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Comment: You Think? (Score 1) 488

by X!0mbarg (#48024951) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Now, why on earth would the next big Monopoly ever think of stifling their next wave of competition before it can get any traction?

Oh, wait. They're TERRIFIED of people getting Free Energy that comes from the Sun (or wind, or water, or geothermal sources) and them not getting even Fatter than they are!

Sooner or later, Hybrid/Electric cars will be "skinned" with solar collection "stuff" so that, while sitting in the sun during your typical work day, it can at least trickle charge its own batteries. Maybe even have employee parking spots with charging stations connected to larger solar arrays for the same purpose: charge while working.

I'm already disappointed by the lack of solar proliferation, let alone there not being more windmills popping up like urban dandelions. Kind of like the proliferation of satellite dishes that dot rooftops like urban mushrooms.

Eventually, such solar and wind collection will become required in any and all new structures.

If Big Energy wants a piece of the pie, all they really need to do is start manufacturing the components, and continue to maintain a power grid for sharing the ebb and flow of it all. Besides, they sit on the Dark Net anyway. If they fear anything else, it will be the lack of a window into peoples appliances (and TV/Entertainment Centers) to sell the data to the highest bidder (or Big Brother)...

Just Sayin'

Comment: Just wait 'til the Insurance Companies get it! (Score 5, Insightful) 130

The rates will likely skyrocket to near-Canadian rate levels, and there might be a change in Speeding Ticket-Issuing technologies that could (conceivably) issue live warnings and even Tickets based on telemetry and other live info...

Imagine getting caught up in a construction or accident re-direct, and their being a batch of auto-tickets issued for using the wrong lane(s) or traveling on a closed section of road! People won't really be able to fight a live-issued ticked based on in-vehicle speed data after all because it's going to come form your own speedometer and correlated with satellite tracking for accuracy.

Talk about a Revenue Stream! Who needs a Speed Trap, when your Vehicle will issue you a ticket directly.

Government will simply mandate it, and it Will Be So.

Mark my words...

Comment: Aren't all the airlines complaining about usage? (Score 1) 819

by X!0mbarg (#47845895) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

I was of the impression that most of the airlines were all bemoaning the low traffic, driving up the costs of flying because "nobody is flying anymore". If that is the case, why are they not making flight a more appealing option to draw more passengers? Cramming more passengers into an already uncomfortable situation will be the last thing to draw more customers.
Besides, are planes really over-booked per flight? Aren't most flights running at less that capacity, or don't they leave the ground if they aren't full?

Want to get a bit of better rates? Have the airlines offer a discount to "light travelers" who have a minimum of luggage or even body mass. Not trying to poke at the physically larger folks, but isn't it more expensive per pound to transport such a passenger? Can the airlines not charge by weight, and let people have more room if they're at weight capacity, but volume of the cabin is underutilized? Children should be really inexpensive to transport, as they're lighter AND take up less room.

Is the trend to simply drive people to scrap over limited seats on larger planes to drive up prices while they optimize their profits by over-packing people into such limited space?

It's bad enough that they've convinced the masses that full body searches, cramped space and intolerant travel-mates are the expected norm for anyone less than affluent enough to travel first class. Perhaps an all-seats-equal type business model might make a better travel experience. Do away with the whole first class section in a design, spread out the space and work out the price-per person based on such a level paying field and see what the profitability would look like. Consequently, have certain units set aside as "First Class Only" flights, with all seats to match. They only get used when there's enough people to utilize them, and they'd likely be smaller craft, anyway. More efficient that way...

If the FAA gets involved, would that be the "perfect reason" the airlines would use to hike the rates again, because of "lost revenue" due to the reduced seating capacity?

Bottom line: If you want to fly, be prepared for the experience! If you can't fly first class, you'd best expect a cramped flight with grumpy neighbors, poor food, and no room to use your precious laptop as boredom repellant.

Book your flight based on things like creature comforts. If the airline doesn't offer what you consider a bare minimum, DON'T Use them! Vote with your Money! If enough people did that, the airlines would Have to accommodate, or go broke in a hurry! Be willing to pay for what you want, or Not pay for a bad experience!

After all, they are providing a service. If you don't like, or are unwilling to suffer through what they offer, find another provider that offers better. If the providers slim down, you can always choose alternate methods of travel.

Ever tried a Bus over the holidays? Might not be as bad as you think...

Comment: A Progression of Complaints (Score 4, Interesting) 190

by X!0mbarg (#47567449) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Once they start to roll, there will be a logical progression of complaints, starting with "They're too slow."
Next will be "They're blocking traffic flow/causing traffic jams."
Possibly among the next bunch of complaints:
"They move erratically/unpredictably"
"They wait too long at/stop too soon for traffic lights"

Most of the complaints will revolve around the simple fact that the autonomous cars will be driving 100% according to the rules of the road, and 95+% of the remaining drivers don't. Things like stopping for yellow lights, driving at the actual speed limit, slowing for merging traffic, properly signalling turns and lane-changes, etc.

In the end, the autonomous cars will reduce traffic jams, as they can intelligently travel in clusters, all in communication with each other, and even vary their routes for volume, all while staying moving at a reasonable clip.

The problem will come in when people deliberately try to mess with them, forcing them into emergency maneuvers by cutting them off for exits (for example), or cutting in front and slamming on the breaks (road rage).

Here's hoping they are outfitted with outward-facing cameras for recording such acts of stupidity.

Comment: Did Someone Coat it something? (Score 1) 415

by X!0mbarg (#47399791) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

...hidden four layers deep in a tin box inside a metal cabinet

Seriously? Was it treated with something that make it smell like a dog-treat?

This is a strong case for Liquid Ass. A couple drops, then wrap the drive in a pair of undies, or something.

That's some strong nose that doggie has! Good thing they didn't have a case of blank media, or something.

Comment: And so, it begins... (Score 2) 376

by X!0mbarg (#47208751) Attached to: Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

First, the the Alamo, then there will be others.

After all, we can't have people wearing active recording devices into an area where they charge money to play copyright protected media to a limited audience, can we?

Besides, if you were sitting here in a typical theater with a smart phone in a little tripod-thingy recording the movie, you could reasonably expect to get in trouble, if spotted by any staff members, right?

So, how long before we see anal-retentive stars at ComiCon who charge an arm and a leg for a pic, setting their body-guards on Google Glass-wearing attendees for "stealing" pics/video of them at the Con? Next we'll see Google Glass Banned from such conventions...

Where does it end?

Comment: Changing Laws to Comform to Behaviour (Score 1) 490

Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Looks like people are simply trying to adjust the law structure to what most bicyclists have been doing for decades anyway.

Simply changing these laws won't help traffic flow any. The accidents caused by such actions have a negative effect on traffic as it is. All this does is ease insurance cases, and place the burden of responsibility on the larger vehicle, kind of like what has already happened to big trucks. It doesn't matter one bit what actually happened. Unless you can "prove it in court", the blame always falls on the big truck, and only if it's really obvious does the police force look at the car.

Shame society can't remove someones' right to use a bicycle in public due to their reckless driving practices.

Doesn't the law see them as vehicles already? Or are they still seen as pedestrians in many places?

If you can't use the roads in a safe and responsible manner, you shouldn't be on them with a vehicle.

ANY Vehicle.

Tinker with the laws for bicycles, and you'll see the unregistered all-electric scooters (who do the same things as bikes, such as roll through stop signs, and maybe pause at red lights) following suit as if they're immune to the laws of the road,

You want to see improvement?

How about proper education in the first place, followed up by proper enforcement.

If a driver (any driver of any vehicle) is operating in a safe and intelligent manner while sharing the road with other like-minded souls, traffic wouldn't be a serious issue, because sharing the road wouldn't be a problem.

Sharing the road seems to be the problem in the first place. Bicycle lanes haven't eased the problem much, as most cyclists wander randomly in and out of them whenever they want. Cars use them to scoot around turning vehicles, or to cut a corner at a red light. It's only as if we've just widened the roads to try and accommodate driver behaviour as it is already.

Again. Modifying laws to behaviour is the wrong direction.

Too bad education doesn't seem to work...

Comment: Old Boys' Network (Score 1) 311

by X!0mbarg (#46908369) Attached to: Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law

In any corporate social hierarchy, there are the existing network of the "Old Boys" that used to gather in smokey back rooms, and private clubs in big wing-backed chairs, talking about what they were doing, and to whom...

Today, there's a digital social network that exists, but the social connections that have no traces still exist.

Such unwritten agreements shaped the development of many a huge cash-based community. Las Vegas is but a single example.

If you were among the Elite, you knew the rules, and could get away with a lot more. Steve Jobs was not exactly part of the actual Old Boys Network, and made his own. The thing is this: he was doing what they were doing, just in a lot less discrete manner. Same stuff. Different pile. If he had been "classically trained" by the Old Boys, he'd likely have never been even suspected directly of anything. That, and he'd have been stifled into obscurity, and the Personal Computer would have been quite different than it is today.

Bottom Line: Power and Influence has its own rules. Rarely do they comply to the actual Laws that govern the Rest of Us. Only when they get found out does anything happen. That's usually when new laws and precedents get set to deal with the "new problem" that has actually been around for decades, but only just made the headlines recently.

Old Boys nod and smile(ey) a lot, and they still do what they want. It will be a long time before (if ever) changes make the headlines in that field.

Comment: Basic Trainging in Computer Use (Score 1) 169

by X!0mbarg (#46817585) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

Unless people have some training or background, thy will proceed blindly along until something actually Makes them pay attention.

Start with such basics in high-school, or even earlier than that. Explain (and mark their understanding) of things like strong vs weak passwords, and simple security procedures. E-mail safety tips. Good file management practices. Even basics like how to take care of a keyboard and/or pointing device would go fairly well in such a course.

Oh. Almost forgot: MAKE IT MANDATORY! Nobody gets to use the school computers/labs (even Office Staff) if they don't show proficiency. No personal systems should be allowed access to the school network without a valid certificate either, lest they infect the whole thing from their own carrier box. Ban those who violate the practices and cause problems. Make them responsible for what they caused, and Sit Through the repair procedures with a technician as an additional education in what happens, and what has to be done to Fix things, or no forgiveness, and therefore, no regained access! Give them a sense of what they are avoiding, and even what to do to fix a problem on their own system, should they get afflicted at home.

Start 'em young, and train them in the ways of the system. The results will be worth the effort.

Seriously: If people don't show they are responsible enough to use the school (or company) systems, they have no business accessing them, and probably shouldn't be working there in any capacity.

Comment: Taking Humans Out of the Equation (Score 1) 55

by X!0mbarg (#46788151) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans

#IoT is more-or-less a synonym for Sky-Net in it's infancy.

Think about it: The devices and appliances get smarter by studying humanity. Watching, collecting data, adjusting response, eliminating (or suggesting the elimination of) steps in the chain.

How long before humans get edited out completely, and the machine simply builds itself around us? How long after that before we're no longer needed in the flow-chart of its designs?

Just food for thought, here. I don't like the idea of my fridge coordinating with my stove about what I'm going to have for dinner based on my vending machine habits of the week, and productivity rating at work...

Maybe I should... It'd be really convenient. Might lead to a Fractale-like existence, though.

I guess it will all matter where we stand on certain things in society. Like Google Glass, and all-pervasive surveillance systems, and the Governing Body in place over it all...

Comment: Power Corrupts (Score 1) 322

by X!0mbarg (#46706105) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

And Absolute Power is kinda nifty...

It's amazing what happens to some people when they get a taste of power over others. Little wonder why there are cases of extortion and racketeering that happen by police officers in many cities. Once they get a taste, they're hooked, and it escalates.

Why is it that many an off-duty police officer acts like a total a$$-hat, but pops a badge out of their butt when confronted by the proper authority to curb such behavior? They carry on as if they are Allowed to do the things they, themselves are required to prevent. After all, such things are Fun! At least, to some people...

I'd cite examples, but there'd be info-burn from the Google results page...

How many people would tamper with monitoring devices at their work, if they were under such constant scrutiny? Of course, there are laws preventing such devices in many places at work, such as washrooms, changerooms, and similar places. Needless to say why many employees tend to hang out there as much as possible.

Bottom line is this: People in authority should Expect to be monitored for abuse! Gone are the days of power (on certain levels of civil service) putting you beyond reproach. that was then. This is now. It's been called the Information Age for a reason, folks.

Welcome to the Glass House, Mr. Ford. Don't get too comfortable.

Mayors of large, world-class cities have been getting away with things for a very long time in the past. Mostly because they knew when and how to do such things so as not to draw too much attention to themselves.Others see the office as goal, and a place where they have free reign to do whatever they want. Chances are, they were doing things before they had the office, but were simply emboldened to the point of carelessness by the authority they found themselves in. Can you imagine the scandals that would happen if a Mayors' Office was subjected to such constant monitoring? Don't get me wrong! Mayors of such cities have a Lot of things they have to deal with on a daily basis, that are best kept behind closed doors for public safety. Shame the crime-lords of the modern era don't suffer from nearly the same level of accountability as their elected counterparts...

So, bottom line here: If you had such monitoring devices where you work, would you tamper with them for any reason? Would it be privacy, or some other reason that motivates you?

What level of "privacy" do you expect from your work environment?

Just Sayin'

The Almighty Buck

Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
jsuda (822856) writes "Most of us know that making money is difficult and saving it is even harder, but understanding money is easy–it's just coins and folding certificates, a mere medium of exchange. That's wrong! according to Felix Martin, author of Money: The Unauthorized Biography. Not only is that understanding wrong but it's responsible (in large part) for the 2007 Great Recession and the pitiful 'recovery' from it as well as a number of previous financial and credit disasters." Keep reading for the rest of Jsuda's review.

Information is the inverse of entropy.

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