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Comment For The Betterment Of Humanity (Score 3, Insightful) 304

I agree. If a piece of art is publicly disseminated, then the copyright holder should lose the ability to alter it, that is, unless the original is equally available or relinquished to the public domain. I think this is fair, especially in our DRMed future where things can be "taken back" instantaneously via remote computer commands.

If you think this sounds harsh, imagine the Mona Lisa getting a new hairstyle or clothes every 20 years because fashion had changed. Let's cover "David's" penis because we're politically correct this generation. And then we can change it back when the next generation lightens up... These innocent tweaks are distorting, and in some cases, ruining art (with the new ideas no longer reflective of the era in which the art was created, mind you).

"E.T.'s" right to bear arms should not be infringed.

Comment How Quaint (Score 1, Interesting) 295

It's quaint that everyone believes that autonomous vehicles are going to save lives, and not indirectly cause fatalities. "Oh, there's a plastic bag blowing about the highway in front of me, 'better slam on the brakes." "Oh, I see that baseball rolling onto the street, but since I'm not human, and can't look sideways, I won't assume there's a child coming to retrieve it."

I could go on since there is an infinite number of scenarios that'll baffle these cars, but I tire of the topic as well as fighting the ignorant, delirious enthusiasm. The cars will come, some will die because of them, and traffic will be intermittently snarled for everyone, in perpetuity, because the cat was let out of the bag.

Comment XP = Good Enough (Score 1) 73

The problem is, a lot of people only use their computer for email and web browsing - seniors come to mind.

My main machine at home runs XP because it does everything I want it to do, generally even faster than my much newer work machine (which runs 7). If I upgraded this machine to a newer OS, its mono-core, sub-3 GHz processor would cause things to crawl, and I'd have to buy new frickin' hardware; and for what? craigslist.com? Don't give me the security argument because that's mainly for marketing folks selling products as no one can prove that XP is less safe than the latest Windows OS with its yet unknown vulnerabilities, and the thousands of hackers (some state-sponsored) working daily to find more.

You have no proof? Then you have no case, only a guess.

Comment Re:I'm out (Score 1) 314

You're right; however, perhaps such yammering eventually taints the brand: More may sign-up to debate the elected du jour, versus "I worked in this technical field X for Y years and here's what I've seen..." Such comments comprise most of the reason I visit - it's a group of relatable nerds and I guess I've always made assumptions about their altruistic/truth-seeking motives. Now I catch myself looking at the poster's user ID # as some sort of trust/experience-filtering (silly, I know).

Along those lines and in response to an AC's comment, "News for nerds, stuff that matters" doesn't mean AND 'stuff that matters'; that wouldn't make any sense. Why not then say "We post about everything that matters!"? I always saw it as a tongue-in-cheek reference to nerdy things, things that matter to only us, though we often think they should matter to non-nerds too. That's the cheeky part: nerdy news is all that really matters (to us).

Comment Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 96

The number of problems caused by autonomous cars will be inversely proportional to the number on the road.

Respectfully, I don't think you pay close attention to all the little "hiccups" that occur during daily driving - no one does, because our brains handle them with ease. As a old firmware guy, I know digital computers won't be able to do this because there are too many variables, forever changing. When you drive from now on, imagine you're blind, and have perfectly memorized the road and could drive it with no sight. In the future, look to see what alters your path during your commute (or what has changed since last time), and then think about what the car would have to know to handle the situation without slowing down. In other words, if you didn't have to slow while you were driving, then the AV shouldn't either, because it's better than we are, right?

It will never (instantly) know the difference between a very small ball rolling into the street ("Where's the child?") and an oak leaf. A small tree branch versus a live wire (I saw this in the street once after a major storm), where, one I can roll over, the other, not so much.

There will be a critical mass beyond which insurance companies will begin charging extravagant fees for a manually operated vehicle.

I doubt that'll happen because: A) AVs will always be more expensive than human-driven cars. Some people can only afford the bare minimum. B) Some people enjoy driving fun cars and there won't be AV versions of those. C) Many people own classic cars (like me) where those will never be "AVed". D) There is enough voter/buyer mass of A, B & C to where insurance will not be significantly higher for non-AV drivers. E) Semi-trucks parking and weaving through tight industrial parks is an art form. Pulling that off with sensors is problematic at best, especially when trailers are universally interchangeable and have no electronics. (Automating all trucks would be a thief's paradise.)

Issues with reading signs are a non starter. Once adoption begins to pick up you will quickly see digital information systems added to existing road signs. All of this tech exist right now and most of it is mature. It just hasn't been put together yet.

There are an order of magnitude more Podunk towns than metropolises; they will never be part of this digital information system. They might change a sign and then have to report it somewhere? I don't think they'll bother - some have no full time staff (I sometimes call on the rural Midwest).

In about 20 years people will be complaining about how manual drivers are always causing accidents and issues with traffic flow.

Is this before or after the flying cars that are just 5 more years away? I'm not being snarky at you, just the idea that tech is easily mass-distributed, and can solve all.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Comment Unfortunately (Score 1, Insightful) 96

Self-driving cars will come for one dumb reason or another ("Ooo, shiny tech!" "Ooo, a tiny bit safer!"). And they will be a blight on our roads. They probably won't kill many people, but they will slow traffic everywhere except on wide-open highways: They will never be able to instantly read road signs written in $YOUR_LANG (partially obstructed by snow), they will forever be baffled (call slowCarDown( )) by non-standard roadway situations and conditions (which occur frequently), and millions will accept this as "progress", hoping the next software update will make things better, when really, even cars will now start to get "bricked" once in a while.

Comment "Augment" (Score 1) 94

"Augment", a.k.a, ruin, fireworks. I already can't stand the music they try to sync up with them... "They comin' to America!" Shut up, Diamond...

Am I the only one who thinks fireworks are awesome (not the over-used definition of "awesome", but awesome) by themselves? I was lucky enough once to be very close to a show (right under it) where the crowd was small and quiet - it was like I was seeing/hearing the very extremes of what the universe is capable of. Though it was so high, after the boom, I could even hear the slightest hiss of the crackling sparkles as they fell and faded from the sky.

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"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell