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Comment Re:Insurance (Score 1) 299

That's assuming you'll even be able to find non-brand replacement parts. Figure that the wear and tear on an autonomous vehicle should be even more predictable than current service intervals, and these vehicles can drive themselves in for service. Manufacturers and their dealer networks stand to win back a much greater share of vehicle service and repairs than they get now. With that shift, independent mechanics may become a thing of the past.

...And that's the "benign" version. Before we get to that point, my guess is that automakers will increasingly push leases and similar arrangements over actual ownership, to the point that it becomes a matter of managing "their" fleet, not servicing "your" car. Magnuson-Moss compliance won't be an issue; you won't have a say in who does the work because you don't own the vehicle. There could also be upsides to this model, e.g. after a wreck the company might just send you another (refurbished, but otherwise equivalent) car instead of making you wait on repairs.

Comment Re:Oh Please Yes (Score 1) 299

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment, but I also acknowledge that you and I are both mortal. The people who insist on driving "manually" will die off eventually. We can only hope to enjoy it that long, instead of being forced off the roads early by a human driver ban.

Insurance companies may be our friend in that regard, fighting such legislation while they cling to life.

Comment Re:monopoly (Score 1) 84

It's hard to say without knowing what the specific limits are.

Would an advertisement for an anti-malware product run afoul of this new policy, given that the ad is straightforward and not waving an alarmist "Your PC is infected" message at the user? technically that's not an ad for support, per se, but an actual software product.

I can also understand the existence of "legitimate" third party tech support services, but I'm not sure how many use cases there are for such a service to be advertising itself via a search engine. That really seems like it'd be mostly scam/trojan territory.

If Microsoft isn't overzealous about the rule, it's possible that any disruption of legitimate business would be minimal. However, I'd not be surprised if some fake AV peddler tried to take MS to court over it.

Comment Re:No good guys. (Score 1) 518

Two people conversing in person tend to be more receptive to the ambient noise level, and will moderate their volume accordingly. For normal conversation, that means they're generally not going to be too obnoxious to those around them.

Cell phone conversations throw that off. The lack of visual feedback from the listener, and distraction of the speaker, combined with people's general tendency to speak into cell phones at an almost-yelling volume, means that cell phone conversations are often overly loud and irritating in public spaces.

Comment Re:I still don't get this. (Score 1) 59

No, if only for the simple fact that the existing "legal limits" clearly aren't stopping them, if that is the case. More legal limits won't help matters.

Indeed, though, the thought itself is scary- whether the goons are trying to obtain greater powers of surveillance, or just trying to legitimize what they are already doing...

Comment Re:So vague is has to be true? (Score 1) 241

I wonder where the odds are, that they'd need to draw the line. What if a hypothetical threat was targeted at "A school in California", or even the entire USA? Or perhaps, what if there was a threat to bomb a non-specific LAUSD campus, some time in the next 30 days? in the next year? in the next 10 years?

Comment Re:Oh for fucks sake (Score 1) 615

The problem with that is that the transition can't happen all at once, and it certainly isn't fair to only expect some people to work.

The ideal solution, as I see it, is that as automation lowers the cost of living, less labor is expected from the average person. That would mean a shorter work week, or earlier retirement. That presents two issues though. First, I don't see a way to get there. The preference for both employees and employers would be to have fewer employees who work more hours, rather than many who work fewer hours. Second, the reduction of the labor force isn't going to happen evenly. Job markets that are already short on labor won't be seeing that decrease.

But even then, a reduction in work for (almost) everyone would be a less bumpy transition than just eliminating it for some and going whole-hog into socialism, even if socialism is seen as an inevitable endgame.

Comment Re:Not sure, if this is much better (Score 3, Insightful) 121

Smells like plausible deniability to me.

Up to now, we've seen plenty of evidence that the intelligence agencies don't seem to have major qualms about violating US law, as long as it's done quietly. Who's going to prosecute? This is just Congress realizing that it does not need to take the political heat for broad surveillance that it authorized. Once in place, NSA will happily continue the operations without overt permission to do so.

People who are high up in government intelligence are going to bank on not being caught performing illegal surveillance over not being taken to task over the first thing they "miss" due to inadequate coverage.

Comment Re:Slashdot, Stop Spinning the GamerGate Content (Score 2) 571

GamerGate will never be covered "fairly" because it's not in the interest of anyone with a soapbox tall enough to do so.

Journalistic integrity is a fat fucking joke, and probably always has been. We've been buying the lie for decades because, surprise surprise, the people who benefit from that notion are in the perfect position to broadcast it to the entire world. They've got it great, so no one wants to risk exposing an ugly truth just because a few individuals weren't discreet enough about collecting their benefits. You bet your ass they're going to censor it and pretend it didn't happen!

I mean, really. The Hollywood types have got nothing on the self-important assclowns who call themselves "journalists", whether they roll with "New" media or "old".

The SJW "movement" is vile, but it's also extremely naive of the opposition to think that they'll get anywhere by exposing abuses of the press. They don't care, and they never cared. That battle is lost.

Maybe someday, with the democratization of news that's been brought on by the internet, average people will finally learn to engage ALL media with reasoned skepticism and critical thinking. THEN we can start thinking about ways to make the journalists honest.

Comment Re:Ads (Score 2) 330

Minecraft is already well established, there's no need to bother with gimmicks like DLC or any need to pay for development with an upfront purchase price. Such an approach would be a waste of the game's convenient addictiveness.

After corporate meddling pisses off most of the core Mojang developers enough to jump ship, Microsoft will drop in a new default resource pack, maybe add another boss or two to the game, and sell it as "Minecraft 2.0". Realms will be the only multiplayer option, and the game will be sold as a monthly subscription rather than an upfront purchase.

The game's popularity will probably tank at that point, but not so much that MS doesn't get something for it. Much of the existing community will probably stick with the latest 1.x release, or perhaps the latest Bukkit-supported version

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 619

Perhaps a percentage-based tire tax? It covers hybrids/electrics well, Correlates to usage, is less regressive (cheaper cars usually run cheaper tires), and does a better job of addressing the truck/bus issue, without tracking.

I think the base price of gas does enough to encourage efficiency. The tricky thing is that cost per mile of road tires is really low, so the tax would have to be pretty steep. Still might be less unpopular than a gas tax, though.

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