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Comment: Re:Look to other jurisdictions (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877441) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

There are a lot of people who think drunk driving is equivalent to drive-texting, but that's illogical since people can set a phone down and ignore it, but they can't undrunk. I think the comparison is bad because it makes drunk driving seem less dangerous than it is and it makes it sound like you don't understand the difference between being in an diminished state and avoiding a distraction.

That said, making it illegal to operate electronic devices while driving a motor vehicle is a pretty reasonable start. It doesn't matter *why* a person is driving unsafely, what matters is that they are. I find the specification of "electronic" a little silly since that makes any car with a battery (all of them in production) technically illegal, but I like the consistency. Do something that distracts your attention from an inherently dangerous activity (driving) and you break the law? Logical. Even if I don't personally like it. (I like lots of things that aren't logically supported by my long term goals; naps, beer, webcomics and cheetos spring to mind.)

"Ban cheetos! They make people fat!" Fine, I'll switch to pringles and vote against you in the election. "Ban naps and beer!" I'll drink wine and sleep in and vote against you in the election. "Ban snacks!" you say? I'll attend your funeral and eulogize "Here lies Silvrmane, at least his argument was consistent."

Comment: Re:Need harsher penalties. (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877335) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Fair enough. I hope you do "buy a dash cam, record these knuckleheads and then post shame videos on youtube," but please don't just limit it to the people you know or suspect are driving badly due to texting. Driving unsafely is and should be against the law. We're in complete agreement on that.

Please don't suggest that texting while driving is "just as dangerous as drunk driving" though, as that's an illogical comparison and it weakens your position. I can set a cheeseburger down, I can leave the radio alone, I can let the obnoxious gps navigator be wrong, I can ignore the fighting children in the backseat, I can ignore the ranting of my passenger and I can choose to give my full attention to the road. I can set a phone down. What I cannot do is undrunk myself because traffic demands it.

If you're convinced that texting while driving should always be illegal everywhere and in every situation, then you have a perfectly logical argument. Don't diminish it by conflating it with driving intoxicated. It makes drunk driving seem less dangerous than it is and it makes it sound like you don't understand the difference between being in an diminished state and avoiding a distraction.

Comment: Re:Not severe enough (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877247) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Fair enough. I agree the tone of the reply you're commenting on was silly, so allow me to present a counter argument, hopefully slightly more logical.

It's very hard to put a drunken state down because traffic demands it, while it is easy to put a phone down.

I routinely take calls while driving, and as the evidence indicates, I'm typical in my response of driving much more conservatively when that happens. Personally, I'm probably safer when I'm taking a call than I am normally, because I back way off and try to stay well away from other cars when I'm on a call. If I'm going to reply to a text, I'm going to wait until I'm pretty lonely on the road and start paying a lot of attention to the driving when otherwise I'd normally be pretty much on auto-pilot. If there is heavy traffic and I need to use my phone for some reason, I find an exit and pull off. If I'm averaging 5mph and take a call and traffic picks up, I switch to hands free or if it looks like it is resuming normal speeds, say I'll have to call back.

Contrast that with driving intoxicated. If I'm behind the wheel, there is nothing I can stop doing as a result of my analysis of traffic. I can try to drive slower, but cause a whole set of different problems by impeding normal traffic flow. There is no "set it down" or "I'll have to call you back" option.

None of this means that texting or talking on the phone while driving is as safe as not doing those things. I don't think anyone is suggesting that a driver should do things that decrease the safety of the situation. All I am saying is that there are clear differences between driving intoxicated and engaging in texting while driving.

If I *had* to text while driving, my driving would be significantly impaired, just like it is in a study comparing reaction times. The fatality rates of motorists has actually decreased while mobile phone use has increased. (Look it up. I had to before I believed it.) The corollary is obviously NOT an indication that mobile phone use while driving improves safety, there are a lot of other things offsetting the hazard posed by texting while driving, but the idea that texting drivers is making the roads more dangerous than they used to be is false. The idea that texting drivers is making the roads more dangerous than they need to be is fair. There is a difference.

I hate it when people confuse improper and immature behavior with the technology they're using. Bittorrent is a very logical and quite useful protocol and it has a bad name because it is associated with the behavior of many people who use it. Outlawing the bittorrent protocol is just as reasonable as outlawing texting while driving. Unsafe driving should be (and is) against the law, just as copyright infringement is against the law. The technology isn't *ever* the problem, the people making bad decisions are the problem.

Comment: Re:Is this still a good OS for desktop? (Score 1) 231

by ancientt (#47212963) Attached to: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Released
Seconded. Do NOT just go with defaults. XFS is really good for serving large files like video, but when I last used it regularly, it wasn't very nice after a power loss. That isn't to say it got corrupted like resiserfs or anything, but the self check and correction process was tedious. Ext4 is pretty fast, has the journaling you'd expect and has been tested pretty well now. Btrfs looks cool, and seems to work well, but I don't know that I'm ready to trust it yet. ZFS is nice too, but I don't think it's native yet (is it?) so I wouldn't want to put it on anything I couldn't do without for a few days.

Comment: Re:Even better, use apps like Waze (Score 1) 457

by ancientt (#46169055) Attached to: Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

Just FYI for the purposes of considering how useful Waze is:

If you're a dedicated Waze user, don't worry: Google said it will leave the Waze team in Israel, where they will operate independently "for now." (That caveat implies Waze will be brought to America at some point.)

Maps App Will Remain Independent -- For Now

Comment: Re:Priorities (Score 1) 133

by ancientt (#46120207) Attached to: Feds Grab 163 Web Sites, Snatch $21.6 Million In NFL Counterfeit Gear

Are you wanting to compare voluntary spending or involuntary spending?

Some miniscule amount of tax money goes to defending sport franchises' rights, where a very significant percentage of the taxes people pay goes toward education.

Now comparing voluntary spending on education to sports related spending would be a very interesting number indeed. People pay for college and private school but only some of them and generally only for a limited period of their life. The spending on sports is much more prevalent and is generally spread over a lifetime.

Spending on health is another issue entirely, but voluntary verses involuntary numbers would indeed be interesting.

Comment: Re:I'm an open society guy, but... (Score 1) 166

by ancientt (#46101115) Attached to: Quentin Tarantino Vs. Gawker: When Is Linking Illegal For Journalists?

I'd very much like to see MSN or CNN or even Fox offer a $2000 bounty and protection from identification as a source to anyone who shows that they've successfully accessed mass information on I've never been there, but I'm a little concerned that some of my records might be accessed through the site and I don't think the people working on it are placing a high enough priority on security. I'd rather it was done by someone to provide to a news agency that gets publicly reported than someone who does it for personal profit, even though both are illegal.

Publishing the results of a successful hack of, or more likely a dozen successful hacks of it, would serve the public good by providing information to the public about the failures of our government, which is pretty much what freedom of the press is for.

I hope Gawker wins for the same reason I am glad that Larry Flint won: Protecting the rights of scum ensures that my rights are safe as well.

Comment: Re:hmm.... (Score 3, Insightful) 112

Mod parent up.

Not saying I haven't wanted to bypass the legal system myself from time to time, but given the choice, don't you want to live in a world with laws?

Sure, I'd like to live in a world that doesn't need laws, but since ours does need them, then having people forced to follow them is the best we can hope for.

Comment: Re:hmm.... (Score 3, Insightful) 112

do we have to go thru a court to get a registrar to do something? that isn't reallllly that good of news.

Registrars can voluntarily do something when asked, so no, you don't have to get a court order to get a registrar to do something. They are absolutely supposed to let people move their domains when people want to also, but some of them weren't following the rules. Having them follow the rules is a good thing.

If, however, you want to force a registrar to do something which isn't part of the rules, then yes, you should have to get a court order.

Did you like the scenario where companies don't have to follow the rules you both agreed to? Most of us don't.

Comment: Re:Just wait till it hits YOUR discipline (Score 2) 182

by ancientt (#45916453) Attached to: IBM Dumping $1 Billion Into New Watson Group

"Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said Marvin. "And what happened?" pressed Ford. "It committed suicide," said Marvin and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.

Comment: Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (Score 3, Insightful) 186

by ancientt (#45894243) Attached to: Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

The advantage of RHEL is being able to call somebody when you have a problem that you can't resolve by reading or need to resolve faster than you can on your own. RHEL generally has patches and improvements quicker than CentOS does which is important if you're running a heavily used server exposed to the internet.

I've been quite happy with CentOS and use it in the majority of systems that I set up. However, if I need somebody to call when it crashes and the boss is standing in my doorway demanding to know what I'm doing about a problem, I want to be able to make that all important call to the experts. I have made that call once or twice and I was quite happy in feeling like my company's money was being well spent when I did.

Comment: Re:Makes sense, but weird (Score 4, Insightful) 186

by ancientt (#45894215) Attached to: Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

There's a little more to it than that. The announcement doesn't cover the history CentOS has had with RHEL, but when CentOS people found bugs or made improvements, they would pass the info back to RHEL. It makes sense for CentOS because when they make improvements, they can hope that in the next release, they can just reuse RHEL work rather than having to apply the patches each time. It made sense for RHEL because they were getting a better product to offer their customers than they would have without the CentOS contributions, and by integrating the work of their biggest potential competitor, they decrease the incentive to move to somebody who has patches and improvements they don't.

It's rare to read about "synergy" between companies that actually makes sense, but RHEL and CentOS have benefitted from each others' work. The more RHEL helped CentOS, the better RHEL software was. The more CentOS helped RHEL, the better CentOS software was. This move to actually formalize their relationship makes sense for both of them.

Comment: Re:What this will be used for (Score 1) 169

by ancientt (#45894013) Attached to: Twister: The Fully Decentralized P2P Microblogging Platform

Good thought. I should know more about the history of Tor. I checked Wikipedia and got "Originally sponsored by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which had been instrumental in the early development of onion routing under the aegis of DARPA, Tor was financially supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation from 2004 to 2005."

I was thinking of the more recent NSA activity

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.