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Comment Re:Short summary (Score 2) 261

How about the dumbass driver that nearly mowed me down while I was cycling in the bike lane? Oh, wait, that was like 3 different drivers this year alone... Last one went through the bike lane to get to the turn lane while I was in it, missing my front wheel by about 2 feet. Yes, I am very visible, wiht multiple lights, light clothes, reflectors, flashers, etc. Let me cry a river for the occasional driver inconvenienced by a bicycle.

Autonomous cars have been getting incredible, and often unbelievable hype with lots of wild and unfounded claims, often from fanboys who are blinded by their own excitement. It is appropriate for the news media to look behind the curtain and report on what they find.

The reality so far has been rather sobering, and indicate to me we are still farther away than we think.
- Google employees sleeping or working on laptops in beta vehicles on the way home from work, reminding us that humans cannot be trusted to be a backup safety system if HAL gives up or makes a mistake. More recently the Tesla driver who apparently was watching a DVD player rather than the road when the Autopilot drove under a truck.

- Uber cars that throw up their hands and require driver intervention for situations as basic as driving over a bridge, reminding us that we are a long way off from being able to remove the steering wheel and let the "driver" tune out and relax.

- No autonomous vehicles claim to handle dirt roads without markings, snowy conditions that blind lidar, or construction zones all on their own. I still fear a large increase in the error rate for manual driving by drivers who become rusty and have to take over under the worst driving situations (possibly after being summoned from a nap). On the plus side, their pickiness might finally get some money spent to properly maintain the roads.

Comment Re:Nervous (Score 1) 81

Mac mini has been neglected for years, as has the mac pro. Their all-in-one approach is a non-starter for me, and the mini is non-expandable and badly underpowered. If they came out with an acceptable mini-tower not marked up by 3x that I could stick a few drives in and still upgrade the memory and video card in I would be game. Frankly I am done with Windows, and I am not a fan of Linux. Now would be a strategic time for them to take advantage of Windows 10 discontent, but I am sure they won't. I barely ever turn on my home PC anymore anyway. The dream is gone, as are the developers.

Comment Re:Something's missing (Score 1) 151

But your analogy fails. Going from an LTE average of 12 Mbps to 250 kbps max. By your analogy it be like going from typical 5 minutes wait per plate to 4 hours minimum for the last plate. You would validly be ticked off if your server disappeared into the kitchen for 4 hours would you not?

I am all for the FCC clamping down on the deceitful language and double speak. Don't call something "unlimited", then throttle it to near uselessness.

The cellular carrier make very high profits, yet rather than invest in a denser network to match customer usage they resort to throttling and other cost cutting schemes along with rapacious data prices to make their existing wimpy networks keep shambling on. Meanwhile they market themselves with claims of blazing fast speed that can burn through your data cap in mere minutes. The FCC is the 20 lb gorilla we have, I wish they would bulk up and bring more sanity to the whole situation.

Comment Re:Not a fan of this stuff .... (Score 1) 550

I'd rather see a tamper proof stickers on the camera with a $100 deposit as an option. Let people take calls if they need a baby sitter to be able to get in touch, but photos or videos will cost them royally. Sensitive locations will use these stickers to protect prototypes on a regular basis and such, why not camera shy artists?

Comment Better used at the dinner table (Score 1) 550

Having recently had our teenage niece visit, I want these for the dinner table. Kids these days can't unhook from them, but really don't have the multitasking skills they seem to think they do. You can't listen to music in one ear, Instagram with your right hand, eat with your left and carry on a conversation with your other ear. You become a babbling pile of "Huh? What mom? Justa sec... Huh?".

My wife ended up realizing a couple months back that she had to leave her phone totally in silent and non-vibrate mode and out of reach or she could not help herself checking on it every time a text or alert came in. We had let things slide and let our 4 year old kid occasionally watch TV while eating dinner for a while, but we learned our lesson when it was clear he was tuning us and his dinner out and instituted a no-electronics policy at meal time. It is very cliche, but it has really made meals be enjoyable family time where we actually talk to each other. I really have turned into my parents...

Comment Re:It never has been effective (Score 0) 99

Or if you make the DRM obnoxious for legit users it will tip towards piracy or just lower sales.

DVD's and Blu-Rays have been obnoxious for years. If I have access to it on Netflix or similar I watch it that way with somewhat inferior quality just to avoid the couple minutes of button mashing and increased blood pressure to get past the previews and menu sequences to be able to actually play the damn movie. I no longer look forward to buying and opening a new movie, as who knows how awful the crap is at the start. Half the time after I suffer through that I find the movie is so badly written and overly CGI'ed that I never watch it again. I am amazed how awful of a product and packaging the studios can make after burning through hundreds of millions of dollars.

End rant.

Comment Re:Class Action Suits (Score 3, Informative) 85

Sadly you are correct. A lot of the BIG ROUND NUMBER settlements come out to rounding error per plaintiff, and 20-50% going to the lawyers. Somehow there need to be ethics and rules to assure that the actual damage is roughly remedied and in a timely fashion. There is too far of a gap between what a law firm can readily settle for quickly to maximize their profit per hour of effort, and what will actually make things right for their clients.

Years back near my old neighborhood there was a train wreck, leading to a damaged high pressure gasoline line, leading to a massive fireball that killed folks and burnt out many houses. The ensuing lawsuit was fought tooth and nail, drawn out, and eventually the plaintiff's lawyer ran into money issues. So he settled for an amount that went entirely to "legal fees" and he skipped town. Many residents were left with nothing. There are countless examples across this range where justice is excruciatingly slow, with unjust results at the end. It becomes punitive to hold out hope for a remedy. There are a couple suits we didn't even know about that sent us $20 checks, and others we lost track of and stopped updating our address with because any settlement would be worth less than the time needed to possibly get something at the back end.

Comment Fraud (Score 5, Insightful) 116

Outside of the telecom industry this is called fraud, and should result in jail time for those who are responsible.

Comcast and its ilk own too many congressmen, so they have to pay back a small percentage of the profits if they get caught. Usually no admission of guilt is even needed.

Carry on, business as usual.

Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 117

Most of these are not on any administrated system. These are baby monitors, home security cameras, "smart" toasters, and similar junk. We are selling piles of internet connected junk to the masses, but with no responsibility for anyone to make them secure after the fact. It is in fact getting harder to find widgets that are NOT internet connected just for the sake of being able to label it "smart".

Smart toilet paper that tells you when the roll is about empty and automatically re-orders from Amazon will be the next BIG thing!!!

The hassles with just getting all the connected crap in a typical house to work are too much, getting random fly-by-night electronic gizmo's to be secure against state sponsored hackers with nearly unlimited resources? Fugetaboutit...

Comment Re:People tend to think others will behave as they (Score 1) 134

I still remember the day I found out just how little of the ~15-20 bucks I spent on a CD actually went to the band. I felt robbed. I felt bad for the bands. I hate rent seekers who use their position of power and influence to take far more than their fair share as an fiefdom tax.

Comment Re:Translation: drop song prices to 25 cents (Score 1) 134

Translation: DRM and forced ads suck donkey balls.

I am really tired of all the DVD's and Blu-Rays making it hard to just play my movie without obnoxious previews and introduction animation crap, or get it onto an iPad for my kid/wife/me to watch on a long trip. I don't pirate, but I have come really close to giving up the legit route for even the movies we bought. Pirated content stripped of all the BS gives a far better experience than legit buyers get. WTF?

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