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Comment Re:Do-it-themselves (Score 1) 202

Excellent points.

I don't think sanity is an objective measurement. If I thought someone needed to be put to death for their actions, I'd think you're insane for not killing them. Your (in)actions in this case, would, to me, seem irrational, and to use the contested word, insane.

For this particular case, we might love to see a good Linux install for perfect encrypted communication, but for someone about to die in a blaze of glory in a couple days, this probably isn't their biggest concern. I think most people around here would call them crazy for not at least researching a good technical solution like we would have, but they'd call us crazy for playing with tech in the face of the coming apocalypse.

Comment Re:Do-it-themselves (Score 1) 202

Why would any sane terrorist


Geesh, I think government officials have been reading too many best-seller spy novels and listening to too few tech geeks.

Tech Geeks aren't terrorists; as geeks, we can tell you how to set up a perfect system, but the terrorists will use what they use, and maybe for their purposes, their system works better. It's quite likely the terrorists are also reading spy novels instead of consulting with the nerds.

Comment Re:for the love of god (Score 1) 202

First, he didn't say it was useless, but to address your logic argument: if doctors just collected medical knowledge, but never helped helped anyone, then I'd consider them useless. If police logged all crime in a big data center but did nothing to stop it, then I'd consider them useless. Same for mass surveillance. If you collect terabytes of crap in a big data warehouse, but can only find information that would stop attacks in retrospect, that's useless.

I don't know how useful mass surveillance is, but from what limited information about it I'm allowed to see, we are a lot better at collecting it and storing it than we are on acting on it. Instead of focusing on how many terabytes of data we can vacuum up on our citizens, we should instead focus on the effectiveness of how that data can be used to save lives.

Comment Re:The Amazon AppStore Auto-consent (Score 1) 137

Because in the 70s you had to take bills from your parents (who had like $40 laying around) and you have to take that money to someone, who can clearly see that you are too young to be making any sort of financial decisions. If you can execute that transaction, you clearly know what money is and that you are doing something wrong.

Now you click the wrong buttons in a game, which your parents said you could play, and you've spent hundreds of dollars. You don't have to have any idea what money is to click a button.

Comment Re:The goal of 1st world countries (Score 1) 401

There were experiments on paying everyone a basic payment conducted in some US and Canadian Towns in the 60s and 70s. It worked

According to other people, all such experiments failed miserably.

It wasn't politically acceptable though.

Yes, everyone construes the results based on their political ideology, but that includes you. Point out some specific examples and maybe we'll take an interest.

A robot won't displace 1000 workers

You can't stress that point enough these days. Cleaning, gardening, construction, landscaping, etc are not going away for the foreseeable future. Manufacturing even seems to be approaching a limit.

All of the jobs shuffling paper, ticking boxes, talking to people will be automated. Even things like...

Ahahaha! Don't we all wish! My grandparents predicted this would happen. I doubt it though. Every time I see a 'ticking boxes' job get automated, the replaced human has to be moved to verify the input, and a new hire is needed to audit the output. If the output is contentious, then all interested parties will need to hire new humans on both ends of the box ticker bot. I hate shuffling papers and ticking boxes, and though our tools continue to improve, I feel like I'm going to be ticking boxes, or paying someone to do it for the rest of my life (40years or so).

Comment Re:Do something about your hoarding problem (Score 1) 983

best solution

Well that's one solution, but the optimal solution varies by person. Assuming laziness is the problem: how much is your time curating your data worth vs. cost to back it all up? For me, it's only worth it I when it start nearing the size of the typical external hard drive, until then, cu-ration is an unnecessary hassle.

20TB is actually pretty easy to generate. It's not super common for an individual to do so, but a hobbyist video producer could do it easily. I also know a few semi-professionals that generate TBs of data and really have to start calculating future_value/storage_cost and deciding to delete the data is often more punishing to get wrong.

Comment Hiring overpriced men? (Score 1) 427

For unskilled labor, you are absolutely right.

For skilled labor though: pay is largely determined by how well you can convince management of your worth. In technology, management or really any white collar area, there are few metrics that really measure how well employees are performing, and management has to go with their perceptions to decide who is on target and who is falling behind and those perceptions can be clouded by all sorts of things that have nothing to do with how much an employee actually deserves.

You can not tell me overpriced employees don't exist; I know plenty who will readily admit to being those overpriced employees. I have no idea where you work, but I think if you take a moment to contemplate it, you'll realize that no one is paid anywhere near what they are actually currently worth to the company.

I have seen one small company where gender was a known factor in deciding which employees were more valuable. Being a small company, salaries were all over the place and they had plenty of overpriced men and a couple overpriced women (I got a lot of this from the accountant who told me nothing about this if asked in court). Luckily this does not seem to be the case across the industry.

We are also assuming throughout this discussion that men and women perform at the same level in tech careers...maybe we _should_ be seeing a pay disparity in one direction or the other and it is shocking that we don't.

Comment Not Stupid (Score 1) 61

The entire concept is stupid

I disagree. This concept is extremely important to me. Just because an idea is stupid to you and 5mods does not mean it doesn't work for the rest of us.

To me, the ephemeral message is getting us back towards normal face2face interaction, by default, nothing is saved. There is nothing stopping your friends and co-workers from putting their phones on record or even following you around with a video camera. What's important is that by default, our failed jokes and Freudian slips are simply forgotten, instead of being added to your permanent record that a potential employer, divorce lawyer or even automated government spy tool might get access to for your detriment.

Comment Re:turn off the car? (Score 1) 664

I used to have a truck with a sticky gas peddle. As in I pushed it down and it didnt come back up. I quickly learned a secret... when it happened, I turned the truck off, dropped it to neutral, and breaked.

I knew that when I was 16. Why cant people figure that out 15 years later?

Firstly, things have changed quite a bit in 15years: The car decides when it turns off for you (just like how it decides when you want to drive really, really fast). I've never owned one of these kinds, but some of these models had a big on button, then they turned off when you left the car (I'm probably not entirely right, I never owned one).

Secondly, a sticky gas pedal means you were going fast and you don't want to anymore, you are already somewhat prepared for speed. When you are just idling somewhere and suddenly the car decides it wants to go, you might not even be

And thirdly, good for you being a genius and all; I now know the proper sequence, but the first time the sticky gas pedal happened to me, it took me a few seconds to figure out. I was on an empty road at the time so the eighth of a mile or so I was burning rubber was no big deal, but if I had shot off from my driveway, I would have been doing 70mph through my neighbors living room (Actually, my car was a P.O.S. and could barely do 60mph on the freeway, but if I owned some fancy car from the current century, you get the idea).

Comment Re:How do they not take a writedown? (Score 1) 257

Facebook bought W.A. mostly using facebook stock. They don't have to recover money, since all that 'money' is just a hypothetical number based on hugely overvalued speculation of facebook's future revenue stream.

Facebook stock gets that valuation in the first place by being the unassailable monopoly of the western social networking world. They need to expend any amount of stock required to keep that position, otherwise that stock will be worthless when Facebook 2.0 turns them into a ghost town like facebook did to myspace.

Comment Re:Think... (Score 1) 289

they won't be on airlines...Unless you have a disconnected, completely stupid terrorist

We had the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the UK liquid bombers, all after everything got locked down after 9/11.

They are obsessed with airplanes. If they had any sort of body count quota and intelligence, they would clearly try other targets.Even just arriving at the airport, you'd think they would realize, "Hey if I drive a car through this line I can kill more people than with this stupid little bomb in my underwear," but they don't!

It's almost as if their end goal is to make air travel inconvenient.

Comment Re:They still have not caught a single terrorist. (Score 1) 289

Thats a good reason to ban aluminum foil, but they were actually just confiscating the boxes so you couldn't slowly saw the pilots to death over the course of a long flight with the dull edge that cuts sheets of foil for you. You could still blow up the plane with what was in the box once they confiscated it.

As for that particular explosion, I'm not ready to run the search here at work, but I recall the formula being aluminum foil + some liquids, which they already confiscate. I also remember the explosions from any reasonable quantity of the stuff to be so small as to be uninteresting to teenage boys.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten