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Journal Journal: Trump - a warning from the present 2

I don't believe for a second Trump believes a word he's saying.

What I am concerned about is that Trump could, very realistically, be elected because of the views he's espousing. That says something terrible about too many people at the moment, and also makes possible the frightening scenario whereby someone who believes what Trump is currently saying could be elected too.

In the mean time, Trump is also validating the opinions of many extremists.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 2) 493

Now you won't even support some petty little dictators like Putin/Assad to defeat a religious movement that threatens the entire modern world?

It's a bunch of pathetic terrorists not a threat to the entire modern world. FFS people, stop crapping your pants every time some nut shoots or blows up something. When that happens, terrorists might not win anything, but we definitely lose.

Nobody religious extremist is going to kill you tomorrow. Go live your life. (But change your pants, please.)

Comment Re:They aren't really still blaming DPRK, are they (Score 1) 50

Looking at context, I think literally was more appropriate than figuratively. "Figuratively" would have been wrong, he really wasn't able to do anything with his computer. "Literally" is OK but is completely unnecessary and, as a result, because it's generally only used in situations where there may be a doubt, is inappropriate. It's like saying "Look at this awesome phone I just bought and did not steal" unironically.

Comment Confirmed (Score 1) 9


Support could be as high as 1/3 of the Republican electorate right now. Increasingly difficult to see a likely successful challenge. And scarily this has come after a few days of not merely "having appropriate immigration views from the PoV of the brown-pants brigade", but actually of echoing a lightweight but recognizable Hitler.


Comment Re:Hopefully this is temporary (Score 1) 185

I suspect that's exactly the problem. I've been experiencing, on both my testbeds (a tablet and an old laptop) frequent BSoDs with the new version, and even the installation of the update had problems (on the tablet it would get stuck at 40%, which I found out afterwards was because I have an SD card installed. Yes, seriously.)

I'm still a little baffled they released Windows 10 at all. I'd have released Windows 8.11 (8.1 with a traditional start menu), which would have bought them time to polish 10, get the bugs out of it, and make it awesome (which it could be, the damned thing has potential) - but as it is, they've released something obviously Beta-quality as a production operating system, and I can't for the life of me understand why.

Comment Re:Fuck Mozilla (Score 1) 311

No, that's one not the alternative. Given the UI in Mozilla has always been separate from the rendering/JS engines, it would/should be trivially easy to update the non-UI part of Firefox from the UI, which would solve both problems, keeping security updates and standards compliance separate from usability.

That Mozilla doesn't separate this says much about why they update - it's never been about security.

Comment Re:Automate trains (Score 4, Informative) 96

We're very close to that. Problems are:

1. The technology is mostly there but rarely all there. The US, for example, is rolling out PTC, which is 90% of the self-driving-train solution (though it's intended to be merely a safety upgrade), but PTC will not be universal. While Europe is way ahead of the Americas on this, largely because they're not stupid, boneheaded, and corrupt when it comes to transportation policy (and thus they take trains seriously rather than deliberately running them down, making them all but unobtainable, and then claiming nobody wants them when nobody rides once-a-day museum relics whose stations are 50 miles away from anywhere you want to go and whose speed rarely breaks 50mph) PTC is still not universal.

2. You do, still, need equivalents of the technologies going into, for example, Google's self driving car. Did a tree fall on the track? Has heat bent the rails out of shape? Is there an idiot driving parallel to the train who's likely to jump the tracks at the next crossing (well, in fairness, human engineers can't generally deal with that either, and usually have to suffer the trauma associated with slamming on the brakes, getting out, and finding bits of someone's head on the track.) What about a washout?

3. Yeah... unions. I hate blaming unions for anything, largely because 90% of the time when someone claims unions are the thing that killed a particular industry or stops needed reform from happening, they're making it up or at the very least massively exaggerating. In this case, however, the unions have this issue on their radar and have been fighting smaller crews, and expressed concerns that PTC = 1 engineer or eventually no engineers.

There are automated systems out there, but they generally run in completely enclosed subway tunnels and have a high degree of human monitoring. Until PTC can be augmented with techologies that can visually and non-visually verify the tracks ahead are safe, we can't really automate any major conventional intercity railways.

But I bet it wouldn't take a year for, say, a team made up of Google's self driving car engineers to create those technologies.

Comment Re:Volvo says it will be liable for any accidents (Score 1) 154

I think "Felony car accident" is a contradiction in terms. If it's an accident, it's highly improbable, probably impossible, to be accidental. Even manslaughter requires the killer did something willful that lead to the victim's death, even if death wasn't the intent.

Of course, mischievous designers could design a car so that it'll kill someone deliberately, but that's possible today too, so there's that.

Now, it is good news Volvo accepts liability, and I suspect all car manufacturers recognize that this is the only way it can work, but I suspect the consequences will be the death of car sales, and cars becoming rentable/leasable instead. No car company is going to be happy with being liable for the potentially deadly behavior of their vehicles when they can't control them, and they're even less likely to be happy about essentially writing a blank check for any accidents when a car leaves a car lot.

So more likely, you'll lease a vehicle. Leases will be short - perhaps even month to month. You'll need to return the car for servicing or risk losing it. If the manufacturer uncovers a problem that's expensive to fix and would need significant rises in lease payments to cover, you may find it unexpectedly withdrawn at the next renewal.

That sounds... unpopular? Leasing is common in the US, but it's not the majority, and it's usually sold as a way for someone on a medium income to get a better new car, which is a very specific market. I bet very few Slashdot readers would do that.

Comment Re:Subject Matter Experts Vs. Movies (Score 1) 211

Cartoons aren't trying to look real. I think that's the problem, and the problem with "Aw, it's a movie, who cares?" attitudes from directors and SFX people is that it immediately pulls people out of the suspension of disbelief when in-your-face violations of reality occur in movies. You can get away with it in a cartoon because a cartoon is literally designed to look like nothing you've ever seen. If it starts looking real, it's a problem.

The concerns about breaking the suspension of disbelief happens at every level. It's why poorly written characters are also grating. Nobody speaks like that! And that person's obviously a fantasy! (etc)

But for some reason we care about it when it's a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and treat that as a legitimate criticism, but we don't - and get bashed as nerds - when it's a computer whose windows fly open and then closed when you insert a USB key and start mashing on a keyboard, or a silenced gun that whispers "hmmmph" rather makes a loud "PING" (which the shooter holds sideways with one hand...), or a bomb countdown timer which mysteriously remains turned on but not counting down any more after the hero snips the power to it, or a suspension bridge that lets small 10 yard sections fall without impacting the overall integrity of the structure.

All of those things, however, kill the suspension of disbelief for a significant segment of the audience. And it's all the more stupid because 90% of the time, the directory and SFX people have gone out their way to say "Wow, look at this, it's awesome, it's so real! Look at all the effort we made into ensuring the cars would look like they're falling through the hole in the bridge realistically!"

Why did they bother?

Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own. -- Don Vonada