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Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 63

by RingDev (#48858703) Attached to: Moscow To Track Cell-phone Users In 2015 For Traffic Analysis

Sorry, I should specify that the -government- is currently monitoring traffic via those methods.

Private industry has access to things that elements of the government does not, like your cell phone's position and speed (assuming you have Google's positioning system enabled).

Now, the NSA/FBI/Police may have some way of hacking in to get that, or put up stingers to catch it, but for all of the state DOTs out there, individuals' cell phones are not available. And the systems we have available to measure traffic volume, speed, and primary routes are limited.

-Rick

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 4, Interesting) 63

by RingDev (#48856327) Attached to: Moscow To Track Cell-phone Users In 2015 For Traffic Analysis

They're beating us in this one.

Current traffic monitoring systems use either CC video analysis, ramp meters, magnetic loop, or blue tooth detection. I've heard of systems to pick up tire pressure indicator signals also, but I haven't seen them first hand.

With all of that, we get ~5-7% of the vehicle speed data on select routes.

In 2017 new requirements go into effect to require all vehicles produced for use in the US to include V2V communications systems. Most of these systems also include V2I communications. Even if they don't, I'd expect detecting that a specific V2V entity just drove past is going to be trivial.

So by the end of 2017, we're going to be on parity with all of our current assorted solutions for penetration. By the end of 2018, we'll have double the penetration. By 2020, roughly 20-25% of all vehicles will contain V2V and/or V2I communications.

So what does that mean? It means we could generate optimum route data and re-route traffic based on travel time recommendations before they get onto a major road with limited access and a traffic issue on the desired route.

It also means we can identify true bottlenecks and take completely new approaches to road engineering and project prioritization. This alone is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, funded largely by tax payers. If we can find more efficient ways of taking on these projects, it means less expenditures (or more projects).

But it comes with down sides. A policing agency could in theory query the system to see where you currently are, or where your vehicle was at a specific time. It also makes it possible for the mile traveled road tax, where you can be taxed by mile driven, and those taxes can vary and be distributed by municipalities that own those roads. And of course there is a security concern that a hacker or malicious user could determine your driving habits and use the information to their advantage. I did even hear a member of the law enforcement community asking about such a system's ability to disable vehicles remotely in the case of excessive speed, chases, etc...

Basically, there's a huge shift coming in the US and how we (and the government) interact with our vehicles.

-Rick

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 417

by RingDev (#48813063) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

My property taxes went up a couple years ago because the local residents decided to pay $2 million to have a flowage dredged and stocked with fish.

My property taxes are going up next year because the local residents decided to pay $25 million for a new sports complex at the high school.

Now, it may cost a couple mil to get a city wide fiber rollout, but after the initial build out, the monthly fees should cover peering and maintenance. So I get a 1 year bump in my taxes, and a life time of cheaper and faster internet access?

Now that's something I can get behind!

-Rick

Comment: Re:Rule #1 of development: Know your requirements. (Score 1) 264

by RingDev (#48807291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

"It turns out that there are zillions of little apps that make businesses run. Some of them are no more robust than an excel workbook on a well known file share. Some are Access applications. Lots of VB6 apps are still keeping businesses running."

I hear ya. Been right there in the trenches for almost 20 years now doing line of business application development/management. The organization I just started with has a product catalog that has over 1000 entries, with tons of additional excel/access solutions that remain undocumented.

But this is a problem. Each of these applications involve risks, maintenance, and support. The more of them there are (and some places have mountains of them) the more maintenance and support cost, the more often those risks present themselves.

The reason these apps exist is because of a business process, and that process was likely designed in a vacuum being held over a fire. It's not that the app is flawed, but the business process itself may be the source of the issue. Working with the business units to identify processes that have multiple IT needs and finding ways to streamline the process, not the apps, will save the company vastly more than sinking time into developing yet another application.

And that's where we get to the rub. There are already hundreds of POS suites, contract managers, document management, BRMs, ERPs, HR tools, taxes and accounting apps, etc... Any core business function that a company may have has likely already been solved with a tool that is vastly cheaper than what it would cost for us to build, with refined business processes built in, and with a significantly lower TCO including maintenance and support.

The world is full of giants. Stand on their shoulders so that your IT department can spend their time on projects that take your business where others can't.

-Rick

Comment: Rule #1 of development: Know your requirements. (Score 4, Insightful) 264

by RingDev (#48805101) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

If you're just developing for the fun of it, have at.

But if your goal is to have a POS application, stop writing code right now. There exist hundreds of off the shelf POS apps all ready. For Windows, for Linux, thick clients, thin clients, web, desktop, green screen, etc...

Your time would be vastly better spent finding an existing product and adapting your business process to it. Especially if it is something that can tie into your accounting/inventory systems.

As the old saying goes, "Good developers write good code, great developers steal good code."

-Rick

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 1) 480

by RingDev (#48804355) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Well, part of that is due to the scale. Union membership has been plummeting over the last few decades. We're down to ~14 million total union members in the US.

And we're at ~140 million total non-farm employees in the country.

Assuming that both corporations and unions perform 'evil' at the same rate, we should expect 9 times more 'evil' reports on corporations than we see on unions just as a matter of scale.

Even just some quick google-fu shows that expectation to have some truth. More reports of corporate driven voter intimidation are available than reports of union driven voter intimidation. That isn't to say that unions don't do horrible crap too. Hell, look at that mess in Nevada back in 2010. Uhg. And if union membership wasn't at such a low level and falling, I'd be more concerned about it. But as is, unions are going the way of the dinosaur. They're still making a lot of noise, but their political clout is faltering and they don't have the impact they once did.

-Rick

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 1) 480

by RingDev (#48796775) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Wal-Mart holding a press conference to talk about the corporation's desire for a GOP controlled house is fine.

Wal-Mart's board of directors discussing how legislators interested in their ideas will be beneficial to the company is fine.

Wal-Mart managers calling staff into meetings telling them in not-so vague terms that failure to vote Republican will cost them their jobs is not fine.

Union Organizers holding a press conference to talk about the corporation's desire for a Democrat controlled house is fine.

Union Organizers' board of directors discussing how legislators interested in their ideas will be beneficial to the company is fine.

Union Organizers calling union members into meetings telling them in not-so vague terms that failure to vote Democrat will cost them their jobs is not fine.

See the pattern?

If you use your position of authority to coerce someone to vote contrary to their conscience, it's illegal. If you lobby the public or your peers, and they change their mind, it's legal. This is why I as a manager avoid talking to my employees about political issues, but can talk freely with my fellow managers. I can't fire my peers for disagreeing with me. Generally though, you're best off just leaving political debates out of the office place.

-Rick

Comment: Re:Yeah, okay (Score 3, Funny) 125

by RingDev (#48795457) Attached to: Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

"Data apocalypse now"

Disregarding the rest of your post for this nugget.

The thought of a remake of Apocalypse Now as Data Apocalypse Now as a senior CIA agent is being sent into the field with some hard core MI6 bodies to capture and return a rogue agent distributing data in a "information wants to be free!" kinda zeal (only way darker). And over time, embedded with the rogue agent, after the MI6 team gets picked off or falls into a drug induced free-knowledge stupor, starts doubting his missing, maybe data does want to be free?

The thought of a Brit with a laptop saying, "Charlie don't surf!" while browsing the web from North Korea ...

Seriously, that could be a good movie.

Could be. Odds are though, it would be drivel.

-Rick

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 2) 480

by RingDev (#48795063) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Because clearly that doesn't happen already. It's not like Walmart pulled all of their managers in to give them political commentary about how it would be "bad" for them if the Dems won the 2008 election. How, if the Dems won, or if unions gained any foothold in the company, that clearly it would cause economic downturns that would result in the closing of their stores. Not like they were dancing around the message of "Vote Republican or go find a new job" or anything.

That type of behavior wont change between onsite and online voting.

Now, the concern that an organization would force it's members to either hand over it's tokens, or allow the organization to review their votes could be real. But I would go out on a limb and guess that any organization to do so would have it's ass nailed against the wall by the AG so hard and fast that the need for a colostomy bag would be a moot point.

That said, still not in favor of this ;)

-Rick

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 5, Insightful) 480

by RingDev (#48794537) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Not that I'm in favor of this, but... that isn't exactly true.

You can have an audit trail and anonymity so long as the source of the audit trail is known only to the originator.

If each year I am assigned a token at random, and the assigning system tracks only that a token was assigned, then I can look at that token and see it's audit trail to ensure that my vote was recorded correctly.

Anyone else looking at the audit trail of that token would be able to see how that token was used, but not by who.

Not sure I'm on board with online voting, but I don't believe that the audit trail and anonymity are mutually exclusive.

-Rick

Comment: Re:"while not intended for production" (Score 1) 167

by RingDev (#48769469) Attached to: Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here

I'm not aware of anything like that currently, but I'm on the other side of the equation at the moment. I work for a state DOT, so I'm seeing things primarily from the V2I perspective.

I know that years ago Cadillac had an infrared detection and HUD alert system, but I don't believe it did any analysis of it.

I would be surprised if the major autonomous vehicle players aren't looking at machine learning though. Someone had previously mentioned a vehicle with collision avoidance that would force a vehicle to stop a "safe distance" from a parking gate, making it hard for them to reach the parking ticket box. One would assume with some rather simple machine learning algorithms, combining GPS location, speed, peddle conditions, velocity changes over the last few meters, etc... that you could pretty quickly develop a set of scenarios to disable the collision deterrence system.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more short range infrastructure tools pop up as well. A gate that communicates with your car to establish license plate/ID to eliminate the need to get a ticket at all, and the ramp that can tell the car exactly where the open spots are, and where the spot closest to your desired exit is. etc...

This stuff is coming. It'll take time, but the technology exists, it just needs refinement and price drops to gain wider acceptance. And the 2017 model year will spur a massive growth of the technology.

-Rick

Comment: Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (Score 1) 73

by RingDev (#48765291) Attached to: Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

I had to take a taxi from the airport to my house once.

It cost as much a my last car payment.

If you live in a major metro area, and you're trying to get to some place in the same major metro area, yeah, taxis are an option.

If you live in the country, or you want to get from one metro area to another, frequent taxi service is not realistic.

-Rick

Comment: Re:islam (Score 5, Informative) 1350

by RingDev (#48754801) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Well let's see... the IRA/English's battle over Northern Ireland (largely drawn across Catholic/Protestant religious lines) cease fire was just over 20 years ago. And the final peace accord was only 17 years ago. That marked the end of 30 years of assassinations, murders, bombings, and attacks all of which were surrounded by religious fervor.

The Gun Powder Plot (Remember, remember, the 5th of November) was driven (and justified) by religious ideals.

The KKK was a main stream Protestant religious organization for a century in the US.

More recently, Christian militias have been responsible for numerous violent clashes and "cleansings" in north-east India (anti-Hindu).

In central Africa, the Anti-Balaka militias are spreading Jesus' word by assassinating Muslims.

You have the 1990's Manipur that left 900 dead and tens of thousands displaced as Christian terrorists decided to enforce their views.

There was the Christian fundamentalist in Oslo that shot up that kid's camp, leaving 77 dead because he felt that immigrants were eroding their "Christian Values"

I'm not here to debate the merits of Islam, but to claim that Christianity as a whole has been perfectly clean since the 1500's is a gross mischaracterization of the numerous religious organizations and individuals that fall under the Christian designation.

-Rick

Comment: Re:"while not intended for production" (Score 1) 167

by RingDev (#48754331) Attached to: Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here

And here's some counters:

The autonomous vehicle, detecting slippery road conditions, and not being an over confident idiot driving way over a reasonably safe speed would slow down. Making emergency maneuvers less risky.

The autonomous vehicle, using V2V information, knows exactly where that oncoming truck is, and is able to communicate it's knowledge of surrounding risks and travel plan (ie: I'm going to stay in this lane, you stay in yours!) reducing the risk of a head-on collision.

The autonomous vehicle, using V2I information is aware of a precipitous drop off the right shoulder, indicating that there is no easement to pull over onto.

The autonomous vehicle, using wide angle IR/RADAR sensors, detects the movement of a possible obstruction before it gets to the road (seriously, we're already doing this with deer detectors). It can identify the trajectory of the object which gets added to the travel plan.

So we have a vehicle that is already traveling at a slower (safer) speed, has more knowledge about the road, the ability to immediately communicate with surrounding vehicles, and a strongly enhanced ability to identify and calculate threats to the travel plan.

To suggest that a human being would be a better driver in that situation is ludicrous. And I say that as a guy that loves driving, fast, even in snowy conditions, who has never been in an accident.

If I were driving in that situation, with all likelihood either I'm dying, or the snow boarder is dying. If the autonomous vehicle is driving, odds are my trip will take longer, but no one winds up dead.

-Rick

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