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Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 46

Megacities like Tokyo and New York will have great and precise services. Middle-of-nowhere-town with under 50 000 people will have jack squat.

Don't be so sure.
Although is easily slashdotted, try visiting it next week, and zoom the interactive map (link near top) to some dusty bump in the road, and you will probably not believe the number of wifi access points that are mapped. If someone just drives by while running their app, the location isn't too precise (mapped to the middle or the road), but if they spend a little while in the area the mappings become quite precise.

Comment Re:Hey Mozilla ... (Score 5, Insightful) 46

So you didn't read TFA ? (Of course not).

It is trying to build a public (or so it says) database of where there is cell towers and or wifi, all geolocated by GPS.

Skyhook already has their database, mostly of wifi addresses volunteered.
Google has their database, which they jump started with Street View cars, but now keep up to date with a bazillion android phones running around.
WiggleWIFI has their wifi only database, collected by volunteers, which is public and massive, but not all that usable, although you can probably zoom into your neighborhood and find Wifi routers by the dozen.

But this database is supposed to be available publicly, and will know that if you are connected to Cell Tower XYZ, and your phone can see tower RWC, then you must be located in this particular grid square. Nobody but the cell companies have that data.

This project aims at collecting those tower locations, and wifi locations.

If you don't want to participate, then don't install the app on your smartphone.

But be aware the maps exist already, in a number of disjoint databases. This one hopes to make it a joint one, and a public one. They are late to the party, but at least they claim it will be public. Its not clear just how public, but hinted at is the ability for your laptop, or phone, to pin point its location without a clear view of the sky (no GPS) simply by virtue of what router you are talking to. There isn't a hint about feeding advertisers.

Comment Re:"apex predators" (Score 1) 258

Regardless, even if EVERYTHING ends up being automated (except programming the automation machines), that doesn't mean there should be wealth distribution to give away one's money to another for doing nothing.

When everything is automated, the notion of money becomes rather nebulous to begin with. Money represents scarcity of resources, including productive labor. If labor is no longer scarce, it cannot be tied to money in any meaningful way anymore.

Comment Re:Not that easy to blame the contractors (Score 1) 786

I should clarify the latter example. There is in fact a closing bracket -- }]; -- at the end of the file. BUT...

It is all "minified" code, which has no newlines. All the code is crammed together. That's fine, usually. But it BEGINS with 2 slashes, which indicates a single-line comment.

BECAUSE there are no newlines, that means all the following code is one long "line", including the final closing bracket. Therefore, the closing bracket is actually commented out with all the rest of that code, and won't be seen by the interpreter (or JIT compiler). So there will be a syntax error at this point.

These are really quite elementary-level errors.

Comment Re:Not that easy to blame the contractors (Score 1) 786

"And how hard would it be to post an example here for our edification?"

You can get the file yourself HERE. It has been improved somewhat over the last week, but it's still full of errors.

Here is an example (from line 49, if the code is properly formatted):

resources[''] = 'Review the information you entered. If the information you entered is correct, select the 'Continue ' button. If the information you entered isn't correct, make any necessary changes, then select the 'Continue' button.';

Note that single-quoted strings can't contain single quotes. It doesn't work. The JIT compiler will end the string at the first internal single quote, and the rest of the line will be a syntax error. The file is full of these.

Down at the bottom of the file is the start of a function:

signIn: function() {
mixpanel.track("Log In");
var passwordStatus = "expired";
//for testing purposes... (this is a block of about 80k bytes of minified code, all commented out by those two slashes)...

... with no ending bracket. Another obvious and rather serious syntax error.

Those examples are by no means the only errors. And I only looked for syntax errors. I didn't try to analyze the code for runtime errors; I'm not a masochist.

Comment Re:Scientists == Always Right (Score 1) 197

A portion of public science spending should be set aside for replication.

This was the first thing that came to my mind as well.
It seems one group does something and everyone else relies on that, until something falls down at some distant point in the future.

At the very least, someone building upon a work that was not replicated should include replication in their proposal as the first step.
Often expensive, but not nearly so expensive as finding out later that the original was wrong.

(As for re-running the software, that seems risky at best, especially if the results could have been influenced by
buggy software, more so if it is custom software, probably less so if its just off the shelf statistical packages or some such).

Comment Re: Not that easy to blame the contractors (Score 4, Interesting) 786

"Requirement changes due to red states not implementing exchanges and their legislatures making any state assistance illegal constituted the majority of the development issues."

No, they didn't. Repeat: I *SAW* some of their code. (In was from the registration page, in fact.) And it was just plain bad. Quite literally terrible, inept programming. You would actually have to consciously try in order to do worse.

There may have been other contributing factors, but the plain truth is that they did a very poor job on the website.

Comment Re:duty to assist law enforcement agents?? (Score 1) 230

"Aww, I'm sorry your feelings are hurt."

The caliber of the asshole is just getting larger.

"Claiming someone "doesn't understand" your point after they've pointed out very specific and damning flaws with it"

All you pointed out was the degree to which you misinterpreted what I was saying. I have no apologies to make to you, and any necessary explanations have already been made. Repeating them won't help you understand any better.

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 4, Insightful) 362

I fucking hate this new system. Its a mess of scripts that call on more scripts. Its such a pain in the ass now if you want to have a program run when the system starts. Gone are the days of just adding a line to /etc/rc.local

Half of that is because either SystemD or upstart is really only about half implemented, and the half that is implemented is often trying to replicate sysv just to keep the conversion and learning task to something approaching manageable. Its kind of a mess right now in many distros.

As more of the system targets are properly implemented, and users start to let go of the concept of run levels, and get used to dealing with target files and the concept of units, it will be every bit as tailor-able as run levels were, and a whole lot faster.

I didn't find run levels and rc.d all that intuitive at first (many long years ago) and the scripts were more complex.

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