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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Beck_Neard Re:Not surprising (460 comments)

It's bullshit regulation by people who lack understanding and by a bureaucratic system that is resistant to change.

Let's also put aside the fact that the full benefits of self-driving cars can only really be realized if they are truly 100% self-driving. Otherwise you still can't have cars-as-a-service, you still can't let the blind or the elderly or the disabled achieve the level of perosnal mobility everyone else enjoys.

And let's also put aside the fact that once you free up people to not pay attention to the road while driving, it would encourage sleeping at the wheel or driving drunk. People already do these things, but not being actively involved in driving would make the problem worse. I mention this because it's only a matter of time before someone sleeps at the wheel in a driverless car and causes a crash, and everyone is going to blame the tech, not the irresponsible driver.

But let's put all of those things aside for the moment and just look at the issue at hand. A split-second before impact is the WORST time to be putting control back in the hands of the slow reflexes of a human driver. If anything, the exact opposite of this would be much better. Have the human drive most of the time, with the machine taking over control if it senses a crash is imminent. At least that would be a way of using technology to make a positive difference.

yesterday
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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Beck_Neard Re:not so fast (123 comments)

Group selection is pretty controversial; we know that the initial group selection ideas were not true.

yesterday
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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Beck_Neard Re:not so fast (123 comments)

Yup, and what makes it even more rubbish is the idea that simply feeding someone more food is enough to change their biochemistry, metabolism, and energy distribution budget towards diverting more energy towards growth and less towards the brain, and that blood glucose levels are determined by dietary carbohydrates.

But I do enjoy reading the pseudo-intellectual armchair philosophizing that we see so often.

2 days ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Beck_Neard Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (131 comments)

Where did I use ad-hominem? Talk about knee-jerking...

I agree with your points about genocide, I never said anything contrary. Nevertheless, sawing off a man's head and posting the video online is an act of terror. To drive the point home, it seems that the knife used during the video was a prop knife (or just a very dull one) and the actual beheading happened off-screen, maybe even after he was killed by other means.

The same goes for the video of heads on spikes.

The Yezidi people, on the other hand, were given a more 'martial'-style firing squad execution. These things should give you hints about what their motives, tactics, and strategies are.

I never suggested anything about capitulation. The strategy that I'd like to personally see is a targeted effort to take out key facilities and leaders, perhaps with the cooperation of neighboring states like Iran. But indiscriminate bombing (what other people seem to be suggesting in this thread) is emotionally motivated and will not solve anything, in fact it will make things (much) worse.

If you're NOT frightened/angry and are capable of still thinking about the situation rationally, then my comment doesn't apply to you.

2 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Beck_Neard Re:Amazing (273 comments)

This is more a shift in games than a shift in gamers. Especially, a shift towards mobile games. If you look at stuff like first-person shooters, then males are still in the majority.

2 days ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Beck_Neard Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (131 comments)

Anger impairs your judgement, as it's doing now. Instead of thinking about what needs to be done to stop the ISIS threat, and then doing it, you're just directing your anger at the wrong target and proposing a plan that makes no sense and would just make things worse.

3 days ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Beck_Neard Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (131 comments)

> Seriously, after that sawing off a live man's head, I have NO problem with blowing these assholes away.

If a video of a man's head being sawed off makes you frightened and impairs your judgement, then you are just playing into their hand. It's a shame the word 'terrorism' has shifted away from its original meaning of "The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims", because it's such a great word, and it applies amazingly well here. An act of terror doesn't have to be crashing a plane into a building. Sawing off a man's head then posting the video on the internet is, in fact, an act of terror. It is designed to inspire fear. They've figured out what the Mafia, the Viet Cong, the Mongols, and countless other groups throughout history have found out: Making yourself look like an inhuman monster is actually a good survival strategy when your enemies are stronger and more numerous. This fictional quote, while it's from a movie, it's particularly relevant: "It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies."

4 days ago
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

Beck_Neard Re: "Not eradicated" isn't needed (185 comments)

'deep evolutionary pathway' as in 'pathway that is based on processes that evolved long ago', not 'deep pathway'.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Beck_Neard Re:'weed out' classes (548 comments)

Goes for a lot of other fields of study too. Doing mathematics (not CS) I remember my freshman "logic and set theory" course, which was assigned the largest auditorium. The courses after that didn't need lecture rooms nearly as large...

5 days ago
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

Beck_Neard Re: "Not eradicated" isn't needed (185 comments)

Right, but that's miles away from saying "there is never going to be an effective treatment." If anything, having a set of well-defined and known pathways should make it EASIER to fight cancer than if cancer were just the result of random mutations that could arise anywhere on the genome at any time.

  The article never says that cancer is a 'side effect' of being alive. Instead it says that there are certain deep evolutionary pathways that, when triggered at the inappropriate time, cause cancer. Thus we might never be able to 'cure' ourselves of it (at least the same way we can cure ourselves of infectious disease). But that doesn't mean cancer would be impossible to treat or. It means the opposite: if all cancer cells go through similar mechanisms, fighting cancer would simply be a matter of weeding out those cells that show the characteristic, shared, telltale cancer signs and killing them early on (Of course we don't have the technology yet to do this but research like this offers a pathway towards building such tech).

5 days ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Beck_Neard Re:Duration??? (162 comments)

Curiosity is not spirit or opportunity. This is a much heavier rover. Plus, it consumes way more power and moves faster. The forces on the wheel are much much rougher than on the MER rovers.

about a week ago
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Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human

Beck_Neard As with all other CAPTCHA 'alternatives', (91 comments)

The problem is that you can really only come up with a finite number of these, and once an attacker has a large enough sample of them (say, 10%), he can simply write a bit of code to 'solve' each one.

The thing about CAPTCHAs that makes them great is that you can randomly generate a huge bunch of them.

Anyway, the headline so completely misrepresents this research that it basically says the opposite of what the researchers are saying. The researchers, in fact, created an automated system to solve DCGs! Their contribution was a system that detects 'crowd-sourcing' attacks - attacks where shady companies pay volunteers pennies to solve CAPTCHAs by hand. The researchers said they are going to work on improved DCGs that can't be solved automatically, but nothing of the sort is being unveiled here.

about a week ago
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The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

Beck_Neard Re:What could possibly go wrong? (174 comments)

Most conversion of CO2 to O2 is done by algae and other marine life (93% iirc). Trees only contribute a very small percentage. You can increase algae to absorb CO2, but having more algae is not a good thing - it creates toxic environments that kill other types of life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

By the way this is what a lot of people get wrong when they say 'CO2 is plant food!!'

The CO2 problem is a huge problem we've created that both environmentalists and anti-environmentalists usually vastly underestimate.

about a week ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Beck_Neard Re:Self Serving Story? (267 comments)

Adding to this, a number of existing altcoins do, in fact, attempt to address bitcoin's weaknesses. Litecoin attempts to resist customized hardware mining and also make the blockchain update faster. Primecoin solves a somewhat useful mathematical problem instead of completely wasting computer cycles like Bitcoin does. There are other examples.

Anyway, it only seems natural that as time goes on, better and better cryptocurrencies will be incrementally developed. To ask everyone to use ONLY what's the first iteration of this tech would be silly.

Of course, there are "me-too!" cryptocurrencies as well, typically with only minor 'improvements' and designed to make the creators rich. I'm all for educating people about how they could be taken advantage of. But boycotting? Come on.

about two weeks ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

No, it requires zero energy.

Landauer's principle is about erasing bits (or, more generally, changing the information contained in a bit). In other words, irreversible operations. It does not apply to logically reversible operations (the simplest of which is flipping bits, but you can represent a surprising amount of computation in reversible terms).

about two weeks ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

'change', in this context, is different from flipping a bit. It refers to erasing a bit, as mentioned, in fact, in just the preceding paragraph:

'It holds that "any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase in non-information bearing degrees of freedom of the information processing apparatus or its environment". (Bennett 2003)'

Read my other reply about the difference between erasure and flipping.

about two weeks ago
top

Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

Also, your entire reply is pretty much gibberish.

about two weeks ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

flipping:
1 -> 0
0 -> 1

erasing:
1 -> 0
0 -> 0

about two weeks ago
top

Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

We're eventually going to hit limits, but there's no reason to think that that limit is a logic gate a few atoms wide. There's isentropic computing, spintronics, neuromorphic computing, and further down the road, stuff like quantum computing.

about two weeks ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Beck_Neard Re:Obvious (151 comments)

It takes zero energy to flip a bit. What does take energy is erasing bits, and as it turns out, that does not seem to be fundamental to the idea of computation. The limits of computation have nothing to do with energy per se. Rather, they are about entropy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

about two weeks ago

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