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Comment Re:THATS IT! (Score 1) 130

Voting is no longer safe, we are obviously going to have to suspend elections until we are 100% sure the computers are trustworthy!

Really though, people should suspend the secret ballot if there are legitimate widespread issues with vote tampering. The secret ballot is less important than the ability to maintain the integrity of the election itself. Sure that opens some people up to voter intimidation, but you have to trust that enough people are going to vote in their best interests to overwhelm any voter intimidation.

If you are trying to boot strap a civil society using democratically elected institutions then you have a chicken and egg problem of having a representative trustworthy government to manage a free and fair election in an ethical way in the first place. The answer is to ditch the secret ballot.

Comment Re:Washington State uses this fancy new method (Score 1) 130

Paper based forms with optical scanners seems to work out best these days. Then you can get quick results on election night from the optical scanner results and you just need to have real people manually count the ballots later in order to confirm the automated results.

Easier said than done, but it is very important that elections have verifiable results based on the physical ballots and not just a computer spitting out some result.

Comment Re:Man up, NASA. (Score 2) 107

To be fair the article summary above makes it sound like a computer glitch, so if you just went with the slashdot summary and quote I can understand the confusion. From the article it indicated that there was a sensor malfunction (not necessarily a computer malfunction) which means it couldn't autonomously point itself at the sun anymore. Leading to the solar panels not getting enough direct sunlight and thus draining the battery. The computer startup just means it will then consume power more quickly than the solar panels can produce it at the wrong angle to the sun and the battery will drain in a couple minutes again and the computer will automatically shutdown.

Really all we are talking about is whether the computer can boot up quickly enough and whether they can send something like:

1010 Fire thruster X for 23 milliseconds
1020 wait 500 milliseconds
1030 Fire thruster y for 22 milliseconds

(My BASIC is a little rusty though ;)

Assuming they know a precise orientation of the craft when they send the commands they should be able to at least point the craft more towards the sun. Maybe not 100% optimally, but enough to get net power to the computer and maybe begin to charge up the battery. Of course without more information from the computer they probably don't know much about the state of the systems. It could just not work if there are more malfunctions, so there is substantial unknown risk mitigated by the fact that they have already lost the use of the probe so they have everything to gain from the success of a best attempt.

This is all about observation, timing, communication, making some educated guesses, keeping the execution simple to keep it within the estimated window of opportunity and a lot of triple checked math to come up with the correct numbers to send based on all the available information.

Comment Re:Man up, NASA. (Score 4, Informative) 107

NASA lost contact with their STEREO-B satellite nearly twenty-two months ago when performing a routine test. NASA scientists are afraid to turn on the computer at this point because it may cause them to lose contact again.

What's the point of being able to talk to it if they can't turn it on and actually do stuff with it?
If they thought they lost it 22 months ago, they have nothing further to lose if it goes away again now.

Reading the article helps determine what the point is...

Seems the point is that they want to try to see if there is something they can do to point the satellite at the Sun in the 1 to 2 minutes they think they might have before the startup of the computer drains the battery and they have to wait another 6 months until the battery randomly charges up as it gets sunlight on its solar panels at the wrong angles. The sensor that keeps the satellite pointed at the sun failed, but maybe they can keep it pointed at the sun by sending commands from Earth and then they can better assess the health of the systems with more time.

Based on the article its seems they might have just enough time to give it some commands to point toward the sun and then hopefully the battery starts charging up again so they have more time to work with before it powers down.

Comment Re:Taxis are a municipal transportation service (Score 1) 445

No, they will still drive for Uber. People are desperate, obviously. The point is that no one is going to find a $12K vehicle that lasts 130,000 miles so no one is making that $13/hr. Uber is just a bottom feeder that is taking advantage of people who have no other way of making an income. The government is trying to make sure companies treat their workers fairly but apparently Uber has worked around that.

By your numbers 100,000 miles would be about how long a car would have to last to be around the highest state minimum wage. That puts many small cars in the $12k range new, and even more if you considered used cars. Seems there is plenty of room to make what the government currently considers acceptable compensation.

I am all for a higher minimum wage of $15 or even $17 per hour, but to claim the government is trying to protect workers when so many people are wage slaves with brutal and inflexible hours below what the rate Uber is paying is absurd.

It is fairly simple to figure out what the equivalent wage is for Uber drivers. Apply the standard mileage cost estimate for the distance of the requested ride and deduct it from the compensation for Uber drivers would be making. The Uber app should be doing this before the ride using the distance estimate and the minimum wage data for the state to ensure that the price is at or above the minimum wage threshold.

Comment Re:Taxis are a municipal transportation service (Score 1) 445

People keep saying that, yet obviously there cannot be too many cars on the road. Also, you want the drivers to actually have some profit potential. This is something that is not currently happening with Uber. There was recently an independent analysis and an Uber driver will make $13 an hour *IF* they only pay $12,000 for their vehicle and it lasts 130,000 miles. That's pretty difficult circumstances to operate in.

If people can't make enough money for it to be worthwhile then they won't drive for Uber and any oversupply will go out of the market. Artificially constraining supply of individual transportation choices could put more cars on the road if the best option then becomes a car rental or owning your own car versus the periodic Uber ride.

Your $13 per hour estimate is at least 30% higher than the highest minimum wage in all 50 states.

Comment Re:Taxis are a municipal transportation service (Score 1) 445

To me it seems easier for Uber just to do the work required to fulfill a cities needs like the taxi services do. Contract some drivers to wait around like the taxis do, force them to go anywhere the fares need to go, have some cars that are up to taxi standards and regulation, and have a certain number of cars for the physically disabled. Then the whole issue goes away.

So the thing that has made Uber successful is that it went around all those regulations that were put into place to protect the politically connected medallion owners. Taxi medallions are a protection racket in restraint of trade and you can't get one unless you play in local politics.

Comment Re:Uber is not "ride sharing" (Score 1) 445

Uber is simply not engaged in "ride sharing". Ride sharing is when a driver is going to make a journey, and takes one or more people with them, in return for covering their costs on the way. No money is made, and the journey happens regardless of the extra people along for the ride.

Uber is certainly not a taxi service. They aren't allowed to just pick up people that don't have a reservation in Massachusetts and most other places with a city medallion based licensing scheme. Uber is closer to a limo service that picks up people that have reservations.

Comment Re:What political compromise looks like (Score 1) 445

This tax is a very small bone that was thrown to the taxi industry who wanted far more crippling regulation of their competition. The ride sharing companies won big in this law.

Yes, and the taxi subsidy goes away after a few years and then after that state just pockets the tax to do with whatever it wants like any other tax. Also, the state hasn't decided yet how to distribute the subsidy so it is hard to say who is going to benefit. The subsidy could go towards the rich taxi owners or be give to taxi drivers as cash. To the drivers that actually might be impacted with fewer fares and lower tips and could use the money to help transition to new jobs or retire. Or what usually happens is that it could go towards some government boondoggle projects that are designed to do nothing else but give political supporters jobs for a few years at the public expense... either way there is some spreading around money which is what compromises are made of.

Comment Re:Religion is a mental disorder (Score 1) 328

That works for all the other delusions as well. Religions, cults, conspiracy theories, SJWs... same shit, different name.

In the end, they all claim to have the moral high ground, they claim they have the truth, they have zero problem with internal contradictions and anyone who dares to tell them that they're crazy, and offer logical, conclusive examples on why they are, are heretics/shills/whatever.

Cynicism about other people's beliefs work that way too.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1145

Certainly. Seems more likely we will see proxy currencies emerging which are baskets of other currencies in order to manage risk of value fluctuations. Really it is the smaller countries that are not aligned with a major currency that are going to be de facto taxed.

I am not actually suggesting that we overnight go towards a UBI, but if you see some sort of steady increases in things like the earned income tax credit and pay for it through borrowing from the Federal Reserve, then I think we could move towards a UBI from there without major disruptions to the economy.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1145

Um, that's the least libertarian thing imaginable. Steal from everyone working, pay people who won't.. . And somehow everything is magically fixed!

Except that it's a stupid fucking idea that would destroy our society in months.

Not an ideal of libertarian thinking no... the point is to give people money they can use towards whatever they freely choose versus a thousand different social welfare programs that create a top down approach and impose solutions on people.

There are many people that are incompetent, so just handing out money won't work for everyone. But for people that are simply without enough money to boot strap themselves, giving them money without strings attached would be better than giving them money with all sorts of hassles and oversight which traps them in "the system".

Maybe that means some 3 strikes rule where you get your cash for a while, but if you blow it all and still end up showing up at the soup kitchen looking for free meals then you are cut off and go under supervision and are provided services instead of money because you are incompetent to manage money.

The point is that the libertarian view of social programs is that many are a necessary evil, but they should be reformed as much as possible

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