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Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 924

In my view it was actually quite strange of UNIX that it by default let arbitrary user code stay around unrestricted after logout.

Hell, I'm no guru but I know the answer for this - it's so you can run long tasks without having to tie up a limited terminal in the lab. Log in, start your task, log out and go for beer while someone else gets use.

Now, in this world of "everyone has their own computer and terminal", it's not as necessary a feature as it used to be. But that hardly seems a reason to arbitrarily flip the default.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 106

How much energy?

No clue. But the threshold is a lot lower, because presumably it's sharing a lot of infrastructure with the existing solar panel. So as long as the incremental gain outweighs the incremental cost, this is a good thing.

It's a prototype, which means we're still at "hey, neat trick", not at "this will allow us to make our third-quarter projections".

Comment Re:Just pull out of Austin (Score 1) 260

They should just pull out and let the people's outcry (or lack of one) be heard.

That defeats the purpose for them. Keep in mind that Uber and Lyft are based in San Francisco. They don't operate in other cities. They just operate a web service, and leave it to the drivers to hold the bag when the authorities come calling. Right now they've got it great - they're getting their cut, and they've muddied the waters enough to make it politically unpalatable to go after the drivers for running illegal businesses. (Guess what - in most places your driver's license does *not* cover carrying passengers for hire. And neither does your regular car insurance.) So it's literally costing them *nothing* to be in as many cities as possible.

Comment Re:Whatever happened to the do not call list? (Score 1) 253

You know, thats what puzzles me the most about telemarketers. They get someone to answer, and that person calls them a cockbiting fucktard and hangs up, and then, instead of blacklisting that number (because obviously, your not selling them ANYTHING) they call back every day for two years, wasting their own time on calling a number that is guaranteed to not profit.

Because next time someone else might pick up. Or they'll be selling a different line. Or you might be in a different mood. Or the company just doesn't want to cross off a number.

Even legit telemarketers (like university fundraisers, where I did a stint 15-20 years ago) are *loath* to actually remove a name and number from the file. And with robocalls, it costs them effectively nothing to ring that phone again, so why would they remove it?

Comment Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score 1) 253

It should be even more trivial to develop a system where the callerid spoofed on my handset can be reported to the carrier, with the time of the call, and they can immediately determine where the call REALLY came from, and report that to me, to the police... to whomever.

Honestly, it should be trivial to require that the number displayed connects to the source number. I get that large organizations and such want everyone's CID to be the front desk and that's a legit use - but the fact that the phone company will merrily show CID for a number that it knows full well has nothing to do with the actual caller is just extending the money grab.

That said, you do have to respect the telecoms for playing arms dealer to both sides. They'll charge me for caller ID to see who the number is, and then charge you to not send the number, and then charge me again to block numbers that don't display it...

Comment Re:It's a start (Score 1) 250

you've given them a penalty for having kids

Nonsense. I've subsidised their lifestyle choice and the market has accurately rewarded their work based on their experience and hours.

Women can choose not to take time off to have children. I know some that have made that choice. I have no issue with others that prefer a different life, as long as they accept that there are trade-offs involved.

A thought experiment - take a married couple, put them in the same job. If they wish to have kids, the woman will suffer at least some lost time. You can argue that the man should take some of the hit on parental leave, but that doesn't change the fact that regardless of both the man and woman choosing to have a kid, only the woman is guaranteed to take a penalty to her "hours" and "experience".

This may be a cultural difference, though - Canada provides paid parental leave, so the perception may be different here. Or maybe when men take leave (I took three and a half months the year my kid was born) it doesn't get counted as a gap in hours or experience. At least, there's never been an instance where it's come up.

Comment Re:It's a start (Score 1) 250

The problem is that they're not. Women get paid on average the same as men, once you factor in experience, hours worked and contribution.

OK, I'll bite. Experience and hours worked I will accept with the caveat that you've given them a penalty for having kids. But exactly how does one measure "contribution" in a meaningful fashion?

Comment Re:Not AI (Score 1) 149

That's because most AI researchers are quite happy to call anything involving a machine doing something "artificial intelligence" even if it's just the speaking clock.

That's because most researchers have to deal with undergraduates, so they've had to relax their definition of "intelligence".

Comment Re:Has the systemd problem been addressed? (Score 1) 147

I'm no Linux expert myself (my hotrodding days are behind me; I just need stuff to *work*, please and thank-you), and I can't say I have particularly strong opinion of systemd yet, beyond wondering what the benefit is. And I mean that in the simple sense of - OK, we're breaking some of the old cardinal rules of *nix (multiple small programs that each do one thing well, use plain text because then everything can talk to everything else), so what are we getting in trade for it?

My problems with Linux boxes over the years have almost never been boot-related (OK, the one time when I didn't realize that *nix "are you sure" prompts are waay more serious than the Windows versions), so I likely will never have a particular problem with it. But in the same way I don't jump to buy the newest thing, I'm not sure why we're all jumping here. What does it get us that the old way didn't?

Comment Re:Government should not pick winners and losers. (Score 1) 298

Well, unless you're "the government or a public body", then you'd be correct - you're not a subsidy.

But assuming that you are the gov'mint here, there isn't really a difference between you paying for $10K worth of cars from Don's Dealership, and you giving Don 10K upfront. You've still given Don 10K, and presumably I got a slightly cheaper car. (To answer what I expect to be the obvious rebuttal - that paying for part of the car reduces the price - you only need to look at private universities for examples where the cost mysteriously rises by roughly the amount of the subsidy. There's no guarantee either way, barring regulations, of making sure that the subsidy money isn't ending up in Don's pocket rather than indirectly going into ours. Even if you give me the money directly, if it's a known that buying a car gives me an $X subsidy, that's incentive for you to raise your prices to capture part of that 'free' money.

Comment Re:You've made your shut it down. (Score 1) 127

And realistically, Shodan is offering a more useful service for free - showing people that their webcam is broadcasting to the entire world.

The fact that the "solution" is "hey, block this one provider" and not "holy crap, unplug that thing NOW and get one that isn't broadcasting our cash register to anyone with half a brain.

I suspect this will get fixed when someone gets hurt or robbed, and decides to take it out on the manufacturer. (I'm guessing there's a (media) case to be made in "hey, the webcam you sold me isn't secure, so the crooks watched my register to pick the perfect time to rob us")

Comment Re:Government should not pick winners and losers. (Score 1) 298

He is pointing out that the paper is intentionally misleading in how it uses the term subsidy.

No, I think it has it right. A subsidy is "a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive". Any time the government cuts them a break (whether by just handing them the money, or choosing not to tax them at the regular rate, or choosing not to apply regulations to them.. that's all subsidies.

And I'm not horribly opposed to the concept (the power grid is kind of necessary, after all). But those dollars should be accounted for and compared to their profits. In particular, if a companie's profits > their subsidies, some questions should be asked.

Comment Re:Why retail? (Score 1) 298

Why should you be paid retail for generation? That totally ignores the part the grid takes in handling your energy...

Because that's what the going rate for electricity is?

I can see the argument for it being cheaper than retail (to account for power grid and such), but at wholesale you're effectively just another generator for the electric company (who will pocket the margin for themselves for no additional work).

The upside is that I can see the power companies suddenly becoming *very* enthusiastic about private solar if it becomes "free" power that they can charge someone else mark-up on.

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