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Comment: China is the largest market (Score 3, Interesting) 93

by minstrelmike (#47742491) Attached to: A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October
When looking into video game consoles, I was stunned to realize that Xbox and PS3/4 are _not_ even close to being the most popular video game consoles in the world. The top three are all Chinese consoles you've never heard of. Population-wise, the US is to China as VietNam is to the US and I suspect the Chinese worry about Americans about as much as we Americans worry about the Vietnamese.

Our economic might blinds us to the realities of the actual world and that perhaps is the most dangerous flaw in American culture. Remember the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks (both civilizations), the Romans, the Ottomans? (There is a similar litany for homegrown emperors in China, also, but no one talks about it.)

+ - Correcting Killer Architecture->

Submitted by minstrelmike
minstrelmike (1602771) writes "In Leeds, England, architects are adding a plethora of baffles and other structures to prevent the channeling of winds from a skyscraper that have pushed baby carriages into the street and caused one pedestrian death by blowing over a truck (lorry). Other architectural mistakes listed in the article include death ray buildings that can melt car bumpers and landscape ponds that blind tenants."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:It's just not necessary (Score 2) 218

by minstrelmike (#47589221) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval

We don't need the government to protect us from getting bad customer service during a car ride. We don't need the government to make sure drivers are "qualified" to give people car rides. It's just a car ride.

1. How often do you pick up hitchhikers?
2. Car-jacking took off last century only after anti-theft devices made it too hard to steal unattended vehicles. I'm thinking now it's pretty goddamn easy to steal a smartphone, then use that to rent a Hummer or Mercedes off Uber and now you have a nice car to drive around in all by yourself (along with the driver's smartphone and whatever cash s/he was carrying). New ways of business always provide new ways of crime. Human nature.

Before you decide government is a complete waste of resources, perhaps you should live someplace without government such as Yemen or Somalia. It's probably as hard for us to put a value on the government and society we grew up in as it is for fish to understand the value of the water they cannot see.

Comment: over/under (Score 2) 218

by minstrelmike (#47589193) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval
Over regulation is bad, just as bad as under-regulation.
One problem is that complete anarchy means no protection for anybody which is one reason pure Libertarianism failed (buy insurance from Joe's Pizza Palace) and is why all those classic Western towns you see in John Wayne movies hired sheriffs and were trying to become more civilized.
Over-regulation happens mostly because of regulatory "capture." After the initial public wave of disgust forces a new bureaucracy in place, it becomes beholden to the industry it regulates because no one else really cares to put in the work defining terms and setting up precise rules (precision is another problem in and of itself).

It's a conundrum-type problem, trying to find the sweet spot. You basically need to decide if the over-burden of regulation is going to cost more than what you are preventing. And that's if you're a corporation. If you're a government trying to please the public, you have a mess of moralists who don't care about economics and demand 100% perfection which requires a lot of rules and almost always costs more than accepting 5% graft.

In the taxi market, one trade-off is between having standard prices or having a boatload of vehicles charging different prices all the time. I remember reading about soda pop machines wired to change prices depending on the outside temperature. Seems like slashdotters hated that but I can't see why it's any different from Uber.

If you want a steady price or a steady supply, you need different kinds of regulations than if you want perfect supply for every demand.

Comment: The Gaia Hypothesis (Score 1) 50

by minstrelmike (#47477459) Attached to: ExoLance: Shooting Darts At Mars To Find Life
I think anyone looking for life on Mars should read The Gaia Hypothesis. It was written by an inventor hired by NASA to build devices to discover life on Mars. He researched how life works and realized it (life in general) must control the atmosphere in order to survive for billions of years. The exotic bacteria living in the Antarctic or in Yellowstone Hot Springs still depend on free oxygen and other volatiles created, and maintained over hundreds of thousands of years, by other forms of life. It's a purely scientific proposal, not spiritual or New Agey or anything. Just a new, probably correct way, to understand how life works together to maintain itself.

Comment: Re:I can feel it now (Score 1) 66

by minstrelmike (#47388607) Attached to: Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

I have a degree in mathematics, a required hs course. forcing everyone to take math has not caused a deluge of mathematics majors. why would any other subject be different?

We haven't taken a good hard look at education in general.
For grades 9-12, there are four years required for English. Why?
And more importantly, how well does that work for us as a nation?

Comment: Re:the problem with cs4all, et al (Score 1) 66

by minstrelmike (#47388593) Attached to: Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

These programs are born of a fundamental misunderstanding

Yup. My daughter went thru all the "grrrlz in STEM" stuff thru 12 years of schooling.
She ended up becoming a statistician but I suspect she would have done that regardless. All of her other classmates who went thru the same extra-curriculars and science AP classes ended up going into interior design and anthropology.Those women-in-engineering initiatives are a good idea, but they miss a most basic point--there is a huge disincentive for guys to be smart in school, geeky, teacher's pet crap. It's always been that way yet there is a certain percentage of guys who go into tech anyway.

Substituting one class for another is probably not going to address that education issue.

Remember the good old days, when CPU was singular?