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Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 275

by bigpat (#48655053) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

Wow. I mean, I travel a ton and get annoyed by the TSA as much as the next guy, but you really think it's OK to take a gun onto an airplane? Agree to disagree. People who need to transport their legally owned firearms can do so through the simple act of checking them.

And if someone accidentally forgets to check in their weapons then they can be politely reminded that they need to do so and have their bags sent to check-in instead of having their property confiscated.

Comment: Re:And who will collect the trash? (Score 1) 430

by bigpat (#48654731) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

They wont need to collect the trash since they will be floating in international waters with no regulations, they will just throw it overboard and let us deal with it.

So basically no different than all the ships coming from China carrying all the stuff you buy... and by "let us deal with it" you mean deal with it the same way we are dealing with it now... which is to say not dealing with it and just letting it wash up on beaches and sit in the middle of the ocean until it finally sinks.

Comment: Why not Taft-Hartley? (Score 1) 621

by sethstorm (#48644831) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Instead of automatically repealing it, extend its definition of labor unions to include forms of contingent/temporary/non-FT labor - and that such definition supercedes any state definition.

Sch forms of labor would then compete with the choice of a more secure job arrangement wherever RTW is enacted, as opposed to being used as a benefits/etc. dodge for entities operating under a defective business model.

Comment: Re:Skeptics and Deniers (Score 2) 716

by bigpat (#48634547) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I don't believe people are attacking climate science primarily based on their own preconceived beliefs. At this point most of the "debate" is about politics, economics and self interest. And very few people on either side seem truly motivated by what will happen 200, 100 or even 50 years from now.

If carbon emissions are an overriding concern, then we could relatively easily replace most of our carbon emissions with a large concerted nuclear power build-out in the next twenty years. One which would give us hundreds of years of power supply without carbon emissions just based on Uranium alone. We know nuclear power is relatively safe and a workable solution compared with the more speculative technologies or draconian economic and population contractions that have been talked about.

Or we could just wait and see what comes down the pipeline in terms of new more efficient and more workable energy production technologies, which seems to be really what we are doing de facto.

Either way spinning our wheels in this "debate" seems like a deliberate distraction that all sides are using to distract from the fact that we don't seem close to an agreeable solution to the problem.

Comment: June 1, 2015 is it (Score 1) 281

by bigpat (#48601697) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

They will be immediately forced to hand over everything and be silent about it. Until US laws are fixed AND respected, data going to a US Corporation can by definition not be safe.

Yes, but I think you mean until US laws EXPIRE on June 1, 2015. The most egregious parts of the Patriot Act are still set to expire on June 1, 2015. After that it appears that demanding ALL the records from a business or institution (or person?).... including phone records, email logs, text message logs, web site visitor logs, library records etc etc... will again require an actual constitutionally valid warrant naming the cause, the person and the things to be seized.

Comment: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Whites/Asians from CS? (Score 1) 307

To address the challenge of rapidly increasing CS enrollments and increasing diversity, reports the Computing Education Blog, Google in November put out an RFP to universities for its invite-only 3X in 3 Years: CS Capacity Award program, which aims "to support faculty in finding innovative ways to address the capacity problem in their CS courses." In the linked-to RFP document, Google suggests that "students that have some CS background" should not be allowed to attend in-person intro CS courses where they "may be more likely to create a non-welcoming environment," and recommends that they instead be relegated to online courses. According to a recent NSF press release, this recommendation would largely exclude Asian and White boys from classrooms

In other words, they're trying to remove White males and Asians for non-merit reasons, and making it look like it was a merit-based criteria.

The project suggested in the Google RFP — which could be worth $1.5 million over 3 years to a large CS department — seems to embrace-and-extend a practice implemented at Harvey Mudd College years ago under President Maria Klawe, which divided the intro CS offering into separate sections based upon prior programming experience to — as the NY Times put it — reduce the intimidation factor of young men, already seasoned programmers, who dominated the class.

Intimidation? That sounds like they're not interested in merit but in discrimination against Asians and White males - as in wanting to see them leave CS. As one of those "white males that dominated the class" through performance, I used that knowledge to legitimately help others (which might be an extraordinary concept at Harvey Mudd).

The only thing they want to do is to embrace and extend a false sense of diversity while extinguishing the supply of education to those not "diverse" enough.

Google Director of Education and University Relations Maggie Johnson, whose name appears on the CS Capacity RFP, is also on the Board of (where Klawe is coincidentally an Advisory Board member), the K-12 learn-to-code nonprofit that has received $3+ million from Google and many millions more from other tech giants and their execs. Earlier this week, received the blessing of the White House and NSF to train 25,000 teachers to teach CS, stirring unease among some educators concerned about the growing influence of corporations in public schools.

As long as you're a Diversity Candidate, they want you to learn. If you're a White male or Asian, they want you not to learn. That, and combined with the preference for non-US labor, they don't want White males or Asians in traditional lines of work either.

Comment: Re:transfer the ID information to the police (Score 1) 207

by bigpat (#48581601) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

Most people live where their car is registered. And most commonly it is household members that might be driving that car. So address is a pretty solid way to associate the data. No not 100%., but that wasn't the point. It was merely a convenience for police to be able to bring up the record of someone more quickly based on the car registration.

Name or Name and address should be more than sufficient 99% of the time to bring up the records for an in-state driver.

As for out of state drivers... states have to determine reciprocity for a variety of licensing, so that isn't a new problem.

Comment: Re:transfer the ID information to the police (Score 1) 207

by bigpat (#48581005) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

On the first issue. Having a database association between a car registration and known or even likely drivers is a relatively trivial exercise in associating different databases... namely car registrations and licenses. Shared address would be the simplest way to associate cars and possible drivers. But that would clearly not be 100% reliable, so it would be merely a convenience for the police so they don't have to manually enter information for writing up a ticket or checking for outstanding warrants. Actually, it could be of added benefit because it could end up bringing up information on other household members who may very well be in the car at the time.

The only concern about making up a name that would be valid is if the courts saw making up a name or withholding your name as a valid exercise of your first or 5th amendment rights. Otherwise you could simply make it a requirement for drivers to give their real legal name to police and it would be practically no different than presenting a fake ID or refusing to give your ID to the police. And the benefit is that such a system would eliminate the possibility of people getting cited for driving without a license just for forgetting their license at home. It is a real shame that in most states the system has made forgetfulness a misdemeanor. I know that I have left my wallet at home probably half a dozen or maybe a dozen times over many years and driven my car, thankfully never got caught.

As for the ID being a convenient way to get started for looking up someone's data. I don't dispute that. Especially, for all those scenarios where someone has a hard to spell name or like you mention a hard to facially recognize face. Having a card with a name, picture and bar code on it makes some sense. And there are many many somewhat artificial reasons that having a physical ID makes sense. Like access to Federal facilities requiring a REAL ID compliant state issued picture ID. So I wouldn't argue for a wholesale overnight change. But I do have a concern that most states have laws on the books that make a simple and reasonable act of forgetfullness a misdemeanor crime.

I think what I would suggest as way to make the law less unnecessarily onerous would simply be to allow people to avoid an additional citation for driving without a license if the police can verify your identity via other means and can verify that you do have a license to drive. So simply eliminate the misdemeanor for those who have merely forgotten their licenses as long as the police system is working.

Comment: Re:Not to sound too paranoid (Score 1) 207

by bigpat (#48577699) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

According to a local news story I heard reported a few weeks ago, there are systems in place used for traffic monitoring that already grabbing wireless data from people's cell phones. Apparently the technique is being used simply to model traffic patterns and for planning purposes.

Yes, there certainly are such systems, and they're not all that new. The most prominent one is probably Google Traffic.

That is a bit different than what was described in the news story and what I was describing.... What the Department of Transportation was supposedly doing was actually using the cell phone pings to the towers in order to identify, triangulate and track vehicles. So there was no "opt-out" like you can do if you are using an android phone and don't want to provide location data to Google. The only opt out was to power off your phone.

Comment: Re:Not to sound too paranoid (Score 1) 207

by bigpat (#48575803) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

Does this sound like a convenient way for Police to have unfettered access to your phone, in light of Riley v. California?

Actually, I think it might be a convenient way to track drivers and eventually to tax people either flat rates or congestion taxes based on their road usage which could eliminate the need for electronic tags. Taxation is always a bigger motivator than police security. According to a local news story I heard reported a few weeks ago, there are systems in place used for traffic monitoring that already grabbing wireless data from people's cell phones. Apparently the technique is being used simply to model traffic patterns and for planning purposes. But there has been talk about the need to replace the gas tax with open road tolling and there is also a push by some urban planners and environmentalists (and the people selling these systems) to start imposing congestion type taxes around densely populated urban centers. Having an app for that already installed on people's phones would be a step in that direction.

I think the public debate should be focused instead on simplifying and limiting the burden on people. Don't impose complicated solutions to simple problems. Just check people's odometers if we want to go to a mileage tax, don't need to track their movements everywhere.

Comment: Re:transfer the ID information to the police (Score 1) 207

by bigpat (#48575705) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

Don't the police have computers? Can't they just query the DMV themselves?

That is the point I keep coming back to... the idea of a picture ID or any paperwork that you carry with you comes from a time when we didn't have networked computers with access to real time information. It seems reasonable that we could just eliminate having to carry around physical IDs altogether (at least as a requirement of the law) and have the police taking pictures and/or typing in a name to verify someone's identity.

Facial recognition could be used to make the look-ups faster and more accurate. And most drivers are associated with one or two vehicles, so the police could have someone's picture up before they even approach the driver in most cases.

At some point relying on the information provided by a picture ID just isn't reliable and has always been prone to being faked. Much better to just check the picture stored by the DMV than to trust a picture on an ID. Sure the network can go down, but that really should be the exception and we can probably think of a better fallback than a piece of plastic with your name and an old picture on it.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford