Try it sometime! The only way it can backfire is if the person has actual-authority over something important--then the company might go out of business. But other than that I'm drawing a blank on negatives.

Comment: Re:Just one detail they've overlooked (Score 1) 355

That's because we old farts have learned to tune out the ads and use the time to think about something else.

I'm about halfway between the two extremes: I find ads jarring and disruptive to the narrative of programs. It is especially unpleasant to watch a movie on TV. A movie "enjoyed" in this fashion is essentially a butchery of the original picture, with TV commercials awkwardly inserted every 20 minutes or so. TV shows are slightly-less-bad in that the writers of the show at least know where the commercials will go, but that's annoying and makes shows predictable since you we've all, by this point, become adept at recognizing the rhythm of TV shows... how many times have you looked at your watch or phone and "known" it was going to end with a " To Be Continued..."?

It's because you know how shows work--their narratives all flow int he same basic patterns because of TV commercial breaks.

Comment: Re:ads in car (Score 2) 355

Are you sure they have overlooked this? I think the words "google" and "car" and "driver" have been used in a lot of sentences over the last few years, especially with the word "driver" modified.

They have a vision, all right: About annoying human beings with advertisements at every waking moment. The part I suggested they were overlooking was the part where it is, at present, illegal to do what they're talking about doing. Yes, of course, they're google and they have scads of money to buy whatever laws they want, but I mean today.

Comment: Re:Just one detail they've overlooked (Score 2) 355

And it is still working. As for the car, what about the car navigation voice telling you that you are nearing a burger drive-thru because it knows its time for you to be hungry again (it also know that you likely are hungover from activities day before and your Google searches...) and that you love your burgers..

For now, because there are so many of us old-fogeys from a time before advertisement skipping was possible/easily accessible to the masses.

Once we die off the advertisers are in for a world of shock: Young people do not tolerate advertisements. Without exception, NONE of the people I know under the age of 25 listen to the radio (and thus radio commercials) in their car, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of older people still do. Among that group, also, most won't watch TV without having the show recorded on DVR either entirely, or at least enough of it recorded to time-shift the start long-enough so they can zap the commercials.

They've been raised to be advertising-averse by the sheer volume of crap that's been shoved in their faces their entire lives. It's funny, but kids are actually smarter than us in a lot of ways.

Comment: Re:Just one detail they've overlooked (Score 1) 355

As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail: With the exception of navigation and car-control, the driver cannot be in a position to view moving video or flashy graphics--it's explicitly illegal to design a car in such a way that such garish distraction could catch the driver's eye at a critical moment.

And now the reason for the autonomous car research by Google is revealed. Somehow, I suspect that the laws prohibiting moving video and flashy graphics will go away, or stop being enforced once autonomous vehicles are common place.

You may be right, since by definition that person isn't "driving" anymore in his robot-car.

But since the other side of the robot-car equation is that most people won't own their own cars anymore because it would be essentially unnecessary, cars would become a much more communal resource--more like a taxicab that everybody owns. But unlike a taxicab, passengers are likely to be alone in the cars frequently, so it wouldn't surprise me if advertisement surfaces were regularly vandalized.

And if that means nobody can ride in the car until the advertising screen is repaired (because it's also the "enter your destination" screen) then I guess that's too bad, and maybe Google shouldn't be trying to skeeve more ad impressions out of us.

Comment: Just one detail they've overlooked (Score 1) 355

As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail: With the exception of navigation and car-control, the driver cannot be in a position to view moving video or flashy graphics--it's explicitly illegal to design a car in such a way that such garish distraction could catch the driver's eye at a critical moment.

As for the rest: I know of few people that would do anything other than smash the screen out of a refrigerator that was blaring ads at them every time they walked past (since what's the point of showing ads when the door is opened and, presumably, the "screen" is facing away from the person you're trying to show an ad to?) so I imagine that's going to cut-down on their response-rate on those ads.

In short, I'm fucking laughing thinking about how disappointed they're likely to be. Humans are already on advertising overload--it was 5,000 impressions per day per person TWENTY YEARS AGO, before the Internet even existed. I can't even guesstimate how much ad-crap we see now... Probably a fair-bit more than 5,000 impressions per day, though.

186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.