Greg's recent activity

  1. Comment on Tesla remotely disables Autopilot on used Model S after it was sold in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    The real question is do I have a right under the first sale doctrine to sell on that license to use the software? There have been instances where phones have been sold at a premium specifically...

    The real question is do I have a right under the first sale doctrine to sell on that license to use the software?

    There have been instances where phones have been sold at a premium specifically because they contain a specific no-longer-available app. Second hand game sales are big business. It's not unprecedented, and it's actually been fought in court from both sides several times.

    I'd expect to either sell the software along with the car that it runs on, or keep my right to use that software on my new car. If my new car isn't a Tesla, or is a model it isn't compatible with, then the only sensible option would be to sell it with the car.

    [Edit to add] In this specific case, the ownership transfer doesn't appear to be the reason that the software was removed. It wasn't supposed to be installed in the first place, and Tesla removed it when that showed up in an audit. The ownership transfer is relevant because it meant the buyer didn't know it wasn't supposed to be on the car (everybody looked, quite reasonably, at the active features rather than at any original spec document). If they'd bought new, they would have been aware that it wasn't listed on the spec.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Tesla remotely disables Autopilot on used Model S after it was sold in ~tech

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Strongly agreed. Tesla even say it was "incorrectly configured", and given that the only ones with the power to configure that are Tesla themselves, that's tantamount to admitting it was their...

    Strongly agreed. Tesla even say it was "incorrectly configured", and given that the only ones with the power to configure that are Tesla themselves, that's tantamount to admitting it was their mistake.

    Tesla made a mistake in the customer's favour, and they bear no actual cost for leaving it as-is. I'm astonished that they'd squeeze a customer in the hope of a notional few thousand dollars rather than just writing to explain the mistake and congratulate the customer on their free bonus features!

    If the customer had bought new, and thus been totally aware that they hadn't specced or paid for the feature then I could maybe see it being removed (although I still wouldn't agree), but in this case the customer and the dealer both acted in total good faith. Tesla are the bad guy even by their own narrative.

    [Edit] Grammar.

    14 votes
  3. Comment on United Nations Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English in ~humanities

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Interesting! They are contrived in the sense that I thought them up to cover three specific scenarios, but for me the first one especially reads much more naturally with "they" - to the extent...

    Interesting! They are contrived in the sense that I thought them up to cover three specific scenarios, but for me the first one especially reads much more naturally with "they" - to the extent that I mentally put it back in when reading your version, and then had to go back and check.

    For me, the first (the individual is unknown and unknowable) sounds more natural with "they" than with any other construct. The second (the individual is potentially unknown) sounds natural enough that I probably wouldn't notice it, but could be argued either way. The third (the individual is explicitly known) is where it would sound slightly jarring to me, even though consciously I know it's valid and reasonable usage.

    I was interested to know how far others would see it that way: whether the focus of the "they" made a difference, or whether it was the singular usage alone.

  4. Comment on United Nations Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English in ~humanities

    Greg
    Link Parent
    If you don't mind indulging my curiosity, do you read any difference in how natural each of these sounds? The dealer should shuffle the cards and pass one to the player on their left. Did your...

    If you don't mind indulging my curiosity, do you read any difference in how natural each of these sounds?

    • The dealer should shuffle the cards and pass one to the player on their left.

    • Did your friend mention what they wanted for dinner tomorrow?

    • Chris told me that they got a new car the other day.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on The case of the 500-mile email in ~comp

    Greg
    Link
    This story was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the other day's XKCD.

    This story was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the other day's XKCD.

    9 votes
  6. Comment on A new technique for making responsive, JavaScript-free charts in ~comp

    Greg
    Link
    Recharts is another good option in this space - it supports server side rendering to SVG out of the box, and I've been using it to that end for a few years now. The trick of using HTML axes for...

    Recharts is another good option in this space - it supports server side rendering to SVG out of the box, and I've been using it to that end for a few years now.

    The trick of using HTML axes for better responsivity seems like a particularly nice idea from the article. I can't remember if the recharts team made use of that, and it could be an interesting addition if not.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What is something cheap to create but expensive to purchase? in ~talk

    Greg
    Link
    I'd say rarity is the best way to take something simple and imbue it with value. Action Comics #1, the Penny Black, and Kenner Star Wars toys were all cheap, mass produced consumer items. People...

    I'd say rarity is the best way to take something simple and imbue it with value. Action Comics #1, the Penny Black, and Kenner Star Wars toys were all cheap, mass produced consumer items. People didn't save them or take special care because they didn't see a reason to; in its way, that's exactly why they're so sought after now.

    Of course, it can't just be rare. It has to be in demand as well, whether for aesthetics, status, functionality, cultural significance, or any number of other possibilities. But if at least one of those is already fulfilled then rarity can conjure value from the æther. Autographs have already been mentioned, and they're a great example because you can literally see the transformation in value happen at the stroke of a pen.

    Art is an interesting one too; the painting alone, by an unknown artist, might well be judged on the skill and talent it embodies. Maybe it's worth thousands in its own right. But the second a piece of evidence comes to light showing it was the product of a world famous artist, it becomes worth millions. The work hasn't changed. The skill hasn't changed. The value has.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Is Catalina a good upgrade yet? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    I've read that the change was made to avoid dealing with the GPLv3 license on newer versions of bash. I also found this discussion on StackOverflow helpful in knowing what to expect from the...

    I've read that the change was made to avoid dealing with the GPLv3 license on newer versions of bash. I also found this discussion on StackOverflow helpful in knowing what to expect from the change.

    I replaced my primary machine a couple of weeks back and so far I've noticed no meaningful changes to my workflow, either in the CLI or the GUI. Not to say you'll necessarily have the same experience, but as @nothis said, the Catalina update is boring, and that should be considered praise when we're talking about operating systems!

    5 votes
  9. Comment on My Chemical Romance Announce Full Reunion Tour in ~music

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Looks like there's a gap for Glastonbury while they're in Europe - I can see that going down very well with the crowd!

    Looks like there's a gap for Glastonbury while they're in Europe - I can see that going down very well with the crowd!

  10. Comment on Where can I find collected wisdom from Silicon Valley? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    It can be disturbingly accurate at times. Mike Judge was discussing it on a panel (at a Google event in Mountain View, no less) and he pointed out that not only are some of the most "unbelievable"...

    It can be disturbingly accurate at times. Mike Judge was discussing it on a panel (at a Google event in Mountain View, no less) and he pointed out that not only are some of the most "unbelievable" scenes taken pretty much verbatim from things that happened in real life, but he's had to cut other real experiences from the script because nobody would believe them.

  11. Comment on Where can I find collected wisdom from Silicon Valley? in ~tech

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link
    If I were to pick a single book it would be The Lean Startup. For better or worse, it's something that basically everyone involved in that area of tech has read, or at least is aware of. It...

    If I were to pick a single book it would be The Lean Startup. For better or worse, it's something that basically everyone involved in that area of tech has read, or at least is aware of. It encompasses a lot of the thinking that's become an ingrained part of Silicon Valley business culture. It's practically a historical text in tech startup terms, given that it was first published almost nine full years ago, but a lot of the concepts remain the same.

    Hacking Growth also has some interesting thinking to complement that, and it might be worth a read. It's not as ubiquitous as The Lean Startup, but it's still popular and well regarded.

    Although it's not quite in the same vein, Freakonomics could also be along the lines you're looking for. It's not about tech at all, but you'll find the style of thinking reflected a lot in the tech startup world if you start looking for it.

    Finally, I'd suggest taking a look at Fooled by Randomness to remind yourself of something that founders and investors all too often forget: how much of a role chance plays in success, and how easy it is to be taken in by seeing patterns where there are none.

    [Edit] Typos.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on Scroll: a subscription service partnered with major websites that removes ads and many trackers, and pays sites based on your usage in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    I'm hitting enough paywalls and article limits nowadays that I'd happily pay for the convenience of making them go away. I'm morally in favour of paying for journalism anyway, but we need some...

    I'm hitting enough paywalls and article limits nowadays that I'd happily pay for the convenience of making them go away. I'm morally in favour of paying for journalism anyway, but we need some kind of aggregated payment.

    I don't read "a paper", even in digital form, so there's minimal incentive for me to pick up a subscription to one outlet when my reading takes the form of 2-5 articles per month from each source, covering maybe 10 major outlets. With the prevalence of aggregators and social sharing in general, I don't think I'm especially unusual in that kind of reading pattern.

    Frustrating as they are, I don't blame the NYT, Bloomberg, etc. for going fairly hard on the paywalls nowadays; I just want a single payment, universal login that makes them all accessible again.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on How do you find flights? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link
    I'll second SkyScanner, which I've used for many years, as well as Google Flights which runs on the the venerable ITA Matrix but is a lot more convenient for all but the most specific of queries....

    I'll second SkyScanner, which I've used for many years, as well as Google Flights which runs on the the venerable ITA Matrix but is a lot more convenient for all but the most specific of queries.

    I've found that Google and SkyScanner do differ on occasion, and they seem to be providing some genuine healthy competition to each other; I don't recall ever seeing an offer elsewhere that wasn't matched or beaten by one of the two.

    Anecdotally, SkyScanner tends to win out for me overall (to the tune of several hundred GBP on my first booking this year), but there was a period from about mid 2018 - late 2019 where Google was consistently beating them on the itineraries I needed.

    I also tend to use the British Airways search tool if I need to do a booking with points, as it tends to give the most comprehensive view for OneWorld member airlines, and those are the easiest to transfer into from my credit card.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Why religion is not going away and science will not destroy it in ~humanities

    Greg
    Link Parent
    This seems overly idealistic to me. Even if the questions can be kept separate (something I tentatively agree with in the abstract, but am much less optimistic than you or the article author about...

    The two aren't in opposition, in my opinion, but travel on completely different trajectories.

    This seems overly idealistic to me. Even if the questions can be kept separate (something I tentatively agree with in the abstract, but am much less optimistic than you or the article author about seeing in practice), the conclusions drawn from those questions necessarily collide.

    • Do we have dominion over the Earth and its resources, supplied in plenty for Humanity's use? Or must we radically alter our lifestyles in order to avert the catastrophe that our mathematical models predict?

    • Do we declare war even knowing that we are living a single short life between periods of infinite nothingness, or do we take account of life as a precursor to something infinitely greater?

    • How do increasingly radical and innovative medical techniques mesh with the concept of a soul?

    • Is an undeniably sapient artificial intelligence one of God's creatures? Are "human" rights the God-given preserve of humanity, or a utilitarian construct applicable to all intelligent beings?

    Views on the moral and the metaphysical necessarily impact our approach to the world we observe and inhabit, and sometimes those views are going to come into direct conflict with the evidence gathered using the scientific method.

    They don't necessarily have to be at odds in the way they so often are now, but they aren't entirely tangential. There's crossover sooner or later, and often it's at the points where the issues are the hardest and most important to deal with.

    18 votes
  15. Comment on Star Trek: Picard S01E01 - Remembrance in ~tv

    Greg
    Link Parent
    There's a definite choice in how to present that - in this case it started with "I know kung fu" and edged fairly close in to leaping tall buildings in a single bound. In TNG's case it was a...

    There's a definite choice in how to present that - in this case it started with "I know kung fu" and edged fairly close in to leaping tall buildings in a single bound. In TNG's case it was a quizzical look while calmly and immovably holding the fist of a much larger attacker.

    Science always bends to fit narrative in Trek, but if they'd wanted to it would be easy enough to say that she has Data's mind, but as a flesh and blood being her physical abilities are just those of an athletic human.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Star Trek: Picard S01E01 - Remembrance in ~tv

    Greg
    Link
    I came here to add my thoughts, and it's quite reassuring to see that others have already covered a lot of what I would have said. The interview, the poker game, the emotion in Picard's voice when...

    I came here to add my thoughts, and it's quite reassuring to see that others have already covered a lot of what I would have said.

    The interview, the poker game, the emotion in Picard's voice when he talks about the friend who gave his life for him are all, for me, flawless. That alone gives me a lot of hope for the series and I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

    Dahj 'activating' was a little formulaic, but she became compelling quickly, and tracking down Picard when she was lost seemed like a much more genuine use of Data's abilities, which I enjoyed.

    The roof sequence was something of a farce. It didn't have the neat, precise, robotic feel of the first fight (and I mean robotic in a very positive way, given the context), and it was cheesy enough that I genuinely thought it might have been another dream sequence when we cut to Picard waking up on the sofa.

    I'd still make a heavy bet on a last-second beam out or similar having kept her alive, because it just didn't feel like a believable death to me. I also hope she is alive so they don't just use her sister as a direct replacement - that'd undermine a lot of what they're saying about the two of them being individual, thinking, feeling people with their own lives and experiences.

    All in all, though, I'm pleased. It's early days yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekko Haavisto, says the crisis over Brexit could have a beneficial effect on the European Union, pulling the bloc together in ~misc

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Watching from the inside, I broadly agree with your first and last points. I shared an editorial the other week suggesting that one of the best possibilities here is England essentially being...

    Watching from the inside, I broadly agree with your first and last points. I shared an editorial the other week suggesting that one of the best possibilities here is England essentially being shocked out of its delusions of grandeur by the consequences of Brexit.

    I'm not so sure that cutting away the UK will do much good for Europe, though. Delusions of grandeur or not, it is a significant part of the Union and the loss itself will likely be felt. Perhaps more to the point, the underlying political currents that enabled Brexit and Trump aren't unique to the UK and US. I honestly wish they were - it would give those of us who oppose all this somewhere to escape to - but nationalist, racist, authoritarian populism is rising in a way that Europe will have to counter effectively with or without the UK.

    8 votes
  18. Comment on You must time-travel to any time before 1799 and never come back. Where do you go? in ~talk

    Greg
    Link
    Based on my somewhat limited knowledge, Ancient Athens seems appealing as long as I could figure out a way around the language barrier. The openness to competing schools of thought, the...

    Based on my somewhat limited knowledge, Ancient Athens seems appealing as long as I could figure out a way around the language barrier. The openness to competing schools of thought, the mathematics, the basic concept of experimentation all seem to lay a foundation to make use of modern knowledge and understanding. Even without every detail, having a receptive audience (or, perhaps even better, one skeptical but open minded enough to try for themselves) who could investigate the building blocks of technology could realistically jump us ahead by thousands of years in a few generations.

    Germ theory, microscopes, heavier than air flight, Newton's laws, steam engines, standardised components, boat propellors, the bicycle - all concepts that are phenomenally difficult to discover from first principles but relatively easy to verify and expand on after even a basic description. It would be the work of decades, not days, but just knowing the possibilities and the shape of the problem could easily be enough to make amazing things happen.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on If you could experience anything in the past what would it be? in ~talk

    Greg
    Link
    The first thing that popped into my head was the moon landing, which I know is well within living memory (even my parents saw it live) but is so era-defining and such a transformational step for...

    The first thing that popped into my head was the moon landing, which I know is well within living memory (even my parents saw it live) but is so era-defining and such a transformational step for us as a species that I would give an awful lot to experience it firsthand. If I can stretch the rules a little and point out that travelling in time necessitates travelling in space as well, then I will absolutely double down on this and say that I get to experience it standing on the moon.

    The second would be going back to a day or so before the JFK assassination and hiding cameras in every bush and tree I could find, just to settle my burning curiosity.

    Beyond that, it would be amazing to see the pyramids in all their contemporary glory, or to walk with dinosaurs, or tour China at the height of the Qing dynasty, but those (and any similar things I can think of) would all be almost like tourism for me - I'd love to have the opportunity, but none would be my only choice if I had to pick something life-changing.

    What I'd really choose, given one totally free shot in a time machine, would be 500 years into the future. I want to see what humanity manages, I want to see where technology takes us, and if I possibly can I want to grab some ideas and bring them back to get us there faster.

    8 votes
  20. Comment on The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    It's less clear cut than you might think - this gets into some nuanced and interesting legal territory. To make an entirely hypothetical argument, but one based on what I've heard and read from...

    It's less clear cut than you might think - this gets into some nuanced and interesting legal territory. To make an entirely hypothetical argument, but one based on what I've heard and read from those with deep knowledge of the subject:

    • Viewing images requires a temporary copy to be made on the user's machine. This is pretty much universally accepted because it's fundamental to how the internet works.

    • If a user can see an image on their screen then clearly they can write a description of it, or perhaps take measurements of certain features. This isn't a copy at all, they're just writing notes for their own purposes.

    • In fact, why not automate the process? Rather than taking the measurements by hand, let's write a bit of software that looks at the pixels on screen for us. It's just doing the same thing the user already did, but with less manual work.

    • Clicking each of the links to open the image for the measurement software is getting tiresome. Let's just open the HTML and copy them as a batch; maybe add a quick regex to make filtering easier as well.

    • In fact, now that the links can be pulled from a page by a script, and the image processing is already automated, it can go through any publicly available list of Facebook profile URLs and run all the images from each. The data's been made public by the users, after all.

    It's not an iron clad argument, but it's difficult to form a cogent objection to any of those steps that wouldn't also apply to a lot of unequivocally reasonable usage.

    4 votes