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Comment: I have a solution (Score 2) 280

by Sloppy (#49514843) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

It sounds like it would be in the interests of public safety, to use their own quotations to support an injunction from them being able to sell these unsafe cars.

Just as unmaintainable computers should not be allowed on the Internet, unmaintainable cars should not be allowed on public roads.

Comment: Re:Godwined before it even started (Score 2) 295

by Sloppy (#49503273) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

But if Goebbels' heirs don't have an exclusive right to the diaries, then what incentive does Goebbels have to write diaries? We must continue to grant and enforce this monopoly, or else Goebbels' lack of return for his hard work will cause him to give up and get a job as a dishwasher. Is that the kind of world you want to live in?!

Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 699

by Sloppy (#49480065) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Have you analyzed the energy requirement and fuel capacity for Xenu's DC-8s' journey to Earth? If not, then how can you be sure there's not something supernatural happening in that story?

I think that if you ask any aerospace engineer (or, shit, just ask any teamster) they'll tell you there's no way that could have happened. The only way someone could believe something so incredible ever actually happened, is if they resort to FAITH.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 699

by Sloppy (#49479465) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

a religious organization should pay taxes like any other.

With their contacts with Hollywood accountants, Scientology would probably have a better chance than most, of somehow retaining its nonprofit status in spite of your suggestion. "That wasn't a dividend! It was an expense!" You could end up with a situation where most churches have their profits taxed but Scientology's profits would still be untaxed.

(Though now I'm having a little smirk here, thinking of government auditors auditing Scientologist auditors. "Tell me your secrets." "No, you tell yours!")

Ok, so you (hey, me too) would probably see that as an improvement over the status quo, even if it failed to address this particular Enemy of the Day. But are we representative of American voters? I don't think that would work out for whatever politician enacted the change. I think most voters would be angry, because they're still very mystical, yet only a relatively small fraction happen to shop Scientologist.

The answer to crazy spending isn't to tax it; the answer is to reduce that spending (e.g. persuade their customers to spend on something else instead). Target the gross revenue, not the profits, and you'll still end up hitting the profits too.

Comment: Re:Remember REAMDE (Score 3, Interesting) 110

by Sloppy (#49472287) Attached to: First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online

REAMDE is why I will probably read his new book. There were several times (especially in the first hundred pages or so) when I was laughing my ass off. Neal Stephenson is a good writer. There, I said it. (Oooh, what a limb I'm going out on!)

He's less of a good story-maker, and I think people who complained 20 years ago about him not being able to end a story well, would probably say he hasn't improved. I'm not sure I was all that excited by the story of REAMDE either. So either fuck the story, or just enjoy whatever you can within it. But that aside, the guy has a wonderful way with words and throughout REAMDE I kept thinking "I've missed this guy," since I hadn't read him since Cryptonomicon. Just get him talking.

Comment: Re:Erm.. Why a computer? (Score 3, Insightful) 342

by Sloppy (#49470471) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

Because 9/11. Someone exploited the previous system once, so instead of thinking, we need to make expensive, radical changes.

I like all the questions in this thread. People, if you're going to start asking questions, just cut to the end and ask why have a lottery at all. They are a totally worthless idea. Every second you spend on thinking of how to "fix" their integrity, is a second you could spend on something much more useful, like thinking about how to make dog shit taste like chocolate pudding. Now let's get to work on the cocoa powder experiments, everyone.

Comment: Re:"standard-essential patents” (Score 2) 83

by Sloppy (#49433669) Attached to: Patent Case Could Shift Power Balance In Tech Industry

You have to have pretty strong regulations for patents to even exist. In an anarchy, you're allowed to implement whatever you want, without groveling for anyone's permission. So libertarians, if they super-concerned about avoiding being conflated with anarchists, have to weigh all the evils and decide which is the least bad. But it'll definitely involve someone's liberties being infringed.

Once possible decision as "Libertarian Tyrant" would be to point a gun at the patent holders' heads and say they're required to license against their will. My justification would be that they submitted the patented tech to the standards body, knowing that it would become a burden and risk on other parties' liberties. Doing that signals an implicit endorsement of other people using the tech, so the patent holder OPTED to sacrifice their government-granted monopoly.

If they don't like that, then they should abstain from offering their "forbidden tech" to standards bodies, and if they learn of someone else doing it, they should be should be suing them (and possibly the standards body too) for inducing infringement.

Another way to go, might be to just get rid of patents. There's already so much overwhelming incentive to invent things, that it's basically impossible to even prevent much less needing incentive.


Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient 442

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-it-cool dept.
An anonymous reader points out that a long held goal of keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius might not be good enough. "A long-held benchmark for limiting global warming is 'utterly inadequate,' a leading U.N. climate scientist declared. Keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising past 2 degrees Celsius – a cap established by studies in the early 1970s – is far too loose a goal, Petra Tschakert, a professor at Penn State University and a lead author of an assessment report for the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, said in a commentary published in the journal Climate Change Responses. Already, with an average increase of just 0.8 degrees Celsius, she wrote, 'negative impacts' are 'widespread across the globe.' Tschakert called for lowering the warming target to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Comment: It will have an effect all right... (Score 4, Interesting) 349

It will encourage high tech companies in general and venture capital firms in specific to:

A). Locate their businesses in a state (like Texas) where Social Justice Warrior-type lawsuits have little chance to succeed.
B). More carefully screen potential employees for Social Justice Warrior tendencies so as to minimize the chance of future lawsuits.

Businesses exist to make money, they don't exit for believers in victimhood identity politics to wage politics and cash in at their expense.


Dad and Daughter Recreate Jurassic Park With $100,000 In Lego Pieces 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the play-time dept.
mpicpp writes Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few "master builders" — decided to Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used, according to the video's description. The result is a surprisingly stunning and hilarious version of the 1993 dino-thriller. The team behind the film also released an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the production.

Comment: Sloppy's One Rule of Robotics (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#49338263) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

My one rule of robotics (and pointed sticks, cars, crackpipes and umbrellas) is this: my stuff ought to perform in accordance with my wishes.

There might be additional laws ("weld here and here, but nowhere else," or "use the rules in /etc/iptables/rules.v4" or "don't shoot at anyone whose IFF transponder returns the correct response") which vary by whatever the specific application is, but these rules aren't as important as The One above.

There are various corollaries that you can infer from the main law, but since they can be derived, they don't need to be laws themselves. (e.g. if my interests conflict with someone else's, then my robot and my umbrella ought to serve my interests at the expense of the other person's interests.)

With regard to harming other robots, that also can be derived. If I desire to kill a knight on a robot horse, then my robot ought to turn them into a pile of bloody gore and shredded circuitboards immediately. OTOH, if I don't desire to kill a robot, then my robot should not do things that incur unnecessary liabilities.


A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy 765

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with the story of a Github user's joke repository that is causing some controversy. "There's no question that the tech world is an overwhelmingly male place. There's legit concern that tech is run-amok with 'brogrammers' that make women programmers feel unwelcome. On the other hand, people just want to laugh. It's at that intersection that programmer Randy Hunt, aka 'letsgetrandy' posted a 'project' earlier this week to software hosting site GitHub called 'DICSS.' The project, which is actual free and open source software, is surrounded by geeky jokes about the male anatomy. And it's gone nuts, so to speak, becoming the most trending project on Github, and the subject of a lot of chatter on Twitter. And, Hunt tells us, the folks at Github are scratching their heads wondering what they should do about it. Some people love DICSS ... and some people are, understandably, offended. The offended people point out that this is exactly the sort of thing that makes tech unwelcoming to women, and not just because of the original project, but because of some of the comments (posted as "commits") that might take the joke too far."

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling