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Comment RIP Oliver Sacks (Score 3, Insightful) 14

I mistook my sock for a wife once.

Seriously though, the dude wrote some great stuff on human perception of music and the brain's processing of musical information.

Plus, he was kind of a badass:


It's sad when one of these bright lights goes out.

Comment Re:Why autonomous cars? (Score 2) 154

Why do we need autonomous elevators? Why are we putting elevator operators out of work?

You make a good point. The first building I worked in out of college had an elevator operator and he was a cool old dude. Extremely helpful, and much much much more useful than the new digital building directory systems in place today. He could not only tell you which floor and suite you wanted, but he'd give helpful tips on the way up like, "his secretary seems nasty, but if you ask her about her kids in the photo on her desk, she'll be really nice and even bring you coffee while you're waiting for your appointment". For those in the know, he was also a horse-player and would give very good tips in races at Arlington Park. More than once he told me, "A sharp lad might want to put $10 on Lightning Switch in the 7th race today." One time he even gave me the 1-2-3 combination in the trifecta and made me over $300 bucks, which to a barely-paid mail-room boy was a lot of scratch. Let's see some Siri-fied automated building directory system do that. He would also make sure that if you were hustling to the elevator carrying boxes, he'd wait until you caught up. There were several banks of elevators in that building, all with elevator operators, and I'd use his every single time.

Hell yes we need to have elevator operators again.

Comment Re:Any shortage of suicide bombers? (Score 1) 154

I don't see how this is a worst threat than the current situation provided there plenty suicide bombers available.

Because brainwashing a suicide bomber takes time and effort and he can only be used once. And during that time and effort, there are lots of fail points and exposure to the authorities finding out about the suicide bomber. An individual hacking an AV to direct an attack doesn't require very much in the way of infrastructure or organization or time or effort beyond what is already in place. And the exploit (and it can hardly even be considered an exploit, since it's basically using an autonomous vehicle for what it was meant to do, which is go from location A to B). A suicide bomber requires an organization. The attack described in the article does not.

Comment Why autonomous cars? (Score 1) 154

I don't mean to pee in the swimming pool here, but why again exactly do we need autonomous cars, and what's the rush? Have we run out of humans to drive cars? Are there not enough vehicles on the road? Is there full employment to the point where we need robots to drive commercial vehicles because there aren't enough drivers? And don't tell me, "it will be safer" because as long as there are human-driven vehicles sharing the road, it won't be one bit safer to have autonomous vehicles in the mix.

Every time I see a AV story here on Slashdot, I get the feeling someone is pushing an agenda. I mean, I don't give a shit one way or the other, but it really seems as though this one example of someone thinking about the possible negative ramifications of autonomous vehicles seems to make a certain group of slashdot readers really mad.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 358

You're not busy tampering with my country, [...] I don't give a shit about bumfuckistan, so I will still visit so long as you don't fuck with me or my people personally.

This is why we can't have nice things. Well, actually, it's why we can have nice things while other people have to be collected from all over the room and loaded into buckets for disposal.

Comment Re:couldn't hurt (Score 1) 232

Instead of expecting people to exercise their language skills, we're just enabling stupid people to be more stupid.

And believing that you of course used a telnet client to read this discussion and post your message, since a "browser" makes the process easier, thus letting even you manage it?

This was a typically stupid thing to say, for you, for two reasons. First, I am quite capable of retrieving the page content via telnet. Second, the page content was actually deliberately formatted to be interpreted with a web browser. A whole layer of material was added to the content specifically to make that convenient.

Grammar and spelling exist to faciliate efficient communication. Trying to use them as a barrier to silence people you dislike for whatever reason means you not only missed the mark, but somehow managed to get a bullseye on your own asshole.

In what way am I using grammar or spelling to silence people? I am trying to encourage grammar and spelling, so that people can have a voice. You are trying to encourage people to engage in the digital equivalent of baby talk, so that they can never express a complex thought. You've got it completely backwards, fucko. You want to disempower. I want to empower.

if you insist on using a mobile device which lacks a zoom function yet supports less-used unicode characters

If you insist on being a disingenuous douchebag, you can only talk meaningless shit. There's plenty of places where you're not allowed to zoom, yet where emoji can appear.

Seriously, everything you said was wrong. Why do you even bother?

Comment Re:The above is informative ? (Score 0) 358

Deaths from wars and other state violence are at historic lows.

So it's okay with you if we do it every day, so long as we do it less than was done in the past overall? You're comfortable with a certain level of murder in your name, as long as it's less than it was in the past?

Comment Re:The above is informative ? (Score 0) 358

The world is enjoying it's longest most peaceful time period since the fall of Rome


The USA has been, if not in a state of war, at least fighting some kind of military action continually since when? Just because you're not suffering, you're comfortable. But somewhere, someone is being murdered with a drone so that you can sleep soundly.

Comment Re:launchd not as bad as systemd (Score 1) 110

I remember Steve Jobs found it important to save 5 seconds on the boot of one of the first Apple machines, because you save lives.

How about a computer that doesn't need to reboot so often? I used most of the early Apple machines, Apple I and /// aside, including the ][gs, Lisa, Macintosh 512k (sorry, missed the 128k) and Plus, I think I still have a SE with an accelerator in it just for the nostalgia value, had a IIci, etc etc. And I've had a lot of free reboots, most of them from Macs, and most of those reboots occurring between the era when Macs started getting MMUs, and when they started actually using it.

The Amiga would be done booting up while the Mac was still thinking about whether the mac was happy or sad... You had to reboot it a lot, but at least it genuinely rebooted quickly. Especially if you had "a lot" of RAM, by which I mean an extra MB or so. Then you could put the whole OS (ROMs aside) into a recoverable ramdisk... talk about a quick boot.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith