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Comment Re: Morons (Score 1) 311

I'm still trying to figure out why the feminists don't grasp that media portrayals have, in my experience, nothing much to do with why women pick STEM. Most women, in my experience, make the choice for the same reason men do...which means that if media portrayals matter at all? Then problem is that Hollywood and apparently the ruling elites can't tell science from magic, thus creating unrealistic expectations. Here, at least, they're quite right about there being no practical difference between the sexes. (Why more women don't find science fascinating has more to do with how people react to little girls who love science in direct, personal encounters with such.)

Comment Re: Someone they hate. (Score 1) 311

Pretty much this is the election where you probably ought to go with whomever is actually going to get impeached when they do something worthy of it--I think it's relatively safe at this point to say that with anybody with a chance of being elected this time, there's really no question on if...just what and when. (If I thought their chances of getting impeached were even, I'd pick the one likely to do the least damage...and if the impeachment chances were equally good then entertainment value would also be considered.)

Comment Re:The whole idea is stupid (Score 1) 220

I know in some areas at least the hazmat endorsements also mean that you know what you're doing--as in, you can tell if your truck got properly loaded and marked before you pull out, and you know what the risks are for what you're doing.

I'm not sure what actual benefit there is for people entering a country to share their social media accounts. It's bad security theater--especially since you'll get dummy accounts from the people it might be useful with and in general be sending an implicit but quite clear message that if you're from the 3rd world you better be from its privileged elites.

Comment Re:Non-Nefarious Reasons... (Score 1) 220

That doesn't mean necessarily that the immigration service will have noticed you leaving--but all of this could easily be handled by asking for a reliable contact method for sending status notices to, which can & likely should be automated entirely. The notices should basically go out whenever the system registers a change in your status or you getting close to overstaying--and the last at least should include a way to contact them if there's a problem, such as "I can't leave the country in the next 10 days, I left a month ago." (The reason to automate it entirely? That way, it serves as a reasonably reliable way to know if the change in your status registered in the computer systems.)

Comment Re:The FBI let it lapse? (Score 1) 70

Never underestimate the capacity of 'clever' people to make stupid, stupid mistakes, either--this may be generally symptomatic of a larger problem of institutional lag, which admittedly has some benefits for everybody else since if they really don't get on an institutional level that domain name registrations must be renewed...then the only thing necessary to retrieve a domain name they seized is patience and whatever the price of re-registering happens to be.

Comment Wait, what? (Score 4, Insightful) 348

I think the thing that really surprises me is that all my professors told me it was hard to get published, when failing to make sure your data was correctly entered into whatever spreadsheet program you used to for number crunching (and creating graphs) was one of the dead basics of working there. Yet 1 in 5 papers has notable failures here? And nobody noticed before publishing them? What kinds of major errands have gotten in, then, if basic spot checks are getting failed?

Comment Re: Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

That's cute! Did you consider all the ways completely trusting the car to tell me when to recharge and where the charger is can go horribly, terribly, nightmarishly wrong? Hint! It's why we don't have ICE vehicles doing that, since we've got all the tech we would need for any car to tell us when it's running low and with a GPS unit it could easily tell us where the station is!

Let's start with potentially getting the alert that you have N range left when the nearest station is N+x away, move on to the minor fact that GPS systems are not so precise as for it to not be utterly necessary for you to be able to visually confirm that you're in the right spot, all the issues related to both relying on a GPS unit and using a GPS system everywhere...

Ignoring the privacy nightmare side, it's not safe to trust that it will manage to correctly direct you to a station that exists and is open. Ignoring the logistical nightmare side, your EV probably will know every single place you go in it and keep records for longer than you want.

Or are you thinking about having it be a 'dumb' system where all the car knows is the location of the nearest charger? That's slightly better on the privacy end, I suppose, but you're still going to have the problems such as there being no charger in range.

So, really, your idea doesn't charge the fact that it absolutely must be possible to visually identify the charging stations from the road--why do you think places stick up signs?--and the basic fact that there is a critical minimum density that has to exist & be known to exist.

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

The question of 'having seen them' matters--if you can't find the charging station, it might as well not exist, but that is a fixable problem, as is the question of if they're safe to hang out around for long enough to charge a car up enough to at least make it to the next station. Honestly I think the main issue with EVs is that people are pushing them right now to look Green and win ego-fapping points.

This will change once the tech is matured and the infrastructure is in place with sufficient reliability and accessibility, but that's in a vague, undefined, and not necessarily certain future, especially since a lot of the people who are pushing for it are unlikely to actually take steps to ensure it's that for any group other than themselves.

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging?' (Score 1) 990

Not only that, but it needs to be safe to use the public charging infrastructure--for example, you can't have them ever getting put in places where it's a Bad Idea to be if you're not local unless you're plunking them down like gas stations. Are you totally sure you'd like to spend 20-30min in the middle of the night in a town you don't know and not able to GTFO if needed?

You are? Okay. Go ask some friends who are not straight, white cismales about how they're going to feel about it. Hint: The answer will probably be "...yeeeah no." (If I get a bad feeling from a gas station? If I absolutely must get fuel there I will get a gallon before GTFOing but seriously I don't want to get raped and/or murdered because I happen to not be a cishet white man. One of the major reasons you keep a charged cell phone with you when travelling if you're not one is precisely so you can call for roadside assistance from a party you can trust.)

Comment Study Found Something Else (Score 1) 990

Fun fact: I know my sensible sedan is 100% capable of a trip through the back country where I live...and it's pretty rough back country.

The problem here is that the summary itself is...well, let me quote the abstract:

We find that the energy requirements of 87% of vehicle-days could be met by an existing, affordable electric vehicle. This percentage is markedly similar across diverse cities, even when per capita gasoline consumption differs significantly. We also find that for the highest-energy days, other vehicle technologies are likely to be needed even as batteries improve and charging infrastructure expands. Car sharing or other means to serve this small number of high-energy days could play an important role in the electrification and decarbonization of transportation.

I don't know exactly what Nature Energy's...quality is, though given that it is a branch of Nature I'm willing to grant it a decent amount of credibility--which is probably why the abstract doesn't make any claims about electric vehicles being able to completely replace traditional vehicles, but rather that they can take over most of the needs in cities.

I'm not shelling out the money to make it past the paywall, but it looks very likely that their population is about as diverse as a KKK meeting--they explicitly say that they only looked at cities, and I'm inclined to bet that all of these cities were large metropolitan cities where at least a decent chunk if not all of that 87% of vehicle-days could be handled by a good public-transit system.

This is actually a very lovely example of a study that might as well have been very intentionally designed to prove a theory--by ensuring that anything that might be...inconvenient to their theory wasn't likely to be in fact involved, which means that of course they chose populations where range would be a 'fringe use,' and the wording means that 'evacuating the city' is a fringe use too. The study also means that they don't actually have to address the minor fact that 'car sharing or other means' might not be practical on those 'small number of high-energy days.'

Comment Re:DMCA covers both clearly in this case (Score 1) 225

Like any law, it'd depend on how it was written--for example, if the law says you can charge only postage on the basis that under normal circumstances handling ought to be a negligible cost due to automation, then you should be able to make it quite hard for anybody to justify charging $100 for forwarding notices...especially if they can be asked to explain how they managed to make mere postage cost that much to the court. "Do you feel it somehow necessary, perhaps, to send each notice lovingly packaged in a special envelope that includes an artisanal brick?" (And, well, it might get notices sent to the middle man needing nothing more than the correct address applied before being sent on--postage already paid.)

Personally, I'd prefer overall the simplest solution: instead of fees for forwarding notices, just explicitly make bad DMCA claims subject to the same consequences faced for pretty much any other sort of bad claim made to the court. There's penalties for other forms of frivolous and vexatious litigation, and there seems no particularly good reason for the unquestioned assumption of competence and good faith with DMCA-related litigation. Well, aside from the practical and effective barrier created by the fact that Rightscorp and the ilk can afford a bevvy of ambulance chasers to make it very costly for anybody to actually fight them unless the claim's so absurd that you can get the judge to laugh it out of court, but that's a general problem with the civil process in the US...

Comment Re:DMCA covers both clearly in this case (Score 1) 225

The issue with the extortion is the negligent notices and the practices--this is not 'you scratched my car,' this is 'me claiming that you scratched my car (with you not being able to verify this was even possible and having no idea what evidence I might have to support my claim), demanding $20,000 (when that's significantly above what the repair will cost), and you not being able to afford to defend yourself against my army of bottom-feeding ambulance chasers.'

The 'demanding significantly more than the cost of the necessary paint job' thing is an outright equivalent to something I remember having come out, too. I do remember a court outright determining when somebody challenged the amount that Rightscorp or one of its relatives was suing for. The court did take as given that their claim on the number of lost sales was correct...but then calculated exactly just how much they'd have made on said sales using the price they were selling the song for on iTunes. The amount was significantly lower. (If you want the case, find it yourself.)

I honestly don't think it ought to be necessary to sue anybody for the cost of handling negligent notices. Aside from the rather basic fact that the volume of negligent notices ought to have hit the threshold for a failure of due diligence, something lawyers are supposed to practice on these sort of things, it seems reasonable to require the party sending them out cover the costs--they can tack it onto what they ask for when they win, if nothing else.

The way the DMCA process is written, the party making the claim doesn't really face much penalty for effectively lying to the court--while the risky and difficult task of defending yourself against false claims can be quite costly and you're unlikely to get Rightscorp or their ilk having to pick up the tab for that.

Comment Re:Dumb pipe (Score 1) 225

Also, there is no way that implementing a handful of automated filters equates to the ability to exercise effective editorial control over the entire Internet.

This is pretty much what Rightscorp seems to want, though, but it would be interesting if somebody argued that what they are demanding you do is as reasonable as trying to sue a corpse back to life--and thus the entire thing, right down to asking if the laws says they can demand it, is an utter waste of the court's time and needs to be treated as such.

Comment Re:Can I sue the government for drug smuggling? (Score 2) 225

Unlike the popular Slashdot opinion I am all for Intellectual Property rights ...

I don't think that Slashdot readers want to abolish Intellectual Property rights completely. We just want reasonable terms. Start with copyright duration. Author's death + 70 years would be ridiculous if it wasn't true.

This. We don't have any problem with the spec of intellectual properly and copyright, we have problem with the implementation. While we have many frivolous ones, the patent system is actually a great idea - it allows people protection to turn a profit, and thereafter turns it into the public domain. By making copyrights last almost 150 years, in some cases, you completely stunt our cultural development - do you think the Greeks and Romans would have had such a rich literature if they had to wait 150 years before they could retell a story? Do you think the US would have become a world power if everything had been locked up and restricted by the various European countries?

Honestly I'd just start with adding a requirement that for all of the current protections you've got to provide a digital archival copy to the LOC & maintain some way for people attempting to locate you as the owner of that IP. The digital archival copy should serve as both legally establishing a date and content, and to ensure a copy exists to enter the public domain. Digital will be easier to store and preserve, probably.

The latter would simply neatly solve the orphan works problem: If you don't make an effort to be identifiable, you lose your claim permanently. You might get arguments when the problem is nobody's quite sure who owns it but multiple parties are willing to come forward and fight over it...but that happens with real estate, too, and has for thousands of years. I'm pretty sure we've got a decent idea how to sort that problem out...

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