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Comment Re: Questions to Hillary's fans (Score 1) 261

You're missing the point on the bathroom thing, from the conservative point of view: the bathroom names are euphemisms, we say "men" and "women" to be polite, but the intent is "penis" and "vagina"? Why? Because sexual predators are far more common than pre-op transsexuals. You need some legal consequence for someone who isn't in any way trans-anything, but who is just looking for a victim alone in an isolated place.

Actually good engineers push the boundaries all the time. That is how they succeed.

Which has nothing to do with being skeptical of new fads and short-cuts. As a senior engineer, I spend most of my time pointing out why things won't work, how this thing that seems easy is just worse in the long run, and so on. A lot of rules that seem pointless, constraining, and the source of needless complexity to the fresh college hire, or maybe even to the mid-tier guy, are there for very good reason - they just haven't been fucked by that particular situation yet, so they don't get it.

This is true for any complex system, especially systems of people. Just because you don't understand why that seemingly-needless restriction is there, doesn't mean it's not there for some important reason.

That is the intelligence of conservatives. In thirty years you will be that old person, unable to grasp the basic operation of computers 30 years from now

I'm already that "30 years form now" guy. I've seen so many fads come and go, so many ideas that everyone thought was great blow up and be horrible. And almost none of it is actually new, it just the people weren't in the field the last time it was tried and abandoned.

It's often the same with political change - very little is new when it comes to human nature, and if you don't ignore everything that happened before you were born, you can read about the last time some idea was tried, and discover why you only find it in history books.

, but you will struggle using the interface, ... to you it will all be a new fad even though it started 10 years earlier.

Some interfaces are just bad, and they were bad and I struggled with them 20 years ago when they we're tried the last time, then abandoned because they suck.

That's the heart of it all: don't confuse change with progress. Being skeptical of change can be the way the fastest progress is made.

Comment Re:Technology... (Score 1) 471

It's the vision that motivates people. No one gives a shit about self-sustaining colonies in the Sahara (and it's illegal in the Anartic). But if the goal is to colonize Mars, cool shit will happen.

That was historically NASA's value: lots of cool stuff got invented for daily life because engineers were highly motivated by going to space.
 

Comment Re:Most rich people's houses aren't in very... (Score 1) 239

The only real long-term survival platform is an isolated farm where you can grow your own food.

Nomadic is fine, but the cannibals they encountered on their trip would have eaten even the homeless guy with the shopping cart.

And nomadic has certain risks -- uncertain access to food or water, crossing paths with other dangerous nomads, crossing into territory held by hostiles, exposure to weather and so on.

It's amusing to think about survivalism but really, things go south without a community structure pretty fast. Even a very isolated bunker has a limited timeline without access to outside resources -- 5 years, 10 at the outside for a large quantity of food stuffs amenable to long term storage? This also assumes you have no energy needs, dependence on anything that might wear out or need repairs unless you have multiple replacements which don't age in storage.

I suppose someone could treat a bunker like a long-haul space ship and provide it with a nuclear power source, a water recycling system, air filtration and the necessary parts and replacement equipment to keep it running but even that becomes a challenge past a certain timeline and requires extensive skills and a large community, and the community itself can become a liability as people aren't totally dependable.

Comment Re:Are they getting rid of the packet inspection? (Score 3, Interesting) 38

Packet inspection is non-monetizable without a product.

Typically, data collection warehouses categorize and aggregate demographics information. That is to say: businesses don't sell your name and address; they sell the service of identifying preferences among demographics, demographics in an area, and likely market penetration when targeting a demographic in an area. Without all the arbitrary big words: they tell you how the population responds to certain products, services, and ideals, where that population is, and how big it is, and then you can target an area (a city) or a demographic (buy targeted ads aimed at a large, highly-responsive audience).

Sifting through all that data is hard. It's a highly-specialized task, and businesses which do this as a service tend to build robust organizational knowledge: their employees get good at their jobs, share information among each other, and send it up to management to be packaged and distributed as standard operating procedure and training material. Asking them what the market looks like is a hell of a lot cheaper and provides much better results than getting their giant database of information and trying to analyze it yourself: your own people will suck payroll while spending excessive amounts of time digging around in it, scratching their heads, making up arbitrary queries that seem obvious, and then produce *a* result--instead of identifying the goals and then immediately and systematically producing an analysis strategy that produces a *high-quality* result.

AT&T probably has little vested interest in tracking your web behavior, and likely found ads weren't making them sufficient money for the infrastructure cost. They would have spent a lot of time looking at this, predicting the cost of scaling (which would improve ROI), and working out if the new ROI was likely to be significantly-higher and considerably profitable. They might have identified a small profit (e.g. 0.5% margin, or 0.01% of their existing profit, or the like) and decided that the risks (the likelihood of earning less and facing a loss as an aggregate over the long run) weren't worth it. They might have just identified that ads aren't going to make them money at all. In any case, they have little use for large-scale inspection now because it only puts them at risk (notably regulatory risk--you inspected this shit, how did you not know child porn was there?) with no likely profit.

Even the ad networks that could use AT&T's theoretical tracking data can't make much use of it. They'd have to coalesce it with their data--which has to be robust, because they have to be able to actually track and identify users across the Web anyway--which is expensive and poor ROI if their data is already robust enough to match up to AT&T's data. There's a high likelihood that the attempt would actually pollute the ad network's mined data with erroneous data, since coalescing might not be anywhere near 100% accurate, and measuring the false-positive rate is impossible (if you could do it automatically, you wouldn't have false-positives; if you can do it manually, you're working with dozens of people's data rather than millions).

Comment Re:Fear Factory (Score 1) 239

What's the point?

I imagine that most of this is just preparation they don't expect to ever actually use but accept that there is non-zero chance of a disaster. Natural disasters are pretty much a threat anywhere. For the US, the West coast has earthquakes and volcanos. East coast and gulf have hurricanes. In between, there are tornados. No matter how good your neighborhood is, there is certainly a chance that something could happen to cause it to lose electricity and other utilties for a couple of weeks. Since such a situation will probably be mostly unexpected, it will be easier for those that prepare to hang out for those weeks than to try and leave along with the thousands of others trying to do so. Better yet if you can just wait it out in comfort. I suspect most of these "bunkers" are just really, really nice storm shelters because when you have the money to spend, why not?

If bunkering up for the worst case scenario, you wouldn't just build a bunker. You'd have a hardened bunker to survive the initial disaster, and then have a way to bug out to a compound set up in BFE. If you're rich, you do it by helicopter. In the compound, you have all the things to survive and proper rather than wait it out in the middle of an urban center filled with a multitude of unprepared people.

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 239

How is it that someone working in a sweatshop is exploiting them?

Let's ask the dictionary, shall we?

Exploitation: the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
"the exploitation of migrant workers"
synonyms: taking advantage, abuse, misuse, ill-treatment, unfair treatment, oppression
"the exploitation of the poor"

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 239

As the rich see it the poor are just being lazy so giving them money will not encourage them to try harder.

You confuse cause and effect. The rich don't want to give up the power economic oppression gives them, so they see whatever helps excuse it. Just like every ruling class ever.

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