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Comment Re:Who cares. (Score 5, Interesting) 122

Exactly. Nobody I know ever uses it for anything *but* that.

Especially in certain parts of the IT industry. Keeping track of the ridiculous number of people you work with is impossible. Having a nice list - even if it spams your inbox with recruitment crap while you're not actively seeking employment opportunities - is a damned handy thing to have if you find yourself in a position to actually need to look for a job.

I'm not for sure why any employer or anyone else trusts or cares about linkedin especially in the IT field.
Most of the people on my linkedin profile who have vouched for my computer knowledge know nothing about
computers. They've said I'm an expert at java, php, and any other language that linkedin suggests even
if I know absolutely nothing about said language. To them it's all the same and it makes my linkedin profile
utterly useless as I'm ranked higher in languages I don't know than I am in languages I actually do.

Comment Re:First thing I do when I buy a new computer (Score 3) 119

IANAL, but "rent-to-own" seldom really functions as a rental; it's effectively an installment sales contract in which you pay more interest than your state allows on real installment loans, in return for having walk-away rights.

Although this is their target market, the "rent-to-own" purchases by the payday cash loan crowd, no sane people should
ever use them to actually buy something as the price is usually double or more before you're finished.
Using them as a rental is actually fairly reasonable though if you need furniture for a month or a big TV for a superbowl party.

Comment Re:they missed a big one... (Score 1) 443

All I want my car to do is get me from point A to point B... by itself and without my help.

Yes, this would be a good start as it's somewhat realistic but I also chose fly because what
I want (and every else really wants) is a car that can get you from point A to point B as safely
and quickly as possible with the least amount of effort. So the perfect transportation would be:
1) 100% safe
2) effortless and convenient
3) near instantaneous
4) economical
Every mode of transportation tends to be a balance of these. I'm still holding out for the day where
I can have Breakfast in France, Lunch in China, and Dinner in New York.

Comment Re:Meh, too alarmist (Score 5, Insightful) 488

In short, this isn't a "violation of the 4th amendment" so much as it is an excuse to try and get access to the guy's hard drive and recover stolen assets.

What do you think a "violation of the 4th amendment" is then? To me "an excuse to bypass the 4th amendment to gain X" is
exactly that. It is a violation and an attempt to bypass the 4th amendment. Whether he is guilty is not the point.
Now if they got a proper warrant and executed it correctly, that's a different story but if they are using an excuse to bypass
proper protocol then it very much is a violation of the 4th amendment. It doesn't really matter what the excuse is either.

Comment Re:Long distance travel (Score 1) 168

Define "average person". I walk a lot compared to an average western person. I try to knock over a couple of kilometres a day, which might not sound like much, but compared to your average lazy westerner whose only walking is from the bedroom to the garage, it is above average.
I can walk about 5kms at about 5km/h without thinking about it, but more than that and I feel it. And I do this almost every day. If I do a 10km walk I need a rest and don't feel much like repeating it the next day. 35miles (60km) in one day would kill me.
I work in a company of 2000 people and looking around I would bet my house that at least half of them couldn't walk 5km a day for one week. 60 km a day would pose a huge problem for most western people.

I would consider myself fairly "average" by your definition. I sit at a desk all day and work from home so I don't even have
to walk to the garage. I could probably afford to lose 15 pounds but I still have no problem on vacation going to the zoo,
six flags, disney world, etc... and walking for 8-10 hours straight at probably around 5km/h with no issues for an entire week.
So I'm guessing that I get close to the 35mi/60km per day where generally on a typical day I'm probably lucky to hit
3000steps/2km in a day. At least for me, walking indefinitely even when I don't do it regularly doesn't seem to be an issue
and would presumably get easier over time.

Comment Re:Power abhors a vacuum. (Score 1) 182

The good news is that, once we're off this planet, most of those grand old sociopathic power dreams become impossible. There'll never be a Galactic Empire, because you can't boss people around when your orders take thousands of years to reach them. There will probably never even be a Solar Empire, because the odds are high that your 'private army' can't travel at more than 10% of the speed of light, and the Oort Cloud is far enough away for even that to be very hard to control.

There is an inverse to this too though. Once the average person can travel the galaxy with ease there is no way to stop someone from
capturing and enslaving people on their private ships or planets and doing all sorts of inhumane things. Pirates and mercenaries would
permanently come back, people could disappear forever, blowing up or even threatening to blow up a planet would become a viable
option and a host of other very negative things as with access to a single ship you could go your own way and write your own rules
without consequences from anyone.

Comment Re:Internet democracy (Score 0) 219

And why is it you only hear about the Jews hmmm?

You do hear mention of hitler killing undesirables on occasion but generally people
are fixated on the jews because that is one of the largest true genocides we've ever
experienced where someone is being killing just for their race. Most of the other
mass exterminations are people exterminated their opponents not solely a race.

Comment Re:Long distance travel (Score 1) 168

And a good horse rider with multiple horses can do a lot better than that. For example, Commanche and Mongol riders could easily do 75 to 100 miles a day by this means.

Again, you've changed the criteria to multiple horses. A peasant would be unlikely to have access to a single horse let alone have access to
multiple horses along a route. Most likely during this time though period people would rarely travel further than the closest village and only
traders would travel to the next village probably with a donkey or two. Even today most people rarely travel further than the closest town to
do business except on special occasions.

Comment Re:Long distance travel (Score 5, Interesting) 168

Horses are expensive to maintain, and have a rough daily limit of about 30 miles. In comparison, a human walking at 3 mph can go the same distance in only 10 hours.

That's not comparable. The horse could do that forever (for example, see this US cavalry manual which stipulates cavalry can go 35 miles a day, six days a week indefinitely - page 152) while the person would not be able to maintain that sort of pace for more than a few hours to a day unless they were in really good shape.

In comparison, typical indefinite marching rates for an army were about 10 miles a day (both for roman legionaires and US soldiers).

It's very comparable. A human can keep up a 3mph walk forever as well. A 3mph pace is not hard for a human at all and without
a pack 30 miles a day would not be an issue for a human. 35 miles per day, six days a week indefinitely would not be a problem for
the average person either. I don't think a march with camp setup, etc... is comparable to what the original poster was talking about.
I think you underestimate what a human is capable of. When I was in college we went on a hike to the bottom of the grand canyon
for a week. None of us were in great shape, did any training, or probably near as fit as a peasant who worked all day in the field
every day yet we averaged about 20-25 miles a day for a week with heavy packs on rough terrain and making camp each night.
We obviously could have done alot more with a light pack. And again, we were not in shape, didn't train, and most had never even
been backpacking before. For endurance running a human is every bit as good as a single horse. The pony express used multiple
horses because horses are faster over short distances but over multiple days a human is actually faster. A good runner can do alot
more than 35 miles per day. This guy averaged over 50 miles a day for 40 days:
http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/outdoor-adventure/the-human-express-interview-with-karl-meltzer.html
Here is one of many articles that states that humans can outrun every animal on the planet:
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/may/tramps-like-us

Comment Re:Raspberry Pi to the rescue! (Score 3, Interesting) 188

>
> In fact, given that routing tables grow exponentially, is it even theoretically possible for a full peer-to-peer Internet scale mesh to work?
>

If current routing tables can't scale then maybe a different type of routing table or a different solution entirely is needed.
For instance if every router was location aware and knew it's geographic location and the geographic location of the place it was
trying to reach it could send the encrypted packet in the general direction with the knowledge that each node would get it
one step physically closer to it's destination. Large hops is still a problem but large hops is really only a problem with stuff
that needs to be close to real-time. For email this isn't really much of a problem as even a 5-10 minute delay or longer isn't
really a big deal.

Comment Re:Raspberry Pi to the rescue! (Score 2) 188

I agree that doing it yourself is pointless but not hopeless. The internet has lost it's goal
of routing around failures. We should try to move to a decentralized internet. The simplest
and easiest way to do this is with sharing wifi routers. Most people in a city can see
multiple wifi routers. If the routers all talked to each other and shared bandwidth then you
have dozens of paths to the internet. This could even be expanded to cars. While
driving on the highway there is typically a string of cars stretching from your car all the way
back to your house. If each of these cars had a router in it you could just hop from car to
car all the way back to your house or all the way across the nation on any major highway.
We need to work on decentralized grid routers to completely remove the internet from any
one entity's control.

Comment Re:What could go wrong? (Score 2) 182

I keep asking myself how they will prevent them from shooting the wrong person
and then I'm reminded of the movie "Screamers" and realize that this problem has
already been solved with "tags". And we think leftover mines are bad. Wait till
the next major war and 10,000 war robots get dropped over enemy lines that shoot
anything that moves.

Comment Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (Score 1) 754

Risk can be minimized if you're willing to take sacrifices instead (which could be argued is a form of risk).
Many people I know (including myself) started their own business by working part-time at a minimum wage
job to keep from starving. This is obviously harder if you have a mortgage, kids, etc... but many times even
with children if you lower your standard of living a little and find a flexible part-time job then you can
eliminate most of the risk in exchange for some temporary sacrifices and if it doesn't work out the only
thing you are out is a little bit of time. There are other ways as well for instance find 10 friends who are willing
to give you a stipend so you don't have to work the first few months, are able to help cover your startup costs,
etc. A sole provider quiting their job cold-turkey with a mortgage, car payment, etc.. is taking on a huge
amount of risk but if you move into a small apartment, pay off you car, and distribute the risk among several
friends then the risk becomes much more managable. When I started my business I used a combination of
investment from friends, part-time jobs, volunteer labor, and even friends pitching in to give me a small paycheck
which means that no one person had a significant amount of risk and because we were successful everyone
eventually ended up getting their free labor and investments paid back but if we wouldn't have been successful
noone was ever really out more than they could lose.

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