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Comment Re:Well yeah (Score 1) 341

That's actually a good argument for the Universal Basic Income. No punishment for seeking independent income, no way to cheat for it since every citizen is entitled to it.

Part of the depression of government dependence is probably related to various bureaucrats lording it over you and the knowledge that if you manage to make a bit of money independently, you could lose all support and end up on the street.

Comment Re:Well yeah (Score 2) 341

That's why we need a safety net that makes it more or less OK if robots take your job.

Don't forget that they can even indirectly take your job or at least cut into your pay. Imagine if robots take 25% of the jobs out there. Some small fraction of those people will then be applying for your job, and they'll probably be cheaper than you.

Comment Re:Call me crazy... (Score 1) 88

Apparently that's part of the solution here. That's why the specs aren't bigger.

Personally, I could use a bit more storage, but it seems fine as-is. I don't need a phone that can do CFD in the background, I just need it to communicate. Voice, text, email, some light web browsing, and an SSH client. It should be fine for that.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 244

If your statement applies to a 27 year old man, it applies to an 80 year old woman. Both in this scenario would have bought a self-driving car from an auto manufacturer. I chose her as an example to highlight for you the absurdity of expecting the end user to have the engineering expertise necessary to be liable for not choosing their mass market self-driving car carefully enough.

But if you prefer, what failure of expertise might a 22 year old liberal arts major show in choosing a m,ass market autonomous vehicle would attract liability for an engineering failure?

Perhaps the real reason you're upset is that your argument hinged on an unreasonable expectation of the consumer's engineering knowledge.

As for your comment about DRIVER error, that would be the autonomous system designed by the auto maker. It would not be the person who punched in the address of the university and pressed go before cramming in an extra 30 minutes of studying for the exam.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 4, Insightful) 244

In general, liability goes to the entity that could and should have done a better job avoiding the incident. So tell me, if an autonomous vehicle crashes, who could have done a better job avoiding that, the manufacturer that marketed the car as safe and their development team, or the 80 year old lady who bought the autonomous vehicle because she was no longer allowed to drive? What is it that you think the lady could and should have done better but failed at to attract a portion of the liability?

Submission + - The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost. (autoblog.com)

schwit1 writes: Up until very recently the talk in Silicon Valley was about how the tech industry was going to broom Detroit into the dustbin of history. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Uber — so the thinking went -were going to out run, out gun, and out innovate the automakers. Today that talk is starting to fade. There's a dawning realization that maybe there's a good reason why the traditional car companies have been around for more than a century.

Last year Apple laid off most of the engineers it hired to design its own car. Google (now Waymo) stopped talking about making its own car. And Uber, despite its sky high market valuation, is still a long, long way from ever making any money, much less making its own autonomous cars.

To paraphrase Elon Musk, Silicon Valley is learning that "Making rockets is hard, but making cars is really hard." People outside of the auto industry tend to have a shallow understanding of how complex the business really is. They think all you have to do is design a car and start making it. But most startups never make it past the concept car stage because the move to mass production proves too daunting.

Comment Re:That's what you get for wording the DMCA that w (Score 2) 81

Legally defined bad faith is hard to prove. We would need some metric, like number or proportion of bogus requests where bad faith is legally presumed. Of course, if a reasonable person hearing/viewing the target of the takedown knows it isn't the complainant's property, that too should be presumed to be bad faith..

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 1) 329

If it's any comfort, once you get past the breathless headline it turns out it only works for problems that can be solved in 5 lines of code or so. The sort we give middle schoolers to solve in summer computer camp.

I am also reminded of CASE tools. That was the big hype in the '90s that was supposed to allow non-technical managers to produce custom software based on a simple specification. It turns out, you have to be a programmer to be able to write a specification good enough to turn into software, but it's harder to write adequately for CASE tools than it is to just write the software.

Of course, everything old is new again, so in the 2000's we got UML (not the virtualization UML) that was also supposed to generate code from an exact specification driven by XML. You remember XML, the magic glue that was supposed to magically make software inter-operate?. Well, that turned out to also be much harder than just writing the damned code. WooHoo, you can generate hello world in less than 3 days!

But more to your point, yes. When people here and elsewhere say just go to school and get a new career, they're glossing over a great deal of mental anguish that will be suffered by millions, either because they're too immature to understand what it's like when you can't just run home to mom and dad or they believe it won't happen to them and they don't have enough empathy to feel for others.

While I don't think programmers will really be hit by this for decades to come, some people are truly facing it right now. They did everything you're supposed to do, but the promised life isn't forthcoming. Unfortunately, it looks like fixing the problem won't get much traction until someone experiments with replacing judges and lawmakers with Watson.

Submission + - A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”

Laws and rules are for the little people.

Comment Re: All the better to 'drive' stoned (Score 1) 132

Actually, that's why stoned drivers tend to be OK but drunk drivers are a problem. The drunk driver is over-confident in their abilities and tends to crash. Stoned drivers are generally more capable than they think they are and slow down more than enough to compensate for their poor reaction time.

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