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Comment: Re:Honestly ... (Score 2) 340

by jeffmeden (#49471197) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

Of course, all they need to do is not get caught. Same thing happens with slot machines and other random chance electronic games... it's easier than lobbying:

1) Casino boss invites high ranking government official.
2) Boss says, "We know you'll have fun, but I think you'll have more fun on machine number 57 if you grant consideration to improving legal conditions surrounding our fine establishment."
3) Official wins jackpot
4) Boss wins jackpot (figuratively)

You're a fool if you don't think this happens. This is why I'm against electronic gambling. Not because of some moral "gambling is of the devil" thing... but because it would be trivial to rig these machines and then erase all evidence that anything fraudulent happened. Politicians can literally transform your hopes and dreams into money lining their wallet.

There (should be) a paper trail of payouts to any winner from any casino, for tax purposes. The distinction that a mechanical vs electronic device was "rigged" is totally secondary to that fact. If this was skirted, then several other laws were also broken that day.

Comment: Re:Honestly ... (Score 1) 340

by jeffmeden (#49471175) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

I'm actually surprised there haven't been more cases of insiders rigging lotteries.

I should think knowing all of those zillions of dollars are just sitting there would cause more people to decide to see if they could get away with it.

How would you know if there were, and they were getting away with it?

Comment: Re:Can't Fight the Future (Score 1) 278

It might be useful to inform an admin to look at suspicious postings, especially if they can get the accuracy higher. BUT I hope no one uses such algorithms to automatically stop suspected trolls. This can only lead to unforeseen consequences and stifling of free speech (unless of course stifling is not an unforeseen consequence, but an intended one).

Moderation at a privately owned/operated site can be freely used to filter anything they don't want their users to see, even if it creates a slant. However, the odds that they will start filtering specifically subversive content is pretty low, since it's those kind of posts that generate hundreds of follow-ups of disagreement, bolstering even more traffic. More likely, they will filter the truly atrocious (bland death threats, etc) that add little in terms of desirable content.

Comment: Classic brinksmanship (Score 2) 107

by jeffmeden (#49447321) Attached to: ICANN Asks FTC To Rule On<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.sucks gTLD Rollout

If no one paid for a .sucks domain, Google (where all information discovery starts out at on the internet anyway) would simply rank .sucks domains nice and far down and would be no more relevant than so you can thank whoever it is that bought the first .sucks for this shitstorm. I just can't believe that it's 2015 and we are still debating how best to handle basic squatting. If someone owns a particular trademark, why not just wait for someone to shell out for the .sucks version, and then lawyer the shit out of them? Maybe because it would cost more than $2500 anyway.

Comment: Re:The internet is not a broadcast medium. (Score 0) 489

by jeffmeden (#49440505) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

"(payola, after all, is how rock and roll circumvented major label contempt for the genre)"

It's difficult to take someone's opinions about net neturality seriously when they don't understand the difference between broadcast media and on-demand media.

If you think there's a huge difference in record companies wanting to control content despite consumer's interests, and ISPs wanting to control content despite consumer's interests, then I think we're done here. Close it up, we had a good run. The Internet is now over.

Comment: Re:Screw that (Score 2, Interesting) 489

by jeffmeden (#49440373) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

I don't want ANYONE buying promotions into my IP stream! I want my ISP to do their freaking job and shift packets from the source to me, without molestation and without interest or undue visibility into the contents.

Sadly, this is impossible. The problem is that there isn't one big pool of "internet" and a bunch of ISPs out there finding ways to sell it to you. Instead, a massive and intricate network of peering agreements exist just to make the internet function at the basic level, and THEN they figure out how to get it to your house. So, it's impossible for the FCC to say "hey verizon treat netflix with the same respect you would any other peer" because peering agreements work both ways, cost both companies money, and either verizon OR netflix can abuse the relationship.

Comment: Re:Robots are not going to facilitate telecommutin (Score 1) 477

You seem obsessed with robots but also seem to have no actual experience with any of those industries.

Having watched *millions* of jobs in the US and even more globally disappear at the hands of automation in the past 30 years, it is pretty laughable to insist that somehow the trend will stop and/or reverse itself any time soon. You are right that there will always be a need for a certain number of humans in any given physical operation, but that number is constantly going down and it will not stop going down until it's at 1. Keep on thinking that "most of the jobs are safe" and sure, they might be safe in your lifetime, but they are not safe for very long in the bigger picture of urban planning, which is the crux of this article.

Comment: Re:The real missed question (Score 1) 477

Why do we *need* to travel at all? Autonomous transportation in many cases is simply very inefficient teleconferencing. At least this is true in business.

Because sometimes there's real value in being there. Sure, most of the information you get from a conference or meeting could be found online, or you could watch a seminar remotely, but you don't necessarily get the same experience and make the same contacts that you would from a face-to-face meeting. Often times, you end up learning things at a conference that you didn't even know you were looking for.

Sometimes? Yes. But the question of commuting is about *all* the times.

Comment: Re:Most jobs are not compatible with telecommuting (Score 1) 477

Since this thread is about autonomous cars...


stocking robots


surgery robots


factory robots


automated delivery robots


digging robots


plowing robots


serving robots


valve turning robots

Did I miss any?

Comment: Re: What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 2) 477

So far, increases in the efficiency of commutes have led directly to longer commutes. I would be surprised if actual traffic density decreases, but it will be interesting to see.

Momentary density will increase but as the cars require a much smaller timeslot of the resource, the average time spent on the highway will go down and thus the number of cars at any given moment on the highway will be lower. This will probably result in longer commutes as the penalty is lower (living 1hr from the city will be tolerable since the commute can be used for work anyway), but the potential for optimized scheduling and ride-sharing is so large that even if half of the cars on the road were ridesharing with one extra passenger, that cuts down traffic by 25% which in most cases is enough to act like adding another full lane to the city core.

Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 1) 140

by jeffmeden (#49384961) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

I wonder how it would survive a missile strike. OK, the helium is not going to explode, but if it leaks out through a big hole in the hull, you're going to go down anyway. You'll need lots of compartments to limit that, and those compartments would add quite a lot of weight.

They probably mean that a missile strike is basically the missile shooting through one side and out the other since the skin isn't thick enough to trigger a detonator. A small missile sized hole is enough to down it, but not very fast.

Comment: Re:I find author's "facts" dubious (Score 1) 397

by jeffmeden (#49380363) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

In developing countries, the upper half (maybe) can afford it, but the lower half live without even reliable electricity, much less a computer to grant them access to rich information/education/entertainment/etc.

While I largely agree with you, what I have seen also is that our [western] definition of development isn't necessarily other people's definition.

Case in point: We may be really technologically developed but the way of life that comes with the development has also brought with it serious issues of mental illness and a breakdown in family. I remember being in one village and the elders there told me categorically, that they do not need electricity or running water. It *IS* their choice. I was baffled! The business of refrigeration was foreign to them though some liked it.The elders were not sure how to service the equipment after we left. They didn't like the whole concept of relying on other people's tech. So, values are different.

I see a problem for us Americans. With Russia's lead, some Asian countries are beginning to conduct trade without the dollar. If this spreads, we as USA are done. The days of dominating currency markets won't last for ever. That will be ugly.

So, you think it's the mark of an advanced society that allows for parts of itself to be community oriented and reject technology? We've got plenty of that in the US.

And Russia leading a currency revolution? I spit coffee on the keyboard, thanks for that. The ruble is worth less than 2 cents, and dropping as we speak. Russia isn't leading anything but their own fading influence.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.