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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

lakeland Re:The "old boys' club" (335 comments)

Er, yes, of course it is. Tesla is not an Iowa company. Iowa customers are. When they buy off Tesla, that's an interstate commercial transaction.

it's pretty damn hard for a state like iowa to tell Tesla what they're doing is illegal when Tesla can point to a federal ruling that preventing car manufacturers selling cars to the public is legal. Until Tesla have that ruling all they can point to is legal opinions which carry a lot less weight.

about 2 months ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

lakeland Re:...like dash cams. (455 comments)

I agree.

Also the camera could be set to encrypt to a set of keys that only a limited number of people have access to - the officer, their superior, a couple 'court' keys, etc.

That way even if it records everything, that recording is inaccessible without a court order or similar.

about 3 months ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

lakeland Re:Its nonsense (391 comments)

Not a lot. Say you design a new heuristic for playing chess, you've now built a chess engine.

Say you build a tool which people can load new heuristics into - perhaps a variation of best first with your own pruning algorithm, you've now built an AI engine.

about 4 months ago
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

lakeland Re:Have they solved liability? (190 comments)

Yes, they've 'solved' it. Basically when you hit the start button you take liability.

about 4 months ago
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Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

lakeland Poor pluto (46 comments)

First it lost its planetary status, and now the moon is classed as a planet for this competition.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

lakeland Re:Plumber (509 comments)

Accountant - agreed, my point was many people refer to 'accountant' where they mean bookkeeper. I do not see computers replacing good accountants - if anything it will make them more important as the better raw data gives them more ability to make a difference.

But I completely disagree on your description of what current accounting software can do. Computers are opening the post (email) for remittance advice, chasing short payments and reconciling the ledger. They flag over-payments but leave chasing them to a person - too much thought required on the communication. They also collate expense receipts and chase staff for the various tasks coded into workflow (singoff from immediate manager, tracking against budget and authorisation limit, flagging suspicious values to appropriate people, etc). Paper invoices are also handled - scan it and it's emailed off to manually assisted invoice creation (too much variation in invoices for risking automated loading). Oh, and all purchases are also directly exported to the bank where you can configure them to either just be paid or require final authorisation depending on how reliable you feel your setup is..

They already integrate with stock tracking systems and so eyes they do depreciate stock, handle damage and lost items. Stock isn't something I have firsthand experience managing, but I haven't heard any complaints. Timesheeting and payroll are also fully integrated and I know they both work well.

Current state... I see an opportunity to help someone out. I create a quote in the accounting software. I email that quote to them and if they decide to go ahead then they create a corresponding PO in their ERP system. That process automatically checks against signoff limits, obtains approval from direct manager, etc. That is then automatically emailed to me where the accounting software automatically matches it to the quote. I then deliver the work and get them to sign it off. Once that's done I click a button to convert the quote or the PO into an invoice, adjust if necessary and click send. Again now their system receives that invoice, matches it to the PO and emails my contact to validate the work was signed off as complete. Then it schedules it for payment and sends remittenance advice. That gets matched by my software which sets the invoice expected date. When the payment is made it reconciles against this invoice. If they don't pay then it automatically kicks off whatever workflow I choose to set up - friendly reminders by email with summary of outstanding and a note to me.

Sure, it's not perfect and there's still a need for bookkeepers. Someone screws up the reference code on the payment, accidentally double pays. Subcontractors who charge a different rate depending on which client they're working on, reversing out declined expense claims, client or supplier correspondence beyond simply sending out statements, etc. But compare it to say 5 years ago - I wouldn't feel very safe as a book keeper.

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about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

lakeland Re:Plumber (509 comments)

Computers _are_ replacing accountants. Or more precisely computers are replacing bookkeepers and a lot of so called accountants are actually bookkeepers.

Most of the drudgery is leaving the profession now. What's left will be much more interesting and valuable work, but I suspect there will be a bit of a glut in lower end accountants.

about 4 months ago
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Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars?

lakeland Re:More nuanced choices would be nice here. (437 comments)

Online grocery shopping is available in a number of places. I'm not sure autonomous cars would make it cheaper - you have to offload the groceries and that's too hard to do using a robot (currently anyway).

about 6 months ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

lakeland Re:Eventually people will look up... (894 comments)

What I find really scary is that you were modded insightful instead of Godwin's law being invoked. Could you imagine a comparison between TSA and the Gestapo not being labelled flamebait even a couple years ago?

about a year ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

lakeland Re:All the news that matters (894 comments)

They were most likely destroyed under a policy intended to curb illegal deforestation. So not terrorism for a change...

about a year ago
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USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year

lakeland Re:The press and the people... (228 comments)

Ok, so it had a few cliches in it.

But it seems to me that the GP has a point. I'm not old enough to know what it was like during say McCarthy's witch hunts and how many people stood up for what is right. Was it a very small minority while most people just went about their lives, or was there wide public dissension? I do remember in the early 80s that there was fairly active opposition to Apartheid rather than the current defeatist apathy. That was a bit different though because most countries had abandoned it and it was more a matter of imposing our views on an unwilling minority than changing a more powerful group. The largest protest I can remember from recent history is the 99% movement and even that seemed to largely die out after a few weeks.

More succinctly: "Is the general populace's apathy to the issues of the day unique to our generation, or is this normal?"

PS: Cow towing rather than Kowtowing, though since it's from Cantonese I am not sure you could call anything a misspelling.

about a year ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

lakeland The numbers don't add up (1010 comments)

There are roughly an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, so 54/64 to 43/67 means the score should have dropped by 3% rather than remain steady.

about a year ago
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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

lakeland Re:how would it work in the real world? (308 comments)

I agree the cost of the computer is effectively a rounding error, but there are non-trivial costs in Window's favour too relating to compatibility.

It is getting a lot better with the rising popularity of Android / iOS meaning that fewer companies target a single platform, but I still find that when I try and take just my mac that I often find I have trouble doing some small thing.

about a year ago
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Microsoft's New Smart Bra Could Stop You From Over Eating

lakeland Re:Title Pedant (299 comments)

It could stop you from over-eating. You might happen to choose not to wear one for various reasons, such as an A cup being too big and thereby making it uncomfortable.

However I don't see why the title is inaccurate just because you are not interested

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Application Security Non-existent, Boss Doesn't Care. What To Do?

lakeland Re:Go on .. tell us who (310 comments)

The submitted did.

A Fortune 500 company for anyone with kids. That list is about 20 long - it would be very easy to work it out from the submission if you were that way inclined.

about a year ago
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12-Lead Clinical ECG Design Open Sourced; Supports Tablets, Too

lakeland Re:Why isn't all medical equipment open source? (134 comments)

It's hardly fair to compare a doctor's take home pay to the median income in the US. People going to med school are both smart and hard working, try comparing the income of smart, hard-working non-doctors to doctors and I think you'll find the difference is far smaller.

Yeah, $80k after applicable deductions is a good income. Approximately 12% of Americans make that much or more.

I tried to find some data on the median income of people with similar work ethic and IQ to doctors but couldn't find anything sorry.

1 year,10 days
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I'd rather be spied on by ...

lakeland Re:Gotta Go With Cuba (324 comments)

Yeah, I went with Cuba too, but for different reasons.

Look at how much resource the NSA has, or the Ministry of State Security... Now compare those to Cuba. I'd rather people spying on me were resource poor.

1 year,15 days
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New Zealand's Hackable Transport Card Grants Free Bus Rides

lakeland Re:Why do transit smartcards need to be hard? (96 comments)

Because it is hard.

(Disclaimer: I used to work for a company which bid unsuccessfully a few years ago to fix up the Christchurch system)

Probably the hardest part is the decentralised nature. How much money do you have out there? If this card claims to have been topped up by a terminal but you have no record of that, either the terminal is slow at reporting back, or the card is lying. By the time you know, it's too late. We have no way of communicating with a card except when it happens to be brought on bus, and at that point we don't have an internet connection.

Second hardest is probably balancing trust with flexibility. We want to enable internet top-up, but how do we get the money from an authorised transaction to your card without forcing you to buy a USB to NFC adaptor? We don't want to trust the card, or at least we want to test it for hacks. We don't want to trust the terminal, a single break-in there could cost a lot. And most of all we need to be constantly worried about primary keys - a break-in to signing keys would destroy everything.

Third hardest is the cheap hardware. Customers expect to get bus cards for free, which means you can't afford more than about $5 per card. Also with a couple terminals per bus you need perhaps a thousand terminals in christchurch - many of which will only be used a few thousand times in their lifetime and so they can't be expensive either.

Fourth hardest is probably the response time. You have roughly 200ms from card presence to approve/reject. That is not enough time for complicated checking - it is enough to check the has of a card number against a blacklist, or to run a challenge response protocol, but that's about it.

That's just off the top of my head and gives a rough overview. These are largely solved problems, but I can understand why a place like Christchurch with a population of 350k, many of whom don't use PT, would elect to stick with a broken system until a national standard is rolled out.

1 year,17 days
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US Attorney Chided Swartz On Day of Suicide

lakeland Re:Yawn (656 comments)

Would the corollary also apply? Every dollar you spend must be matched by a corresponding dollar donation to the prosecution case. That way rich people can't buy justice by outspending the government.

about 2 years ago

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