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Comment: Re:Given the depth of surveillance (Score 1) 27

My guess is the robo-call companies pay them big bucks to harass everyone, so the telcos have no motivation to do shit about the problem.

You can also pay for the privilege of not being harassed. You can block ten numbers, you can block numbers without caller ID, and you can get caller ID. And you can pay for each of these features.

Comment: Re:The poison pin ... (Score 1) 269

Somewhere else, maybe... at the border crossing they have near infinite power to mess with you by insisting on an extended identity, security and luggage check and usually to detain you for a short while too for almost no pretext at all. In fact your "defective phone" is now a possible terrorist bomb, let's just put you in a holding cell until we can determine it's not.

Comment: Re:Interpreting these conditions (Score 1) 88

by Kjella (#49190929) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

The controversial part, as I understand it, is the difference in interpretation of a license's conditions. For example, the difference between an "aggregation" and a "combined work" in the GPLv2 confused at least one Slashdot user.

Actually the ugliest part of the GPL which is clear as ink in law is what - if anything - makes inter-module communication derivative. The theory of derivative works mainly involve sections or elements reappearing in the derivative, like a composite made from a photo. It doesn't cover interfaces where independently developed code calls each other at all. If I wrap a GPL library into a web service, is calling it derivative? If the answer is yes, the GPL is extremely viral. If the answer is no, the GPL is in big trouble. Which is why you never get a straight answer.

This directly links in with the "mere aggregation" clause, if you can for example distribute a distro that has an application that sends mail and a mail server without those being derivative, can you also distribute proprietary software and this web service? Your software needs it, this software happens to provide it but it could in theory be provided by a different implementation. I'm sure Stallman says no, but it's entirely unclear to me if a judge would agree.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 336

by Kjella (#49190145) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

It's worth noting that there is one piece of automation in cars already that does give a different kind of driving license in a lot of places: automatic gear change. If you get a driving license in a car that has an automatic transmission then you can't drive manual cars with it, though the converse is allowed.

And it's silly. You can give an 18yo (around here) that just got his license a Ferrari, that's legal. You can give him a 3500 kg van + 750 kg trailer, that's legal. Of course you shouldn't drive a car you can't handle, but learning it on your own would be no worse than a lot of the other "self-learning" on the road.

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 336

by Jeremi (#49190119) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Of course! But that's red-herring â" I'm not against driving laws. I'm against the licensing requirement â" which turned the right of free movement into a privilege.

How else would you suggest that society could make sure that people driving vehicles on public roadways have at least some basic knowledge of how to safely operate a motor vehicle? The honor system?

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 336

by Jeremi (#49189975) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

So, where is that "clear bright line" you claimed existed?

At the boundary between your private land and the public road system.

My whole point is that the right to drive a motorized vehicle on a public road has disappeared while we weren't paying attention. It is not a right any longer. It is a privilege.

It's not clear what the distinction you are trying to make is. What is the significant difference between "a privilege" and "a right subject to safety regulations", exactly? Call it what you want, either way you are allowed to drive as long as you follow the traffic laws, but if you abuse the right/privilege, it can be taken away from you.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 336

by Kjella (#49189795) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Even if you can account for such things, how will your autonomous vehicle handle malfunctioning sensors? Aerospace has been working at this for decades and still hasn't figured it all out.

The main reason to have pilots is that you have someone with "skin in the game", not because they're actually good backups. Like in your linked case there's several major pilot errors that were only possible because the safety systems were disabled due to a 30 second glitch in the sensor. After the sensor recovered the pilots were given multiple warnings about what was happening but instead caused such a massive stall that the computer refused to believe the sensors, going silent as the pilots slammed the planed into the ocean killing all on board.

If the computer had taken a HAL 9000 with "I can't let you do that, Dave" and taken the plane out of the stall once it recovered they'd be alive. If the computer had been forced to carry on despite the faulty sensor, it would still have engine power and altitude to infer that air speed is wrong and keep the plane flying and it would almost certainly have done a better job. They died because the default was in any out of the ordinary operation to let the humans take over. It's a better poster child for a self-flying plane than against it. But since the pilots paid with their own lives they become the lightning rod for the anger, while a self-flying plane crashing would be become a corporate nightmare.

Comment: Re:IANAL, but my answer would be no (Score 4, Insightful) 269

IANAL, but my answer would be no

And probably just as important in this case is YJMV - Your Jurisdiction May Vary. The UK is fascist country where I know it's illegal, I wouldn't bring any device I wouldn't unlock - I'd just make sure it's clean and I can download what I want once inside the country. The US is a fairly safe country thanks to the fifth amendment. The rest of the world? Dunno. Don't really care to research it either. If I was doing anything naughty I'd send it online or even in the mail. At least then they can't refuse me entry or any of that shit.

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 336

by Jeremi (#49189029) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Which bloodshed and chaos is avoided by making driving a privilege?

To give one example: chronic drunk drivers can have their licenses revoked. After that, they can no longer drive, and therefore are no longer a danger to the public.

But that ease is abuse-prone. We deliberately make it harder for the government to fight other "bloodshed and chaos"

As always, there are trade-offs to be made between freedom and safety. You clearly lean towards the "freedom" side, and that's fine, but society is not required to share your opinion about where the best place is to draw that line.

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 336

by Jeremi (#49188993) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

And that's different from walking and bicycling on the same roads how?

Walking and (to a lesser extent) bicycling are inherently less hazardous to other people, in that there is less mass moving less quickly in areas where other people might be. As a consequence, walking and bicycling are less heavily regulated than driving.

That said, there are also regulations governing walking and bicycling -- bicyclists have to obey traffic laws when on public roads, the same as any other vehicle, and even pedestrians are forbidden to jaywalk.

Or are those activities not rights either?

You seem to think that if there is a right to do something, then that activity cannot be regulated by the government for safety reasons. The law (and common sense) disagree with you.

Comment: Re:Really? Come on now, you should know better. (Score 1) 336

by drinkypoo (#49188287) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

What I wanted to show by bringing up this example is that in current airplane design, there are circumstances in which automation is known to fail (in this case, unreliable/defective sensors). In these circumstances, the systems are designed to give control back to the pilot. The rationale for this is quite clear.

Yes, like I said, it's to make the passengers feel good. Because as we have seen, the pilots depend on the same sensors that the autopilot does. Airliners aren't fighters, you don't fly by the seat of your pants. By the time your inner-ear-gyro tells you that there's a problem, you're already screwed. Which was precisely what happened.

How in the shit are pitot tubes still icing anyway? Why is heating the tube not a thing which works? Heating elements are not new technology. We should really be able to manage this by now.

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams