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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 383

I mean, there was the guy who tried to make his own toaster from scratch and it took him a year and it barely worked once. We all depend on information.

Pretty pathetic. If you're determined to make a toaster from scratch, and know nothing about toasters, make one of these. A competent blacksmith can make one in 20 minutes. An amateur might need a couple of afternoons.

Knowing that's what a toaster was for more than two centuries probably counts as information that's hard to acquire without the Internet, nowadays.

Comment Re:Don't lose your private key, Gramma! (Score 1) 151

I'd like everyone involved in this project to imaging giving their grandmother a lifetime ID that can never be replaced that requires grandma to keep her private key, a 512-bit string of digits, secure from hackers, hard drive crashes, agencies with sloppy security, malware, malicious other people, ransomeware, a single typo in a long string of gibberish, back backup operational procedures, and misunderstanding the difference between her private-key, her public-key, her wallet, her address, her seed phrase, and her encryption password.

Sounds like a user interface problem.

Somewhat less glibly, that sounds like a user interface problem that could also be improved with the use of hardware keys, like smartcards or Yubikeys. When Grandma can no longer keep track of her car keys, then she might have a problem with her ID keycard, but until then, she should be good to go, if the interface is reasonable.

The anonymous coward's comment about the government losing control of its root key seems to be a far worse problem, though that too is manageable.

Comment Re:Think again. (Score 1) 736

In addition, unlike destroying a plane, destroying a hyper-loop train would also affect the actual infrastructure. So, enjoy your cavity search.

Why? An accident on the highway also affects the actual infrastructure. There was an accident on the highway I commute on this morning. Three lanes were closed, for hours. Nobody was cavity searched (though the idiot drivers who ran into each other probably should be, to teach them a lesson).

Comment Re:Depends on sooo many things (Score 1) 736

Good Answer! And now there is the question of how fast can it stop without turning everybody into goo! And lets say I take a crowbar and drive it into the hyperloop from the top. Not by hand of course.

Not at all. It's inch thick steel. You're not getting that crowbar into the tube short of high explosive, like a sabot round from a tank, or such a large machine that someone (in uniform) will ask you what the hell you're doing while you're still setting up.

But let's say you succeed, somehow. What happens? Nothing. Pods zip right past the foot or so of crowbar protruding from the ceiling. They only occupy about 38% of the diameter of the tube, and they ride on the bottom of it. A breach in the top or sides that results in something protruding into the tube some small fraction of its diameter won't affect any passing pods at all.

Comment Re:Is this article useless? (Score 1) 289

Instead what we get is clickbait bullshit that implies Apple, the most valuable publicly traded company in the world and one that doesn't do online advertisement

Er, Apple spent ~$100 million on digital advertising in 2016. Sure that was down 16% from 2015, but just because they no longer call out exactly how much they're spending online in their SEC filings doesn't mean they aren't still doing it.

Comment Re:I always wonder why (Score 1) 289

You won't notice it unless you're really tracking requests - if you mouseover the us.pg.com link it doesn't show the Google tracker. If you inspect the source it just looks like a regular HREF link.

You also get the squirrelly tracking URL if you "Copy Link Location" in your browser. A continuing annoyance when I have just googled for a reference and can tell from the summary it's the URL I want, so I don't need to follow it. But to actually copy it, I have to highlight and copy text, not try to copy the URL.

Comment Re:Shitty Consultants (Score 1) 289

Spend some time with business leaders and you'll find that they're mostly clueless assholes, placed in their positions by wealthy families, running mostly brain-dead companies that make money due to some legacy accident.

Not quite true. Most of the big multinationals got where they are through intentional execution of a sound business plan—fifty or sixty years ago. They've been coasting on sheer inertia ever since. But they did get up to speed intentionally, not accidentally. The aforementioned clueless assholes polish the chrome, and occasionally fuck with the direction of the company, which invariably loses some of the inertia.

The mythology survives because people like Avi Arad exist, who took an actually bankrupt company in a fading industry and transformed it into a modern entertainment powerhouse. I'm referring, of course, to Marvel. For every 100 clueless assholes, there's one Avi Arad, legitimately keeping the myth alive.

Comment Re: Shitty Consultants (Score 1) 289

It also does not capture brand building.
Jewellers, for example, advertise throughout the year, with less expectation of sales next month than people remembering the brand name come holiday season or anniversaries. Similar for plumbers and funeral homes with local ads.
The goal is being the first company you think of when you one day will use such services.

I'm not convinced brand building is actually effective.

You specifically called out funeral homes. I know with absolute certainty that a funeral home was advertising on a billboard every day last month next to a highway I commute to work on. And I couldn't tell you without hypnosis what the name of the place was. I might have a subconsciously positive response to the name if I see it in a group of funeral home names, but I doubt it's reliable.

I know that's the theory behind brand building, but I question just what percentage of the population it actually works on reliably enough to test above random chance in a double blind study. I know such studies have been done in the past. I am wondering if one has been repeated since the rise of Internet advertising.

Comment Re:Massively Flawed (Score 4, Insightful) 350

So how exactly does that gambit work for hetero women seeking men? Is this a thing that clued-in men know about? Some secret signaling that says "my profile says woman seeking woman, but I really want guys?"

Dating websites generally require you to fill out a profile before you're allowed to approach other members. Women seeking men who fill out women seeking women on the website are among the 80% of women chasing 20% of the men. Those 20% know the deal, because they get approached on an hourly basis, and every single woman disclaims her orientation tag in her approach. Those women don't want to be approached at all. They want to do the approaching.

Comment Education (Score 2) 266

Gee, maybe the powers that be will actually have to encourage the training of critical thought in the population at large, so people can approach the marketplace of ideas with some discernment.

Naaah. They'd much rather have sheeple they can trivially manipulate themselves. If they get derailed by some foreign power's propaganda, they can be put right again by doubling down on their own propaganda. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Comment Re:VR is undeniably the future. (Score 1) 115

It will be. Imagine going to a business meeting, picking up a pair a VR glasses that look like oakleys, and everything on the meeting table and walls is VR/Augmented reality. That's the future.

Every single one of your examples is AR, not VR.

VR is "going" to a business meeting by putting on your VR goggles while in your pajamas and seeing a fancy board room with you and all the other attendees in suits, even though they're probably in their PJs too, and considering it as good as actually going to a meeting. Which won't happen without a Juanita Marquez doing her thing as depicted in Snow Crash, namely creating an avatar system with virtual facial expressions with high enough fidelity to real faces to match reality, driven by data from both an external camera (for the uncovered parts of the face) and internal cameras that do both eye tracking and facial expression capture (for the covered parts of the face).

Both good AR as you described and really good VR as Neal Stephenson described are hard problems. Very hard problems. It could be everywhere and in everything, but there's quite a big gap between current VR and what's needed to actually achieve that ubiquity.

Comment Re:I'll push back (Score 1) 401

I have a pretty high income compared to my peers (nearly 100k), very low debt, and yet, my score has always hovered around the "average" to "above average" range, currently hanging out around 680. According to official statistics, I have a income higher than 64% of the US population, I have a debt lower than 84% of the US population, I've never defaulted or been late on anything, and yet somehow my credit risk is only better than 40% of the US population. EXPLAIN THAT.

The credit score formulas weight age above all else. My score hovered around 700 for the entirety of my 30s. Now that I'm in my 40s, it's magically over 800. The only thing that has changed is the age of the accounts. Absolutely nothing else is different. There were no negative reports before and are none now. The accounts simply aged into the 800 bracket.

It's a fairly stupid system. It's not like Boomers aren't capable of defaulting on debt. They do, in droves. Where do you think the spike in health care expense-related bankruptcies is coming from? But age (or lack thereof) imposes an artificial ceiling on your credit score regardless.

Comment Re:Not buying it (Score 1) 236

Soon Amazon will sell me a robot that buys things for itself off of Amazon...

Soon? They already do. It's called Echo and it already orders stuff when little kids make wishes in its presence. You have to go out of your way to add a confirmation code if you don't want it to just order stuff at the drop of a hat. It's just a "plugin" away from ordering whatever it determines you need.

Comment What bullshit (Score 4, Informative) 644

NCIS has prominently featured a female hacker for more than a decade now. A female hacker who possesses all the same superpowers as every male hacker: she can get through any encryption in as much under 44 minutes as is required to advance the plot.

Warehouse 13 prominently featured a female hacker for very nearly the entirety of its 5 year run, beginning 8 years ago. She didn't exhibit her hacking superpowers nearly as frequently as Abby in NCIS, but Allison Scagliotti made up for it by being improbably beautiful.

Leverage prominently featured a black male hacker for the entirety of its 4 year run, beginning 9 years ago. He too had all the requisite hacking superpowers Hollywood insists on depicting.

Hell, we can go all the way back to Hackers, in 1995, to find a very young Angelina Jolie playing yet another improbably beautiful female hacker. We don't know if she had hacking superpowers because real computers didn't actually appear in that movie, but I'm sure if there were any, she would have.

Other examples are plentiful. In short, Hollywood has been injecting minorities and women into a predominantly white male role for more than a generation, predating even the existence of Google. It doesn't matter. In the face of persistent, even pervasive propaganda for an entire generation, the number of women getting CS degrees has gone down, not up. It's almost as if people object to fake role models routinely doing the impossible, especially when they know damn well that the job is simultaneously boring (to their minds) and insanely complicated, and nothing like what's depicted on TV, because guess what, everybody can use a computer, and nearly everybody has, at least a little, so they know the reality is far different.

Bullshit propaganda is bullshit, and also a demonstrated failure. But you just keep on keepin' on, Google. I'm sure it'll start working. Aaaaany minute now...

(Actually, white males should probably be thanking Google for these efforts. After 25 years of anti-correlation, their propaganda seems to have had the affect of reinforcing their dominance of the field. Want a fake hacker? Hire a pretty girl or a black man. Want your computer fixed? Hire a white man.)

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