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Comment: Re:Ridiculous! (Score 3, Informative) 588

by ceoyoyo (#47460727) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Not the original poster, but I agree. I think it's great to have strong female main characters, on an equal footing with strong male main characters. But this ain't it. They're taking a character who is male, both in mythology and in their own storyline, and changing him into a woman. Why? Because they can't write female leads so they'll just take a male one and give him boobs? Because a female main character can't be successful without all the momentum gathered by that character being male for a thousand years?

Ridiculous seems like a reasonable summary.

Comment: Re:They nailed it 500 years ago (Score 1) 128

by iluvcapra (#47446785) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Careful, Richard Feynman once said something very similar about computer programming:

Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine.

After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation.

Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.

Comment: Re:What do these systems cost without monetizing? (Score 1) 150

by ceoyoyo (#47408163) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

Nest thermostats don't seem the least bit inexpensive to me. Knowing how to actually build one, they seem to cost right about what the hardware and back end infrastructure would run, plus some boutique-level profit. You could make one for a quarter of the cost without the cloud stuff.

Comment: Re:He definitely never has been on monkey class... (Score 2) 128

by ceoyoyo (#47373483) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

Learn to sleep on planes. It changes your life.

I pretty much automatically fall asleep when I sit down now. Usually open my eyes for the takeoff, then fall asleep again well before cruising altitude.

It's actually a challenge staying awake part of the flight while flying west to prevent jet lag.

Comment: Re:This is rediculous (Score 1) 113

And there are laws specifically against recording unencrypted signals emanating from someone's house (the wiretap laws in question). What's your point? The taking pictures through your window analogy is pretty much exactly what happened.

Google didn't just scan SSIDs like a regular war driver would, they connected to the APs and recorded traffic. That's not just "oopsie, it was an accident."

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 4, Interesting) 273

The next one will be automated "city cars" built by Google, that will pickup and drop off people at work and take them shopping and whatnot.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, such a car has yet to be demonstrated. Google's demo vehicles are incapable of taking riders anywhere apart from a set track of stops, like a Disneyworld people-mover ride.

There's still probably a need in some cities for street-hail livery, which is what classic yellow cabs are -- in NY you can wait 5-10 minutes for the Uber or hail a cab in 30 seconds, and frankly the cabbie will be less of a pain -- my experience with Uber drivers in Manhattan has been a pretty mixed bag. As long as humans are doing the driving it might still be advisable for the drivers to get background checks and have commercial licensing and insurance, such things are prudent and won't kill the magic free market pixies that flutter about e-hailed car services.

As I understand it, city governments have a few simple problems with Uber-

1) Ubers can avoid poor neighborhoods at will, and there's really nothing the city can do about it. I live in LA, and if you live in, say, Watts, you must call a cab if you want a car, no Uber will find you there, because it's "the ghetto" and there's never an Uber within 20 minutes. Taxis can be and are required to pick up from all parts of the city, and their statistics are closely monitored by regulators to make sure they do.

2) Uber's trip pricing structure is very free-markety but it conflicts with most city's basic taxi regs, wherein a trip's price is a fixed formula of distance and time, no special charge for time of day or pickup/destination location. Uber can't provide this, because they use rate premiums to recruit drivers. Again the system is completely open to various kinds of discrimination, and the pricing process is completely private and not open to any sort of public accountability or scrutiny -- even they drivers, who are nominally the service providers ("Uber is not a transportation company"), can't control it.

3) These of course lead to the more philosophical dispute, namely, Uber handles the hailing, transaction processing, driver and rider ratings, and branding of the interaction, but whenever there's any sort of trouble, Uber can vehemently claim they have nothing to do with the driver or the ride, that it's none of their business, and governments and harmed parties must direct all their laws and lawsuits at little sole proprietors. This is a little too clever by half for some people and while following the letter of the law tends to skirt the equities a little too close.

All of this is totally fine as long as e-hail livery is a "premium" service, but some cities rely on taxis as a critical part of the transport infrastructure, and that's when price disparities and availability blackouts start to be problematic, politically.

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.