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Comment Re: Onstar (Score 1) 52 52

Nah, you will find a market. There will be people who spend more and more time taking old cars and restoring them to factory condition (or better). You won't get your new cars but you will get used ones that have lots of life and the added bonus that you can fix them. You can already do this. This will just be more common if there is a market.

Comment Re:Not Legal Persons (Score 1) 166 166

Funny, you can say that about Bush but you can not say that about Obama. I am black, at least partially. I think if it is fair game for the white guy it is fair game for the black guy. I think it is more racist to consider it a racial slur against black people actually. Now, if you were calling him a Porch Monkey or something...

Comment Re: Onstar (Score 1) 52 52

Don't buy it and quite whinging. This is not complicated. You have choices. If you are so weak that you can not resist the shiny then, frankly, you get what you deserve. If there is a market for people who do not want such there will be cars available without such. In this case, avoid cars with OnStar. Other than that, try to keep up.

Comment Re:This Screams, get real computers in cars. (Score 1) 52 52

I imagine that they are thinking that this would be an option and "secure" by default. Keep in mind that no connected device is ever truly secure - ever. So, basically, you would have some sort of standardized information coming off the CANN-BUS and would read or manipulate it on your own. You would be able to configure a firewall and select access points and data restrictions based on policies. That sort of thing. It makes sense actually. I would actually love such a thing. I have an application that lets me play with stuff like timing and whatnot via a laptop connected to the OBD-II.

Having something formal and a full blown OS for it would be absolutely grand and, frankly, I can probably secure such better than they can. It would be neat being able to get specialist applications for your car as well. Those folks who are into hypermiling may even be able to benefit from such but, all-in-all it seems like a great idea and I would be happy to secure my own automobile. I would take responsibility for that.

What would be even more impressive is if the car manufacturers got together and decided on a standard. We could roll our own AutOS (see what I did there?) based on FOSS and have at it. Provided it had a big red "reset to factory" button I think it would be great and would encourage people to hack at their own cars. Patches, applications, tweaks, and hacks (not the pejorative) could be passed upstream for consideration for inclusion in future releases. I am all for it and would likely donate a bunch of my time and effort at improving such to the best of my ability.

I had not really considered the idea until they mentioned it even though I have spent a number of hours in my cars with laptop connected to the OBD-II port. It just never crossed my mind that embedding it would be a great idea - and it would be. A touch screen, a USB port for a keyboard and mouse (or just bluetooth) would make it awesome. Hell, with a contract and 4G you could even turn yourself into a rolling hot spot and do crazy stuff like that. It would bring a whole new meaning to war driving. It would be awesome pretty much all around. Those folks who are not inclined can either get it optionally and let the system take care of itself with "secure" defaults. They could also get a vehicle which did not have the options. It would be a great choice and a wonderful added value to some of us.

It would be great to be able to push a song to the car next to you as you tool down the highway. It would be even more fun to send them a message saying that they need to turn left at the next intersection because someone in your convoy has to stop for a piss. Even better would be the ability to tell the guy in the BMW (that would be me though I am not stereotypical) that they are driving like an idiot and that they need to stop before you just say to hell with it and ram them off the road in a PIT maneuver. You could have a wireless mesh network connected to the cell network. There are lots of great potentials (all of which are ripe for abuse) and security would be something you could/should do on your own if you are inclined to do so. It would be great...

You could pull up into your garage and sync your backups to a RAID10 cluster in your trunk and always have a remote backup for your files. Think of the potential goods (and the risks) and let your imagination run free. I, for one, welcome our new full blown operating system equipped automobiles. If you can not think of such or do not envision such and get your nickers into a knot over such an idea then I have absolutely no idea why you would be on Slashdot. Maybe Reddit is more your style?

Comment That's a common misunderstanding. (Score 1) 4 4

Yes, you know how to do that. VERY few PC computer users would know how. So, the practice is abusive toward most users.

Windows 10 is not "free". Windows 10 is apparently intended to take more control. For example, now Microsoft says it can take and make use of your data: Windows 10: Here are the privacy issues you should know about.

Microsoft will now have full control over Windows Home users with "updates". Microsoft often publishes buggy updates. Judging from the way things are moving, that is just one step to increasing control. Microsoft will apparently arrange even more domination later.

Submission + - For some Facebook users 'hide' may no longer mean hide->

Mark Wilson writes: What do you do if a story appears in your Facebook that you're not interested in? You might just ignore it, or you might try to train Facebook about your preferences by selecting the 'hide' option.

But if you're the sort of person who hides a lot of stories, Facebook might start placing less importance on your dislikes. This might sound counter-intuitive, but Facebook is convinced that it makes sense, saying that for some people opting to hide a story "isn't as strong a negative signal". So who are these people?

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

Maybe... LOL This is the one in CO? I think my attorney would poop a brick if he heard of me even talking about even preliminary discussions on Slashdot. I kind of like Colorado a little bit. The mountains are majestic there. Where I live there are mountains, I am in them, but they are old and wise - having been around since forever ago. The Rockies are majestic in their rebel-filled youth. They spire high and with purpose. Mine are tamed and have seen the many ice ages and lived to tell the tale.

Where is this property located more specifically? You never know. I may be interested. The closest thing I have to CO is in Henderson, NV. That is not a rental though it was an investment. I use it when I go out to Vegas and I allow family to use it when I am not there and when they are headed out that direction.

Anyhow, a description or whatnot would be interesting. I have never had a seller turn down cash. If I were you AND the tenants were sane then I would consider keeping it so long as it has a return percentage higher than your other investments. I would also make damned sure to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible including making extra payments where you can. You can request (they hate it) - no demand - that they apply extra payments directly to the principal. Banks are sneaky bastards and will apply them in a manner that best suits them. You have a right (so far as I know this is applicable in every state) to pay the principal down when you are paying more than the monthly payment.

Pay that down, get it all paid off, then sock some money away and let it grow at a steady rate in something solid like the DIA or even Berkshire Hathaway. Let it grow and dump more money into those savings. When you have enough capital buy another rental property. By the time you are on the third or fourth rental (just from my own calculations based on information I found online at the time I was curious) you will actually be able to stop working assuming you make the median income. The key is to get those first few properties tucked under your belt and have them fully paid off.

The major risk, as near as I can tell, is something catastrophic. Insure the hell out of them - if nothing happens then you are lucky but if something does happen you will be damned grateful. My limited research, actually I did a bunch, suggests that the loss of a single property or a single major lawsuit at the start would be the most crushing blow one could suffer unless they are cash wealthy. Right now you would probably be considered (by most) to be cash poor and land wealthy. Getting those to balance would be nice. My guesstimate suggest striving to have enough liquid assets to be able to replace any one single property would be a good starting point. Well, not a starting point. More like a good spot to begin to relax and feel more comfortable.

Then, when you retire, you can do a couple of things... You can keep the properties and have a very nice steady income as everything should be pure profit (minus obvious expenses) or you can unload the property onto someone else and have a lump sum to play with. As the properties may be getting a bit old and you may wish to have less stress in your life at that age you may just want to unload it and buy yourself a small island in the Caribbean.

I suspect, however, that I am preaching to the choir so to speak and that you are already aware of these things. Be nice to your tenants and they will, generally, be nice to you. Let them know, for example, that you have to raise the rents due to whatever reasons you want, and then ask them how much more they can safely afford to pay. Then raise the rent, over a two year period, to less than what they said they were willing to pay. Let them know that you are going to do that and that it will be less than they could pay. They will win and you will win.

Anyhow, ya never know... LOL I have not once considered buying property from anyone in a forum type of environment - well, not land. I have bought other things from these types of things. So feel free to share more information if you want.

Heh... I'll show you mine if you show me yours. ;-)

You can click here:

The brick buildings are mine. It is not up to date. On the right is a separate building, used to house doctors offices and administration, and it has solar panels on the top. Pan and move around if you are interested. Hell, you're a Slashdotter, match the standing offer and I'll let you buy it instead of the company next door. They are putting in an office on the side where there is an old white house (on the left as you head north). Back south and on the right you can see their construction as they put in an 80 unit elderly/disabled facility that is, I understand, an assisted living residential community.

It was a hospital until the late 1970s. Mr. Begin bought it, renovated it, and held it for 30 years or so. He did a lot of work to the place and it is still in great shape. Every five years or so we hire a company to go in and remove the ivy. There is a nice river behind it. It has trout, bass, yellow perch, and the occasional salmon. There are some other species in there but they are not for eating. Mostly there are just fallfish and eels. Some folks eat them both but I hear that neither is good and I have never tried either. Supposedly eel tastes good according to some. Others say it is rubbery with little flavor.

But, enough digression. I figured I was not doing anything better so I dug you out a link to see the big apartments. I have a similar unit in Rangeley. It is in an old school though. it has about the same number of units and is exclusively elderly. What is kind of strange about the law is that I can have a rental that is exclusively elderly... I can not have one that is exclusively black, exclusively male, or anything like that. Well, I could... I would end up in court and I would not win the case.

And, finally, lest I forget... Always, always, always approach the town/city. Let them know your plans. You'd be surprised what they will do for someone who is going to be investing in their area. They will waive back taxes, they will lower taxes, they will improve roads, etc... They will pipe in new infrastructure and give you a free connect to water, etc... Just go ahead and ask what they can do for you. It can't hurt.

There... I think that was everything. I just figured I would share my experiences and the results from my research on the subject. I can say that it has been successful so far. I belong to a commerce group of property renting folks and have had lots of good advice from them - that may interest you too. There is likely a group like that in most every state and every city of size.

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 289 289

That is really unfortunate. It truly is. Again, I have no idea exactly how the system works over there BUT I know some basics so the following may be true... (Actually, I think it may well have been you who was kind enough to write up a synopsis about UK law so that I could understand it better.)

Now, at your local council and at the other council send them your request for a formal hearing (or such). Have it sent with a secure format - in other words make sure that it is signed for so it can be used as evidence. In the past, I have found just leaders knowing that they are being monitored has a greater impact than simply making requests but you may need confirmation anyhow.

In the case of your relatives, have them send the same/similar request. Just request a hearing and point out how dangerous it is. If you can provide evidence (should not be hard) then that is great. It should be commonsense but, really, commonsense is not all that common. Make a few phone calls - again, be specific about your complaints and why you are complaining. Be polite but firm. Make sure you get the name of the person on the other end of the line - email is also good. Basically, you want to track and be able to prove that you have made multiple attempts at getting the system changed.

What we are going for is accountability and being able to prove willful negligence. So track everyone you talk with. Note the date, the time, their name, and even how they sounded emotionally-wise when you spoke with them.

If and when there is a tragedy find the victims and give them the evidence. With that evidence you can sue (perhaps - again, your legal system is a bit different) but I would not sue for damages. You would be suing for the public outcry and capitalizing on that. Don't attempt to sue for gobs of money or anything - sue to get them to turn the lights back on.

I live in an unincorporated township (there are six full-time residential families but this is not actually a town) and we have a total of two streetlights. Both are at the end of an official road (not a tote road or a long driveway) and that is it. If they were to turn them off then I would consider and petition the government to actually undertake the task of paying for them on their behalf. Yeah, I know, that is what I paid taxes for but sometimes they get drunk and spend the money on hookers and blow.

I would consider working on some careful wording (you can petition your government as I recall) for a petition and have your neighbors sign it, post it at the stores, collect signatures and whatnot. It should not take a lot of work and you do not need to be a lawyer - it can likely be in plain English. Just something along the lines of, "We the people of ______ accept the accountability and wish to petition the governing body in order to have them reconsider turning the lights off at _____. We would prefer the lights remain on during all hours of darkness. We are aware that this means some other services may need to be cut or that some taxes will have to go up but this is a matter of safety and we would rather be safe. Our kids and elderly depend on a safe community and it is our responsibility to provide them with such."

You know, something like that. I am not sure how well it will be received so be creative with your verbiage. Collect and replace the papers often so that they are not lost in the wind. When you have a bunch of signatures turn photocopies of them in. I'd suggest, strongly suggest, that you not even consider just filling in the information with people from the phone book or anything like that. That is immoral and probably illegal.

Again, have your friends in a different neighborhood do the same thing. It is true - costs have to be considered where safety is the goal. Spending money that serves little in the way of achieving safety is a waste. However, the value added by lights is likely higher than the value achieved by disabling them. If you have a rational council (and that is a big "IF") then you may get somewhere. If you do not then you have evidence that you or another citizen can use to help change things.

Can a citizen put an item on the ballot to be voted on in a general election or a special election there? If so that is another route. How 'well off' is the community? Can they (more importantly - will they) consider a self-imposed tax specifically for lighting? I'd not give up and it sounds like this is moderately important to you. As such, my help (limited though it may be) is offered and is offered in good faith.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen