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Comment: Re: Moral Imperialism (Score 1) 314

by Jane Q. Public (#48191821) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Just FYI, the rule against illegal cartoons exists in the USA too. The Supreme Court struck down attempts to use CP laws in this way as being obvious nonsense, so Congress just went ahead and amended the law to make it explicitly illegal as opposed to implicitly illegal.

I do not believe this is true. I was aware of the SCOTUS decision but I've not even heard of this statute. Can you provide a reference?

Comment: Re:Good riddance. (Score 1) 314

by Jane Q. Public (#48191757) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

No, I don't think so. According to Wikipedia, UK child porn laws only ban indecent images of children under 18, where "image" can apparently be a drawing, as well as a photo.

It should probably be pointed out that this is the primary difference between UK and US in this regard.

Some years back -- maybe 6 or 8 years ago, I guessing, I don't really remember -- they U.S. Supreme Court ruled that for something to be "child pornography" it had to be recordings of real children (i.e., picture or video) and it had to be real pornography.

Now, IANAL either, but I believe States can regulate something like that as "obscene" material, but not child pornography. And they would risk the state law getting overturned by SCOTUS again.

Comment: Re: Agner Krarup Erlang - The telephone in 1909! (Score 1) 273

by Jane Q. Public (#48191727) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

McDonald's did it's motion efficiency studies decades and decades ago, and hasn't kept up the work.

You can say the same thing about Microsoft. If they were still doing human-interface-efficiency work, they wouldn't have tried to make a "flat" interface. (Or for that matter, copied by so many others.) "Flat" is nothing more than a fad, and a destructive one; it throws away valuable feedback cues.

Anyway, the main point I wanted to make is that Haseltine is wrong about at least one thing. Not in principle, but in practice:

So the total amount of labor is always going to be the same, for a fixed number of ice bags.

This isn't a "wrong" statement, it's just irrelevant. What you have to consider, when you move the lines faster, is not the total amount of labor, but the amount of labor per time.

If the line moves 4 times faster, for 1/4 the time, then you need 4 times the laborers... for 1/4 the time. You don't get to multiply people the same way you can speed.

Comment: Re:Is Google Losing It? (Score 1) 140

by Jane Q. Public (#48191665) Attached to: Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

Google isn't modifying their search results.

Yes, they are. According to OP, they'll be putting what THEY deem to be "legitimate" sites at the top. And asking for pay to be listed as "legitimate".

If that isn't "modifying search results" for money, I don't know what is.

Google just found a new way to be evil.

Comment: Queue theory in an profit driven world (Score 1) 273

by fermion (#48188293) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man
As mentioned before, this problem has largely been solved. The constraints are not just waiting time, and waiting time is often the least of anyone problems. The elevator waiting time problem can, for example, be solved more efficiently with mirrors than by building more elevators. Waiting for a telephone operator is solved more efficiently with estimating time for wait and music than adding operators. So the question becomes is the line a problem to be solved, or only an issue for the stressed out suits who visit.

First, it is arguable that at a a place like burning man which is allegedly a social event, the act of waiting in line is not in fact part of the stated purpose. I mean, where else do you get an opportunity to meet random like minded people. It is why waiting in line at whole foods is not big deal. It is really party time. Only overly introverted judgmental people get all stressed over it. If one is laid back and enjoying the groove, who cares?

Likewise it is reasonable to ask whether profits would increase with more ice. The writeup postulates that there is a fixed costs to bringing in ice and that profit increases linearly for more ice sold. If this were true, then there would be more than three distribution points. So what is probably going on here is that paying people to drive and sell the ice would cost more than the profits to sell the ice if more trucks were brought in. Probably three trucks of ice is probably what is sold, and through most of the day the wait time is not an hour. Wait time would probably be reduced more by people choosing a different time to buy ice. It would probably be beneficial to track wait times during the day and see if it would be possible to even out the flow of people. If more ice is needed than is supplied, then add another truck and increase if necessary.

Finally we have the cute idea of the volunteer. In the case of price gouging the last thing one want is an untrusted person dealing with the product. You might as well ask the drug dealers to have volunteers distribute the H. The marginal cost of a bag of ice is minimal, but the bags must be sold to cover the costs. If the situation is as dire as the poster suggests, there would be a large incentive for the volunteer to steal ice. Maybe each volunteer works an hour, and then thinks they are entitled to a couple free bags of ice. At minimum wage, the firm is not making any bargains off the situation.

I know how these festivals go, and roughing it is hard, but that is why we were given granola, and way clavier is not suitable for every occasion.

Comment: Re:Much as I despise trolls (Score 1) 456

by gnasher719 (#48185851) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

As for internet harrassment, it might be better to sentence people to perform ass kissing services for the harrassed for some period of time. The movement of the justice system away from pushing people to make restitution for harm done, and instead toward universal incarceration for every possible infraction, is a second injustice to victims, as well as being corrosive poison to society. If a guy is an asshole and threatens someone but didn't really mean it, do we really want to spend societal resources to imprison them for TWO FUCKING YEARS! Does anybody ever think? I mean really THINK about the implications of what they are saying when they cheer on the state to put the boot to more faces? Do you really think the "there ought to be a law" model can go on forever without that boot ultimately winding up on your own face?

It is surely a good idea to have alternative punishments than just prison. Take fly tipping (which is a horrible nuisance in some place): Convict anyone who is caught to keep the area clean that he messed up, until the next guy is caught and convicted. That would keep the country clean and teach them a valuable lesson.

But also keep in mind that two years is the _maximum_ sentence. Like fly tipping should have a maximum punishment that works for someone emptying a dozen 30 ton trucks full of rubbish, this also needs a suitable punishment for the worst imaginable cases.

Comment: Re:Eh (Score 1) 188

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48185043) Attached to: The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut
At this point, I'd be tempted to make any would-be astronaut pass the 'n months in standby and hard vacuum before the signal from mission control wakes you up' test, because Our Robot Overlords have gotten considerably better; but it'd be no worse, and possibly better, than the John Glenn launch a few years back.

Comment: I don't know where you live (I assume the U.S.). (Score 4, Informative) 99

by Sique (#48184989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?
But here around (Austria in Europe), we have providers that actually offer such services: An hotspot device hooked on LTE and a quite generous data plan. The device itself is not supposed to be mobile (needs a wall socket for power), but all the other components are there: see this or that.

Comment: Re:That's absurd, aim your hate cannon elsewhere. (Score 3, Interesting) 298

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48183517) Attached to: If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

People love to hate Apple. It's a thing. Also, is there any evidence this data is not anonymised by Apple?

'Anonymised' is mostly a weasel word. It isn't always impossible; but the more interesting the dataset is, the more likely it is that there's a clever re-identification attack with good odds of success. If you are serious about preventing those, you tend to have to nuke the data so hard that they aren't of much interest anymore.

Unless robustly demonstrated to the contrary, it's an essentially worthless claim.

Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 97

by Jane Q. Public (#48183367) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

I find it interesting how the article talks about how the Canadian government owns the IP yet you discuss the US and its rules.

I am tempted to write WHOOSH! here, but I will politely refrain from meaning it seriously. For now.

I did not make a mistake. I was purposefully bringing attention to that difference between those governments.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982