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Comment Absolute 100% Horse Manure (Score 4, Insightful) 49

Good grief, what a load of horse manure. The whole POINT of something like Google Home is to analyze and profit from one's day to day interaction with the Web. I really do like and use Google's services, especially with respect to synchronizing data among my various devices: BUT it is quite true that we, its users, *are* the product. I have a very nice Google Home Christmas present which has been sitting in its box since December, and the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to activate it. Google may very well be living up to its credo, "Don't Be Evil," but there is a whole galaxy of things third parties can do in their own best interest (and not in yours) that, while not technically "evil," are not necessarily in *your* best interest. Don't be paranoid, but don't be a fool either.

Comment Re:I.e. Samsung acted recklessly for profit (Score 4, Informative) 289

Different concept. Res ipsa loquitur means "the thing speaks for itself." It means no interpretation of a fact or piece of evidence is necessary. You're thinking of the concept of "strict product liability:" when a product causes damages, one does not need to prove actual negligence, just that the product caused the damage.

Comment Ignoring the whole Uber/Lyft Advantage (Score 2) 367

Sure, Uber could invest in fleets of self-driving cars (which I, actually, doubt will be a significant presence on the roads for a while yet), but doesn't that run against the whole point of Uber and Lyft? That being crowdsourcing ride sharing (and, not so coincidentally, capital costs)? That would seem to turn Uber into just another taxi company, albeit one with a cool mobile app. I do think self-driving cars are a cool concept, especially for taxis, but think there will have to be some serious breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (i.e., it will have to be actualized, as opposed to being essentially Wikipedia with fast lookup and cross-referencing) before this sort of thing is viable on a large scale.

Comment What ever happened to "News for Nerds?" (Score 0) 231

I'm sure I will get modded down for saying this, but Slashdot has turned into "All About Climate Change - All The Time." I guess that's the passion of the moderators, but I am finding it very tedious. I am less and less inclined to view Slashdot these days, but then again, I expect that's the idea: to change the participating group to those passionate about climate change and environmental activism, versus those who really like technology. Ah well.

Submission + - Ahmed Mohamed, his clock, and the curious turn of events ( 1

poity writes: After the news first broke of the 9th grader getting cuffed for scaring school officials with what turned out to be a digital clock, Ahmed Mohamed has experienced a surge of popular support — hailed as a genius and a hero, with college scholarships, internship offers, and even an invitation to the White House by President Obama himself.

Now, amid rumors of possible racial discrimination lawsuits against the school and local police, some people have begun to more deeply scrutinize the details of the case, especially on the tech side with regard to the homemade clock in question.

Recently, a writer at the creative site Artvoice posted a remarkable analysis of Ahmed's clock project, which raises new questions about the case and the manner in which people and the media alike have reacted.

Comment Re:Let me get this right (Score 5, Insightful) 839

That's right: for example, cost of goods sold is a deduction from gross income. So is business rent and utilities. Eliminating Schedule A itemized deductions (i.e., deductions from *net income*) is a relatively trivial simplification of the process. Sure, a flat tax may be somewhat simpler for most people who can file, say, a 1040-EZ or 1040A, but the vast, vast majority of tax issues and audits relate to what exactly constitutes net income. Can or should I deduct business-related meals? To what extent? Promotional expense? Sure, most would agree that office rent is a proper deduction, but who decides if a suite at the local ballpark for the purpose of marketing to clients is a legitimate, deductible business expense? What is the most effective way to amortize/depreciate capital assets and equipment? How about compensation? What's "reasonable?" That is indeed 99% of the complexity of the tax code, and would not be touched by a "flat tax."

Comment Re:Distinguishing conflict from disagreement (Score 1) 1152

Mea culpa: I now acknowledge that is not what Dawkins said in the interview. (As is practically accepted practice on Slashdot, I did not originally view the interview.) I was responding more to Dawkins's history and to what many antitheists commonly post on Slashdot. My point was, and is, that if the goal is to convince of the truth his approach is irrational. And that deploying irrational strategies to further reason is particularly ironic.

Comment Re:Distinguishing conflict from disagreement (Score 1) 1152

I assume the "load of rubbish" you are referring to is my statement that a true atheist should not characterize theists as ignorant hillbillies. My point is that is an irrational response to the issue: attitudes like yours do nothing to convince, but rather alienate. If your goal is to convince people of the truth, insulting them is counterproductive. And if you are not interested in convincing people of the truth, why are you bothering to engage with them at all?

Comment Re:Distinguishing conflict from disagreement (Score 1) 1152

It depends on what you are being accused of being ignorant of. Sure, I am profoundly ignorant of the things you are, and many, many more subjects; I have no problem admitting that. But if someone accuses me of being ignorant of basic scientific principles *because I am a theist*, that is insulting. Now, I acknowledge that is not what Dawkins said in the interview. Mea culpa: I was responding more to Dawkins's history and to what many antitheists commonly post on Slashdot.

Comment Re:Distinguishing conflict from disagreement (Score 2) 1152

Sorry, I should have clarified: I personally do not feel insulted. I'm well aware that many, if not most, participants on Slashdot think all theists are stupid and ignorant; that is their problem, not mine. I was commenting on how Dawkins's approach is, from a rational point of view, preaching to the choir, and utterly ineffectual in its stated purpose.

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