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Comment: Nope, it's the homeless (Score 2, Interesting) 248

There's one guy who is constantly begging on the New Jersey Transit trains in Penn Station NYC, he claims he just needs a few bucks for a ticket to get home (common scam actually, this guy is just more regular than most). Of course he's full of shit, as another guy on my car proved by offering him a ticket to where he wanted to go, and when he refused it, lit into him about how he was a pathetic loser who was making his race look bad.

Then there's the "Why Lie, I Need a Beer" guy also in Penn Station NYC. Though I think he's actually not homeless at all but a cop of some sort, he seems a bit too healthy.

And the bunches who fake some sort of deformity. They seem to have shifts worked out; maybe there's an organization who controls it. Anyway, they get in their contorted positions and hold out a cup or a sign or whatever. Then when their shift is up, they straighten up, pick up their stuff, and go.

Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 1) 428

by russotto (#46763721) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?
Yes, those statistics are nonsense for these purposes. They include foreign language speakers (1st generation immigrants) as well as people who are illiterate in all languages. They're probably not fine-grained enough to separate your crackheads and tweakers from the rest of the population. And of course including black population as an input means you'll see it as an output.

Comment: Re:Someone doesn't understand devops. (Score 5, Funny) 210

by russotto (#46763621) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

It's scary how much "cowboy configuration" there is out there, and yet in the programming world, "cowboy coding" is frowned upon.

Oh yeah, it's frowned on. Every senior developer will sternly tell you that "cowboy coding" is a terrible idea, then they will saddle up their horse and ride away.

Comment: Re:Ah, the joys of getting old (Score 1) 426

by russotto (#46744149) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Are we ever going to get an "oopsie, so sorry" from all the environmentalists who squashed the US nuclear power industry?

No, they and their heirs are too busy trying to keep wind and solar and geothermal energy down in the US. They'd like to stop oil, gas, and coal too, but those guys seem to have bought a better quality of politician. Shivering in the dark is the way they'd like us to live, if we live at all.

Comment: Re:Safer phones? Seriously? (Score 1) 184

by russotto (#46743995) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

At that point, we can start imposing a much higher standard of driver education and much harsher penalties, and it will be what it should be -- simple revocation of the privilege of driving -- rather than an act that can potentially be financially ruinous far out of proportion to the offense.

If revocation of a drivers license couldn't be financially ruinous far out of proportion to the offense, it wouldn't be nearly so popular among the law-n-order crwoed.

Comment: Re:Your phone should belong to the collective (Score 1) 184

by russotto (#46743947) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

But I'm a bourgeoisie materialist!

Anyway, when I see numbers like "multiple of 23.2", I know someone's playing fast and loose with the truth. Where's the buckets of blood if using a cellphone and driving is so dangerous? Personally I don't talk or text while driving, because I'm an asocial geek anyway. But I expect the main effect of the laws being pushed and passed is I'll end up spending a few nights in jail because I was using my phone as a navigation device ("a likely story") and told the cop so in rather strong language.

Comment: Re:Why so much resistance to climate science? (Score 1) 849

The crazy thing is, if we weren't spending trillions on the force projection necessary to secure our unsustainable fossil based energy infrastructure, we could easily use that wealth to build a sustainable solar/nuclear-based infrastructure - no drastic controls or raised taxes required.

And you know this... how? Anyway, nuclear is a non-starter politically, and for political reasons it is non-sustainable; we can neither reprocess waste nor store it long term. Thermal solar is a non-starter politically, as it impacts various desert habitats. PV... forget about it.

I don't believe there isn't a way to manage a peaceful transition. We went to the moon because we had the will to do it. We could do the same with our energy infrastructure.

The moon was a one-shot (well, six-shot) publicity deal. Energy infrastructure is an ongoing thing. Not really comparable.

Comment: Re:German != English (Score 1) 428

by russotto (#46742313) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

You can't actually write "fish" as "ghoti" in English either, it's an exaggeration for effect; English is full of arbitrary rules and exceptions and inconsistency, but it doesn't go that far. Both 'gh' as the voiceless labiodental fricative typically written as 'f' and 'ti' as the voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant typically written as 'sh' are context sensitive, and the context is wrong in 'ghoti'.

The vowel is unlikely too, but English is even less consistent about vowels. I suspect 'o' in 'women' ended up pronounced like 'i' in 'fish' to distinguish it from 'woman'; the different unstressed vowel wouldn't be sufficient.

Comment: Re:Drones are still too dumb (Score 1) 214

by russotto (#46740307) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

The trouble with drones is that most of them don't have enough sensing to avoid other aircraft. Most don't have aviation transponders. Yet some of them are big enough that they're a hazard to other aircraft. Many of them can get 500 feet above ground level (AGL).

Many model aircraft can get above 500ft AGL. It's not a real problem getting them up there, it's a problem controlling them once they're up there if you're watching from the ground. Thus, "first person view" drones.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics used to have a 450' AGL rule, and the FAA has a clear rule about doing anything off the ground within 5 miles of an airport without coordination with the tower. That's enough to keep the little guys from interfering with aircraft.

The AMA is a bunch of irrelevant old retired guys; their main thrust is to convince municipalities it is too dangerous to allow anyone to fly model aircraft unless they have the AMA seal of approval, which they'll grant you (for a fee) if you're an old retired guy willing to fly your plane in a predefined pattern all day. They hate First Person View because they think it violates the purity of the hobby or something, and a lot of them object to anything that's not fixed-wing.

I suspect most people flying model aircraft in the US haven't heard of them; certainly few enough are members.

Comment: Re:Fuck the FAA (Score 1) 214

by russotto (#46740181) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

The FAA has lost the only court case on this matter they've fought.

It's worse than that. Not only did they lose the case, they lost it in their own administrative courts. But of course they can force everyone else go to through the exact same long and expensive process because there's no cost to them for doing so.

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