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Comment: Re:Go Aereo! (Score 2) 140

If you sue someone for putting a fence on their lawn and screwing up your nice, pretty neighborhood with a fence--because fences are universally visually disruptive--and then sue them for not having a fence, something else is going on.

In this case, there are obvious business dynamics in play here. What those dynamics imply may not be obvious, but that the dynamics exist is blatant. A business raising conflicting lawsuits is obviously trying to play some kind of legal three card monty, and forcing the courts to rule another business as X and then coming to court to complain that the business cannot be X is exceedingly easy to hit with SLAPP rules: suddenly you have to show, before discovery, that you can reasonably win this case, all while you just won a case where a judge ruled that the thing you were previously demanding and that you are now against is in fact the thing that must be done. You've already won the case against this, and you are now bringing bullshit to court.

As for backtracking, it's extremely unlikely. I said it would be monumental; but it's possible. If the courts hit the plaintiffs with SLAPP, there opens an argument that the lower courts often sided against the final ruling or made opinions to the effect that their judgment was extremely borderline and the issue is unclear from both a legal and logical perspective. If that's the actual case, then the supreme court has a lot of opinion to take into account to re-evaluate its position: the supreme court could decide that the situation is not clear-cut and, although their opinion does lean in the direction of the prior ruling, it was never strong and there is no strong legal opinion in the courts in general.

In such a situation, the court can stretch this analysis to infer that the plaintiffs, having forced the defendant into a court-ordered position and then attacked the defendant in court from exactly the opposite position, were never interested in he legal position the courts were actually examining. Given that the courts aren't *exactly* sure how to approach that issue, the plaintiff's motives become much more important: to engage in long, drawn-out legal battles they don't have strong likelihood of winning.

Having one legal battle on a nebulous issue that's not well understood by legal precedent or statue is fair. This happens, it's a normal part of civil disputes. Going through all that and then immediately reversing your position and starting over signals to us that you're just trying to drag the defendant through as much legal bullshit as possible, which suddenly makes every suit you've filed the whole way up look like SLAPP. Ironically, there is neither precedent nor statute to guide the courts in matters where it becomes clear you've been abusing the court system for a very long time; if any such legal case does come up, it would end in a landmark decision telling us whether the statute of limitations is measured in years or in how far out the door you can get before the judge smells bullshit.

Comment: Re:Go Aereo! (Score 1) 140

If the companies raise a suit in the opposite direction, Aereo can point back at prior suits, enter in prior arguments against them as evidence, and try to classify the whole tirade as a SLAPP.

That is to say: Aereo can reference back that the same people suing them "because they're not a cable company" made arguments and successfully sued them "because they are a cable company." It can show the same entities suing them, successfully, with arguments diametrically opposed to the premise of the current case. It can then have the courts declare the lawsuits as strategic and not legal, and force them to repay legal fees.

Backtracking is harder. The Supreme Court sided against Aereo. I've read that the lower courts didn't have a firm decision, or that only one lower court found Aereo substantially similar to a rebroadcaster because Aereo is unicasting to individuals on a case-by-case basis. The debate is largely over whether Aereo's time and space shifting counts as copying content, or if they're logically and legally similar to a person renting a small space on your roof and putting an antenna and a small computer there.

Even given all that, it's hard to go back after you hit the Supreme Court. Aereo would have to appeal to the Supreme Court again, have them reverse their decision, then point back at the long history of suit and point forward at the sudden opposing suit and say, "Look, they sue us in any case, they're just being dicks," and get the courts to retroactively apply SLAPP and make the plaintiffs pay full legal fees all the way back. I don't think there's actually statute or precedent for any such thing; it would be monumental.

Comment: Re:Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 1) 586

by bluefoxlucid (#47425579) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

What? This is bullshit, dude. Programming isn't a layer on top the physical world of spatial relationships; it's a layer on top the physical world of discrete, numeric algorithms.

In the real world, you have analogue power levels--voltage, current. Then, we build digital circuitry, such that being about 2.8-3.8V from ground state is "3.3V" or "ON", and being below that is "OFF"; being above that is "HALT, CATCH FIRE". This is a purely numerical behavior: the variations in the real world do not apply to digital circuitry.

On top of that, you build a set of operational codes to manipulate states, i.e. assembly. You also build programming languages such as C, Python, and so on, which turn complex algorithms into a static analysis tree, optimize the tree, and then convert that into optimal procedural operational codes.

The best we have for programming is object orientation, which takes a lot of procedural stuff for repeated modules away; but then you need to build the procedural framework to use those objects, as well as the discrete procedural behavior of the object. You're reducing complex procedural code down to a limited interface so that you can write other complex procedural code to handle that, thus reducing the amount of complex procedural shit you have to think about interacting with other complex procedural shit.

You can't program a computer by putting a ball on top a stick. Computers need programming in terms of what is absolutely understood and non-ambiguous.

Comment: Re:Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 1) 586

by bluefoxlucid (#47423447) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Okay seriously, some people are retarded. They can't manipulate numbers because their brains are broken. Low-functioning sociopaths can't understand social interactions, and don't connect the pattern behavior together to fake it; high-functioning sociopaths recognize it as an academic subject, and fake it.

How is it hard to believe that some--perhaps many--tasks require an uncanny ability to do a certain thing, which nobody has? Maybe any idiot can learn to make a shitty program in Visual Basic; but, for the vast majority of people, no investment of time and effort is going to make them John Carmack. Similarly, some investment of time will teach you to sculpt; no investment of time will make you Michelangelo. Your creative writing courses won't make you Brandon Sanderson, Stephen R. Donaldson, or J.K. Rowling; the best you can hope for is being the next no-talent hack like Tolkien.

Comment: Re:Wrong initiative, enough of space. (Score 1) 78

by bluefoxlucid (#47414715) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

The market is what makes engineers and scientists. NASA created some market niches earlier than they would have existed, and it did create a few on its own. The least likely is satellites. The DOD created the friggin' Internet.

Also who ever decided to become an engineer because of the moon launches? This is pop culture: every kid wanted to be an ASTRONAUT, and their idea of an astronaut was a fat man in a white suit with a hose and a fish bowl on his head, playing in outer space! Nobody looked at that and went, "Wow, I want to design a new super armatron to manipulate heavy materials via shuttle so I can repair a space research lab's solar panels!" They might have seen something like that on TV and decided they wanted to blast the thrusters and throw shit around with the giant machine arm, but that's about it.

People have this uncanny ability to rewrite history. Look at the Lebanon war, where people said the fighting "came out of nowhere", and "would be over in a few days." It kept being "almost over" for almost 20 years, with some people in hotels in the next country over, waiting because they were sure that THIS week would be the week the war ends. What does history say? It says everyone could see the rising tensions (no they couldn't) and the breakdown of the economy (that had been happening for decades), and people started to flee the country because they knew the fighting would start (they fled the country immediately *after* it started), and holed up for a long and protracted war (which nobody actually believed--they thought this was just a big, three-to-five-day skirmish). People who lived through this shit and wrote it in their diaries immediately, a week or two after the war, talked like all these deformations of history were what actually happened--even though their own diary said absolutely the opposite.

Put away the romantics and come back to earth. Reality's down here.

Comment: Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 5, Insightful) 586

by bluefoxlucid (#47414597) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Seriously, does everyone think programming is a spatial relationships problem or something?

Let's put this on the table right now: Normal humans can build houses. Oh, you might not have any construction knowledge, and you'll build a horrendous little shitheap that falls over when the wind blows, but that's not the point. I can put construction knowledge in your head and, in a few months, you'll be able to properly select foundation for a site, properly frame a house, and properly build out the sheathing and siding and insulation and walls. You won't be a master craftsman, but you'll be able to do it right.

Humans are good with spatial things. Humans can look at a two-by-four and understand what a two-by-four is. The engineering concepts behind building a workable shed are a little different, but easily transferred. Given a little time and guidance, a human can learn to relate building materials spatially, measuring and cutting and nailing or screwing or gluing as needed, planning and building a proper structure.

Humans are terrible at numbers and algorithms.

Humans are so terrible at numbers and algorithms that they become *extremely* proficient at math if you teach them with a soroban--a machine that converts numerical problems into spatial procedures--and can't be taught algorithms without visual diagrams of trees and boxes and other shit to show sorting and transformation algorithms. Have you ever looked at textbooks or Wikipedia pages for stuff like PKI, red-black trees, or AES encryption? There's pictures of the simplest shit! Why? Because HUMANS CAN'T PROCESS ALGORITHMS!

The easiest process for a human programmer implementing an algorithm like a quick sort is to associate variables with objects in the visual diagram, associate their state changes with the movements in the visual diagram, and write code that carries out the analogous behavior. By comparison, BUBBLE SORT IS FUCKING HARD TO IMPLEMENT when your only guidance is: "iterate through each list element. Compare each element to the previous. If the previous element is larger, swap them." You actually have to think about how to do the comparison (greater than, less than? Wait, which am I comparing to which?), and how to swap them--usually with a temporary variable, although "A ^= B; B ^= A; A ^= B;" works. Most people visualize some kind of diagram while trying to understand the algorithm.

The real world requires interaction with space, mainly to avoid hungry tigers, kill tasty deer, and avoid driving your car into trees like you're fucking drunk. It doesn't involve shift accumulator left and XOR with memory at address $FC. It doesn't involve explicit semaphore locking and deadlocks if you fail to unlock the semaphore in a loop with multiple function calls and thread branching during the loop. It requires things you can put your fist through if they don't work right, and then continue with successfully.

We can't all be rocket surgeons.

Comment: Wrong initiative, enough of space. (Score 0) 78

by bluefoxlucid (#47414327) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

What has NASA ever gotten us? I always see huge lists like more comfortable chairs (memory foam) and shoes, but industry would have invented those anyway. Satellites? Legit; nobody sane was ever going to build space launch shit on private money. Other than that, piles and piles of junk, and some history.

Skip NASA. Move their funding over to something like a National Institute of Health, and take up researching new medical treatments and drugs. Release all that shit to the public. If you're into social democracy, issue a $1 tax per prescription filled or treatment carried out to give the government revenue; if not, release them to the public domain so we can have new $4 generics.

We need to take that kind of thing out of the hands of Pfeizer. The US got it wrong: we don't need public healthcare; we need public health research. Let the private sector handle healthcare; we can revisit the issue when our healthcare system isn't a weedy mess of overpriced, ineffective bullshit. I do support regulations to force hospitals to provide free clinical care, with staffed clinician hours based on their size, and distribution based on the saturation of healthcare facilities in their area (i.e. more hospitals, wider spread of clinics); but the immediate economic issues of healthcare aren't "how do patients pay for cancer treatment?", but rather "how do we get the best, least expensive cancer treatment to the people?"

Comment: Re:Tower "Dumps" does not contain location! (Score 2) 60

I think it's more a matter of that the phone was in a particular cell than that the call was made.

I would like to see cell-tracking technology whereby a phone never reports its ID when idle and pinging tower. I'd like to see the tower push three bloom filters on ping, one of all predicted to be in the cell, one of all predicted to be in the area (surrounding cells), and one of all in the system.

For a flat assumption of 10^12 phone numbers CC-AAA-RRR-XXXX including country codes, assume nearly 100% of all numbers are being dialed at the exact same time. You can gain a 1% probability of error on if a number is being dialed in about 116GB. In any situation of over 50% saturation, you'd invert: list what numbers aren't being dialed, hence the size of the worldwide packet is 58GB. That's the theoretical bound in an insane situation. (Besides, you can only dial half the phones in the world at once...)

In reality, we don't have 100 country codes, and not all countries have 10 digit phone numbers. In America, there are only really 800 possible area codes, 269 in service in the USA, and 26 in Canada. Not all areas saturate the exchange; most exchanges aren't saturated. The number of phone numbers world-wide isn't 142 times the size of the number of people.

So let's assume 10 billion numbers instead, not all of which are cell phones. You're looking at 580MB for the packet to express near 50% saturation of numbers being dialed *right now* for the whole world. That's much better.

Phones ring for approximately 10 seconds. They're answered or taken to voice mail by then. In addition, most phones aren't being dialed at any given time. If we assume 1 in 7000 cell phones is currently ringing, the worldwide packet is 174kB for a 1% margin of error.

So let's call the regional a 10 million phone coverage area, and the local a 1 million phone coverage area. Assuming 1 in 7000 phones is currently ringing, the packet sizes are 174kB worldwide, 178 bytes regional, and 17.8 bytes local, for a 1% margin of error. That is: you have a 1 in 100 chance of the phone deciding it's probably in the bloom filter when it's not. If we double the sizes here, then the false positive rate is 0.01%, or 1 in 10,000--almost never.

We can further reduce these by scaling them dynamically, and by delaying the ring if you're out of known area. I'll use the double-size numbers for a 0.01% false positive chance.

Let's say somebody calls your phone. The cell system predicts, based on prior data (i.e. you're usually in this city, your home address on file is here, whatever), that you're in the 1 million person coverage area contained by some cells. In Baltimore City, we have 660,000 people; 1 million coverage is bigger than my city. So the system adds you only to the 35.6 byte local dialing filter for a 1 second cycle.

If your phone fails to respond to the tower, the system leaves your number in the 36 byte local dialing filter. It begins including it in the regional dialing area. The regional dialing area excludes any phone dialed for less than 1 second, any phone found in a local dialing area, or any phone included in the local dialing area filter. More than 95% of phones should be excluded: there's better than a 95% chance that you're currently in your local area. The filter is about 89 bytes on average, assuming 1 in 7000 phones in the 5,000,000 phone region is ringing.

The worldwide filter is different. If in 1 more second you don't answer, the cell system adds you to the bloom list for the whole world. Assuming a 95% chance of someone being in the region if not in the local area, that's 95% of 5%, or 0.25%. Assuming 10 billion phones, the worldwide list of numbers currently being dialed is 9 bytes.

For a 1 in 10,000 false positive rate, you'd have to push 134 bytes of dialing filters. If you're outside of your normal region, there's a 2 second delay. We can further step this with a 100 million phone region to net whole countries in the last list, but we'd introduce a 3 second delay for people who are outside their country.

In this system, no phone would tell the tower its identity until it wanted service. Of course, most phones are sucking down data, so this is all pointless; but, if you shut data off and are on straight receiving calls, your phone doesn't actually tell the towers where you are--it doesn't identify itself. The towers say, "Here is a bloom filter of phone numbers. If your number hits the bloom filter, it's 99.99% likely you're being dialed right now." If you're in any of the three filters, you ping the tower and tell it you're ready to answer, and in this cell.

You're ready to receive calls, and yet the tower doesn't know where you are unless someone calls you.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 578

by bluefoxlucid (#47398991) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Your long winded tirade didn't say anything about why 100 hours is required to learn how to drive

The current 60 hours is a median statistic for how many driving hours are required to develop adequate skill at driving. 100 hours is longer, and develops further skill. My "long-winded tirade" explained that, AS PER SCIENCE, PARTICULARLY NEUROSCIENCE, the brain has a physical structure that stores and refines these skills until they take little to no energy to access. Once you've done it a while, your brain automatically recalls those skills without your conscious effort and without the expenditure of much energy at all; new, complex situations draw up similar situations and adjust them with minimal additional energy.

As I said, we have these mandatory hours and waits in Australia, they haven't helped one bit as new drivers do their hours quickly and sit around or just fabricate them.

"It won't work because people won't do it."

This is the same argument as "eating healthy doesn't help because people won't eat healthy," or "Laws against murder don't help because people still kill people".

I gave you the solution. Don't tell me it's not a solution because people will cheat. It works. Vaccinations work, too; but if you forge documents saying your kid is vaccinated, well... don't bitch at me when he gets smallpox.

Like most people, you're basing your opinion on bad ideas.

I'm basing my opinions on the current scientific state-of-the-art. It's the same thing brain surgeons and top-level researchers and all that kind of brass use.

You dont have a low reaction time, like most bad drivers you've convinced yourself that you have a low reaction time when you really do not

"I don't like this, so I'm going to pretend it's not a thing, and claim that as fact."

You can bring all the statistics you want on how people react TO NEW STIMULUS, but we already know that you can beat those times if you practice for several hours. In sports, consistent reaction times of nearly 150mS are common, and trained athletes hit close to 100mS when they get lucky.

My reactions don't rely on me consciously acknowledging what's in front of me. I've done this so much, so my brain bypasses all those slow processes that make your basic reaction time so fucking long, and just kicks in the correct action. When an obstacle moves in front of me, I judge how it's moving and take appropriate action. For anything I can't get a good pattern for immediately, I'm on the brakes before I realize shit's in my way. For mainly-stationary objects that come into my driving path, I'm in the next lane if there's nothing next to me.

The reaction's as quick as the one you have when you prick your finger while sewing, or knick yourself shaving--you know, that immediate removal of the sharp object so you don't shove a needle a half inch into your finger, or peel your face like a potato.

I actually understand that when I'm tired, it's dark or I'm distracted my reaction time will not be as good as it could be

Do you also understand that you can drive just as well mildly drunk as you can on 2-4 hours of sleep? Because most people miss that. Lack of sleep will quickly degrade your reflexes.

If what they've been doing hasn't solved the problem, tell them to do something else. -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"

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