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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Panoptes Re:something tells me... (173 comments)

I presume that the simulation programmers are US-based and will create scenarios of American traffic conditions. For real-world testing, just put a few of these vehicles in a downtown Jakarta rush-hour and see how many survive. Here we've got every motoring madness know to man - and then some. I'll be first in the queue to buy any driverless car that can get from north to south Jakarta unscathed.

about two weeks ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Panoptes Re:The slippery slope (391 comments)

The British police have long since crossed the Rubicon of public trust and support. It is tragic to see a once respected and admired group of public servants become a venal, corrupt and despised bunch of bully-boys, despotic and arrogant beyond belief. In my more cynical moments I reflect that post-Thatcher Britain has at last got the guardians it deserves.

about two weeks ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Panoptes Re:Self Serving Story? (267 comments)

"It's not really that alt coins destroy bitcoin's credibility, it's that bitcoin itself has no credibility in the first place"

So 'real' currencies have intrinsic value and credibility? In the modern topsy-turvy world of economics, all debt is magically transmuted into credit, and duff debt is magically turned into 'sub primes'. It's all a financial sausage factory.

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

Panoptes Re:Would YOU be able to sleep in space?? (106 comments)

"I'd want to soak up every minute of it. Maybe they should look into the mechanism called: "It's frickin awesome" How on earth did such a vacuous comment get modded +5 insightful?

about three weeks ago
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UK Police Won't Comment On The Tracking of People's Phone Calls

Panoptes Re:Where was Orwell from? (52 comments)

Pen name taken from the river Orwell.

about three weeks ago
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"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Panoptes Re:Expert:Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People A (390 comments)

"And while many of its people and countries are not well off at all, there are some nations that are doing quite well financially, and should be able to create the infrastructure (including organizations and facilities) necessary for such research."

Have you ever lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa? If you had, I don't think you'd be asking this question.

about a month ago
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FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

Panoptes Re:Transparency (139 comments)

"The amount of information available to the public today that wasn't when Obama was elected is staggering."

Never confuse quantity with quality.

about a month ago
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Australian Government Moving Forward With Anti-Piracy Mandate For ISPs

Panoptes Re:Australia Deserves it. (128 comments)

It's good to see that the spirit of Sir Les Patterson lives on. Looks like Ozzy politicians are even more short-sighted and dumber than the sorry bunch of venal no-hopers currently running Westminster.

about a month ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Panoptes Re:And yet, who is charging who? (200 comments)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Correct - in formal usage. But 'whom' is in decline, and for many writers is mandatory only when governed by a preposition.

about a month ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Panoptes Re:Ads are good for the internet. (418 comments)

"People seem to forget, the internet RUNS on advertising money."

Only people who have been successfully brainwashed believe this Big Lie. In olden times businesses had budgets for marketing and promotion which included advertising. Selling yourself and your services was an overhead cost.

Along comes the Internet. Personal interest, hobbyist and fan sites then come along, and tech sites that share their knowledge and expertise altruistically, for the common good. Then we hear the magic word 'monetize', and all hell is let loose.

Next is born that spawn of the devil, the notion that businesses have a God-given right to force us to watch advertisements, and fight tooth and nail to stop ad-skipping, ad-blocking, and the like. So don't feed me any crap that 'the Internet runs on advertising money'.

about a month and a half ago
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By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

Panoptes Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (564 comments)

"semi-autisitc fuckwitted word salad"

When a computer can come with such linguistic inventiveness, we may truly say that AI has arrived.

about 2 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

" I get the impression they just have a list of possible ways of phrasing the translation of a phrase." Yes, that's one way of doing it - but long-winded and slow to develop.

I write tests and quizzes using Moodle. Regular expressions are an economical and elegant way to parse short answers and award part-marks until an acceptable threshold of correctness is reached. And very simple to edit when exceptions need to be added.

about 2 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:Wife (75 comments)

"The theory is that you are being taught as a child learns" Bad theory. Childhood language acquisition is different from adult acquisition.

about 2 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

I just signed up and had a crack at the French lessons. My reaction? It's interesting, but limited. On the positive side there's some very nifty use of regular expressions in parsing the input answers - but on the negative, quite a few of the recordings are fuzzy and unclear. One example: the word 'diner' was completely unrecognizable. Its main limitation is that it's not communicative; everything is chunked into simple expressions without context. It's mechanical learning. I could see a use for it in my own teaching as a remedial/diagnostic tool, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary means of learning French.

about 2 months ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Panoptes Re:Is what he's saying really true? (268 comments)

My first reaction to this Wikipedia entry is that it's well (and very carefully) written; the content is supported by 29 detailed references to mostly legal and media sources. I cannot see any reasonable peg for Barry or his legal advisors to hang a lawsuit on. An accusation of bias would, I think, be problematic - several celebrities who like and respect him are mentioned (and quoted) at the beginning of the entry, without editorial comment.

about 2 months ago
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Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds

Panoptes Re:I've heard slashdot is behind the times... (166 comments)

At one level, it's true (and long proven) that lectures have pedagogical limitations. But step back for a moment, and consider the lecture as a social event. It's the only time the course students gather en masse and actually see everyone else. It's a contact event - you meet old friends, make new ones, catch the mood of the group, swap study information, grouch about things. Take away the much-maligned lecture, and the college experience would be much the poorer.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Panoptes Re:Will this effect markets? (234 comments)

"something mysterious will happen to Kim Jong-Un". You mean he might get a decent haircut?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Panoptes Re:The Economist (285 comments)

Old magazines are a complete sense experience. The brittle feel of the paper, the colour as it browns towards the edges of the pages, the (by now) quaint font and layout conventions, the style of language and changes in structure and word usage, idioms and expressions that are no longer current or fashionable; the smell of the paper, the tactile quality of the old covers and binding, the faint noise of opening a long-closed magazine. It's an aesthetic experience that gives the publication a sense of history, a view of another time.

about 5 months ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Panoptes Re:u can rite any way u want (431 comments)

"Up to the early 20th century, words were spelled phonetically" Utter poppycock!

about 5 months ago

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