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Comment Where do you _really_ get your news? (Score 1) 293

Before we fall into minority hysteria over Facebook mind control, it's important to note that the control of news has been in upheaval since the rise of the internet. And if social media is bias, its biggest competitor--whoever's flashy headline reaches the top of search engine results--is even more so. The internet has given us the means to insulate our selves from detracting opinions at a level that rivals--or perhaps mirrors--the days of isolated, like-minded communities. It has also given us unprecedented ability to seek out news from a reliable, (reasonably) unbiased source.

If there to be any indignancy about the way that Facebook presents news, it should be directed at those who choose to use it for news, and hopefully take the form of encouraging them to do better.

Comment The differences are the effect, not the cause. (Score 5, Insightful) 359

Episodes of Star Trek were quite often, if not always, morality tales, and a relatively peaceful, morally advanced society provided a good backdrop for those tales. Star Wars was a tale of high adventure, and those sorts of stories are best served by heroes dealing with unseemly characters and places, by power-mad leaders, and by huge imbalances of power.

Comment What we really need is a speed watchdog. (Score 3, Insightful) 43

Doing a quick test of speed is fine, but what about ongoing records, automatically recorded? It's a very common story for actual internet speeds not to match advertised speeds (be that truth or exaggeration). While a single speed test might reveal underperformance, charting performance over time would be far more revealing.

Comment $1/week is extreme. (Score 1) 675

Basically, by offering a $52/year subscription option, Wired isn't offering an option to ads. Even if they are sincere in their offer, their thinking strikes me as heckish outdated: we are no longer required to buy music by the album, so why would we subscribe to a whole magazine when we just want to read one of their articles?

I know micropayments haven't caught on, but this seems like a good place to give them another try. But first Wired would need to make an honest assessment of how much they make in per-reader/per-ad, and offer us equivalence.

Comment Did Uber sponsor this post on Slashdot? (Score 0) 204

First of all, there is another, arguable equal, car service company out there (Lyft), but I guess they aren't sponsoring these sort of stories, the sort that say, hey, we had the exact same number of arrests in 2015 that we had back in 2009, so we're improving the world!*

Secondly, a quick glance at the spreadsheet really does make the numbers seem _way_ too small to qualify as , so why are we even seeing this post, or at least not seeing this post under the title, "Uber touts weak statistics in attempt to improve public opinion."

*do we have any reason to believe that drunk driving arrest are like the cost of goods, and should naturally have been higher in 2015 than 2009?

Comment It will happen in stages (Score 1) 615

It seems like the first and most obvious step for the trucking industry is to replace trucks on the long haul only. For example, one driver might drive the truck to the highway onramp and send it on its way, then the truck drives itself for hours and hours to where it is at an offramp by another driver who takes it to its final destination.

Self-driving will certainly reduce the work available for truckers, but it will be a really long time before it eliminates them. Tractor trailers are not only difficult to maneuver, but often require very difficult maneuvers to park where they can be unloaded or unhitched. One way to look at it is that, in the near future, the computers will just be handling the boring part of the drive.

And automation does promise to reduce accidents significantly, and it can seriously reduce fuel use (and pollution) by allowing lines of trucks to coordinate their movements tightly, staying close to each other's slip streams. And self-driving trucks will certainly be more patient with each other--as in less likely to block traffic with a +2mph pass of another truck while going uphill--because they won't require such stringent timelines, which will make the roads a better place for everyone.

Comment A little of this, a little of that. (Score 5, Interesting) 429

I technically qualify as an 'older developer,' though not old enough to embrace the title personally. On several occasions, I've worked with teams (as a contractor) made entirely of 'age-challenged' developers, and I'm always amazed to get kudos for saying things I consider obvious. Obvious, I suppose, because I have the experience the young'un do not, and experience does help.

While I'm sure that I have all sorts of limitations I'm not aware of, like I probably smell funny or maybe don't know why Euphoria is the most awesome programming language _ever_, or simply can't hold my own on the foosball table, I think that toddler teams should have at least one elder mentor onboard--someone whose been through the ringer a few times--because we do know stuff that you'll only realize you didn't know after we say it, and we tend to be pretty grounded, which helps if you're trying to do things like, I don't know, make money.

Just don't let us pick the music for the office hi-fi.

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