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Comment: Re:I'm shocked ... (Score 1) 174

Personally, if I was a cop, I'd be ASKING to wear a body camera 24/7 now.

But then again, I'm not a cop because I know it's a crazy hard job and that I'd probably just wind up shooting someone for being "1000th person to lie to my face today".

And I'll say it again here as I've said in other places, there should be a "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?: clause in the law, whereby anyone with authority over something is punished at a category-higher severity than a normal person, when the crime relates to that thing. When a person accepts authority over something, part of that SHOULD BE a higher-than-normal level of responsibility as well.
So for example, a parent would be punished automatically more severely for beating their custodial child, than Joe Citizen would be punished for punching Jim Citizen. A nurse stealing from his patients would be punished more severely than someone just stealing from a random other person. And, in this context, police abusing their authority as officers to extort (for example) would be punished more severely than an unrelated person.

But then again, this will never pass because of course it would logically apply to Congressmen as well.

Comment: THIS will drive the adoption of the auto-driver (Score 4, Insightful) 178

by argStyopa (#49628621) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

The US trucking industry has been in a crisis for at least 3 years.
The regulatory changes brought about in this administration (for example EPA/state regs that mandate new eco-friendly trucks far faster than normal replacement rates or new DOT rulings that took away around 20% of a driver's available hours per week, ie income) are only the icing on the cake. Simply: the old drivers are all quitting because of the hassles and continuing low pay, while few new drivers are joining the industry. Companies can't find drivers. I know 1Q14 3000+ trucking companies closed (most were Bill & Mary trucking, ie small individual owner-operators, but many were substantial firms) and that was the 7th quarter in a ROW that had happened. Intermodal investment is simply too slow to respond to the waves of need in the trucking freight market.

Enter the self-driving car.

*Certainly* the autodriver will not be able to "handle" a rig in the context of a terminal; there are just too bloody many variables to see that happening soon. But for the bulk of long-haul miles? I can certainly see a sort of 'local pilotage' system developing where trucks are driven by a human to a terminal on the outskirts of a metro area. From that point the human gets out and the autodriver takes it to a similar terminal at the destination city, where a local 'pilot' gets in and handles the truck from there.

The compelling commercial shortage of drivers and the financial rewards (no rest hours, no drug issues, perfect recordkeeping, & - I suspect - better overall safety results lowering insurance costs, etc) all will push the larger freight firms to aggressively pursue this.

Comment: the rigamarole is political, not diplomatic (Score 5, Insightful) 136

by argStyopa (#49628551) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

The elaborate charade is all about convincing Congress that the negotiation is so complex that the president NEEDS fast-track authority to get this whole deal done.

Trade agreements aren't "secret" - they're generally pretty public things, as the trade-limiting quotas or punitive/protectionist tariffs are IMMEDIATELY published for the public record, so that the commercial community can deal with them....meaning that "if Vietnam [wanted to know] what the American bottom-line with Japan was" (to use the OP's example) they only have to wait 30 seconds after the deal is agreed.

You might think, "well, ok, so there's a competitive negotiating value to keeping your cards close to your chest until the negotiation is finished"...except the question begged here is that the last word in TPP is PARTNERSHIP. *Durable* partnerships are not forged from secretive poly-partner networks of agreements that would be spoiled by the bright light of day; I'm pretty sure we learned that in 1914 when Bismarck's successors failed to keep all those balls in the air quite spectacularly.

Durable generational trade agreements like GATT 1947 are formed from open discussions of mutual interest, and finding points where both/all sides can agree, or can at least agree to compromise.

So in short, this whole thing is bullshit. The current administration has already fucked up the ability of the US to leverage its most powerful peacetime strength - its market - to advance serious geopolitical goals around the Pacific Rim.

Comment: Re:Just Like the "Liberal Media" (Score 1) 345

As much as I appreciate and generally agree with your point, I'd remind you of something Bjorn Lomborg - no stranger to controversy - pointed out: if you want to talk about a disease, you talk to a doctor, no question. If you want to talk about climate, you talk to a climatologist, again, no question.

But if you're making a value judgement - deciding which of those things is more important, or which you need to spend limited dollars fixing - NEITHER the doctor nor the climatologist is appropriate. That is rightly the realm of politics, insofar as politicians are the avenue by which the public's will is exercised.

Comment: while that is true,.... (Score 1) 345

I am not sure that you can claim that Dems love science either.
1) they are doing very little to stop the REAL issue with climate change, which is China.
2) they are fighting against new nukes which are needed to replace coal and nat gas plants.

And that is just for starters.

Comment: Re:From Micro-Soft (Score 2) 300

by dcw3 (#49622203) Attached to: Single Verizon IP Address Used For Hundreds of Windows 7 Activations

For those who've read the link, note that Bill complained that they'd only made the equivalent of $2/hr. Just for reference purposes, minimum wage back then was $2.00 an hour in 1974, $2.10 in 1975, and $2.30 in 1976. Should they have made more?...debatable. This was essentially a start up operation (many never become profitable), and initial product development costs are often written off. In that brave new world, before EULAs, nobody bought untried stuff like this.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.