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Comment Re:Who Knew? (Score 1) 130

It's gotta be more complicated than that.

When we get home from work, I'm kind of hungry, but it's beer time so we start drinking beers. And then I notice I'm not so hungry anymore. Beer really does have food value.

OTOH, it just delays dinner, and I don't think we eat less of it when we eventually get around to it. So what happened to the food value? Did my body "forget" that I've already "eaten" some?

Comment Re:This is fucking awesome (Score 1) 455

How does Apple know he's driving and not a passenger, on a bus, etc.?

I don't know (it sounds totally impractical to me). Ask Apple; it's their patent. They are the ones claiming the "invention" is useful and asking for special monopoly privileges at society's expense.

Let the defense bury itself. Either they bear some responsibility for death, or else they file bogus patents because they're misanthropists. Let's see which of these two positions they advocate the strongest.

"Your honor, when we filed that patent, our intent was merely to prevent the progress of sciences and the useful arts. We didn't sincerely view it as an actually-useful safety feature, or else we would have just published it instead of patenting it! We were just lying about its usefulness, because we want our industry to have as many barriers to entry as possible. You see, your honor, we just want to live in a world where patent searches take even longer, your docket contains more cases, life contains more prohibitions and kafkaesque processes, tech advances less rapidly, everything costs a little more and you have fewer choices, and everyone is a little sadder. But we never wanted anyone to get hurt! Fuck no, your honor, it's not a serious, reasonable safety feature! Now can you please dismiss this case, so we can move onto the next one, where we're the plaintiffs? There's a company in Korea infringing on one of our valuable, important patents..."

Comment Re:No. It didn't "predict" anything. (Score 1) 186

the Tesla also didn't "predict" anything or see into the future; it reacted to inputs that were already present

After the semicolon, you begin to explain (at a high level, without much detail) how it made the prediction.

let's not make them seem magical, because they aren't.

And by teaching people how to predict things (observe a system's current state and extrapolate where it's going) you are helping to teach people that computers are not magic. Good for you. I didn't even know that anyone was trying to present it as magical. If I wanted to do that, I would have said Tesla divined the collision, using its Crystal Processor (a 1mm diameter crystal ball inside a chip, or something like that).

Comment What are Uber's expenses? (Score 1) 92

What do they spend their money on?

The ride-sharing app, the database behind it, etc is a pretty decent project (I'm totally not dissing it, and I admire the idea too), but even one million dollars is a heaping mountain of money for that. Be super-pessimistic and call it ten million. But even then: what are the other millions spent on?

Comment Don't keep on trucking (Score 5, Insightful) 635

All good, right?


Not-having-to-work (i.e. losing jobs) can be viewed as our goal within all economic systems. No matter where you are on the spectrum of Adam Smith to Karl Marx, our time above-ground is a scarce resource. Every-fucking-thing that is expensive, is ultimately expensive because it used up someone's time, where that person sighed and walked a few more steps toward their dusty, eternal grave, working on your whatever, instead of living their life. The dollars are just a measurement of how much life you asked someone else to give up. It's a count of the grains of sand that fell to the bottom of someone's hourglass.

Jobs are bad. When a politician says he's going to create or save jobs, he is offering you a quicker, more intimately-embracing death. The more he envisions you toiling, the less you should envision yourself skipping through fields, rocking out to great bands, performing science experiments, climbing mountains and skiing down them while drinking Mountain Dew as explosions go off behind you, reading novels, or flying around in starships to go find green-skinned women to bang.

People become truck drivers for the money. If you want to spend your life driving around, there are vastly more pleasant ways to do that than driving a fucking truck. They are ticking down the limited seconds of their life, working instead of doing what they want to do. Good riddance to those jobs.

What should we do about the consequences of increased leisure time, in our legacy-saddled economy? Shit, I didn't say I have all the answers (sounds like Obama is proposing one idea, though). But can't we all at least get to where we agree that it's basically a good thing?!? Until we realize that increased leisure time for humans is a good thing, of course we're not going to figure out how to handle our victory, because we'll be putting all our effort into undoing or preventing it! It's disgraceful that people are using words like "blame" for the lost jobs, instead of "credit."

I'll be happy that my widget didn't cost some trucker (and yay, the trucker wasn't me!) two days of his life to transport, and instead it only cost some maintainer 12 hours to keep the robot running. And then eventually I'll feel bad about those 12 hours of maintenance being too many. Can't a robot maintain that other robot?

Comment Re: im afraid not (Score 1) 492

I'm not here to defend the media. But.

The media, theoretically, is supposed to ask hard questions.

It didn't need to, and it did a good-enough job given the circumstances.

The media asked easy questions, and the leading presidential candidates ignored them or answered with "I don't have a fucking clue, but on an unrelated note, let me explain why you should vote against me" and then the voters voted for them anyway. IMHO, the problem is..

the media this past election cycle was so inept, the we ended up with Trump.

..the voters gave up. The media didn't cause us to end up with Trump; the voters did. And right up there with the shocking and disappointing fact that Trump got elected, there's an equally shocking and disappointing fact: that if Trump had lost, Clinton would have won! Has everyone already forgotten that?

Let's hypothetically imagine you had your good media. How would that have changed anything? Nearly everyone who voted for those people, was already informed well enough that they knew they shouldn't be voting for them. (And if they weren't informed, it's not like they didn't have the opportunity; they simply didn't take advantage.) But they voted for them anyway! Does your hypothetically-better media have people strapped into chairs Clockwork Orange-style?

If you're going to blame the media, then at least don't blame the news media. The news media did perfectly adequate job of conveying the candidates' emptiness. Maybe you can blame the media for not artistically inspiring people to give a fuck about their country. But even then, I just don't think it's appropriate.

It's on us. It's always on us. Every two years America loses its election, and then the voters try to blame someone else for the stupid thing they decided to do. The excuses are wearing thin. If we wait for America's adversaries (the Democrats and Republicans) to provide us with candidates, and then we vote for those candidates, that's not a media problem. The media can't force our hands in the voting both, nor force us to get someone decent on the ballot before then.

Comment Just Say No to the app (Score 1) 65

A good rule of thumb: if you have to use a video vendor's app to play the video (instead of the usual "use your favorite player"), then you're better off just pirating.

I just can't take Amazon video seriously yet (any more than Netflix). These companies need to use standards if they want my money. If you limit what it can be played on, then you're limiting who can be a paying customer.

Comment Re:Magic Wand (Score 1) 324

It sounds like you're saying that I'm not just speculating on what exactly Trump offered (and I totally admitted that tax breaks, influence in our government, etc were just example ideas, but hey, those are both pretty common ones so they're at least plausible), but that I'm imagining that he offered anything at all.

Is that right? We're not arguing about the details are, but rather, we're arguing that details even exist? I think I'm probably misunderstanding you.

My whole complaint was that the article was vague, saying things like

Taiwan-based Foxconn did not give details of the plan


"...we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant U.S. officials," Foxconn said in a statement. "Those plans would be made based on mutually-agreed terms."

and so everyone is going to wonder what Foxconn's terms/details are. But if you needed a citation that there will be terms -- that TANSTAAFL is still a thing in our world -- then I guess the above quotations are the evidence. I cite TFA.

I'm not getting it, am I? What am I not understanding?

Comment Re:Magic Wand (Score 1) 324

Stories are leaving out what concessions Trump offered, which made Foxconn decide that this would be an improvement from the status quo.

The "magic" wand might not be magic at all; maybe it's a tax break or the company gets a free "write whatever law you want, and I promise to sign it" or something like that.

Until we know how the trick works, we're going to be speculating all kinds of crazy things (as I did above). This would be a good job for journalists. You know that once people find out the cost, there's going to be another flamefest about whether the payment was a good idea or a bad one.

Comment Re:"self investigate" == alt.right (Score 1) 789

This labeling pisses me off, because it used to be The Daily Show, SNL's Weekend Update, etc were what "fake news" meant. Fake news just meant satire or hoaxes of exposure done in a certain style.

And not only was the term "fake news" already taken, but also, the stuff we're talking about here already had a name too: "lies."

They're simply lies. WTF was wrong with "lies?" And what was wrong with letting "fake news" keep its meaning? Why fix what isn't broken?

Death to the 2016 meaning of "fake news." Ye Olde English (how people spoke in 2015) was better than this. Yes, language evolves, but it doesn't need to happen this stupidly. This is the kind of crap that makes me think I'm going to have to re-learn what "hacker" means again, in 2017. Hacker: a person who carries a mobile phone.

Comment Re:No different from China (Score 1) 262

Tell me how this is any different than what China does, then. You might as well have a Ministry of Truth.

That's kind of an easy assignment, don't you think?

The Chinese government censors. If you don't use their filters, they view that as circumvention and reserve the right to force you to use the filter.

The listed companies, on the other hand, would use a word like "competition" instead of "circumvention." They totally and completely lack the ability to censor, and in fact don't even have the mindset and attitude for it. They aren't even going to try to censor; they're just announcing a project to make it easier to moderate the content on their own websites.

Just to give you an example, imagine if you posted a comment here on Slashdot that some VP at Twitter didn't like. What would they do about it? Add your name to a list of people whose tweets are shadow-banned? That doesn't help them with your Slashdot comment even a little bit.

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