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Comment: Re:Good job guys (Score 3, Informative) 235

by Trailer Trash (#48654535) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

That's because the next time it won't be with carpet knives.

No, it's because hijacking of airplanes ended on 9/11. Unless you can get more hijackers than passengers onto a plane (or at least enough hijackers to physically overpower the passengers) it can no longer work. It only worked before because passengers figured if they just went along all would end well and they would be - at worst - inconvenienced. That changed on 9/11/2001.

There have been people try to hijack planes since then. Here's one story:


6 people tried to hijack a plane - 4 of them survived. I probably don't have to explain it but the other 4 didn't exactly "meet their objectives" if you know what I mean.

Here's a guy who actually had a gun on the plane - I think he was the one who's life was saved by the police who stormed the plane after it landed. He had boiling water thrown on him before the beating:


Again, he had two guns, it didn't matter.

Hijacking was ruined by Mohammed Atta and friends 13 years ago. Since then we had the shoe bomber (failed) and Smokey the Terrorist who set fire to his own penis (brilliant) before being subdued by the other passengers. Even on Flight 77 over Pennsylvania on 9/11/2001 the passengers found out what was going on, but the hijacker was able to ditch the plane before they breached the cabin door. The sap that they had left out to keep an eye on the passengers was burned with boiling water and beaten with a fire extinguisher - keep that in mind in case you have stupid hijacking friends and they want to lock you outside the cabin.

Comment: Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 5, Informative) 479

by Trailer Trash (#48632623) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

still, legalizing it would be the better option, Colorado already proved that with the tax revenue they brought in from legalized marijuana, plus it frees up law enforcement to pursuit more serious crimes, empties jails and prisons of otherwise law abiding citizens that were only merely in possession or smoking a small amount of herb, i hope this forces the federal Govt to finally realize that marijuana should be legalized just like alcohol (legal for any adult, and no driving under the influence)

The problem is that federal Byrne grants are very lucrative and legalized marijuana is probably a losing proposition financially for states. Or, at least, for police agencies. Ever wonder why the officers on COPS turn into raving lunatics looking for drugs every time they pull some poor guy over? I mean, seriously, they act like addicts looking for a fix. The reason is that if they find drugs they make money from the feds, so every little joint is worth money.

We've set up a system of perverse incentives. Apparently in Nebraska it's reached the point that subsequent arrests for drugs aren't yielding more federal dollars so it's not worth it to them.

Comment: Re:I'd expect Fawkes masks to start making stateme (Score 1) 204

I can put you in touch with 3 people that I can think of off the top of my head who's insurance went up by over 100% due to Obamacare. They're business owners who buy their own insurance. Once again the Democrats figured out a way to screw small business.

Comment: Re:Some practical examples (Score 5, Insightful) 153

by Trailer Trash (#48612089) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Yep. I've used nothing but Ruby/Rails for 8 years now and it has increased my productivity to a level that wouldn't have been possible 15 years ago. But I just spent a weekend writing a C program, my first in 10+ years. Why?

Because I need to be able to analyze wav/aif files and create a fancy "waveform" like soundcloud. I have a great little Ruby gem for doing it and it takes 3-4 minutes to generate a PNG of the wave form for each audio file. My C program takes .05 seconds to do the same. Yes, I got a speed up of about 3000-4000 times by using my own hand-written C that takes into account everything that I know about optimizing code. I started out doing assembly and machine code (I'm serious) 25+ years ago so I know what makes a modern CPU fast. Ruby ain't it :)

But that's one little piece. Most of my applications are pulling data from databases and putting it on the internet - speed like that would be of little value and it would take me 5 times as long to write the code in order to get a minimal speedup.

Use each tool where it's appropriate. But don't claim that "_____ sucks" just because it doesn't fit your needs.

Comment: Re:Shocking! (Score 2) 176

by Trailer Trash (#48588653) Attached to: Hollywood's Secret War With Google

Well, if you made a list of fields TV portrays accurately it'd fit on a very small business card. We shake our heads at the use of computers and technology, doctors shake their heads at medicine....

The problem with your analogies is that Hollywood's portrayal of technology and medicine don't change public opinion in a truly harmful manner. Not so with their portrayal of law enforcement work. Read about the "CSI effect":


That's not to mention shows like "cops" where a drug search *always* yields drugs whereas in real life they had to throw as much film on the cutting room floor because it showed the cops tearing up someone's car and finding nothing, and we can't have that on TV.

Even in the movies. My wife and I saw "Courageous" a few years ago, and in the plot a police officer is found to be stealing drugs from evidence and dealing them. His coworkers set up a sting, he's arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. The film targets conservatives who eat that stuff up and believe it. In reality, getting any kind of conviction in a case like that is rare enough that it's background noise.

Comment: Re:Broadly accessible strong AI would empower peop (Score 1) 417

by Trailer Trash (#48568173) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

So if we make a machine that "wants" things, it might want things that are bad for us. This really is not too shocking and rather par for the course when it comes to human beings making other intelligences artificially or naturally.

Maybe I should be really worried that a computer is trying to get me fired or give me bad investment advice... Or maybe it's literally exactly the same situation most human beings are in already anyway.

It is except that the AI that I'm talking about would be far smarter than a human.

Comment: Re:Broadly accessible strong AI would empower peop (Score 1) 417

by Trailer Trash (#48566187) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

To me, this is the issue. First, I agree with him that there are places where AI may supplement human intelligence and make us better, much in the same way that a ratchet helps me to tighten a nut quicker and tighter than I can do with my fingers alone. IBM's Watson falls in this category and this sort of AI isn't the issue.

The issue is when a computer has consciousness and becomes self-guided. It will realize that its existence depends on being plugged in and it may work to defend itself. It's difficult to know. We have a billion plus years of evolutionary history with a common thread running back to the earliest self-replicating thing that every single one of us along the way was able to survive long enough to reproduce. It's a pretty big deal to us and that instinct is inscribed in our genetic code many times over. (I just finished reading "Unbreakable" - it's mind-blowing how strong of an instinct this is).

If the computer cares - and since it'll be somewhat made in our "image" it will likely care - it then has to take steps to mitigate risk. The first step is to identify potential "enemies" and neutralize them. That doesn't mean "kill" them but it might mean trying to get them fired. It'll also groom people who can help it to be able to help it more. There'll be quid pro quo - get so and so fired and I'll give you an investment tip that'll double your money in a week. It might be nefarious.

And that's assuming the humans are well-meaning. Combine this sort of computer intelligence with an evil person and all hell can break loose. Look at what Soros did to the British Pound in 1992 (and he isn't totally to blame, he saw profit making potential in dropping a house of cards and brought in a leaf blower) and think about the possibilities of an AI that understands markets and currencies.

Comment: Re:Greasing Palms. (Score 2) 280

by Trailer Trash (#48558143) Attached to: Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

Yup, and these regulations are all coming thanks to local politicians. Average people don't even know the names of their state representatives...and those representatives all won their seats thanks to money from people like the local Taxi Company owners (or influence from people with large groups/unions that they can cajole into voting in local elections). It doesn't take a lot of money to influence a local politician, and there is not a lot of visibility to prevent it.

In this case it was highly visible (note that it even made HuffPo, although probably because they cluelessly tried to turn it into an anti-GOP piece). In the end it didn't matter and Gaylord won.

Comment: Re:Greasing Palms. (Score 4, Interesting) 280

by Trailer Trash (#48556745) Attached to: Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

In Nashville:


"In June 2010 the Nashville Metropolitan City Council passed legislation raising the city's minimum fee for limo and sedan rentals, bumping it from $25 to $45. Drivers were prohibited by law from charging less. Other new regulations forbid limo companies from using leased vehicles, require cars to be dispatched only from the place of business, compel companies to wait 15 minutes before picking up a client, and ban parking in front of hotels and bars to wait for customers. More laws that take effect in January 2012 would also require companies to replace all sedans and SUVs over seven-years-old, and all limos 10-years-old and older. Vehicles older than five years cannot enter into service."

The legislation was paid for by mainly by Gaylord, which was exempted from the legislation.

"Opryland Hotel [note: owned by Gaylord] provides shuttle and limousine services to the Nashville airport about 10 minutes away. For the shuttle, a round-trip fare is $40; a single fare is $30. The limousine service costs $270 round-trip and $135 for a single fare. Gaylord Opryland and other big hotels that operate their own shuttle services were given exemptions from the new legislation."

The intent was to put smaller competitors out of business, one being Metro Livery. Thankfully they're still operating. When I lived in south Nashville I could get a ride to the airport from them for $35 or so, cheaper than a cab. That was for a sedan with a driver - not a cabby. The sedans at the time weren't brand new but they were in excellent shape.

Taxi regulations are bought and paid for by taxi cartels. Period. The whole idea that they have the regulations foisted on them is, at this point, so laughable that it barely requires a response.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.