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Comment Re:As a European... (Score 4, Insightful) 263

... I have a hard time with the typical US notion of free speech and no censorship.

To those of us whose parents or grandparents had to live and suffer through WW2, I is pretty much unthinkable to allow someone to deny the horrors of the concentration camps and all things associated.

We didn't sacrifice a million casualties and $4 trillion in treasure for your political ideals and way of life, we sacrificed them for our political ideals and way of life, and that includes unfettered freedom of speech.

Comment Re: Hell no (Score 1) 331

I imagine that's something like how constructing buildings (architecture) relies on engineering, and often it helps to know why a column has to be where it is, and what other possibilities there may be, to support the floor in some other way, but most of what the architect does is actually planning the layouts and elevations and how the building relates to the site and the people and their activities.

So I would imagine that a lot of the "discipline" in large projects isn't so much about pure engineering, it is often more about organising parts into systems which can be developed over time.

Like how the architect knows that where they put the hotel restaurant is going to affect where the kitchen goes and therefore where the store room goes and hence where the service entrance will likely be, and that you don't want to end up having to tear up the plan and start again because you've ended up with the service entrance being located right next to the main entrance.

Comment Re:Why did you let them do this? (Score 1) 132

Brits, why did you let them do this? You're letting them take your freedom and letting them grant themselves powers that will keep you out of the loop and perpetuate their own power, preventing you from being able to do anything about it in the future...

I could as easily ask "Yanks, why did you let them do this?" about any number of assaults on freedom and privacy committed by the US government. The US has been running headlong down the same road for 15 years and change, with nary a peep from Joe and Jane Average.

Every time the government of a supposed 'free' country pulls shit like this, two things happen. First, the fact that the terrorists have already won their war against free countries becomes more and more obvious. Second, the differences between the 'free' nations and the terrorist states becomes harder and harder to discern.

There is a difference though between, the government's physical power (police, surveillance, etc.) and what they use it for.

USA has its share of people who value owning guns, and although that gives the individual a level of power which the Brits might think of as, well, just plain obsessive and weird, a citizen of USA can maintain that they have no bad intentions around how they use that power. And that is a fair point.

Same principle goes for how we say, "oppressive dictatorship" to distinguish from beneficial ones, or "Islamic terrorism" to distinguish from plain ordinary peoples' Islam.

Put it this way, if a nation seriously needs a well organised militia to keep its leaders in check, then that nation is already so far down the plug hole that you may as well "nuke it from orbit", as they comically say.

It really all comes back to how in the West we often see the view that it is OK for USA and UK and France to have nukes, but not OK for Iran or North Korea to have them. It isn't about the physical power, it is about the intentions.

And I dunno if the UK can be trusted with this level of surveillance. We hope their intentions are generally OK.

So it is really a technical issue about, can it be implemented and people still be able to do ordinary business? Or does breaking everyone's comms just F**k things up too much?

Comment Re:Why did you let them do this? (Score 1) 132

But, but,but they have free health care. And one day, in the future, they'll get all of their energy from unicorn farts. Just believe and it will come true.

Free at point of delivery.

We charged you earlier, we charged you later, but we didn't charge you when you turned up with a life-critical wound from a horrific accident involving Christmas lights, brussels sprouts, and grandma's hairpin.

Not that I don't have sympathy with the view that I shouldn't be contributing to the 20 billion a year it costs to look after diabetes, whilst I take care with my own diet so that I never become such a burden on the system. But I see the issue there as being more about all the bad public heath advice which caused a diabetes epidemic, and not that I should not be paying for others' faults.

Anyway, my life has been saved by the NHS, and yeah it costs something like 2000 GBP per person. But I'd be interested to see that adjusted for income brackets.

Comment Re:Billing address? (Score 1) 107

Maybe getting the card numbers (card, code, expiry) is just phase I of weakness with limited applicability for in-person transactions. Nobody asks my address at the electronics shop when I have a $800 TV in my cart.

And perhaps they have other databases that allow them to correlate incomplete card numbers with names and addresses to create useful online transactions where they info can be asked.

IMHO, the only useful solution to this is two factor RSA-style authentication. Go ahead and know all the card info, but unless you can guess the random digits it would be worthless. Pity that fraud doesn't cost VISA and merchants can build most of their costs into product pricing.

Comment Re:No safe-guards? (Score 1) 107

Why not just build 2 factor authentication into the card itself? They could offer a card with an in-built RSA token or a way to use a smartphone app for cards without token hardware.

Something tells me this is something we should have, but given the sparring and profiteering over getting chip enabled terminals in the US (I'm STILL swiping at many terminals). I suspect that it's not the two factor part that keeps it from happening but the terminals and merchant software costs combined with a bunch of middlemen who figure that fraud deterrence for merchants and consumers isn't their problem since they make merchants eat it, who then make consumers eat it in higher prices.

And then there's the spreadsheet guys, who predict transaction fee revenue drops from failed transactions and doom-and-gloom of lost sales pitched to merchants.

Comment Re:3D editing is hard (Score 1) 255

I think 3D modeling software is a big reason 3D printing hasn't been the home revolution.

I've been using computer based 2D drawing software since MacDraw in the 1980s and have used it for drafting home improvement projects, woodworking projects and floor plans. I've downloaded Sketch-Up a few times and always found myself baffled quite quickly, even tinkering with generic rectilinear shapes.

And even drawing some boxes or other regular geometric shapes doesn't get you very fair in a world of tapered curves, irregular shapes, etc, let alone the same needing accurate scale and tolerances down to the millimeter.

And it's not that it's impossible, either, but it's got a wicked learning curve over 2D just doing the drawings let alone the phase where you have to consider how you design will actually be output by the thing making it.

Strangely it's almost the blade-and-razor model in reverse. In theory, they should give you the razor handle (the easy to learn 3D design software) for free so that you'll buy the 3D printer and supplies, but I suspect that in terms of cost, the easy to use 3D modeling software is the actual expensive part and the 3D printer should be the cheap part. It's kind of like 2D design software -- an annual contract for Adobe Creative Cloud is almost more expensive than a decent color laser printer.

Comment Re:Because it's not software (Score 2) 118

I thought Henry Ford was a visionary because of his business model -- an assembly line that could mass produce cars for everyone -- not because he necessarily innovated the automobile concept itself.

Musk's advancement mostly seems in the electric drivetrain, less so in the business model. He wants to do direct sales, but while it runs against the grain of the existing car sales business, existing regulation and low production volume make it appear less than revolutionary, especially when many products are sold directly buy their maker.

Comment Re:You should *NOT* be projecting.... (Score 1) 62

I think there are fair arguments about not distracting other drivers. But one thing nice about this vs. a HUD is that it actually projects imagery onto the surface you're supposedly to be looking at -- you want to focus on the road in front of you generally so seeing directional markings there is completely natural and doesn't require a change in visual focus or the distraction of having to look through a HUD's imagery to the road beyond.

Some potential ideas to make is less distracting for others -- don't display markings when another car is within a distance where they may easily see them, display markings such that they're oriented/displayed in a way meaningful to other drivers or communicate that they should be ignored. I drive through intersections many times a day with turn arrows and lane markings not relevant to me and I don't get confused.

I also wonder if there's some way of projecting them with a light color, pattern or polarization that's made more visible by filters laminated into the originating car's windshield, especially if it managed to do it such that other cars windshields acted as passive filters due to their polarization.

I think it's a great way to put information exactly where it belongs for driver visual focus. Distraction to other motorists *could* be a problem, but overall people are already visually attuned to ignore markings that are backwards or don't apply to them and their direction of travel. Roads have all kinds of markings already and nobody complains about excess street markings. And it may be possible to project them in a way that makes it difficult for other drivers to see them at all.

Comment Re:Better up the Military Budget (Score 1) 324

A wall won't stop them, but it will slow them down enough for people behind the wall to shoot them dead.

Don't be naive, if refugee/migration pressures are this severe do not think of a second that the people with will demand the invading hordes without be stopped by any means necessary.

I'm of the opinion that it's happening already. We argue around the margins about immigration, pretending it's about jobs, racism or some other bullshit but I think at the heart of it people really are nervous about long-term resource access. It's low level and you can easily rationalize away any kind of urgency about it, but I think the level of news coverage about refugees into Europe, the noticeable increase in Hispanic populations in the US over the last 10-20 years, etc is invoking something of a panic mindset.

We laugh about Trump's wall now for all the obvious reasons but it wouldn't surprise me at all if fortifying the border specifically against mass refugee influxes doesn't become something more than a fringe idea.

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