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Comment The comparison factors are skewed (Score 1) 126

If you read the details of the linked study, you can see that the criteria for "happiness" is different for contract plans vs. non-contract plans. Specifically, cost isn't factored into the "happiness" score for the contract plans, but it is factored in for non-contract plans. This would tend to artificially raise the happiness score for contract plans, since factoring in the high cost would likely lower the scores.

Also, battery life gets a much lower weight towards the score for non-contract plans than for contract plans. This is significant, because non-contract phones tent to have much better battery life than the flagship models.

What this proves is that you can make number say whatever you want them to say.

Comment How does this even translate to an algorithm? (Score 1) 365

Algorithms don't deal in philosophy or value judgments. They deal with things like angles, speed, and the car's capabilities.

The scenarios are so contrived it doesn't even make sense to argue them. Mostly, they are based on reckless driving scenarios, which self-driving cars won't engage in in the first place. By human standards, they will be overly cautious. These so-called moral dilemmas won't actually happen in such a way that the car can make such a decision. Any real-life decisions of this type are likely to be beyond the ability of the car itself to make a rational choice, it will usually just have to hit the brakes.

Comment Spam honeypot (Score 1) 51

I've had a yahoo email account for a very long time. I wanted to try it out soon after they introduced the service. After setting up my account, I immediately began receiving spam, and that was without ever sending an email from that account, or telling anyone about the address. Once every year or two, I go back and check on it, just to see if Yahoo has gotten better at getting rid of spam. They haven't. My inbox there is still overflowing with brand new spam messages, despite never having used the service.

By contrast, my GMail inbox is nearly always spam-free. I receive dozens per day, but GMail accurately filters out all of them, rarely making a mistake either way.

I have no desire to forward my Yahoo email to any other place.

Comment The sky is not falling (Score 1) 113

The unemployment rate for software developers is somewhere around 2.6%. That is a rate so low, that if you're a decent developer and can't get a job, you're doing it wrong, or perhaps living in the wrong city. When I had to look for a job this past summer, I was able to get interviews with four different companies within a couple of weeks, and was hired in a couple more, and that's despite being 50 years old!

It's always stressful to be in a layoff. I've been in several myself. But we're certainly not in a difficult time period for finding tech jobs.

Comment Every generation has a similar problem (Score 1) 84

There are always things that distract parents from family time. Work, TV, sports, bar-hopping, whatever. We simply insisted that our boys not use devices at meals or other family times, and we led by example. Parents who are committed to raising good families are still quite able to do so today.

Comment Re:Over 50 reports of burns/fires (Score 1) 110

The 3 reports (now 5) are of the replacement Galaxy Note 7's. So let's use your numbers, totaling 81 fires. By contrast, there have been millions of car fires, but you don't see people on TV telling you not to drive cars because the products are so dangerous! (See other thread on this topic for more details on that, including sources.)

Comment Re:The odds (Score 1) 110

You pretty forcefully made my point. There are literally millions of cars with fire troubles. No one gets on TV and tells us to stop using cars. No one thinks that a car fire is the most important risk of using a car, nor should they. Yet when Samsung "hides" the fact that three of their devices caught fire, we rain fire and brimstone on them.

The entire point was that the risk may have been a bit overblown. Yes, of course, for the unlucky three people, the impact can be terrible, even catastrophic. But like it or not, life has risks. When you walk outside, you risk your life. When you walk inside, you risk your life. If one of those remote risks became reality for you, ending your life, that would be terrible for you, but that risk should not keep us all from going outside, or inside.

Batteries inherently carry a risk of fire. All batteries have this risk. We live with it, because the benefit outweighs the risk. Is Samsung's risk higher or lower than the risk of a standard AA battery catching fire? Is it higher than any other cell phone model? I don't think we know that yet. If Samsung has created an unsafe product, they should address it. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, the replacement devices haven't yet been proven to be any riskier than any other cell phone.

Comment Re:The US never "owned" the Internet. (Score 1, Redundant) 215

Perhaps you haven't read the history of the Internet. Generally, you "own" the things that you create. It's pretty clear that the US created the foundations of the Internet, and therefore "owned" it.

I don't know how I feel about ICANN taking over, but it's probably inevitable at this point anyway.

Comment Re:A poor craftsman blames his tools. (Score 1) 531

It's not just the language, or the tools, it's the sheer complexity of what we try to do with software.

You can make a solid steel box that's pretty secure. But when you want to build an entire airport, with lots of moving parts and the need for lots of people to legitimately go through it, security becomes almost impossible.

Software is no different. The more complex the system, the less it can be effectively secured.

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