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Comment: Also, what does it actually prevent? (Score 1) 560

by Sycraft-fu (#47902441) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

You can to think about that. So it doesn't prevent gun suicides. The fact aside that someone can commit suicide with something else, the person doing it would be an authorized user of the gun. So no help there.

It doesn't prevent gun homicides. Again, these are done by authorized users of the gun, or people who have time to modify the gun. Remember for all the clever electronics, in the end guns are mechanical devices. So ultimately the electronics have to be something that mechanically disables the gun like a standard mechanical safety. A trigger disconnect, a firing pin block, that kind of thing. Ya well those are dead simple to bypass. So no help for stolen guns, the criminals would just remove the safety.

It doesn't prevent accidental shooting by any authorized user of the gun. Since they are authorized, it will fire. So any drunken games, etc, are still just as dangerous as they were before.

Already here we have, by far, most of the shootings that happen.

It may not prevent shooting where a gun is taken away from someone. Depends on how it works. If it has some way of reading the fingerprint when the trigger is depressed, then ok it could work. However if it works like a safety where you disengage it when you grab the gun, it'll still be disengaged if someone takes it away.

It would prevent accidental shootings where an unauthorized user gets their hands on the gun, like a kid coming across it.

Ok well, that doesn't seem very useful to me. The correct answer to the problem of kids is to lock up your guns. That is much more secure, particularly since something like this would only be effective if you didn't authorize you kids to use it, or remembered to remove their authorization when they were done at the range. Having them secured in a safe fixes the problem nicely. Likewise, that provides pretty good protection against theft.

So I really don't see what this will solve, and it will make things more expensive and complicated. It just doesn't strike me as very useful.

Comment: Left unmentioned about smart guns (Score 3, Insightful) 560

by MikeRT (#47901669) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Is that none of the politicians demanding them, most of whom are big city liberal politicians, are saying "well if we had smart guns, of course we'd let all law-abiding citizens carry in public." It's just a measure intended to further lock down legal gun ownership disguised as a way to keep criminals from using stolen weapons. Even though theoretically smart guns should make it easier for police to account for gun crime, the people pushing this aren't going to let up because their goal isn't even really to balance freedom and security.

Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 1) 849

by fyngyrz (#47900443) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Agnosticism is about knowledge. the Theism / Atheism poles are diametric opposites: belief and non-belief. There's no middle ground definable by knowledge, or lack thereof.

Agnosticism is not a third position. You're either a theist -- that is, you hold some measure of belief in a god or gods -- or you're not, and you don't. From there, you can, if you like, assert a state of knowledge to bolster your choice, or a lack of a state of knowledge to do the same thing. But your position is still either you believe, or you don't.

The whole point about belief, or not, is that it is contingent upon faith. Knowledge is not.

Hope that helped some.

Comment: I have a more effective method (Score 1) 123

Tell them that the leadership has had it with this culture and will start directing the Inspector General to arrest employees who behave in this fashion and charge them with defrauding the federal government. Throw their ass in prison, don't fire them. Contractors get charged with defrauding the federal government and it's no better when a federal employee does it, especially when overtime is involved.

Everyone bitches about fraud, waste and abuse, but the majority of the people who'd unleash the various OIGs and FBI on the civil service are on the right. The moment that, say, a President Rand Paul ordered the OIG to decimate the workforce of the USPTO via prosecutions, you'd have every moderate and left-wing leader howling about how he's "anti-government" and this or that. How the poor civil service is under fire from those evil right wing, corporation-loving conservatives and libertarians.

Look at the VA. The only people who want to bust the VA hard on the right.

Comment: Re:What are the bounds of property? (Score 0) 159

by fyngyrz (#47899291) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

An interesting issue is, the photons that formed the image were not on their property at the time, nor do they have a legitimate claim to ownership of those photons just because they happened to bounce off their stuff. They probably bounced off a lot of other stuff, too. "My photon! MY PHOTON!" has more than a little bit of the ring of insanity about it. :)

If you don't want a photonic record of your actions, the sensible answer is to avoid photons that can form such a thing, i.e., stay inside your dwelling with opaque curtains drawn, erect a fence and a cover, etc.

Comment: No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 5, Informative) 849

by fyngyrz (#47899243) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else. It's not about science, it's not about ethics, it's not about morals, it's not about values. When you say you're atheist, you're saying you do not hold any belief there is a god or gods. That's all. There's no dogma, no book, no set of "therefore we believe these here other thingamajigs", nothing.

If you want to know what an atheist thinks about something other than belief in a god or gods, you really must ask them, or you're simply letting your imagination paint a false picture of the world.

Comment: Re:As a private citizen (Score 1) 211

by jmichaelg (#47895789) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

We don't have to break the treaty. We can withdraw from the treaty instead. From the treaty

Article XVI
  Any State Party to the Treaty may give notice of its withdrawal from the
Treaty one year after its entry into force by written notification to the Depositary
Governments. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of
this notification.

Comment: It also buys you (Score 3) 244

by Sycraft-fu (#47894931) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

Maybe 6-10 hours of staff time. What I mean is you have to factor what your people cost you. If someone costs $50/hour when you count in salary + ERE (meaning payroll tax, benefits, insurance and all other expenses) then 6 hours of their time costs $300. So, if your transition wastes more than 6 hours of their time, it is a net loss.

You always have to keep that cost in mind when you talk about anything: What does it cost your employees to do? This is the same deal with old hardware. It can actually cost you more money, because it takes more IT time to support. Like if you have an IT guy whose salary + ERE is $30/hour and you have them spend 20 hours a year repairing and maintaining an old P4 system that keeps failing, well that is a huge waste as that $600 could have easily bought a new system that would work better and take up little, if any, of their time.

That is a reason commercial software wins out in some cases. It isn't that you cannot do something without it, just that it saves more staff time than it costs. That's why places will pay for things like iDRAC or other lights-out management, remote KVMs, and so on. They cost a lot but the time they save in maintenance can easily exceed their cost.

Just remember that unless employees are paid very poorly, $300 isn't a lot of time. So you want to analyze how much time your new system will cost (all new systems will cost some time in transition if nothing else) and make sure it is worth it.

Comment: If you think Linux doesn't have tech support costs (Score 2, Insightful) 244

by Sycraft-fu (#47894901) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

Then you've never worked in an enterprise environment that uses it. You'll have a ton of tech support and maintenance costs with Linux. You not only have all the regular user shit, people who can't figure out how to use their computer, administrative stuff, etc. However I've also observed that a good bit of the stuff in Linux requires a lot of sysadmin work, scripting and such. We do Linux and Windows in our environment and we certainly make Linux work on a large enterprise scale, but our Linux lead spends an awful lot of time messing with puppet, shell scripts, and so on to make it all happen. A lot more than we spend with AD and group policy to make similar things happen in Windows.

Licensing savings are certainly something you can talk about savings for, however you aren't getting out of support and maintenance. That is just part of running an enterprise. The question is what would their costs be, compared to Windows? that is likely to vary per environment.

Comment: Ya well (Score 3, Insightful) 210

If you aren't a known developer, people want to see some evidence that you have the ability to make good on your plans. Game development isn't simple, and many people are not prepared for what they are going to have to do to bring a successful game to market.

So Doublefine or inXile can get a good bit of funding with nothing but a design doc for a game because people have faith they'll be able to deliver since they are experienced game devs. New crews are going to have to show something to get people to trust them.

Particularly in light of past KS failures in that regard. I've backed a number of games on KS and two of them I knew were fairly high risk: They were being done by an individual who hadn't done a game before, and there wasn't any sort of demo up front, just some basic concepts. I decided to take a risk on it, but fully understood that failure was likely.

Sure enough, both are floundering/failing. One hasn't had any updates in months, the other does update periodically but it is still extremely rudimentary, despite being way past the planned launch date, and it is pretty clear the dev just doesn't have a good idea how to proceed from here.

On the flip side, the games by established studios have either delivered or are well on track (Shadowrun Returns was brilliant, Wasteland 2 ships next Friday, Pillars of Eternity is in beta, etc). Likewise the indy titles that had a demo and were a good bit along with development have delivered, like FTL.

So no surprise many people aren't willing to take the risk. They want a better chance of return so they stick with established devs or with things that have some proof.

Comment: The dealership model is broken (Score 1) 148

by MikeRT (#47889461) Attached to: Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

What dealerships should be demanding is that all car add-ons can be quickly assembled on the fly by their service people. That way, all the car company sends them is a vanilla model and the dealership can quickly upgrade the vehicle to customer taste. There should be only one fully loaded vehicle on the lot any time: the demonstration model. If dealerships could get that worked out and improve their reputation for treating customers, they might have some relevance in the future.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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