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Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 211 211

You have no idea how this works, does you? How much you pay for a service has nothing to do with how much it costs to provide a service. It's a matter of how much the market will bear. Why else do you think there are rubes out there still paying for text messages?

In competitive markets what the market will bear is driven by the cost to provide the product. This is true even if you are required by law to by the product. The auto insurance market is very competitive ("15 minutes will save you...")

Businesses

Silicon Valley's Big Lie 98 98

HughPickens.com writes: Danny Crichton writes at TechCrunch that startups in Silicon Valley run on an alchemy of ignorance and amnesia and that lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running. Most startups fail. The vast, vast majority of startup employees will never exercise their options, let alone become millionaires while doing it. But founders have little choice as they sell their company to everyone, whether investors, employees, potential employees, or clients. "Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn't been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon," writes Crichton. "For one of the most hyper-rational populations in the world, Silicon Valley runs off a myth about startup success, of the lowly founder conquering the world."
Windows

Windows 10 Upgrade Strategies, Pitfalls and Fixes As MSFT Servers Are Hit Hard 129 129

MojoKid writes: The upgrade cycle begins, with Microsoft's latest operating system--the highly anticipated Windows 10--rolling out over Windows Update for free, for users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. For those that are ready to take the plunge over the weekend, there are some things to note. So far, Microsoft has been rolling out the upgrade in waves and stages. If you are not one of the 'lucky' ones to be in the first wave, you can take matters into your own hands and begin the upgrade process manually. While the process is mostly simple, it won't be for everyone. This guide steps through a few of the strategies and pitfalls. There are two main methods to upgrade, either through Windows Update or through the Media Creation Tool. In either case, you will need to have opted-in for the Windows 10 Free Upgrade program to reserve your license. Currently, the Windows Update method is hit or miss due to the requirement for additional updates needing to be installed first and Microsoft's servers being hit hard, leading to some rather humorous error messages like the oh-so helpful description, "Something Happened." Currently, it would be best to avoid the Windows Update upgrade, at least for the time being. Numerous issues with licensing have been reported, requiring manual activation either through the dreaded phone call, or by running slmgr.vbs /ato at the command prompt to force license registration.

Comment Re:MenuChoice and HAM (1992) (Score 1) 265 265

The problem with shell scripts for this kind of thing is that they're a Turing-complete language. This makes it very hard to present to the user what they actually do. .BAT files on DOS / Windows provided that functionality too, but unless you aggressively restrict yourself to a subset of the shell language it's very hard to check a .sh / .bat file and see exactly what command is going to be invoked.

Comment Re:MenuChoice and HAM (1992) (Score 1) 265 265

This requires the program to be explicitly written that way. Gcc and clang also do this, to detect whether they're invoked as C or C++ compilers, and clang will detect a target triple if it's the compiler invocation name prefix. This just goes in argv[0] though - you can't modify the other arguments from a shortcut. It would be really useful to be able to add things like --sysroot=/some/path and -msoft-float to a symlink so that you had a single cc that you could invoke as a cross compiler, but currently the only way to do this is with a tiny shell script that execs the compiler with the correct flags.

Comment Re:Balance TOR's costs against the benefits. (Score 1) 34 34

Our cost mitigation strategy had several parts

I would replace the work "cost" with "risk."

As in exposure to a hostile legal, political and social environment.

I don't see many public libraries having the resources to implement your plan.

=BEGIN ABUSE RESPONSE=
We are still pondering our options.
Please accept our apologies in the mean time.
=END ABUSE RESPONSE=

When the shit hits the fan, "thinking it over" and "hoping for the best" is no longer an option. In the end, you have to make a decision or one will be made for you.

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 2) 129 129

The motorist in the video committed a crime -- several actually. But the cyclist committed an indiscretion by chasing down the motorist to give him a piece of his mind. That's not illegal, it's just a very bad idea.

Many years ago I heard an interviewer ask the great race driver Jackie Stewart what it takes to be a great driver. He said that a driver ought to be emotionless. I think this is very true for any kind of driving -- or cycling. Never prolong your reaction to anything that anyone does on the road beyond the split second it takes to deal with it. Let your attention move on to the next thing. Never direct it to a driver because of something he *did*. Keep focused on what's happening now.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 211 211

When the signs and lane markers are covered by snow and ice it will just default to using the same markers everyone else is using; the crashed cars driven by idiot humans who thought they could see the lane markers.

Seriously though, no autonomous vehicle would be dependent on lane markers as the sole feature for positioning, you need to use a multitude of inputs ranging from using markers to using LIDAR to map geometry of the area, through projection of probable trajectories and even to using prior knowledge or map data of the road. You have to have a multitude of independent systems cooperating, validating and agreeing on the most likely model for the current reality. Any autonomous vehicle deemed safe enough to actually operate autonomously should be significantly more capable of reliably assessing the situation than the average human. If any climate presents a difficulty for the detection and navigation part (as opposed to purely physical performance limitations) for an autonomous car it should not be allowed into traffic as it's obviously nowhere near capable enough to trust with human lives.

China

China's Island-Building In Pictures 123 123

An anonymous reader writes: The South China Sea is just small enough to have high strategic value for military operations and just large enough to make territorial claims difficult. For over a year now, the world has been aware that China is using its vast resources to try and change that. Instead of fighting for claims on existing islands or arguing about how far their sovereignty should extend, they simply decided to build new islands. "The islands are too small to support large military units but will enable sustained Chinese air and sea patrols of the area. The United States has reported spotting Chinese mobile artillery vehicles in the region, and the islands could allow China to exercise more control over fishing in the region." The NY Times has a fascinating piece showing clear satellite imagery of the new islands, illustrating how a fleet a dredgers have dumped enormous amounts of sand on top of existing reefs. "Several reefs have been destroyed outright to serve as a foundation for new islands, and the process also causes extensive damage to the surrounding marine ecosystem." We can also see clear evidence of airstrips, cement plants, and other structures as the islands become capable of supporting them.
The Almighty Buck

Will Autonomous Cars Be the Insurance Industry's Napster Moment? 211 211

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us are looking forward to the advent of autonomous vehicles. Not only will they free up a lot of time previously spent staring at the bumper of the car in front of you, they'll also presumably make commuting a lot safer. While that's great news for the 30,000+ people who die in traffic accidents every year in the U.S. alone, it may not be great news for insurance companies. Granted, they'll have to pay out a lot less money with the lower number of claims, but premiums will necessarily drop as well and the overall amount of money within the car insurance system will dwindle.

Analysts are warning these companies that their business is going to shrink. It will be interesting to see if they adapt to the change, or cling desperately to an outdated business model like the entertainment industry did. "One opportunity for the industry could be selling more coverage to carmakers and other companies developing the automated features for cars. ... When the technology fails, manufacturers could get stuck with big liabilities that they will want to cover by buying more insurance. There's also a potential for cars to get hacked as they become more networked."

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