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Comment The self-driving car is blamed for human error (Score 3, Insightful) 32

I am reminded that when cars were first invented, there were laws put in place mandating that someone walk ahead of any self-propelled vehicle waving a red flag, for fear of scaring horses and making people uncomfortable.

I'm sure that in one hundred years this sort of reaction - blaming the software for an inattentive driver failing to yield - will be seen in exactly the same way.

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 10

The people who want him gone the most are Republicans

They'll never admit to that if it is the case. While they won't admit how much they have changed since his days, they still hold Saint Ronnie's 11th amendment as sacred and won't impeach Drumpt over anything. The only way they'll cut his administration short is if he has a medical emergency that renders him physically unfit (we already know he is mentally unfit) for the job.

because they realize he's killing them.

Killing them? More like killing for them. His mantra of "there is no such thing as bad press" has permeated the entire organization. He's on the front page news every day and has been for well over a year now. Often the democrats don't appear in the paper until at least half way to the editorial page, and the editorial page is overrun with people screaming about how the democrats are here to do the duties of Satan himself.

There is very much a non-zero chance that Drumpf will go down in history as the last POTUS. We are barreling full-speed towards dissolution of the union.

Comment Re:Not hard to fix... (Score 2) 138

The problem is that it requires a Republican Congress to vote in favor of something that lets corporations get away with being stingy. Trump might decide to support it because he doesn't like Silicon Valley, but I can't imagine a Republican Congress siding with the little guy when it comes to money.

Comment Re:Law mandated technology (Score 1) 218

So, what in AmiMojo's post mentions the Federal Government?

FWIW, yes, since the mid-nineteenth century, after the creation of railroads and the adoption of a national currency, the Federal government has had power over virtually all commerce due to the fact it's allowed to regulate interstate commerce, and the things I just mentioned makes all commerce effectly interstate. I know it's not a popular thing to say, but things change. This changed 150-200 years ago and yet there's always someone who thinks that the government doesn't have the right to regulate something the constitution now gives it the power to do.

Want to change that? Either amend the constitution, or put up real barriers between the states.

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 186

Sadly they won the biggest battle, except for open source 99.999% of all software is licensed through an EULA not copies sold like a book so you don't have any property rights to begin with.

Guess what: shrink-wrap EULAs have NOT ever been upheld as valid by any precedent-setting court. (There are some cases that address somewhat similar-issues, but not any that address an EULA presented after-the-fact in the context of a retail sale.) The idea that EULAs are anything but meaningless contracts of adhesion that offer no consideration to the buyer and are therefore invalid is propaganda that, sadly, you've fallen for.

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 10

Democrats played the same blame game against the republicans when they had the power in 2009-2010.

Actually, no. The Democrats were too cowardly to actually use the power granted to them by the voting public. They were so used to being beaten up by the GOP (as they had been for around a decade at that point) that they had no notion of how to use power when they had it. They were just as afraid of being called "Un-American" in congress as they were before.

Submission + - Microsoft Posts 'No Boys Allowed' Signs at State of RI High School CS Event 4

theodp writes: "Girls and women are half of the world's population," Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told hundreds of high school girls gathered behind doors with signs that read "[Microsoft] DigiGirlz: No Boys Allowed". "They are half of the world’s brains, problem-solvers, leaders. This world cannot solve problems unless they are at the table. That’s why I started programs like CS4RI, partnering with Microsoft and other leaders [including Microsoft-backed Code.org] to offer computer science in every Rhode Island school." Raimondo also noted she was dismayed to learn that only 12 of Rhode Island's 42 students who took the AP Computer Science test were girls (RI has 43,000+ enrolled HS students). The best way to make girls feel welcome in K-12 CS education, some influence-wielding tech giants, politicians, and educators seem to agree, is by making boys even more unwelcome via things like gender-based federal K-12 CS education funding; girls-only learn-to-code initiatives, STEM schools and summer computer camps; and gender-weighted teacher incentive programs from Google and tech-backed Code.org (Google and the U.S. Government even sought to exclude boys from programming White House Christmas tree lights in 2014).

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 186

If you wanted to really restore the consumer-manufacturer balance the first thing you should do is create a "Digital Sales Act" that basically says if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck it's a duck. Once you start invalidating most shrinkwrap and clickwrap licenses then you can start talking consumer rights.

Microsoft is showing us what that future looks like, though, and it involves ads in your apps whether you paid for them or not. And if you don't own the software, then guess what? You're going to lose any and all rights to modify it. In fact, it might even become a crime to block those advertisements.

Then there's just one small step away to force everyone to use these adware/spyware systems: declare that only approved operating systems will be permitted to connect to the internet for "security" reasons. At first that will include numerous Linux and *BSD distributions, but it's easy enough to manufacture a crisis or simply pass legislation with no basis in reality and plug that hole later.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 186

But if printers were designed to be maintainable, with modular heads that could be snapped out and replaced, this wouldn't be a problem....

They used to be available. I'm blanking on the PN... but one of my housemates used to have a tabloid-format HP deskjet which had ink cartridges which snapped into a head cartridge which snapped into a carrier. It had a little bit of banding so it wasn't exactly spectacular, but it did have a separately replaceable head. You could buy a fully-loaded head package, the head alone, a full ink package, or any ink tank alone.

Comment Re:It Doesn't Work That Way (Score 1) 218

Moore to the point, Moore's law was an observation of a natural trend. This is the opposite, typical of so much legislation.

Moore's law is like having a speedometer needle showing the speed, or a thermometer showing the temperature. Legislation which tries to change society pretends changing the observation will change reality: move the needle to slow down or speed up; move the pointer to raise or lower the temperature. In reality, you need an entirely different device to do that.

"So let it be written, so let it be done" sounds good in movies, but it don't do squat in real life except muck things up.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 186

What printer company sells me a printer and OFFERS me cartridges instead of doing the printer equivalent of a dealer doing his "first one is free" pitch?

Unless things have changed recently, that's Canon. They not only have long been the easiest to refill, but actually are known for working well with third party ink. Continuous inking systems are not very expensive either, and make it trivial to dump in as much third-party ink as you like.

I don't print color, though, so I have an old HP laser, a LJ2300DN with some DIMM upgrades and an additional tray. It has toner cart DRM, but I have a stick-on PCB which you attach with double-sided tape to make a home-refilled toner cart work again. The fix was two bucks. Ethernet, Duplex, feeds 500 sheets before it needs attention. There's even a 500 sheet tray for it which improves that by half again, but I ordered one and they sent me a 250 tray instead so I got that for free and called it good.

Comment Re:If I had my way... (Score 1) 186

Laws got made because of that, and now auto companies must allow those manufactures to make parts right away.

That is a great benefit, but the fight there is not yet over. What's needed now is to make illegal any agreements that the suppliers who actually make these parts won't be able to sell them to consumers directly right away. It's not until that happens that it really becomes affordable to maintain a vehicle, and so there's a period in between the end of the warranty and the time when the suppliers start selling their parts into the non-dealer channels where it's prohibitively expensive to maintain vehicles.

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