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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.

Comment Re:If shove came to push... (Score 5, Funny) 412

Far more likely that the NSA would eliminate him.

They'd try, but it's ok. Captain America wouldn't stand for that anymore than he stood for SHIELD's bullshit.

I mean, if we're going to talk about the fictional pop-culture portrayal of the NSA, Captain America is fair game, right?

Look, I don't like what they're doing anymore than you do. They're way exceeding their authority, they shouldn't be allowed to collect any data domestically. But they're not fucking assassinating political candidates or office holders. If we start using that type of hyperbole, we stop getting taken seriously when we complain about the shit they ARE doing.

Comment Re:And then those employees burn down your restaur (Score 1) 1023

If the wage continues to stagnate they will still buy the robots and dump those workers!

Of course, eventually, because as the technology improves, it also gets cheaper. But they're not going to do that for as long as human labor is cheaper, which is the entire point people don't get, you're accelerating the process toward automation. Wages are a result of competition. They're low because you're competing with other people who are willing to take the job for that wage. And the moment that technology improves to where automation can do your job, you're now competing with the cost of the machine.

Personally I think robots are the worst thing they'll ever do...

You might be right, and then those costs will be factored in when companies decide whether to automate or not. That said, all your examples are terrible, because they're solvable with replacing the jobs they're talking about and adding one human security guard. Still comes out cheaper.

Comment Re:I know it when I see it (Score 5, Insightful) 527

I'll start by saying that I agree with your post about 100%. My only point of contention is that I actually don't doubt the sincerity of the plaintiff or the validity of the religion. Specifically:

"there must be a line beyond which a practice is not 'religious' simply because a plaintiff labels it as such. [...] The Court concludes that FSMism is on the far side of that line."

He is right — in this case.

I disagree that he is right. The judge correctly identifies Pastafarianism as satire designed to make a political point but then proceeds to make a ruling making that political point invalid. The issue members of the FSM church try to bring to light is that members of religious groups get special treatment all the time. You can't wear hats for your driver's license picture. Wait, your religion says you must wear one? Ok, then you can wear one. Everybody else has to follow this rule, but you can't. Or, in this case, people in jail who are religious get to wear clothing the others aren't allowed to, they get to congregate at special times when others aren't allowed, etc. All the FSM church members want is that whatever rules you create apply equally to everyone. It's not even to remove those privileges from the religious. If there's a reason why inmates shouldn't be allowed these things, that reason doesn't disappear if they're religious. If there's no reason why they shouldn't be allowed these things, then there's no reason it should be banned for anyone.

The judge makes the point that members of other religions truly believe, while members of the FSM don't. But even that's not really true. Members of the FSM truly believe in the tenets of their religion: they truly believe that making special exceptions to the rules to accommodate someone's religion is unfair and unethical. Their practices are designed to bring this perceived injustice to light and are central to their moral code.

Comment Re:They're asking the wrong question (Score 3, Interesting) 585

The right way to ask it is "Do you think Apple should help the FBI, even though it helps Russian hackers get into your phone?"

Except that's not true. This battle has been phrased as the encryption backdoor battle, but they're not at all the same. After all, adding an encryption back door now, wouldn't help the FBI with a phone encrypted before the backdoor was added.

What the court order has asked Apple to do is to create an OS version, to be installed on this one phone to which they have a warrant to, that will remove the feature to automatically delete the contents if the phone if more than ten incorrect password attempts are made, and to allow software to brute force it. Since by default only a 4 digit PIN serves as the key to the encryption, 10,000 combinations shouldn't be a problem.

The government isn't asking Apple to weaken its encryption. In fact, their current software allows you to disable "simple passcode", and you could have a long, complex password. If you do, Apple can provide everything the government is requesting, and they're still not going to get your data, because they're not going to be able to brute force it. It's up to you to decide whether you want your phone to be encrypted strongly enough to sustain such an attack, or you want the convenience of a short password with content erase policy which will be good enough protection against the average phone thief. For this court order, the government isn't trying to take that right away from you. If they were, I'd side with Apple. As it stands, I think they absolutely have the right to what they are asking.

Comment Re:Here we go. (Score 1) 432

Please explain fully just what you mean. Or are you one of them guys who thinks no really means yes? I ask a women for a date she says no thanks. I ask her the next day she no thanks and please don't ask me again. I would say sorry for having bothered you and move on..YOU...??

Personally, I wouldn't even have asked the second time. It's called respecting boundaries and it leads to less conflicts in the workspace. However, there's a huge (and there should be) gap between social and cultural norms and legally actionable harassment.

I think asking said woman out every single day she comes in to work is incredibly crass, annoying, and makes you look like a pathetic loser. It's not harassment until you imply she may face consequences if she continues to say no. That she'll be fired, looked over for promotion. Or until you physically touch her. Or you start stalking her instead of just taking opportunity of being at the same place at the same time because you both work at the same place at the same time.

The law isn't a way of enforcing etiquette.

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