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Comment: Re:Is that really worth it? (Score 1) 68

by NormalVisual (#47428079) Attached to: Hacking a Tesla Model S Could Net $10,000 Prize
Not to mention the competition is in Bejing, so a lot of people would be spending several thousand dollars in travel expenses just to get the chance to win $10K, with most going home empty-handed. It's an interesting competition, but the prize money isn't enough to really encourage people IMO.

Comment: Re:Void warranty (Score 1) 68

by NormalVisual (#47428037) Attached to: Hacking a Tesla Model S Could Net $10,000 Prize
Jiffy Lube for your Tesla? What are they going to do to a Tesla? Change the oil and filter?

I mentioned it in another thread, but the Tesla's front suspension really isn't any different than any other car, and needs grease like any other car. The components may be sealed - I don't know, but I would hope not. Sealed ball joints, tie rod ends, etc. tend to wear out faster than those with zerks that are properly maintained IME.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 545

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Let's see it (Score 1) 202

FTA: “Recently I applied for a patent on 3D printing,” Suarez told BBC in an interview.

Okay, give us the application number so we can actually see what you've done and see if there's any prior art. A cursory search of the USPTO application database returns nothing at all for Thomas Suarez as the inventor, nor for any Suarez in either Los Angeles or Manhattan Beach, the given (residential) address for CarrotCorp.

I really hope this kid has stumbled onto something good, but everyone seems content to just take him at his word without anything to substantiate his claims.

Comment: Re:Warp Drive (Score 1) 551

Then you have never looked at a ten line C program to implement a PID control loop for a servo motor.

But the controller that the loop is a part of will still be more than happy to drive whatever the motor is attached to right past its mechanical limits if a limit switch fails. :-) I've seen it happen many times myself.

Comment: Re:It's Intended (Score 4, Interesting) 133

by causality (#47389651) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

in some cases they're no better than gambling (ie: buy tokens to feed into this jackpot like system to win a random digital item!)

Not that I disagree with you, but what part of the gaming industry isn't preying off of exactly the same neurons as gambling? Nearly every game, be you buying the game itself, in-game purchases, or DLC, is getting its revenue almost entirely due to exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior.

Gaming typically relies on skill, not chance. If you play most games long enough, you'll be able to consistently beat certain levels. If you win at the roulette wheel, you're no more likely than before to win again. That's the difference. Otherwise, "exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior" could be stretched to describe every last industry in existence beyond the sales of food, water, shelter, and basic utilities.

With the model of directly purchasing the game itself (and no in-game purchases, like standard PC/console gaming) you can at least read about the game and have a reasonable expectation about what you are paying for. The real problem with in-game purchases is that the game is "free" or low-cost in the most technical sense, but after you invest many hours advancing the game you find that you can't really prosper without making additional purchases. It could be construed as a form of bait-and-switch.

The other problem would be that many of these games are aimed at children who make purchases the parents later get stuck with, but this problem begins in the home and should be solved within the home by actual parenting. That's not as convenient as using the tablet like a cheap babysitter but it would certainly be more worthwhile. If you wanted to solve this by government action, that's simple too: declare that these purchases are contractual in nature (the parent agreed to pay charges made to the phone bill or whatever) and that minors who make them cannot be held to a contract, therefore the companies cannot collect money when children make them. *Poof* - end of shitty business model.

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 5, Funny) 170

by NormalVisual (#47373337) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass
The excuse Chief Justice Rehnquist gave in his majority opinion was that while being stopped at a checkpoint did count as "seizure" under the Fourth Amendment, it is only a "slight" intrusion which must be weighted against the importance of preventing drunk driving and the effectiveness of the roadblocks and therefore not a true violation of our Constitutional rights.

"Just the tip, okay baby?" as defined by the Supreme Court.

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin