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Comment Re: Screws with users (Score 1) 319 319

If something changes from a right-click to a left-double-click, or from a launch button to buried in the start menu, that most definitely is a UI change. And the hazard indicator on cars I've owned has changed from a slider on the steering column, to a toggle push button on the steering column, to a single-press button in the center of the dash.

And "changing the location of something is not a UI change" is just plain wrong when talking about cars. Move the gas pedal to the steering column and you've made a far bigger change to using a car that anything Windows has done in 20 years to using a computer.

Comment Re:Faa rules for RC planes (Score 1) 1163 1163

The thing that actually does make a drone a drone is the presence of a camera and the ability to operate out of line of sight. Saying that you can't basically says you can't fly drones, which probably wouldn't work because if drones were a crime then only criminals would have drones or something like that.

(I think half the public and half the laws already confuse "drone" with "rc plane", where rc planes are now being called drones even when operated within line of sight. So the same FAA rule that banned drones would probably end up getting RC pilots arrested.)

Comment Re:I agree with the shooter (Score 1) 1163 1163

Fortunately there are laws and court rulings about this, and they define how low you can be without trespassing. The FAA considers anything above 500 feet to be navigable space, and a previous SCOTUS ruling allowed trespassing charges against a paraglider at 83 feet, so the limit is probably somewhere in that area. If he was able to shoot the drone down from the sky, it was most certainly below 83 feet. And of course airplanes and Google Earth examples are silly and meaningless.

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 566 566

The tail pound from your mine leaked and now my farm land is useless. I should be able to sue the coal company for the economic value of my land and income it could have generated for my family for the next 10 generations and if the coal company goes bankrupt I should be able to collect from the share holders in proportion to the remaining liability and stock they own.

What about the share holders who sold out before the leak was discovered? What if the owner died and the money was passed on to heirs? What about the ones that moved to another country? Let's say the leaking pond contaminated your drinking water, and coincidentally two of your children have mental development disorders, which of course you can never prove came from that leak? How much cash is worth that?

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 4, Insightful) 566 566

So we think, now, 30 years after the fact, that the large amount of lead being released into the air from the automotive industry was responsible for the drastic increases in violent crime in the 1960s and 1970s.

Even supposing we hadn't banned leaded gasoline, how exactly do you think the oil and gas industry would take to new efforts to tax their products today? Do you think consumers would enjoy it? Can we ever prove 100% that this was the cause? How many years back would we need to try to retroactively collect these taxes? Can we even legally do so? Just exactly how much do value do you assign to damaging a baby or young child's brain so that you can appropriate tax gasoline for the effect?

Now take everything I just said and apply it to carbon dioxide and global climate change and see how well it's working.

When applied to the commons - primarily the environment - unregulated capitalism is an absolute failure. Attempting to apply more market forces to it only works if your goal is to hasten the revolution that swings things too far in some other direction.

Comment Re: Future Shock (Score 1) 319 319

The fashion industry would like to respectfully disagree with you.

In all seriousness, apparently some change does matter. I read about a study (on phone and too lazy to find link) where heterosexual women were asked to decide which of a group of photographs of men were more "striking" or somesuch. When the group was almost all people with beards, those without we're deemed more striking. And vice versa.

So, if everyone does something one way, being different stands out. Not everyone is creative enough to find their own own way, but they can jump on the coat tails of the actual creative innovators. Eventually the whole market moves and "change" has happened for "change's sake", but it's roots are justified in human desire to appreciate the unique and innovative.*

* a desire that is not shared by all, and often misguided, admittedly.

Comment Re:Crash Mitigation (Score 1) 549 549

From the video, it looks like the Google car did leave some space in front of it. It should have realized that the person approaching from behind was not stopping fast enough and might rear end it, and, prior to impact, applied a quick burst of gas then brake to use up some of that buffer space. That would give the approaching driver additional space to stop.

Then again, when I do that, it's because I see the panic in the eyes of the driver approaching from behind, and I can also tell that he's trying to stop and just doesn't quite have enough space. It's been successful a few times. Were I to see that the approaching driver is way too fast and, for example, looking at his phone, I would assume he wasn't going to try to stop and me eating into my buffer space would just make it more likely my car would have front-end damage, too. I'd be better served trying to drive out of the way. Fortunately I've only been in this situation twice and the driver behind me both times decided to drive into the shoulder/ditch instead of rear end me.

Comment Re:Crash Mitigation (Score 1) 549 549

As shown in the video, the Google car both stopped short (leaving space for it to move up a few feet and brake again when it realized the driver behind wouldn't stop in time, giving the driver behind more space to stop) AND wasn't the first car at the light, so even if it used up its buffer space and was still shoved, it would neither be driving nor likely get shoved into the intersection.

Comment Re:ISP Availability (Score 1) 595 595

AT&T has given me an IPV6 address and routes traffic to certain destinations using it. I can tell because those destinations time out if I haven't visited them recently, then after a minute or so of trying (no matter how many windows, refreshes, etc. while other sites work fine), they suddenly start working - until I don't visit them for 10 minutes or so and they reset. Facebook, Google properties fall into this category.

According to the internet it's a know problem in AT&T's IPV6 implementation and I need to turn it off at the router. I keep meaning to take care of it but then again I keep thinking Google Fiber will get here and I won't have to bother.

Comment Re:Can we have another poll? (Score 1) 246 246

The thing is, the number of people who want to regularly visit a site that looks like it was made in 1998 and mostly comments on decade-old inside jokes and features an increasingly libertarian slant is not growing because the number of people who fall into that category is not growing. Slashdot has four options:

1) Figure out how to grow their customer base without eliminating their existing customers (difficult; existing customers oppose change and tend to either directly be, or through their opinions appear to be, hostile to newcomers),

2) They should give up growing their customer base and just be the best they can for their existing base, trying to win back the Soylent News crowd. (This might work, but wouldn't grow the base. They'd be like "classic rock" stations or "oldies" stations before that, who were playing popular music when they started, but rather than keep up with pop they decide to freeze in time and mostly ride the same fan base to their mutual deaths. Plus this assumes the existing base was homogenous; it wasn't, and as some groups have gotten more vocal they have permanently chased others away.)

3) They could say "fuck it" to their existing customer base, make all the radical changes they want to make, and start over rebuilding a new crowd. (This usually doesn't make corporate overlords happy unless it's their brainchild idea, e.g. Napster, etc., and even then it rarely works.)

4) Cowboy Neal could pull the plug and shut the whole thing down. (I needed to include a decade-old inside joke here somewhere.)

Comment Re:probably a fair sentence (Score 2) 225 225

The law isn't so black and white. The government (and a judge, and a jury) would weigh the illegal uses of the service with the legal ones. They would also look to see how the service handled obvious and reported illegal uses. If, for example, eBay only sold stolen goods, and it was obvious (as in spelled out in the product descriptions) that they were stolen, and they did nothing when users reported the listings of stolen goods, then yeah, they would be breaking the law.

On the other hand, Craigslist has many legal users, and does block listings reported for selling drugs, etc. So even though you can buy drugs through Silk Road and Craigslist, one was shut down and the other one wasn't, with the same standards applied.

I'm not going to touch your Too Big To Fail corporate references as they have their own set of standards that do reflect actual problems with the legal and/or corporate governance system.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)