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Comment Re:About as useful as touch screens for amputees (Score 1) 161

So?

Oh no, a system makes an improvement, but not a perfect, 100 percent improvement, so what, lets throw out the improvement it *does* make?

It's not an improvement across the board. It's likely not an improvement at all, if you are listening to elevator music to make you calm enough to drive in the first place, and suddenly there's a startling "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!" that could just as easily come out of the ambulances horn, but didn't, it came out of your radio.

Also: call me back when it can turn an off radio to on, or force your stereo away from whatever you're listening to, over to the FM band so the ambulance can scream at you more than the flashing lights, siren, and horn are already screaming at you.

Also also: so I assume the computer in self driving cars will now listen to NPR most of the time so that the FM radio will alert the car's driver -- a computer that apparently likes "Lake Woebegone Tales" -- will "hear" the ambulance.

Comment Re:Mac OS based espionage malware (Score 4, Insightful) 60

It doesn't. Someone has to authorize it with the admin password.

Is this based on anything, or are you just guessing?

The article makes it clear that in order to extract and run the malware, you have to extract and install other malware named "Java".

This "Java" is apparently malware developed by a large database company in order to install security holes in otherwise secure computers, and is so named to trick tired programmers into believing that they are installing coffee.

Comment About as useful as touch screens for amputees (Score 1) 161

As of 2004, there were ~530,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Sweden (Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders, p.197.)

So basically 5% of the population isn't going to hear the radio announcements, even if they have their radio on. Which they probably don't, or it's tuned to Sirius Satellite or plugged into their iPod/iPhone.

About as useful as touch screens for amputees whose prosthetic hands can't capacitively couple with trackpads or iPhones...

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

Comment Re:IT is amazing (Score 5, Insightful) 98

Most folks drink stale coffee. Try roasting your own (I use Sweet Maria's for supplies) or going somewhere with a roaster on site who is honest enough to tell you the roast date. It should be from 2 to 10 days ago. Flavor development in coffee is a rancidification process. Like cheese, you want to catch it when it is a little, but not too, rancid.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 98

Let's not forget the effect of helicobacter pylori bacteria on ulcers, they are in general held to be the main cause these days.

I have another theory about the beneficial effect of aspirin, caffine, etc. We evolved with them. Our diet was rich in salycilates and chemicals similar to theobromine or caffine. They came from the plants we ate, some of which were mildly toxic and which we evolved to process to the point that we became dependent on some of their effects. There are a lot of things in the primitive diet that modern people don't eat much at all, like acorns which had to be soaked to remove alkalai and tannin.

If this is the case, taking aspirin and drinking coffee or tea replace substances found in a more primitive diet.

Comment Re: Not really needed for drones (Score 1) 24

Modulation designators that state the payload type don't make much sense with digital data transports. You can do digital TV or anything else with 4 MHz bandwidth. Cellular doesn't make much sense unless they have a really long hover time and drone life, in which case it could be a pop-up base station.

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