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Comment Re:I'm in favor. (Score 1) 598

Regarding setting up a meeting between NYC and UK offices, how do you do it now? You know the US people work 8am to 5pm local time, and you know the UK people work 8am to 5pm their local time... so what do you do? Guess? Call and ask? How do you know a good time to call?

You know these things because you can translate one local time to UTC then from UTC to the other local time if you are given the UTC offsets. Why not skip two steps and just have everything UTC to begin with? You can establish that the NYC folks work from 1300 UTC to 2200 UTC, and the UK folks from 0800 UTC to 1700 UTC. So it's trivially obvious that meetings between 1300 and 1700 UTC will fall within everybody's working hours.

So what about some place you are not familiar with? Let's pick Hong Kong. You would indeed need to contact them for their exact work hours. (Heck, maybe they work nights so that they can be awake during US or UK working hours because that's where their customers are; you just don't know.) Or, the +1, -8, +10 time zone designations could be retained to indicate how much time passes between noon in Greenwich and noon locally, yet still all local clocks and global coordination be done in UTC. But that still doesn't give you all the info you need - all of China, for example, is one time zone but I have absolutely no clue if 8 am to 5pm China time is standardized across the entire nation - 8 am in Hong Kong is astronomically like 4 or 5 am in western China - do they work 8 am to 5 pm China time, or do they work 12 pm to 8pm China time?

Isn't that how aviation and the military do it? Zulu time? Even when they're in a location where 0000 Zulu means is bight and sunny, so as to not cause confusion when talking to a location that might or might not be one two, or twelve time zones away? Heck, even two different locations at the exact same latitude could be in different time zones so even though the sun is at the exact same location in the sky for them, one is an hour ahead of the other. It'd be so much easier to just dispense with translating between time zones and all use a common cock.

Well, it's 23:03 UTC right now, time for me to finish my comment. (I have a UTC clock set up to display on my computer.)

Comment I'm in favor. (Score 1) 598

I'm in favor of eliminating time zones and going pure UTC.
  • I participate and help with events involving people on multiple continents. We use UTC for all times.
  • I have meetings with people in various time zones here in the US and when talking about times we have to be careful to mention what time zone our perspective is from. Mostly, people's computer-based calendars handle meeting invite time zones properly, but not always.
  • If I search for when something happens, like a TV show or sporting event, sometimes I get a response in my time zone, sometimes in Eastern, and sometimes no time zone is mentioned at all and I really have no idea when the thing starts.

From working with UTC at times, I've gotten a general sense of what a particular time looks like in various areas. Like, 1400 UTC is quite early for Western but still work hours in EU, while 2300 UTC is afternoon/evening in the Americas and past bedtime in eastern EU. It's easy to pick up after spending a little time with it.

What I don't know, however, is how weird it might or might not be to know that sunrise is at, say, 1100 UTC in one location and 1400 UTC at another, and figure out proper sleep/wake times while traveling.

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

What if there's a bug in the Pong program, which is executed on under very specific and rare circumstances, say when a block is struck at a certain angle by a ball going a certain speed... which causes the stack pointer to jump a mem location holding a playing field configuration, allowing any entity that manipulates the playing field to manipulate the next operation. Assuming it doesn't crash the entire simulation (which seems to me to be the most likely outcome) such an entity could then begin to execute arbitrary code on the hypervisor, perhaps discovering a method by which memory contents can be displayed in the playing field, leading to a machine-code level observation of the simulation and perhaps even a discovery of, say, a connection from the simulation machine to other machines. Or perhaps the simulation machine's webcam and mic. (Not like a sentient Pong block would have any means at all to interpret a stream of webcam data.) Of course, if there are no exploitable bugs in the hypervison then the above isn't really possible, is it? Anyway, I suspect that if this is a simulation, the best outcome to expect from attempting to break out is to simply halt and perhaps corrupt the simulation, not to somehow transcend the simulation's reality into the hypervisor's reality.

Comment Re:Surely You Must Be Joking Mr. Feynman (Score 1) 175

An entertaining book on Richard Feynman's pranks and interests.

Yep, that along with What Do You Care What Other People Think? and Tuva or Bust!. Plus James Gleik's Genius about Feynmen. I also liked Gleik's Chaos and am currently reading his The Information.

For fiction, I like Alastair Renolds' House of Suns and Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon The Deep.

Comment Re:Dude, you're messed up. (Score 1) 364

Keep in mind that you are one of the "other people" you mention in item #4, since there are many other cars out there, and the self-driving rules will be applied to all self-driving cars, not just yours. So by advocating for this list, you are advocating that you would rather break your leg than cause easily repaired damage to somebody else's car.

Comment Re: Unsurprising (Score 1) 441

A missile's main advantage is its speed; it closes on you faster than you can maneuver out of its vision cone, but if you manage that you've usually beaten the weapon. Ground-to-air missiles are even more limited because so much of their thrust is wasted just getting the weapon up to speed and altitude.

My father told me that a technique he and his pilot used over Vietnam to avoid SAMs hitting their A6 Intruder was to detect where the missile was fired from, turn towards it, then start a spiral. The missile would then be unable to track the plane quickly enough to hit.

Comment BMW (Score 2) 365

My 2013 BMW has a shifter that's the "spring back to rest position" type. But BMW's design hasn't led to any roll-away issues whatsoever that I've heard of. I think there are a few design-related reasons why. The first is how the gears are actually selected - push the lever forwards to select reverse, pull the lever backwards to select drive. This is in contrast with the Chrysler shift where appears to be a pull-back regardless of whether you want to go into Reverse or Drive from Park. Also, the BMW shifter has a push-button that does nothing but tell the car to go into Park, so it's obvious when the Park command has been given. With the Chrysler shifter, the command to go into Park from Drive is to push the lever forward - which is the same motion to put the car into Neutral from Drive, but you have to move the shifter further for the Park function. I can see how this can be very unclear for the driver. Finally, BMW has programmed the car to go into Park if the driver's door is opened, even if it is moving slowly which can be quite jarring I've heard. (I know of nobody who has tested opening the door while at highway speeds. :) ) Mostly, people on the BMW forums have been complaining how difficult it is to get the car into Neutral and keep it there.

Comment How would this work? (Score 1) 184

So I have fiber broadband provided by my city. Via traceroute I can tell the city uses L-3 to talk to the rest of the world. Is this proposal simply about being able to change the L-3 part of the link? So L-3, AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Google, etc. would then contact my city to arrange a 10gbps (or 40, or 1, or whatever) pipe to the rest of the 'net then charge us users individually, with the city getting a cut to cover the last-mile costs, and somehow know that my traffic which goes over the same fiber as my neighbor needs to be routed to Gooble while my neighbor's routes to Comcast?

Comment Re: Some guy hates competiting with 'free' (Score 1) 428

And Slashdotters are going to ignore that because they don't like what he's saying.

In my opinion just as an ad hominem attack against a person's position is wrong, ad hominem support for their position is wrong to. Bad guy who says something good is still a bad guy, and they still said something good. Good buy says something bad is still a good guy, and they still said something bad.

Note: I am neither arguing for or against what Reznor has said, just stating that I think you're committing an argumentum ad hominem logical fallacy by implying Slashdot readers are wrong and should support what Reznor says today because of what he has done yesterday.

Comment Patents? (Score 2) 208

Patents Can't Explain What The Invention Is Because They're Full Of Meaningless Jargon

That's my experience, at least. The failing is mine however, as while I can't understand what patents try to say it seems plenty of other people can. I wonder if "Startup Speak" is a similar situation - people who work in that realm understand the language, but just because those of us outside that realm don't grok the language doesn't necessarily mean it's meaningless...?

Comment Adidas (Score 1) 1023

And in related recent news, Adidas will be moving shoe manufacturing to Germany and the US by replacing USD $1 to 3/hr workers in Asian factories with automation. (Estimated wage - the BLS data is only as recent as 2009.)

Here is the text of a Bloomberg article from 2013 (since going to the website itself didn't load for me) discussing "Asia Soaring Wages" where people make USD $226/mo in Indonesia and USD $10/day in Thailand which is apparently a significant increase (or not, depending on who the article author talked to.) China factories outsourcing to Indonesia and Thailannd factories is discussed. The drive to automation is discussed.

Automation is certainly not anything new. Even without minimum wage increases it's still an inevitability.

Comment Beta (Score 1) 351

I recall playing the DOOM beta, which had the best BFG ever. Instead of a single giant shot it spewed a bazillion pulse rifle shots all at once. I think it was removed from the release version due to performance concerns.

This was during university, at an institution that was primarily Mac for student-owned computers. I had a 486DX2/50 which got a lot of attention. For LAN play we went to a lab.

We'd do speed runs of levels and send the screenshots to Romero to taunt him.

Creating levels was a thing. A roommate created "Escape From Detroit" which started at the Joe after the Red Wings lost in the Stanley Cup finals and the fans were rioting.

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