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Comment Re:Alternative uses for this software (Score 1) 72

Planes have been flying and landing themselves for decades now. Pilots are there to transition the flight from one automated task to another depending on conditions and instructions from control centers and towers. They are also a backup in case of system failure. A modern airline pilot probably manually controls the aircraft for less than 1% of any given flight but really doesn't have to. He can instruct the flight computer to do all of these tasks if he wishes. Depending on the airline, pilots are required to make manual landings from time to time to keep their skills sharp. The Korean Air disaster in SFO last year was the result of a new pilot manually landing a craft for the first time at an airport unfamiliar to him (he had done only automatic landings prior to this). Automated landing was not possible due to the ILS system at SFO being down for construction at the time. This is a sad side affect of too much automation and little training.

Military drones are already capable of doing this completely autonomously. Smaller surveillance drones are doing the same and it won't be long before you start seeing these things hovering around your local mall. The software exists, but the cost to implement it and risks associated with it is still too high for commercial flight in a short amount of time. It will happen eventually.

Comment Re:The lesson here (Score 4, Interesting) 266

There is a lot of truth to that statement.
It was the cheaper consumer models that were affected. Retail profit margins are so thin that manufacturers and retailers make up for it with preloaded crapware.

Lenovo's business products were not affected by this as these aren't usually preloaded with crap.
The same goes for other manufactures too. Dell and HP both offer cheap crapware infested models, along with pricier crap free business models.

You do get what you pay for.

Comment Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

You have my congratulations. You have proven yourself to be among the 20% of the population that has good insulin sensitivity and thus psychologically capable of taking hold of your diet and health. Again, congratulations. Hope you give yourself a nice pat on the back.

But this is only possible for 20% of the population as the other 80% are affected severely by poor insulin sensitivity and the adverse psychological effects this has on a person. For the first time in human history food is more abundant than ever before, not just any food but high caloric foods that were extremely rare just 100 years ago. In the 100s of thousands of years prior it was an evolutionary advantage to have this problem. In times of feast and famine putting on extra weight meant you were going to survive times of famine. You simply cannot tell one of these 80% to consume less calories and expect results. They will fail, mainly because their evolutionary makeup and psychology will rebel and sabotage their efforts. They cannot help it when 100s of thousands of years of evolution are fighting against them. No amount of will power is going to prevail against this. It may for a short while, but eventually it will catch up to them. Is it any wonder that so many diets fail? Now I suppose if you lock one of these 80% in a room and restrict their diet by force they will lose weight, but will completely fail when placed back into an environment with abundant food.

Science in this is relatively new, just withing the last decade. The obesity problem cannot be solved unless there is also focus on the psychology of it. Diets that cater to this such has high protein, low carb diets combined with moderate exercise do show promise. Making subtle changes are also less likely to trigger this evolutionary psychological panic in these folks.

Comment Re:It already exists for taxis. (Score 1) 265

We live in a world where everyone has smartphones. If I suspect my driver of deviating too far off course I check my Waze app. On two occasions I've showed the driver the route on my phone and confirmed that this would be the route he took. Neither objected.

I've used taxis and Uber. Although I've not had any problems with taxi drivers yet, I do have problems getting them to pick my up in a timely manner if at all sometimes. Uber and their app is truly amazing in this regard.

Comment Re:What rules prevent them from doing this already (Score 1) 221

I really wish cities would run fiber like they do water and sewer pipes. It does make much more sense. I'm a bit uncomfortable having government manage the data though. I'd be worried about censorship issues and such. Having private companies compete to provide data over these lines may work though.

Comment Re:What rules prevent them from doing this already (Score 5, Interesting) 221

Back in the 80s and 90s lots of smaller cable companies lobbied local governments and were granted easement access to install their poles, wires, and equipment. Many poles belonged to various utility companies and Ma Bell and access was also negotiated with them. This is a very long process with lots and lots of red tape.

Bigger companies like Comcast bought these smaller companies primarily for these rights. Anywhere smaller companies overlapped the wires were pulled off of poles to prevent any chance of a competitor gaining easy access to these rights. Any new competitor would now need to start from the very beginning like the smaller companies did in the 80s and 90s in obtaining access.

In my city we had a choice of Dimension Cable and Cable America in the 80s and 90s. Both of these smaller companies did all of the busy work for Cox which gobbled both of them up and dismantled the redundant perfectly good infrastructure of Cable America.
Comcast did this on a much larger scale.

Comment Re:Please Microsoft... (Score 1) 347

I've done IT freelance for small businesses in my area for 15 years. I've learned over the years that I can tell which small businesses will succeed and which will fail. One thing that I find consistent about the successful companies is how they deal with careless users. If a user is consistently infecting their computer with malware they get fired. The SMB owner sees this as a personnel problem and deals with it. If this user can be so careless with a computer what's to say they won't be careless about their job? (Now, I don't know if it was the malware that got specifically got them fired, for all I know they were too careless about their work which got noticed by management) Multiple $250 repair invoices for one particular user in the span of three months gets probably gets noticed in a smaller company.

Another indicator is how much they invest in hardware and software. There is a sweet spot of sorts, investing too much is careless, investing too little is also careless. When a company won't invest in small things that pay for themselves over the long term, such as the right printer for the right job, they are in trouble. It is also a sign for me to negotiate a higher retainer amount or not add them to my clientele in the first place.

Comment Re: New York (Score 1) 372

Now am I actually worried about a mass outbreak in the US? No. I find that unlikely. However, this virus has a 50-70% mortality rate and there is no vaccine.

This is not something you take lightly. You pay this sort of virus the respect it deserves and enact BASIC quarantine procedures. Rudimentary.

It is obvious that there is no leadership. It is all political posturing now. It is very disconcerting watching the head of the CDC be so careful about keeping political talking points while conveying real information about preventing the spread of this virus is secondary.

Any sane person still working for the CDC can't possibly enjoy it anymore. I'd guess the best and brightest have moved to better pastures long ago. It isn't just the CDC either. I'd bet every other 3-4 letter agency is experiencing something similar. This worries me more than the actual virus.

Comment Re:clockspeed really? (Score 1) 338

The Pentium 4 was intel's Windows Vista moment. Corners were cut, marketing overruled engineering and performance suffered.
When it came out there were still PIII's running noticeably faster.

This combined with the RDRAM fiasco allowed AMD to have a nice run with the Athlon series and break Dell's intel exclusive offerings. It was a big deal at the time. I'm certain that intel was thoroughly embarrassed and rightly so. I doubt it is a mistake they want to repeat anytime soon.

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