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Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 363

by Reapy (#48195875) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Isn't that how it is done? It is about 3 seconds on every light I stop at in NJ. When I started driving a manual transmission I had to really pay attention to when the lights at intersections were going to change so I could be prepped to go (was nervous to start/stop the car when learning).

After the other lane goes red, there is a 3 count of all red to clear the intersection and then you get green. Some of the 'all reds' are longer at different intersections depending on the gap where you might be stuck, there is an awkward one over a railroad track at a busy intersection that has a longer 'all red' for example.

+ - Government Vehicle Recall Site Overwhelmed ->

Submitted by darylb
darylb (10898) writes "The NHTSA's website appears to be suffering under the load of recent vehicle recalls, including the latest recall of some 4.7 million vehicles using airbags made by Takata. Searching recalls by VIN is non-responsive at present. Searching by year, make, and model hangs after selecting the year.

What can sites serving an important public function do to ensure they stay running during periods of unexpected load?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook to DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles to Nab Criminals

Submitted by (3830033) writes "CNNMoney reports that Facebook has sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration demanding that agents stop impersonating users on the social network. "The DEA's deceptive actions... threaten the integrity of our community," Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote to DEA head Michele Leonhart. "Using Facebook to impersonate others abuses that trust and makes people feel less safe and secure when using our service." Facebook's letter comes on the heels of reports that the DEA impersonated a young woman on Facebook to communicate with suspected criminals, and the Department of Justice argued that they had the right to do so. Facebook contends that their terms and Community Standards — which the DEA agent had to acknowledge and agree to when registering for a Faceook account — expressly prohibit the creation and use of fake accounts. "Isn't this the definition of identity theft?" says Privacy researcher Runa Sandvik. The DEA has declined to comment and referred all questions to the Justice Department, which has not returned CNNMoney's calls."

Comment: Re:Usury turns Free Markets into Capitalism (Score 1) 832

by Pfhorrest (#48192559) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I agree that the real problem is ultimately with human nature, but "not complicated" is not the same thing as "easy". Everybody being nice to each other and getting along is a very uncomplicated solution, sure, but getting people to do that is really, really hard, if not outright impossible.

Given the unfeasibility of getting everyone to just play nice with each other, the next best solution is for enough good-intentioned people to band together into some kind of social institution to keep the bad-intentioned people from doing bad things. That in turn requires that institution to decide just what it's going to consider "bad things". The bad-intentioned people are of course going to do everything they can to game whatever system the good-intentioned people come up with. Which begins an arms race where the bad-intentioned people try to figure out clever holes in the rules to exploit to do bad things without getting called out on it, and the good-intentioned people try to recognize those exploits and patch those holes. What I was doing here was calling attention to a hole in the stated rules that's being exploited, and suggesting a patch for it.

In the end it does still all hang on having enough good-intentioned people standing up to the bad-intentioned people to stop them from doing bad things, but it also hangs just as much on the good-intentioned people correctly identifying all and only the bad things the need to be stopping.

Comment: Re:Usury turns Free Markets into Capitalism (Score 1) 832

by Pfhorrest (#48192521) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

You're right, automation throws a wrench in the works of the self-correcting dynamics of my usury-free market system, by completely devaluing labor; and the only way to prevent that is to make sure that everybody ends up owning a piece of the automated means of production, preferably before complete automation occurs. I think basically every possible scenario will eventually end up with everyone who is still alive living for free off the labor of robots: the questions are, firstly, who of those alive when full automation is finally achieved will live through the transition to enjoy it; and secondly, who among them will own the automatons and thus control the world when it's all through. I can see four general possible scenarios:

A) The owning class secures their power with things like robotic security and such to the point that they no longer need the working class at all, all the workers get laid off, starve and go homeless, try futilely to riot but can't overthrow the owning class's secure position, and eventually die off entirely. The remaining owning class and their descendants live in a blissful labor-free utopia for all of time afterward, and the death of the working class is remembered as a tragedy of history that none of the survivors are personally responsible for.

B) The owning class secures their position of power, the working class becomes entirely unnecessary, but out of some little shred of humanity (or possible uncertainty in the security of their position), the owning class keep the working class around, but now wielding absolute power over them as the owners have absolutely no need for the non-owners and the non-owners are absolutely dependent on the owners for their "charity".

C) The revolution comes before the owning class can totally secure their position and the working class are able to overthrow the owning class, either violently or somehow through nonviolent political means. Some traditional form of state socialism is enacted to redistribute wealth, and everyone now lives on the welfare of the state and its robot armies, which in turn (its leadership that is) wields absolute power over the people as it has no need for them per se and they are entirely dependent upon it.

D) The revolution comes soon enough to succeed by whatever means it does, and a more distributivist, libertarian-socialist solution is enacted: divisions between owners and non-owners are dissolved, everyone personally and privately owning some of the automatons, without eradicating all personal liberty in the process.

I think B and C are probably the more likely options, but A is still a frightening possibility, and it depresses me that nobody even seems to consider the possibility of genuine solutions in category D. The best-case plausible scenario is likely to be B or C eventually transitioning into D.

For a B-to-D transition, once automation is so complete that it literally costs the owners nothing (but control) to give it away, even a small trickle of genuine social charity could distribute ownership of automatons to the dependent (no longer working) classes over time, finally giving them independence. Successive generations raised in such a post-scarcity society might see less and less reason not to give their poor automaton-less friends some automatons of their own, and those given automatons could in turn use them to rescue others in the same boat at themselves, accelerating the process.

For a C-to-D transition, the electorate could simply vote to devolve ownership of the automatons from the central control of the government to the people individually. I think pragmatically, aiming for a C outcome at first with an eye to eventually transitioning to D is probably the best strategy we can hope for: a straight D solution is too unlikely to gain traction until it's too late, and a C outcome is the easiest to transition to the ideal D solution afterward. It concerns me how similar to the "dictatorship of the proletariate" that strategy is though: for the interim we have a people's government in absolute control of everything, to keep it out of control of a malevolent few, with the intention that it will devolve that control to the many individually afterwards... but what if it doesn't?

In any case, on a very long scale I think the outlook for people born in the distant future looks good. The big concern is how much it will hurt some of us alive today (and our children, etc) on the way there.

Comment: Re: How many really make $140k ? (Score 1) 186

by AuMatar (#48190507) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

First off, glassdoor isn't a representative set. Secondly, it counts salary only, not bonuses and equity that can be half of your take home. Third, it does averaging but doesn't drop out old days points- days points from 09 are horribly outdated, but included in their averages. Glassdoor is good for reviews, but it's salary numbers are junk.

Comment: Re:Trolls are the lowest form of life. . . (Score 1) 482

by hey! (#48183297) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Well, every generalization has its corner cases that require careful thought. So while I agree that trolling per se shouldn't be outlawed, there may be certain uses of trolling that should be criminalized.

Take the libelous component of cyberstalking. At the very least this could be an aggravating factor in impersonation. Also, the law already recognizes libel as wrong, but it requires the harmed person take civil action. The Internet exposes more people than ever to reputation harm, but not all those people have the money to hire a lawyer. Social media have created a whole new vista for defamation, much of which is *practically* immune from any consequences.

So I do not in principle object to a law that criminalizes *some* forms of defamation, particularly against people who are not protected by the current laws. But I'd have to look at the the specific proposed law carefully. Just because people *claim* a new law would do something doesn't mean it does, or that's all it does.

+ - Ask slashdot: Can I has a good hosting service?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Uhh.. Ok, bear with me now. I know this is not PC Mag 2014 review of hosting services. I am thinking of getting a parody website up. I am mildly concerned about potential reaction of the parodee, who has been known to be a little heavy handed when it comes to things like that. In short, I want to make sure that the hosting company won't flake out just because of potential complaints. I checked some companies and their TOS and AUPs all seem to have weird ass restrictions ( Arvixe, for example, has a list of unacceptable material that happens to list RPGs and MUDS ).

I live in US. Parodee in Poland.

What would you recommend?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Economics plays a role here (Score 1) 87

by flyingsquid (#48177227) Attached to: Researchers Scrambling To Build Ebola-Fighting Robots

The NIH is not the CDC. By the way, the DoD will spend $495.6 Billion (with a B) next year. $39 million will not even pay for a fix for the cluster fuck that is the F-35.

Oh yeah, about that... turns out that they found another glitch with the F-35. It's a funny story. So you probably know about the software glitches, and the cracks in the airframe, and the issues with the tailhook being in the wrong place on the carrier version. Well, turns out that the F-35 has a feature that sprays Ebola-laden blood and fecal matter all over when you turn the engine on.

Of course, it is easy to point fingers and say "hey, Lockheed Martin! Maybe you shouldn't include a feature where the plane sprays highly infectious Ebola-infected blood and feces everywhere!!" But developing a fighter aircraft is a complicated job. And hindsight is 20-20.

Anyway, it's easily fixable, it will just require a few more years and a few billion more dollars and I'm sure we can sort the Ebola-spraying feature all out. Now, the bubonic plague-infested rats are a more complicated issue. They're part of the targeting system, you see...

+ - NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting for Private Security Firm->

Submitted by un1nsp1red
un1nsp1red (2503532) writes "Current NSA CTO Patrick Dowd has taken a part-time position with former-NSA director Keith Alexander's security firm IronNet Cybersecurity — while retaining his position as chief technology officer for the NSA. The Guardian states that "Patrick Dowd continues to work as a senior NSA official while also working part time for Alexander’s IronNet Cybersecurity, a firm reported to charge up to $1m a month for advising banks on protecting their data from hackers. It is exceedingly rare for a US official to be allowed to work for a private, for-profit company in a field intimately related to his or her public function." Some may give Alexander a pass on the possible conflict of interests as he's now retired, but what about a current NSA official moonlighting for a private security firm?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The Middle Class is the Bedrock of Society (Score 1) 832

by Pfhorrest (#48172693) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Mind you, I'm not suggesting a direction of causality here. It could be that the nobly-intended increased state power came first and then attracted the big market players to seize it, or just as plausibly that the big market players seized control of government first and then gave it that power so they could use it to their advantage.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta