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Comment: Unicorn (Score 0) 346

You almost have to stand in awe and wonder at the level of stupidity exhibited by a car company (the brand once synonymous with safety) creating a vehicle that operates with any level of autonomy without basic collision avoidance. Whether human, fire hydrant, light pole, vehicle, or wall; an autonomous vehicle should not be able to proceed should an obstacle be in its way.

Humans are capable of saying and doing all manner of ill-conceived things. It's part of our nature, and we all do something dumb from time to time. But this is an entirely different level. It's a decision so divorced from reality that it's difficult to find a comparison.

It's like an elevator that will move up or down with the doors still open and people half-way through, unless you buy a separate software package to check for that.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by pr0t0 (#49775027) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

Creating a business is all about mergers and acquisitions. You build a customer base and become attractive enough to one of the larger players to be gobbled up. The C-level execs all get golden parachutes, the mid-management get completely axed, and the peons see a reduction of 60% and a pay cut; which pays for the parachutes.

In the end, the consumer gets necessarily screwed as there is either a reduction in competition, or a preclusion of competition; unless you own stock in the company being purchased.

This has been the predominate business methodology in the U.S. since the mid-80's (admittedly, conjecture on my part), and requires a major shift in thinking to stop this nonsense. But truly, mergers and acquisitions should be the exception not the rule, if fair-market competition is to be nurtured.

Comment: Hanlon's Razor (Score 2) 92

by pr0t0 (#49749725) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

My guess is this isn't a case of cherry-picking, it's just that it took them 2-3 years to complete and publish the research. I wouldn't think it takes that long to acquire and study 21 phones, but looking at some of the dates in their paper, maybe it took *them* that long.

I don't think of this as ground-breaking research, it's more like archaeology. Better editorial surrounding the research could have been done in a "See how far we've come since 2013" type of way.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 826

by pr0t0 (#49736459) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Average miles driven per year in the US is about 13,500. It varies by gender, age and state (about 11k in Oregon according to, but there's a strong common-good argument to be made. So at the current rate, that's roughly $200 per driver per year. Just charge that at license plate renewal. Done. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. There's no tracking, no technology, it's cheap to implement and enforce, it doesn't require outside vendors, etc.

This whole thing smacks of big brother, cronyism, pork-barrel spending, and government stupidity. The problem with legislators is that anyone actually smart enough to do the job effectively is working in the private sector. What's that saying? Those who can, do; those who cannot, legislate. It's something like that ;-)

Comment: Re:How to Make "A" LIke "B" (Score 1) 99

by pr0t0 (#49624193) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Chromebook-Like Unofficial ChromeOS Experience?

That's the maker spirit! We learn best with product-in-a-box solutions!

You're not wrong, exactly, but this person appears to be looking for a fun project and to learn a little something in the process. Plus, they're looking to re-purpose existing hardware instead of landfilling it which should be commended.

Comment: Galactic rotation at ludicrous speed! (Score 3, Interesting) 154

by pr0t0 (#49535563) Attached to: Hubble Spots Star Explosion Astronomers Can't Explain

The thing that struck me about those pics, was the distance the star moved from Jan 2014 to Aug 2014. It appeared to cover roughly 5-10% of the outer diameter of the host galaxy (although the star could be very well be deeper inside the galaxy). The Solar System takes about 226 million years to orbit the Milky Way. This thing appears to orbit at 13 years!

That makes me think their preliminary analysis of these being two separate events is correct. Although, I am not an astrophysicist, so what do I know?

Comment: Re:Disturbing. (Score 1) 106

In US law, libel is a written defamatory statement (as opposed to slander, which is a verbal defamatory statement). So in the US, I believe this would be considered a libel case. Gstoddart is correct in that truth is a complete defense against a libel the US. I have no idea what the courts consider adequate defense against libel in Japan. The doctor stating "nuh uh" may be all it takes.

This is the ever-growing problem with a global system of instant communication in a civilization that has no laws to deal with such a thing. Should a lone judge in Japan have dominion over information every human being from now until the end of time sees if it walks into his/her court? If not, and if the court deemed the posts as defamatory and libelous, shouldn't the plaintiff be protected?

And why didn't anyone warn this physician of the Streisand effect? I would have never known about this clinic or any negative reviews about it. Now, guilty or innocent, I'm not going to any clinics in the Chiba district.

Comment: Detention? (Score 4, Insightful) 629

Was a simple, after-school detention not an option for some reason? I mean, really? You called the police? Did da big bad hacker scare you wif his eweet skills? Jumping Jesus on a pogostick! They're kids, mischievous by nature. Give the kid a detention, and institute a sane fucking password policy!

If I were a parent of a child in this school, I'd be outraged. I'm outraged right now, and I don't live anywhere near Florida!

Comment: Re:One highly-publicized case is all it took (Score 3, Interesting) 489

by pr0t0 (#49440731) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic. All net neutrality does is ensure the playing field stays level. You have to keep in mind that cable companies/broadcasters want to be the sole content provider, and they want you to pay them for it. They don't want Netflix; they don't want YouTube. You may not be old enough to recall when the cable providers tried very hard to degrade service to customers requesting Netflix because it was eating into their own pay-per-view model. When that didn't work, they decided to extort money from content providers and degrade the service until they got paid. Comcast was caught unambiguously doing this.

As netizens, we want the packets we request delivered unimpeded and unscrutinized to our browser. Tiered pricing takes care of getting video at the desired quality over simpler sites. If I'm only browsing eBay I'll get the low-end. If I'm viewing Netflix, I'll have to pay for the turbo-whatever. That should be my choice as a consumer.

Net neutrality makes it far easier for smaller players to compete. They don't have to have the muscle to negotiate with major ISPs they would otherwise need to in a non-nn environment.

Pointing to the LA Times article is weird too, if you weren't being sarcastic. It's basically a highly speculative non-issue, endorsed by a representative whose top contributing industry is the movie/television/music industry. The top 3 of Rep Walden's 4 contributors are the National Association of Broadcasters, Comcast, and 21st Century Fox. I wouldn't exactly call him "impartial" on the matter.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan