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Comment Simon says no (Score 2, Interesting) 260

The cities and towns who want to regulate this and Uber and the like are doing so not because there is some sort of crisis or need for regulation. By their own admission, they do not have control over it now and yet there are very few reports of problems, which strongly suggests there aren't many issues.

No, they don't want to solve anything. They're just mad that somebody is doing something without asking permission and paying for licenses and other crap. An awful lot of government is devoted to making people ask for permission to do things and making them pay fees to get that permission.

If people realize they can do things just fine without permits, then all hell will break loose of people doing stuff on their own for free! How can bloated bureaucratic governments survive and justify their own existence if people just DO stuff?

Comment He needs a Mattel Footbal, nothing harder (Score 1) 726

This guy is a total pussy.

Building PCs is not something you do once; you do it at least often enough that none of the shit that surprised him matters AT ALL. I barely paid attention to the last system I built ~6 months ago, in part because all I needed to know was which RAM banks were preferred and the board header pinout. But they supplied a marked module for that. Flawless assembly.

I have no idea how many PCs I have assembled. Dozens. Maybe a hundred. What the fuck ever, even if I didn't know, there are tons of how-tos on Youtube because every dork seems to love doing an assembly video. OMG maybe the board will be a different color this time. Otherwise they are mostly the same.

Anyway this schmuck has NO CLUE how it used to be when IDE drives from different brands would not cooperate, and hell you had to have an ISA serial/parallel/drive controller/game port card AND know how to deal with interrupts and IRQs and Sound Blaster INITs. All this guy has to fucking do is put in some screws and plug in some drives and Windows fucking 10 will do all the rest.

But he broke a sweat (!) so here's a goddamn article on how HAAARD it was.

If you want to game you will find a way. My balls must be bigger. I spent the day figuring out how to download and install and sign up for a PC MMO that's only in Chinese. There is no English patch. There is scant English info on it at all. I don't speak Chinese. I can't fucking read it. But I still got the damn game installed and running beautifully AND helped a friend get it setup on their PC 700 miles away via Skype. So I am remotely helping someone else in a language neither of us understands, to play a game we want to play so badly, we will fucking play it in Chinese.

If you want to play a game badly enough, you will find a way. That's a gamer.

If all you want to do is bitch about fat fingers and how HARD it is to use a damn screwdriver, well, we know he's somebody's little bitch. Give him an etch a sketch or one of those old Mattel LED football games. Wait, those were hard to play. A coloring book and crayons. He can't cope with more difficulty.

Comment Re:I Know Where The 22,000 Went! (Score 1) 474

Get ready for much bigger changes that make production automation look like nothing. First, the various fast food operators are all looking at robotics and eventually someone will do it and millions of low-end jobs are going to vanish as machines make the burgers and fries.

It's fine to say people who failed to learn skills have only themselves to blame, but there are large areas where there are no serious job options for kids and young adults without college hopes, except flipping burgers. What are these people going to do when there are few if any jobs? There will be a LOT of these folks, and people out of work and having no options and nothing to do tend to gravitate to crime and other similar things. We've already seen thse happen all over in areas where there are lots of people and no jobs.

The other big change is going to be due to automated driving. Suddenly, your car won't have any urge to stop on the way home for an impulse burger or pack of smokes. Cars that can totally drive themselves won't stop for gas at random gas stations; they'll have some sort of fleet fueling station. Or they will be electric cars. Bottom line, a lot of gas stations (read: more low-end jobs) will go away.

Automated cars will have less accidents too so people who work on cars like body shops, towing companies, mechanics and so forth will also be out of work. A lot of semi-skilled workers who stepped up from flipping burgers moved into jobs like auto repair. It pays well. Good, steady work. Until cars don't need repairs as much. So now a lot of these folks will be out of work, and these are people who thought they had a career. Wiped out.

Insurance agents, bus drivers, taxi drivers, chauffeurs and hired drivers are also going to see far fewer jobs.

All of these different levels of people will still be here. They will still have bills and need to eat and have shelter, but WHAT are they supposed to do when their jobs go away? Even if you don't think society has any obligation to try to fix these problems, we all need to understand there will be a lot of unhappy, hungry unemployed people and unless we come up with something for them to do, society is going to have to deal with whatever consequences develop.

Comment Re:The Taste must have been fired also (Score 4, Interesting) 474

Assuming you don't have issues with Walmart, you may want to check out the fruit pies they are selling, two for a dollar I believe. They come in a little square box, each pie in a metal pan. Just enough for one serving. Usually multiple flavors of these things are stacked on a table somewhere in the bakery section.

The notable thing is a real award-winning pie bakery is the supplier for these things and they actually, astonishingly, taste like homemade pies. They're not frosted like the old Hostess pies but the pie itself is much better.

If you really need the Hostess style of pie, the ones made by Tastykake are good. Flowers Bakeries, the owners of Tastykake, also own Wonder Bread in the US. Flowers is known for being much more focused on quality than some other companies.

Comment Red Herring (Score 1) 451

This debate is a red herring. An automated car would use its software and resources to avoid hitting pedestrians or other cars, but in the event it cannot avoid a collision, the safety of the passengers would come down to the construction and safety features of the car itself.

This is what we have now and it won't change once the driving is automatic. The physical structure of the car and things like seat belts and airbags will be responsible for protecting the occupants as best it can, but of course there are no guarantees. Safety features can only do so much. Physics is what it is.

I rather LIKE the odds of an automated car facing a pedestrian or obstacle like a fallen tree. Because right now, human drives tasked with such a scenario often choose the WRONG outcome.

For example, not far from me a driver found themselves at excessive speed suddenly coming upon a transit bus stopped to load passengers. The driver had three choice: hit the bus, dodge left into oncoming traffic, or dodge right to the sidewalk side of the bus. The driver chose to jump the sidewalk and did avoid a collision. Unfortunately that meant the car slammed into all the people waiting to board the bus. Several died and many were injured. It was a very violent and devastating crash.

Had that car driver chose to hit the back of the bus, instead of trying to avoid it, there would have been significant vehicle damage and the car driver might have been injured or killed -but nobody on the bus would have been seriously injured. The people killed would not have had a scratch on them. The car driver chose the worst possible wrong solution and it cost lives.

Similarly, when one driver sees a dog in the road and reacts by crossing into oncoming traffic, they've now created a very dangerous situation where a head-on collision is likely. When people are faced with that sort of sudden problem and have to react fast, they often DO make the mistake of hitting another car rather than hitting the dog, which would be bad of course, but nothing like killing all the occupants of both cars.

I strongly suspect automated drivers will make far fewer bad decisions like that.

Comment Regular G2A customer (Score 1) 104

Well, I've been a G2A customer for about a year, using it for Windows 8 licenses, antivirus licenses, Steam games, and a few other things.

Their "how do we do this" stuff always seemed a bit fishy but none of the license keys I bought has ever had any issues. I assumed it was legit or it would have been shutdown by now.

But now I see how G2A is able to stay hands off far enough to say it's not their fault, the same way pawn shops avoid being responsible for stolen goods that they end up reselling. I mean it's totally not the shop's fault if the entire neighborhood is being burgled for pawnable stuff. /s

Why are they/we all still using this sort of software key model? Why not do more authentication of purchases and tie them to email addresses or some other thing that can't be resold?

Comment Not just insurance under threat (Score 1) 299

Auto insurance isn't the only industry under threat.

With reduced accidents, body shops and mechanics, paint shops, towing services, even traffic reporters will have less work and there will be job losses. Automated cars are liable to break down less due to diagnostics so fix-it mechanics will have less work than they already do, and dealers will see reduced traffic in their repair bays, and what work there is will resist having stuff added to repair bills because the automated cars will know what is wrong.

Automated cars are going to need far fewer roadside breaks and an automated car won't feel the impulse to stop for snacks or fast food or smokes, so swaths of businesses that depend on passing traffic to see the business and pull in will suffer huge reductions in sales. Your car won't care if you pass a hamburger shop, and by the time you see it and perhaps want to stop, you won't have time to tell the car to stop.

Gas stations will probably also suffer greatly as cars will probably have some way of optimizing where and when they need to refuel. Automated gas pumps have been in the works for a couple decades and had been developed to the point where it was a finished machine but it was expensive and, well, most people pump their own gas for free so why pay for a robot to do it? But perhaps that will change now that an automated car might automatically drive itself to get fuel from an automated gas pump.

Comment Re:Shifting the burden (Score 2) 23

The record companies are always trying to make it someone else's responsibility to police their own property, but this is ridiculous because no one else *can* properly monitor for infringement.

This is because copyright infringement relies on a lack of permission. If someone has permission from the copyright holder to upload something, it's not infringement!

They have repeatedly shown they don't even have a grasp of this. For example, multiple cases where videos or music content has been obtained from YouTube videos, which is then incorporated into another broadcast program, which is followed by a DMCA takedown to YouTube to remove the original videos that were the source of the clip or music, which are items the broadcaster does not own.

There have been cases of musicians doing original songs which they post for sharing or enjoyment, and the music is noticed and used in a production either under creative commons, or under an actual license to use the music, or sometimes no license. Then they come back to YT and demand a takedown on content they didn't create and don't own and have no right to suppress. Except their copyright filter says they did and demands it.

One recent case was where old video game footage found on YT was picked up -and I recall this was without permission- by the Family Guy show and used in an episode. Fox then went back to YT and demanded DMCA takedown on the ORIGINAL video they stole to use on the Family Guy episode. Because, you know, the clip they stole does match a few seconds of a particular episode, because it was the same footage, because they took it and used it. The creator of that game video was threatened with having his Google account suspended for copyright infringement on material he himself had created and recorded. As I recall, the DMCA was reversed and then reimposed again, followed by more appeals and public outcry.

From time to time, I work with a music company who sells royalty-free music. You pay once for a non-exclusive license and you can use it in that production forever. The customers buy a license but NOT the copyright. That's retained by the music company and the rights holders for the actual songs. The same music clips get licensed and used in various different projects all over the world. SO, Company A licenses a particular song and uses it in their show. Company B and C and D come along and wow they all also license it. It's a popular bit of music.

Company B asserts copyright over the music and attempts to DMCA the music company and several of the other customers also using it. The music company says no, you don't OWN the music, you licensed it. This goes on for a long time until finally lawyers from both sides sit down and clear it up. Company B apologizes and the matter is dropped.

And of course there have been several cases where Sony DMCA'd their own company for using Epic music in other Sony projects. It's a huge company and the branches often have no clue who is doing what. I wonder what the hourly rate is for suing yourself.

Comment Re:Internet of things (Score 1, Informative) 133

One of the big security problems of Android is that you are unable to receive any software updates, including security patches, once the hardware manufacturer decides so, and hardware manufacturers have an interest in not providing updates because they cost money to test and deploy, as well as missing updates create an incentive for the customers to buy newer hardware.

This is not true. My Android Nexus phone receives MONTHLY security updates direct from Google, along with any OS updates, beta versions if I want to try them, and so. Google did not make or manufacture this device. The FCC registration lists Huawei as the maker but Huawei has no say in updates or anything else to do with this phone. Neither does any cell carrier. . Nobody has any control over this device except Google, and me. And Google has been extremely proactive in pushing updates when needed.

So, your statement that "any" Android cannot receive updates except from manufacturer is not accurate. Maybe it is true for most Android devices, rather than all, but that's not what you said or meant.

Comment 4-wheel steering with actual round wheels (Score 1) 117

They would be better off adopting the four-wheel steering used in Ikea stores worldwide and everywhere in Europe and put actual fucking round wheels on the damn carts instead of what seem to be square stone wheels from a cave.

Clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk BANG -if you get a cart with four DIFFERENT squared wheels, you can really get some funky beats going.

And maybe the noise and racket from the cars bang-bang-banging their way through the store does kind of act like a sound beacon going beep-beep-beep on heavy equipment. So maybe it has some value.

But a robotic shopping cart? No way. Forget it. They will just be like the electric sit-down MartCarts already are: broken down from supporting way too many >500LB people and left out in the rain.

It's somewhat amusing how many people demand those MartCarts but when they go into a store and find out they either don't have any working carts or they've already all been taken out for use, then these people who demand such a cart still manage to go on and shop just fine without one. Some people just hate walking and would rather sit, that's all. They don't have an actual need for such a cart.

Comment Re:Smells Like A Fish Story (Score 1) 210

Something similar happened to me. Well I never went to college so I didn't graduate with a degree. Technically I never really graduated HS either. But I can handle myself like a pro and nobody would ever suspect such a thing.

After working some temp jobs where I was an ace worker, I got my foot in the door at a tech/software company and worked a variety of jobs there eventually becoming management, supervising a bunch of workers and really ramped up efficiency. Later on, I automated most of my department and got to fire all of mty reports. Fun times.

Just because I didn't have a degree didn't mean I was an idiot. The automation system in particular was very dicey and I was the only person who ever got it to work -the actual programmers and experts were afraid of it. Anyway I had that thing singing songs practically. I could make it do anything. But I never coded more than some batch stuff to pull it together. We had programmers to do coding. I did a lot of other things, like emergency client support when stuff broke at 4AM. I was by far the best they had at that. I wrote all the procedures for that work. Even when other people were on call rotation, clients asked for me by name and sometimes called my personal phone because they knew who would not BS them and would actually fix anything and everything. The clients loved me more than my own management.

So after being at that company for 14+ years I got laid off last year. Three months severance is all I got. It was not at all a surprise. I was making about 60K a year at the end, actually one of the lower paid people in that office. But once everything was automated, they hired a kid fresh out of ITT Tech who'd work for half the money and had me teach them how to do it over the phone in a day. And shoved me out the door That automation system was dangerous and would eat itself alive so sometimes I wonder if it blew up. They were forbidden from calling me by HR so I have no idea what happened..

Now the thing is, 14 years of experience at a HUGE range of jobs and this final automation project were all around the proprietary software that company used. Almost none of those skills I have are directly transferrable because nobody else on the planet is doing stuff like that. So now I am in my mid 40s with no degree and no actual paper abilities anyone needs.

I've been looking for work for 9 months. My savings are running out. Lack of health insurance has seriously damaged my health which in turn makes it harder to find a job. At my age. I don't have the limitless energy of a fresh grab, nor the degree. So I am not even called for interviews. I can't even get a job at Walmart making minimum wage, much less something paying what I was making.

Sometime in August the last of the saved money, the last of my 401K will run out. And I don't know what will happen.

The moral here is to actually go to school, not because it necessarily teaches you everything you need to know, but because you need that damn paper.
And when you get a job, keep current. Never sit on your ass especially if the place you work uses all proprietary stuff. Becoming an expert in arcane software nobody uses is a dead end. As in a coffin. Yours. Don't do what I did.

I see now what I really did was coast for 14 years but I never used any of that time to plan for the next 14 years and do something. Luckily I do not have a family to support or this would be an even bigger crash and burn.

Comment We're all doomed (Score 1) 204

Comcast Xfinity keeps running these ads promoting their voice remote control, where you can tell your cable box what to show. It's stuff like this:

There's another version with a woman asking for rom coms and other similar movies women would like.

Both ads promote this world where you can ask for and demand only the things you already like, and in so doing avoid anything that might be the slightest bit unknown or new to you, or something you never heard of but might like anyway. Nope. You get to dictate every single moment of your life.

Show me only food I like. Show me only people of colors I like. Show me only people who are of idea body weight but have larger than average ears and no tattoos. And who are we kidding, it will turn in to Show me boobs. Show me only political opinions I like. Show me only shows with no profanity. Show me Wheel of Fortune. Show me videos of cats beating up dogs, in Russian.

The kids today are going to grow up in a world where they can ask and demand anything they want from their phones, from things like Echo, from their goddamn TV remotes, from their cars (if they drive at all), and they will expect the same from school and work and life and won't they be sorely disappointed when life has a way of throwing shit at you whether you like it or want it, or not.

Every kid will be a special snowflake if they aren't already. But only if they can ask some gadget or robot to do stuff for them. Put one of these kids in an empty room, or worse, outside in an open field with no gadgets and nobody to talk to and they will go nuts. And probably die where they stand because they won't know how to walk for help or food or shelter without a gadget telling them how to move, where to go, or just to summon help.

Fuck, people ALREADY abuse those damn emergency rescue devices to call for help when they are out on a trail and end up too tired to walk back, or somebody decides they really want to go home. So they pull the cord meant for a catastrophic life or death emergency and a rescue force shows up looking for injured people and find only some asshole who had an empty stomach and was too tired to walk back.

Maybe it's too late and we're doomed as a society and possibly a species where we are too soft to do anything and too stupid to know how anyway, so we ask our machines to do it. What purpose then, do people actually have? Once the robots do all the work and the gadgets order items for us, why do we need to be here at all? This is becoming like some bad scifi film where the people forgot how to live and all died off leaving behind legions of robots dutifully carrying out stuff like reordering paper towels from a robot warehouse which is restocked by robot trucks coming from a robot paper mill which is fed by robot logging machines. They just keep making and delivering paper towels because some human, long dead, put it on auto order.

This is a nightmare we're making for ourselves and our future.

Comment Idiocy (Score 1) 77

This updater may be broken and insecure, but why the hell would anyone trust an automatic updater to do stuff like BIOS or UEFI updates?

This is like trusting a child with a handgun to play with and being shocked when someone gets shot.

If there's an update like that, the user should be notified, and if so inclined, should go see if it's something they want to install at a time of their choosing. Perhaps first backing up your current BIOS or UEFI and perhaps doing a data backup too, just in case. Because, you know, updates like that have been known to brick systems. They really should not be done unless there is an actual problem that will actually be solved by the update. But generally, leave the damn thing alone especially if you don't know what you are doing.

And if you do that, then these other problems are solved because the ASUS app or whatever doesn't have authority to update. Just uninstall it. Solved.

Comment Re:Time for a paradigm shift (Score 1) 420

I drove freight for a year while I was burned out from IT. It was a liberating experience. I actually made pretty good coin during that "vacation" as well. Now I am in Broadcast Engineering. We still do heavy IT... But we aren't an "IT department". And robots are not going to replace us anytime soon; broadcast engineering is still a "black art".

As a burned out IT worker looking at driving trucks, for a change of pace and hopefully better income, any advise you would have?

And how does one get into broadcast engineering? I have a decent knowledge of radio things and an FCC ticket for amateur stuff.

Comment Hardly the only ones (Score 1) 420

The company I worked for had very close business relations with large range of huge "name" insurance companies and a myriad of smaller firms as well.

I was front line with them for 2000-2015 and watched as "another large insurance company in Boston, named after a US President" first outsourced a lot of their work to US firms while keeping in-house people. Then they got rid of most of the in-house staff and eventually outsourced all of that work to India. A LOT of Americans at several different companies lost their jobs.

The firm I was with went from having about 20 people dedicated to that client to having zero and instead just a client contact when they needed something.

Another firm we worked with in the Boston area did very similar things. First they outsourced within the US. And then they sent all that work to India and not only laid off a lot of their own people, the companies they used for US outsourcing also laid off a bunch of people.

One thing all of us can do to help support some jobs in the US is demand paper statements and bills for everything you can. An awful lot of people are employed to produce and mail those damn bills and statements and it's one area that has not yet been eliminated entirely by offshoring. Some companies are trying to do mail in Canada and have it trucked into the US to be mailed but this is still relatively rare. Right now, demanding a paper bill stands a good chance of helping keep somebody in a job. They don't need a handout. They need YOUR utility bill or insurance policy to print and mail to you.

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