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Comment: Stupid (Score 1) 318

Unlike an atomic bomb, creating autonomous drones with a machine gun (or simply a suicide payload) can probably already be done today, using mostly of the shelf components and software. A terrorist attack using a swarm of these things or even a simple murder by suicide bombing drones is probably very feasible today. I'm surprised (and relieved...) this has not happened yet.

While I'd very much like to see a world without autonomous weapons, that's just not going to happen; they're just too simple to make. Prohibiting them makes no sense. Instead, we need to work on our defense. I expect to see cities guarded by swarms of armed drones in the very near future. It's the only defense against hostile swarms of drones.

Comment: Re:Not all audiphiles are like this (Score 1) 418

by zmooc (#49025901) Attached to: $10K Ethernet Cable Claims Audio Fidelity, If You're Stupid Enough To Buy It

"I am quite interested in good rendering of favourite music, so are a few friends. We do indeed try out hifi gear, but that doesn't mean we all fall for this snake oil product."

"So far I find speakers having the largest influence on the end reproduction quality."

Unless you have really bad speakers, the distortion introduced by the acoustics of your room will be significantly worse than the distortion introduced by the speakers, amplifier, cables and D/A-convertors combined, even when using a nearfield monitoring setup. So in general, spending more money on better-than-average hifi gear without first spending lots of money on room acoustics does actually sound quite foolish to me.

Comment: Most people hold their mouse different (Score 1) 431

by zmooc (#48897461) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

"(...) my hand categorically rejects two button mice â" the dangling ring finger causes me genuine physical discomfort (...)"

I recently noticed that a colleague that suffers from RSI and was in the process of trying different mouses holds his mouse different from what I do; I hold keep my ring finger and little finger both on the right side of the mouse, either stacked on top of each other or with both fingertips touching the desk surface. Mouse movement is controlled only using the thumb and the ring finger; the rest of my hand is normally not touching the mouse except for my finger tips. Forefinger controls the left mouse button, middle finger controls the right mouse button and the middle button/scroll wheel can be controlled by both fingers. I've always held my house that way and being a long time X-user, I have always used 3-button mice.

Having noticed that difference, I tried holding my mouse the way my colleague did: one finger for each button. This causes major strain in my hand (exactly the place where my colleague had troubles), probably because my fingers have different lengths. So I went around the office, asking people how the held their mouse and whether they had complaints. Turns out, most people held their mice in a way similar to how I do it. Those that didn't had more trouble with their hands.

I'm not saying you should switch hand-on-mouse position; everybody's different. However, you might want give it a try.

Comment: Re:We already are (Score 2) 319

by zmooc (#48773577) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

No no no no. We are not engineering the climate at all. We're just being human beings doing human being things like filling our biosphere up with CO2. We're just nature doing its nature thing.

We are making some attempts at engineering the climate, though, namely attempts at minimizing our CO2 output, but this has not had any real effect whatsoever.

It doesn't become engineering until you do it on purpose. We do not do that. Also note that it is nature until you start to "manage" or "engineer" it, at what point it stopt being nature and starts being "cultivated". Geo- and climate-engineering aim to finally destroy all nature by conserving it in an artificial way and thus making planet earth one big museum.

Just let nature be nature. Even if it destroys humanity. Nature doesn't need us, weed need nature.

Comment: Re:Why stop with rides? (Score 1) 160

by zmooc (#48763499) Attached to: Over 30 Uber Cars Impounded In Cape Town

I think you don't get what Uber is up to. They don't care about the sharing part, they don't care about their drivers. They just want to get as big a market share as possible and they want you to have their app on your phone. And then ... they're going to wait.

Because what Uber understands is that in the near future we will not have drivers. We will not even have steering wheels. Or parking spots. Or traffic lights. Or people owning their own car. Or multiple lanes. We probably don't even have people that are allowed to drive a car. And we almost certainly will not have trains, subways or buses anymore. Instead We we all just be driven arounnd in a self-driving car owned by some big company. And Uber is planning to be that company.

Comment: Re:Automated manufacturing (Score 2) 327

by zmooc (#48707569) Attached to: The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

Some time ago I researched long-term trends in employment by sector in the Netherlands. Employment in all sectors is declining except for few: entertainment, hospitaliy, (medical) care, "sales", automation, recycling. I suspect the latter two to go into decline sooner or later as well. As long as we manage to prevent extreme concentration of wealth with the owners of the automated production there shouldn't be a real problem; we're all going to entertain each other and care for each other and sell each other stuff.

Comment: Re:Proof by assertion? (Score 1) 285

by zmooc (#48703945) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

The party crashing into the rear was tailgating (or not paying attention). The party slamming the brakes apparently either failed to notice that someone was tailgating or chose to ignore it. Compare this to situations where one party runs the red light; in this situation the other party is completely innocent and did not have and serious option to prevent the crash.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 1) 335

by zmooc (#48703779) Attached to: Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

Oh there's the bullshit again. Red light camera's do increase safety. They may not decrease the number accidents but typically DO decrease casualties. But much more important, they reduce innocent victims. Instead of innocent people dying because some idiot slammed into the side of their car, we now mostly have 50% victims that either crashed into another car because they were tailgating and we have 50% victims that were incompetent drivers that failed to appreciate their surroundings, especially the idiot tailgating, and slammed the brakes in a panic.

Even if red light cameras would't increase safety, they would distribute casualties in a much fairer way, lowering the number of innocent victims and increasing the number of not-so-innocent victims. Red-light camera's increase effective self-determination.

Comment: Less fatalities? (Score 2) 285

by zmooc (#48645591) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

Earlier studies consistently showed red light cameras resulted in less fatalities. And thus more injuries. I'm not convinced.

Furthermore, in rear-end collisions both parties are somewhat guilty. In T-bone crashes, typically only the one running the red light was clearly guilty. Therefore red light cameras result in a distribution of injuries that's fairer.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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