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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 496

I do wonder if it would be possible to provide free food (at least some of the basics), housing, clothing and health care. Most developed nations provide them to those who can't afford them in some form or another. The main problem with providing at least the essentials to everyone for free is a sense of people getting something for nothing.

Comment Re:No (Score 5, Insightful) 496

Yes. Star Trek doesn't seem to quite have that. Iain M Banks' Culture series presented a genuine post-scarcity society. In one of the books there's brief exchange where a character is asked whether someone could have a whole planet if they wanted one. The answer was essentially "I suppose so, but why would you want one?"

Comment Just pick one (Score 1) 315

I use git at work. It does the job. At home I use subversion because I understand it better, and like the tools.

Point is, both allow you to make changes, undo changes, merge with each other without worrying too much about breaking stuff. Pick one and stop worrying about it.The project will not succeed or fail based on the VCS.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 478

Agreed. This sort of thing probably doesn't have anyone specific to blame but a lot of people making bad choices.

If mechanical engineering is anything like software development, the engineers are under pressure to get the car to fit a whole load of contradictory design goals. The manager doesn't understand the problem too clearly. The engineers do a bodge job to get the pressure off. Management sees that it ticks the boxes and doesn't really care. Engineers figure "what the hell".

Comment Re:This guy should be a lawyer (Score 1) 203

I think he refers to an old philosophical question.
The classic example is 'you're conducting a train. You come around a bend, and there's a track split. One track A is, say, a person. On track B is, say, two people. You don't have time to brake. All you can do is pick which track you take. Which one do you take?

What if Track B has five people? One child? A world-class doctor who saves lives? A scumbag criminal? Your wife?

So, say you're in a self-driving car. The car wants to make a left turn across traffic at a four-way intersection. So it advances into the intersection, stops to wait for a break in oncoming traffic, and waits.

Sensors notice a semi coming up behind you, and not stopping. In front of you is an old person crossing the road. To your right is a kid on a bicycle. To your left is a stead stream of through traffic. Where do you go?

Comment Re:I wonder if TiVo is long for thisworld (Score 1) 85

I'm also not particularly tempted to replace my satellite bill with a bunch of smaller streaming bills especially when support for any particular service on any particular device is hit or miss.

The absence of standardisation here is one of my bugbears. My Sony TV supports Netflix and iPlayer (The must-haves in the UK), but players for the other major channels seem to be missing.

Still, you can get cheap android based devices, and Android itself is a fairly stable standard. Even Amazon's fork for FireTV seems to be pretty well represented, and the devices are cheap enough I don't mind throwing it out if it does become obsolete in a year or two.

"I have five dollars for each of you." -- Bernhard Goetz