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Comment: Re:Cost (Score 2) 122

by mrchaotica (#49744237) Attached to: Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone

If it's sufficiently isolated from the rest of the hardware (so that it can't snoop on RAM or anything like that, so it can't override any firewall, and so that when the OS says it's off it's off), that's good enough for me. If the modem can't access any data I don't want it to have in the first place, then I don't have to worry about what it's doing with it.

Comment: Re:Click to play Flash (Score 1) 616

by mrchaotica (#49714327) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

It's sort of hard to catch a drive-by when you've disabled the tech through which drive-bys enter your machine.

Quoted for truth!

And that's what the guy in TFS apparently doesn't get. The bottom line is that if you're sending me something I didn't explicitly ask for -- and at this point, all ads qualify -- then I am forced to assume that you are attacking my machine and will defend myself accordingly.

If you want to advertize to me, you can put static text directly on the page (not text generated by Javascript, and not text served from a third-party domain). These are my terms; you can accept them or go fuck yourself.

Comment: Re:New Jersey and Other Fictions... (Score 3, Informative) 611

by mrchaotica (#49707353) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

First of all, let's be honest: if someone is frail enough to require a walker, in many cases they're probably not healthy enough to be operating a vehicle in the first place. In an emergency, how are they going to press the brake pedal hard enough to actually stop effectively (i.e., hard enough that the ABS would kick in)?

Second, in the entire Metro Atlanta area I've only ever noticed one gas station that advertized full service. So how do disabled people around here get gas? Simple! Every staffed gas station, including self-service ones, is required by law to have the attendant pump gas for disabled people, rendering the whole thing a non-issue. (By the way, that's a Federal law -- the Americans with Disabilities Act -- so don't pretend as if it wouldn't apply in New Jersey and Oregon too!)

The bottom line is this: Why should able-bodied people be treated like drooling morons -- and have to pay more -- just so that some minimum-wage worker can pretend that he's useful? The answer is, no goddamn reason at all!

Comment: Re:New Jersey and Other Fictions... (Score 3, Interesting) 611

by mrchaotica (#49706521) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

There are no such people. I mean, if there were, then WTF would they do when they go on a trip to a different state? Stand next to the gas pump and act helpless, like a drooling moron?

I went to visit in-laws in Oregon a while back, and was amazed at how much of a pain in the ass getting gas there was. In normal states, you can just get out, pump the gas, pay, and leave. But in Oregon? In Oregon you have to wait in line for fucking ever because they have one guy running around handling all the pumps and there's a line of cars waiting because he can't keep up. People from Oregon say "oh, isn't it great how we don't have to pump our own gas?" No, it really fucking isn't! It's worse!

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 5, Insightful) 611

by mrchaotica (#49706463) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

What makes you think that the autonomous truck will hit the car just like a manned truck? I'd think that with the sensors on the truck tied directly into the autonomous control systems the autotruck could react thousands of times faster and more effectively than a human being truck driver.

Hmm... looks like somebody failed at learning Amdahl's Law.

Let's say a truck is driving at 60 MPH (88 feet per second) when somebody jumps in front of it, 88 feet away. The driver will take 0.5 seconds (44 feet) to react, then the truck's air-brakes will take another 0.5 seconds (44 feet) to engage. By that time, the truck will have hit the person. Then the truck will take another 355 feet to come to a stop.

Let's replace the human-driven truck with an automated one, and assume that the computer is unrealistically perfect and manages to reduce the reaction time to zero (seconds or feet). In that case, it still takes 0.5 seconds (44 feet) for the air brakes to engage, so the truck has "only" 311 feet of braking distance left to travel when it hits the person.

In other words, reaction time accounts for only about 10% of the total stopping distance, so the maximum improvement gained by switching to an autonomous truck would be about 10%. That's not zero, but it's also not "thousands of times" better, as you claimed.

Comment: Re:Ruining it for the rest of us (Score 1) 95

by mrchaotica (#49697505) Attached to: Drone Flying Near White House Causes Lockdown

You did, in the initial claim I quoted: "Let's be honest: These machines will only get better and better, meaning they'll be able to carry heavier and heavier payloads."

The point I'm trying to make is that you could have a drone capable of lifting a fuckton of payload right now, just by (for example) retrofitting autonomous controls to one of these.

In other words, since helicopters already exist in a wide range of sizes and capacities and autonomous controls could be fitted to almost any of them, there's no reason to think drones will get "better and better" (from an aircraft perspective) because were already so to begin with. The only part that's going to be getting "better and better" at a rapid pace is the software driving the damn things.

Comment: Re:Ruining it for the rest of us (Score 1) 95

by mrchaotica (#49695113) Attached to: Drone Flying Near White House Causes Lockdown

LOL, batteries?! Cheap plastic toys run on batteries. You show me a drone that runs on batteries, and I'll show you an R/C helicopter that with an actual fuel-burning engine that's a better aircraft in every way. Batteries have nothing to do with the state of the art, except maybe for running the guidance computer.

Comment: Re:Ruining it for the rest of us (Score 1) 95

by mrchaotica (#49692885) Attached to: Drone Flying Near White House Causes Lockdown

Let's be honest: These machines will only get better and better, meaning they'll be able to carry heavier and heavier payloads.

We're talking about aircraft, not electronics, you know. There's no Moore's Law going on there. They'll continue to get better and better at flying autonomously and whatnot, but they're only going to improve in terms of load capacity, range, speed, etc. at the same slow rate regular helicopters have been improving at in for the last 50 years or so.

Comment: Re:Why is ITT even eligible for federal student lo (Score 1) 85

by mrchaotica (#49681225) Attached to: SEC Charges ITT Educational Services With Fraud

What standard are you talking about?

I think we're talking about regional accreditation (as opposed to national accreditation, which is worthless). Any so-called college that isn't regionally accredited should be ineligible to receive money from public student loans. And that should be the minimum standard, of course -- for all I know even the worst regionally-accredited schools might not deserve to be eligible either.

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