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Comment Re: Two choices (Score 1) 292

You do know what happens then, right? Violent revolution, in which the rich selfish asshole are killed and eaten.

It is in the best interest of the rich to keep the masses fed and healthy.

you forgot the third option, which is working pretty well for the ruling class right now: Keep them fat and religious. Single-issue voters always vote against their own best interests.

Comment code would look like shit (Score 5, Funny) 326

I just imagine a world of cross-joins, extremely complicated in-string, lazy iteration and the like.

If there were no penalty for pivoting data or iterating though sets, we would all gravitate toward the shittiest constructs imaginable...

I mean hell, browsers are basically expected to be limitless now... HTML hello world used to look like "Hello World" Now it looks like
"Hey javascript framework, load 500 modules, then ask the server what "Hello" is, then ask the server what "world" is, then style it all in whatever your 13 generated CSS files say it should be styled as, and tell google analytics that someone looked at my hello world page."

Comment My experience was different (Score 4, Interesting) 138

As I waited for the Echo Dot that I ordered "for my wife" for Christmas, I researched custom code, came to the conclusion that expecting Alexa to go to the cloud for a simple "pause my TV" command was really stupid, so I coded around it, because I am a programmer and that is what we do.

I learned in my research that the Echo can talk to several different kinds of "smart" things without going to the cloud. The "Phillips Hue" being one of them... so that was my back door.

Like 10 minutes of googling told me that there is an open-source implementation of the phillips hue protocol:

it didn't work for me right out of the box, but I fiddled with it for a few minutes then it was fine.

From there I wrote in a few minutes a rest endpoint that could take commands from the Hue bridge, and run (locally on my computer) the code of my choice.

All told about an hour after my device arrived at my house, it can control the Roku boxes attached to both of my TVs, and it can run specific movies off of my media server with no round-trip to "the cloud" needed

it is a simple use-case, and required a little bit of "non-amazon" thinking, but it was really easy. Any self-respecting developer could do it.

Comment "Loans in 8 seconds" from an insider (Score 1) 451

I worked for one of the infamous banks that crashed the world economy in 2007.

Our systems that approved/processed home loans had a CEO driven initiative called "cup of coffee" wherein we could process and approve a home loan in less time than it would take to finish a cup of coffee.

It was wildly successful. We took a process that had 8 hours of computer processing time, and 1-3 days of human roadblocks, and LEGALLY, coded it into an 8 minute (or less) process. That included things like title checks, credit checks, flood hazard determination, etc

Here is the problem... here is how it crashed the economy:
It did exactly what it was supposed to do.
"If you have 0 defaults you are lending too little, if you have 10% defaults you are lending too much" - Actual quote from business requirements.

So we built in basically a dial for risk... Turn the dial up, lots more loans, lots more risk, turn it down, less risk, less profit.
The CEOs took out every single obstacle in his path, and turned the dial to 11. Of course he did.

What is an AI going to do? The same damn thing, but maybe a little faster.

I dunno, maybe we need someone sitting at a desk saying "Are you sure, honey, that's an awful lot of risk"

Comment Re:OMG, could cars go 200km/h??!! wow (Score 1) 171

How about private infrastructure, like private roads built with private money and the owner of the road charging to build/operate/maintain it? Naah, impossible, that's a government's job.

I mean... lots of areas have that. I live in Dallas where just about any highway worth driving on is a private toll road. Even people who claim to be free-market libertarians love to complain about private toll roads. The roads are awesome, and almost always have a higher speedlimit, better quality, and included roadside assistance.

The main problem with "private infrastructure" in Los Angeles is that if there were space for more roads, they would already be there. Which leads us to some sort of BORING (get it!?) proposition.

Comment Re:"Venmo" defined for the lazy (Score 1) 48

I guess I live in an area where split checks is the norm. There is no way that culturally people I hang out with would accept the whole "I had a steak and 6 beers, you had a salad and water, so lets go halves on dinner." thing.

I have never "split" a check outside of separate receipts, and I have never even witnessed it being done, except on humorous sketches about heavily imbalanced checks being split like the above scenario.

buying tickets and stuff too. Nobody I work/live/hang out with would ever presume to spend someone else's money. That's really weird.

Comment 799.9 of them were going to fail anyway (Score 1) 309

I kid, I kid. 760 would fail anyway.

But really "startups" in the technology sector are supposed to be "disruptors" so wouldn't it be the job of a startup to take the current situation (be it net neutrality or Cable-Company controlled blood-letting) and turn that into a surprising profit model that exploits some weakness or failing of the status quo?

The tighter Comcast squeezes the rock, the easier it should be to wriggle through the cracks in their failing business model.

Comment Dagny Taggart did it (Score 1) 144

The second most ridiculous thing in "Atlas Shrugged" was that Dagny Taggart invented a perpetual motion train "powered by ambient electricity in the air."

Of course the most ridiculous part was the part where CEOs joined together to create a utopia in Colorado with no poor or working people, just their own bootstraps, where they presumably ate nothing, repaired their own lavish houses, and needed no help from tradespeople, doctors or other "takers" who were not rich CEOs and obviously just wanted a handout.

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