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Comment Re:Please quit conflating TV's and monitors. (Score 1) 207

I don't see how 3D gets permanent "gimmick" status while 4k doesn't... there are times when seeing things in 3D give you a completely different perspective, feel, immersion, and experience than something not in 3D. There are times when higher resolution does the same. And there are times when both actually seem to make things worse. Curved TVs as well... I run three monitors on my desktop and I'd be ecstatic if I could get the same resolution in a single curved display. If it weren't curved, though, then I'd have to sit farther away to see the edges properly and that distance is beyond the "retina" distance for my monitor's resolution, so I'm kind of wasting pixels.

Much of the math is different between TVs and monitors and, yes, much of what is gimmicky in one situation is definitely not in another.

Comment Re:What the f*$# is wrong with us? (Score 1) 1198

Of course we should fix that. I pointed out a few ways that may be effective, and there are many more. One way that is NOT effective is grouping people who aren't part of the problem in with people who are and then verbally abusing the whole group. It's unconstructive and, as this large thread shows, it has a lot of collateral damage to people who don't deserve it.

It's a venn-diagram, it's not that hard. Some nerds are misogynists, some aren't, and some (likely most) misogynists aren't nerds (the same goes for pretty much any group). Focusing on geek culture to solve misogyny because one obviously messed up kid was a geek is wrong headed. Some individual issues fall clearly into geek culture -- women in video games as an example -- but we can address those without equating the whole gaming population with a deranged mass murderer.

Comment Re:What the f*$# is wrong with us? (Score 4, Interesting) 1198

"I don't know about you, but there's nothing wrong with me." Precisely. When the poster says "What the f*$# is wrong with us?", and at the same time uses "We" as if to group us all in together, the author is missing the point entirely. "We" are not all guilty of being misogynistic idiots. I'm open to a solid discussion of what "We" meaning all of us in the culture, community, country, or world can do about it, but don't lay this at the feet of "standard frustrated angry geeky guys".

This is like saying that video games cause violence... being a nerd doesn't make us misogynists nor mass murderers. There may be something wrong with you, there may be something wrong with lots of people, and you can bucket those people in lots of ways, but stereotyping any group (nerd, geek, woman, gay, etc. etc.) isn't helping.

Teach tolerance, patience, kindness, and practice those yourself. If you want to lobby for better mental health facilities, I'm right behind you. If you see abuse or stereotyping of any kind online and you want to call people out on it, please do. Start a hashtag, that seems to draw good attention to the topic, although there's a lot of talk about that being too much talking and too little doing. I personally think every bit helps. If you think there's a law that needs to be changed or something doable, speak up and I'm glad to listen and add ideas to craft it.

But don't rant about a problem, and group me in it because I have something (being a geek) loosely in common with someone who went completely batshit as if that makes us (geeks) more culpable than any other group while offering nothing constructive. Even if you have a correlation between misogyny and a cultural group like geeks, you better be damn sure that it's causal rather than just coincidental before accusing the culture, and given high incidents of rape culture in many male-dominated areas, it's very likely that it is NOT causal; at least not to an obvious and naive degree. And, by the way, not all males are misogynists either. It's difficult to not lump everyone in and accuse large groups, but it's important to put blame where it belongs. For the record, Chu's full article is much better than this /. summary at being balanced (surprise), but still many of the same issues exist. Big Bang Theory shouldn't get more scrutiny than Game of Thrones, for example, but it does, clearly, because it supports the author's point. I'm not giving it a pass either, just saying we need to level criticism evenly and appropriately.

"We" are not all the problem. You may be part of it, I don't know. Everyone has to be part of the solution. Some of us are trying to be without vilifying and pushing away those that are less aware.

Comment Re:no (Score 4, Insightful) 437

Agreed. If there WERE fully autonomous vehicles (like computer controlled trams in airports are now), it shouldn't matter who drives them. If we get to the point where we trust automobiles to be completely devoid of manual control and override then what difference does it make who's inside?

Until then, no... as long as there are controls or overrides that someone can cause dangerous scenarios then you should have a license. Maybe we can have a different conversation about an "emergency stop" or changing destinations or minor route corrections, but the way the cars are built now allow for pretty complete driving responsibilities, and they should require similar of not identical rules for the drivers.

Comment Re:Sony did it with OtherOS (Score 4, Informative) 221

Ah, good, someone pointed this out already. Of course... you got down-modded because you gave like ZERO useful information, so here's some elaboration:

Sony upgraded the PS3 software and removed the capability to dual-boot into Linux (the "OtherOS" feature). There was a class action lawsuit that was dismissed apparently because the plaintiffs didn't do a good job showing actual damage.

I remember some good analysis of the issue at the time. One analysis concluded that the PS3 owners had the right to reject the upgrade, and that the system itself could function as normal, but the ongoing use of the Sony servers represented a "continuing relationship" whereby the company did have the right to change the agreement and the users could either accept the changes or stop using the service entirely. The "service" was free, or paid monthly, and differentiated from the "hardware" which performed precisely as it was sold _if you didn't upgrade the firmware_.

Of course this varied from country to country, but I know of no country where Sony was held liable (someone should correct me -- I could easily have missed one).

I'm sure there was more nuance, but I'm paraphrasing something I read long ago. Anyway, the same logic may or may not apply here... did the LG TV advertise these features? Could the streaming "features" be considered a subscription based service, rather than tied to the hardware advertising? LG can argue that every online service faces some time-dependant obsolescence and change; they may end up being in the clear.

Comment Measuring Competence (Score 5, Interesting) 255

Given this article mere moments ago on /. indicating that Google's autonomous cars have driven 700,000 miles on public roads with no citations, it's difficult to argue that they're not more competent, if not hyper-competent, compared to human drivers (most of whom get traffic tickets, and most of whom don't drive 700,000 miles between doing so).

Article has many good valid points, though, but that point irked me.

Comment Re:Something else? (Score 1) 172

While I agree with parent in the case you actually are interested in newt farming, I actually code mostly just for the fun of coding, and focus on the type of code rather than the end product. To give an alternate approach, then, depending on what type of code you like there's probably a hackathon or a set of "challenges" or some competition that can provide motivation if you just want random problems to solve. I'm mostly an algorithms guy, so I do a lot in Kaggle, and Project Euler. Project Euler for example has hundreds of problems that more or less increase in difficulty, making it relatively easy to find something that will increase your skill, and the Kaggle forums are full of code examples from past projects to help you get on your way.

If you're interested in graphics or UI programming these examples may be less help, but I'm sure there are similar things out there. The results of hackathons are great places to start because the code is generally written by competent programmers but they have no time to do clean up nor to build the spaghetti that years of updates often brings... bug fixes and hacks are common, so the code needs some TLC, but it typically has very few hands in it and so has some good consistency. iosDevCamp (from a quick google search), has links to github code for some of its results.

Comment Re:Yes, totally (Score 2) 338

I disagree that it's "usually due more to corruption than anything else". I consider the problem one of accountability and politics (but not the corrupt type)... in the short term politicians are glad to have their names associated with grand projects -- building a new city-wide WiFi would be a boon, just as a new bridge, new bike paths, and other projects are. But long-term maintenance may get whittled away when the economy tanks, or due to other high priority budget concerns. As long as the politician can avoid disaster during their tenure there's no real incentive to provide adequate budget to these projects, and in fact there's a large disincentive as voters quite often push back against budget increases that aren't for their pet projects. The result is that politicians who can keep taxes low are re-elected but infrastructure budgets are stretched thin. None of that is necessarily corrupt, it's just short-sighted. Most cities "need" to replace their plumbing infrastructure, repair and replace roads and sidewalks, shore up levies, and at some point they'll need to upgrade internet infrastructure.

Here's some interesting reading on the topic that has specific examples across infrastructures (not a plug, I don't know these people): http://www.asce.org/failuretoact/

Consider the Comcast/Netflix issue... Comcast argued that other entities weren't upgrading their high-bandwidth lanes quickly enough for capacity to justify charging content providers extra money. How would that argument look if the entities were governments? Could you convince a municipality to spend money on a high-speed backbone when everyone appears to have working internet but experts see bottlenecks in the future, but when that budget must be split between roads and sewers and buses and...? Now that could become a corruption issue if, for example, an outgoing politician sees that an opponent from another party is going to win the next term; could they stack the budget to ensure a problem during their opponents term? Absolutely. But that isn't required for there to be problems.

Comment Re:80% of people working in a field (Score 1) 170

I don't know if I'm naive... I admitted it happens, although I may underestimate how much (and you may overestimate how much; it's really difficult to know). But I asked for possible solutions; I even offered non-competes as a conversation starter. I suppose there's some value in just complaining about it, since it brings attention to a topic, but it's MORE constructive to actually discuss solutions as well as the problem. What do you propose? Force someone who retired from a government job to avoid any conflict of interest until death? Limit lobbying to make these post-retirement positions less attractive? We need to attract more qualified people into government jobs, so any solution that provides a disincentive to work for the government could backfire in that regard.

I ask in earnest. I'd like to see transparency and I agree that in general the power-sway between corporations and citizens seems imbalanced when it comes to lobbying, but I truly don't see any conversation about a workable solution in the article, and little in the ./ threads.

Comment Re:80% of people working in a field (Score 4, Insightful) 170

I see that there's the potential for abuse there, and I'm sure it is abused this way sometimes, but I don't see the job offers as proof that it's happening. It DOES make good sense for these companies to hire people with inside, high profile jobs from the governing organizations, whether or not the policies they enacted hurt the company (in some ways probably more so). These are very strong job candidates even without bribery being a consideration. Even if we were omnisciently certain that no quid-pro-quo existed, these are people who would get (and arguably deserve) great job offers.

The questions then become how do we identify actual abuse (vs normal labor market forces) and how do we stop it?

In non-government positions, if this were a concern (not to the public, but to the original employer), there would be a non-compete clause of some sort. I'm not aware of government jobs ever having non-compete clauses, but it would probably be prohibitively difficult to do (not that it shouldn't be done, but it's so difficult to fire most US government employees that I can't imagine it being easy to implement even more labor restrictions). We could perhaps lobby for that, but it's doubtful to happen. I'm open to suggestions, but without other options this just seems like unconstructive complaining.

Comment Re:Am I reading this right (yes and no) (Score 2) 172

No. The B612 people's math is demonstrably wrong, or at least very misleading.

26 explosions happened in the atmosphere in the last 13 years. Some of them broke windows but none had significant impact on cities, and would not have no matter their location. I don't know how they predicted once every hundred years, but they're wrong for two reasons. First, predictive analytics just doesn't work that way with any high confidence. If I flip a coin -- one that I know is cheating -- 26 times and it comes up heads every time, what are the odds that it will come up tails? You don't know... You can't know. You can make some educated guesses, but there is no real confidence. In the case of these explosions I'm sure they can model the size, altitude, and some other things, but still, they can't really know this, and they seem to fail to account for things like the impact of jupiter and the moon and sun on larger asteroids (which does actually affect the math). Second, you can compare the numbers to recorded history. The earth has certainly been hit by asteroids that would destroy a city. The last one probably happened off the coast of New Zealand around 1400 BC and caused a tsunami wiping out some local villages. There are only a few hundred noteworthy craters on earth over the past few hundred-million-years. That works out to "not one per century".

Make no mistake -- I think we should prepare for and defend against them, and I'm in favor of the satellite and conversation on the topic. But the numbers in this study are difficult to swallow and I accuse the hopefully well-intentioned people behind B612 of some under-founded alarmism.

Comment Second Guessing 13-year old market research (Score 2) 272

Thirteen years ago the network infrastructure wasn't in place to let people do with a tablet what they do now, so the market research at the time may have been spot on. You can't really second-guess it now. I mean, sure, it may have become wildly popular, but Nokia actually entered the tablet space around 2005 with the 770 and even that was rather premature by today's tablet standards. Four years LESS of infrastructure, apps, and internet-addiction wasn't going to help any tablet succeed. And while the article hints that the early designers would have made different choices with the 770, there's no guarantee they would have made a difference. There were no killer apps -- no facebook, twitter, or instagram that people just HAD to have access to all the time. No reliable data network. Definitely no YouTube or Netflix. PDAs were slowly becoming popular, but they were very personal -- glorified address books and note taking devices.

It would be nice if the team were rewarded and kept on to make use of the technology somewhere and grow the market, but it's not like they were the first -- the Newton, and devices from HP and DEC were all in development much earlier than this -- and no matter how much of a "pioneer" you think someone may be, they do need a market; either you have to build it or wait for it if it doesn't exist, but just because a device can be created doesn't mean that the entire experience was ready-to-go.

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