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Comment: Re: Completely infeasible (Score 1) 174

by Kjella (#47576955) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

Not unfeasible at all, unless they need actual identites. For example here in Norway all phone numbers must have an owner identified with our version of an SSN, even unlisted and prepaid numbers. So an easy way to have an "id" is to send a one time code to the cell during registration. That account is now linked to my phone number which links to my id. If they're hacked, all they have is phone numbers. Many discussion boards already do that to reduce spam and make bans more effective

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Journal: Nobots: now in paperback 1

Journal by mcgrew

It annoys the hell out of me that my books are so damned expensive, which is why I wanted Mars, Ho! to be 100,000 words. I'd hoped that possibly Baen might publish it so it would be, oddly, far cheaper. I can buy a copy of Andy Wier's excellent novel The Martian from Barnes and Noble or Amazon for less than I can get a copy of my own Paxil Diaries from my printer, and Wier's book is a lot longer.

Comment: Re:Update cycles (Score 1) 199

by Kjella (#47572613) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I'd call a motherboard replacement for all essential purposes a new build. You need to fasten it to the case and all those annoying little case cables (power/reset/LEDs etc.), add CPU, RAM, power cables, all extension cards, hard drives cables and so on again so you're pretty much doing all the work just in the same case with the same parts. The rest I'd call upgrades.

Comment: Re:Have they solved liability? (Score 1) 184

by Kjella (#47570085) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Once we're stepping out of the realm of advanced cruise control and into active driving, it will clash even if they don't want to take responsibility. "I didn't expect my car to make the turn and fail to yield, you can't expect me to undo every mistake" "I saw it coming and could brake down, but my car didn't realize and speeded up and caused the accident" "I tried to hit the ditch and avoid those school kids but my car refused to go off the road, running them over."

And once you've seen the computer do a maneuver 99 times you'll assume it will the 100th too, even if it's got some kind of sensor glitch meaning that no it won't. It's one thing to see a situation in front of you and slam the brakes in a duel with the computer, but then you'd have to co-drive all the time. It's another thing entirely to see a situation in front of you, wait a few moments, realize oh shit the computer isn't going to do anything then hit the brakes.

And one thing that's important to remember is that accidents are generally not legally punishable, the driving must be negligent or reckless for that and being surprised and acting panicked is legal for a human driver. If the car is going the posted limit, obeying traffic regulations and hits the brakes it may meet the legal minimum even if there will be an accident and the result might be sub-optimal, unless we hold autonomous cars to a higher standard.

As the backup driver I'm certainly only human, my reaction could certainly be surprised and panicked. To roll that liability past the car and onto me there must have been some rather damn obvious reason why I had to intervene. It would have to be reckless or negligent of me to think the car can handle it better than me. If it ever got to court I'd argue that's just not true, in perfect hindsight maybe it was a poor split-second judgement but that's not a crime.

Or the TL;DR version: I doubt you'll ever be held legally liable for not taking over control, that you might or possibly should have yes but not that it was reckless or negligent not to. So in practice I think distracted driving will be legal, if not in theory.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 5, Informative) 153

by Kjella (#47563761) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Gandalf knows that Sauron is back. This directly contradicts LotR. In fact, there's no reason Gandalf would let Bilbo keep the ring once he knew Sauron existed.

Actually this is exactly like in the books.

The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 261

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.

As for the ring, Gandalf did not know it was the One Ring.

Then for the last time the Council met; for now we learned that he was seeking ever more eagerly for the One. We feared then that he had some news of it that we knew nothing of. But Saruman said nay, and repeated what he had said to us before: that the One would never again be found in Middle-earth. (...) [Gandalf] sighed. `There I was at fault,' he said. `I was lulled by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth sooner, and our peril would now be less.'

He finally found an ancient scroll to test if it is the One Ring, because on the surface it looks like any other minor magical ring.

And then in my despair I thought again of a test that might make the finding of Gollum unneeded. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. The memory of words at the Council came back to me: words of Saruman, half-heeded at the time. I heard them now clearly in my heart.
` "The Nine, the Seven, and the Three," he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read."

This is where it all starts in Fellowship of the Ring.

Comment: Re:It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 3, Interesting) 46

by Kjella (#47563569) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

They had their own goals and all that, but my first goal, if I was sending something millions of miles away (I don't know how far it traveled when it went to Mars, but the closest approach between earth and mars has been 34.8 million miles), I'd certainly want the ability to move it more than XXX feet per day.

And a free pony, but the problem is the power budget. Going faster -> more power required -> bigger solar panels -> more weight -> going slower. If you got a solution for that, I'm sure NASA would like to have a talk with you. Also consider that it might be very hard to travel a significant distance, it's easier to drop two rovers on opposite sides of the planet than design a rover that can drive 5000+ km.

Mars has areas with really sharp rocks and Curiosity has already taken more wheel damage than expected. Soft soil is almost just as bad, potentially trapping the rover as it happened with Opportunity. And there's no tow truck coming, so if you screw it up the mission is over. Personally I imagine it's the scientific equipment that mostly limits the rover, if we haven't got the tools or sensors getting there faster won't do us any good.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 153

by Kjella (#47563397) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

LotR is a story worth telling, it's a grand epic. The Hobbit is... well, a children's tale about a dragon's treasure. In LotR it's obvious why Frodo must be the reluctant ringbearer, while in the Hobbit you have Bilbo making this insane leap to join a crazy bunch of dwarfs and a wizard to go steal treasure from a dragon. Totally credible. And being caught by big dumb trolls who want to eat them is totally cliche. All the characters are either good guys or bad guys, there's no conflicted characters like Gollum. There's no sacrifice like Boromir. And not a single female character to bring up the wife acceptance factor, it's all about the bling. Trying to use the Hobbit as follow-up to LotR is total folly, I know because I read them in that order and it's weaker in every respect for everyone above the age of ten.

Yes, they're totally molesting the story of the Hobbit but mainly by ret-conning in as many things related to LotR as possible to cover over its own pathetic plot. Like the whole story with Dol Guldur, in the book Gandalf is simply away but in other bits and pieces Tolkien does describe that and as a LotR prequel it's just as important as the main story line. I mean Bilbo already has the ring, at the end of the story he has the ring - the rest of the tale doesn't really affect the LotR story line in any significant way. The book had to stand on its own legs. The end of the Hobbit will just be a waypoint to the first LotR movie. I mean this book ends with a hobbit returning home to the Shire with two small chests of gold, a mithril chain mail and a ring, it's not exactly a grand finish like destroying the One Ring and it never will be.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 559

by Kjella (#47562337) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Credit scores are okay but involving credit history is a strange fetish of US banks, never understood why. I remember reading a story about a European that found a US girl and they were looking to buy a place for both of them in the US. He was like I got this much equity, this much income, we should be able to manage a mortgage of this size. The bank said: No credit history (that we can find anyway) whatsoever? No loan. So they went out and got him a credit card, maxed it and paid it off on time. Big credit, perfect payment history and though short he now was eligible for a loan. WTF.

To me, having a credit card history - not home and car loans - means you've not had the money to pay your bills. If you didn't have to take up credit, you've always had the money to pay your bills. Why on earth wouldn't I then be able to pay my bills now? Before I rented an apartment and paid rent. Now I own an apartment and pay on my mortgage. They look stunningly similar in that each month I need to pay up to keep on living where I live. You balance your income and expenses, if you do it with $1000 left on the bank account or $1000 in credit card debt at the end of the month is exactly the same.

Comment: Re:Smartphone (or feature phone) (Score 1) 110

by grahamsz (#47560377) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Hardware/Software-Based Security Token?

I'm inclined to agree. People rarely forget their smartphones

I've been looking at DuoSecurity. Rather than SMS they send a push notification to your phone before clearing your login. No screwing around typing codes, just a "was that you logging in from 1.2.3.4?" popup on the phone that I can use to authorize the connection.

Anyone actually used them? Is it as good as their demos?

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 230

by Kjella (#47556405) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

There is no right to a game designed the way you would want to design it. Your right is to vote with your wallets.

Until we decide that there is because we vote with our votes. For example the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act regulates how you can provide consumer warranties. If we wanted to ban certain DRM behaviors or even ban it entirely, we could do that. There's a difference between free market capitalism (equal opportunity for companies to provide competing products) and laissez-faire capitalism (companies can do anything and consumers will weed out bad behavior).

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Six

Journal by mcgrew

Drills
I got woke up early again, about five thirty this time. Fire in passengers quarters number forty seven. God damned drills, but I had to get up and inspect forty seven anyway. I put on a robe and trudged down there.
Yep, just a stupid drill. I noticed that Tammy was in the commons with the German woman as I walked past on my way back home. It was still early enough that I could still get another hour's sleep or so.

Comment: Re:You are one ignorant jackass (Score 1) 211

by mcgrew (#47549375) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

You, sir, are an abusive moron who is obviously not intelligent enough to realize that the Mars rovers are spinoffs from Apollo. Were it not for Apollo there would be no Hubble, no Martian robots, no ISS, none of the space exploration done today. Obviously unlike you, I remember Sputnik. We can thank the Russians for Apollo.

Now crawl back to 4chan where flamebait like yours is welcome. Where in the hell are the moderators?

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer

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