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Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

aaronb1138 Finally, an honest Internet company (71 comments)

It is really great that AirBNB is being a responsible civic citizen and charging / paying taxes which apply to their business.

Can we go ahead and explain to Uber and Lyft that they need taxi licenses and to pay their share or gtfo.

3 days ago
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Future Hack: New Cybersecurity Tool Predicts Breaches Before They Happen

aaronb1138 Re:What a coincidence. (33 comments)

Wouldn't it just be easier to aggregate information from social media sites using a weighted system. Just put 4Chan at the top of the weighting, with Facebook next and use separate weighting scales for positive versus negative mention counts. Both are valid predictors, so it should work and get closer.

I'm glad one of my side jobs is setting up IPS / IDP and similar security on firewalls. I'll never be thirsting for work.

about a month ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

aaronb1138 Re:Why focus on the desktop? (727 comments)

Horribly ineffective, but that hasn't stopped the iOS fandom from embracing the iPad as a poor substitute for a content creation device, including software development.

about a month ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

aaronb1138 Re:Why focus on the desktop? (727 comments)

Embracing the device world and abandoning the desktop means exclusive large sources of cash and interested parties who would take control of the kernel from Linus. That's why he needs the desktop to stay alive as a dream. Red Hat, IBM, and Apache are probably the only ones with any clout keeping Samsung and Google from digging deep and streamlining the kernel for ARM / mobile device use exclusively.

I wouldn't even blame Google, Samsung, et. al. if they did decide to just flat out fork the kernel completely and drop the cruft. Hopefully they would bring an ABI driver framework with them.

about a month ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

aaronb1138 Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

Let me preface that I think lawyers are a terrible scourge and sap resources from the global economy and especially in the US from the GDP.

That said, I really want to see a successful lawsuit against Kickstarter making them responsible for inherently bad / illegal products. This licensing / EULA / contracts crap that absolves the middle men of responsibility is complete garbage.

about a month and a half ago
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Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

aaronb1138 Re:The real issue (183 comments)

Just looked at the Yelp reviews... Yep lots of people who have never come close to the place spouting off just so someone thinks their voice is important and try to make some false attempt at social commentary.

I guess the same charge could be leveled at /. posters...

about a month and a half ago
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Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

aaronb1138 The real issue (183 comments)

The real issue is people putting ridiculous amounts of stock into online reviews that are easily manipulated both by the vendor of a given service or a minority of disgruntled and hyper-critical customers. With groups like Yelp or Angie's List, it gets especially messy, because they don't use a verification system for reviewers and on both sides there are paid armies of the people who can't hack it as (lame sack of shite) SEO consultants trying to grift a buck manipulating reviews positive for their clients and negative for nearby competitors.

This gets even worse when we consider the nasty culture of anti-confrontation where people instead of bringing an issue appropriately to management and getting it fixed, just spout vitriol and become oversensitive over minutia.

Sure, lots of bad service exists in the various service and product industries. The simple fix is to clearly ask for what you want and then not pay (demand a credit / refund) when things are not made right. Too bad the majority of people willing to go to such lengths are usually the self-absorbed assholes who have unreasonable requests and expectations.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

aaronb1138 Re:Nothing (430 comments)

This. This guy gets it. And it gets really old having programmers blame all of their issues on "I gots the aspergers" and "I'm a creative person". The source code for most FOSS projects is a terrible mess anyways. People just shove their hands in wherever they want and leave garbage behind. Good source code seems to only come from individual / small team (<5 devs) projects and some commercial software. A few older semi-FOSS projects (more the freeware not OSS or shareware projects) for Windows aren't too bad either, but the programmers all eventually let the projects go as they are highly employable and get jobs that pay them for their quality work.

The GNU and Linux communities are rife with people who aren't otherwise employable and can't keep it together personally or professionally. I don't mind deploying Linux servers for specialized purposes, but you can be sure I disable automatic update mechanisms most of the time to prevent the inevitable critical application breakage that the lack of testing and consistency brings.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

aaronb1138 Re:Good grief (98 comments)

Old saying goes, "I can't afford to buy cheap crap."

I have yet to see a computing environment where the demand of computing power significantly outstripped supply due to antiquated technology except where the network administrators were practically tenured. In those cases they were gobbling up so much in salary and blowing time to keep fixing stuff mostly due to age.

The administrator even seems to point at that he is trying to fix problems that don't fully exist. "...and it is hacked a lot." Is one of those telling statements that maybe the problems are the administrator going overboard to justify his job.

about 2 months ago
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MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati

aaronb1138 Re:De-salination? (110 comments)

This is exactly what I was thinking about. I am betting all along the Middle East and African coastlines this would be a killer technology to both drive steam turbines and produce potable water concurrently. I would bet the issue would be salts and other particulates clogging the water passages though. Might work as a final stage distillation in a plant that is completely solar powered though.

The other issue for using it as an electric (or rather mechanical) generation source is the fact that it needs direct sunlight in the "boiler" or pressurized section which is tricky. This would definitely necessitate a different structure of solar farm + turbine than currently in use. Most of the more successful solar thermal electricity generation schemes have worked precisely because they plug into existing electricity generation turbine infrastructure.

about 2 months ago
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MIT May Have Just Solved All Your Data Center Network Lag Issues

aaronb1138 Re:Token Ring is dead. (83 comments)

Even if it is just a data center technology, a key placement might be SAN switching. Currently, much of "the cloud" or rather server cluster based computing suffers heavily from latency and you can never have enough storage bandwidth issues.

about 2 months ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

aaronb1138 Re:Isn't this a good thing? (171 comments)

Thank you. I don't think I could have said that so succinctly.

about 2 months ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

aaronb1138 Re:Walled garden? (171 comments)

That remark is nonsense. Most hobbies require an investment in tools and materials to continue the hobby. At $8-40 / month, iDevelopment is among the cheapest of hobbies. Evening adding in the Apple tax to own a couple iShinys still keeps this well below the cost of most modest hobbies.

If someone is trying to make a living off iCrapware, then they will certainly need to be making a good amount more than that per month to sustain themselves. Not being able to afford a fixed $40 / month cost to do business means your product is a failure.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

aaronb1138 Re:We're sorry we got caught? (401 comments)

I'm more interested in what the hold time for the customer retention department versus technical support. You can be pretty sure 8 minutes is a lot more than the tech support is allotted per customer to make their quotas.

about 2 months ago
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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

aaronb1138 Re:Documentary (117 comments)

People with a rudimentary knowledge of international economics and politics believed any of that? Much less a decent knowledge of network hardware and software.

We can't lay large scale cognitive dissonance on politicians and government agencies. It violates all forms of rational thinking. What rational mind thinks that a government agency (e.g. the NSA) whose hiring profile is mathematics graduates and ex-marines isn't obtaining information in a questionable manner and then ripping apart encryption.

In the US we have presidents who tap the strategic oil reserves to drop gas prices a nickel or two just to improve their or their party's chances just before an election. All of these sociological maneuvers are obvious as can be. We can't hold the matchstick men accountable for setting us ablaze when the public is so complicit.

about 2 months ago
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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

aaronb1138 Documentary (117 comments)

Clearly, many of you missed the short PBS run of the BBC documentary, Spooks, which details the exploits of MI5 in the UK. Peter Firth as the lead, great casting.

Joking aside, I don't understand all of the shock and awe at post-Snowden revelations about how various security agencies around the world operate. I have yet to see anything that comes off as remotely new knowledge since the Cold War. Yes, computers have made it easier in the years since the Cold War to store, catalog, and search data as well as automate human tasks. That's what computers were made for. Did people really think that the security services were going to act like the IRS and use the computer as a poor substitute for paper forms as opposed to modernizing and stretching technology's legs? Are people really so naive as to not understand the extreme manner to which computing advances have been driven by the needs of various secret security agencies around the world?

about 2 months ago
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Intelligent Thimble Could Replace the Mouse In 3D Virtual Reality Worlds

aaronb1138 Re:LEAP Motion (65 comments)

They also missed out on the concept of thresholds, dead zones, and sensitivity that were standard concepts with joysticks on DOS games 20 years ago. Even the concept of usage based calibration!

The controller should be able to see the "ground plane" of the monitor and adjust rotationally +/- 5-10 degrees and its position between the user and screen and then calibrate that cursor and hand movement are proportional. It's not even difficult projection math to have a cursor that is perceptually under your finger. The hand-eye coordination to see your hand in front of yourself but have to visually track a disproportionate cursor is about as bad as it gets. Then to have every hand shake and micro-movement send everything flying. Or worse, to have the whole thing jerk around because the tracking briefly lost track of a finger and reset the center of the palm (input smoothing!).

about 2 months ago
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Intelligent Thimble Could Replace the Mouse In 3D Virtual Reality Worlds

aaronb1138 LEAP Motion (65 comments)

LEAP promised similar things. Logically, their technology should work well, but the execution was piss poor. The trick to getting 3D finger interaction to work will either be higher immersion, such as proportional (to the controller) 3D displays or Occulus Rift style implementations where you can see your hand interacting. Another issue LEAP has is defining the horizontal and vertical ground planes. Their controller would work better if it detected and calibrated to you monitor and activation motions occurred when you touched the screen in many cases.

3D gesture identification and intent management seems to be a stumbling block so far as well. Seems largely that programmers figured out the hand skeletal structure and then immediately ignored that musculature, tendons, and fine motor control are not the same in all positions and directions.

Some example dumb hand / finger gestures for 3D control (I see these in LEAP motion software and in proposed hand gesture libraries for similar technology):
  - Triggering a thumb against the side of the index finger - most of the hand moves, especially the index finger (which is typically being keyed off of for cursor position)
  - Triggering by pulling the index finger like a trigger - surprisingly inconsistent when there is no resistive grip or button
  - Holding a splayed out hand(s) horizontally, mid air as a default centered position
  - Keying z-rotation off of a hand pointed at the screen as if one's arm protruded from the chest
  - Expecting the hand to translate mid-air like camera dolly & track.
  - Lots of other ergonomically / kinematically ignorant ideas. I think they modeled everything with those articulated wooden hands for clay sculpture. And no arms.

Just some things to consider before creating your own 3D motion controller...

about 2 months ago
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Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

aaronb1138 Re:Wow! (284 comments)

Dibs on the "on a mobile computing device" patent.

about 2 months ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

aaronb1138 Re:I can't imagine something like that in the U.S. (162 comments)

Unions. The word you are looking for is unions will never allow their work to be parsed by an AI that might increase productivity and might discern when crews are slacking and wasting time.

about 2 months ago

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