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Comment Re:What am I missing here? (Score 4, Insightful) 117

First, you seem to be seeing these devices as replacements for proper parenting. I'm not so sure that's what they're for. They're really just an improved version of the baby monitor, which is in turn an improved version of sleeping near the baby's room and praying you'll wake up when something's wrong. That's all. There are some bells, whistles, statistics and graphs, but it's just a fancy baby monitor, in the same way the Nest is just a fancy thermostat.

Second, there's quite a bit of literal survivorship bias in your comment. Most people you've met haven't unexpectedly kicked the bucket when they were a few months old, but that you don't know any doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The good news is that less babies die nowadays than there used to - the infant mortality rate used to be six times as high back in the fifties. It's still too high, though, which is why we do need devices like these.

They look like cutesy cuddly turtles and nice onesies, but they're medical devices. They assist parents in the same way a baby monitor assists parents. Help the parents, help the baby, reduce the statistic. Is the decline in infant mortality only because of the baby monitor? No. But if you, like me, see it as a medical device, I hope you'll agree that everyone should get one, not only sad, lazy people that suck at parenting.

Humans have grown to adulthood for hundreds of thousands of years without heart monitors, thermometers, incubators, X-ray machines, CAT scanners, dyalisis machines and all that as well - and I don't see you suggesting to do without those.

Comment Re:A puzzle for you (Score 1) 107

What about leaving instructions near nuclear dump sites? You simply do not want your bonobos to dig up our old, radiating trash, thinking it valuable and wearing it as necklaces or whatever. Humans have done this, so there's no reason bonobo's wouldn't come to the same conclusion. (Ooh, shiny.)

This article talks about the problem, and some offered solutions, but concludes that it's pretty much impossible to make something look uninteresting or uninviting enough to prevent curious bonobos from exploring it. It's a pretty interesting read.

Comment Re:Scare tactics (Score 1) 407

I used to live near one of the towns where the experiment was done - I believed local politics called it 'Shared Space' or something. It's absolutely terrible.

While perhaps safer, it's absolutely terrifying, both when driving a car and when going by bike (the latter occuring rather more than you would think). Drivers and cyclists have been trained to obey rules, but when there's no signs and no indication, it's completely unclear what the rules are. There's no magic communication between road users that wouldn't occur otherwise, there's just confusion and chaos.

As an example, one of the shared-space roads I know had a roundabout that was only marked by a change in the road type (concrete instead of bricks) - remember, no traffic signs allowed. Depending on how you interpreted the pattern, cyclists had priority. The whole thing was of course absolutely invisible in rainy weather (which we get a lot), which meant people sometimes thought it was a regular crossing, only to slam the brakes when they realised their mistake.

The whole thing is nice in theory, but just reducing the max speed to 5mph would be just as safe IMHO, and that's what the whole Shared Space idea amounts to in practice. Of course, with everyone chugging along at a snail's pace, less accidents will happen - which looks great in reports, even more so when you add nice little graphs in bright colors.

The article you linked to is quite old, and AFAIK no new Shared Space-experiments have been done.

Comment Re:So basically (Score 1) 162

This is how it's done, and this is how it has been done for a long, long time.

That brand new Intel CPU in your machine? Yeah, it still runs the same code its predecessor did back in 1976. The internals have changed and become more complex many times, but the outdated interface is still there if you need it. It's not pretty, but there's not really any other way.

Comment RMS (Score 2) 391

You could do what Richard Stallman does:

I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine, aside from a few sites I have some special relationship with. I fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program (see git://git.gnu.org/womb/hacks.git) that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me. Then I look at them using a web browser, unless it is easy to see the text in the HTML page directly. I usually try lynx first, then a graphical browser if the page needs it.

I also browse from other people's computers, with their permission. Since I don't identify myself to the sites I visit, this browsing can't be connected with me.

One consequence of this method is that most of the survellance methods used on the Internet can't see me.

It's not the most practical way to browse the Web I would think, but it's an interesting datapoint on the security-convenience scale.

Comment Unilateral and therefore doomed (Score 1) 148

This will simply not work - it's a technical solution to a social problem (the article mentions the oligopoly currently in place). It's also a technical solution implemented unilaterally by Mozilla.

As the summary mentions: the original Do-Not-Track effort only failed when Microsoft made the boneheaded, unilateral decision to make it the default. Starting out this way will only start an arms race between Mozilla and advertisers.

Comment Re:I think... (Score 1) 497

If Microsoft is really as dependent on the Xbox as you're implying, i.e. more than on consumer Windows, I'm really curious how that will pan out. The Xbox One so far hasn't been unanimously praised - privacy issues, the whole used-game thing, lack of backwards compatibility... I know my personal experience doesn't exactly equal market research, but I haven't seen nearly as much drooling as over other releases.

If I had MSFT stock, I'd sell it. Maybe it's better that I don't actually have any.

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