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Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 2) 71

by Migraineman (#49463863) Attached to: Chinese Hacker Group Targets Air-Gapped Networks
This only works if the userbase is 100% cooperative. My observation is that if something is inconvenient, there is incentive to route around it. Good security procedures are necessarily inconvenient. Further, when you add the imperfectness of the meatbag into the system, it's all too easy to accidentally bring a cell phone into a secure area, or to miss the CD-R in the stack of benign papers that gets taken out of the secure area.

Comment: Crash then Drag (Score 1) 14

by Migraineman (#48876081) Attached to: DALER: a Bio-Inspired Robot That Can Both Fly and Walk
I'm not seeing the significance of this. The rectractable wings are of dubious value, as is the "drag" method of locomotion. Would have more value if it could fly, then walk, then fly again. As mentioned in an earler post, a quad copter delivering a crawler would be a better solution, rather than a multi-modal machine that performs neither task particularly well.

Comment: Collective Storytelling (Score 1) 162

by Migraineman (#48566651) Attached to: An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration
This issue is common to collective storytelling, which I shall summarize thusly: "Everything is fine until someone gets butthurt, then Godzilla shows up and destroys everything." It seems to be a fundamental issue at the intersection of pure democracy and the human condition. The only functional solution appears to be active moderation.

Comment: Re:Why should Detroit get special treatment? (Score 1) 398

by Migraineman (#46084559) Attached to: Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa
The term "right" has been abused over the years to the point that most people would equate the following two statements as peers:
- I have the right to participate in representative government.
- I have the right to eat Cheetos in my bed.

In the context of this discussion, the right in question is freedom - freedom to secure housing, freedom to seek education, freedom to protect yourself. The State does not have an obligation to fix your bad decisions, nor does it have the authority to do so (because that would infringe on your personal freedom.)

So while you have a "right" (aka "are free") to eat Cheetos in your bed, expecting the State to provide the Cheetos and the bed is ridiculous. You are, however, free to obtain them yourself.

Comment: Re:Why should Detroit get special treatment? (Score 1) 398

by Migraineman (#46083575) Attached to: Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa
No, our rights are well enumerated, starting with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

You do not have a right to protection.
You do not have a right to housing.
You do not have a right to employment.
You do not have a right to education.
You do not have a right to health.

You have a right to pursue all of these things, but you are not entitled to them. If you choose to be employed, you need to earn that employment. No business is obligated to hire you simply because you are a wonderful person. Further, you may choose to be unemployed, in which case the State is not obligated to support you to your satisfaction. We have programs in place to support people who become unemployed due to no fault of their own, but these are transitional programs, not lifestyles.

You do have a right to speak up about bad and corrupt government.
You do have a right to vote.
You do have a right to participate in government, at multiple levels.

As for compassion, I do know there will be victims of this situation. However, the vast majority of Detroit residents have been tolerating this disaster of a city for decades, and are now upset that the fairytale they have been spoon-fed isn't coming to fruition. I have trouble being sympathetic for folks who trot mindlessly down a well-marked dead-end road and get upset when the road ends.

Comment: Re:Why should Detroit get special treatment? (Score 1, Insightful) 398

by Migraineman (#46081459) Attached to: Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa
This isn't a natural disaster. This is the result of *decades* of mismanagement and corruption. If the system is so broken that is cannot be repaired, and fighting the system is an unwinnable battle, your only viable solution is to leave. And that's what you're seeing here. People are leaving Detroit en masse.

Detroit is a city, but it is far from being an essential resource. If it imploded tomorrow, I doubt it would be more than an interesting news tidbit for the rest of the nation.

Finally, it's clear that you don't comprehend freedom. Freedom includes the ability to royally screw yourself by making one bad decision after another. Detroit has made many bad decisions over the years, and it is completely outside the pervue of the US Federal government to step in and mandate that the rest of the nation support a city or to dictate how a city is run ... regardless of how poorly the locals are running it.

Comment: Re:laws change (Score 1) 937

by Migraineman (#45909305) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
Insurance reform needs to happen at a national level. I've been bitching about this since I started driving.

Drivers and cars need to be insured independently. The insurance industry will fight this tooth and nail, because it eliminates their ability to lump everyone in your household into a cost bracket associated with the worst driver. Have a 17-year-old son or daughter? Everyone's rates go up. Why? Because the insurance industry prohibits you from being insured individually.

Insure the car as a car. If it's self-driving, it gets a different policy and rate from one that requires a meatbag in the pilot's seat.

Insure the individual as an individual driver. Have lots of accidents? Your rates go up, but your spouse's rates don't. Same thing with teen drivers (higher rates) and no-accidents-for-thirty-years drivers (lower rates.) None of this BS about raising everyone in your family's rates because one child did something childish.

This resolves a number of "what if" scenarios that currently result in finger-pointing. Borrow your neighbor's car ... park it downtown where it gets dinged by a cab. Does the driver's policy or the owner's policy cover the damage? You don't know, do you? That's because the current insurance situation is f'ed-up. With separate car/driver policies, it's clear that the car policy covers material damage to the vehicle, and makes a ton more sense than trying to figure out which person-not-driving has the liability.

I know, it won't happen. The insurance companies will protect their profits at all costs, including destroying the self-driving car.

Comment: Re:What an idiot. (Score 1) 233

by Migraineman (#45809079) Attached to: Convicted Spammer Jeffrey Kilbride Flees Prison
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are approximately 6,937,600 offenders under the supervision of adult correctional systems at yearend 2012. Approximately 2.2 million are incarcerated. The remainder are on parole or under community supervision (i.e probation.) I would suggest that your 50k number is low, by at least an order of magnitude.

Comment: Re:A fine example of the problem (Score 1) 670

by Migraineman (#45630197) Attached to: Diet Drugs Work: Why Won't Doctors Prescribe Them?
I'm dealing with family members who are obese. You would think, by their reactions, "choice" was the nickname of Satan. I've heard the littany of excuses from the thyroid to the social environment. At the end of the day, the "choice" exists as to what you shovel into your pie hole with your own hand. You might have a metabolism that compels you to eat, but nobody but yourself decides *what* you eat. There is no shadowy figure holding a gun to your head, threatening your very life unless you eat that Family Size bag of Doritos in one sitting.

I've watched an obese family member make and eat an entire batch of cookies because she was feeling bad, and had to suffer through her diatribe about how "it's not my fault" and "why won't someone else solve my problems for me?" crapola. There can be no respect in these situations. And putting these people on continuous medication programs will only further absolve them of responsibility for their actions.

Comment: Re:What an amazing idea!! (Score 1) 207

by Migraineman (#44841787) Attached to: Time For a Hobbyist Smartphone?
Folks seem to be misunderstanding the purpose of the phone. It's not for your convenience. The phone is a conduit to connect your wallet to a carrier's bank account. That's why *every* carrier is willing to "give" you a phone for a substantial discount. Allowing you to change the phone's capabilities is equivalent to turning off the money stream.

Now, if they could get a piece of the action, that's a horse of a different color.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy