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Comment: Re:It's like dumb and dumber: zuckerberg edition (Score 1) 142

by bughunter (#49754831) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

That's actually a rather good analogy because in the early days of automobiling, you had to know how to fix and maintain a car in order to operate one, either for work or for pleasure. And they were very simple machines that had a rather low barrier to learning how to maintain.

Then later on, as cars got more complex, it became a pleasure to work on them, partly because overcoming the growing barrier was itself rewarding, and it came with a social cache.

Gradually, though, we've come to the point where even the most technically gifted people have to take their car to a mechanic for anything but basic maintenance, and the barrier to being a mechanic is now so high that few people do it as a hobby.

For the automobile, this process took over a century. Personal computers and programming have progressed this entire gamut since I first sat down at a computer in 1977. (A DEC printer terminal in a high school janitor closet, connected to the city hall mainframe. The account I had access to had a program called STARTREK.BAS. You can guess the rest... and remember, it was a printer terminal.)

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 169

by bughunter (#49632807) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

People tend to react poorly when they think they're being offended.

Yes, well people tend to react even worse when they think they're being screwed by secret deals made in back rooms by people who they feel have screwed them before.

So the question becomes, whose reactions are more important? Up to this point, it's clear no one involved has given half a nanofuck about average citizens or workers.

The way this treaty is being negotiated and ratified just does not pass the smell test. It stinks from two kilometers away.

In other words, if you want people to trust you not to screw them, then you have to stop acting like Milburn fucking Drysdale and Thurston goddamn Howell the Third.

Comment: Re:What? Wait ... (Score 5, Informative) 125

by bughunter (#49563499) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

The bit you're apparently not grasping is something called a spatial light modulator.

You've probably encountered one as a digital cinema projector, or possibly even own one for PowerPoint presentations.

Couple it with a microwave radar or ultrasound sonar, and you can track individual raindrops and then cast shadows on them.

Sounds unnecessarily expensive for consumer automotive, but might be nice for buses/locomotives, emergency vehicles or passenger aircraft.

Comment: Re:And when capped internet comes then people will (Score 2) 286

by bughunter (#49528965) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

I need control over what comes down the pipe.

I don't need a court ruling to justify that. It's my browser, my computer, my request. You're not *entitled* to send me extra shit I don't want. And I'm not *obligated* to load anything you might put on your page.

Sorry. Deal with it advertisers and click sellers. As long as I pay for an ISP subscription, that's my right: Flat rate or metered; capped or unlimited; dial-up trickle or Tier 3 deluge. It's *my* option and I'm going to exercise it.

If you want to make money or defer your costs, charge a fee or request a donation. That's your option.

Comment: Pilots will always be needed (Score 5, Interesting) 78

by bughunter (#49479483) Attached to: GAO Warns FAA of Hacking Threat To Airliners

This is why the idea of remote overrides of pilot controls is a particularly BAD idea.

A trained, qualified pilot must always have last resort authority, over any automated system and preferably even over any "assisted" system, whether it be fly by wire, hydraulic, etc. If control can be taken out of his or her hands remotely, because someone (or something) on the ground doesn't agree with the pilot's judgement, I guarantee we'll see more disasters, not fewer.

The instances where intentional pilot misconduct or hijacking occur are few, but notorious. But the instances where human pilots in the cockpit handle minor emergencies that could easily have turned into deadly ones occur regularly and we seldom hear about most of them.

Case in point: Do you think an autopilot on the ground could have heard a stowaway baggage handler?

Comment: Kudos for Musk (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by bughunter (#49474191) Attached to: SpaceX Dragon Launches Successfully, But No Rocket Recovery

This is an achievement. Take it from an old rocket grognard, a veteran of Amroc, Orbital, and others: just getting this far is an accomplishment.

And it's smart of Musk to append a test operation onto a paying mission. The launch fee for the ISS delivery offsets a major portion of the cost of the test.

And in a test sequence, close does count, because all data gathered is useful. And often, data from a failure is more useful than data from a success.

"Success is a lousy teacher; it seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." —Bill Gates

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson

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