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Comment Re:A little late? (Score 2) 386

Ubuntu users who were Unity skeptics didn't flock to GUbuntu, they flocked to Mint.

Well, I tried Mint when the Unity thing happened, but the whole, "google needs to pay us or we'll remove it from the list of default search engines in our version of Firefox" thing bothered me on a philosophical level (I know I could and I did manually add it, but they were trying to charge money to stop them from removing a feature instead of charging money to add a feature, and that rubs me the wrong way) and I immediately returned to Ubuntu. Not GUbuntu, but not unity either. You can always just apt-get gnome, which I did, after trying KDE4 and thinking it was even worse.

At the time Gnome3 was much worse than it is now, but now it can be customizable to the point that I prefer it to Gnome2 and the alternatives that try to emulate Gnome2. And if you don't agree, you could always apt-get MATE.

People freak out over Unity and whatever else, but those are just default options. Install whatever window manager you want.

Comment Re:Being a member of a union (Score 1) 594

I suppose there are times when that's true. For instance, limiting the work-week to 40 hours, and after that time-and-a-half. You may prefer a 50 hour week or a 30 hour week.

It can be way more fundamental than that. Sometimes it can be even be an ethical disagreement over some issue.

But, long story short, I view that loss of freedom as similar to the loss of freedom living in a society. You miss out on some autonomy, but in return you get a range of benefits that should more than compensate you. And a voice (via elections) in what those benefits are. While occasionally you'll be screwed some, it's hard to imagine how a system could work that didn't do that to anyone, ever.

I'm fairly pragmatic about that, and I agree with you that sometimes you trade some fundamental rights by living in a society. But the system of that society is pretty important. The United States is currently polling as 70% Christian. If we straight off voted via an election to make that the official religion of the country and started enforcing certain beliefs over the remaining 30%, that would be a bad system of government. Instead we have a system that says that no matter what the majority of people believe in, individually everybody has the right to believe or not believe in whatever they wish, and that right is not to be infringed upon. Protecting individual freedoms from a tyranny of the majority is something I believe in.

It may be "unfair", but it is definitely the results of a free negotiation between two parties. Now, if you want to discuss limiting their freedom to enter into contracts with each other, that's fine. I don't think that freedom is absolute. But as most people professing your beliefs are fairly libertarian in outlook, I'd like to impose on you to explain why it's okay in this case. Especially since the right you think it is imposing on is your right to enter into a contract with one of those parties under your preferred conditions.

You've sort of got me pegged, but libertarians come in a spectrum. Sometimes when you just see the most vocal among us, you can get the wrong idea. For example, I'm a libertarian who is very much in favor of strong anti-trust laws. I come to this belief because even though I believe the free market is the way to achieve the best results, I also believe monopolies are a failure mode. In fact, the general distrust of the ability of government to take on duties that I believe are best handled by private enterprise is because the government is a monopoly, so having any one company be the monopoly isn't any better. In this case, I see the union as the monopoly, if you're not allowed to work without being a member.

I believe the original intent was to try to damage unions by allowing free riders, and also make it harder to have a de facto union shop.

I agree, and like I said, I'm against such laws.

Comment Re:Being a member of a union (Score 1) 594

Your confusing concepts. The only freedom you lose is the freedom to get a worse deal. Technically you are less free in that dimension, but its hard for me to imagine its a valuable freedom. Especially when compared to the freedom you get from having more money.

That's not true. What if the group is negotiating for something I don't agree with? Most people in the union can think something is a better deal, but I can personally think that's not true.

In a union shop, they do. One of the benefits they negotiate for is the right to work at that company

That particular right prevents anyone else from competing with them on negotiations, which in my opinion gives them an unfair amount of power.

they're not allowed to have split-benefits like that - thank (mostly republican) lawmakers.

Well, I'm certainly against any laws that would prevent them from doing that. To me that's equivalent of removing my freedom to negotiate my own deals, except in this case it's removing their freedom from negotiating their own deals.

Comment Re:Being a member of a union (Score 1) 594

Quit Dunning-Kruger'ing all over the place. You really think you can do a better job negotiating for yourself than a group that

No, I don't. But I'd rather get a worst deal than lose my freedom.

However, the situation being discussed is when you collect your union-negotiated benefits and wages, and then decline to pay the union dues.

Unions should negotiate union-only benefits. So if you leave the union, you lose whatever benefits they negotiated for. Problem solved.

Comment Re:Being a member of a union (Score 1) 594

Collectivism only works when it's mandatory

I don't think that's true, but if it were, that would be enough for me to side against collectivism.

I'm not here to say unions haven't gotten us great things like child labor laws, 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, etc. This is fantastic. That said, if the cost for those great things are that I lose my choice to bargain for myself and HAVE to join an union, I'd rather not have those things.

Luckily, I think collectivism does work when it's not mandatory. Not being mandatory is, in fact, a great check on the corruption of unions just as much as unions are a check on the corruption of employers. When conditions are really bad, more people join the union, causing the employers to make concessions. When the unions make unreasonable demands, people leave the unions because they'd rather have a paying job. The equilibrium point of union membership gives you the fairest situation. In fact, ideally you'd be able to join competing unions that make different demands that better match what YOU want to bargain for.

Comment Re:and you retards believe in it! (Score 1) 138

I once went without sleep for 5 days, and while the 5th day was wasted, the 3rd and 4th were amazing for getting work done, particularly writing. I wrote a semester's worth of work on landscape architecture during that 5 day stretch, and having re-read a lot of it (15 years later) recently, it's a) not bad, and b) not something I could do now on a good day.

Uh...I once went 76 hours without sleep while finishing up my senior project in college. Toward the end of that period, I was in the computer lab writing, I looked at the clock, I wrote a sentence, I looked at the clock again and 20 minutes had passed. That's when I decided I wouldn't be productive anymore without going to sleep, so I walked to my dorm to take a few hours.

I later found out my roommate had seen me in the computer lab during that period, went in to say hello, but I was completely unresponsive, with my hands on the keyboard and staring at the screen. He figured I was too busy and annoyed to respond back, thought I was being weird for not at least saying that I was too busy to talk, but left anyway. I have no recollection of that, I assume he showed up during that missing 20 minutes. Turns out you start micro-sleeping when you're that sleep deprived. So you're telling me you were amazingly productive on the 3rd and 4th day? I mean, there's a point in sleep deprivation where you move past being tired and get an euphoria going that actually focuses you, but that's within the first 24 hours. After that, it just seemed to get progressively worse with me, until eventually there wasn't any productivity to be wrung out.

Comment Re:Too Many my A** (Score 1) 189

Don't forget that the original Star Trek was cancelled. I'd say the number of great shows that were cancelled far outweighs the number that eventually survived for their full "natural" duration.

I'm a Star Trek fan, as you can tell by my username. I also do like the Original Series, and can point to several legitimately good episodes in it. A good show it was not, at least not consistently. For every good episode there were many more that I only enjoy today in the same way I enjoy MST3K movies. And even for the Trekkies who believe TOS was a great TV show, you'll find none that thought the third season was any good. The season that gave us "Spock's Brain" deserved to be cancelled.

Comment Re:Shocking (Score 1, Insightful) 383

A company who has refused to follow state and city laws for years is ignoring more laws.

Uber is 100% right on this one, though. They have a licensed driver in the front seat in command. So, whatever the car is doing autonomously, how does that differ from technology like cruise control, automatic braking, and parking assist? From a legal point of view, adding autonomous features to cars have not required special permission so long as a driver is in control for liability purposes.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 403

Why the fuck would any Linux developer want to do this?

As far as I'm concerned, two reasons: First,because I'm developing cross-platform software, and if I don't have to reboot or go to a VM, bonus. Second, because Visual Studio is a fucking fantastic IDE compared to the IDEs available on Linux. KDevelop is alright.

If your application is linux-only, and you don't need it to also run on windows, then yeah, I'm with you. Work in the environment the app will be used in. However, their new ability to build for Linux from Windows, if it works well (and that's a big if), will definitely benefit me.

You know, I almost preferred the Gates-Ballmer Microsoft, because it was brilliantly maniacal. The new Microsoft is just a whining pathetic pack of halfwits who can't really even decide what direction their company should go. Sure, they may be more open source friendly, but so the fuck what?

So I get more tools and more options to work with? I mean, that's the entire benefit of open-source friendly. Why are you complaining about Microsoft doing better? You don't have to use their stuff if you don't like it, but why do you want them to be evil?

Comment Re:Stop breathing! (Score 1) 559

Switching over to a low/no CO2 economy doesnt just mean shutting down coal plants. It means shutting down coal plants and building solar/wind/nuclear plants. Surely this counts as "economic activity".

Although I absolutely think being environmentally conscious is economically beneficial, that is the wrong argument. You're invoking the broken window fallacy. If I continuously break your windows and you have to replace them every time I do, there's a lot of activity, labor, and money changing hands, but you're not actually adding a positive value to the economy.

The valid economic argument to being environmentally conscious is that CO2 emission has a monetary cost. More extreme weather, effects an agriculture, etc. So even though fossil fuels may *appear* to be cheaper, it's simply because the cost has been externalized and we're paying for it elsewhere, but when you take those costs into consideration, a transition to renewables is warranted.

Comment Re:VeraCrypt designer is an authoritarian idiot (Score 2) 75

VeraCrypt forces long iteration on shorter passphrases (>70 sec on my laptop, i.e. unusable), regardless of how secure that passphrase actually is. There is no way to switch this off. No response on a complaint. This and some other things lead me to not trust this person. I am back to the last TrueCrypt version that does not have this brain-dead and insulting limitation.

I agree with you completely, and it's the reason I'm still using TrueCrypt.

Secure high-entropy passwords aside, what the people responding to you don't get it is that the user should be allowed to have a more convenient, but more less secure encryption solution if he chooses. I have a short, low entropy password. I could write software that would crack it and it would complete the work in a day or two. I **know** that, and I don't care. I'm not protecting state secrets with it. I'm not worried the NSA will get hold of it. I just want the random person who finds my lost USB flash drive to not have immediate access to the data. Most people wouldn't care to crack it, from those that would most wouldn't know how to go about it. In the statistically unlikely case whoever finds it both wants to crack it and is able to, the data they'll find will be disappointing to them and not a big deal to me. Some of the things I encrypt are more for privacy than security.

Basically, any decent criminal can lock-pick my front door. I still lock it, and it protects against the opportunist criminal. That's the level of security I want, and it makes no sense to tell me I can't have it. They could just pop a big red and flashing warning when I first create the volume that says, "based on the password and number of iterations you've chosen the average desktop computer would be able to crack your encrypted volume in 32 hours. Are you sure you don't want to choose a more complex password?" At that point, they've done their due diligence.

Comment Re:Rename it ... (Score 1) 218

Rename it to something like Copilot or Driver Assist. They can say what they want about how Autopilot should be used but the name suggests otherwise.

A variety of autopilot systems in airplanes differ in complexity, many of them not doing anything more than the Model S autopilot does. Hold this heading. Need to change heading now? Let me dial in the new heading...ok, now hold that heading. Exactly analogous to the Model S. Hold this lane and speed. Need to change lanes? Let me press and hold the turn signal button...ok, now hold this lane.

By contrast a copilot can actually take over for you. You transfer the pilot-in-command job, let them hold the yoke, and they go nuts.

I think the problem is that people don't really understand autopilots in airplanes. They think the pilot can just say, "take me to LaGuardia" and the thing will do it. Although the more advanced autopilots of the today in commercial airliners can land the plane for you, it still requires the pilot to go through the pattern, get on the final leg, dial in the ILS frequency for the runway in question, and THEN it can go through the motions of controlling speed, keeping the plane lined up, and flaring at the appropriate height. Autopilots are not replacements for pilots.

Comment Re:People will get lazier and dumber (Score 1) 440

Remember when I said that? Remember when I got mocked for saying that? Are you going to remember I said that when it turns out I'm right? Of course you won't.

I still mock you. Because nobody arguing for self-driving cars every argued they wouldn't get into an accident. We simply argue they'll get into *less* accidents than human beings. Your irrational and fearful arguments display a profound lack of understanding of statistics and a blind trust in human ability.

Tesla's autopilot isn't there yet. It's not a self-driving system, people who are putting too much trust in the system are being careless. It is, however, an important step toward getting us there. We just had the first accident that was caused by a problem with the software (it was most definitely the fault of the autopilot. The camera didn't get a clear view of the truck because of the sunlight, and the radar signal from the truck was being purposefully ignored by the algorithm designed to ignore overhead signs. It's terrible someone lost their life as a result, but you know what? The engineers just learned of a flaw. This flaw will be fixed. No other car in the Tesla fleet will ever fail in this exact way again. Will other accidents happen? Of course. Will more drivers die? Of course. Will any other driver ever die because the autopilot mistook a radar signal from a truck for an overhead sign? Nope.

I don't know what kind of driver you are, but I'm willing to assume you're a great driver. Most people sharing the road with you are not. Statistically speaking, 3000 other people died on the roads on the same day this person using autopilot died. And yes, that's because there are many more cars on the road, because that statistic includes motorcycles and drunk drivers, etc.; not because autopilot is safer than a human as of yet. However, all the causes for those 3000 other accidents? They've happened before, the exact same mistakes. And they will happen again. You cannot eliminate an entire class of mistakes from the human species when one of us make a mistake. You can when it's a computer algorithm.

So yes, human beings will get more distracted behind the wheel when a computer is doing the driving for them. That's ok, because the goal is that eventually there shouldn't even be a steering wheel in the car. The windshield shouldn't even exist, instead it should be an lcd screen that will show you video of the outside traffic when you want, or a movie for you to watch so you can be entertained while your car takes you to work. In the meantime, while the system is still not designed for that, some of these distracted drivers will pay a heavy price. Some innocent people will also pay the price, when the autopiloted Tesla crashes into a manually driven car, or hits a pedestrian, or otherwise kills a person that wasn't the distracted driver. But that's no different than when a drunk driver hits an innocent. It's no different than when someone texting while driving hits an innocent. It's no different than when someone who didn't get enough sleep ends up shutting their eyes and hits an innocent. The difference is that every time the autopilot does it, it's the last time it will do it, while for as long as there are human drivers, there will always be tired drivers. There will always be alcohol or other drug-impaired drivers. There will always be careless drivers.

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