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Comment Kurt Vonnegut (Score 5, Insightful) 337

"It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

There's something frustrating and sad about this article but I'm afraid I can't remember what it is. Felt like a doozy though.

Comment Re:Horrible title! (Score 2) 120

Cost me around $30-$50 a pop (in 1976 dollars). With Ticketmaster, prices almost immediately doubled - and have continued to rise at a rate significantly higher than inflation could ever explain

Inflation calculator says $30-$50 in 1976 dollars is $126-$210 dollars now. Tickets for Guns n' Roses current tour range from $155 to $280 for front row pit (standing area directly in front of the stage) tickets. Pretty sure inflation explains most, if not all of that. Ticketing middlemen suck for sure and they add their cut to the top of the pile, but inflation plays a much bigger role than you're leading us to believe.

Comment 'seal' is the Japanese word for 'sticker' (Score 3, Informative) 115

"seal" is the Japanese word for "sticker" - it is a foreign loan word from English - it comes from the seal (sticker) that is usually found on an item you purchase. If you buy an item that comes in a box, it usually has a round adhesive sticker or similar that 'seals' the box, showing you it hasn't been opened before.

Comment Doesn't this describe almost every job? (Score 4, Insightful) 280

Doesn't this describe almost every job?

I mean, I generally agree with the article. But the article seems a little... self-aggrandising, doesn't it? As if to say "hey, we're just as important as doctors and engineers!"
The thing is... I kinda agree - programmers are very important and their actions can have serious consequences if done poorly or incorrectly. But like... plenty of other jobs are just like that too.

If the person stocking the shelves at your local grocery store doesn't clear out the expired stock, or maintain proper hygiene around fresh food, they could easily contribute to someone getting sick or spreading bacteria or a virus.

If the person selling gear at a bicycle store doesn't realize the wheel or frame is broken, or that a frame has been recalled due to a defect, they could easily contribute to someone being seriously injured.

If a school teacher ignores serious bullying or doesn't fact check the information they're teaching or doesn't make sure their students properly know how to do proper calculations, they could easily contribute to a serious mistake made by the student some time in the future.

If a salesperson helps someone get a loan approved when they've very much shown in all likelihood that they probably can't afford the monthly payments or that the loan is predatory in nature, they could easily contribute to that person's life taking a serious financial turn for the worse - and we all know how stressful and desperate people can get when they can't make ends meet.

Yes, programmers need to be aware of their moral compass - but so does everybody else to varying levels, pretty much. Generally speaking, just - don't be a dick, don't be apathetic and use some common sense. That'd go a long way for pretty much anybody in any situation.

Comment Bullshit (Score 1) 52

Using the word "repair" is bullshit at best. It doesn't fix anything. The connection is still severed, it simply and ever-so-lightly reconnects because of a combination of luck and the weak magnetic attraction present. This is practically a shitty, ill-imagined magsafe connector except much, much weaker and probably dangerous. If one of my power cables gets severed, I want to know about it so I can fix it properly, re-establish integrity to the cable so that a light breeze doesn't have it dropping in and out every three seconds, and not have the actual wires exposed. I don't want to have it re-attach with only the slightest of magnetic attraction, only connected by pure luck that whatever severed the connection in the first place just so happened to leave the two ends within three millimeters of each other.

Comment Re:The Real Reason Car Dealerships Are the Worst (Score 1) 261

Which make it so you can only sell new cars if you're a car dealership.

Just curious... is there anything that prevents Tesla from classifying their cars as "used" but simply providing all the benefits of a new car purchase? For example in one previous country I lived in, if the seller is a business (as opposed to a private seller), government laws provide the buyer with a 30-day warranty period with any purchase of a used item, however new items are required by law to come with a minimum of a 1-year warranty. However there is nothing preventing a business from providing longer warranty periods for either used or new items. If a business wants to sell a used toaster and provide a 2-year warranty on it, they can.

If Tesla sells their car as "used" but offers warranty terms identical to a new car, would that work? I'm assuming not, but would like to know what legislators threw into the law to prevent such a workaround.

Comment God damn printers (Score 3, Informative) 387

It always seem to be that the most frustrating and/or ridiculous computer stories have something to do with printers.

One personal experience I will never forget had to do with a Canon multifunctional I purchased. It was a printer/flatbed scanner and was pretty good at both. But one day it simply stopped reading the cartridge. It gave a message that I needed to insert a cartridge even though one was in there. Replaced it with a new cartridge just in case but still wouldn't recognize it.

I thought to myself "well, the scanner still works very well and it's really fast so at least I can use it as a scanner, right?"

Wrong. The printer would remain in 'flashing light error' mode and would not allow me to dismiss it in anyway whatsoever, preventing me from ever using it as a scanner. Seemed like a waste of a perfectly good scanner.

Comment not sensitive information? (Score 2) 73

The charity "has apologized to its users and has informed them that their email addresses, usernames and an encrypted version of their passwords had been exposed in the data leak," according to The Stack. "It has assured members that no sensitive or financial information was accessed."

Dear groups, companies and corporations: Just because you think or say your users' email addresses and usernames are not considered sensitive information does not mean your users do not consider it sensitive information.

Feel free to publicly post all the private email addresses and usernames you use on websites if you think it's not sensitive.

Comment umm (Score 5, Insightful) 199

If you're relying on a commercial and/or free app or program for life-or-death situations, I think you're doing it wrong. If said option is the only option, then you have to take it at face value and accept some self-responsibility. I'm not going to trust my life to crowdsourcing for surgery or medication, so why would I trust my life to crowdsourcing for navigating near a war zone?

Comment It's not for them (Score 1) 417

Look, I understand what this survey and report is trying to say and to some extent I agree (I sure as hell don't want or need an in-car concierge), but a lot of these technologies are being pushed not with current drivers in mind but with future drivers in mind. There's a generation of drivers coming that have never known a world with dial-up internet or without cellphones. To a certain extent, I'm sure their opinion (and the way they 'interact' with their cars) will differ from ours. Now I don't know whether 18 year olds five years from now are going to want an in-car concierge but I'm pretty sure they're going to want more than four on the floor, a subwoofer and windscreen wipers.

My graduating class was literally the last class at my high school that was not required to use a graphic calculator. If you ask me what I want/need in a calculator, it's going to be markedly different from what the graduating class after me would want in a calculator. You throw a graphic calculator in front of me and I'm probably not going to use or want to use a whole bunch of different features... but I'm sure those younger than me would or at least could utilize them.

I've also been living in Japan for a long time. Japan's addressing system is pretty much what pushed Japanese electronics and automotive companies to come up with onboard navigation systems for cars. Fifteen years ago before I started living here, few people had and I'm guessing few people would have admitted that they wanted or needed GPS navigation. But it's become ubiquitous and dare I say it, extremely useful not just in Japan but worldwide.

Just because people don't want it or don't use it now doesn't mean they won't in the near future. Except maybe that in-car concierge; that still sounds kinda stupid.

Comment My own two cents (Score 1) 249

Here's my opinion on a 200 mile range:

For me, if I can get 200 miles per tank out of a conventional car, that is no problem whatsoever. I'd like it to be more, but 200 is honestly fine for me. I don't speak for everyone else but my suspicions is that for most people, they could live with having to refill their car with gasoline every 200 miles.

200 miles for an electric vehicle, specifically an electric-only vehicle... well it's just not the same. It sounds the same but it really isn't. When you have a conventional car, you can rest assured that no matter what direction you are going, you're probably never too far from a service station. That's just the infrastructure we have after generations of using gasoline-powered cars. Fair enough. There are exceptions, like expanses of sparsely-populated areas etc. but you're very rarely in a situation where you have to consciously think about the path you take, whether to alter it because you might run out, plan out a contingency if you can't find a service station, amongst other things. Hell, you could almost completely avoid the problem just by bringing a full jerry can along.

But with an electric vehicle, your options even today are still far more limited and your situation far more dire if you end up running out of juice. I live in Japan and I've started to see many electric recharge stations popping up, usually near large parking structures and/or newly constructed shopping malls in high-density urban areas. This is great to see but they're still not as common as a regular service station. Even more so once you head out of the cities.

So 200 mile range in an EV is still not comparable to 200 mile range in a conventional car. I'd probably need an EV to have 300 to 350 mile range before I considered it on an even keel with a conventional car in terms of 'empty tank anguish'. That said, I love that we are taking steps forward to pull away from conventional gasoline-powered cars. It requires patience, early adopters, investment and bridging steps (eg hybrid vehicles, government or manufacturer-sponsored incentive programs). Many Japanese cities provide reduced registration costs, sometimes free inspections (mandated by law for all cars every two years), partial reimbursement of inner-city parking fees, etc. I'm on my second hybrid vehicle and can't wait until the all-electrics become super-practical. Until then, I applaud attempts to market these advancements, even if they might be only baby-steps.

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming