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Comment Too glib (Score 3, Interesting) 85

The companies understand one thing: profit.

That's not true. Companies and the people that run them understand more than just profit. I defy you to find a single person in a company who cannot comprehend something other than profit. To claim that profit is all they can understand is absurdly untrue. But there is a nugget of truth in what you say. What is true is that companies and some (not all) of those who run them have a strong tendency to focus on profits excessively, particularly short term profits. They do this to the detriment of all else including the long term health of the company sometimes. It's too glib to say that companies only understand profit but it is fair to say that companies tend to focus on it too hard at times and make bad decisions as a result.

A well managed company has to consider things like the health of their community, the well being of their suppliers, the trust of their customers, etc. All these things sooner or later will impact profits so if company focuses excessively on near term profits then in the long term they will likely be worse off and so will all those who depend on the company - customers, suppliers, community, shareholders and employees.

Comment Sample size to small (Score 3, Insightful) 146

Indeed, the sample size is small, but how are they supposed to get a larger sample?

You don't. You just admit that the sample is to small to draw meaningful conclusions. The error bars here have to be enormous.

They did the logical followup, which is a mouse study that confirmed the (limited) human results.

Mice aren't humans last I checked and while mouse models are very useful you are limited in how far you can extrapolate the findings to humans. Basically this finding is something that should make scientists go "huh, that's curious - we should follow up on this once we have more data".

Comment Not negativity - just realism (Score 2) 75

Couple of friggin' interns built a working rocket.

Not by themselves they didn't. They got help from experienced engineers and someone else funded it. It's kind of like US First competitions where much of the heavy lifting is actually done by real engineers and the students watch and (hopefully) learn and help out where they can. Now these interns are undoubtedly FAR more capable than a high school student and probably did quite a lot of the actual work but they also undoubtedly had a lot of help.

It's not negativity, it's just that pretending that a bunch of interns did this on their own simply isn't true. From TFA "For the past five years, interns were given the option to work on the Future Heavy rocket as a side project (outside of normal working hours). Approximately 300 people "had a hand in" building the rocket, according to ULA, while 68 interns and 22 mentors from ULA as well as 37 interns and 19 mentors from Ball Aerospace participated this year. Interns at multiple ULA facilities were able to contribute to the project"

Note the non-trivial number of "mentors" (read experienced engineers) involved in the project. I'm pretty sure they did a lot more than sit back and drink beer while the interns did all the work.

Comment Trademark infringement mostly (Score 1) 244

If they're basing this on owning the copyright to the Olympics, this isn't going to work - owning a copyright on the name of a thing doesn't mean that you can prevent anyone from talking about your thing, just that nobody else can sell it.

It's not only a copyright but a trademark too. They Olympics and symbols relating to it are all trademarks so the primary argument would be trademark infringement though in many cases their argument would be a weak one. Often they don't have a solid legal leg to stand on but they have demonstrated in the past that they will no hesitate to sick their flesh eating lawyers on anyone who crosses them.

Basically they are trying to protect the (substantial) money they get from their "official sponsors".

Comment Not an idle threat (Score 3, Informative) 244

You can bluster and threaten as much as you want, but reporting on the facts is perfectly legal.

That's true but the IOC and USOC don't care. They will sue you even if you did nothing illegal and I don't think this is an idle threat. They (mistakenly) think they are protecting their corporate sponsors by doing this. They sued Wizards of the Coast for using a symbol that could not possibly have been mistaken for the Olympic rings.

Comment Corrupt bastards (Score 1) 244

Commercial entities may not post about the Trials or Games on their corporate social media accounts

Good luck with that.

Apparently the letter says that any company whose primary mission isn't media is forbidden from using any pictures taken at the Olympics, sharing, and even reposting anything from the official Olympics account.

Reminds me of the time when the IOC decided the card game Legend of the Five Rings somehow infringed on their trademarks.

This from the same crowd that refuses to ban Russia in the face of clear evidence of a state sponsored doping program.

Comment Accountability (Score 1) 176

The bean counters would still do it without the CEO's direction, since it directly affects the company's ability to pay the employees (including said bean counters) salaries.

Company wide tax mitigation does not happen without C-suite executives being involved. Period. Virtually everything accountants do affects the financial statements and those are reviewed closely by the CEO and his direct reports if they care to keep their jobs. As such it does not happen without oversight with the head of the company leading that oversight.

And they would be under less pressure to do illegal tax dodges, since they would bear direct responsibility for those decisions instead of "just following orders.

Accountants DO bear direct responsibility for their actions and can (and occasionally do) go to jail for "illegal tax dodges". They are the first ones thrown under the bus if something shady is going on. Most tax dodges are 100% legal and there is a cottage industry in finding clever ways to legally reduce tax. The only ones who do it illegally are the ones who are too dumb to know better.

Hang the CEOs, watch the company do better as the people who actually know their jobs do them without outside interference.

If you want to see what a company looks like when you let the accounting and finance people do their jobs "without outside interference" I direct your attention to Enron. What you are proposing is a one way ticket to Fraudtown. A CEO who isn't keeping a close eye on the where the money goes in the company is not doing his/her job and should be fired.

Comment Wishful thinking (Score 1) 599

But airplanes have been flying with Autopilot for decades, and the legal situation is quite clear - the pilot is responsible for flying the plane, and the Autopilot is just an assist that automates some of the boring stuff.

And that is exactly how it should be in automobiles as well. The driver is the responsible party. When we get to fully automated vehicles things might get a little more complicated but for now it's pretty simple who is liable. The only real question is if Tesla has some sort of contributory negligence style liability as well.

Exactly the same as Tesla's Autopilot - probably why they named it Autopilot was to remind people of that.

Problem there is that to fly a plane you need to demonstrate a high level of competency and substantial amounts of training with tests to fly even the simplest of aircraft which lack autopilot. They don't let you use autopilot until they are damn sure you know what you are doing. The only tests we give to drive are some ridiculously easy tests that most teenagers can pass and we never evaluate their driving competency ever again even though many are seriously lacking in driving competence. Trusting that drivers will understand the connection to the use of the term in aviation is wishful thinking.

Comment Why autopilot (Score 1) 599

Why do people want to use autopilot in the first place?

Numerous reasons.
1) Physical comfort to start. I use cruise control in my car to relieve my leg from having to be fixed in a position for an extended period of time. It can get quite uncomfortable. Discomfort can lead to distraction and distraction can lead to accidents. (insert yoda joke here)
2) Autopilot also can be useful as a safety measure precisely because people's attention routinely waivers. Computers don't get distracted as easily as we do. I challenge you to find a driver who has never accidentally veered out of their lane while distracted or had to perform an emergency stop because of some condition they failed to notice ahead. Autopilot can help ensure these situation occur less often.
3) We lack the technology to fully automate driving but we have technology to prevent some types of accidents. We put ABS and traction control and air bags, and seat belts and other technology on cars to improve safety. Technology that keeps you marginally safer is a good thing. If autopilot can prevent more accidents than would happen without it then it is a good thing to have. We're looking for a net benefit.

Comment Emotion and judges (Score 1) 599

Judges don't deal in emotions like a jury does.

HA! If you really believe that you need to educate yourself about judges. They're just as human and subject to emotion as anyone else. The entire reason we have juries in the first place is precisely because judges are prone to emotion and irrationality and error and bias.
   

Comment Regulations are written in blood (Score 1) 599

Yes, this is an extremely common use case. Tesla will likely fix it. But it does suggest that they have not put the appropriate thought into the thousands of less common use cases that will creep up when this product gets into the hands of more people.

I've said it before but I'll say it again. This is a case of "Regulations are written in blood" in the sense that there will be a human cost involved in figuring out what works and what doesn't and fixing it so it doesn't happen again. Automated driving technologies are going to cost some number of lives and injuries to develop. I don't know how many, I just know the number will be greater than zero. There will be innumerable corner cases to work out before the technology meets its full potential and we will only learn about some of these by someone getting injured.

People bitch about regulations but they tend to forget the human cost that led to the regulation in the first place. New technologies rarely come without a human cost involved. Even something as seemingly innocuous as text messaging has resulted in fatalities because we didn't fully anticipate the degree of distraction it caused to drivers.

Comment Regulations (Score 3, Informative) 181

Tap water regulations are usually very strict.

Unless you live in Flint Michigan...

But once you bottle the water it becomes food, and food can contain pretty much anything.

Not even remotely true but thanks for trying. While there is (unfortunately) a lot of wiggle room, food production, marketing, and sales is actually pretty heavily regulated by the FDA and USDA among others.

Comment Whose job is it? (Score 1) 176

Well-paid CEO isn't responsible for reducing tax liability - that's the bean counters job.

Speaking as a certified bean-counter, it absolutely is a (small) part of the CEOs job. Everything that goes on in the company is the CEO's responsibility and I assure you that if the CEO isn't overseeing measures to minimize tax liability that the board of directors will (or should) notice because it directly affects profits. Since profits are the CEO's job, so are taxes. The bean counters are there to carry out the task (along with lawyers and auditors) but the responsibility definitely is a portion of the CEO's job. It's also the responsibility of other people as well since business is a team sport.

You could remove most CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, etc., and as long as nobody noticed, the company would be better off.

If you believe this then you have no idea what those jobs entail. Believe me there is plenty to criticize about how CEOs do their job and how their are compensated without idiotic sound bites.

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