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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

shadowrat i'm shocked (256 comments)

shocked i tell you that California didn't think to mandate this first! we are slacking.

2 days ago
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

shadowrat yeah, i'm not interesting in going to space (107 comments)

bone density plummets, muscles atrophy, eyes degenerate. Are we telling this to kids that go to space camp? Being an astronaut is as bad if not worse for your health as playing in the NFL. Of course, i find the former more interesting to follow from the comfort of my armchair.

2 days ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

shadowrat Re:The worrisome part (233 comments)

They can cut off phone service in this and other countries but the theft is going to china etc that does not care or the be broken down to parts.

The chinese have iphone parts. They assemble the parts into iphones and sell them to the US. the iphones are then stolen from the US and returned to china. They are broken back into parts and it starts all over again!

What an intricate system! If it's not evidence of intelligent design, i don't know what is.

3 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

shadowrat Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (257 comments)

sometimes automation is preferable to human interaction. I bet comcast would be lauded if they had a phone menu with the option of "press 1 to terminate your service."

about a week ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

shadowrat Re:The real crime here (459 comments)

Offender: [sobs pathetically] "How am I going to pay my rent or car payment or buy food now? I guess i'll have to start mugging people."

FTFY

about a week ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

shadowrat Re:The real crime here (459 comments)

No, the real crime is punishing a non-violent civil offender with violence (i.e. forced into a cage). It only takes a moment of critical thinking to realize that punishing non-violence with violence is a product of injustice, not justice.

no, the real crime here is a misleading title that implies he was given 33 months solely for the act of filming a movie with a camcorder.

about a week ago
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51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

shadowrat Re:Logged in to email? (117 comments)

If anyone knows of any app that keeps the phone locked out (so you need to enter a password to get into your apps) but which enables easy dialing of 911 (or selected people on your contact list). I'd be more than happy to hear what they are. That would be the perfect balance between securing your phone and keeping it easy for my kids to use to call 911 or relatives who live close by. (Not that those lock-screen passwords are perfectly secure, but they're better than swipe-to-unlock.)

yes. it's called iPhone. there is an option to make an emergency call from the lock screen. I'm pretty sure the same thing exists on most android and windows phones.

about two weeks ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

shadowrat Re:They are clueless... (232 comments)

I can see a benefit to this arrangement. The traditional email system puts responsibility in the hands of the recipient. It kind of encourages this fire and forget mentality that just shoves the work down the line to the next poor SOB.

I've been in situations where teams communicated effectively over email, and i've been in situations where the sales team just constantly ran around in a tizzy peppering the engineering team with questions. Now, a breakdown seems to happen here since the speed of sales is not the speed of engineering. Sales people are always on the go. They are always pursuing the next big client. It's not uncommon for their requests to simply be a stream of, "stop what you were doing for that last request because i've got an even bigger fish."

That's not a bash on salespeople. It's just how the job works. That's manageable on a day to day basis. I get what they are doing, but i also recognize that there is usually a half-life of 1 or 2 days to these "urgent and important" requests. Most of the time coming back from vacation, i'd sort of breeze through these things, not really looking at them in depth. I didn't want to miss something actually important, or still relevant. I'd kind of like to know that the person with the actually important issue was maybe going to pick up a bit of the load rather than just spend 5 seconds blasting an email out and then claim, "hey. i did everything i could to get that client."

about two weeks ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

shadowrat Re:Database? (371 comments)

The joke: Software "engineers" as the title is widely used in the tech world aren't Real Engineers. Unless your four year degree has the word "Engineer" and is from an ABET/EAC accredited institution you are not an Engineer, end of story.

uh oh! sounds like someone's a little bitter. Here's a little more salt to rub in your wounds. i went to art school! didn't even graduate with a degree and i get senior engineer in my title!

about two weeks ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

shadowrat Re:hum (109 comments)

He has no idea how to even use the thing he's invented?!?!

To be fair, the engineers behind the x-1 had chuck yeager use the thing they invented. I'm not sure how many could actually fly a plane.

about two weeks ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

shadowrat Re:Now this is funny. (109 comments)

Yeah, I can't imagine who (in my admittedly small circle of friends) would really need or want this. It seems like it's great for transcribing speech, or any situation where you are trying to parse a stream of language and the rate of the stream isn't dictated by you. I don't really think WPM is the bottleneck for other endeavors. As a programmer, i just assume it's not really suited to all the punctuation in my favorite languages. More than that though, my typing speed isn't a bottleneck. The bottleneck is envisioning the idea and subsequently debugging the resulting code.

I'm not a writer, but i imagine that's similar. Is anyone really being held back from writing the next great american novel because they only type at 90 wpm? Or is it just that they don't really have a good idea.

about two weeks ago
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WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

shadowrat Re:First.... (183 comments)

Thanks! I was hoping people would enjoy it! I feel like i really bettered the world today!

about three weeks ago
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WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

shadowrat Re:First.... (183 comments)

I like preppers, they rarely, if ever, actually understand the consequences of social collapse, and falsely view increased individualism as the primary consequence of major institutional failure.

They don't consider the social structures that arise in post-governmental situations. The importance of community connectivity increases with importance as rigid social structures fail. You want a local warlord, a gang, a tribe, or some other primitive power structure, if you want to survive in a "lawless" world.

Oh sure, grouping up provides an immediate boost to strength, but It'll only last for so long. This australian case study from 1985 http://tinyurl.com/h4otx proved that such a social structure is only as strong as it's weakest link. A stronger individual will always appear in time and take your group apart. It's pretty much proven as the same results were witnessed in 2 previous studies. I hear they are going to run it again. I expect the same outcome.

Heres a similar sociological study demonstrating the feasibility of individual survival. It's not as targeted at catastrophic social collapse, but i think it's safe to extrapolate. http://tinyurl.com/3xpd3n

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

shadowrat Re:Except,,, (316 comments)

You know what really works? People using common sense and realizing that there is no such thing as "unlimited" bandwidth, food, or anything else.

Then stop advertising it as such. "common sense" is nonsense, and I'm tired of people using a phrase that could literally mean anything. Popularity is irrelevant, and since what is believed to be "common sense" is often nonsensical, it's just not a very good term.

Do you feel as strongly about places that advertise having the world's best car, hamburger, cup of coffee, etc?

about three weeks ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

shadowrat my beloved jeep wrangler (140 comments)

I guess the wrangler didn't make the list, but it can hardly count as hacking when the hood doesn't even lock closed.

about three weeks ago
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

shadowrat Re:Nothing to panic over (409 comments)

You want the experts at the CDC to be able to study this up close in a live patient. Of course one has to wonder why we had to wait for an american physician to get infected before deciding this was a good idea...

Exactly! Walter from Fringe would have been able to find the cure in about 45 minutes in a makeshift kitchen lab. Then he could have engineered a cure with some old yogurt, a teapot and some of his own blood. All that as long as he could just see the patient. You'd never get him to go to Africa though. That's why they have to bring the patient here!

about a month ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

shadowrat Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (315 comments)

Not that I'm knocking "earning big bucks", but it always kinda pisses me off that people talk about compuer programming or a certain type of programming as being especially lucrative, as if that should be some sort of aspiration in life. It certainly pays better than a lot of other jobs that I've had, but how much money you can earn is a pretty shallow metric for success, if you ask me.

Sure, self actualization is probably what really makes people happy, but as far as metrics go it's crappy. Money is quantifiable, thus it's one of the best metrics.

about 1 month ago
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Better Living Through Data

shadowrat need more data i think (38 comments)

I am curious whether such data can help inform how much computer use is healthy/productive

You could keep stockpiling this data for your whole life, die, and draw the conclusion that all that computer usage must have killed you.

about 1 month ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

shadowrat That time is over (544 comments)

Sorry, those phones are gone. Your best bet now is to become the guy at the Renn-Faire who texts stuff in on a physical keyboard. You get a spot between the blacksmith and the punch and judy show.

about a month ago
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

shadowrat Re:Whelp. (139 comments)

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

I worked a good many years in an exotic pet store. My area of expertise was reptiles and, in my time, i was bitten by all manner of things that most people don't want to get bitten by. Of all the animals i would deal with, the birds were the things that really terrified me.

Reptiles, yeah, you gotta repect them, esspecially the highly venemous ones. But, they are predictable and easily outsmarted. Birds can be fierce opponents. They are intelligence combined with effective weapons. They can deduce it's better to ignore the leather glove and aim for the exposed forearm. There was one macaw that i swear would pretend to be nice just to lull me into a vulnerable position.

Not a day goes by that i'm not thankful that i live in a world where i only have to worry about sharks, big cats, bears, wolves, and reptiles. I would be terrified having to worry about a bird that might get me.

about a month ago

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