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"Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

abies Flight to Uncanny Valley departing from terminal 1 (102 comments)

I think that going through tree of discrete selections has a better solution in touchscreen than in glorified answer-phone system with space-wasting avatar visualisation.
Maybe they could prototype it first by putting terminals videoconferencing to live people which could not fully understand what you are telling them (certain offshore locations come into mind) and see how much it improves the passenger checkin quality. If it works perfectly, THEN they can solve problem of video lines by generating almost-human computer avatars. I have a feeling that people will prefer impersonal selections to videoconference...

about two weeks ago

Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

abies Re:Who benefits (503 comments)

The separatists still had no motive to shoot down a civilian airliner.

But we know they had no idea it was civilian plane - they were cheering destruction of military airplane on Twitter for some time, before realizing it was civilian.

And if the Kiev authorities are directing civilian aircraft to fly over an active war zone they are still to blame, whoever actually pulled the trigger.
(That is to say if they did. It might have been a pilot error.)

This is interesting thing to see. Have they been forced on this path by Ukraine air control? Or have they asked Ukraine for permission due to weather conditions (for example) and Ukraine just allowed? And according to latest developments it looks like BUK they got from Ukraine was indeed non functioning and one which was used was fresh import from Russia, so Ukraine (or at least civilian air control) could as well had no idea about capability to destroy high-flying targets.

Who knows, maybe it will even turn out that somebody in Ukraine has pushed this plane into dangerous territory hoping for trigger happy separatists. It would be quite bad and there will be political backlash - but still, people pulling the trigger are the ones which are truly responsible.

about two weeks ago

Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

abies Re:Who benefits (503 comments)

Separatist have motive - they are trying to shoot Ukrainian military planes. They have means - they were showing BUK launchers themselves, Ukraine later said that they won't be able to operate them, but might have been wrong, especially given technical support from next country.
They had means and motive. And no clue this is rerouted civilian plane, because despite having enough capability to fire BUK (few people with neccessary skills), they weren't up to date on flightwatch... and decided to not ask on radio first.

So, in certain sense it is an accident. Same kind of accident as when sniper tries to kill person A, but person B moves in the way at last second. Sniper is still at fault, even if he had no motive to kill person B.

about two weeks ago

IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

abies Re:Java is the new COBOL (197 comments)

I started to enjoy it again since I started using xtend ( I suppose that same holds true for people switching to Scala/Kotlin.
Basically, you get expresiveness/tersity of python (often even better/more readable), while preserving performance (sub-second executions aside) and all the library support. Java-the-language might be going direction of COBOL, java-the-platform can be still enjoyable.

about three weeks ago

Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

abies Re:Cooked! (151 comments)

No, because animals do not control fire. But there are animals which warm/freeze/ferment/marinate/flavor/wash their food (not all done by same type animal of course). But cooking as in 'having control over 200+C heat source' - no.

about a month ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

abies Re:IF.. (561 comments)

No, because vaccines have no relation to autism.
IF there would be a:
- vaccines contain X amount of lead
- X amount of lead causes autism
AND there would be a correlation between vaccines and autism, I would happily say 'vaccines cause autism', instead of saying 'it is just lead which causes autism, fact that vaccines contain lead is irrelevant, because injecting pure lead would also cause autism'

People from certain racial minorities have lower IQ. It is caused by social inequality, not genetics ('lead', not 'weak patogens' in false vaccine example), but let's not get PR into our statements.

Of course, EVEN if there would be genetic relation by few percent, it would not give anybody right to dismiss specific person just based on that. We are talking about averages and very small differences. But if we are allowing people to discriminate by saying 'your are from poor family, so you are probably stupid', we should allow as well discriminating by 'your skin is blue, blues are generally poor, so you are probably stupid'. If we are not allowing to discriminate based on 'probably stupid' because every human is different etc, then it doesn't matter if it is race related or socioeconomic related guess.

about a month ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

abies Re:IF.. (561 comments)

Hmm. So;
- people of race X are more likely to come from poor background on average
- people coming from poor backgrounds have less IQ on average
is ok, but saying:
- people of race X have less IQ on average
is already contrafactual. So, in same way:
- 1/3 of cars of brand X have ignition locks of type Y, as opposed to 1/10 of other car manufacturers
- ignition locks of type Y are more prone to getting car on fire
will be ok, but saying:
- cars of brand X are more prone to get on fire
will be already wrong?

Car analogy ticked off. Let's try Nazis:
- most SS officers in WW2 were German
- most killings in death camps were done by SS officers
does not imply
- most killings in death camps during WW2 were done by Germans
because no Germans who were not SS officers have done any killing, so correlation is purely between SS and killings?

Ok, two analogies ticked. To reassume - you let your political correctness cloud your logic. A->B->C implies A->C. Fact that A doesn't cause C _directly_ doesn't mean it does not imply it. You can split any problem into substeps. I throw rock at window, it flies in the air, it breaks the window, it is air/rock fault window got broken, not mine...

about a month ago

Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

abies Re:Also needs a language not Java... (167 comments)

There is plenty of alternatives for Android development outside of java. Scala, Clojure, Xtend, Kotlin. They are all decent languages, probably even nicer than Go.

about a month and a half ago

Study: Deforestation Depletes Fish Stocks

abies Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (69 comments)

"It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans - and the major and often only source of animal protein for low income families across Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

This comes from the Fine Article - where does your data come from?
Total protein consumption per capita is 78g. Total fish consumption is around 5.5g which gives around 7%. This is for both marine and inland. Then, looking at
we can get around 41:102 ration between inland:marine, which would mean around 2% of total protein comes from freshwater fish and 5% from marine.

Now it is your turn to provide some sources outside FA proving 6% for freshwater fish. Articles I have quoted above are from 5-10 years ago - maybe, in meantime, freshwater fish consumption increased by 200%...

about a month and a half ago

SpaceX Landing Video Cleanup Making Progress

abies Special edition (54 comments)

Will they add small robots and funny looking animals in background later? I don't think that even cleaned version represents artistic vision of landing they had in mind.

about 2 months ago

Robots and Irradiated Parasites Enlisted In the Fight Against Malaria

abies Re:Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest li (84 comments)

Decapitatiting mosquitoes is hardly going to affect the parasite, which is the thing getting irradiated and possibly mutated. Closed labolatry doesn't really matter, because they are then going to inject irratiated parasites as vaccine.
Key part here is probably amount of radiation - way beyond "let's damage few DNA strands" and more into "why your blood is glowing at night". It is probably strong enough that there is no way any mutation can survive it.

about 2 months ago

Robots and Irradiated Parasites Enlisted In the Fight Against Malaria

abies Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest live (84 comments)

I'm quite scared by that. You first irradiate them, causing huge amount of genetic mutations. Then you change the environment, killing weakest mutants and let the best live on.
Isn't it a recipe for eventually creating super-bug?

about 2 months ago

Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data

abies Re:I think this was reported the other day (202 comments)

I liked Terry Pratchett version more. It was about reign - when king dies, his successor becomes a king immediately. Idea of modulating the waves by torturing kings at near-death state was also mentioned.

about 2 months ago

Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data

abies Re:Why not 1000 km? (202 comments)

How difficult is it to drop a rock? Easy. Can you please drop a rock from 50km high? After all, dropping a rock is not different if it is 1m or 50km high.

They need to entangle both sides of the communication from single place and this is quite hard longer the distance. Moving it afterwards is also quite difficult, it is not a small, robust device you can carry in your pocket.

about 2 months ago

Hands-On With Sony's VR Headset

abies Summary (46 comments)

Trying to put it in concise list, TFA is bit too verbose. Short version - it is a real DK1 killer, too bad DK2 is already out there...

Comparing to DK2 (prototype versus prototype, so don't jump with 'it will get fixed in final version'):

- horizontal FOV 90 deg (instead of 100)
? no data about vertical FOV
+ better perceived pixel density (because of lower FOV)
- blurry, high-persistence LED screen
- 60Hz instead of 75 Hz (but high-persistence anyway is a killer here)
- no mention of any advanced techniques like time warp
+ headband with tracking leds, which allows proper tracking even when you look behind
+ reported to be more friendly for people with prescription glasses
+ considerably better looking
+ headphones included
- with jack input INSIDE the visor !
= PS4 versus PC
? no exact data regarding tracking quality, seems to be lacking magnetometer compared to DK2, not sure if it makes a difference
+ utilizing PS Move and PS controllers fully, has some concept for VR interaction besides 'up to game designers'

If Oculus will 'borrow' idea of tracking headband and Morpheus will get low-persistence OLED display, we will have very close match here for consumer version...

about 2 months ago

Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

abies Re:Protests were Illegal. (142 comments)

Yes, they are. You can complain only if protests are forbidden routinely regardless of request for authorization - but it is not happening, absolute majority of protests is allowed.
Rules for registration make perfect sense - quite often, you have two antagonist groups protesting (pro-gay and ultra-right-wing for example) on same day in same city. Thanks to authorization, city can make sure they will remain separate and put extra police in places they might meet.

Now, in some imaginary Europe where you would need to ask for permission to protest and it would be routinely denied, it could be a problem. But it is not a case. And police is not pepper-spraying people just for fun, like in some countries where you don't need to ask for permission to protest...

about 2 months ago

Cable TV Prices Rising At Four Times the Inflation Rate

abies Re:Maybe inflation is higher (286 comments)

Hmm, let's look at gas prices (which are one of the basic indicators of US lifestyle and affect cost of most things)
Year 2000 - 1.4-1.6
Year 2014 - 3.80
Factor of 2.4-2.7

Beef prices
Year 2000 - 285
Year 2014 - 480
Factor of 1.68

There were just two first things I have checked out of 'americal lifestyle' pseudo-basket. Then we have cable tv prices, as described in original post with factor of around 1.6.
CPI suggests difference of 1.34 between year 2000 and 2014. Shadow stats suggest around 2.26 as you say. Probably one of only importnat things which are following CPI data over this time period are apartment rental prices and this is just because of 2008 crash.

I will agree with you that shadowstats is reporting too high inflation index - they are not trying to provide real numbers, rather to show the difference in creative accounting after 1980. But do you really think that CPI is valid measurement of what is happening? Why almost every report is complaining that XYZ is raising faster than CPI?

about 2 months ago

Cable TV Prices Rising At Four Times the Inflation Rate

abies Maybe inflation is higher (286 comments)

It is funny that when people observe that almost everything raise faster that inflation, they blame all these providers/producers separately, instead of question reported inflation in first place.
If you look at shadowstats, last year inflation was around 5-%... as observed on cable service prices.

So real question should be not why cable service prices are rising so sharply, but rather, why CPI cheats? Answers are probably going to be more interesting that "rising cost of equipment"

about 2 months ago

Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

abies Re: Motivated rejection of science (661 comments)

Half million year picture is not a good graph to show - in it, CO2 follows temperature changes, not predates it. It will just give fuel to deniers. You need to pick data carefully if you want to make your point. Maybe just replace labels - nobody in schools will notice and you will get your point through?

about 3 months ago

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

abies Re:Good! (303 comments)

Except is has nothing to do with java-the-language. It is about java-the-platform (runtime + libraries, mostly libraries in this particular case). You are calling to kill Clojure and Scala as well, just because you don't like java-the-language?

about 3 months ago


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