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Comment Re:example (Score 1) 113

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment Before anybody tries UBI I'd like to solve traps (Score 3, Insightful) 501

Before anybody tries UBI, I'd like to see trapless welfare. I don't know how bad this is in Canada, but the USA has a lot of "welfare traps". That's a situation where people remain on public assistance rather than work because their real income falls when they start working. We do so many stupid things such as labeling people "low income" and making them wait a long time for "low income housing". Then their "low income status" actually becomes an asset!

Fix that first, then get back to us.

Comment example (Score 3, Interesting) 113

Uber is actually a good example of what's going wrong with the world: They are openly criminal and it works. It's Al Capone all over again. Everyone knows what they are doing, but they're too slippery to be nailed.

Same with the tax evasion of multinational cooperation, wars based on invented bullshit, election frauds done almost openly (like in Turkey), and so on.

Minority Report may have been on to something: The legal system working after the fact, and with a delay often measured in years, does not deter criminals. If you can take over a country, or become a billionaire, the threat that ten years from now they might file charges which your $1000/h lawyers will then simply drag through the courts for twenty years - well, that is not a very threatening thing especially for people trained to think primarily about next quarter.

Comment Re: Systemd! (Score 3, Insightful) 360

Writing code is a creative process. Obviously creator's attitudes infuse the creations.

Comparison to handwriting is a poor one, if somewhat evocative. It's more like writer's style.

Some creators adopt YAGNI philosophy, writing code that is simple, easy to understand, but doesn't suggest any expansion paths, and can turn to spaghetti if the expansions are managed. Some reinvent every wheel, writing every function themselves, others take the "golden hammer" to the extreme and create a dependency hell, trying to create a small centralized core that does everything using library functions. Some create rigid user interface following optimal use cases (actual or mistakenly imagined), others take customizability to the extreme, making the interface unusable mess until you take half an hour to configure it and remove all the crap you don't need. Some make programs that do only what says on the box and nothing more, others create APIs or operating systems disguised as applications.

Systemd started as a very simple, neat idea:

- create an alternative for initV that parallelizes startup of services;
- to speed up startup more, not to delay startup of services waiting until other services initialized, provide socket management, creating sockets "customer" programs would wait for, then bind them to their standard "providers" once they started up.
- do away with rigid sequence, instead manage startup as a set of dependencies to reach a certain state.

The idea was very sound and nice. Except it didn't end there.

- Some services needed these sockets actually working and not just present. So let's replace the provider and create own replacement as a part of systemd! And screw well established strategy, we're rewriting it our way! Here, take the binary log files!
- Some services didn't really work with the "dependency tree" strategy, since ancient times written as sequences of operations. These couldn't be easily parallelized. So screw your firewall, have ours!
- Some services used alternate communication methods that sockets. Kill them off, replace with systemd functions!
- Some of them would centralize startup of other services as needed. But that's our job! Die, inetd with your easy config!

And even if each "motion" by itself had a valid justification, the replacements offered by systemd are sub-par. Primarily because systemd developers don't believe in simple, straightforward, easy configurations. It's their attitude rubbing off.

A decent system does offer a lot of flexibility, with all kinds of obscure options, but it primarily offers sensible defaults for every obscure option, so you can get your basic work done in 2-3 lines, and if that's not sufficient, you will find what more can and needs to be done, never forcing you to state the obvious. Systemd though doesn't. You need to alliterate every little thing you want it to do, because the defaults just aren't there. And with some of its demands being quite obscure, it's often hard to find *what* the defaults should be. "Why should we make it easy if we can make it hard? If nobody ever has to write all these little details, they'll never know we had to work to implement handling them!"

Comment Re:Huh? What? (Score 2) 223

What if the common factor is that all of these artificial sweeteners stimulate the "sweet taste" centers of the brain but don't supply any energy? So then one part of your system says, "hey sugar coming" but the pancreas says "no dummy, this ain't sugar". They then proceed to duke it out, smashing bottles and breaking chairs all over the circulatory system.

It could be like virtual reality. Driving a car doesn't make you sick because your eyes and your balance system provide congruent information. Now put on a VR system and driving games can give you a headache because they only feed information to your eyes.

It's virtual sugar, only feeding information to your taste buds. It doesn't matter who makes the VR, they're all deficient.

Comment Re:Not exactly a neural lace (Score 1) 63

We may not have a good interface directly into the brain for memory, math, and facial recog; but that seems like a problem would could solve. After all, what are our eyes and a phone but a kind of klunky prosthetic for a deficient brain?

What we really don't understand is how this impacts our state of being. If I have a cybernetic implant that allows me to preserve the memory of my family, I'm still alive, right? Simply having access to knowledge of my life doesn't steal my consciousness. Otherwise, family photo albums would make me legally dead.

What we really don't understand is how all the stuff in our brain and body make us conscious human beings. We'll still die; but what does death look like? Is a machine with all my data still me? Will death just be a slight twinge of existential angst, followed by me no longer being a real human being? Or, is a full upload still conscious? What's going to happen? Real immortality, or just a slow transformation into a fancy animated corpse/memorial?

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 1) 358

Looking over the PicoBrew, it looks like they took the successful coffee "pod" business model and adapted it to beer. Given that, at least it makes sense since brewing beer is, IMHO, more complicated than making a cup of coffee so if you could make the process consistent you might actually add value for people that don't have any aptitude for such things. OTOH, the juicer thing looks to be just squeezing juice out of a bag when you could have poured it out of a bottle instead.

None of this makes sense to me. I just use a regular coffee machine and it comes out great; but apparently there are a lot of people who like that stuff. I sometimes call them "pod people". This is why I'm sometimes really bad at investing: things that look stupid to me can make an awful lot of money. On the other hand, just because something is stupid is no guarantee it will make money...

Comment Favorites are hard (Score 1) 1222

Favorites are hard, it's kind of a silly question so let's give some love to something that a lot of you may not have seen: Dark Star. Things like this leap to mind for me because I saw them back in the days when all we had was analog broadcast with a few channels. They'd show stuff like this after midnight. That's also how I saw the original Planet of the Apes--with the volume down low, hoping my parents wouldn't wake up and send me to bed.

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