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Comment Re:Who determines what your job will be? (Score 1) 1138

My issue wasn't that anybody is entitled to be successful, only an individual can shape one's future. But the post I was replying to made the implication than, in an ideal world, wealthy people shouldn't be able to purchase expensive education for their children.

Many mediocre people with wealthy parent's have gone on to live much better lives then mediocre people with poor parents. It isn't fair, but a fair system isn't what works nor has it even been proven to be possible. A working system gives incentive for people to be productive, and few things are a more powerful motivational force than the desire to protect/promote one's children.

Again, competitive school grants SHOULD exist because the loss of an exceptional mind due to social factors is abhorrent and antiproducive. But, just as we should help those less fortunate, we should continue to reward those who, by the standards of capitalism, have become successful.

Comment Re:As an engineer... (Score 2, Informative) 270

The reason for that is not what you seem to imply. It is a question of know how. You pay for what you don't know. The security issue is something else. If you are stupid enough to change setup in the car the company is not liable for it since it can be easily proven that you are the guilty one. Most well designed cars will not allow you to do any change without proper security. You need the right codes and passwords. We have to keep coming up with cleaver ways to keep morons from screwing things up.

The reason for the high price of devices like those of Intrepid, Actia, Dearborn or Vector are that those device allow you to similate engines, ABS or transmission messages easily. If you can't do certain things common sense is that you need to pay someone who knows. Knowledge is money. If that was a larger market the prices would be much lower.
I use some of those expensive devices to test our cluster software or other devices that hooks up to the CAN (J1939, GMLAN or Ford) as well as J1850 or J1587. The price varies between $800 and $4000. When you pay $4000, about half of it is for the software.

If all you want to do is monitor things and perhaps add your own gauges or gadgets you should not attempt to go into diagnostic too often and have no need for such expensive devices. A $200 or $100 device would be sufficient, you could even create your own for cheap. Look at some STM32 with CAN or the AT32UC3C, they are quite cheap, the Atmel processor has 2 CAN.

J1850 is a pain but with most CAN protocol you can monitor faults and most information thru CAN if you know the messages. Ford, GM and Chrysler information is easily available if you know someone, it is not hidden but they don't like that data to go to Joe Blow, you have to have a legitimate reason to want the data. If you are building a device like the ones on the market you will have no problem getting them as long as you pay for them. We had to pay close to $100 for GM and it took a while while we got it free from Ford thru one of our customers. You can get the SAE specs for J1939 and J1850, it must be well over $1000 a year for a subscription.

Don't bother asking people who have those data since we are not allowed to pass those on. You want this you must pay for it.

For those who cannot afford the price of the documentation or hardware for these you have to rely on information that is published on the net and hope that it is correct or monitor the CAN for yourself and do some reverse engineering. GM, Ford and Chrysler have their own protocol in standard CAN at 500k. You must make sure that you do not create bus off conditions and that if you do, you recover quickly. Do not attempt to hook up anything on a moving vehicle unless you know for sure that the hardware is designed correctly. J1850 is still available on some vehicle but both Ford and GM have phased them out. J1850 is very tricky as it is very easy to crash the engine or transmission if you broadcast physical message when someone is broadcasting physical messages. With J1850 you must request all messages. This is not true for GMLAN or Ford which have messages that are sent on a regular basis. The GM transmission has a bug that if you try to communicate with a message that is not supported the transmission communication will crash. Do not mess with J1850 on GM engines unless you know exactly what you are doing.

For non Ford or GM trucks or RV there is J1939 (CAN 250k) and J1587 (RS485 9600 baud). J1587 is still available on all recent Allison Transmission and Wabco or Bendix ABS. It is available on most engines even though it is meant to be obsoleted. It will be around for many years because the military still use it for diagnostic. Normally when J1939 is available we use that. Allison has now J2012 for diagnostic on J1939, this is rather new, it has codes similar to OBD. Cummins and CAT are likely to follow the trend with their engine in a few years, I think that Cummins will have them in 2013 or 2014. All data is in metric on J1939 and english in J1587.

Comment Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (Score 1) 53

Congratulations. In one simple statement, you've managed to put all Law outside the realm of the common man, who (without the immediate aid of a lawyer) is doomed to getting screwed by The Man.

No, I didn't do it. It's how the law is designed in this country. I'm entirely serious, go ask a lawyer.

Because precedent can be broken, (or even conflicting) is the reason why not even lawyers are perfect at law.

The Common Law system is built upon tradition, and not strictly codified laws.

Any law that requires a lawyer to properly understand it should be scrapped and/or rewritten.

If you want to be able to be able to read a law and know exactly what it means, move to a place where the Civil Law system is practiced.

In France (a nation with a Civil Law system) their supreme court cannot hand down legally binding precedents. The opinions returned by their highest court are very short, brief and say "of the two laws presented, law XY prevails in this particular instance."

This is however, unlikely to occur in the USA, because lawyers are in power, and they will use the legal mechanics to stay there. (For instance, the government decided it would only pay people according to the level of degree that they have earned. So, Lawyers switched from getting a second bachelor's in law to getting a doctorate of law.)

"Rights" come from the Constitution and its amendments, not the Law itself. Laws are relatively simple matters to repeal, so any "right" they seem to grant aren't really rights, but "privileges". Constitutional rights, on the other hand, are much more difficult to take away, though Congress (and to some extent state and local authorities) have been slowly chipping away at them for more than a hundred years.

"Rights" as a legal term does not meet your definition. As an example, if someone has standing to sue, then they are said to have a "right of action".

You have numerous rights granted by statutes and common law traditions. If you have possession of property (meaning you live somewhere, whether or not you own it) you have a right of entry, a right of passage, among the more recognized right of privacy.

A court of law cannot take your right of entry to a property that you possess without due process. This is why you have to evict even squatters, (an individual who took possession of your property illegally).

However, I must point out that your side does not have an argument to invalidity because this is forcing individuals to buy something.

Why not?

Again, as I've said before, because some governments can force individuals to buy something.

It is much the same with health care: if I chose to utilize a strictly homeopathic approach to medicine, then I shouldn't be required to buy health care insurance, because I wouldn't need it. According to this law, I would be required to buy health care insurance, whether I used it or not.

To apply this to your favorite "car insurance" example, it would be exactly like requiring you to buy auto insurance, even if you don't own a car or have a license.

Actually, if you object to health care for religious reasons you have an exception from getting health insurance.

...and if they did, it would only show just how completely incompetent they are: information does not now, nor has it ever, required any particular operating system to be transmitted. :) The format of any electronic documents, that's something else entirely different, and has recently been touched upon [].

No, it does not require physically any particular operating system, however they could require it as a legal compulsion to do business. And this would likely be upheld on the same grounds as the slaughterhouse cases.

...and why it is critical that the law-makers be held responsible for their work. Having the sort of power you have (rightly) explained is not difficult to abuse.

Or, rather than using the word "abuse", just "use" in general. There was never any belief that 8 U.S.C. is an abuse of Federal power against the individual states.

I'm going to simply tell you that if you think states have the right to legislate immigration that you can cry me a river, because that's about all anything you can do is worth.

Shall I continue? It's all over the place, if you Google for "Obamacare terrorist" [].

Obamacare is a right-wing term that the left-wing doesn't use except to make fun of the right-wing for. Your first example had "terrorist" in quotes , which places it in a grammatical case of "so called", as in... we're not using this term of our own choice.

If the left calls a right-winger a terrorist because he disagrees with government, it's because we're mocking the way that they called their opposition terrorists... as evidence, see your first link.

As for the Times Square bomber, there's no question that some homegrown terrorists have attacked in order to advance their political agenda... a certain plane flying into an IRS building comes to mind.

We do not blatantly assume though that every person from the Tea Party is going to blow something or someone up in order to prove their point.

Uh, no. The term they chose was "Tea Party". The term "tea bagger" is rather derogatory [].

The media assigned the term before they were aware of its negative connotations. When I see "tea bagger" I don't think someone stuffing their balls in someone else's face, I think of a person who is a part of the Tea Party.

However, I will personally stop using it since you all get offended by it... however, they did use the term "to tea bag [a politician]" a lot before it was pointed out to them what the negative connotation was.

...and if the feds are going to have a law on the books, they should either enforce it or remove it from the books. Challenging Arizona on this matter should result in one or the other.

Governments selectively enforce all sorts of laws. When is the last time you heard of someone being arrested for jay walking? Speeding 5mph over? Following too close? Too fast for conditions?

There are certain laws that are there only to assess guilt after the shit hits the fan.

Comment Re:I think expectations are too high... (Score 1) 454

(Also: what religions are incompatible with alien life? Out of curiosity? Islam perhaps?)

Virtually all religions include a bit in their creation myth where humans were created as some sort of 'special' creature. Some think that finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would cause a theological crisis since it proves humans aren't special....personally I think the especially devout will just insist we're superior to the aliens.

Comment Re:Sure, that's great. (Score 5, Insightful) 203

With neutrality rules in place, every search engine will:

(1) Need a license or certificate showing that they have been tested and validated. This, in itself, is a barrier to entry.

(2) Results of the search engine will expect to follow the pre-existing norms. Anything innovative, original or experimental will not likely fit into the existing set of regulations and will automatically be out-of-compliance.

Supposed if I wanted to develop a search engine to promote free and open source software. It's not really intended to be a "general purpose" search engine but, instead, is designed to find free alternatives to commercial software. The idea is that you can search for "excel" and it will find you info about Open Office, koffice, etc. It's my own website that I'm paying for at my expense to promote my own personal beliefs.

Along comes Microsoft, a licensed search company. They are, to be sure, not happy that a search engine helps people find alternatives to their software. They complain to the license board that I don't have a license and my site is shut down. Or, I suppose, I could get a license (and have to pass certification on topics unrelated to my search niche). And since the goal of this license is "neutrality," I can't have results that leave out proprietary software. In fact, my search engine can't even legally endorse free software.

Licensing boards exist to maintain the status quo. Innovation is about changing the status quo.

Comment Re:I haven't seen it (Score 0, Flamebait) 275

I paid $12 in Bellevue WA. Desperately wanted popcorn, but despite being thronged, the place only had 1/3 of the concession counters open, so the line was absurd.

Nobody wants to go to the cinema any more.

Maybe they just want to avoid eurotrash who go out of their way to use the word "cinema" and talk about "attending university" rather than going to college.

Comment Re:Lower G = Weaker Lifeforms and another thing... (Score 1) 275

We have lasers, NOW, why on Earth would we still be using bullets in 140 years?

Because projectile weapons might still have the combat advantage due to the weight of the ammunition required. A laser weapon (or phaser, or blaster, etc) will require some source of power. Making a significant source of power small enough for a handheld weapon is non-trivial. Even a taser is bulky compared to a regular pistol.

To illustrate the import of this, the M-16 was chambered for the .223 (5.56mm NATO) over the .308 (7.62mm NATO) cartridge primarily because the light weight of the cartridge would allow troops to carry more rounds/shots of ammunition. This cartridge allows you to kill someone up to 400 yards away, yet weighs just a few grams. A laser would have to be pretty good to beat this.

Comment Re:I love some of their plans (Score 1) 256

People talk about the race to the bottom when it comes to quality and cost, but I think this is the real race to the bottom. We have so much market speak that pretty much says "Better than what you have" but uses all the extreme words available. We have already crossed the most extreme possible in coherent English so now we just invent random definitions.

Predictable enough, society has evolved to just comprehend such things as everyday "commodities" thou we still expect to see those odd words. Sad part is, in a global scale, most things conveying "Better than..." is actually average or lower quality than the rest of the world (ex: broadband, music, sports, cellphones, cars, renewable resources, math & sciences ...).


Submission + - Ants More Rational Decision Makers Than Humans

Hugh Pickens writes: "Humans and animals often make irrational choices when faced with very challenging decisions, but researchers in collective robotics have recently found that is that for ants making collective decisions, the lack of individual options translated into more accurate outcomes by minimizing the chances for individuals to make mistakes. The conclusions arose from an examination of the process of nest selection in the ant, Temnothorax curvispinosus, where the challenge before the colony was to "choose" a nest, when offered two options with very similar advantages. "Rationality in this case should be thought of as meaning that a decision-maker, who is trying to maximize something, should simply be consistent in its preferences." says Stephen Pratt, an assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "For animals trying to maximize their fitness, for example, they should always rank options, whether these are food sources, mates, or nest sites, according to their fitness contribution. Typically we think having many individual options, strategies and approaches are beneficial," Pratt adds, "but irrational errors are more likely to arise when individuals make direct comparisons among options." Studies of how or why irrationality arises can give insights into cognitive mechanisms and constraints, as well as how collective decision making occurs. "A key idea in collective robotics is that the individual robots can be relatively simple and unsophisticated, but you can still get a complex, intelligent result out of the whole group," says Pratt. "The ability to function without complex central control is really desirable in an artificial system and the idea that limitations at the individual level can actually help at the group level is potentially very useful.""

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