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Comment: Re:Will they patch existing games? (Score 1) 218

by wintersdark (#41239547) Attached to: Ubisoft Ditches Always-Online DRM Requirement From PC Games

Me too. I've been a long time Heroes fan, but I absolutely will not purchase a game with an always-on drm requirement. I'm not a hardcore anti-DRM person (I love Steam, for example) but you've got to draw the line somewhere. For me, it's getting booted out of a single player game because of network issue. Just no.

Comment: Re:Not safe (Score 5, Interesting) 301

by wintersdark (#41206609) Attached to: California To License Self-Driving Cars

Well, 300,000 miles, one non-fatal accident (with, again, a human at the wheel - but we'll ignore that for now).

Now, I pulled these numbers of a set of google searches. There was a fairly wide range of stats, so I took a bit of an average:

Insurance industry assumes one accident CLAIM per 17.9 years (lots of minor accidents go unclaimed, but we'll ignore them too). Average of 15,000 miles per year per driver. Thus, an average of one accident per 268,500 miles per human driver.

Of course, while the human driver stats are numerous (and this is why insurance is expensive!) the self driving car stats are not. Only one accident with new, unrefined technology in 300,000 miles... and that with a human in control of the car.

That said, your example? That's where a self driving car is much, much better than a human. A human driver with a pregnant woman giving birth, woken up in the middle of the night is going to be tired, highly agitated and distracted and definitely not at his best. The self driving car isn't tired. It doesn't care what time it is. The self driving car will be aware of the speeding racers - and know their exact speed, trajectory, and likely path - sooner than the human driver will, as these are very simple computations to make. The self driving car is indifferent to the passenger; which is also important. It's not distracted, worried, or anxious.

Of course, there certainly are cases where that's just not good enough, extreme emergency cases. That's why all these self driving cars can be driven in manual mode. You've always got that option if need be.

Obviously, routes being set aside for autonomous vehicles will be safer, but routes mixed will be safer than pure-human routes, because autonomous cars are simply safer than human driven cars overall.

I've been rearended while stopped at traffic lights six times in the last twenty years; every time due to an inattentive driver. None of those would happen with an autonomous car.

Finally, yes, mechanical/electronic failure can result in crashes. Just like it can with human drivers - sticking accelerators, for example, failing steering linkages, brakes, etc. Software problems? No different than a human driver having a heart attack, stroke, seizure, getting stung by a bee, etc - those all happen all the time. There's no real difference there.

Comment: Re:Not safe (Score 5, Insightful) 301

by wintersdark (#41206089) Attached to: California To License Self-Driving Cars

With reports of Google's self-driving car crashing left and right how could anyone want to be in one of these vehicles? They just aren't safe. When something happens when you're driving then it's at least your fault and you could do something about it, but not in self-driving cars.

Was this meant to be sarcastic? Both of those posts referred to the same accident. These cars have logged hundreds of thousands of miles, with ONE accident(which may well have been human error). That's far, far safer than the average human driver. If you're in the drivers seat of the self driving car, you CAN take control of it should you feel the need, too.

However, realistically that's not going to be useful. The car will be better at accident avoidance than you are - it's not that big a programming challenge to achieve that. People don't like to admit it - it bruises their delicate little egos - but the car knows *exactly* how fast every car around them is moving, their acceleration, and can put itself exactly where it wants to be every time. No delayed reactions due to inattention, no slight overreaction due to panic.

Yes, self driving cars will be involved in accidents, and will be at fault, from time to time. This does not make them less safe - it's inevitable, particularly when human drivers are involved as well. Human drivers, on the other hand, are extremely unsafe. Everyone wants to think that they are special, and unlike everyone else they're awesome drivers, but the reality remains that human drivers are in accidents extremely regularly.

Don't get me wrong. I'd hate to be in a robotically driven car. Logically, I know I'd be much safer than with a human driver, but I'd be enormously squirrelly about the whole process. And, of course, I love driving - I'd never be comfortable giving that up to a machine. I consider myself a good driver, too (like everyone else), and I've never been in an accident for which I'm at fault, but I can acknowledge that there have definitely been times I've driven with far less than ideal circumstances. Distraction, emotional distress, tiredness, ill health, the list goes on an on. In all those cases, I'm less than 100%.

Comment: Re:IFTTT is your friend. (Score 3, Informative) 197

by wintersdark (#40733579) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scripting-Friendly Smartphones?

Unfortunately, I can't remember how to edit a post. Excuse my ignorance, I don't post often.

Anyways, check this IFTTT.com recipe out: http://ifttt.com/recipes/46081 - it searches a gmail account, and sends results as SMS messages to your mobile number.

So, you set it to search for From:yourworkaddress or Subject:FreezeTemp or what have you, and poof! Whenever your freezer is getting toasty, you get SMS messages.

Comment: IFTTT is your friend. (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by wintersdark (#40733545) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scripting-Friendly Smartphones?

I'd recommend a two-pronged approach, if you're looking for something user friendly and not requiring building an intermediate server.

First, check out the unbridled awesomeness that is If This Then That: http://ifttt.com/ It allows you to create simple (or complex) triggers based on all manner of inputs with all manner of outputs. Email, SMS, Social Networking, etc. I use it with a "private"(read: used only for this, and nothing actually private is tweeted) twitter account to pass data about. I originally used SMS, but I moved to twitter later as it's remarkably convenient and can be adapted easily to a number of different devices, whereas SMS is limited to phones (for the most part).

Then, on your sexy Android phone - I'm using a Note, personally, it's the closest I can get to a tablet but still be able to comfortably put it in a pocket - use Tasker to intercept and act.

Really, though, the first thing I'd do in your shoes is seriously investigate IFTTT. It's very easy to use and flat out awesome.

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 2) 69

by wintersdark (#40229331) Attached to: Google Warning Gmail Users About State-Sponsored Attacks

Which email client has encryption installed out of the box? How "widely available" is it if I have to go download a plugin, then find out how to generate keys, then somehow get my public key to all of the people that I want to communicate with? None of this process being standardized or documented in one place.

And, of course, what of your recipients? I'd love to encrypt all my mail, but having to have everyone I converse with do the same *AND* use the same set of plugins, clients, etc? Particularly considering most access their email over a variety of clients, browsers, and even operating systems? I know I access mine over three separate OS's on a daily basis.

Yeah, that's just not going to happen. Sure, you can secure point to point email that really needs to be, but otherwise it's entirely impractical.

Comment: Re:The way the market has gone (Score 1) 734

Windows 7 can install from USB without much effort using their tool, windows 8 is expressly designed to install from a USB key.

DVD's are a terrible medium at the best of times: Painfully slow, easily damaged, a pain in the ass to interact with(writing requiring special tools and/or processes) and large. I find it amusing how so many people cling to them - CD's sucked, so do DVD's. Flash memory, while not going to last forever either, is at least very small and you interact with it just as you would with the rest of your PC's storage.

Despite doing reinstalls and original installs of Windows on desktops for myself and friends, I haven't used a DVD of any description in... 4 years? Something like that. I own hundreds of DVD's, that haven't been unpacked in even longer. Why bother with physical media at all?

Leaving desktops aside, optical drives also consume an absurd amount of real estate in a portable machine. Removing one and replacing it with batteries, for example, could extend a portables battery life by hours.

Comment: Re:Line fees (Score 1) 648

by wintersdark (#39857455) Attached to: Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions

Much the same for me. My old cable bill was similar - around $100 a month with basic cable and a 10/.5mb feed. Now, I have a 25/2mb feed and no cable, and pay 39.95/mo.

Likewise, I paid all that for the three channels my wife watched. I'd have kept my sub too, if I could have just paid for those three channels.

So, now I pay the 39.95 for internet, 8/mo for netflix, and 5/mo for a VPN to use Hulu, Pandora and other US based streaming services as I'm in Canada. But, with this news, I'll drop Hulu like a hot rock. Ironically, I was *just* considering going with the Hulu plus/premium/whatever, but there's clearly no point in doing that now.

Nah, with an antenna I get the major networks in HD - and unlike the cable "HD" options, this is uncompressed and doesn't look like shit. Netflix covers me for oddball shows and older movies, and Other Sources cover me for new shows.

I want to pay, though. Seriously. I'd happily pay for new episode downloads for the shows I watch, if someone would bother to sell them to me. Alas, the content providers clearly don't want my money.

Comment: Re:You have to be kidding (Score 1) 210

by wintersdark (#39775465) Attached to: Accountability, Not Code Quality, Makes iOS Safer Than Android

Jailbreaking allows you to install unsigned apps. Unlocking is what you need, though in order to unlock you typically need to jailbreak (depending on your carrier, it's sometimes possible to get an official unlock).

Further, it depends on which 3GS you have - new or old bootrom. Old bootrom 3GS's can always be jailbroken by redsn0w - and it can tell you which bootrom you have.

There is a tethered 5.1 jailbreak right now(Limera1n should work on your 3GS), but if you power cycle (manually or run your battery dead) you need to start your phone in DFU mode and use redsn0w to do a tethered boot. If you are out and about, and unable to plug into your PC and boot tethered, you can use the semi-untether in Cydia to unlock basic phone functions but you'll still be unable to use Safari or any unsigned apps until you can do a tethered reboot.

Finally, as for unlocks: I'm unsure if this works on 5.1 or not, but there's a current bug with Apple's activation servers allowing you to fully unlock your phone for a specific SIM. The unlock is tied to that particular SIM, however, so you can't swap it for another carriers SIM later. Directions for this can be found, with links to the newest redsn0w and other valuable information, on the iphone devteam blog here: http://blog.iphone-dev.org/

Comment: Re:Find another job (Score 1) 391

by wintersdark (#39667177) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: My Company Wants Me To Astroturf, Should I?

No, you're not changing the subject to avoid a lie. You are answering her question, but in a way that isn't offensive.

Instead of dodging the question, you are implying that yes, indeed, those pants make her bum look fat; but instead of delivering what amounts to an insult, you are delivering a (sincere!) compliment.

Leaving haha-funny-evil-trapping-woman meme's aside, I've never encountered anyone that doesn't appreciate this approach.

If someone presses you to answer specifically yes or no to a loaded question like that, then the problem is theirs: either they are being deliberately confrontational, or you've failed to convey what you wish to convey (tact; not evasion!)

If they are being confrontational, they'll know if you lie anyways, and you've got much larger problems overall.

Comment: Re:Find another job (Score 1) 391

by wintersdark (#39659563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: My Company Wants Me To Astroturf, Should I?

Contrary to what TV would have you believe, you can be entirely honest without saying stupid shit that offends people.

Remaining silent is the easiest method, of course. Or just employ tact: "Does my bum look fat in this?" "Eh, I prefer ~some other article of clothing~, it really highlights your ~whatever~, that sort of thing.

It's not hard at all to be honest and not be an asshole, or feel the need to speak every thought that enters your head.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

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