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Comment Re:The consortium needs to finish human languages (Score 1) 249

That guy needs to get off his high horse. White people designed computers. White people designed unicode in an effort to allow non-white people to use computers. White people apparently made an honest mistake when creating the code points for a complex, and to them largely unknown language. And apparently white people must fix it, because I don't see this guy doing anything but bitching about it.

Oh, and I'm a white person whose family name contains a character that is not in ASCII either, a situation that has pretty much forced my family to adopt a different spelling (using either 'y' or 'ij' instead of Dutch lange-ij, a character I cannot even write here). So much for white superiority, then...

Comment Re:Cannot scale anyway (Score 1) 375

There is _no_ fusion technology ever tested, nor realistically proposed that does not rely on tritium.

Polywell and others propose hydrogen-boron. As for realistic, the challenges are certainly different than for deuterium-tritium. Whether they are harder is difficult to say for sure until one of the technologies start actually producing electricity.

Comment Hoboken (Score 1) 375

We'll never need to decide if Hoboken is worth saving. It will be saved as a side effect of saving Manhattan. Once we block inflows on the Arthur Kill, the Narrows and East River then all of Hudson County is safe.

Of course NYC may need to evacuate Staten Island and South Brooklyn somewhere, so Hoboken may change. Sorry. PS For the short stint when I lived in Hoboken it was a living shrine to Frank Sinatra, with a surprising number of residents who never left the "square mile" for any reason. I've been told this has already changed.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Insightful) 281

The law should NEVER, EVER, EVER, provide protection over any data available behind public sector activity.

The public sector frequently claims the release of information will be burdensome; however, the public sector actors are not always forced, by statute (as they are in Minnesota) to ensure records should be held in a way which the sector cannot claim burden in failure to comply.

This needs to change.

Comment Re:Opt-In (Score 2) 235

There is no way our security forces will let this be anything but mandatory. Manual-control vehicles will be phased out, and eventually will be criminal to drive without some sort of cop-controlled shutoff, at least. Hell, the financing companies alone love external control. They use it to disable cars which have buyers late on their car payments. They can get rid of repo men if the cars drive themselves back to the dealer.

Comment Re:A compromise (Score 1) 235

It would have to be a mechanical kill switch for the power bus that services all the automated systems, including the robot on your brakes, accelerator, and steering, or it is just a cute story you tell yourself so you feel better. And no cute integrated batteries that can wake up if a cop wants to override. A computerized switch is a joke.

Comment Re:passenger safety (Score 2) 235

Any code and procedure can and will be dumped when convenient. Rules can't fix this. Don't accept controlled cars. Don't accept self-driving cars. Don't accept cars controlled by Turing machines which by definition are reprogrammable. Accept only rack-and-pinion steering, hydraulically controlled brakes modulated by your foot, and an accelerator that doesn't ignore your commands when it feels like it. Like e-voting: there is NO correct solution. Any effort is useless to control a computer when hostile outside forces have access. A computer is hackable, and you don't let it control a two-ton tank with you inside.

Comment Re:Only when a warrant is issued, or with permissi (Score 1) 235

"I don't think there will be much argument about this, particularly in Amercia, where the deaths per capita inlicted by 'law enforcement', are similar to the murder rates in more civilised countries."

Well said. And rightwingers only have so many mod points, so let me give ya a hand here.

Comment Re:Brave new "future" (Score 1) 235

Never saw the movie. That writer was a clear thinker, wasn't he?

I'm not worried about car jackers, who are about as frequent as lighting strikes. Worried about our invisible political lords and masters. Imagine a Dick Cheney with this power. Oh god. Assange's car would have driven into a, let us say, a concrete wall at high speed. Snowden's taxi would roll over a railing and down into a gorge. Hell, why be obvious: just drive a random passing car on the street into a political opponent as they cross at a red light. Ooopsie! What a shame, must have been programmer error.

Comment Re:Answer: Never (Score 1) 235

Yup. Since the drug war and 9/11, the young have been raised in a police state. They know nothing else. And don't get me started on the technoeutopians... rich white kids who will never have their cars driven to a lonely spot by a cop for a little impromptu electrocution and tooth extraction. It's the troublemakers and the poor who will see the interior of a Vehicle Sequester concrete box when they annoy some Homeland Security hawk or local cop or even one of our lovely CIA bastards assigned to remove Snowdens from the world.

We're living in a giant, open air prison. I hate being right.

Comment Rolling arrest pod (Score 2) 235

I've been pointing out the obvious ever since they had the brilliant idea of controlling a car by Turing machines on an internal network, hooked up to a external cell phone network. It will follow inevitably that: bad guys will take control, at the worst possible time, or police will exercise their immediately taken prerogative to stop, control, or block vehicles, or a combination of the two, as police aren't always nice, and sometimes the term "police" means "shadowy people who have lots of power and don't like you - at all."

It will be used immediately to monitor and control cars run by poor people in rich neighborhoods or towns, because of the Children, of course. And the Wikileaks supporters, and people like Assange or Snowden, or women rights supporters in Saudi Arabia wouldn't dare step into a swell new car without taking a chance that the car doors lock, the windows freeze, and their cars drive to a lovely lonely place with a waiting squad of armored men with machine guns await them for a final escort to a place where people never leave, alive or dead. Not only do your phones and TVs listen in and track you, but you can't trust your car not to take you away while you try desperately to break the windows. They'll probably just provide a escort car behind to make sure you can't jump to freedom.

Picture this, if the above scenario makes you giggle: you're driving to work, and suddenly your steering wheel stops working. The car exists the freeway, and drives to a police station, where a squad of SWAT-armored (they wear it to bust massage parlors, for satan's sake) point guns at you and tell you to exit the vehicle. Why? Who the fuck cares? You could have too many parking tickets (and they will KNOW when you park illegally). Hell, they'll just build a concrete box to slot cars into, to make it dead easy to get you out without risk to themselves. Mass removal of troublemakers made automated. Hell, just drive the cars into a jail receiving garage and starve the passengers out if they don't want to get out, why risk a cop?

I wonder how they'll support local law enforcement when cars *can't* speed? I digress. They'll invent new crimes, of course.

It will be damned impossible to annoy or challenge people with power to control your car. It'll be a rolling arrest cage. God, what good little boys and girls we shall be.

A fun note, to the person who called me out as insane when I predicted a terrorist would just nuke the car controls en masse with an EMP bomb/gun, when I used the term "carnage": when they killed the WIRED journalist's car dead on the expressway, he had a truck barreling up behind the car. If the truck had hit him, "carnage" would have been the term to describe his death. And that was a FRIENDLY demonstration of what happens when you let a computer control your brakes, controls, and accelerator.

What am I saying? Don't. Let. Computers. Control. Your. Car. EVER. Don't buy them, demand mechanical controls. Buy an Elio, when and if they come out, and make sure the Elioites don't "improve" the autocar by adding self-driving computer systems. Not that they'll have a choice, if we don't start fighting this off now.

I have no hope this stops. A generation of people who went to school with their faces on their floor while dogs sniff their crotches, and were arrested if they drew someone punching someone, aren't exactly trained to fight for their freedom. They never had freedom; how would they care?

Comment Declare SSID's expensive (Score 4, Interesting) 193

When setting up an access point, it should be possible to designate it as "expensive", and by default devices should adhere to this and try to limit unnecessary data usage. I get annoyed when I use my phone as a hot spot and discover that my computer has fetched upgrades, my other phone has downloaded a bunch of podcasts, and so on. It would also allow me to keep a backup wireless SSID running permanently, knowing that the devices will go for the cheap SSID first.

I bet that quite a bit of bandwidth usage on planes is due to phones thinking they are switching from expensive (but actually dirt cheap) 3G/4G to cheap (but actually really expensive) wifi.

Byte your tongue.

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