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Comment: Quote for articles including Uber and regalation (Score 1) 127

âoeOf all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C.S. Lewis

Comment: Re:Just for fun (Score 2) 243

by quantaman (#48900193) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

I googled for "GMO Hazards"

and out of the top 10 sites not one had actual problems that were caused by GMO foods

Lot of might and could be, but no actually. No "Killer corn ate my baby "

So How bout labeling foods that are produced from selective breeding genetically engineered as well ?

I think the labelling thing is nonsense since I don't think health risks are a big concern but I am a bit more cautious about the long term environmental effects as I suspect we're underestimating the probability of black swan events.

I think of selective breeding vs GMOs is a bit like traditional medicine vs modern medicine. Traditional medicine generally ranges from slightly beneficial to mildly harmful, you're not going to do yourself much harm, but you're not going to help much either. By contrast modern medicine is devastatingly effective in good ways and bad.

Right now you'd be a fool to choose traditional medicine over modern medicine, especially if you have a serious health issue, the benefits are too strong and we know how to manage the nasty side effects.

But at the dawn of modern medicine? You're probably better off dealing with the traditional stuff, a lot of people died because modern medicine was an incredibly powerful tool and people didn't know enough about that tool to use it safely.

I worry we're at that stage with GMOs and the environment. We don't really understand what it does to the ecosystem when we introduce new traits at that speed and effectiveness. We really can't know until we've done it a while. I'm sure GMO crops are the answer for the future, but I'm worried our capabilities are outstripping our knowledge.

Comment: You have got to be kidding (Score 2) 127

You could potentially walk, bike, take public transport or a cab to get to your clients.

No, I really can't - mostly I'm driving about 30 minutes at 50-60MPH average to reach them. Considering the fact that as a consultant I get paid by the hour it would cost me vast sums of money to bike to them, and probably an hour longer each way taking any public transport (I've looked into that). A cab is not a bad idea if you live in a city but I'm working between multiple areas and also take very long road trips all the time (partly for business) so it would be stupid to also spend money on a cab when the marginal extra cost of using my car is vastly less.

it's not an absolute requirement for your business

My clients disagree which is why I drive to them. If I don't have a job because I do not drive, it's a requirement.

Your argument is way, way weak. There is no "key difference". The fact is that driving for Uber and driving friends around has zero actual difference in terms of external risk or ability. That's the core argument where you simply cannot distinguish, thus either everyone needs a commercial license or no-one does.

Comment: Totally wrong there buddy (Score 1) 127

Even as a contractor you may not deduct mileage driving to and from clients as that is considered non-commercial commuting by the IRS

Good thing I listen to my accountant and not idiot AC posters on Slashdot:

One way to avoid the harsh commuting rule is to have a home office that qualifies as your principal place of business. In this event, you can deduct the cost of any trips you make from your home office to another business location.

From one of a billion links that tell you how the world actually works

I mean, what consultant these days is not going to have a home office? Sheesh.

Most states, for example, have a taxi drivers endorsement for their regular drivers license.

Yes they do. The point is that is as stupid as it is unnecessary; it's just a revenue collection scheme and has zero to do with keeping people safe (the supposed intent).

Comment: Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 127

You are not being paid to drive to work. You are being paid for the work you do there.

I am a contractor. I drive to clients, all of my driving to clients is directly related to the job.

I also write iOS applications, sometimes I drive around testing the GPS aspects of the apps. In those cases I am billing while driving.

Why do I need a commercial license tags for that again? How is that in any was reasonable except you simply want more money from me and that seems like a fine angle to use to extract it? It wouldn't make me any safer to have a license where I answer questions about driving tractor trailers. Insurance wise I had damn well better be covered for anyone else getting injured in my car anyway, and insurance is already calculated based in part on miles you drive per year (not to mention Lyft/Uber provide extra insurance on top of what you have).

Why would I need commercial license/tags to drive a few people around few days a week? I already do that with family and friends. Why is is so different when it's someone I don't know at the start?

Comment: Why should the requirements be onerous?? (Score 2) 127

Maybe the DMV should streamline the process instead of lowering the requirements?

Part of the Commercial Drivers License Test includes questions like "The phrase gross combination weight is figured by adding together what?". Is it reasonable to require you know the answer when you are just driving a person around in a passenger car?

The reason why the commercial drivers license test is way too onerous is that it's really meant for people driving trucks or other specialized vehicles. What aspect of the existing drivers license test does not cover what a person just driving a few other people around in their own car would not cover? After all, that's exactly the same as if they were simply driving friends and family around... if the test can't help you be a decent driver doing that, then improve the basic test instead of requiring you to know a truck swinging wide is called Offtracking...

Comment: Answer: Uber/Lyft provide extra insurance (Score 1) 127

Why, exactly, should Uber drivers get to drive passengers using regular non-commercial drivers' insurance?

They don't really, this is why Uber and Lyft both provide supplemental insurance for drivers.

Commercial insurance costs more because people who drive people around for a living are much more likely to cost the insurance companies more money

That's bullshit because the cost of personal insurance is partly factored in by miles driver per year, so that risk is ALREADY INCLUDED.

If you're letting them drive on non-commercial licenses than that means that regular drivers are subsidizing Uber-drivers.

No more than people who drive a lot for drives or commute already are.

Comment: Re:sounds complicated (Score 1) 120

by quantaman (#48894005) Attached to: Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

Wouldn't it be easier to run Windows 8 in a virtual machine like VM Ware on a Linux computer? Why go through WINE and possible incompatibility issues? Or buy a gaming laptop for gaming on windows? I'm sure you geeks make $30 an hour and can afford two computers.

I do a fairly limited amount of gaming but if I do any I'll do it on my the Linux desktop I built myself.

I have no interest in buying a copy of Windows just for gaming so install on a VM, it's not even a question of principal, I just can't be bothered to go through that much effort for a crappy solution.

Comment: Re:Size (Score 1) 322

by quantaman (#48893105) Attached to: What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

Your making this into a binary situation when it's more subtle than that.

Should it be illegal? No.

Does it make people uncomfortable? Yes.

Why does it make them uncomfortable? Because the added possibility of a surreptitious recording makes them a little more cautious than they would have been otherwise (even in public). It's not about appropriate vs inappropriate, I know I wouldn't feel comfortable having a connected conversation about my feelings with a potentially global audience. You've never passively eavesdropped on a couple's conversation? What about the people who think that conversation is so interesting they'll start recording and post it to facebook saying "check out this fascinating conversation I overheard".

I'm still not saying ban it, but there are social consequences we need to consider.

Comment: Of course it is stupid. From both sides. (Score 1) 358

by SuperKendall (#48889559) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

There may have been a perception of power which may be enough

How? That does not seem reasonable.

Either way, it's incredibly stupid for someone in his position to get involved at all with a current student.

What he did is INCREDIBLY stupid. I'm not saying he does not bear primary fault in this. He had the most to lose also, it was just idiotic. Although if you were playing devils advocate, couldn't you claim he had a sexual addiction that compelled him to ask? That sounds as reasonable as saying the women had some kind of illness that compelled them to submit; in fact his actions speak even more strongly to there being a mental issue that overrode strong rational and moral reasons not to act as he did. The potential impact to him was proportionality much greater than any one of the women, exactly because of his position and status - and yet he appears to have contacted hundreds of women. How can you look at that and not claim he was mentally ill?

What the women did was stupid also though. They had no reason to send him nude images or video. At any time they could have simply ceased communication, and gotten what they wanted (physics education) from some other source.

Comment: Where is it addressed in EITHER article (Score 1) 358

by SuperKendall (#48889345) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

That's addressed in the article.

The fact you say "The article" makes me wonder if you read either. There are two...

The thing is, I read both articles. Neither of them address the position of power issue. One says "she felt trapped". But how? That makes NO SENSE when you can so easily block or otherwise ignore people communicating solely over social media, which offer many means for blocking annoying people. There is no means of trapping someone.

I would understand how someone might "feel trapped" if they were a student attending a college into which they had put forward substantial tuition. I would understand if they were to gain credit from a course needed to move forward in education. Even just being in physical proximity I could see it. There are a lot of circumstances in which I can image someone feeling trapped in some way, where there was a small amount of power to leverage - but not in this case. The course was free, the grades if any counted for nothing. The moment the contact started getting lewd the person should have broke off contact, and could easily have done so.

I'll leave the RRTFA to the person willing to make an argument/ask a question that takes the entire article into account, as you have utterly failed to do.

Comment: Re:Good news (Score 4, Insightful) 410

by quantaman (#48889107) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Sorry, but while TOS did do a lot of exploring philosophy and some groundbreaking stuff, it was full of glorious almost campy action throughout. That's because Roddenberry actually hadn't forgotten what audiences wanted to see on TV.

TNG was preachy at the beginning and then they fixed it. TNG was never horrible, but the first season was sort of blah and I think it only really made it because "ZOMG HOLY SHIT WE HAVE TREK BACK AND PATRICK STEWART AND THE ENTERPRISE-D, FUCK YEAH!"

The thing that comes closest to a philosophical masterpiece of Trek is probably the snoozefest that is TMP. Trek's answer to 2001, only not really.

Kirk punched people out and had sex with green slave girls. The only thing that the new Trek got wrong about all that is that their portrayal of sex was presented stylistically as fan service, and they made Kirk into a frat boy instead of a red-blooded macho hero-type.

I'm not saying Star Trek should be a plodding intellectual discussion, the action and adventure is an essential part, but without the philosophy the films have no heart.

Look at Wrath of Khan, you open up with Kobayashi Maru, a discussion about dealing with hopeless situations, and then transition to a discussion about growing old.

Khan isn't just a random villain, he has a somewhat legitimate grudge against Kirk who exiled him and his crew on a planet and then never checked up on them and thus never realized the world was dying.

In the new Star Trek Kirk is basically a kid with a spaceship, there's very little underlying philosophy guiding his actions and to the extent it does come up emotion is driving his philosophy rather than the other way around.

Even the first TNG movies remembered this and have a bit of lasting power, the new Trek movies are just very forgettable.

Comment: What power? (Score 1) 358

by SuperKendall (#48888389) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

i think the argument is that she couldn't refuse since the professor was in a position of power.

I didn't think the grades from these courses counted for anything (if they even were grades) so where exactly did the power come from? She was under no obligation to keep up with the course and if someone started asking me fore nudes I'd just learn physics some other way.

Comment: Why not build scooters/motorcycles this way? (Score 1) 118

I would presume scooters and motorcycles have way easier standards to meet since they don't have to do anything to protect the rider - I wonder if it would make more sense to start by producing those. Custom scooter/motorcycle designs could be pretty cool.

Comment: Not evidence - outline (Score 1) 178

The point of having the journal would not be for evidence the resulting book was real, it would be simply to have vast amount of source material to create a book from more quickly, so you could have a book ready sooner after trial.

He could presumably re-create most of the information from memory, but memory is fickle and it would take a lot more time to get it out.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer