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Comment Perfect for Jury Nullification (Score 1) 258

Most of the people in Austin are in favor of Uber and Lyft operating there, right? So I would think that it would be extremely difficult to convict anyone of these "crimes" in a jury trial. Even if the trial were held in a municipal court in Texas, that requires 6 people to all give a "guilty" verdict; if less than half agree with the law then that's less than 1/64 chance of conviction. (And if held in a district court, less than 1/4096 chance of conviction!)

Comment Re:what do you think about the perl guy? (Score 1) 281

Well it's a combination of the automatic array flattening, and the fact that perl subroutines take an arbitrary number of arguments and just shift them off the list, allowing you to "overwrite" expected arguments with the flattened list -- ideally you might hope for an error with "too many arguments to function foo". The end result is that as long as you can force things to be arrays (or lists) when people don't necessarily expect that (like, say, the cgi module handling mutiple parameter definitions) you can get up to some serious funny business.

Comment Re:Luddites? (Score 2) 1052

UBI as generally described is not increasing the real money supply, but instead reallocating the existing money supply. That leaves plenty of scope for lack of inflation of things that aren't currently production limited. Prices will rise on some things (housing, for instance, is at a shortage and UBI would add demand without any immediate ability to increase the supply to meet it), and not on others (we generally have food surpluses on basic staples in developed countries, there is not reason to expect general price increases on many of those). Predicting the end results of such a complex system is hard, and I agree with the previous poster that hand-waving and glittering generalities will certainly not cut it.

Comment OS/2 (Score 1) 211

The catastrophic error IBM made while building OS/2 was not aiming at the 386 chip. Instead they targeted the 80286.
Had they started off aiming at a chip with decent memory handling, it would have been far more effective.

But still, big companies had a terrible record of not grasping the PC nettle.

The "best chance ignored award" definitely goes to DEC, who at the appropriate time (first released 1972) had a brilliant multi tasking, time sharing, system for 16 bit computers called RSX-11. They could not bring themselves to sell it for a sensible price, and completely missed the boat.
Sad, as it was a vastly better system than DOS, CP/M, etc.

And now they are gone.

Comment Re:$399 per month (Score 1) 67

>> in ten years there will be a number of people who will never open the hood, will not check the air pressure themselves

I am the only one in my family to ever open out car's bonnet (ok, you can say "hood" if you like), or check the tyres. (I added a little gadget on each wheel that flashes when pressure is low - and they tell me it's flashing. As opposed to actually doing anything about it).

Mind you, come to that, none of the other family members (yup, all female) have ever changed a fuse, wired a plug, changed a washer in a tap, or even flipped a circuit breaker. I think the lawn has been mowed once by someone other than me or a gardener.
Correspondingly, I am expected to - and can - cook, clean, change nappies, calm babies, the list is quite long.
And of course I also get to work longer, retire later, die earlier, and am expected to do all the dangerous jobs, go to war and die for my family.

So how's equality of the sexes working out for you, eh?

Comment Re:How is this not win/win (Score 1) 663

I signed - complete with sarcastic message.
Foolish, I guess, as republicans has zero knowledge of sarcasm. Or statistics Or history. Or any other parts of the world. As far as I can tell (ie - "Despite the fact that reducing guns has reduced gun death everywhere it's been implemented, it wouldn't work here in the good old USA". I'm pretty sure that's not actually a quote, it shows awareness of other parts of the world, after all).

I especially love the line suggesting it's actually dangerous to NOT have people armed and will attract, y'know terrorists. That's priceless. (As a matter of interest, are there any cases of people actually resisting terrorists successfully with their guns, or even burglars come to that, where they have NOT managed to shoot themselves or their families? I'd love to see some statistics).

Back to the convention ...
Maybe they could take their kids, give them guns too, and everybody could shoot everybody else.
Just like last week.

Oh look, another mass shooting ... move along, nothing to see here ...

Comment A little balance (Score 1) 523

It's hard to imagine the masculinity of the majority of researchers does not affect their research. The background of people always affects their outlook on life, so it's pretty likely something as fundamental as gender will too.

Historically, a lot of science has centred on conflict, and perhaps a little more female input would see more cooperation and manipulation in their subjects.

It's very probable a more even gender balance would result in more balanced science.

That would be good.

But feminist geology, loaded with anti masculine propaganda? Really? That doesn't sound too balanced.

Come back Marie Curie, we need you. (Also Rachel Carson, Ada Lovelace, Chien-Shiung Wu, Grace Hopper ...)

Comment Not a pickup truck - we want a truck truck (Score 1) 223

To heck with pickups. What the world needs is decently driven trucks. Actual tractor trailer rigs (variously called 18 wheelers, articulated lorries, semis, big rigs) that move product around the country.
In big countries, Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, not mention Europe, there are long distances to be covered by said trucks. They are currently driven by often exhausted, sometimes drugged, human drivers. Most of the travelling is not challenging - freeways and the like.
The rigs are seriously expensive, and having them sitting about while the driver sleeps is a waste of investment (and slows delivery). Replace the driver with a machine and it'll drive for 24 hours per day.
A halfway mode is possible - with a fairly standardised route, the driver could sleep in the back of the cab, and get called to duty for the tricky bits - cities, loading/unloading.
Result - better use of investment, faster delivery, safer roads.
So how about it Tesla ... or Scania, Volvo ... [insert list of manufacturers here]?

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