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Submission + - John Glenn dead at 95

nicolaiplum writes: John Glenn has died, aged 95, after a short illness. Obituary at the BBC, more coverage at The New York Times and Washington Post.

Glenn joined the US Navy in 1942, served as a Naval Aviator in World War 2 and the Korean War, then became a Navy test pilot. He joined NASA in 1959 as an astronaut and was the first person from the USA to travel in orbit the earth in 1962. He served as a US Senator for his native state of Ohio from 1974 to 1999 and returned to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Payload Specialist in 1998. He remained active in public life and an advocate for space travel until his death.

Comment Certainly true for me (Score 2) 54

My smaller ISP (Zen Internet, zen.co.uk) certainly provide good service.

When you can create a trouble ticket with your ISP advising them that they have a likely link problem causing packet loss and resulting traffic congestion in their peering with another ISP, including route traces from several directions, and they respond within 2 hours thanking you for the report and having fixed the problem - then you know they're the ones to be with.

They're also more than averagely resistant to media industry intimidation pass-through (they demand a court order, instead of just giving up info at a whim) and government surveillance (they don't sign up to "voluntary" Government initiatives for more inept censorship).

Comment One step back, promises 2 steps forward later (Score 1) 186

From https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/bl... :

"Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. "

So if I buy a Tesla tomorrow, it will come with less features than another one bought last month when it arrives? In fact, it will come with less features than a well-specified competitor (BMW, Mercedes, etc) and no idea when it will catch up.

I don't want to go backwards. I want to go forwards. I want the features now and more, not less features now.

I want a car that does the same things as earlier cars and more. I don't want to be funding Tesla's product development and then beta test their code when it's rolled out.

Why do customers tolerate this from Tesla?

Comment Re:Too Little Too late.... (Score 1) 78

SLACK owns this market right now... Looks like Facebook is getting too slow in it's old age.

Slack is very expensive for a larger company, especially with a lot of part-time users. The cost is acceptable if it is only your engineers using it all the time, but when you want to put all your other staff on it to read an occasional update or swap some tips, then the $$$$ mount up.

Comment Re:How difficult can it be (Score 2) 96

to have as a policy and requirement, that adverts only come as still images, or movie sequences? Why the f*ck would you allow actual 3rd party code to run inside your own software, to display an advert?

This is often quite surprising to those who don't know how modern Internet advertising works, but that is what people do. To have advertising on your site, you load a JS library from the advertising network and call into it to display the advertisement, and it does what it wants to show an advert. You're trusting them not to do anything evil - and the advertising network maybe trusting the advertiser not to do anything malicious, but you are certainly trusting the advertising network to screen for bad content.

You can have the above policy, but who will enforce it? You cannot, only the advertising network can, as they provide the content how they will. If a malicious advertiser can manage to sneak something in that passes whatever automated testing the advertising network uses, or exploits a bug in the browser, then the website operator can't do much about it.

This is the Web (and apps) of today - this is the exchange you have all made for the "free" websites you like. All the users of websites, all the ones who don't want to pay, have made this advertising software backdoor surveillance monstrosity that is the WWW today.

Comment Re:When was the last time you were in a cab? (Score 3, Interesting) 274

In the last 2 weeks I have taken licensed taxis in the Netherlands, UK, and USA. In all cases the drivers were reasonably competent, at least as well groomed as me, and either quiet and polite or jovial and talkative.

In the USA, the main problem with taxis is in the places with a limited number of licenses for taxis, possessed by rentiers who have no incentive to improve service and whose employee drivers have no autonomy and earn very little. Un-limit the taxi number and give them autonomy and quality would greatly improve.

Comment Re:HOW are they NOT a TAXI service at this point? (Score 1) 274

The way Uber gets away with this is by being faster and more widespread than regulators. This doesn't happen in countries where the regulator covers the whole economy, like in most European countries. US-wide companies against individual State regulators means the regulators are rarely effective and can rarely keep up.

Yet Americans widely oppose "The Feds" regulating anything - so they get the companies they want, because they oppose regulation of them. They get the country they want.

Comment Lyft (and Uber) good for the drivers? Hah. (Score 1) 274

So Lyft (and Uber) are good for the drivers, eh? All the claims of offering people flexible work, improving earning chances of people without firm employment, etc, turn out to be complete rubbish.

Lyft and Uber are after the money, not helping anyone, not creating jobs, just the money. I feel sorry for anyone tricked into expecting Uber (especially) would be a long lasting way to work for money; they were just a disposable tool on the way to more money for the investors and executives of Lyft and Uber.

Comment California technology for Californians (Score 1) 167

More technology designed for use in a temperate location - more Californian technology for Californians.

Outside the bubble of perfect dry weather that California tech companies live in, it rains, it's cold and you have to wear gloves, sometimes it snows and is frosty.

iPhones you can't use with gloves or in rain, Tesla "autopilots" that can't handle snow and rain, Google self-driving cars that only work well on quiet, dry, well-marked roads, and so on and so on.

iPads you not only can't use with gloves, but which you can't use easily with lights behind you, sun at a low angle, or so on - only suitable for rooms with subdued lighting.

Services that assume you have a mobile data connection at all times.

From the rest of the world to California: Get out of your state more and make us things we can use where we live.

Comment Youtube never liked G+ (Score 1) 73

Youtube never liked G+. They didn't like the integration removing their independence and they only gave in and G-plussed themselves when Vic Gundotra put on his "I AM THE VOICE OF LARRY" [1] act and ordered them to do so. I am sure they didn't like G+ then either and were happy it failed.

This is Youtube taking control of their community services and features instead of letting the G+ guys do it, and providing better community features than Youtube had before it got G-plussed. Youtube always felt it had a separate brand image and separate community of users, and they do - that's why it's still called "Youtube" instead of "Google Video".

Of course the Youtube "community" is a sewer of rancid toxics that makes the Twitter trolls and the racist parts of Reddit look quite reasonable, so they're not improving the Internet in general by fostering it. Youtube: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS.

But they are taking more control of their own destiny and seeking more autonomy in how they interact with their users.

[1] Imagine a bad version of Alan Rickman as the Metatron in "Dogma".

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