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Comment Re:Drone collisions... (Score 1) 52

Yeah, that's pretty much how I interpreted it as well.

(The bipe pilot turned on his smoke to "increase his visibility to the R/C airplane operators". Uh-huh -- *he was showing off*, and got too close.)

That said, the FAA's decision was pretty clear -- the collision was the fault of the pilot of the model aircraft. I guess that's the only possible answer given their rules -- showing off is permitted, but hovering where a manned aircraft decides to be is not, permission or not.

Comment Re:Building restrictions (Score 1) 683

I'm curious what "unwarranted" mean. Does that mean it's for In-Laws you hate and feel you don't deserve to live with, or you think you don't deserve to have to know them?

"In-law unit," I guess, is an SF colloquialism. It just means a small apartment within a house or other dwelling, usually designed for just 1-2 occupants. Picture something small, probably a single room plus its own washroom, maybe off the garage or in the basement.

"Unwarranted" means it's an illegal living unit. The owner didn't obtain permits to build it, and it probably isn't up to code. So you'd better be pretty friendly with whomever you rent it to (do in-laws count?) because if something is deemed actually unsafe -- like it has no heat, or the wiring is subpar -- you can be sued, if the tenants know their rights.

Comment Re:Building restrictions (Score 1) 683

But because San Francisco (and the whole Bay Area) think that everyone should have a veto on what everyone else does with their property, rebuilding doesn't happen, demand continues to rise, and the city becomes affordable only by the rich.

This paints the problem in too-narrow terms. Sure, the owner converts a single-family dwelling to a 10-unit tower and 9 (or more) additional people move to San Francisco. And lets say this happens to single-family dwellings all over the City. Multiply those new residents by a thousand or more. See what I'm getting at?

Where will all the infrastructure to support these new residents come from? I'm assuming not everybody who lives in these new units will want the hassle of owning a car in a City that's all but openly hostile to them -- and if they did, the gridlock would be totally unworkable. But the 15, 30, and 45 buses across town are already choked wall-to-wall with people. You literally have to ram your way in. BART (the intercity light rail system) is in a shambles. My daily commute downtown (a total of five stops) is often a standing-room-only affair, and any light weather causes delays. On some of the higher-traffic commuter stations, you can regularly expect one or even all of the escalators to be out of service, leaving huge crowds to pile out of trains onto the platforms and march up a few flights of stairs. Some of the staircases are single-file, so the queue just to leave the station can be 30-40 people long.

And where will they shop? Stores in San Francisco -- I'm thinking of something like a Target (department store) or a Safeway (supermarket) -- are typically smaller than their counterparts in cities with more overall real estate. Expect long lines for food and sundries.

And don't forget taxes! Sure, a bigger population does increase the tax base. But will it increase it enough to afford to hire all the extra firefighters and the upgrades they'll need to their engines and equipment to accommodate all those new towers? Ditto the police you need to support the population increase? And when every vehicle on the road is a private corporate bus shuttling workers back and forth from Silicon Valley, who will pay to repair the roads (which are already crumbling)? And the transit systems are once again claiming they need to either float multibillion dollar bond measures or raise the ticket fees -- as they do every other year.

So in short, just adding new people to the population won't solve San Francisco's problems. What longtime San Francisco residents recognize is that you're not talking about solutions, you're just talking about more development -- something that would please the kleptocrats in City Hall greatly, but won't do a lick to correct the complete imbalance in living costs we're currently experiencing.

P.S. Another idea I hear is that San Francisco should just accept that it needs to become more like Manhattan, with the East Bay becoming more like the other boroughs. But the major difference between the Bay Area and New York is that the Five Boroughs constitute a single tax base, under a single city government. San Francisco and the nearest cities in the East Bay aren't even in the same counties.

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 1) 683

I spent 20 years in Kansas(and decades more growing up in the south). I can assure you that Lawrence is an oasis of decency compared to the majority of Kansas. Some of the most viscous, bigoted assholes I've ever had the misfortune to have met came from small towns in Kansas. I got my kids the hell out of there, and I have never felt for a moment that I didn't make the right decision.

Seconded. Lawrence is basically what Americans call "a college town." It's got lots of things that cater to students and youngish people, like hip bars and restaurants and bespoke clothing stores and comic book stores. Companies sponsor events there to amuse people. But it's still basically an island. My friends who lived in Kansas City had some very pleasant, LGBT neighbors etc. But they also met folks who fit that "vicious, bigoted asshole" category (and this was in a major city -- the towns are far worse).

These weren't the run-of-the-mill rednecks we get in the Bay Area (and we surely have them). For large areas of Kansas, it's not so much "flyover country" as it is "conservative talk radio country." Plenty of people living there are quite content to spend their entire day hearing descriptions of the bestial practices of the Muslims and the Mexicans and what dire things are sure to come of it all.

Comment Re:Yet another Tech CEO confusing AI with Johnny-5 (Score 1) 105

For a class of person that feels that they are more in tune with technology than the rest of humanity, they seem woefully ignorant of "Artificial Intelligence".

Personally, I suspect that anybody who thinks they can accurately predict what AI is going to look like 20 to 50 years from now (and especially on the longer end) probably isn't as "in tune with technology" as they think they are.

All in all, as I see it ... that quote suggests to me that Reed Hastings is on the better part of the Dunning-Kruger curve here -- he knows how quickly this stuff is changing and how quickly it could change in the future and so isn't going to make any specific predictions for what might happen 20-50 years from now, and instead makes a joke about it.

Comment Re: Poor on $100k? Sure (Score 3, Interesting) 683

Yeah - gotta agree with sibling... 10 years' salary on a mortgage is friggin' insane, doubly so when you get a nice place outside of California for only 2 years' salary.

Not to mention that the figure also changes depending on how close you are to retirement. If you're younger and doing well, maybe get one priced at 3-5x annual salary, but once you get past 40, you may want to lower the sights a bit and be realistic.. that 30-year fixed is (barring early payoff) still going to be there demanding cash out of you for another decade when you turn 60.

Example? No problem - my wife and I just bought our new we're-retiring-here-dammit log cabin on six acres, in a gorgeous part of the Oregon Coastal Range. I paid exactly 2 years' salary to get it from the previous owner. Glopping a bit of extra principal on the mortgage payments will have the place entirely paid off in 10 years, leaving me a nice cushion of time before I retire for good... and by the way, the missus no longer has to work. Meanwhile, I still have a decent amount of extra dosh each month after the bills to put towards, well, anything. That's why you get realistic about it (besides, what the hell was I going to do with a 4-bdrm Victorian-style monster, what with the kids all grown up?)

You can say that I'm in no particular hurry to go get a $1.3m house that would cost me a mint in taxes, upkeep, labor, etc... the Joneses can go fsck themselves. YMMV, though.

Comment You could do better than that ... (Score 1) 277

Rather than having a PIN that erases everything, just make one that unlocks a totally different filesystem.

You've got 32 GB of space on your phone, so dedicate 8 GB of that to an alternate system (and make sure the phone doesn't say 32 GB on the outside) and when you give it the alternate PIN you log into the alternate setup that has no access whatsoever to the main setup. You can even install apps and stuff in this alternate setup, so it looks real but it only has the things you've deemed to be OK.

This wouldn't fool the FBI using forensic software on your phone, but it would stop the border patrol guy who wants to poke around your phone, as long as such things don't become common knowledge and he starts checking sizes vs. published specs and such.

You could even set up multiple PINs -- PIN #1 gives the main phone, #2 gives alternate setup #1, #3 gives alternate setup #2, #4 erases everything if entered three times in a row ...

Comment Re:CEOs are smarter than anyone (Score 1) 215

I love how CEOs like this guy and Elon (idiot) Musk are predicting the future of AI development. As opposed to say, leading AI researchers that are attending conferences and writing papers on the state of the art.

Hmm. You mean that same "idiot" who founded an artificial intelligence research organization to help fund the very things you hear about at those conferences and in those papers?

Comment Re:anit trust issues! (Score 1) 260

Apple has always allowed you to disable it (in a very easy-to-find spot with admin credentials) in OSX/MacOS, and they've had it in place for like 17 years - and for the entire decade or so that the App Store has existed. Pretty sure that they're in no hurry to lock your laptop/desktop down to the App Store if they haven't done it by now.

Google is also perfectly okay with what they refer to as side-loading... and have allowed that with just an easy click or two since Android and ChromeOS have respectively existed.

What's different here is that Microsoft has a nasty history of trying to lock down the consumer when they think the rubes aren't looking. Time will tell, obviously, but I have no trust for 'em. (Personally, I think they're just looking to put PC-Matic and similar app-whitelisting products out of business since it's kind of embarrassing to have a whole industry built off of your flagship product's well-deserved reputation for flaws and crap security...)

Comment Re:"...disabled by default." (Score 1) 260

Actually, by default it restricts installation to the App Store and "Identified Developers" (e.g. established 3rd-party developers like Adobe). IIRC, you can also type in the admin account user/pass in the prompt to bypass it. Only the really out-there stuff requires going into System Preferences and explicitly allowing it.

That one TV-advertised product PC-Matic mimics this behavior in Windows if memory serves, which makes me think that Microsoft just wants to bump that company off, perhaps?

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