Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 813

by SvnLyrBrto (#49737925) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

> I understand that semis tear up the roads more than
> cars, so yes, an extra road tax for them is not
> unreasonable.

I don't even see why that is necessary. Those very same semi trucks also use a lot more gas than a Prius or similar. Likewise, one of the ways said Prius, or any other hybrid, achieves it's high mileage is by being as lightweight as possible. And lighter weight cars cause less wear and tear on the roads and should pay less to maintain them. So just set the gas tax such that it's sufficient to bring in whatever revenue is necessary and be done with it; with no invasive monitoring.

Sure, there will be boundary cases. Some exotic sports cars are lightweight but have low mileage because they're designed for speed and acceleration, not efficiency. And electric cars, obviously, do not use gas; though i'm pretty sure the electricity itself is taxed (At least it is in my state.). But in both of these cases, they're rare enough that they really don't need to figure into the equations.

Comment: Re:not the real question (Score 1) 199

The last time I flew, the little map w/ the airplane icon gave only a very rough approximation of where were actually were. Just from looking out the window, it was apparent that it was tens of miles off... almost 50 at times. (It was showing that we were way down by Moffat Field, when we were *landing* at SFO.

So, on Virgin America's A320s at least, I highly doubt that the passenger entertainment map data comes from any FMS. The thing would be useless to the pilot if it was that far off.

Comment: Re:Arrogance about a job you don't understand (Score 1) 386

> aren't always entirely honest

That's an understatement if there ever was one. Outright dishonesty is pretty much a requirement to work in sales or marketing. How else do make a claim that some sugar-laden, tooth-rotting, breakfast cereal is "a healthy part of a balanced breakfast" while showing a "breakfast" that easily has better than half the calories one should eat for the entire day?

I think that's where a bit part of the assumption of the stupidity on the part of sales and marketing types comes from. It's a lot harder to be dishonest as an engineer. A pice of code either works, or it doesn't. A bridge or building either stands up to its designed load, or it collapses. And there's a very common assumption amongst honest people that dishonest people are dumb, because if they were smart, why would they have to resort to lies?

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 2) 317

by SvnLyrBrto (#49726141) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

Proper insurance and background checks are definitely a good thing.

But the legacy taxi companies, the medallion system, and the laws they're bought to fix prices and prevent competition... especially bringing about that aforementioned medallion system, are a font of corruption and scumbaggery easily on the level of the RIAA/MPAA/Metallica copyright cartel types. They effect fewer people, as people out in the suburbs don't generally take cabs/Uber/transit. But as someone who's lived in an urban city since before Uber, Lift, and Sidecar were around; I'll celebrate and support pretty much anything that kneecaps the taxi companies.

Comment: Re:MCI (Score 1) 203

by SvnLyrBrto (#49656339) Attached to: Critics Say It's Time To Close La Guardia Airport

MCI? Convenient? Maybe for arriving flights. If you have a connection or a departure, it's bloody terrible. I've never been in a more poorly-laid-out airport. Instead of one checkpoint per concourse like any sensible airport, that rathole set up a jobs program for their security types or something, and set up separate checkpoints for every half-dozen gates or so, with each post-security area closed off from all the others.

Changing planes? Guess what... chances are you have to leave the secure area and go through the TSA goon squad again to get to your new gate. Departures are just as miserable. The post-security amenities in any given slice of the secure areas are paltry and low-quality at best. And that's if your flight is departing from a gate that HAS shops or restaurants in its little chink of the secure area. I've never had the displeasure, but I've been told that there are a couple that don't even have post-security bathrooms.

It's also *really* far away from almost everything. If you're downtown, it's not that bad. But if you're there for business or a conference, it's a good hour's drive from the the Overland Park district where you'll be.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not hating on KC. The people are nice and I've had a good time every time I went. But the airport is a disgrace.

Comment: Re:different strokes (Score 1) 179

by SvnLyrBrto (#49613693) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

I wouldn't so much crap on it. Overall, it was a very good set of novels. But there were definitely some pretty annoying things about it. My top three:

1) All the singing in Fellowship.

2) The structure of The Two Towers (Specifically: Tell the entire story of one half of the split group. Then go back in time and tell the entire story of the other half. Reader must pay obsessive detail to minutia in order to get the two halves time-synced.)

3) Aragorn can't ever just tell anyone his name. It always has to be: "For I am Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, descendent of Isildur and heir of Elendil and the kingdom of Gondor; for behold, I hold the sword that was once broken and is now reforged." Gods. Can you imagine if Peter Jackson had subjected us to *that*? The movies would all be an extra half-hour long just to let strider introduce himself.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone start there? (Score 5, Insightful) 123

> What made silicon valley was what Texas or North
> Dakota is today. Cheap land, cheap employees,
> friendly government, no one leaving for another
> startup.

You couldn't be more wrong. People leaving for another startup is EXACTLY what made Silicon Valley.

Pretty much all of the Intel founders met at and left Fairchild Semiconductors to form their own company. Fairchild itself was the result of people leaving Schockley Labs. Jobs and Woz worked at Atari and Hewlett-Packard before founding Apple. Palm came from ex-Apple employees. AMD also came from Fairchild employees. The cofounders of Nvidia jumped ship from AMD and Sun. YouTube was founded by ex-PayPal employees. And all that's just off the top of my head.

Smart people meeting smart people, having an idea, and having the freedom to leave their employer to implement that idea, is the vert heart of innovation. The fact that you tout non-compete shackles as a good thing *does* mark you as an "anti employee asshole". You labeled yourself in your very first sentence. It also proves that you just don't get what makes for an environment that generates companies that are not only innovative, but fantastic to work for.

Comment: Re:silicon valley != past silicon valley (Score 1) 123

There have always been a handful of big players that "dominate" the valley. In the past, it was companies like Hewlett Packard, Sun, IBM, Xerox, and Fairchild Semiconductor.

The names change, but the big companies play their role too. A big part of the valley is people getting their start at the big-name companies, meeting people and developing their skills, and then leaving to form their own startups... which something grow up to be the next big name that "dominates" the valley. Remember: The Intel founders all met each other whilst working at Fairchild, and Wozniak worked for HP before co-founding Apple.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 2) 263

by SvnLyrBrto (#49580245) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

Emergency procedure checklists are still on hard-copy in the cockpit. Flight books (and EFBs) are for routine operations and include things like the flight path, loading and fuel, PAX & cargo manifest, approach & landing procedures for destination, alternate, and en-route airports, en-route weather forecasts, and so on.

Comment: Re:Thank Goodness (Score 1) 152

by SvnLyrBrto (#49546091) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

Well... to be fair, Yellowstone erupting is one of those things that's just so bad that there's not a whole lot of planning we CAN do. About the only possible survival strategy is: "Be in Australia when it happens.". The problem with that plan though is that there are also super volcanos in Indonesia and New Zealand that could do to the southern hemisphere what Yellowstone can to the north.

Comment: Re:The UK Government Are Massively Out Of Touch (Score 2) 191

by SvnLyrBrto (#49513281) Attached to: Assange Talk Spurs UK Judges To Boycott Legal Conference

My position is that there's no legitimate reason for Assange to be subject to US laws in any way whatsoever. Do you consider yourself subject to China's laws regarding to advocating for democracy? Should a UK citizen be subject to Saudi laws regarding pornography or not being muslim?

If Australia has a law obligating him to keep the secrets of third-party, non-Australian, governments; any charges or legal proceedings should be taking place in Australia. For the US to presume to export its laws beyond its own borders is absurd. And its subversion of both the British and Swedish legal systems (And the latters' willingness to do along with it.) is full-out sickening.

Comment: Re:The UK Government Are Massively Out Of Touch (Score 2) 191

by SvnLyrBrto (#49511127) Attached to: Assange Talk Spurs UK Judges To Boycott Legal Conference

Assange is accused of releasing state secrets of a country of which he is neither a citizen or resident, in which he was not present in when he released them, from which he never sought or received a security clearance, and to which he never gave a secrecy oath or signed an NDA.

By what stretch of the imagination do you think he is, or should be, obligated to keep those secrets?

Comment: Re:Pioneers get arrows in back (Score 1) 138


There had been smart phones around for years before the iPhone. And before that, we had PalmPilots. And yet, the first round of apps from the App Store and the first round of apps on Android, were both pretty craptacular too. The first round of apps on the iPad were little more than inflated versions of their iPhone counterparts. Most of the early (decent) PS4 games were just "remastered" released of PS3 titles. And then there's the whole Windows 8 fiasco, which took place years after desktops, smartphones, and tablets had all been on the market for years, but managed to be bloody awful on all three.

When developers target a new platform, it takes a bit of time before they get good at it. News at eleven.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.