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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Jeremi Re:Adding Politics to Engineering Decisions (173 comments)

Is there some particular quality of an "automated driving system" that will make it signficantly more reliable than a home computer? I'm sure the auto manufacturers will try their best to avoid bugs, but then again Apple and Microsoft also try their best.

about a week ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Jeremi Re:Not surprising (505 comments)

There are plenty of not so time critical scenarios where some sort of manual override is needed and those aren't going to go away even when we trust the software to do all the driving

No worries -- to handle those scenarios, we'll download the app and steer the car using our phone. Bluetooth FTW!

about a week ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

Jeremi Re:Hmmm ... (194 comments)

Between companies using 10 year old Linux kernels, to having unpatchable systems, or just having really bad understandings of security, I've come to conclude this is the norm.

... and a hacked prosthetic arm is the worst possible kind of security breach -- the hackers could literally hold your neck for ransom.

about a week ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

Jeremi Re:Bets on first use (233 comments)

Besides, weren't there apps that do this that folks could purchase of their own free will?

There are, but the feature doesn't work as a theft deterrent unless almost everybody has it. If only a few people have it, thieves will steal phones anyway, because the likelihood is they can resell most of the phones they steal. If/when we get to the point where almost all phones auto-brick after they are stolen, cell-phone thieves will lose their profit incentive and move on to something else.

about a week ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Jeremi Re:What's the point? (508 comments)

So if we do something in C++ then there's an added 50% "C++ Tax" just to find the 500,000 memory leaks and such.

Just wanted to say that if you are careful to use a smart-pointer class (e.g. shared_ptr) rather than raw C-style pointers to hold dynamically allocated objects, 99% of your memory leaks (and other object-lifetime-managment related problems) will "magically" go away -- and without the overhead or random execution-pauses seen in languages that rely on a garbage collector.

about a week ago
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

Jeremi Charlton Heston comments (113 comments)

YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

(this text brought to you by the Lameness filter, which wishes to remind you that using too many caps is like yelling)

about two weeks ago
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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Jeremi Re:Adding Politics to Engineering Decisions (173 comments)

Would 2014 America hold up seat belt installation for ten years just to make sure they are totally, exactly, 100% safe?

Really, you're don't see the difference in added risk between (a computer taking over sole responsibility for the control of a 2500-pound, 65-mile-an-hour car, in all possible traffic conditions), and (adding a strip of reinforced fabric to the cockpit)?

When was the last time your seat belt stopped working due to a buffer overrun? Contrariwise, when was the last time your home computer did something wrong or unexpected?

about two weeks ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Jeremi You know where this is headed... (134 comments)

Drone target-selection via popular vote on Reddit in 3, 2, 1....

about two weeks ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Jeremi Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (134 comments)

And remember their bible demands the murder of the Infidel there is no well maybe it can be read this way or that way. It black and white demands it.

First of all, [citation needed].

How does one fight against someone following their religion and teaching?

Did you know that the Christian Bible also "black and white demands" that anyone caught working on a Sunday be put to death? (citation). And yet somehow we don't see a lot of killings of Sabbath-breakers. So most clearly people can distinguish between the applicable and non-applicable parts of their holy texts. (Those who cannot we call "fundamentalists", and they are the problem; not every religious person in the world)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Jeremi Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

Do you understand the benefits of a union?

A union is most beneficial when workers are easily replaceable -- because if management can replace worker A with worker B without a lot of overhead, management can (and usually will) use that to drive salaries down, approaching the lowest salary that they can find at least one worker to accept.

The trick in programming is to make sure you are not so easily replaceable -- if the company knows that it would take 6-12 months to get a new hire up to your level of productivity, they will not be so quick to "value engineer" your salary and benefits. Then you don't really need a union to stand up for you, because you have leverage to stand up for yourself. (The right way to do this is to know the company's software inside and out; the wrong way would be to make the software so convoluted that only you can understand it... ;))

about two weeks ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Jeremi Re:NIMBYs? Crackpots? (521 comments)

According to the gov, 33% total efficiency for coal.

Of course if you take into account the energy expenditure it will take to pull the excess CO2 and other chemicals back out of the atmosphere, that number goes down a bit.

(Impractical to do, and therefore will never be done, you say? Okay, take into account the costs of living with a permanently impacted atmosphere, instead)

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jeremi Re:CONSIDER THE ETHICS (133 comments)

Maybe instead of automating the grunt work, we need now to automate the automating itself,

Why instead of? We can (and should, and will) do both.

about two weeks ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Jeremi Re:Did I miss the breakthrough? (305 comments)

What you don't know about fusion
Could fill a shelf of books
You are the type of man who looks
For new miraculous advances
But overestimates the chances
Of breaking-even on the power flow
You only have to open up your mouth to show
What you don't know
About!
Fusion!

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jeremi Re:CONSIDER THE ETHICS (133 comments)

Keep in mind, a cheap solution would be a threat for most the worlds farmers, who are not high tech like the ones in the 1st world nations.

The world's small farmers are already being driven out of business by automated mass-production farming that their labor-intensive, small-scale methods can't compete with, and that they can't afford to replicate. Cheap, easy-to-use small-scale automation could allow them to grow food more cheaply, making them more competitive, not less. I doubt that any of them enjoy doing back-breaking field labor for 10 hours a day for very little compensation; why wouldn't they want a robot that could do the tedious labor for them?

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jeremi Re:How to prevent illegal immigration (133 comments)

It seems like that would cut down so heavily on demand for labor, that not many people would find it worth trying to cross.

Not to mention that anyone with a sufficiently capable farm-bot could use it raise their own crops to eat, and would therefore no longer need to go searching for a menial job in order to feed their family. Win-win!

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jeremi Re:There is no "FarmBot" (133 comments)

There is no "FarmBot".

If you watch the video at the bottom of the article, you'll see photos of several prototype FarmBots that do, in fact, exist.

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jeremi Re:not true at all (133 comments)

And thus this is likely yet another solution without a problem.

I think there's definitely a market for this. For example, I'd like to have a nice vegetable garden in my back yard, but I don't have the expertise or the free time to do the work necessary to keep it healthy and happy. If I could buy a FarmBot at the local Home Depot, set it up, press "Go", and not worry about it until harvest time, that would be a pretty tempting prospect. And once the technology got cheap enough and reliable enough for most people to afford and install, anyone with some land could easily grow their own organic produce, exactly to their own specifications. For people who don't have their own land, neighborhoods could do slightly larger-scale versions of the same thing in the community gardens. Peoples' ability to feed themselves (rather than rely on buying food from large corporations) would increase, which can only be a good thing.

about two weeks ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Jeremi Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

Given a choice, I think autonomous cars at some point WILL be programmed with such a choice. For example, hitting an elderly person in order to avoid hitting a small child.

I doubt it. Any company that wants to stay in business will instead concentrate on making sure the car does not get into a position like that in the first place -- because once the car is in a "no-win" situation like that, it doesn't really matter what choice it makes, the company is going to be hit with a big lawsuit either way.

about two weeks ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Jeremi Re:Like Nikola Tesla... (442 comments)

A fully wireless "grid" could only work in a communist/socialist society where "the people" are the suppliers.

Not to mention only in a society where energy was so plentiful that they could afford to waste 99% of it by sending it in all possible directions all the time.

about two weeks ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Jeremi Re:Expert?? (442 comments)

There is no such thing as negative energy price, unless you're retarded?

Apparently they are retarded in Germany...

about two weeks ago

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