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Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 69

What do you mean "initially".

What I mean is that eventually, when the bugs have been worked out and only automated cars are allowed to use most of the lanes on the interstate and the accident rate stabilizes (hopefully near zero) then the burden will be shifted from the automakers to the customers, who will pay for it along with the rest of their mandatory liability insurance. The insurers aren't going to deal with insuring vehicles individually until the risk is reasonably estimable.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 134

Which definition?

I am opposed to government meddling in what I do in my house, but I am in favor of government meddling in everything that business does. You know, the definition. Conservative, of course, is the opposite. Populists want to control both. Anarchists want to control neither. According to the libertarians I am an upper-left centrist (hey, they have a snazzy test) but I personally think I'm more left than they think I am, and less upwards.

Comment You appear to be advocating... (Score 1) 128

You appear to be advocating for a technical solution for fascism. The problem is, the fascists have better rubber hoses. Also, if it can't be turned off, then it can be used to grief people; if you can get them to turn it on, whether by owning their account or by tricking them, and they can't turn it off, that's beyond inconvenient.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 134

I don't see any such change, unless you're counting skepticism on the right about the hard-to-pin-down effect of carbon on weather, even when we observe warming (are we all going to die of thirst, or are we going to drown?)

Yes, that is the effect of CO2 on weather. We are going to die of thirst, or drown. That's why they call it a chaotic system.

Meanwhile the left hates technology just as much as it did in the Seventies, and has even started hacking away against pure research itself, as evidenced by their crusade against astronomy - a discipline whose vested interest is in a totally clean environment - first in Arizona, and more recently in Hawaii.

I can't figure out WTF you're talking about in AZ, in fact it looks like astronomers there are winning victories to fight light pollution. The thing in HI is not left vs. science. To the extent that any of the people involved are lefties (which sure, some of them are) they have been whipped into a froth by right-wing politicians. And the battle ties into a fight for the land which the Hawaiian natives, frankly, have not given up fighting. Remember, it's not like they simply chose to join an empire.

If Trump accomplishes just one thing, let him find a way of locking these little weasels out of the court system so we can get human progress moving again.

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it, and if Trump makes it harder for people to fight larger entities in the courts, you are not going to enjoy the consequences. No one who will has time to post on Slashdot. They are all off fucking a Russian model or something.

Comment Re:A lot of negativism is totally gratuitous (Score 0) 134

But the author seems to be a frustrated SJW who couldn't resist a totally irrelevant slam at current US immigration policy, even though nobody has ever accused VASIMR developer Franklin Chang-DÃaz of having sneaked across the border on foot.

If such things make you angry, perhaps you should consider what about them puts you on the defensive.

Comment Re:Shift from offering products to exploiting user (Score 1) 134

Now, it's our job to get vocal, get active, and take our Democracy back,

It has never been a Democracy. It was always an Oligarchy. The rich white men (mostly slaveowners) who were running the country wanted to keep running the country, and wanted to get the Monarchy out of it. But they didn't want every plebe to have a voice, that would be madness!

It's our job to get vocal, get active, and get Democracy. Abolish the electoral college, as well as the practice of denying felons the vote. That only creates more incentive to find those who are politically inconvenient guilty of a felony.

Comment Re:Refillable packaging (Score 1) 167

There's no intrinsic reason why there cannot be big jerrycans filled with ketchup on the shelves, where you can fill standardised 1 litre bottles yourself, it's just not how the supply lines currently work.

Actually, there are. It has to do with food safety. Tomato in particular is a sketchy one. Even hippies don't do this, yet they are willing to watch the machine grind their peanut butter to an inferior standard as compared to what's in the jar on the shelf. Honey is also distributed to hippies in the manner in which you describe — honey keeps basically forever, so there is no hazard there. I've also seen olive oil begin to be distributed in this fashion of late. Also, add to the list beer and wine; wine bottle-filling kiosks are beginning to become popular, as are growler filling stations for the beer lovers. And of course, all the dry bulk stuff available in the bins at the health food store, like flour, salt, baking powder, nuts, dried fruits, granola, dried legumes...

Ketchup goes bad easily, so you're not going to see it distributed in this fashion any time soon.

I misspoke when I talked about the environmental impact; what I meant to say was that using virgin glass has basically no environmental impact as compared to recycling glass.

Comment Re:I know a way to do it, too (Score 1) 167

The fridge is upside down already! I have zero g here in outer space, so I am ignoring the numbnuts part of your statement, you insensitive clod!

Unless you left your balls in space, it probably doesn't apply.

You may have to put your bottle in a centrifuge. Just don't mix it up with the science samples.

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 2) 306

The world of code is more like this:

Software is inherently different to hardware, so you make a valid point. Though in a more perfect world, in which interoperability was forced by hook or by crook (so, if you don't use standards, your code repo gets raided until people can figure out how to interoperate with you) the software world itself would probably be more streamlined anyway as those who have built their existence on lock-in become eliminated.

Arguably though, for software all that has to be done is protect open source and Free Software, because eventually it will destroy all other software. It has a tendency to surpass commercial software given enough time and attention, and it has a tendency to attract that attention in proportion to the need — as Linux has proven.

Comment Re:the laws may take 3-5 years to get rid of drive (Score 1) 116

Which is part of the problem. Away from Planet Uber, if your journey is undertaken for work purposes (which going to meet a customer clearly is) you are "at work", and should be covered by work-related insurance. That's why regular taxi drivers have to have commercial insurance; private car insurance doesn't cover operating as a driver-for-hire.

I've heard this argument before, but for me it doesn't wash specifically because the secret formula used to determine how much you will pay for auto insurance includes a location component and a mileage component. If you're putting on more miles, and they know you live in an urban area, they can just price your insurance payments to account for your use of the vehicle. The only time you really need more coverage than they ordinarily provide is when you are transporting a fare. They shouldn't be allowed to deny you coverage while you're en route to a destination, because traveling to destinations is an ordinary thing for drivers to do.

The fun part is that, despite the all the penny-pinching (and the hype), Uber is hemorrhaging money.

As far as I can tell they are scumbuckets, but I am still in favor of the legal changes they are attempting to work, because I am against the monopoly that the entrenched taxi industry possesses in those places where that is the case. Where I actually live, we don't have one big taxi company that runs everything. We have a number of individuals who run single-vehicle taxi services. Of course, if they become large and successful enough (and I don't mean by eating a lot of drive-through) they can add vehicles and drivers to their businesses, and eventually get enough money to lobby for protectionist laws that will cause the same problem here. And since here is in the sticks, the amount of money necessary for a bribe might be much less than it is in the city.

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 1) 306

Since I'm NOT worried about whether the Gods are going to punish me, not worried about whether I'll make a kill on the next hunt, or if the flint spear I have will be good enough for the job... I'd say our system's working out fairly well. There's always room for improvement, though.

If you know where your next paycheck is coming from, if your basic needs are met and you can sleep without economic anxiety at night, You are the eight percent.

Damned right there's room for improvement.

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