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Comment We don't need to know. (Score 1) 412

We don't need to know how stuff works in order for it to be simulated in a simulator not written by us. She seems to be saying that it can't be a simulation because we don't know how it works. Saying that makes no sense. It's like saying I can't possibly play a video game because I don't know how to program a video game. Or I can't have eaten lasagna because I don't know how to make lasagna. For crying out loud, she says you can't simulate quantum mechanics because our computers use 1s and 0s. Does she even understand computers or computer programming in the least? She's a physicist. Some of that should be elementary to her. But is it? She seems pretty clueless in that arena.

"If you try to build the universe from classical bits, you won’t get quantum effects, so forget about this – it doesn’t work." Yeah, because it would be impossible to write an algorithm that simulates quantum effects. *eyeroll* Never mind that this statement of hers also assumes any potential simulation would have to be running on computers like we're using right now. Because other kinds of computers couldn't possibly exist. Because otherwise we'd have them, too. Heh. How this is over her head is beyond me, and yet, somehow, it is.

Comment never understood removing features (Score 5, Insightful) 262

Removing features simply because they're not used by everyone every single day never made sense to me. Even if it is something only a very small percentage of users use, so what? It's not like you have to write that code again every time you compile. It just sits there minding its own business. Leave it alone and mind your own business. It doesn't affect any other work, so why remove it? To save a few bytes of memory? We all have nine zillion memories now. Who cares? Some people use it. And if more people knew about it they'd probably use it, too.

Most people power on their machine, use the web browser, and office apps. That doesn't mean it would be beneficial to stop making all other programs just because most people don't use them. Same thing.

Software

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware (vice.com) 495

Tractor owners across the country are reportedly hacking their John Deere tractors using firmware that's cracked in Easter Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums. The reason is because John Deere and other manufacturers have "made it impossible to perform 'unauthorized' repair on farm equipment," which has obviously upset many farmers who see it "as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time," reports Jason Koebler via Motherboard. As is the case with most modern-day engineering vehicles, the mechanical problems experienced with the newer farming tractors are often remedied via software. From the report: The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it. A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for "crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment [...] arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software." The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software. It means that only John Deere dealerships and "authorized" repair shops can work on newer tractors. "If a farmer bought the tractor, he should be able to do whatever he wants with it," Kevin Kenney, a farmer and right-to-repair advocate in Nebraska, told me. "You want to replace a transmission and you take it to an independent mechanic -- he can put in the new transmission but the tractor can't drive out of the shop. Deere charges $230, plus $130 an hour for a technician to drive out and plug a connector into their USB port to authorize the part." "What you've got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market," he added.

Comment Re:Ditch time zones altogether. (Score 1) 228

"But that means going to work on Monday and going home on Tuesday, with the work day something like 1700-0200."

Yeah, so? It's all arbitrary anyway. The point is if you can agree that it is Sunday, March 12th for everyone then you should be able to agree that it is 1700 for everyone, too. The fact that it will seem odd to you at first given your current point of view does not mean it will always be odd. Just like January being summer in Australia should not seem odd to you.

Everyone uses the same calendar. Everyone should use the same time. It is, after all, the same moment in time for everyone anyway. The fact that the sun rises for you at a different moment in time because of the longitude of where you are on the planet shouldn't be relevant, especially since you don't think the latitude of where you're at is relevant to the date. That's the point you need to get through your head. Saying east and west matters but north and south doesn't is odd. And it should be clear which one should be thrown out.

Comment Ditch time zones altogether. (Score 1) 228

Time zones are ridiculous. If it is 1500 hours in Vancouver, it should be 1500 hours anywhere and everywhere else on the planet. It's not like this would be difficult to adapt to. After all, you don't hear of anyone trying to get everyone to convert to date zones by latitude, so that January in Australia is winter, too.

DudeA: Happy Birthday!

DudeB: It's not my birthday.

DudeA: What? It's July 17th today. I could swear your birthday was July 17th!

DudeB: It is. But I'm not from this date zone. So it isn't for another 6 months when it is July in Australia.

DudeA: Sorry! I forgot!

I don't see time zones being any different than that. Get rid of them. People are more than capable of figuring out that morning for them is at 1900 hours even if it is at 0500 hours for someone somewhere else on the planet. Just like they can figure out that August 1st in Las Vegas is in the summer but in New Zealand it is winter. No more mistakes because you got a time zone conversion wrong. It's the same time everywhere, just like it should be the same date everywhere.

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