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Comment: Re:Scum (Score 1) 253

> Several years ago, the process of almost any online application realized a 90%+ non-response rate

Ah, youth.

Back when I was trying to land my first job, I replied to help wanted ads in the newspaper. (Yes, it's been a while.) What I remember of that was that the response rate was not much better in those days. ... and each application submitted required postage.

That's not to say that it's any less frustrating today than it was then, but the cost of the search (in actual out-of-pocket expenses) has decreased a good bit.

Comment: Drivers license photos (Score 3, Interesting) 129

by sabt-pestnu (#47922167) Attached to: FBI Completes New Face Recognition System

State DMVs have for some time been compiling digital photo databases. I know Oregon has because they had to bring "someone more familiar with the software" in when they took my license photo. I have a sizable beard and mustache, and I believe the software had difficulty finding my mouth. ... I didn't offer to help.

If cars are going to have some "if you aren't facing the road, we're going to shut the car off" routine, I may be somewhat restricted in my choice of automobile, or at least options packages...

Comment: Why is this better than simulation? (Score 3, Informative) 56

by sabt-pestnu (#47674691) Attached to: A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes

The difference between theory and practice is
- in theory, there is no difference
- in practice, there is.

A simulation of self-assembling robots is theory.
An actual pile of 1,024 self-assembling robots is practice.

Less tritely, you have zero information about flaws in your simulation until you try to apply it to/in the real world. Your simulation is excellent at helping you identify logical flaws in your design. But if you fail to account for something (crosswinds, say), then your simulation simply won't help you find it.

It's that whole "unknown unknowns" thing, man.

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 1) 322

by sabt-pestnu (#47519927) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Running with your bad car analogy, they also package that engine for the subcompact and electric SUV models. It's just that you can't reach the steering wheel on the one, and it's entirely counter to why you would buy the vehicle for the other.

Some chassis/body limitations may apply...

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 281

by sabt-pestnu (#47283907) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors


The profile for the twitter account doesn't look (to my uneducated glance) to be a corporate account, but rather his personal account.

And so people who feel harmed by the MtGox collapse are complaining that he isn't showing them contrition?

Isn't that ... self-centered? So who is the wired story really about? The MtGox personage, or the Entitled Masses seeking opportunties to excoriate him?

Comment: Properly sized internet connections (Score 1) 286

The internet connection to the place I used to live in did have a properly sized internet connection from day one:


Yep. no internet connection. Built in 1930.

The internet connection to my apartment complex was properly sized when the complex was constructed.

1970. Copper wire phone lines. They were suitable up to about 1995 too, covering 19.2k modems.

Think about how much your data consumption has increased in even the last 10 years. Comparing water usage to broadband usage is not apropos. Compare your broadband usage to the 1930's electrification projects instead.

Comment: Re:What basis for this case? (Score 1) 75

> You could say "give me the source code or I'll sue you for beeeelions" and they can say "Ok, sue us", lose the case, pay billions and keep their source code.

... and be charged with contempt if they continue to distribute without a license.

And aside, it seems likely that part of the judgement would include "cough up the source code, mac."

Comment: Re:Is this really a victory though? (Score 1) 89

by sabt-pestnu (#46373011) Attached to: Lawrence Lessig Wins Fair Use Case

A different article on this story (think it was techdirt) describes the situation:

If a party basically offers to settle for terms that match what it would likely get in a final court ruling, and the other party doesn't accept, courts tend to look very negatively on that situation.

That is "you won, what the heck are you still doing in my courtroom?"

Comment: Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (Score 1) 383

by sabt-pestnu (#45956793) Attached to: Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

- when the NSA coopted Google and AT&T and Verizon and a bunch of other major corporations to spy on everybody..

FTFY... When some goon with a gun (even if it is a gun shaped like a law) points it at you and says "hand over the goods", you've only got two choices: obey or not. Your prospects for an immediate future are severely limited with one of those choices.

And if you obey often enough, it becomes habit.

Comment: Re:Efficiency. (Score 1) 937

by sabt-pestnu (#45912327) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Read the posts above. Gearing makes a difference.

Once the speed limit was set at 55, most cars being produced for the American market were geared for 55 being the typical cruising speed, and higher gears were stripped out, perhaps for weight reduction, perhaps for cost reduction.

Either way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: gear a car to drive optimally at speed X, and it will do so.

Note that you can get cheap back-pats pointing out "this car's mileage starts dropping off at (speed X) instead of (speed Y)", where a better picture comes from comparing mileage for both vehicles over the range of speeds.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser