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Comment: Re:Provisionally, I'm OK with this: (Score 2) 257

by Tom (#47772679) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

I don't trust software to take control away from the driver.

While I completely agree, subjectively, I also understand enough psychology and statistics to know that a) the feeling of control is mostly emotional, not rational. It's why your mother in the passenger seat is scared in situations where you as the driver are completely cool - you are in control, she is not. That she's more easily agitated only makes it more visible. It's a well-documented fact that experiencing the same situation once in control, or even just seemingly in control, and once not in control is experienced very differently.

Statistics, on the other hand, show that even at this early stage, autonomous vehicles have a better-than-average track record. So while you may feel less safe, the numbers say that you are actually more safe.

etc that won't be participating in this V2V conversation.

Which is why autonomous or semi-autonomous (assisted driving) vehicles do not rely on one input source alone. V2V is not intended to replace all the sensors and stuff, it's one more input source.

Great, but that doesn't mean you're now free to be inattentive! If anything, cars should be less safe and speed limits higher to force people to pay attention, or else.

Humans are really, really bad at paying attention to monotonous tasks for extended periods of time. The sooner our cars drive themselves completely, the better.

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 1) 257

by Tom (#47772649) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

If the speed at which most drivers are comfortable on a road is too high for safety

...it could be that drivers systematically overestimate their abilities and underestimate the dangers. Given that we've evolved to live at walking and running speed, moving only our own bodies, it's not a big surprise that our brains don't give us the correct clues at 180 km/h or even 50 km/h when driving a one ton metal thing.

Subjective driver comfort is not something I would use as a measurement for safety.

Comment: privacy (Score 1) 257

by Tom (#47772639) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

Yeah, because V2V has about 300 m range. Posting my location to people within view range is really a massive "privacy concern".

We complain about patent trolls getting trivial patents for non-inventions by taking something totally normal and adding "with a computer" to it, but sometimes we do the same. Licence-plate reading cameras are a privacy concern because they can enter your location into a global database in near real-time. Telling people electronically what they could see with their own eyes? Hardly a privacy problem. If we were talking about a system to intercept these signals and update some global database, yes - but that is just the license-plate-reading-camera problem with a different technology. The problem in either case is not having a license plate or having V2V, but the people turning local information into global information.

And other than license plates, it's easy to solve it. Your car could automatically generate a new random ID for itself every time it stops for more than a minute, for example. Pseudonymity is quite cute when you understand it.

Comment: question? (Score 2) 181

by Tom (#47763593) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, [...] Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds?

Are you fucking kidding me? This is so plainly in the "if it's not illegal, it ought to be" category that it's really difficult to think of a more clear example.

It's a direct attack on a competitors system, intended to deprive them of their ability to deliver their service. In IT security terms we'd call it a DOS.

If this rumoured playbook exists, someone ought to go to jail for it. To me it's bright as daylight and even asking the question seems stupid.

Comment: Re:Good answer! Fraud is their main source of prof (Score 2) 210

by Tom (#47740841) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Because instead of holding corporations to their promises and showing them who owns the tanks, governments in the west have spent the past 10 years selling themselves to the cheapest bidder, with treaties allowing corporations to sue governments if they dare pass laws that impact profits.

Sometimes I wish we had a king with a big ego, who'd on as much as the proposal of such a treaty arrest all those corporate bigshots and hang them publicly.

Comment: Re:Perhaps this won't be a popular view... (Score 1) 362

by Tom (#47737847) Attached to: "MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

With you on this one. Adam and Jamie are the Mythbusters and for everything they've done, all the others (there was one other woman for one or two seasons and a few temps for a few episodes) never seemed to be more than additionals.

Also, did everyone notice how little interaction there was between the teams for a long time now? I remember it was higher in the beginning. But for a long time now, it seemed like two similar shows edited together, not one show.

Mythbusters has been going downhill for a few seasons, I have hopes this move will reverse that trend.

But yes, it's probably not a very popular position.

Comment: Re:Good answer! Fraud is their main source of prof (Score 2) 210

by Tom (#47737831) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Apparently the major profit center for companies like Oracle is being late and more expensive than predicted.

This 100 times. I am amazed again and again that big government projects are almost guaranteed to be over budget and late, and I don't mean 10% in either case. After having this 5000 times, which idiots write the contracts that still don't contain massive penalties for those cases? Grab them by the balls when they promise you the heavens and tell them to deliver or shut up.

Nothing short of corruption can explain this, because I refuse to believe that someone can be this stupid and at the same time still remember how breathing works.

Comment: Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (Score 1) 239

by Tom (#47726877) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

The thing I've never quite understood is why deleted pages aren't archived. That tells you right away that the deletionist folks are obviously up to no good. Everything else is always archived on Wikipedia,

Bingo. Deleting pages is not only evil by itself, it also fundamentally breaks the "wiki" part of "Wikipedia".

Deletion in the Wikimedia software is intended for vandalism and mistakes. But hey, you and me we are among a large crowd who have decided to not contribute to WP until the idiots in charge understand some of the basic concepts of their own system. This is just one of the most blatantly obvious.

addendum: /. -

It's been 3 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

WTF? It used to be 1 minute. Are we now pandering to people whose mental processes and typing skills don't allow to post more than one comment every 3, 5, 30 minutes?

Comment: Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (Score 1) 239

by Tom (#47726845) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

I tried reading some of their justification for deleting the article, but it made absolutely no sense. It's a perfectly good topic to cover, and clearly I and others want to read about it! Yet these totalitarian shitbags feel the need to censor, censor, censor and then censor some more.

Notability never made any sense whatsoever. The exact topics that are "not notable" are the ones that people are most likely to search desparately for. If I want to read something about Michael Jackson, or the city of Paris, there are 20 million pages on the Internet. Finding them is trivial.

If I want to read about Nimrod or any other "not notable" topic, that's exactly where Wikipedia could shine. It could give me a short summary and some links to read more. It could, in other words, do exactly what an encyclopedia is supposed to do.

For some reason, the idiots managing WP have decided to gut exactly the part of their project that would make it the most useful, while having pages about individual porn stars and manga characters is somehow really important.

Comment: Re:Agile can fuck off. (Score 2) 239

by Tom (#47726807) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

To be fair, Agile can be freaking awesome. I worked at a devotedly Agile shop and it was a developerocratic utopia.

Chances are this has nothing to do with Agile and everything to do with the people, company and culture.

If your culture sucks, Agile won't save you, or magically improve it. Managers love this "magic bullet you can buy and it'll solve all your problems" which is largely why they constantly re-organize something, completely ignoring 10, 20 or sometimes 100 years of re-organization experience that prove that nothing whatsoever changed after any of them.

Tackling the culture of a company or department is a lot more difficult, less flashy and less likely to give you short-term quantifiable results, which is why so few do it.

There's no such thing as "Agile Done Right". There is such thing as a right culture in which Agile (or, frankly speaking, any other methodology) will work and make everyone happy. If you live in a wrong culture, there's nothing Agile or anything else could do right to fix it.

Comment: Re:moving vs. stationary (Score 1) 142

by Tom (#47719265) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Microsoft were the ones who brought desktop computing into the mainstream.

But they did neither invent it nor made they any innovative progress. They are a marketing company - good at repacking other peoples inventions and selling them to a mainstream market.

What are the alternatives?

Thanks to over 20 years of monopoly practices and systematical destruction of potential rivals, indeed there aren't very many. But that's like saying that you don't have any alternatives to being a muslim in Iraq. Just because someone has taken away all your other choices doesn't mean the remaining choice is any good.

and alot slower than Microsoft Office.

True, but let's be honest here: We are comparing different flavors of shit. Office, in any of its incarnations, is an abomination.

Comment: moving vs. stationary (Score 3, Insightful) 142

by Tom (#47710335) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

"the mobile-first, cloud-first world."

This sums up the core MS issue better than anything else I've ever read. MS has never been innovative, but worse: It has never been a company that likes change. Their world-view is static and stationary. While they acknowledge the world is changing (reality can be quite persuasive), they don't see movement, they see a succession of stationary status quos.

They will now throw everything at becoming the perfect company for the picture of the world they have. And in five years look out the window and see that the world has changed - again.

It's also the reason we all hate MS - due to their still existing stranglehold on computing, they keep much of the rest of the world static with them. The damage done by preventing innovation and progress is easily ten times MS net worth.

All because some people don't understand that life is dynamic.

Comment: victory of stupidity (Score 1) 249

by Tom (#47701133) Attached to: The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

TFA is factually wrong on many counts.

The main reason we don't get new reactors in most european countries are political, not economical. In fact, power companies are doing fine and nuclear power is highly subsidized, mostly indirectly. New plants are expensive only on paper.

But the political culture has moved many countries into a very strange corner. Because the public dislikes nuclear power and wants it gone, but politicians don't (bribery, lobbyism, desire for energy-independence or wisdom in planning the future carefully - make your pick), you cannot get permission to build a new plant in many countries, but you can keep your old one running and extend its lifetime.

The second reason is economic, but of a different kind: Since these plants were originally designed for 20-30 years, which are long past, their value in the financial statement is 1 Euro. Which gives them incredibly cute key figures - they look really good in financial analysis. Actually, in reality too, because due to stupid/bought laws, the government will pay for large parts of the waste disposal, and the amount companies need to pay into a fund to pay for deconstruction is, by many experts opinion, only a fraction of what is needed. But once they actually deconstruct most of the plants, the game is up. Like any good scam, you need to keep it going as long as possible.

So thanks to management-think in both politics and business, we have some of the oldest nuclear power plants in the world, right next to some very large cities.

And, btw., I like nuclear power. I wouldn't mind having the old plants replaced by modern ones. But I agree with the anti-nuclear-power people that right now, we have the worst possible solution.

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