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Comment: Re:Disappointing (Score 1) 56

by IamTheRealMike (#47423211) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

This seems to be quite typical for government consultations. There's very little in the way of rigorous process. I remember years ago in the UK there was some poll that showed people were worried about anti-money laundering laws and their effect on freedom and civil liberties (it was a poll about risks to civil liberties, Ithink). So the British government said they'd respond to this by ordering a consultation on how best to improve Britain's AML laws. They invited public comments, etc. 6 months later the consultation was published and it recommended making the laws even stricter. There was absolutely no evidence-based approach used at all.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Twenty Nine

Journal by mcgrew

Movies
Destiny and me woke up at the same time the next morning. We cuddled a while, made love again, then made coffee and took a shower together while the robots made us steak and cheese omelettes and toast and hash browns. Destiny put on the news. There was something about a problem in one of the company's boat factories; some machinery malfunctioned and killed a guy. I sure took notice of that! They didn't really have much information about it, though

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 4, Insightful) 204

by jc42 (#47419055) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

I have nothing to hide, except the pron from my wife (she found it already) so why would I care what the FBI does? They aren't going to act on any of this unless these people actually plan to do something criminal and in that case, they should.

If you think you have nothing to hide, you should probably spend a bit of time studying the history of the FBI. Leading an exemplary life has never been a protection from them, if they suspect you may be part of whatever conspiracy is popular at the time. A few decades ago, it was Communists, and having no connection to any Communist organization was never protection from them or their colleagues in organizations like HUAC. It's quite clear that the "anti-terrorist" push nowadays is no more concerned with whether you have anything to hide; if they need a scapegoat and you're handy (perhaps because your name is vaguely like some name on one of their lists), they'll go after you and make your life a hell on Earth.

Having "nothing to hide" is one of the most naive misconceptions going around, and has been for at least a century. Dig into the history of the FBI and assorted other similar organizations. Google can find a lot of it for you. Then come back and tell us again whether you have anything to hide.

(And they probably already have a copy of your pron collection, added to their own. ;-)

Comment: nice tech, dubious products (Score 1) 149

by Sloppy (#47408181) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

IMHO all this tech is basically good, but I should point out that I also consider a large wooden horses to be basically good things, too. (They can be neat works of art, or convenient sources of fire wood.) That doesn't mean I'm saying you should wheel all the ones you find, through your city gates! There are other issues besides the utility value of wooden horses. It's the tech that should be celebrated, not necessarily all the products that use it. Tech and products are two very different things, even if related.

There's a pretty easy way to judge the ads for this stuff: what protocols does the product speak? Do you already have software in your repo that speaks that protocol?

And of course, you don't necessarily have to use someone else's service to get the device to work, right? (I'm not even saying you necessarily shouldn't use their service, but if you have to then the product is almost certainly garbage.)

Comment: Re:Chattel slavery is so passé (Score 1) 20

by mcgrew (#47406323) Attached to: The Counter-Revolution of 1776

You're a little behind the times, that stopped eighteen years ago when PWORA was passed and AFDC abolished.

These days slaves are made with "right to work" laws and strict limits on the extent of the safety net.

I gained my freedom this past February. YAY! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, I'm free at last!

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Twenty Eight

Journal by mcgrew

Heads
"Good morning, Mister Green."
"Good morning, Mister Osbourne. Ladies, gentlemen, I had a particularly trying day yesterday, as a few of you know," the CEO said, looking at his chief of engineering. "We have a serious problem in the company and it lands squarely in your laps. Folks, we're getting complacent and sloppy and it stops right here and right now or heads are going to roll.
"I

Comment: Re:Hello Americans (Score 1) 328

by jc42 (#47404073) Attached to: On 4th of July:

being assholes is the america way

Now, now; that's a feature of humanity that's spread quite evenly throughout all societies. Yes, it's the American way, but it's also the British way and the Italian way and the Iranian way and the Chinese way and the Tahitian way and ...

Americans have no particularly valid claim on assholeness (assholicity? assholitude?). Look around yourself, and if you don't see any, it's probably because it's you.

Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 658

by Sloppy (#47401455) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Nice. "Darn it, this amusingly tiny-capacity obsolete tape drive isn't powering up. I must have forgotten to bring its .. uh .. [glance around suspiciously] battery. But I paid $800 for it in 1996! *sigh* Ok, TSA agent, you can have my tape drive.. and .. oh no! My ink jet printer isn't working either! You mean I forgot both batteries!? Dammit! So much for printing those colored pie charts on the plane for my .. uh .. presentation. Boy are your kids going to be happy Xmas morning. [glare slightly unconvincingly at TSA agent]"

[Later, on Xmas morning] "Here you go, Billy. You were a bad boy. I never loved you."

[But Billy turns out to be cool] "Whoa! I can salvage the head servo and reel motor from this tape drive, and build something nifty with my Arduino! OMG, does this printer have a stepper motor?"

I think this idea is getting up into the "three birds, one stone" territory.

Comment: Re:Tits and swords (Score 2) 152

by Sloppy (#47400683) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Tried to read the first book. Barely literate drivel.

Sometimes people need a little help. Often (but not always!) they'll half-suspect the problem, and will prefix their remark with "is it just me, or..."

You didn't do that, but I'm going to be a pal and pretend you did, and then answer the question for you:

Yes, it's just you.

Comment: Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (Score 1) 129

by IamTheRealMike (#47400139) Attached to: Android Wear Is Here

I remember people said the same about smartphones. Waah, the battery only lasts a day, I'll never use one of those. Somehow smartphones still took over the world. People do go to sleep every night - a nice cordless charging stand seems like a relatively small issue if the devices are genuinely useful.

Comment: Re:It's here already? (Score 1) 159

by IamTheRealMike (#47400125) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

That's not quite how I remember Manna.

The reason the American economy is trashed in the world Manna envisions is not because it's run by an AI but because America failed to adjust to a post-work society. Everyone is on social security/benefits, because hardly anyone has a job as it was all automated away or pirated. So people have a kind of futuristic subsistence lifestyle in which robots attend to their basic needs but they can never get anything more.

The Australia project, on the other hand, is not meant to be communist. It's meant to be a society where your having a job was disconnected from you having social value. It's a society that prioritises leisure time and finds other ways to allocate the few scarce resources that are left in ways that aren't money. Communism as a term is too heavily linked with the real-world implementations in the Soviet union to be useful for describing this state of affairs.

IIRC at the end the story goes off on a bit of a tangent and all the Australians just end up having VR sex all day or something. Not a great ending. But I remember Manna kind of blew my mind when I first read it, and its prediction that robots/computers would replace middle management before the toilet cleaners was (to me) very new and obviously correct. Indeed that's what this story is about.

Comment: Re:It's Okay (Score 1) 686

by jc42 (#47396623) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Over here in the US, the fascist conservatives equate anything not as fascist as them to be socialists.

Actually, here in the US not one person in a million can tell you anything at all about what fascism stood for. The term is now just one of a growing list of political insult terms with no actual content.

Of course, the fraction of Americans who can actually define socialism or liberalism or any other -ism isn't much larger than one in a million. Such terms are really just the modern equivalent of tribal names. You're expected to hate anyone with a label different from yours, but you're not expected to actually know the meaning of any of the labels. Once you understand this situation, American political rhetoric becomes much more comprehensible.

Comment: Re:You have to feel sorry for Edward.. (Score 2) 201

I think you massively overestimate how bad Russia is, especially compared to the USA.

Snowden is 30 and newly single. Russia is a large country that is notorious for its abundance of highly educated and attractive women. It has quite a few famous and sophisticated software companies, especially in the security realm that Snowden likes. 143 million people manage to live there without going crazy.

Of all the places in the world to have landed, Russia is definitely not the worst. Heck it's probably the best place he could have landed. I guess he was trying to get to Ecuador but they don't have the stones Putin does, nor is it a large country, nor does it have any noted IT firms.

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world." - The Beach Boys

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