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Comment easy partial solution (Score 1) 278

One partial solution with not much cost would be NOT to have the walk signal for pedestrian and the left (or right) turn signal for cars active at the same time. Either stop the pedestrian for longer or stop the cars for longer.

Indeed this is how it is in Europe, for example.

Left turn in traffic in California are frustrating enough without pedestrians ... and by the way, sometimes during a left turn the driver vision on the left hand side is occluded by the body frame around the windshield, which could be quite thick in some cars, so in some very unlucky situations the driver cannot even see the pedestrian.

Again, i think the current rules having drivers and pedestrian both have a green light is just idiotic.

Comment Re:One chance (Score 1) 348

The author makes good points, that the only way such surveillance could be allowed to occur is with informed consent, and that's what Snowden gave us the opportunity to do.

I respectfully disagree. I think that, generally speaking, network surveillance without explicit informed consent might be OK as long as all the information is made publicly available. Especially if it is information regarding public officials, which are paid by the public to perform their duties.

I know, this is a radical viewpoint that runs counter to many privacy advocates here. Still, i think if you want privacy then shut the phone down and have a private voice conversation with someone at a restaurant, or something like that. But if you want privacy over the internet to somehow take advantage of your position, hide your stash of illegal cash, or anyhow break the laws you don't like ... sorry i am not necessarily sympathetic to that.

(and by the way, if, say, some laws are so stupid that you need to break them often, then it's time to change the laws, instead of advocating privacy so you can hide the fact that you broke them).

Comment MS needs an Android-based OS (Score 1) 140

I think that very clearly the strategy for MS is to start selling Android-based tablets and phones with some kind of wine-like compatibility layer that allows running Office and other windows apps on tablets and phones, without trying to square the circle and forcing windows in an environment that it wasn't designed for.

In the longer run they can transition the same Android based OS (call it windows 10 or something) to home laptops and eventually in the office, before anyone else does (e.g. google, apple, amazon ...).

Comment what ??? (Score 3, Informative) 172

... I hear they taste like chicken.

WHAT ??? Sea urchins taste like chicken ?? No way!! If you have to find a comparison perhaps caviar is the closer (but still far) one, since you basically eat the eggs of the female urchin.

In any case sea urchins are more of a delicacy or condiment at best, not a consistent source of proteins. If anything because finding them, fishing them (and opening them) requires some dedicated manual effort, which is not easy to scale or automate.

Comment Too many lawyer-minded people ... (Score 1) 336

I think there are way too many lawyers and like-minded people who try to solve things be throwing regulations at them without even trying to understand the consequences.

I'm all for smart regulations that try to regulate systems optimally, but this is way too much, far beyond worrysome and not even funny !!

Comment In the footsteps of Arduino (Score 4, Insightful) 42

If these companies are trying to occupy the same marketplace as the Arduino, i think it's too late. Otherwise it's definitely a good move.

In any case IMO what really allowed the Arduino to take off was not much the fact that it was open source, but rather the fact that it had readable documentation, which anyone could actually follow and make things work.

I am still amazed at the extent to which, to this day, the documentation for many Arduino-wannabe boards (e.g TI MSP 430, Chipkit 32, and others) really sucks.

Comment Re:I like Centralized government (Score 1) 668

The federal government is basically a coalition of the fortune 100 corporations. The larger and more toxic to liberty it gets, the more power the 1% has over the rest of us.

Yes and no. Yes because corporations and the 1% buy lobbyists to get their way. No because representatives are elected mainly with votes, and buying votes costs a lot of money and it's feasible only to a point. So politicians cannot be completely indifferent to the other 99%.

To me, this is a call to fix the loopholes that let 1% and corporations buy votes, more than a call to shrink the government.

Moreover i don't fully understand the measure against which a government can be classified as big or small, perhaps size of public spending vs GDP ?. Remember that most of the taxpayer's money get spent on private entities in healthcare and defense anyway, so the government is just a mean for "us the people" to buy ourselves defense and healthcare.

In any case, i see and understand your point, even if i don't totally agree with it.

Today, the liberals draw more political power to the state with things like encroaching tax, identity politics, censorship, and other marxist tenets

I honestly don't see this, can't make examples of any "marxist tenets" that are held sacred by the left. To the extent that this is really so, and these tenets run contrary to the interest of the population, then it is absolutely something that the left needs to fix.

Comment Re:Proud? (Score 1) 1233

I think corporations don't kill or torture people because, luckily, they live in an environment of laws (which is created and enforced by the governments) which makes such violent action too risky and expensive for them :)

But, yes, i agree with everything you suggested. I'd only add that whenever governments need to have some concentration of power (which i agree is dangerous), then they should absolutely positively pay for this concentration of power with transparency, so that they can actually be monitored and kept in check by their citizens.

To me transparency is a key point, if we give power and money to the government to represent our interests, we really can't afford misguided secrecy and privacy laws that prevent us to know how those power and money are spent.

Comment Re:Proud? (Score 1) 1233

Power corrupts. Always.

Yes. But real power nowadays lies elsewhere. Big corporations, quasi-monopolies, banks, lobbies, all the guys buying off the politicians. And IMO we need STRONG and effective governments to fight this sources of powers which almost always are interested in screwing everyone else.

This sort of thing is precisely why some of us dislike government in general and large governments in particular.

I don't see this as a rational position. The idea is that governments are "we the people" remember ? If you don't feel represented by your government then this calls for action to correct that specific problem (e.g. be careful who you vote, make your voice heard, and so on), not for shrinking the government. Without an organization representing "we the people" then we'll descend inevitably into middle ages, 21st century style, where only the strongest (financially) will rule. You don't want that, do you ?

Comment Can they use the linux kernel ? (Score 1) 497

Sometimes i wonder whether we might come to a point, like 10-15 years from now, where it might make more economical sense for MS to just rely on the Linux kernel (perhaps contributing just some resources to it, the way that other companies do) instead of having to develop and maintain their own. That could free up resources to do other things, and potentially help to gain some share in the mobile device market, where it looks like NT-based kernels might never be as efficient as Android or Macs.

Comment Re:No problem (Score 1) 808

Sure, that might be true for the 0.1% that has dividends of the robot companies, but the rest will probably die off in one way or another.

Also note that if only few survive, many robot companies won't be needed because there will be less stuff to be produced, so the sustainability of this kind of society should not be given for granted.

I suggest you this interesting read about 4 possible futures.

That being said, 2045 is waaaay too soon (i would guess many hundred years) for something like that to actually happen. Robots just aren't advanced enough to replace humans in too many jobs, especially, i would say, jobs that require a mix of many "real world" skills (e.g. plumbers, salesmans, ... drug dealers, and so on, you get the idea:-)

Comment Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (Score 1) 477

I think it is time to pull the plug on solar and focus instead on wind and research thorium reactors.

When you factor everything (e.g. panel production environmental cost, maintenance, use of land, longevity of the panels, and so on), solar is just not worthy, or at least very rarely better than wind. So i see no reason to artificially keep it alive.

Also there is not as much uranium as people think. Civilization is a 18TW bulb. If you power (all of) it only with existing uranium resources the light would last barely one year, (go run the number yourself if you don't believe it or have a look at this). Thorium should be better.

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A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz