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Comment Re:Why didn't his teacher stand up for him? (Score 1) 956

I've tinkered and brought things in to school that I made before because I wanted to show them off. I was a kid, I liked my teacher, I wanted the teacher to be proud / impressed at what I did. It's not suspicious at all. Kids like feeling special / validated and seek out encouragement. Good teachers respond in kind.

The article said he showed it to his engineering teacher (who told him not to show it to anyone else). I suspect it's because the engineering teacher knew how his or her racist peers would react, and that's even sadder.

Comment Re:Slavery 2.0 Rocks!!! (Score 1) 396

If you're going to rant, you should at least rant with realistic numbers. A $500k house at 4.5% (which is still historically crazy low) interest is $2.5k / month. That's before the "TI" part of "PITI" which would probably add another $500 or so a month. So... about $3k.

Let's assume another $1k / month for 2 cars, gas, and insurance. Now we're at $4k. (PS: if you want to assume they don't have cars and can use public transportation, then the house costs will likely offset the car savings).

Let's hopefully believe they are putting some money away in a 401K. Another $1k / month, so now we're up to $5k.

About $2k are lost to taxes & health insurance. We've just hit $7k.

That leaves behind $2k / month in spending money. The chances of putting another $900 away every month seems unlikely, regardless of "basic budgeting skills and self control".

The good news is that they actually have that $2k per month in spending money... Most families can't pretend to have even that much.

Could they get a cheaper house and save $1k off of their housing costs to put away? Well, if you use $300k rather than $500k then the same search you used to justify slamming this hypothetical family now returns exactly 30 results for a 3 bedroom house, as opposed to "hundreds".

Comment Re:It's easy to make it unhackable (Score 5, Funny) 253

I think people are missing this company's solution.

The machine boots to Windows, and then this company's product randomizes everything in RAM. Even Windows has no idea where anything is in memory anymore. Every single bit is in a completely random location, with no relation to the bits it was next to previously.

Granted, the machine crashes at this point, but it has successfully booted and been rendered unhackable.

For long-term security, their follow-up product will randomize all data on a hard drive. It is completely un-hackable, even with physical access. Of course the data is also irretrievable, but there are prices to security.

Comment Another thought... (Score 3, Informative) 280

A lot of people are complaining that they do not like the idea of sharing vehicles.

What about thinking about it this way - suddenly proximity of your parking spot to where you are is a lot less important. Your personal autonomous vehicle drops you off at your destination and then goes to find a parking spot. Then, when your waiter brings you the check (for example), you let your vehicle know to come pick you up in ten minutes. The vehicle checks current traffic levels and leaves for a just-in-time pickup.

Before you go to bed you let your autonomous vehicle know what time you want to get to work. Your vehicle looks at the average commute time for that time of day and lets you know when it will pick you up. It leaves its parking spot with enough time to get you.

The drawback to this that you are spending money to pay for gas or electricity while your vehicle drives (empty) to a parking spot. I would say this is the price you pay for wanting your own vehicle. The alternative is a taxi-style service.

For everyone complaining that other people will make the car unusable, you might not have taken a cab recently. More often than not it seems like you are video recorded. In addition, the cab company (which I assume would be the same ones putting autonomous cabs on the street) would have a vested interest in keeping vehicles clean.

I used ZipCar for several years and reporting damage or a messy car was easy for the company to follow up on. The previous user had to have reserved the vehicle and paid for its use. The company has credit card on file already, it is easy enough to go after the user for damages.

Comment My experience (Score 5, Interesting) 163

I live in Denver, and just moved. My previous commute was about 3.9 miles via bicycle, with about 2.5 miles of it on bike lanes. My new commute is 4.5 miles, with about 3.5 miles of it on a dedicate recreational path (Denver's Cherry Creek Trail), and the other 1 mile almost all on bike lanes.

My new commute, while having a longer distance, takes me less time. In addition, it is a lot less stressful. The recreational path makes all the difference. It is limited access - there are ramps to the trail about every .2 miles - no motorized vehicles, and goes from my neighborhood (an urban residential-heavy area) to downtown.

I have commuted via bicycle in a wide variety of cities on the East Coast and can say that this new commute is about as ideal as it could be. I dread the days I have to drive into work. Even without traffic (which doubles the time needed), it takes me longer to drive.

A lot of US cities I have lived in see separated paths for recreational use only. They never seem to see that a trail going from residential areas to business areas can be a great encouragement for bicycle commuting.

Comment Re:I am all for it (Score 1) 307

A lot of smaller towns I have seen change stoplights at night. From 11pm-6am, for example, a stop light with two small streets will turn into flashing red all around, meaning a four way stop. A larger road intersection will get a flashing yellow on the major road, and flashing red on the smaller road.

Makes sense to me, and I doubt this adds any additional crashes.

Comment Re:At least it is a place that gets some snow... (Score 2) 76

Yes, because the terrible drivers we have all seen are not causing accidents as it is.

Every time I see a discussion about autonomous cars, someone chimes in that there are terrible human-driven cars on the road, and that an autonomous vehicle cannot deal with that. What they fail to mention is that no human drivers can really deal with them either, if the terrible driver is driving so badly that an accident is bound to happen.

Bad drivers causing accidents because they are on the cell phone? Yep. Bad drivers causing accidents because their vehicles are not properly maintained? Yep. Bad drivers causing accidents because the do something unpredictable without looking? Yep.

In all of those cases, you are right - an autonomous car will probably be no better than a human driver. You have yet to convince me that it will be *worse*, though. As more autonomous vehicles are on the road, though, accidents caused by bad, distracted drivers will go down. So at worse it is no improvement, with an almost assured big improvement as time goes on. Or we can just stay with the status quo.

You are right, though - replacing the entire infrastructure is not going to happen. I am guessing the Vehicle to Infrastructure communication they are talking about are things like red lights (why have a camera in the car to determine the color of the light when the intersection can just broadcast directly to vehicles?), train crossings, and so on. An autonomous vehicle should be able to deal with these things as they currently are, but if a town's red lights are due for replacement, why not replace them with autonomous vehicle friendly versions?

Comment Buses and subways cannot be compared (Score 1) 654

I have lived in numerous major cities, and have not owned a car in about 10 years. I bike, I walk, and if available I take subways/trains. I try to avoid buses as much as possible.

Why? They are the worst form of transportation I can imagine. They are slower than driving (since they have to stop more often than a car on the same route), and only go on pre-determined routes. Subways and trains, while limited to a certain route, at least are quicker than driving. Taxis and other forms of automobile transportation are more expensive, but are faster than a bus. Making a bus free does not change its limitations.

I believe that all pubic transportation should be free (where "free" is defined as "no admission charge") to encourage public transportation. Asking why people do not take buses, though, is not a financial conversation, in my opinion.

Getting people to take public transportation is much more about making it convenient and fast. Does it pick up near where I am beginning my route? Does it drop me off near where I want to go? How much longer will it take than driving?

If you want people out of their cars, solve these questions satisfactorily. Make more and better bike lanes - and even dedicated bike paths. I would even encourage dedicated bus lanes with enforcement. I lived for a while in Boston, where "Bus lane" meant "double park lane".

Comment HR/Recruiting Drones (Score 4, Interesting) 296

Having gone through the hiring process a couple of times in the last couple of years, HR and recruiters are the biggest hinderance to companies hiring talented individuals. For a tech position, HR has become a gatekeeper to the hiring manager. Unfortunately they have no knowledge of the position or the technologies.

Certificates get you past this gatekeeper. They are fairly useless otherwise, but since HR has wedged themselves between the candidate and the hiring manager, they become a bit of a necessary evil.

Comment Re:Russia's longer hours... (Score 0) 381

"Only about 55% of job-able people are working"

Even if it were true, and I'm not convinced that it is, that's actually a decent number. You'll always have your very rich who don't have to work and your very poor who choose not to, so 100%'s not realistic. Then subtract from that the fact that there still are a lot of single income households where the spouse takes care of the kids rather than working and 55% sounds like a good number over all.

Comment Re:I used to game... (Score 1) 79

I definitely think there are games out there fitting my needs - as I said, I place the blame partly on me for not wanting to do the research to find them.

I do agree that there are a lot of casual "Play this game on the bus on the way to work" games out there for mobile devices. Mobile device gameplay is a whole other ball of wax, though. I would prefer to sit down in front of a large screen and use physical buttons. I suppose I am just old like that. I can see the appeal of mobile gaming, and have played a few over the years.

I suppose one drawback to mobile gaming is the lack of socialization. I am not one to sit down and play a video game on my own very often. I would much rather play in a group. The few games I keep on my iPhone are mobile versions of board games that I play against other people via Game Center.

Comment I used to game... (Score 4, Interesting) 79

Growing up in the 80's, I played video games quite frequently. Now, though, I find myself avoiding them.

One reason is cost. I realize the cost really has probably not gone up that significantly from the NES days, but at that time it was my parents paying for a new console and games. Now I have to figure out how to justify a $60 game.

Another reason is that I much more enjoy a "play for 10-30 minutes, have fun, and then walk away" type of game. MarioKart is a great example of this. I can play with 0-3 other people and have fun. We can play for 10 minutes, or we can play for an hour. When we get done I can put the controller down and not feel like there is more to do. The playability even remains after I have "beat the game". Commingled in there is an easy learning curve. Sure, the game might be challenging, but I do not want to spend an hour just getting the basic controls figured out.

I am sure there are more games that fit this description, but as a casual gamer I am not willing to do the research just to figure out what games are out there. It is far easier to load up an emulator and play the original Castlevania for NES.

The games described int he article do seem to be closer to the type of game I would like to play.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.