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Comment: Multi touch while driving? (Score 4, Insightful) 63

by gstoddart (#48649739) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

Unlike an earlier simpler version of the system, the infrared curtain can also identify multi-touch gestures such as pinching and zooming.

I'm sorry, but pinching and zooming on a multi-touch display seems inherently incompatible with operating a motor vehicle. For a car, steering wheel mounted buttons, easily accessible knobs, and maybe voice control.

Mucking about with a touch screen? Not so much.

Do the people who make cars not actually keep tabs on things like traffic laws and common sense? Or are they just all trying to monetize your dashboard, and don't care?

I'm not sure this would legally comply with most hands free laws.

Comment: Re:Information density (Score 1) 150

by Grishnakh (#48649587) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Here's some more handy links about this research:

Unfortunately, Latin was not one of the languages they investigated in this research, but I do find it very interesting how Latin, which is one of Spanish's parent languages, is far, far more efficient (in dI/dS terms) than Spanish is, and in fact is probably more efficient and complex than any of its derivatives.

Comment: Interesting (Score 2) 81

by fyngyrz (#48649225) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

It'll be interesting to see how they choose to go. Perhaps they'll actually get something set up that is owned by the people, as their social system alleges a strong preference for.

It'd be fascinating to see how it works without big corporations in there making choices for them on a constant basis, if they can manage to avoid that.

Somehow, though, I keep coming back to the fact that no socialist or communist system has ever been seriously tried without some kind of de-facto dictatorship making the end goal impossible to reach. Equality is fine until the idiots who disagree want to be equal, too... All systems seem to have that particular fundamental problem. Equal unless different, otherwise ostracized.

My cynical side tells me palms will be greased, corporations will heavily engage, and your Cuban surfer will have a pretty typical bill to pay. Be delighted to be proven wrong, though.

Comment: Re:Marketing? (Score 5, Insightful) 170

by schnell (#48649025) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves

We're talking about the company that put a rootkit on its music CDs.

I can't believe I'm defending these guys, but...

The rootkit fiasco was Sony BMG Entertainment, not Sony Pictures. Yes, they are both parts of Sony corporation but they are separate business units with separate reporting structures inside a megagiant international conglomerate. Blaming SPE for Sony BMG actions is like blaming the Department of Agriculture for the NSA's warrantless wiretapping because they are both part of the US government.

Comment: Re:Pulled Fox News ... (Score 4, Insightful) 222

by schnell (#48648565) Attached to: Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

looks like someone is hurt

Who's hurt? I have no problem with Fox News per se and I have no problem with people who agree with Fox News. If that's what you like, that's fine, especially if you understand Fox News to be an editorial product. But it is clearly disingenuous at best when it claims to be "fair and balanced," and some people either trust Fox more than they should, or are not possessed of enough critical thinking skills to see if for what it is, which is bad for society.

fox news is number one in viewers and ratings for every 1 cnn hln etc viewer there is 100 to 10,000 watching fox news . if it was fud then other news networks would eat them alive

I think you are equating being "popular" with being "good," and that is a pretty serious mistake. I think it's also a mistake to recognize that it may well be popular entirely because it's FUD. Many, many people - conservative Fox viewers, liberal MSNBC viewers, whatever - want someone to pick all their news for them in advance so that they don't have to encounter any news in the world that doesn't agree with their beliefs. That's their right but I think we would be less of a toxically polarized society if we listened to more two-sided views, or at least acknowledged the biases that were driving us to want to only consume a politically slanted news message.

Comment: Re:Oh, no. You have this REALLY wrong. (Score 1) 559

by fyngyrz (#48648351) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

But let's suppose you're right for a moment. This is your shell game. These are companies responding to the incentives you put in place. This is your supposed problem that you created. You have two choices as I see it: eliminate the welfare that leads to these alleged subsidies or suck it up.

I am right. But it's not my shell game, although it certainly is a problem that affects me. You naively assume that I, or more generally, the voting public, have control. I/we do not. First, we cannot craft legislation. This is not a democracy. It is, nominally in form at least, a republic. So we can only vote for representatives. However, the great majority of representatives are immediately and completely suborned and corrupted by corporate influence in the form of campaign support, straight-up bribes, assurances of employment, special deals, speaking engagements, and so on. The companies and other rich, well-connected entities actually set the rules. It is their shell game. It's a shell game called oligarchy masquerading as a republic-in-place. Only the politically naive still believe that it works by shuffling the representatives around. If it affects corporate earnings in any significant way, the tiller is taken from the representative's hands, and the course is set by the corporations themselves. That's how it actually works. I appreciate the warmness and fuzziness that might be grasped by imagining that the government is operating as a republic, but it just isn't so.

I think this is the most obnoxious part of the welfare state. The tool that created the unintended consequence gets used again and again, creating more and more unintended consequences as it goes. There never is any learning from failure by the masters of the tool of welfare. It's always the fault of all those counterrevolutionaries/greedy corporations/Tea Baggers/whatever who don't behave the way they're supposed to behave.

You think this because you subscribe to an illusory model of how things work. Until you become aware of the actual levers and forces of power that are in operation in and upon our government, the actual causes and effects, you will remain bewildered by the surface picture.

If the minimum wage were raised. (1) Business profits will drop -- as they should. (2) Government assistance will drop -- as it should. (3) The real costs of goods would be exposed -- as they should be. (4) The ability to lower taxes arises -- as it should.

Here's the problem: (1) will never be allowed to happen due to (2) (and the actual execution of (4) isn't very likely either.) The reason 1 will never be allowed to happen is that everything from lobbyists to "fact-finding" trips to post-political career sweeteners and far-flung friends and relatives and purveyors of opportunity will be sudden winners in the game of luck, all working to enrich the legislator. They will almost all fold, just as they always do, and the corporate choices become the legislator's choices. And in the process, a great hue and cry will arise from the bewildered, such as yourself, crying "throw the bums out", completely oblivious to the fact that the next set will act exactly the same, because the incentives being offered amount, in the end, to the ability grasp great wealth and power through the auspices of the corporations. There are very few poor legislators by the time their time in congress is over. This is why. Aside from internal corruption like voting themselves the ability to engage in insider trading, of course.

We can't change the game and we can't quit. The finger pointing between left and right is no more than a source of amusement to the corporations. Unless it's a purely social issue, they own enough of the playing field to positively control it. Should it happen that they don't, they will acquire more. They are rich and can concentrate their efforts. We cannot. We have nothing to offer that is legal other than election (generally from pre-selected party members, worse yet), and should we try to play it their way, enriching them and empowering them, even assuming we could, we'd be meeting the FBI immediately.

Comment: Hmmm ... (Score 1) 167

by gstoddart (#48648239) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

So, in this judges opinion, can we make a fake Instagram account for him or the police?

Or is this act of lying purely something they reserve for themselves?

Because, you know, maybe this judge should start sharing his fondness for sheep and Barbie dolls.

Oh, wait ... if we did it, it would be a crime. And, I'm sorry, but if it's a crime for us, then you should have some form of prior authorization.

Otherwise this judge has said "we can commit crimes, you can't" ... which will pretty much confirm that the law deems themselves above it. In which case this judge's new Instagram account should be interesting to see.

Comment: Re:Copyright trolls (Score 1) 559

by mcgrew (#48647959) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

If you're writing music that is indeed a concern; I'm sure Seether will be sued for same damned life; its rhythm guitar is note for note identical to the melody to I Will Follow Him (a bad pop song from the early sixties). There's a suit against Led Zeppelin for a guitar riff that sounds vaguely like Stairway to Heaven; I think Zep will win, but it turns out that the guy suing would have had no standing if Zeppelin had never heard the song.

Other art forms don't have that problem.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.