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Comment: New Guidelines? (Score 1) 218

by Bob9113 (#48915179) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

"With the discovery of an unauthorized drone on the White House lawn, the eagle has crash-landed in Washington," says Senator Charles Schumer. "There is no stronger sign that clear FAA guidelines for drones are needed."

Umm, Chuck, quick heads up: "Don't fly over the White House" is already a rule. And you can tell the operator knew, because he or she didn't ask for it back. You are a despicable opportunist.

Comment: Re:Inequality's Mossad? (Score 1) 324

by Bob9113 (#48914705) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

Not at all. More that the hypothesis of the Davos escapist concept is that the super-rich will fend off change as long as possible, then flee. As a result of the extreme measures necessary to resist change to the point where torches and pitchforks become a realistic threat, when that pressure is released, it will snap like a rubber band, causing severe damage to the political and socioeconomic structure. The backlash will be directed at those who won and walked out, much as it was at the brokerages in 1929, at the S&Ls in 1987, and at the mortgage funds in 2008. The difference being that if they really are fleeing from pitchforks and torches -- as the Davos escapist scenario posits -- it would imply a much more severe situation than 1929, 1987, or 2008.

And I'm not saying I think that will happen; I think that the pressure will vent sooner. I am saying that if the Davos escapist hypothesis comes to pass, there will be no place on Earth where such a person can hide and enjoy luxury. As such, it is an intrinsically flawed notion; either the escape will be unnecessary, or it will be ineffective.

Comment: Inequality's Mossad? (Score 4, Interesting) 324

by Bob9113 (#48911597) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people's mind, the world's super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.

If I recall correctly, Mossad was formed by Israel with one of its primary missions being to go around the world hunting down and assassinating former Nazi officers who had gone into hiding.

If the world gets to the point where the underprivileged gather their pitchforks and torches, and the ultra-rich flee from mob justice, why wouldn't those who remain take over their nations' governments and form Inequality's Mossad? If the super wealthy really do check out, the people left behind will gain all the authoritarian powers that are being built up right now to suppress change for as long as possible. They'll also get all the resources and production of the biggest powerhouse nations on the planet, because that's where the rich will be fleeing from. And they will be very angry.

The 99.9% who would still be in their home nations, having just seen the banks get cleaned out, will have the muscle of the G20, the influence of the G20, and the rage of Ferguson. Yeah, super-rich guy, go hide in New Zealand. See how that works out for you.

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 1) 304

by Bob9113 (#48894453) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Your car is broken. And that's a piss-poor reason to be against automated driving aids.

It came from the dealership that way. It is not a good reason to be against the theory, which I am not. It is, however, an excellent reason to be against their ubiquitous deployment as currently practiced. A point made exceedingly clear in the last paragraph of my post.

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 4, Interesting) 304

by Bob9113 (#48892565) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Real world example: My car has traction control. It also is relatively light, has front wheel drive, and has an anti-roll bar on the rear suspension.

So here's what happens; when I go into a long left hander (like a freeway interchange), the weight transfers to the right and the body rolls. The outside (right) rear wheel suspension compresses, and the anti-roll bar lifts the left rear wheel off the ground. It is a stable driving configuration, they just overbuilt the anti-roll bar for the vehicle weight. The inside rear wheel would be unweighted and providing negligible traction even if it were touching the ground, so it is not a risk.

But here's what happens next: The inside wheel is not being driven, nor is it touching the ground. Air friction slows the wheel, and the traction control system kicks in. It sees that I have three wheels going 60 MPH and one wheel going 20 MPH, and assumes that I am in an aggressive spin. It brakes the three fast wheels; aggressively. And the vehicles bucks like a horse that just saw a rattlesnake. That does cause a very real risk of losing control.

Sensor-based driving assist is a fine option. It's great for people who want the freedom to text while driving, because it keeps them from killing me. Making it the norm may reduce accidents overall, and we may reach a day when it is superior to any human. But we have not yet reached the point where economy-priced driving assist is less dangerous than an attentive and skilled driver.

Comment: Re:Wait, What? (Score 1) 219

by Bob9113 (#48839425) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

I hope governments heard me condemning the attacks to my dog so I don't get raided.

I'm sorry, but condemning the attacks to your dog is not considered sufficiently patriotic. You must find at least three people who practice Islam and condemn the attacks to them. For example, "Hey, Muslim guy, apparently you don't know this; terrorism is wrong." Then just ask him if he is planning any terrorist attacks, take down the details if he is, and have him sign your patriotism verification form.

Comment: Wait, What? (Score 3, Informative) 219

by Bob9113 (#48838647) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism.

WTF? R'ing TFA... not a whole lot, but here's a bit more from the article:

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism. Leaders this week called for new legislation to significantly bolster domestic intelligence agencies.

Another law, a fast-track judicial process for accusations related to terrorism, was on the books as of November but had not been widely used before the Paris attacks. In recent days, however, prosecutors have filled the dockets with more than 100 cases that are speeding through courtrooms. People who have expressed support for the attacks have been sentenced to as much as 15 months in prison.

A top French opposition politician, Eric Ciotti, said this week that the government should withhold social benefits from the parents of children who failed to observe moments of silence in schools.

Comment: Broken Windows Theory (Score 5, Interesting) 219

by Bob9113 (#48781155) Attached to: LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

it might invite over-managing minor policy violations.

Have you heard of the broken windows theory? It may not be appropriate when applied to citizens, who are supposed to be presumed to be the masters of government, not its servants. However, when a person is acting in a public service position that has extraordinary authority and hence extraordinary responsibility, broken windows is far more appropriate.

LEOs are supposed to get in trouble for minor policy violations, and major policy violations should be virtually unheard of. Were we not on the wrong side of that balance, we would not have to implement solutions like this. The few bad cops did this to you. They are the worst enemy of good cops. Go put those mutts in jail, make that the new normal; then we'll talk about easing up on the surveillance.

Comment: Higher? How Much? Worth it. (Score 1) 255

by Bob9113 (#48765337) Attached to: FCC Favors Net Neutrality

A related article suggests one side effect of the internet becoming a public utility will be higher costs for internet access.

OK, first, I'm dubious. But suppose it does go up. How much is it worth to have access to all the Internet offers? At $50/mo, we're hardly pushing the limits of what this stuff is worth. If we just have to pay a little more to get broader access, no content restriction by privateers, and competition for higher speed networks, I'll do the dance of joy.

Comment: Re:As much as could be expected (Score 1) 189

by Bob9113 (#48764933) Attached to: White House Responds To Petition To Fire Aaron Swartz's Prosecutor

Note: I am not defending her any more than I'd defend the gangster used as a classical scapegoat. Neither of their hands are clean. Does she deserve to be fired? I don't know, maybe, but it wouldn't actually do anything.

So you do what you do with gangsters. You take her down, and let her off easy if she implicates her superiors. You don't just shrug and say, "Oh well."

Comment: Re:Not so sure about this... (Score 1) 252

by Bob9113 (#48736037) Attached to: The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

The key will be creating demand for security with consumers. Once they realize it is important they will look for it, and companies that fail to deliver will suffer as a result.

I like the idea, but I'm skeptical. I feel like security is too similar to, say, sturdiness of furniture -- like a hardwood wardrobe; it is not reasonable to expect the silent hand of the free market to understand why mortise and tenon joinery is worth the price compared to pocket screws, even on high end furniture. So my Dad's incredibly nice hardwood bedroom set that I just moved is already falling apart. Security, like quality construction of durable consumer goods, has an actual market price below the theoretical free market price if there were ideal consumers.

Even if it didn't, I think security has characteristics of an externality. Poor security leads to a fertile breeding ground for burglars, much as lack of immunization creates a breeding ground for disease. If that is true, good security should be socially rewarded and poor security should be socially punished -- even if each transaction were long-term rationally self-interested and well-informed.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam