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Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 153

Yes, of course, everyone will have to pay for it. But it won't be via a high cost of purchase, it will rapidly be turned from auto-sales into auto-rentals or leases, where you won't be able to buy a car anymore, just hire it to go from a to b, or lease it for a period of time. As a bonus, the company will get to record and sell everything you "do" in the car, in order to optimize the ads being displayed to you.

Does anybody genuinely think that autonomous cars will come without a huge feedback loop back to the mothership? Reporting any situation the AI had a low confidence solution for, not just accidents but incidents that caused agitation like honking and near-accidents for review and all sorts of statistics on what it's been doing. And the other way will be full of driving AI updates, sensor processing updates, recalls, map updates, traffic alerts, weather warnings and so on. Actually regarding traffic I expect it'll be a two way system, the cars will report in on accident, road work, lane blockages, slow traffic and traffic jams. Maybe part of it will be opt-out but I imagine they'll bundle it such that for 99% of the population it's just their cell phone #2, they own it but the system knows where you are...

Comment Not just americans ... (Score 3, Interesting) 146

I've got two spoof accounts on Facebook, one for work - we're an agency selling Social Media Marketing among other things,so it's more or less expected of me - and one I established roughly 7 years ago when i started social dancing and constantly meeting people who asked me if I was on Facebook. I looked at Twitter a few months after it came out, thought "wtf?" after 3 minutes and have used it since maybe 4 times or so. No inroads at all with instagram, whatscrap and other data hogs.

Long story short, even though I'm your Type A 80ies computerkid who has never had less than 5 email accounts in the last 2 decades and who was on Fidonet back in the day posting every day, I see a significant difference between me and many many other people. Today *I* am the one who's more away from electronic media than the average - a thing quite unthinkable back in the 90ies. Even though I haven't changed my habits that much.

Facebook I consider particularly evil, as it is a funnel of constant superficial vanity-induced anti-social behaviour that, as far as I can tell, has a significant impact on the general social skills of people growing up with it. Facebook here being a synonym for anything "social" media these days. A fascinating look into someone from this social media native generation is Essena O'Neills account on why she quit her life as an instagram "professional". Yes, you can shake your head in disbelief about the naivity and the obviousness of what she finally realised, but don't forget: these are people who grew up with this - they never knew anyhting else - which makes her account ever more honest, poignant and impressive.

I see the signs left, right and center: Social media has a significant negative impact on the general publics mental health. To put it in other words: FB is not a social network, it's basically a global mental illness.

My 2 cents.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 118

I want crypto that has a good chance of outlasting the heat death of the universe

Why, are you Doctor Who and got the key to unraveling space and time or something? And even if someone should bother, do you really care if crypto-archaeologists find your tin foil hat conspiracies or pr0n collection (I was considering saying love letters and gf sex video, but it's /.) many thousand years from now when you and everyone who ever knew you is countless generations dead? I do care about 20 or 50 years from now but unless we make significant progress towards immortality in that time, I hardly care what happens after I become worm food.

Comment Re:The magic is dead. (Score 3, Interesting) 141

Computing is pretty much ubiquitous nowadays. When I first got into computing back in grade school around 1981-82, computers were just this incredibly awesome thing.

And no matter how fast technology goes there's a diminishing return, like the difference between CGA, EGA and VGA is never coming back no matter how much people talk about 4K, 10 bit, HDR, Rec. 2020 and so on. Doubling from 1MB to 2MB meant more than 1GB to 2GB. The last time I was genuinely floored by new hardware was in 2002 with Morrowind when I installed a new GPU with hardware T&L. Suddenly the grass looked like grass, the sea looked like sea, things started to have realistic textures and shadows and whatnot. Sure in sum we've come far since then, but never in huge leaps like that. That and modem -> DSL was also huge, but of course not as huge as getting Internet in the first place.

Comment Re:If you have "travel mode" on (Score 1) 134

Because Travel Mode is an indicator that you've got something to hide, and thus, must be using social media to send encoded terrorist messages.

Maybe, but most likely they'll just see you as another nuisance maker trying to make their job difficult. And in their opinion it's important, valuable, patriotic and you're either non-American or one of the wusses they defend. I'm sure the TSA system has some informal way to shitlist a person so he'll get picked for extra security screenings, luggage checks, extended questioning, "problems" processing forms etc. so any kind of solution that lets the TSA know you're trying to obstruct or evade them is kinda a non-starter.

Sometimes I think terrorists are just nature's way of weeding out the violent and stupid- especially suicide bombers.

I think we'd run of places to blow up before we'd run out of violent and stupid people. Also, most of them manage a pretty solid kill:death ratio so if 50 people of average intelligence dies and one nutjob the average doesn't move much at all.

Comment Re:I want to see the results first (Score 1) 310

I worked once on a very large project that tried to do something similar for the Dutch tax service: put the (ever changing) tax regulations in some form of specification language, and compile that to C# code. I was a contractor for some time on that project. After a 160 milion EUR budget overflow and some questions about it in the parliament the project was significantly reduced in its ambitions.

Oddly enough this is one of those cases that should have worked. I mean if I have a tax filling all the rules and requirements should be specified and I should be able to follow the tax calculation step by step, there shouldn't be any unspoken or ambigious requirements about what applies and in what order to evaluate it. There is only supposed to be one correct answer. What it probably means is that the tax code is so complex nobody actually understands it and that whatever the actual code does is the de facto tax system, regardless of whether it matches the specifications.

Comment Won't happen. Sorry, there is no AI ever ... (Score 1) 310

... that can turn the harebrained buzzword/bullshit-laden confused and convoluted descriptions ("specs") of my marketing crew into a working product.
No freakin' way. The AI would probably have a meltdown.

My job will remain for a loooong time. If the rest of the population were able to formulate what they actually want, I'd be out of a job 10 years ago, with CASE tools taking my job. But that didn't happen. However, I might be the one discussion the new software with the AI. Looking forward to that. But then again, research shows that talking uses something like 80% of our brain while writing uses 25%.

So some sort of coding via type, even if it is to talk to an "AI", will probably always remain.

My 2 cents.

Comment No. (Score 1) 101

Isn't sinking 100s of millions into construction of a new corporate headquarters one the Fucked Company(tm) 6 common signs that a company is about to implode?


Not if those 5 Billion come from the 240 billion in cash that you have accumulated in earnings but selling product with revenues up to north of 30% (iPhone raw earnings are between 200$ and 250$ per device. Which is why Huawei, Google and Co. cry themselves to sleep at night.). Then 5 Billion for an attempt to build the worlds best office building is a nice neat little extra for the crew.

If you're a startup running on high burnrate spending other peoples money with no income to show for though, that's an entirely different story.
Then building a flashy new building is usually a sign that things are going to turn south soon after. I just finished reading "Boo Hoo", a first hand account of the 'rise' and fall of of the hayday of Dotbomb times. That is a prime example of what your talking about. Apple is just about the exact opposite of that.

Comment Re:FINALLY! (Score 1) 270

Well that's a post-hoc justification, if AMD can't compete in a market they can:

a) Make a comeback
b) Exit that market
c) Fail as a company

If it's a market full of competition b) and c) aren't a big deal but if it's the last competitor and it'll become a monopoly it's a pretty big deal. You can still 'vote with your wallet.' but in a one-party state it's not worth much. A boxer on the ropes doesn't need a knock-out punch to know he's in trouble. It's obvious to everyone, including themselves. And AMD has been diversifying into other markets and dancing on the ropes for quite some time now. Consider these two scenarios:

AMD Intel
(Bulldozer) (Sandy Bridge)
*buy Intel, AMD exits high end market*
(no offer) (Ivy Bridge - near monopoly rent, little innovation)
*buy Intel, no real choice*
(no offer) (Broadwell - near monopoly rent, little innovation)
*buy Intel, no real choice*
(no offer) (Haswell - near monopoly rent, little innovation)
*buy Intel, no real choice*
(no offer) (Skylake - - near monopoly rent, little innovation)
*buy Intel, no real choice*
(no offer) (Kaby Lake - near monopoly rent, little innovation)
*buy Intel, no real choice*

AMD Intel
(Bulldozer) (Sandy Bridge)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*
(poor offering) (better offering)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*
(poor offering) (better offering)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*
(poor offering) (better offering)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*
(poor offering) (better offering)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*
(poor offering) (better offering)
*prop up AMD by buying inferior offer*

Would we be better off in the long run? I'd argue that quite possibly both AMD and Intel customers would be better off in the long run by occasionally taking one for the team, even if AMD customers got the short end of the stick every time. Except we're not a team, so we all do what's best for us individually and lose as a team of consumers. This is not the Intel/Pentium IV situation, when you kick the big incumbent to innovate that's entirely different. Like you, I'm cautiously optimistic that this is AMD's Hail Mary save in the last moment. But it was far from given than this would be the outcome.

Comment Can't be that bad. (Score 2) 134

You can deduct a *lot* from tracking a user these days. Especially with all the data smartphone apps offer up to their suppliers. You basically have a more complete and trustworthy personal profile of a person than the person could probably even willingly give themselves. Sleeping habits, areas of interest, modes of transport, typing speed, wording/education, interests, income, temper, sexual preferences, political affiliation, religious beliefs ... the data hog megacorps of today know *everything* about you.

Having a large set of algorithms chose your partner for you based on such data is most likely to be a better choice than most humans could ever hope to make. The computer already knows much more about both mates than each could know about each other in years. And bring people together who would've never come together under regular circumstances.

Finding a fitting mate would actually be one of the better reasons for me to offer my data up to some app.

My 2 cents.

Comment No one cares about 'inequality' ... (Score 1) 472

... whatever that may be in specific cases.
Every person needs to feel loved and needs to feel competent, preferably by doing useful work they can handle and is thankfully recieved by their community while being and feeling mentally and physically healthy. With food, shelter, security, fulfilment and good regular sex at the foundation. Aside from that, hardly anyone really cares how rich the next guys is vis-a-vis himself.

If I can have all that, I seriously couldn't care less if everyone else was a billionaire but me. And I suspect it's like that for most people.

Bottom line:
Equality != Quality of life inside a society.

Comment So essentially test rides with passengers (Score 4, Interesting) 117

All trips will include two Uber engineers in the front seats as safety drivers

Google has also done this several times as a PR stunt without the taxi fare, they let a legally blind man ride with them back in 2012. I would imagine the fare is pretty irrelevant anyway when you have an expensive test vehicle and two engineers to pay. So what's really new here that hasn't already been done 5 years ago? Is there any reason to believe that in 5 years it'll be any different? I understand it's difficult, but I'm getting tired of the hype that self-driving cars are right around the corner. Two safety drivers on every ride isn't exactly self-driving. Any bets on when you can actually get into the back of a self-driving car with no helpers, no license and have the car drive? I'm starting to guess 2030+ while like totally being just "a few years out" all the way...

Comment Re:Next headline (Score 1) 128

Next headline: College Student Arrested For Building Autonomous Car That Hit Something

And the next line: Insurance company refuses to cover damages, clean-up costs, hospital bills, loss of income due to disability and so on. Even if you do eventually win expect to spend a few years in court with a lawyer driving you into bankruptcy first. Also if you're arrested you have the right to a lawyer, not so much in civil court when the insurance company claims you broke the terms, I'm sure they have something in the wall of legalese that will apply.

Comment Gotta love PHP ... (Score 3, Funny) 200

I'm smiling while I read this.

Every single bit of this news is sooo PHP and one of the reasons this awkward mess of a PL is so successful.

They find something new or something they need and bolt it on. Just like that. End of story. A vote on the core team, a little coding and *BAM* PHP has a new inner API function with what has to be the most over-the-top all-out-PHP-style name for an inner API function ever - sodium_crypto_box_keypair_from_secretkey_and_publickey($ecdh_secret, $ecdh_public); (seriously, this is no joke).

Totally LOL. Takes the cake for inner function names ten times over, even by PHP standards, which is quite a stunt. And right away PHP has up-to-date hard crypto that even a simpleton can use.

You have to hand it to the PHP crew - they actually get shit done, no matter what. :-)

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One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein