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Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 71

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 71

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 191

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Research to extend lifespans should be banned (Score 1) 121

I think causation is a mental crutch to help us navigate the world of patterns around us but should not be thought of "real."

You say this just after you wrote, "if you drink poison it will kill you instantly."

You are on to something though. I'd say, "we use 'weakly founded' assertions of causation as a crutch to help us navigate the world of patterns around us." IOW, we stereotype everything all the time, because we just can't individually analyze every person and every circumstance.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 344

It's the "list of critics" that I kind of have problems with. You see a RT score, but which set of critics does it account for?

When I've looked at the site (which I only have a few times), the "critics" are a laundry list of names and often web-based publications I've never heard of. I don't doubt that many may have interesting critical viewpoints, but I'd kind of like some sort of filtering mechanism to tell me who's a valid critic and who's just a crank like me with opinions.

Comment Re:Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 126

I get it. That's a part of why I typically try to negotiate non-standard start times when I take a position. Starting work at 09:30 makes for a much more relaxed commute both to and from work.

If/When telecommuting become the norm, most of my problems will be behind me because I'll be able to live and work far enough outside of the city that none of their decisions will have any impact upon me.

LK

Comment Re: also in the news ... (Score 1) 465

It's funny, I've thought a time or two about leaving IT and starting a lawn and snowplowing business. Why? Pay isn't quite as good, but except in the winter when you're plowing, you set your own hours, don't need to interact with people, and the pay is pretty damn good just the same. If only for allergies....

Our 'lawn boy' is an 18 (now 19?) year old gay kid. He's been mowing lawns for 3 years, every summer. He has bought his own new truck -with cash - and all the accessories you'd expect. He makes at least $70k/year after taxes, and that's just with the people we know are his customers, paying voluntarilly, in cash/check, $20-40 at a time.

No 401k or insurance necessary.

Those poor lawn boys...

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 234

So basically all the money the government has collected as fines and penalties is distributed evenly to all taxpayers. That money was collected as compensation for crimes against society, and this way it gets distributed back to society.

Even your seventh-grade Social Studies teacher wouldn't buy that as having any chance of happening. An empiricist would say that you're being farmed for tax money to be distributed to political cronies for favor and power and that this recalibration is a response to simmering unrest which is building due to the abuse.

They have the right idea in Britain - there they climb the pole, throw an old tire around the red light camera, fill it full of diesel fuel, and light it up. At least some of their citizens realize that red light cameras haven't really ever been about safety, except on the overt marketing literature.

Comment Re:Let's put tons of ammo together in a massive pi (Score 1) 99

I would expect any significant ammo storage facility to consist of a series of bermed bunkers with enough concrete or earthworks to contain or redirect blast forces up, far enough away from the next bunker that any fire wouldn't easily spread to the next one.

At a minimum this could be hand-dug trenches lined with sandbags and sheet metal roofs and at maximum concrete bunkers.

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