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Comment: Ridiculous (Score 3, Insightful) 463

by zmooc (#47801601) Attached to: Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

What's ridiculous here is that charges will not be pressed *because* the officer did not violate Vehicle Code section 23123.5 (which prohibits operating electronic wireless communication devices while driving) since it "does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle".

Apparently they totally failed to check whether the dude might have violated the law that says you should not kill people by driving over them with your car, which he obviously did violate.

Apparently killing people with your car is illegal UNLESS you're doing it while operating an electronic communications device in a police car; in that case you actually get a reward: the job you applied for over a year ago. How odd...

Comment: Re:talk about "old tech" (Score 4, Informative) 94

by zmooc (#47790079) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

It's much more than that; the images contained in a TIFF file cannot be downloaded separately while the images contained in a picture-tag can. This way I don't have to wait for ages when browsing on my phone while I can still enjoy top quality images on my desktop. That was already possible by allowing the webserver to serve a different pictures based on the User Agent, but that's ugly and it doesn't allow the user to choose the bigger file after all. Furthermore, this new tag allows the browser to select an image based on the speed of the connection, potentially making the web much more responsive in general.

Comment: Re:I don't blame them for being mad. (Score 1) 219

by zmooc (#47430211) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Germans have always had more of an issue with "being spied on" than others do. For example, Germany is one of the only countries in which taking a picture with others on it is illegal unless you've got permission from all subjects!

Also, Germans have major issues with Google Streeview and they were the ones that sued Google for receiving their wifi-broadcasts.

I think they've taken this privacy-thing a bit too far, though...

Comment: Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 333

For the record I would have ZERO problem doing this at all... in fact I could think for hours...

I bet you cannot do this on a deadline set by others in an environment you're not familiar with. You're just going to sit and wait for the researchers to come back in and announce that your "thinking" period is over. This experiment obviously fails to create the conditions that are needed to be properly alone with your thoughts.

I would absolutely not be able to concentrate in this setting even though I have no trouble at all to be alone with my thoughts for extended periods.

Comment: But why? (Score 1) 113

I really don't get this. You get a radio transmitter, start transmitting stuff en then go complaining that others are listening. Anybody, corporations like Google included, should have the absolute right to do whatever they want with any electromagnetic or other radiation that reaches their bodies or equipment. Any restriction on that would be the modern-day equivalent of prohibition to look at things. If you don't want me to see your stuff or receive your radio waves or listen to your sound waves, just don't be so rude to transmit them towards me, even penetrating my body.

Comment: Re:It's a hipster thing (Score 2) 240

It's not (only) a hipster thing; it's mostly a budget thing. Many photographers want to work with a properly large camera (35mm full frame, medium format (60x60mm) etc. Since most of us don't have the budget to shell out at least several thousand bucks up to well over $10K for a proper camera, our only option to get large format quality is to use old school film.

Said differently: digital has only surpassed film quality in a cost-effective way for very small sensors and/or large volumes of photographs (where the cost of developing film starts to become a factor).

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, in reality world... (Score 1) 784

by zmooc (#46983383) Attached to: Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

That's not what that link says; it says it has been losing mass "since at least 2002". While it is obviously losing mass now, it has most probably not "been melting for decades". We don't have any serious data on that before 2002, when GRACE was launched. Funny how the real facts get in the way of a good misinformation campaign.

Comment: Re:Those poor bastards (Score 2) 102

by zmooc (#46965461) Attached to: Australian Government To Standardise On Drupal

4.) Rich content editing - Good, finally they found one reason to standardize their CMS onto every agency - because this is such a huge problem with CMSes - wait, what? No, it's not.

As far as I'm aware, all available editors are based on contenteditable functionality, which has been bug-ridden for years and simply was not designed to offer a rich content editing experience to the end user of a CMS. Yes, this is a huge problem with CMSes, including Drupal. For this reason, this is not fluff, pointless of misleading, it is an outright lie.

Comment: Gameability (Score 4, Interesting) 800

by zmooc (#46938531) Attached to: Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

One thing I believe was not mentioned in the article (though I only quickly scanned it) is that if such cars start behaving too predictively, they can be gamed. Once we know that a car will do whatever it can to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, it will be extensively gamed; cars will be tricked into doing stupid things.

So when the decision who to hit comes up, the only way to be reasonably safe is to determine who's not following the rules and to hit that one. Any other rules will be gamed extensively. This will become a major hassle to adoption of autonomous vehicles; they will probably need to drive much slower than actual humans to avoid getting into such situations continuously, especially in built-up areas where any parked car could hide an annoying car-bully trying to trick your car into acting like an idiot.

Comment: Use windows (Score 1) 266

by zmooc (#46608519) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

Just use windows. It doesn't really work any better but at least they don't break core functionality a few times a year and then take months to fix it...

Ok maybe I'm exaggerating and this is only an Ubuntu problem; it's been years since I've been annoying-bug-free for more than 3 months with...

Comment: Re:Out of step with reality (Score 1) 149

by zmooc (#46491193) Attached to: Hungarian Law Says Photogs Must Ask Permission To Take Pictures

I agree that street photography is not some kind of unalienable right. However, I do NOT agree there's a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public space, not even in Germany. With the law as it currently is (though not as it is currently enforced), photo-journalism in public spaces becomes quite a hassle. If we'd all live by the law, our era would effectively become a rather dark one in history; for example just about any photograph depicting the demolishing of the Berlin Wall would have been illegal.

Most Western countries have no restrictions on taking photographs in the public space but they do have laws to protect subjects against negative consequences in case such photographs are published. I think that's the right balance, especially if photogs behave responsible (unlike many paparazzi, which are actually legal in Germany...)

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