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Comment: Re:What's that ahead? (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#49633113) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I was driving in Nevada one dark, moonless night, when out of nowhere came a cow in the middle of the road... I'd like to see how an autonomous vehicle would deal with that.

That's out of nowhere to you, but the computer is going to be able to see in the dark far outside the range of your headlights. Its headlights are going to be a convenience to other drivers, and an IR source for its night vision — which will have automatic gain control far outside the range of your pupils. It'll also likely have radar and lidar so even if it can't see the cow, it'll know it's there.

Comment: Re:Free as in ads for beer (Score 1) 71

They flag git apps for having github integration with giant "promotes non-free services" ads, even if there is no actual promotion, just API support, and yet they have versions of things where the effort has been made to compile without google libs, but that still ask for device ID. For example, their version f the google sky map app, they go to the trouble to compile with certain libraries replaced, but they leave in the part where it asks for the device ID, etc. It is a totally passive app with no legit use at all for device ID. No warnings.

I've just done a search in F-Droid for 'git' and looked through all the results. I found the following:

  • Github, the "official Github Android App" has a red warning that says "This app promotes non-free network services."
  • OctoDroid, described as a "GitHub Client" (not a "git client," a "GitHub client") which says that it "supports all the basic features" does NOT have a red warning.

Having never used either app I don't know how fair F-droid's choice to display the warning in one case but not the other actually was, but it at least seems plausible to me that the "official" app would be more likely to "promote" the service than other apps.

As for Sky Map, if the program is indeed using the Device Id for some nefarious purpose, I'd expect a red warning saying "this app tracks and reports your activity" (or whatever message was appropriate). In the absence of such a message, I would assume that either the app isn't actually doing anything (and the F-droid people think it's sufficient to let the Android permissions dialog handle informing the user of a permission that doesn't matter) or the lack of warning is an oversight on F-droid's part (I mean, clearly, if F-droid has an tracking anti-feature, failing to mark an app that does tracking with it is certainly a bug).

I would also say that even if we don't *know* that the app is doing something nefarious, the existence of unnecessary permissions itself merits a red warning message (or at least a yellow caution message), and would like to see such a policy/feature implemented. However, I don't think the lack of such a feature constitutes "false claims" on the F-Droid maintainers' part.

The bottom line is that if your allegations about F-droid are true, then you're justified in being upset, but I'm not sure those issues deserve to be ascribed to malice when there's still enough reasonable doubt (IMO) to ascribe them to accident.

Comment: Re:Problem, Reaction, Solution... (Score 1) 174

by circletimessquare (#49631409) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

there is no intelligent viewpoint to debate

if you see dark conspiracies where simple human nature obviously dominates, you're a fucking nutcase

not a baseless insult. an objective determination

to think the highly highly improbable is more likely than the spankingly obvious and inevitable is just dumb, and unhinged

violent religious nuts exist. violent religious nuts do what they do

panicky mobs exist. panicky mobs do what they do

overreaching bureaucrats exist. overreaching bureaucrats do what they do

this is all inevitable. there is no cabal. to think so, to not see basic human foibles at work and instead dark plots means you're an idiot and mentally deranged

Comment: Re:cheaper to get TV (Score 1) 134

by mrchaotica (#49631307) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

Don't let them give you a set-top box. Make them give you a CableCard instead, and take a stand for the spirit of "any lawful device" (which should have been applied to cable companies, but hasn't).

Also, they'll tell you the box is "free," but if you swap it for a CableCard they should give you a discount.

Comment: Re:Stats (Score 1) 134

by mrchaotica (#49631253) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

I'm honestly not even sure where the cable box is; I asked them not to send me one but they did anyway.

Send it back and demand a CableCard. Not only is it a good "fuck you" to those who hate the idea of people having the audacity to hook up their own equipment, it should also get you a small discount (because contrary to what they tell you, that first cable box is only "free" in the sense that the rental fee is built into the advertized price).

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#49630779) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Right, you can't use rail unless you have high utilization, and you can't have high utilization if the rail doesn't do the job you need to do, or if the public transportation systems along the rail line don't work. That's why PRT makes more sense than rail for most trips, and why we should use classic rail only for long hauls and PRT for short trips.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#49630523) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Freight Trains, you know, the topic of this entire article?

Yeah, you can't build rail just for freight, because it won't see enough utilization. It has to carry passengers, too. You can't take the efficiency of the freight-carrying system alone because it doesn't operate alone, it's dependent on being part of the passenger-carrying system (and vice versa.)

Comment: Re:Orion tower concept superior (Score 1) 44

by Martin Blank (#49629821) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful

We'll find out later this year if it can clear an accelerating stage with the in-flight abort test.

Watching the stream this morning, I couldn't help but feel sorry for any crew who were in the capsule as it tumbled over after separation. That looks like a really uncomfortable ride, but better than exploding on the pad.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"