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Comment: Re:"That can be reversed on request" (Score 1, Funny) 111

by ShanghaiBill (#49566011) Attached to: New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

So let me get this straight rich gits with chauffeurs get priority over everyone else because why, why the fuck, why?

When I was serving in the Marines, we would periodically have to provide a few privates to ride in the back seat of the colonel's car so he could take the HOV lane from Quantico to a meeting at the Pentagon. Your tax dollars at work.

Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by ShanghaiBill (#49565685) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

We look at the Pinto specifically as a case study in my engineering ethics class back in college, there was not excuse for what they did. All engineers do have to make trade-off decisions, but the fucking deluxe fix was $11, that is it.

I doubt very very much if the final decision was made by an engineer. It was far more likely made by either an accountant or a lawyer.

Comment: Re:How about this.. (Score 1, Insightful) 62

by ShanghaiBill (#49564291) Attached to: Supreme Court To Consider Data Aggregation Suit Against Spokeo

"Annoying documents" don't negate the concepts of libel and slander.

To qualify as libel or slander a statement must be not only false, but knowingly false, and used with malicious intent. I doubt if you can convince anyone that Google is libeling you.

Such documents also usually include ideas like "privacy".

If you type info into my website, then it is silly to later claim that it is "private". If you don't want Google to have your data, then don't use Google.

Comment: Re:How about this.. (Score 1) 62

by ShanghaiBill (#49564179) Attached to: Supreme Court To Consider Data Aggregation Suit Against Spokeo

I grant a 3rd party limited use of ONLY the data that I supply them. They cannot in anyway, shape, or form share this data with any other party (without a court order).

If you want to unilaterally control what other people say and publish about you, you might have some problems working around this annoying document.

Comment: Re: No (Score 2) 155

by ShanghaiBill (#49564113) Attached to: Has the Native Vs. HTML5 Mobile Debate Changed?

However, the time it takes to develop a native app vs a web-comparable app is immensely different. Web apps are infinitely easier to create and deploy.

Only if the "app" consists of a pull-down menu, a fill-in form and a database. Now try to do a 3D FPS game app, using OpenGL, with HTML5. Is it theoretically possible? Sure. But it will be incredibly difficult to manage polygons, scenes, frame buffers, etc. in a language where an integer is a float, and a float is sometimes a string, where the only data structures are arrays and hashes, and errors are almost never caught by the compiler.

I have written apps in both native code and Html5+Javascript. Html5+JS is almost always my first choice if I just need to slap together an interface to some backend service. But I would never go that route for an app that requires structure, planning, teamwork, and real engineering.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 262

The core problem is that technology is reducing the market value of unskilled/low-skilled human labor below the level that someone can survive on.

Except that in the past two decades, more than a billion people have been lifted out of poverty, as incomes at the bottom of the economic ladder have surged. You might want to start with a "core problem" that has a stronger connection to reality.

Or did you mean that people in rich countries with below median incomes (the bottom half of the top 10% globally) have not been doing well?

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 4, Informative) 566

by ShanghaiBill (#49561207) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

That's because they're usually ordering it with a Double Big Mac combo ;)

Nope, it is because diet soda makes you fat. It promotes the wrong kind of gut bacteria. The sweet taste also triggers insulin production, when causes hunger when the sugar that the tongue predicted doesn't show up in the stomach. So people end up eating even more to compensate. Sales of Diet Pepsi are falling because people are becoming more educated about just how unhealthy that crap is. If you are thirsty, try tap water.

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 434

NOx can be removed by catalytic converters, as long as the catalyst is not poisoned by sulfer in the fuel. Since this fuel contains no sulfer, that should not be a problem. Start with electricity, convert it to liquid diesel fuel at 70% efficiency, and then burn that diesel at about 50% efficiency. So overall, the process is about 35% efficient. That is a lot worse than Li-ion batteries, but would have the advantages of range, and working with existing inexpensive engines. This process could be used as a demand leveler for renewables: on sunny/windy days, where there is plenty of surplus power, just convert the excess to diesel and store it.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 2) 262

And I say the above as an opinion. I base that on the unwillingness of the businesses wanting to pay higher wages which would solve this issue. Or am I incorrect about this?

You are incorrect. If the business paid higher wages, they would have to raise the price of strawberries to cover the cost. Then consumers wouldn't buy the strawberries, and would buy something less labor intensive instead, like watermelons. Then the business would fire the strawberry pickers, and switch to growing watermelons.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 5, Interesting) 262

Aside from water and air, there is nothing as important to human life as food. Why does worker reward not reflect this?

The price of a commodity has little to do with "importance", but with scarcity and cost of production. Air is the most important commodity, yet it is free. Water is the second most important, yet it is extremely cheap (as a residential consumer in California I get about 5 gallons for a penny).

you have to consider our society's priorities pretty messed up.

Do you believe that air is free because of messed up social priorities?

Comment: Re:Take me now, Lord (Score 3, Insightful) 262

So the US has hit Peak Mexican?

We hit peak Mexican in 2008. Since then, the net flow has been negative (more people returning to Mexico than arriving). The Latino population is still growing because of a higher birthrate, but at that point they aren't "Mexicans", but native-born American citizens.

Comment: Re:With the opening... (Score 2) 56

by ShanghaiBill (#49558961) Attached to: The World of 3D Portraiture

to a Twilight Zone episode?

I think it is the author of TFA that is in the twilight zone. The notion that this service will lack customers is absurd. A few years ago, there was a booth making cheap 3D wax head models at the Circus-Circus in Las Vegas. There was a long line of people waiting for their turn. My kids each got one.

Comment: Z80 was in TRS-80 (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by ShanghaiBill (#49557163) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary

I remember learning Z80 assembly on the "Thrash 80". Great microprocessor. It had two register banks, so context switches, and interrupts, were really fast. There were also some undocumented instructions, and if you knew those you had a lot of street cred with the other teenage nerds. Fun times.

The moving cursor writes, and having written, blinks on.