Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Zoning laws are tyranny (Score 1) 594

by fatwilbur (#48606125) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

who are so entrenched in the mentality that "everyone" wants to be forced to drive

I don't think that at all, however I know I want to drive, and I do think the majority is with me (in my city). Why should we cater to some group of hipsters who want to live within and rarely leave a few city blocks in a downtown core? They'll probably find driving cool again in a few years, when I don't know, they have a family.

Most people, including me, appreciate those parking spaces and so no wonder you are greeted with concern about your proposals.

Comment: Re:We are doomed... (Score 1) 390

by fatwilbur (#48595479) Attached to: The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

I would rather we didn't make this gamble. I would rather we "bite the bullet" now. Take the hit, make sacrifices to our lifestyle and go hell-bent for long-term sustainable renewables.

And I would rather take that gamble. Judging by our consumer demands, I'm in the clear majority. So what do you do?

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 263

by fatwilbur (#48595321) Attached to: Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

this is just scum sucker scam way of maximizing profits at the cost of the patient and his insurance.

This is why the single payer system, and the negotiating leverage that comes with either allowing a product into market or not, result in a far, far better system for a country overall.

Comment: Re:How about a straight answer? (Score 1) 329

by fatwilbur (#48578597) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

Oh the poor, defenseless coal, gas and oil industry. Those poor companies, operating at thin margins with little resources, in far away countries that are nothing but desert, and god-forsaken tar sands. Yes, we must help those poor folk defend their livelihood from big business! Think of their children!

I get your point, but you fail to acknowledge the biggest beneficiaries of the industry - the people. In places where things aren't extremely corrupt (Saudi Arabia, and perhaps the US...) and the money ends up concentrated in few hands, the people can't turn down what comes with it: many high paying jobs, well-funded social services, and low taxes. The comfort that comes from having energy and the wealth provided by it's sale, provide what the people want. And you would want it too, so I find the argument the entire industry is inherently evil... misguided.

Comment: Re:too late (Score 1) 280

by fatwilbur (#48561661) Attached to: Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

Basically Uber cant palm off it's responsibilities or liabilities in a shrink wrap contract.

This simply isn't true. Australia operates under contract law, and unless a term is illegal or "unconscionable" to the public, they will not alter that. There are many ways lawyers can arrange this agreement to severely limit Uber's liability. For example, they could force both parties using the app to agree to terms limiting the right to sue to a certain jurisdiction friendly to them.

under Australian law if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck

This is not a proper use of this analogy. The contract defines the terms of the relationship, and unless they are breaching that, is valid. This is why contract staff can exist and they aren't called employees, even though they "quack like one".

Comment: Re:Greasing Palms. (Score 1) 280

by fatwilbur (#48561589) Attached to: Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

Why is it a crime for me to charge someone $40 to take them to the airport in my car?

The government is saving your butt here - if you were to cause an accident and injure your passenger, they would sue you. Since your insurance company would deny your claim (you don't have commercial insurance), the passenger would very likely take your house, savings, etc. in court.

Comment: Re:not enthuisastic about this (Score 1) 262

by fatwilbur (#48504633) Attached to: Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras

After they finish the interrogation they intentionally delete it so you can't use it in your defense. They've proven that a jury will more likely believe a police officer stating that you confessed than a video of you actually confessing! So they destroy the audio/video!

What crazy jurisdiction do you live in??

I've never seen this ever. That would never make it past a set of appeal judges - what possible interaction with police nowadays, inside a police station, would not be videotaped? I've never seen a judge that would go "Oh, ok" if police described obtaining a confession in an interrogation room and it wasn't recorded. I don't know a lawyer on earth who couldn't argue there is reasonable doubt there. A verbal confession would be enough for reasonable and probable cause, maybe even a preponderance of evidence, but never beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comment: Re:Simple... (Score 1) 376

by fatwilbur (#48492385) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

1. Organisations that don't value skill and experience and instead only want to hire young (== cheap) people

Yeah, you may think that's the reason companies hire younger folks, but it's not. I hire in IT and more often than not take the young (cheap) people.

I'd love to spend the money and acquire great skill an experience, but most experienced folks (rightfully so) want to step in and take a leadership role, whether by conscious effort or not.. it's just based on their experience. A lot of times this won't fit with the dynamic of the team. It sucks that people are people but it's just so. Also unfortunately, is many older folks bring a lot of bad traits with them: cynicism, bad attitudes, general negativity. They often have skill sets that are highly specialized, and they've "forgotten" the skill they had when they were a junior of learning new things.

One thing its easy to find in a junior, is someone who is a decent thinker and enthusiastic. Much easier to take someone fresh like that, put them on a team of good folks as the junior, and grow a super star. It works really well.

Comment: Re:Training? (Score 1) 481

by fatwilbur (#48463781) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk
Look to Canada for a few provinces where this is being done with success:

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team: ASIRT has jurisdiction over all sworn police officers in the Province of Alberta. Their mandate is to investigate incidents or complaints involving serious injury* or death of any person, and matters of a serious or sensitive nature, that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer.

Any time a person is killed by police results in an automatic investigation - and I've seen a number of them result in charges against police officers. Ontario looks to have done the same with the Special Investigations Unit.

I think the theme for success you will see is having a civilian agency.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 455

Expert systems are not intelligent.

I've always thought the entire approach to modern AI as being completely wrong-headed. Trying to code the system of gates/if-elses/neurons that lead to good decision making is a gargantuan task.

We should follow the model biology gave us: create a small system with two attributes: the ability to replicate and somehow (here's the trick) self-improve. Find a way to model evolution in a software system, and let the intelligence build itself. Aren't we the living example of this exact process working? Computers will just allow us to shave the timeframe down a few billion years.

Comment: Re:I just don't understand (Score 1) 1128

by fatwilbur (#48455227) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

I just don't understand how there wasn't enough evidence to at least take this to trial

I agree, the job of the grand jury isn't to find someone not guilty, but ultimately a validation the charges have merit. In this case, the fact we know Mike Brown fired the gun should be sufficient.

I've seen way more questionable charges fly through grand juries.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 2) 454

by fatwilbur (#48444275) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

I don't own a car in the present, nor do I especially want or need to.

I've always found the smugness in this statement interesting.

Vehicles and the "free" (as in freedom to move around) national highway transportation system are one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. The places I am able to take myself everyday represent a massive freedom for me, and I don't want to live my entire life within a city radius unless I rent someone else's property. A wonderfully comfortable vehicle, with music streaming from a satellite, and traveling all over my country is exceedingly affordable where I live.. not sure where the downside is.

Comment: Re:Damned if you do damned if you don't (Score 2) 213

by fatwilbur (#48422825) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House
Yup, what I read from it was "handled correctly & existing systems are effective".

It's always good practice to do an incident review when something bad happens, to find gaps in existing processes and taking some time to reflect if there's any meaningful improvement that can be done.

What I don't like is that the answer is never to leave things as is. Out of an incident review, on anything from IT to White House security, there is always enormous pressure to do *something* tangible, whether that something actually helps or not.

Comment: Re:ISPs don't want to take Cogent's money (Score 1) 706

by fatwilbur (#48356673) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

and the infrastructure investments are not Capital intense.

I think you went way too far on this one. Yeah, maybe compared to some other mega-infrastructure projects. I think the point is, the majority of actual-cable-in-the-ground network equipment is copper and not fiber based, thus there are bandwidth limitations making it unsuitable for wide-scale video streaming use.

Even if you leave a copper last mile, that's still a hell of a lot of going out and laying cable, which is not cheap when you have to rip up and rebuild what is on top of it. How is that not capital intensive? If it wasn't, someone would have jumped all over this already.

Comment: Re:Lies, damned lies, statistics (Score 1) 551

by fatwilbur (#48322921) Attached to: In this year's US mid-term elections ...

The Occupy movement got part of the equation right - they got the attention of the media. But they did absolutely nothing concrete with that attention.

Oh, they did something concrete alright, and that was to completely disengage the exact segment of the population who's support they needed.

In my city, the Occupy movement was mainly setup in a park directly across the street from the office tower I worked in at the time. It became a magnet for the homeless, and they pretty much trashed the entire park. Other than the homeless, mostly idealistic university kids with no concept of the real world who mostly pissed you off with their perfect-world slogans. You'd walk by them on the way to work at 8am, and they'd be getting high out on the sidewalk. Hey, I get high too - after I get home from a long day at work.

Most middle class folks I have a feeling were repulsed by what claimed to "represent" them, and in no way would throw support behind that movement. Almost every person in the office was well aware of the political and financial issues and wanted to see real reform - the Occupy movement unfortunately did not offer any leadership other than kids getting high at 8am.

* * * * * THIS TERMINAL IS IN USE * * * * *