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Comment: Re:North Pole (Score 1) 477

by andymadigan (#49740171) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers
It's definitely the north pole. If you start at the north pole and walk one mile south you'll be standing on some ice one mile from the pole, if you then walk west you'll actually be walking around a circle (look at lines of latitude, that is East-West lines on a globe near the poles). If you then walk 1 mile north you'll be right back at the north pole.

Took me longer to write the explanation than to figure it out, honestly a fifth grader could figure that out.

Comment: Re: LEOs (Score 1) 612

by andymadigan (#49729897) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
We can have attendants at the service stations to pump the gas. If something breaks, the AI can pull over to the side of the road and call for help.

But let's be serious. It doesn't matter whether there's any need for a "driver" in the truck, the Teamsters would demand that a dues paying member be present in each truck.

Comment: Re:LEOs (Score 3, Insightful) 612

by andymadigan (#49716105) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
If the driver is only needed during emergencies, they won't be awake enough to do much when the emergency hits. The same is true for cars as well, after sitting in the car for hours doing nothing you'll zone out. Even a short trip you take every day will get ignored.

Besides, in an emergency the two choices are to brake or to try to turn. In a big rig trying to make a fast turn is probably just going to make the situation worse. A computer can hit the brakes just as well as an unprepared human.

Comment: Re: Founding Fathers read Orwell? (Score 1) 174

There are many kinds of dystopia. Another example from pop culture would be Zombieland.

Orwell believed that the advancement of technology, combined with government control, would lead to a particularly frightening dystopia. One where the government would use technology (mostly mass surveillance and control of information repositories) to control thought and knowledge. That's why I prefer the technology industry maintain a healthy antagonism with the government. The fact that the (UK) government castrated the inventor of the modern computer and drove him to suicide helps, plus the government's continual attempts to screw over and/or control the technology industry (patents, DMCA, NSA, etc.).

What really worries me is "tech" companies that want to help the government, like Palantir. I'm sure there are others.

Comment: Re:Just say "No". (Score 1) 142

There's a similar paper here in San Francisco, Street Sheet.

I really hope Google doesn't decide to help them, I've seen their "vendors" chasing and screaming at people right in the middle of the Castro here.

I've also seen others blocking exits from BART escalators (meaning they're either begging or selling newspapers inside the paid area of the station, the first is illegal and the second requires a license. Street Sheet is an organization that just needs to stop existing, they just give homeless people an excuse to scream at people and threaten them.

Comment: Re:looks like Indians are smarter than us (Score 1) 75

Disclaimer: I have T-Mobile service, and I'll tell anyone I meet that I'm happy with the service. I don't work for them.

The problem with T-Mobile's policy is that it creates a barrier to market entry. If a new streaming service starts they have to come to T-Mo, hat in hand and ask for zero rating. If T-Mo says no, well, would you use a streaming service that eats your data allotment if you have other choices?

I use Spotify, but when looking at other services I specifically check if they're in T-Mobile's list. If they're not, I tend not to investigate further.

In this case, internet.org includes 8 providers, so I assume rather than being a relatively small part of the mobile market, this group is probably dominant. That means if your service isn't in their list, you'll probably get a lot less traffic. It also likely makes it easier to price real data service as a "premium" product. With internet.org gone there would be a lot more pressure on the mobile carriers to provide affordable data service.

Comment: Re:Yeah ok (Score 2) 212

Even if it's completely illegal for the NSA to get the other pieces, they'll try. They'll hack in, or they'll snoop into the lives of everyone with access to find something they can use for blackmail...

Which is why, if this insane policy is enacted, there needs to be another requirement: if the NSA tries to get the other pieces, the director of the NSA gets executed on live TV for treason. So does every official or agent involved in the operation. Same goes for every other government agency.

Really, though. Hearing the NSA complain that they can't access my private data sounds exactly like complaining they can't bug my apartment. If they want to stop the "turrists" they'll have to learn to do it without creating a worldwide police state.

Comment: Re:Missing the point. (Score 2) 330

by andymadigan (#49411575) Attached to: Inexpensive Electric Cars May Arrive Sooner Than You Think
Would you rather have:

A) An electric car with a petrol-powered generator on board to extend the range.


B) An electric car with a hydrogen fuel cell to extend the range.

If you're concerned that there are loopholes in the green laws, get the laws changed, rather than banning technologies because they create a loophole. That's like banning the internet because you might download copyrighted materials.

Also, I have yet to see a hydrogen powered car that isn't an electric car.

You want to talk about physics problems? Tell me how you move 40 killowatt-hours of electricity in less than 10 minutes safely and efficiently. We can't replace poison-belching petrol vehicles until we have something that can make long trips, go periods of time without a charging station, etc. My apartment complex, built in 2013, in San Francisco no less, doesn't have a single EV charging station in its underground parking lot. How do you expect the millions of us who live in apartments to charge these batteries you speak of?

A car that solves 95% of the problem doesn't get rid of petrol cars. Why? Because families still know they'll need to drive their kid to summer camp. Or they'll want to drive for vacation. My family used to drive 500 miles each way every Christmas. We once drove from NY to Florida and back.

If electric cars really can solve 95% of the problem, the efficiency of the backup is irrelevant. If 95% of the time you/re running at 80% efficiency (battery charged by grid) and 5% of the time you're running at 20% efficiency (hydrogen), your overall efficiency is 77%. That's a hell of a lot better than a gas-powered car.

Comment: Re:Missing the point. (Score 1) 330

by andymadigan (#49407413) Attached to: Inexpensive Electric Cars May Arrive Sooner Than You Think
I really don't understand this hostility towards hydrogen. Is it really worse than gasoline? Why not build an electric car with a hydrogen range extender? No smog, no CO2 from the car itself. 95% of driving could be done on the electric battery, with the hydrogen system serving as an extender for long trips. Meanwhile, as green power generation gets better, the environmental downsides of hydrogen will decrease. Plus, the battery can also be smaller because it only really needs to cover your "normal" travel.

Comment: Re:Tsk. And they wonder where employee loyalty wen (Score 5, Insightful) 331

by andymadigan (#48977211) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM
That may be true, but they're being very underhanded in the way that they're conducting these layoffs. Apparently some employees took a deal in the past couple of years that protected them from layoffs, in return for early retirement after a few years of reduced hours. The only exception was if they got the lowest score on their evaluation. Suddenly competent employees are being found incompetent, so that they can be fired.

That's one example. I don't work for IBM, never did, and after they pull this, they'll have trouble convincing anyone who has another option to work for them. They've screwed themselves for years, any agreement they make is clearly not worth the paper it's written on.

I think IBM's management must know the company is in its death throes, they're just slowly shedding people to minimize chaos.

Comment: Re:You're still doing that? (Score 1) 274

by andymadigan (#48510585) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?
I don't see what any of the links have to do with Wikiwand, which is what both my comments were about.

I should also point out that if you do install their Wikiwand's highjacker extension, the constant begs to install their extension are replaced with begs to spam your friends/contacts. It's utter shite. According to their Wikipedia article, they plan to monetize by running ads for books and courses. I'll bet the next incarnation of Corinthian ends up advertising through them (they'll pay the most).

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie