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Journal: Chances of being killed by police in the USA

Journal by Space cowboy

So 104 people were killed by police in the USA during August, 2014. To my eyes, that's an absolutely enormous figure. As a Brit, I compare it to the 1 person killed over 3 years by the UK police. Yes, they're two different countries, yes there's a lot more people in the US, yes they have different cultures, yadda yadda yadda; people are dying here.

Let's do some maths:

Comment: Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Interesting) 471

by Space cowboy (#47947433) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

I live in CA too, and pay similar taxes. I don't have a problem with the taxes.

When I came to the USA, I was taken aback by just how money-orientated the churches are. I'm irreligious, but I attended church as a kid, and it was actually about the message, about community, and definitely not about the money. Church officials (rectors and curates) are pretty poor in the UK, at least where I grew up - they have housing provided for them, and they live on a meagre salary. They are expected to work long hours for low pay. I don't get that sense when I drive past a church in San Jose that has acres (literally) of parking space, flashy electronic signs, and is located in prime real-estate area. It's very different, trust me.

I've lived here in CA for almost a decade, as I said, it's been great. There's been a couple of local school-shootings in the last year or so. Understand that from a Brit's point of view *anyone* getting shot *ever* is big news. National, prime-time TV news, possibly for days. For it to be sufficiently commonplace that it doesn't even make it past local headlines is ... disturbing.

Your point about talking to people is a good one: if I talk to people from outside the US, our views tend to resonate, but if I talk to people who are US-born, there's way less agreement. I'm not sure if it's because this is "normal" to those born here, that they just haven't experienced anything else, that they think somehow "it couldn't happen to me", or what (sometimes it's definitely a case of USA! USA! USA!). Definitely there is a difference in outlook between natives and foreigners.

One more thing: I'm not trying to paint the UK as some sort of panacea - it's not, by a long chalk. Neither am I US-bashing for the sake of it - the above is just my observations over time. The UK has it's own issues no doubt, but bottom line: even as a white male living in an affluent area in the USA, I feel safer in the UK. And I definitely feel my son would be safer at school there. This is the fact that's weighing on me more and more.


Comment: Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Insightful) 471

by Space cowboy (#47947089) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Having lived in the US for a decade now, I'm missing the UK more and more.

  - A real non-half-assed health service, that provides long-term care without exception
  - A dearth of mass-murders, especially school-shootings
  - A police service which uses policing-by-consent rather than by-fear
  - A university system that doesn't do its best to keep you in debt for life
  - A foreign policy that doesn't make them hated around the world
  - An attitude that doesn't revolve around "why should my taxes pay for you, just because you desperately need help" ?
  - A church that isn't entirely based around making money for the "reverend" and isn't overwhelmingly politicised.
  - Sensible views on evolution, science in general, abortion, gay marriage, and womens rights.
  - And of course, the marked lack of guns in the general populace. An armed society is a polite society my arse. It's a *fearful* society.

As I said, I've been here for a decade now, and I work for a big company with great perks. It's been good for me, but now that I have a kid, the school-shootings thing is getting more and more worrisome. There's literally nothing I can do to prevent some moron raiding his mother's arsenal and killing my kid if that's how he wants to end his life.

The money is good, the people I meet are friendly, the weather is nice, and that used to be sufficient. But as time goes by, it's seeming more and more like a Faustian bargain.


Comment: Re:Underspecced? (Score 1) 104

by gl4ss (#47942961) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

depends what you're comparing it to.

if you're comparing to similar sized wanhaos or flashforges(it's a rebranded flashforge) its not that different in price.

if you compare it to makerbots it's a bargain. and less bullshit than current mbi products. and just as capable (PLA only like all current makerbot printers).

as to why having ability to print abs is sometimes nice: it can withstand higher operating temps for the part you print. 60 degrees(hot car) and pla gets easy to deform.

as to why cheapo printers don't allow for abs.. you need at the very least a heated bed and that needs better PSU.. and an enclosure helps too.

for a thousand bucks with a brand name association and warranty it's no really so badly priced. of course if you can tinker a little bit you can get a printer for 500 bucks - but be prepared to spend couple of weeks tinkering around getting it just right. my currently in use printer cost total of about 540 bucks with the upgrades i had to do and it prints now ok(comparable to 1000$ printers) but it took redesigning of some parts to get to this point.

point being, you can buy makerbot 5th gen for 2800+$.. or you could buy two of these and forty kilos of plastic. and the 5th gen probably needs you to call support more often (mbi just recently killed their google support group to cut bad press. among other things their new smart extruder is a _mess_ and not user maintainable, so you have to send it back every time you get a clog - which is quite often since they fucked up the redesign real bad).

and the flashforge dreamer or dremel rebadge of it seems to have a lot saner approach when it comes to stepper motor driving too(mbi rolled a custom stepper driver solution for their 5th gens.. and it's noisy as hell and the board seems built so that it is non trivial to update the sw on the driver chips)..

+ - Satanists dramatize distribution of religious materials at schools

Submitted by tylikcat
tylikcat (1578365) writes "In response to a ruling allowing Christian groups to distribute bibles and other Christian oriented materials in schools, the Satanic Temple has decided to distributed their own The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities. Let the games begin!

To be fair, the Satanic Temple is is forthright in stating that they would not have sought the right to distibute such materials on their own, but point out that most children will already be aware of Christianity, but this might be the first time they encounter to the practice of Satanism."

Comment: Crawl, *then* walk (Score 4, Insightful) 122

by Space cowboy (#47934209) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

Yeah, I could do with one of those office-space meme's right now.

If all the nay-sayers faux-gasping at the extreme length of 2.5m could shut up, that'd be great.

I'm not sure what people expect these days - this is a major achievement - whether it *can* be extended, or whether it *will* be extended would be different achievements. You could almost apply Jackson's rules of optimisation to this (refresher below) - in that first you *do* it, and only then (if you're an expert) do you try to do it *well*.


Jackson's rules of optimisation: "The First Rule of Program Optimization: Don't do it. The Second Rule of Program Optimization (for experts only!): Don't do it yet."

Comment: Re:Same as humans ... (Score 4, Insightful) 165

by gl4ss (#47919575) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

sure, but this is a fucking gimmick "experiment".

the algo could be really simple too.

and for developing said algorithm, no actual robots are necessary at all - except for showing to journos, no actual AI researchers would find that part necessary, the testing can happen entirely in simulation - and no actual ethics need to enter the picture even, the robot doesn't need to understand what a human is on the level a robot that would need to in order to act by asimovs laws.

a spinning blade cutting tool that has an automatic emergency brake isn't sentient- it's not acting on asimovs laws, but you could claim so to some journalists anyways.. the thing to take home is that they built into the algorithm the ability to fret over the situation. if it just projected and saved what can be saved, it wouldn't fret or hesitate - and hesitate is really the wrong word.

Comment: Re:Lie. (Score 1) 191

by gl4ss (#47919317) Attached to: Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

better than that the system allows for password reset by using email(among other methods). so with the data they posses, they can generate access to all the data. that means that any encryption or access blocks or whatever there are, are meaningless from the logical point of "can they read it?"

so they can reset the password without having anything from you - that means they can read everything is in there and can be coerced to do so by legal means.

on some other site it might be worth mentioning that they don't really need to change the password so you wouldn't really notice it either.. they can do whatever they want with the data - nothing required from the account owner.

Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 2) 320

by gl4ss (#47919153) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

a) it comes along with sync.

and it will go away in a month as I understood? the thing is though that they just used millions of peoples paid data to do their little stunt - AND they could have made it for free to _choose_ on itunes.

but bono, that fuckhead, didn't want it free unless it was pushed to every device.

and it'll count as wasted storage space too. there's a difference in putting it for free to sync if you want and synching it for you. that they needed to make a tool to get rid of it just tells that it wasn't simple to get it off your shuffle list(and this from a company that prides on usability, yet even newspaper articles on it couldn't provide instructions on how to remove it from your idevice without crippling synch or it appearing on shuffle!

thus they had to make the removal tool.

and U2's manager commented that he had to find new ways to market.. well.. that's because nobody would've even known the friggin album about "their roots" and "the songs are about the early days" and shit like that had even come out. I certainly would not have known they had a new album.. not that I'm looking to listen to it now..

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 288

by gl4ss (#47896057) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

is a call center providing services for 10 minicab companies the minicab company?

but yeah, they're minicab companies, but... is it illegal for the minicabs say in london to pick up two passangers from different locations and drive them at the same time to another city and drop them off at different locations and charge them different fares as if they were individual customers? the reason cab companies didn't fight these call-by-phone-only companies(not just uk, same in finland) was that it's not so easy as using an app to see if there's a ride nearby.

also, is this california law for protection of busses and metro area public transport monopolies or what?

Comment: Re:power consumption? (Score 2, Insightful) 207

by gl4ss (#47896041) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

fanboiz care.

in the way that they like to mention how it has a new processor. since uh, there's not that much to mention about the iphone6 except nfc.

it's a budget phone for premium pricing... and that's where apple is going now. budget in the sense that it costs less for apple to make the 6 than what it cost for them to make 5 when 5 came out. much less.

battery life? about the same. it's about the same thing after all. it's 600 bucks + device and marketed partially with having a faster cpu so that's why you should as a consumer care if it's that much faster or not, because you can buy similar devices that play same kind of games, has about the same kind of screen, connects to all the same social networks, has about the same battery life but has one third of the price.

you know why they call the 6+ retina hd? because fullhd is so 2012.

Comment: Re:Not a first (Score 3, Interesting) 444

by gl4ss (#47887311) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

yeah but that doesn't count since the dam isn't on the factory premises ;D. that's what the article is wanting factories to do.. it doesn't care if you do it like sensible being and put the power generation outside the plant premises..

btw the usual way to run factories a 100 years ago was on "100%" (or over 100% if you count out the extra..). the papermills etc were usually built so that they had an included hydro plant. last time i got an update the old, old hydro dam at my hometowns powerplant was only providing for lightning though. the old textile plant in the bigger city near my hometown was the first place to have electric lights(iirc in all of nordic).. and those were from hydro. to run the textile mill when it was dark with smaller risk of fires..

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by gl4ss (#47886869) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

no it isn't.

the only good thing is that it's easy to develop apps for it because it's so limited you don't have to worry about much.

but if they drop the Phone from the name, then that's just another fail. good luck explaining to your grandma that she can't run her Windows 8.1 app on her Windows 8.1 device but can run on it on the Other Windows 8.1 device and explaining to a client that they can the android version on android tablet and some randon android device but need to develop separate app versions for windows 8.1 device and the other windows 8.1 device.

you see, before you unify naming you should fucking UNIFY THE FUCKING OPERATING SYSTEMS, not create 3 different one's with vaguely similar look but wildly differing capabilities!

panic: kernel trap (ignored)