Apocalypse NAO: College Studies the Theological Ramifications of Robotics
> The word robot means slave in Czech
Not quite. It's derived from the word "robota", which means labor due to a feudal lord, and is colloquially used to describe unpleasant work you do unhappily.
A closer match than slave would be serf. The word 'rob' is slave in many Slavic languages, but not in Czech. Funnily enough, in every other Slavic language I know, robota/rabota mean just work, with no negative connotations.
Engineers Invent Acoustic Equivalent of One-Way Glass
You're wrong on so many levels.
First, you assume that 'one-way glass' means 'one-way mirror'. For all we know, they mean 'optical frequency circulators' which use ferrimagnetic crystals, and can definitely let visible spectrum light only way. Look it up.
Second, even for one-way mirrors, the term 'one-way' is appropriate enough. Few things in the real world are 100%. City streets, diodes, etc... we refer to them as one way, even when they really aren't 100% one way - the random car/particle gets through.
Third, we're Engineers. It's about getting results. We invent things that don't exist all the time. Although in this case, I doubt there are as many applications as the original article wishes they were. In a lot of the cases, you will get cheaper results with conventional soundproofing, and if you need the sound on one side, you can get it there with some good old microphones and speakers.
And even fourth. It's good to be looking for new stuff. You never know what's under the rock you turn over, just because it's there. You may be looking for a new way to turn lead into gold, and discover porcelain instead.
One-Armed UBR-1 Points the Way To Cheaper Robots
Try to keep up with the program:
1. Your links didn't lead to even one cheaper armed robot.
2. Your linked robots all have fixed bases, while the one in the article can move around. I am not spending my money on even one armed robot if I cannot use it offensively.
Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests
Bad compared to what? To the ideal Officer of the Law? The one that hangs out with the ideal Communist Citizen and the ideal Hereditary Autocrat?
Or bad compared to a gang member, a warlord's soldier, or even security consultant?
I have never lived in a neighborhood where law enforcement dares not thread, or a country where warlords are the only authority. They do exist on this planet, though. On the other hand, I've lived in post-Communist Bulgaria, and saw what happened when the police becomes, for one reason or another, unwilling or unable to enforce the law.
One month, you could spend the night in the park, with your girlfriend, on a blanket.
The next, thugs were dismantling public property and infrastructure (from park benches to power transformers) and crooks were running gambling operations everywhere, beating up everyone who dared explaining their tricks to their marks.
One month later, no house, store, or vehicle was safe unless you were willing to defend it yourself. A lot of people learned that being in right does not make you invulnerable.
A few months later, those who had been successful at defending theirs, started defending other people... for a price. So your property was safe, if it bore a sticker saying "This X is insured by Y until Z." Well it was safe until Y was on the top of the heap, and of course, only until Z. And Y's members were raping, beating up and extorting as much as they conscience allowed them. Some had pretty enabling consciences.
I do not know what had happened since. I left. I know that I will take the worst policeman I've ever encountered in the US, before I trust the best 'security consultant' I've heard of.
We need law enforcement. What we have is less than perfect. We should strive to make it better. It is still in a whole different category than not having law enforcement. And anyway, 'Not having law enforcement' is unsustainable. There's enough people who would pray on others that it becomes inefficient for society's member to defend themselves individually. Soon enough, someone steps up to provide the service, and chances are it's not the one you wish would.
And yeah, it is true that those some of those people end up in law enforcement. At least, many of them have incentives to at least pretend to play by the rules.
Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time
The problem is that no one has interest in doing it right. As far as I am concerned, the camera-at-traffic-light was solved in the 90s, when I was at MIT. I worked on the project for a while, and I remember the problems that we faced (and solved). Even better, time has made every single one of them trivial, through better cameras, faster and cooler processing, and cheap reliable communication.
So, here is how to make traffic cameras that work and save lives:
1. Once yellow is displayed, monitor the speed of the first vehicle in each lane that should be stopping.
2. Do not turn on the green (for any other lane) until every yellow (and later red) facing vehicle has initiated a deceleration that can bring to rest before the intersection.
3. Start flashing the red early if you detect a car that appears to be going too fast to stop before entering the intersection, but too slow to to enter it before the red is scheduled to appear.
4. Issue tickets to everyone entering the interception on red. As you don't delay the appearance of the red, this won't reduce the number of tickets.
5. Send warnings to people who have delayed the green, but have still come to a stop, reminding them that emergency stops are wearing down their shocks, tires, and brakes.
6. Send warnings to people who have crossed at flashing red, or speeding tickets if they did so by breaking the speed limit.
Note that none of this makes the green come earlier, or the red come later. You can still use an underlying, tested, proven reliable system to ensure that the new-fanged system does not give green to the wrong people at the same time.
This is going to save lives, and it was successfully testing in Boston last millennium. OK, so after a few weeks, the hardware went kaput, but that left the standard traffic light in place and there was no harm done. We lost interest. With today's tech, I could rebuild the system for one tenth of the price, and it would probably last a long longer.
Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?
My ass has been saved by the stability control as well.
Once I was passing, in the outside lane of a highway junction, a car that lost control and spun into my lane, while slowing down a lot. I had to break, or I would have hit her. In my Supra, I think I would have joined the other car on the embankment. I was in my Volvo, though, and it let me steer while the ABS was firing, and while the car was drifting and slowing down.
Sure, it was partially my fault because I should not have been taking the curve at the limit of what the car could do. But the fact is, it is hard is at all possible to drive in such a manner that you remain safe even if the cars around do their worst.
Army Laser Passes Drone-Killing Test
> If you paint them reflective, they don't get destroyed by the laser.
Polished metal mirrors reflect about 90%. if you use some really expensive metals, you can push it to 95%. Milar, dielectric coatings, etc. can go up to 99.99%, but only in specific wavelength.
Sounds great? Well, no. That's the reflection you get in vacuum, when the mirror is pristine. Now fire it from a mortar, have it heated by the air rushing past, and then apply even 1% of the output of the laser we're talking about. Your nice upper layer is gone, and your reflection drops like a rock... followed by the rest of your round, once the payload overheats and blows up.
Very expensive reflective coating may buy you a fraction of a second, maybe even a whole one... but mortars are (1) cheap (2) slow to get to the target. So you just made each round a lot more expensive, and you still may not have bought enough time for it to get to the target.
Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments
Did you bother to learn ANYTHING about the cult that wants to donate the monument in question? Check their 'Nine commandments'... They are a mix of agnosticism, Enlightenment, and common sense. As a matter of fact, what they preach is so uncontroversial that I doubt anyone could object to it except from a religious point of view.
Just because they call themselves Satanists does not mean that they promote evil, anymore than other cultists calling themselves Christians mean that they endorse mainstream Christian values (Westboro Baptists, anyone?)
One thing is for sure. The way you judge what's "evil, damage, and chaos", "the blatant promotion of perversion", "conflicts with the constitutions", without even bothering to investigate is why we do NOT want the government to distinguish between religions. Where's the guarantee that that whoever ends up on the 'Religion' committee's going to do any better than you just did?
U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013
A quell surprise! Those that don't share your beliefs don't distinguish YOUR beliefs from other beliefs they consider incorrect.
That was exactly my point. Seriously, your whole post doesn't contain a single line with which I disagree. But the tone makes me think I'm supposed to. In case you wonder, I do dislike people who imply causation between intelligence and religious belief, or lack thereof.
By the way, surprise is feminine in French, and so it's 'quelle surprise'. Not that that the typo reflects of the contents of your post, I just thought you may want to know.
U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013
As a matter of fact, I met some fishermen in Greece who pray and even leave offerings at a Poseidon shrine. I am not quite sure how much they actually believe, nor do I know how much my neighbors, who go to Church on Sunday, believe in Jesus's divinity.
But I do know that either one billion of Christians are right and one billion of Muslims are wrong about Jesus's divinity, or vice versa. So, even if I were, for some reason, to accept one holy book before all others, I would still know that significantly more than two thirds of religious people are dead wrong, either because they reject the Savior, or the Prophet, or whomever.
And lets not forget that many Christian denominations' doctrines say that most Christians are dead wrong, or at least wrong enough not to have a shot at Heaven. The same applies across many divides inside other religions. I have not done the footwork myself, but I have read solid arguments that no matter who is right, more than 90% of religious people are wrong.
Now, I do not claim to know the Truth. I believe in small truths, like, for example, that it is impossible to disprove the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing entity. And I know better than to waste time on debating matters that cannot be disproved. But those are facts:facts:
1. More than ninety percent of all people on Earth are wrong in their religious beliefs.
2. The best predictor for people's religious beliefs is what they have been exposed to in their formative years.
3. Most holy texts assign heavy consequences to not having the right religious beliefs, and living according to them.
In light of the above, I have, personally, decided that I cannot respect, let alone worship a deity that's OK with the situation. So, at the end of the day, I make no difference between people who believe in Poseidon, and people who believe in the deity in the Bible/Torah/Qur'an. At at the end of my life, I may be in for a surprise. But I think I'm about as likely to be collected by the Chosers of the Slain as by a devil with a pitchfork.
The Brains of Men and Women Are 'Wired Differently'
What the fuck indeed! My wife used to work with Professor Gur... in UPenn. This must be a very unpopular study, to result in him getting kicked of of the University of Pennsylvania, all the way to the much less known (does it even exist?) University of Philadelphia...
Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?
I do not identify myself as an atheist. Technically, I am agnostic, because I know that there is no way to disprove the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient entity. I have no objection to people discussing their theories about such an entity, and I will even admit that some are a lot more entertaining than others. On the other hand, I hate it when people try to use their religious beliefs as arguments for or against anything in the real world. "This man has to die because he is an asshole" is a valid argument, "This man has to die because my Holy Book says the penalty for what he's done is death" is not. Thus, I am only 'unconcerned' with theism and theists as long as they do not pretend that their religious beliefs are in any way relevant to me. As soon as that line is crossed, I become, indeed, an anti-theist.
That said, could you please explain why the Atheist League should be called the Antichrist league, as opposed to the Anti-Kali, Anti-Mohammedan, or Anti-Pastafarian league? Sure, there are tons of different sects that profess the divinity of Christ - Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, Mormons, members of the Unification Church, etc... But there are also a lot of sects that do not consider Christ divine, and frankly, I feel a lot more threatened by some of the latter.
The guys who keep trying to bring me to Christ on the streets of Glendora are polite, clean, and well dressed. They bother me a lot less than people who think that I could be killed without spilling blood to fuel a religious rite, that I should pay higher taxes because I am an unbeliever, or that mocking their fairy tales is a capital offense.
So, again, why should people identify as antichrists, instead of atheists if they have no more beef with Christians than they have with other, less... grown-up theists?
The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks
That was kind of his point. Those who end up working for such agencies either start or end up the kind of people who do not feel like shit while doing so.
What that says about them (and him) is a different story.
Researchers Dare AI Experts To Crack New GOTCHA Password Scheme
I admit, I have not thought about this, but it sounds beyond stupid to me.
The whole point of the dozens of 'Tell Humans from Bots' methods is that it is relatively easy to automatically generate the challenge, but (ideally) it takes human intelligence to solve it. As an example,
(1) it is easy for an algorithm to randomly choose a few letters, and add colors, extra lines, etc... to the picture.
(2) it is easy for a human to see the letters through all the obfuscation.
(3) it is hard for a OCR (optical character recognition) algorithm to tell the letters from the random crap.
But, in this case:
(1) it is very hard for an algorithm to generate and label the test cases. "body builder lady with mustache and goofy in the center" indeed.
(2) it is quite hard for a human to tell them apart.
(3) sure, it is very much impossible for an algorithm to do so, but at this point, who cares?
That said, the idea may have something going for it. Taking stock images that have already been labeled, and applying obfuscating algorithms can work.
But this particular crap set my bullshit detector... oh, wait, it's actually my stupidity detector.
Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn
There is a huge difference between driving for range, driving sanely on the highway, and driving on the track. Here are my numbers, and they are real, recorded on the spot, as opposed to remembered.
The car: Volvo S60-R, modded to 460hp at the wheels, AWD fuse pulled.
Average MPG as of this morning: 29.7mpg. (It got smogged on Saturday, the guy took two tries and two hours, lowering my MPG by a full mile)
Usual average MPG: 31mpg
Best MPG from a trip: 36mpg (Chino Hills/San Diego and back)
MPG from a highway trip where I was driving like a moron: 8.7mpg (Chino Hills/Las Vegas)
Worst MPG ever: 3.3mpg on the track.
I've done 560 miles on a tank, and I have emptied my tank in under 60 miles. It really matters how you drive...
Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH
No they do not. They raise your premiums. My S60R has a bigger turbo and downpipe, a second intercooler, and quite a few bigger pipes where it matters. Stuff had to go in the trunk, I had to limit my front wheels' travel... but now I get 460hps at the wheels with the AWD fuse pulled.
I have declared it all, and the premium rose quite a bit... but then, so did the coverage. The car is still street legal.
My last car was a heavily modified Toyota Supra. Its frame was ruined when a cop (on a cellphone, out of his jurisdiction) rear ended me. The county paid the car's stated value and even a bit over... which was still a lot lower than the sum of what I had put into it. So before I even started working on my Volvo, I decided that it will be all above board.
Ars: Cross-Platform Malware Communicates With Sound
Hmm? In case you missed it (or have trouble reading an exponential graph) the power output if the "on-board extra-shitty Ã¼ber-crappy audio" holds up significantly better than the power output of the Macbook Pro outside human hearing range.
As for your comment about filtering above 22kHz, did you miss the part that we are talking about communicating at frequencies that human cannot hear?
What the Hell. Did I just get trolled, or are you really missing every single point?
Ars: Cross-Platform Malware Communicates With Sound
Hmm... never mind about my PC not being anything special. Here is a Mac Book Pro graph I just googled:
Clearly desktops have a much better range than laptops.
Ars: Cross-Platform Malware Communicates With Sound
I just tested my PC's speakers / microphone... The power output is rock steady up to 15kHz, then falls to 75% by 20kHz, 50% by 30kHz, and about 10% by 40kHz. Then it stays that way to fiftish kHz, which is as far as my loop went.
I could already not hear it by 14kHz... damn I'm old. Last time I did something like this, I was OK up to 17kHz, and back at the Institute I was fine at 19kHz.
I think that no one hear 30 kHz, and you still get 50% power on my PC... which is nothing special. You can definitely get decent communication outside of hearing range.
Ars: Cross-Platform Malware Communicates With Sound
I think many of the commentators both here and on Ars Technica are making a basic mistake. No one claims that the machine is infected through its microphones. Duh! How would it know to listen and interpret noise as instructions. The claim is that once infected, the machines communicate using their speakers and microphones.
Is it possible? Sure. Do I consider it likely? No. It's one Hell of an effort for very little gain... in general. But we all have hobbies, so someone may have written a virus that infects through USB drives, overwrites BIOS, and resists the clean up of physically disconnected machines by communicating via sound.
Do I believe this particular story? Hmm... no. Mostly because, despite the reputation of the author, the article makes it sounds that basic mistakes were made during the cleanup process, and because not enough information has been shared with the community.
But if I was told the story is true, I could come with a great conspiracy theory to explain it. The author tries to keep all the fame for himself, the author is being threatened by the high tech agency that developed the strain but let it escape, the virus has alien origin...