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Comment: Re: Completely infeasible (Score 1) 181

by Kjella (#47576955) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

Not unfeasible at all, unless they need actual identites. For example here in Norway all phone numbers must have an owner identified with our version of an SSN, even unlisted and prepaid numbers. So an easy way to have an "id" is to send a one time code to the cell during registration. That account is now linked to my phone number which links to my id. If they're hacked, all they have is phone numbers. Many discussion boards already do that to reduce spam and make bans more effective

Comment: Re:Update cycles (Score 1) 202

by Kjella (#47572613) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I'd call a motherboard replacement for all essential purposes a new build. You need to fasten it to the case and all those annoying little case cables (power/reset/LEDs etc.), add CPU, RAM, power cables, all extension cards, hard drives cables and so on again so you're pretty much doing all the work just in the same case with the same parts. The rest I'd call upgrades.

Comment: Re:Have they solved liability? (Score 1) 185

by Kjella (#47570085) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Once we're stepping out of the realm of advanced cruise control and into active driving, it will clash even if they don't want to take responsibility. "I didn't expect my car to make the turn and fail to yield, you can't expect me to undo every mistake" "I saw it coming and could brake down, but my car didn't realize and speeded up and caused the accident" "I tried to hit the ditch and avoid those school kids but my car refused to go off the road, running them over."

And once you've seen the computer do a maneuver 99 times you'll assume it will the 100th too, even if it's got some kind of sensor glitch meaning that no it won't. It's one thing to see a situation in front of you and slam the brakes in a duel with the computer, but then you'd have to co-drive all the time. It's another thing entirely to see a situation in front of you, wait a few moments, realize oh shit the computer isn't going to do anything then hit the brakes.

And one thing that's important to remember is that accidents are generally not legally punishable, the driving must be negligent or reckless for that and being surprised and acting panicked is legal for a human driver. If the car is going the posted limit, obeying traffic regulations and hits the brakes it may meet the legal minimum even if there will be an accident and the result might be sub-optimal, unless we hold autonomous cars to a higher standard.

As the backup driver I'm certainly only human, my reaction could certainly be surprised and panicked. To roll that liability past the car and onto me there must have been some rather damn obvious reason why I had to intervene. It would have to be reckless or negligent of me to think the car can handle it better than me. If it ever got to court I'd argue that's just not true, in perfect hindsight maybe it was a poor split-second judgement but that's not a crime.

Or the TL;DR version: I doubt you'll ever be held legally liable for not taking over control, that you might or possibly should have yes but not that it was reckless or negligent not to. So in practice I think distracted driving will be legal, if not in theory.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 5, Informative) 153

by Kjella (#47563761) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Gandalf knows that Sauron is back. This directly contradicts LotR. In fact, there's no reason Gandalf would let Bilbo keep the ring once he knew Sauron existed.

Actually this is exactly like in the books.

The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 261

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.

As for the ring, Gandalf did not know it was the One Ring.

Then for the last time the Council met; for now we learned that he was seeking ever more eagerly for the One. We feared then that he had some news of it that we knew nothing of. But Saruman said nay, and repeated what he had said to us before: that the One would never again be found in Middle-earth. (...) [Gandalf] sighed. `There I was at fault,' he said. `I was lulled by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth sooner, and our peril would now be less.'

He finally found an ancient scroll to test if it is the One Ring, because on the surface it looks like any other minor magical ring.

And then in my despair I thought again of a test that might make the finding of Gollum unneeded. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. The memory of words at the Council came back to me: words of Saruman, half-heeded at the time. I heard them now clearly in my heart.
` "The Nine, the Seven, and the Three," he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read."

This is where it all starts in Fellowship of the Ring.

Comment: Re:It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 3, Interesting) 46

by Kjella (#47563569) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

They had their own goals and all that, but my first goal, if I was sending something millions of miles away (I don't know how far it traveled when it went to Mars, but the closest approach between earth and mars has been 34.8 million miles), I'd certainly want the ability to move it more than XXX feet per day.

And a free pony, but the problem is the power budget. Going faster -> more power required -> bigger solar panels -> more weight -> going slower. If you got a solution for that, I'm sure NASA would like to have a talk with you. Also consider that it might be very hard to travel a significant distance, it's easier to drop two rovers on opposite sides of the planet than design a rover that can drive 5000+ km.

Mars has areas with really sharp rocks and Curiosity has already taken more wheel damage than expected. Soft soil is almost just as bad, potentially trapping the rover as it happened with Opportunity. And there's no tow truck coming, so if you screw it up the mission is over. Personally I imagine it's the scientific equipment that mostly limits the rover, if we haven't got the tools or sensors getting there faster won't do us any good.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 153

by Kjella (#47563397) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

LotR is a story worth telling, it's a grand epic. The Hobbit is... well, a children's tale about a dragon's treasure. In LotR it's obvious why Frodo must be the reluctant ringbearer, while in the Hobbit you have Bilbo making this insane leap to join a crazy bunch of dwarfs and a wizard to go steal treasure from a dragon. Totally credible. And being caught by big dumb trolls who want to eat them is totally cliche. All the characters are either good guys or bad guys, there's no conflicted characters like Gollum. There's no sacrifice like Boromir. And not a single female character to bring up the wife acceptance factor, it's all about the bling. Trying to use the Hobbit as follow-up to LotR is total folly, I know because I read them in that order and it's weaker in every respect for everyone above the age of ten.

Yes, they're totally molesting the story of the Hobbit but mainly by ret-conning in as many things related to LotR as possible to cover over its own pathetic plot. Like the whole story with Dol Guldur, in the book Gandalf is simply away but in other bits and pieces Tolkien does describe that and as a LotR prequel it's just as important as the main story line. I mean Bilbo already has the ring, at the end of the story he has the ring - the rest of the tale doesn't really affect the LotR story line in any significant way. The book had to stand on its own legs. The end of the Hobbit will just be a waypoint to the first LotR movie. I mean this book ends with a hobbit returning home to the Shire with two small chests of gold, a mithril chain mail and a ring, it's not exactly a grand finish like destroying the One Ring and it never will be.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 559

by Kjella (#47562337) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Credit scores are okay but involving credit history is a strange fetish of US banks, never understood why. I remember reading a story about a European that found a US girl and they were looking to buy a place for both of them in the US. He was like I got this much equity, this much income, we should be able to manage a mortgage of this size. The bank said: No credit history (that we can find anyway) whatsoever? No loan. So they went out and got him a credit card, maxed it and paid it off on time. Big credit, perfect payment history and though short he now was eligible for a loan. WTF.

To me, having a credit card history - not home and car loans - means you've not had the money to pay your bills. If you didn't have to take up credit, you've always had the money to pay your bills. Why on earth wouldn't I then be able to pay my bills now? Before I rented an apartment and paid rent. Now I own an apartment and pay on my mortgage. They look stunningly similar in that each month I need to pay up to keep on living where I live. You balance your income and expenses, if you do it with $1000 left on the bank account or $1000 in credit card debt at the end of the month is exactly the same.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 230

by Kjella (#47556405) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

There is no right to a game designed the way you would want to design it. Your right is to vote with your wallets.

Until we decide that there is because we vote with our votes. For example the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act regulates how you can provide consumer warranties. If we wanted to ban certain DRM behaviors or even ban it entirely, we could do that. There's a difference between free market capitalism (equal opportunity for companies to provide competing products) and laissez-faire capitalism (companies can do anything and consumers will weed out bad behavior).

Microsoft

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus 149

Posted by timothy
from the ringtones-baby-the-future-is-ringtones dept.
Forbes has an update on what sort of future Nokia faces, as Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition: [Microsoft EVP of devices Stephen] Elop laid out a framework for cost cuts in a memo to employees on July 17. Devices would focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones. Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China. Also, CEO Satya Nadella gave hints about how Microsoft will make money on Nokia during Tuesday' conference call. Devices, he said, "go beyond" hardware and are about productivity. "I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity." In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales.

Comment: Re:What is the business case of SpaceX? (Score 1) 114

by Kjella (#47546545) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

They don't do space tourism yet, but once they got the Dragon man-rated I don't see why not. The seven people who've been space tourists so far have in total paid $170 million, while SpaceX has quoted $140 million for a crewed Falcon 9 launch so they're at a price at least some is willing to pay. If they can make the rockets reusable it could significantly increase their launch volume even if only a few hundred super rich want to go. It would be real space flight in LEO and make you a genuine astronaut, not just "pop your head in" suborbital flight. Maybe they could even use the cargo room of the Dragon to hold some kind of deployable/inflatable mini-hotel for the stay. 100 mile high club anyone? ;)

Comment: Re:When I was born... (Score 1) 114

by Kjella (#47546275) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

When I was born Mankind had not set foot on the moon. By the time I was five, we had been there, done that and decided to never go back again. If aliens do exist, they are sitting back saying "What the f?ck man, you want to meet us but don't have the energy to get off the couch and answer the door?" Mankind does not deserve space travel. We had our chance and refused to take it.

By the time you were five, we had been (384 400 kilometers) / (4.2421 light years) = 9.57827017 x 10^-9 = ~0.000001% of the way to the closest star. Eight years later they launched the Voyager 1 which is now about (127.98 Astronomical Units) / (4.2421 light years) = ~0.05% of the way. And it's probably uninhabited. What chance did we miss to go visit aliens? Do you think if we just put enough money in it we'd invent the warp drive? Chemical rockets can't do it, it'd be like trying to ride a horse to the moon. The ban on nukes in space kills fission, we still haven't got a working fusion reactor here on earth and antimatter only exists in extreme lab experiments.

True, we don't care much about developing the propulsion technology but we sure as hell would like the energy generation technology so to pretend we're not working on it is false. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try building the applied technology before we got the basics working, if we can make a fusion reactor here on earth then maybe we can turn it into a fusion drive. Trying to skip that step earns us nothing, it doesn't bypass any of the problems we already have and creates a whole set of new ones which makes it that much less likely to succeed. The only tech that's pretty much ready to go is fission, but good luck selling a rocket that'll nuke its way through space.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 5, Insightful) 571

by Kjella (#47545799) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons. And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

Well, if you want to put it that way the plane would never have been shot down if Russia had supplied a professional crew instead of teaching the separatists how to aim and pull the trigger. At least with the Russian military firing they probably know what they're aiming at.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 728

by Kjella (#47545407) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Except in this case there's no signs that anyone was being particularly reckless, lazy or disregarding the rules, it was a fairly complex interaction between debug settings, ASM optimizations and dependency management. This is more like when the Space Shuttle blew up and nobody cares about the 9999 parts that didn't fail because the O-ring did and as a result it's now small chunks of scrap metal with dead astronauts. You don't get points for effort, style or the parts that work it's the end result that counts and in this case GCC poops on the floor because the final output is shit.

I think it's a good attitude for a kernel manager, because when he gets shit code from driver or subsystem maintainers that goes into a release kernel and starts corrupting data and throwing panics the shit is going to land on him. You can't just shuffle that responsibility downwards and say no, the kernel is 99% fine but that driver is crap because as far as the end users are concerned the kernel is crap and the internal bickering about whose fault that is doesn't matter one bit to them. It's your project and your job to get it fixed. And that might require some harsh words about the O-ring and the people who made it, because it's making them all look bad which is totally unfair to everybody else.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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