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Comment Re:Obscure (Score 1) 210

Yep. I'm a Windows tech, so my knowledge of Windows and certain Windows-based apps keeps me employed. I could play with Linux at home (and from time to time I do, a little), but generally speaking I'd rather fiddle for an hour fixing a Windows issue than take the time to become comfortable enough in a new environment so I can deal with its issues (Linux isn't perfect...) for a slight overall improvement in my home environment and absolutely zero utility at work.

And the office isn't changing over anytime soon, since we run a large array of Windows apps. There's just too much inertia - we'd have to replace or retrain our IT staff, get all our software vendors to simultaneously put out Linux versions of their products (which is significant cost to them), and then put together and execute a major platform migration project.

It's just not happening. The short term pain is far too much to make the potential long-term gain.

Comment Re:Location locks (Score 1) 505

It's not that difficult to feed fake GPS data to the antenna of your phone while shielding out any legitimate satellite signals.

If a GPS lock were standard, you could probably expect customs to have their exam room to be set up to mimic any location on Earth about six months after the standard came into effect.

Comment Re:Slavery all over again? (Score 1) 72

Well... anything you'd call a 'script' wouldn't be 'AI', and you don't have to worry much about if you're treating an AI ethically unless and until you make one that is self-aware.

Of course if you've managed to make a self-aware AI, you probably also designed it to be happy doing whatever it is you built it for. Is it slavery if your AI wants to serve you even to the point of its own destruction, and in fact enjoys doing so?

Comment On regulation of AI development (Score 1) 72

I am no legislator, nor even a lawyer... but I think that any AI with the potential to harm humans should be requires to have sufficient safety features built into it to minimize the risk it presents to below that of a human performing the same tasks.

That puts human safety over cost savings: if the AI isn't safe enough, you can't replace a human with it regardless of how much more cost effective it is.

And that's pretty much the standard we see being used to judge driverless cars, not just because it's something you can measure and use to set insurance rates, but because it just makes sense.

Comment TANSTAAFL (Score 4, Insightful) 152

Video hosting costs money. Micropayments don't work. Nobody's signing up with a million different video hosts.

The solution was, is, and always will be for the foreseeable future... advertising.

All it'll take to make it work is to find a way to extract the evil from advertising people so they stop continually escalating from 'find where potential customers are and put information in front of them for our clients' to 'skull fuck the entire public to get an extra purchase, regardless of how much trouble it causes'.

Comment Facebook is a social cancer (Score 1) 2

It encourages people to share too much with people they don't know well enough, in a sick competition to prove how popular and loved they are by getting their 'friend' counter as high as possible.

All the while, businesses and governments are loving how people are willingly handing over their place in the relationship web.

Advertising your business makes sense. Giving up the details of your personal life does not.

How many stories of Facebook causing people personal or employment issues do people need to see before they figure this out?

Comment Re:Well, duh! (Score 2) 142

Now tell me how to stop a friend or acquaintance from uploading something about me (video, image, or text) and having Facebook have the rights to that.

While I don't have a Facebook account, chances are pretty good they've built a shadow profile of me based on people I know, possibly photos I've been tagged in... and any other databases they've purchased.

Short of being a complete hermit who only occasionally goes outside (in hoodie and sunglasses) and pays only in cash... there's no way to get any corporate interest to respect your privacy. We ought to have stronger legislation on that front.

Comment Re: My impressions... (Score 1) 102

>You put each ingredient in a beer bong.

Unfortunately, you just went outside the defined solution space. The idea is to have a single vessel with two distinct liquid layers, drawn from equally by one device.

I mean, the simplest solution (after just mixing the two drinks in the first place) is two glasses side by side with a straw in each.

Comment Re:My impressions... (Score 2) 102

>Why go to so much effort, expense and time to design a straw for such a crappy, stupid drink?

It's an advertising campaign, not an actual serious attempt at an engineering solution.

And a real engineer may never even have heard of this until the ad campaign was released - after all, there's no way that straw actually does what it's presented as having been designed to do.

It's actually very effective if you look at the real problem of 'how do we get people to pay attention to our ad campaign?', but that's not really an engineering challenge.

Comment Re: My impressions... (Score 2) 102

The more I think about it (BTW, thanks for adding 'gedanken experiment' to my vocabulary!), the more it seems like there's no practical solution to the problem of a straw that draws evenly from two distinct layers of liquid.

The design in this ad campaign, for instance, would simply draw from the bottom preferentially over the end. You might mitigate that by having the hole sizes increase as you go along the straw, but you're never going to have a simple object that will pull anywhere near evenly from two sources as the levels change.

But how complex would it need to be? As best I can figure without expending too much skull sweat, you're going to need a float moderating the position of a collapsing portion of a double straw to keep two distinct intake ports at the bottom of their liquid layers as the distance between the two layer floors decreases.

Or, if you're willing to involve the glass as part of your straw mechanism, you could have a non-tapering glass and put a physical barrier between the two layers, with the top straw attached to its upper side and the lower straw passing through. You're still left with uneven straw lengths, though.

Aw crap... I'm going to be up all night thinking about this stupid straw problem...

Comment My impressions... (Score 4, Interesting) 102

First: That's incredibly stupid.

Second: Oh, wait, they actually came up with a clever engineering solution to the problem presented to them.

Third: Which would be far more efficiently dealt with by just blending the two drinks together from the start.

Still, the design of the straw is kind of neat even if the reason for developing it is stupid.

Comment Not really a great move, IMO (Score 1) 60

Ideally, enforcing copyright infringement shouldn't fall on a torrent indexing site. There is the possibility of legitimate torrents, after all. In fact, TPB could be looked at as a giant honeypot for catching 'pirates'.

But that's too difficult, which apparently is a justification for ignoring what's right.

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