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Comment: Re:Taxis first (Score 1) 352

by jewens (#43470561) Attached to: Why Self-Driving Cars Are Still a Long Way Down the Road
A perfectly reasonable rule iff there is a corresponding penalty for a pedestrian lingering near the edge of the road leaving oncoming motorists without a clearly readable intention or whom, having been yielded the right of way, fails to expeditiously cross said trafficway and thereby obstructing traffic.

Comment: Re:Don't have to be perfect, just better (Score 1) 352

by jewens (#43470501) Attached to: Why Self-Driving Cars Are Still a Long Way Down the Road
Will the computer take the potential lawsuit from the dog owner who happens to have video of your car taking zero evasive action when their precious furry family member wandered into the street? I for one am not willing to accept liability for the decisions of a machine, and unlike the proponents of high-frequency trading I don't think a lawyer could get the laws of physics to roll back the mistakes made by a self-driving car.

Comment: Re:I thought this was over and done already? (Score 1) 335

Ok, I'm no gun nut but I do enjoy arguing for its own sake so here goes.

Urban environments have experienced what permissive concealed carry (in effect though rarely in law) would look like. There have been periods of time and neighborhoods where large numbers of people carry handguns concealed.

Were the concealed carry people in your uncited example the type of citizens who would qualify for a permit if they were legal? The kind of responsible concealed carry permit holder that would best be a crime deterrent tend to also be the type that wouldn't intentionally break the law no matter how strongly they may disagree with it.

What are otherwise unpleasant situations escalate into lethal situations. Even if there is some level of crime that is deterred people would rather have 5 additional shopliftings or vandalisms in exchange for 1 less shooting.

Here you are considering a trade-off between non-violent property crimes and shootings, to be fair you must compare between more similar crimes. How many additional rapes are the people willing to accept? Muggings? Car-jackings?

Obviously guns can help when there is a total breakdown of policing. But that's far rarer than guns helping to lead to breakdown of policing.

Citizen owned guns are probably most effective somewhere between the two extremes. In a lawless state self defense becomes an arms race, in a police-state they weaken the power of the state (not necessarily a bad thing), and somewhere in the middle they serve as an additional layer of defense against an immediate threat while deterring overall crime-rates making the limited police resources more effective.

The FBI is of the opinion that a gun was fired 260 times in 2011 resulting in defense of life.

That number clearly excludes law enforcement officer discharges, of which there were 36 in NYC alone during that same year. Also missing from that statistic are the untrackable number of times mere brandishment of a firearm achieved the same end (i.e. defense of life).

About 50x that number died in gun related homicides and another 70x that number in gun related suicides.

I think most urban people would agree those are about the numbers they've experienced.

The ratios you quote are meaningless since the numbers are measured with wildly different methodologies and errors (see previous point).
And lastly and most politically incorrect of all: How many more Columbines or Sandy Hooks would you be willing to accept if we eliminated gun-related suicide entirely?

Comment: Re:Simple Solution (Score 2) 152

by jewens (#43439565) Attached to: UK Gov To Investigate 'Aggressive' In-app Purchases
Part of the difficulty with teaching children how to manage money is the abstraction of value, worth and effort. Adding a additional layer of plastic over the problem will only make it worse. Giving an allowance of real money that they can visually watch diminish as they spend it is a better way for them to learn.

Comment: Re: slow news day? (Score 1) 631

by jewens (#43410269) Attached to: No Such Thing As a Tax-Free Lunch At Google?
This may just be a semantics argument but how can you call the state-provided healthcare and roads "free" when you start from the premise that you pay the state for the priveledge of using those benefits? You may have just extended the /. definition of free.

free, (adj)
1. as in beer
2. as in information
3. as in already paid for

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?