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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

cwsumner Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (453 comments)

... Or are you asserting that computers do something other than what they are told to do?

Um ... Yes.

Even assuming that the programming is perfect, which would be very unlikely, the Ram and CPU cores can have errors due to heat, impacts from subatomic particles and other reasons. The estimated incidence for errors due to particle impacts is about once a year, but even that is often enough to worry about in something like an automobile. Not to mention errors in the design of the hardware.

But my major concern is in the software, which would be suficiently large that it might be slower than humans to react to dangers. Also at that size the number of bugs will be quite significant, and debugging is not something that usually is taught in school.

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

cwsumner Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (453 comments)

It's basic queueing theory. Decelerating slightly on a free-flowing road can cause traffic jams a few miles behind you.

This is true, I have seen it. I have also seen the math.

But it is because the roads are to crowded. The effects propagate because the is not enough buffer space between cars.
Just don't drive on crowded roads. i.e., Don't go near big cities. No one needs to live that close together anymore, anyway. 8-)
(And besides, they stink! Really.)

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

cwsumner Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (453 comments)

Even perfect driving by an omniscient being isn't going to be much better than the usual near perfect, law abiding human driver.

Your human ideal doesn't exist. The computers do.

The idea that a Computer will always be better, is about on the level of the old myths about gods or a superman comic book.

Computers are often faster and they don't usually have wandering attention spans. But they can make just as bad decisions as people, sometimes a lot worse. I speak as someone with 40 years experience programming and designing them, and I know something about what is inside... 8-)

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

cwsumner Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (453 comments)

I would question whether the actually law abiding human driver is common enough to be considered "usual".

If they were not usual, you and I would no doubt be long dead... 8-P

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

cwsumner Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (453 comments)

... The indoor mall is probably one of the most disgusting social developments in history.

But, it has a roof to keep out rain,snow and wind. That is important, sometimes. 8-)

3 days ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

cwsumner Re:Why Space if you can afford Ground Station. (235 comments)

A base on the moon is at the bottom of a "gravity well". Not as bad as the one at Earth, but still a chore to climb out of.
It would be like sleeping every night at the bottom of an old dry well, and having to climb a ladder to get out every morning.

A station is free orbit is much easier to get to and from. And also easier to move stuff to and from.
Is is actually cheaper, in energy, to move in a ore meteor to a space station, than to move ore from the moon to earth.

about a week ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

cwsumner Re:What's it good for? (235 comments)

... If birds and crocodiles managed to survive, then humans have a good chance, too. ...

Humans survived the more recent ones. But their civilization did not. They were probably reduced to eating their dead. Not a desirable outcome.

Consider the (small but non-zero) possibilty that the ones called "Angels", in the old stories, are the humans that escaped the previous extinction-level events by going to space.

about a week ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

cwsumner Re:We'll build our own station (235 comments)

Yes. When is the UK coming to annex the United States, since the vast majority of US citizens respond to questionnaires in English?

Um ... Muricans don't speak English. I are one, and 1 know. 8-)

about a week ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

cwsumner Re:This is moronic. (333 comments)

... Best case someone is going to fire an AA missile at you which might end you right there. ...

Um ... the AA missile -is- a killer robot !
All of this discussion is about stuff that has already happened. Just because they don't look like humans, is beside the point.

about a week ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

cwsumner Heard it before (333 comments)

... Now a group of computer scientists and ethicists have used the halting problem to tackle the question of how a weaponized robot could decide to kill a human. ...

This reminds me of a logic calculation that "proved", back in the 1800's, that electric power could not be distributed across distance from a generator! 8-P
In fact their logic was correct, they just had not specified the problem correctly.
And of course we distribute power all over, nowdays.

I suspect this logic is just as wrong...

about a week ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

cwsumner Re:Alternatives... (473 comments)

X Rebirth was pretty much panned by everyone who was a fan of the previous X games. Consequently, it's the only one of the X games that I haven't bought at least once.

I'm playing X-Rebirth V2.51 right now. They have fixed most of the bugs and I am having fun.
But if what you want is an FPS, this is not the game for you. It is your job to fix the economy, the devs start it off but you have to maintain it. It is not easy.
But, with that sort of "live" universe, things can happen that even the devs didn't know about.
Or you can just play the plots (plural), The update coming out in December has a third plot included, and more space.
And it sounds like the other space games are coming out in even worse shape than X-rebirth was in ! 8-P

about two weeks ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

cwsumner Dumb question (245 comments)

If anyone really want's to know why they let this guy post such long messages, just look at how many comments are in this thread!! 8-P
You did it to yourselves...

about two weeks ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

cwsumner Re:Note to IT recruiters. (276 comments)

The problem is that they spent ages trying to teach artificial "rules" of English and when kids just stuck with natural English, they concluded that "grammar teaching doesn't work". ...

Not knowing the differences may be fine ... Until you need to communicate that difference to someone else, accurately.
Or, you need to write something that people expect to read very fast, without any stumbling over things. If you fail, they don't read it and you fail.

about two weeks ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

cwsumner Re:Which says what? (276 comments)

I'm really not sure it puts out a good image of your product if a 5 year old can pass your professional certifications.

It either means your certs are weak sauce, or your product is lamentably simple.

I think it was a -very- unusual 5-year old.
You might want to remember his name, for later times... 8-)

about two weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

cwsumner Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

IDs issued by the Federal government, are what is illegal. State governments issue drivers licences, and most now issue "non-driver IDs", through the same system, for use by people that don't drive. I don't know if they are free, but I think the cost is lower. Other types of ID are also allowed, as long as they have a picture, and the organization is known. I think the local voter boards, here, can also issue picture IDs that work and are free.

Besides, all of the poor people around here have drivers licenses with pictures. A few people forgot theirs, but did a "provisional ballot" and brought the license in later.

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

cwsumner Re:Paper? (148 comments)

See the phrase "Poll Watcher".

The US state political parties send people to each polling place to watch what is happening. Both sides are watching all day, with different volunteers trading off shifts. Every step has watchers.

So how do they "watch" the electronic transfers?? In some states it is required by law, and they are deciding now whether to change the state law or just not use electronic machines.

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

cwsumner Re:ssh / scp / https maybe? (148 comments)

Actually, it's the Democrats that assume the poor voters are too dumb to have ID. The Republicans know quite well that poor people have ID, because they use it to buy things from stores. The laws are just to keep "foreign spies" out. And to irritate the Dems... 8-P

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

cwsumner Re:Umm, encryption? (148 comments)

assuming the user is not an idiot.

Well see, there's your problem.

Don't assume the user is an idiot.
If you worked a day at their job, you would probably appear just as much an idiot, as they do talking about your job.

Besides, if they were really idiots, it would cause less problems!

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

cwsumner Re: Umm, encryption? (148 comments)

One has a cup holder

Um... not any more. At least, some new PC's don't.
But the Microwave doesn't have a "computer" (i.e.monitor and keyboard) connected to it.
They do both look sort of like a "Harddrive", though. (As some businesses use the word...)

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

cwsumner Re:Couldn't they have used an RTG? China syndrome (132 comments)

... We could have built a pretty big station out of the space shuttle main tanks, for example.

We sort of did, actually, back before the space shuttle. See "SpaceLab", I think it was. But it's hard to get them high enough, and it fell back years ago.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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WristWatch Sliderule: Casio Archive

cwsumner cwsumner writes  |  about 2 months ago

cwsumner (1303261) writes "I ran across this in the Casio support site old products archive: A manual on how to use a wristwatch with a bult-in mechanical sliderule! For those who are to young to remember, a sliderule is a calculator from back before they had calculators.

And get off of my lawn! 8-)"

Link to Original Source
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DARPA releases catalog of open project information

cwsumner cwsumner writes  |  about 10 months ago

cwsumner (1303261) writes "DARPA has invested in many programs that sponsor fundamental and applied research in areas of computer science, which have led to new advances in theory as well as practical software. The R&D community has asked about the availability of results, and now DARPA has responded by creating the DARPA Open Catalog, a place for organizing and sharing those results in the form of software, publications, data and experimental details. The Catalog can be found at http://go.usa.gov/BDhY."
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The sum of all of the positive numbers is -1/12 (!!?)

cwsumner cwsumner writes  |  about 10 months ago

cwsumner (1303261) writes "A few weeks ago the Numberphile website posted a short video. The video discussed an "astounding" sum and got considerable press (the video has 1,523,719 views so far). It appeared on both Slate and 3QD. The sum? It's:
        1+2+3+4+5+6+7+... = -1/12"

Link to Original Source
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M-1 Sales blocked by State Dept

cwsumner cwsumner writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cwsumner (1303261) writes "Obama Administration Reverses Course, Forbids Sale of 850,000 Antique Rifles.
The South Korean government, in an effort to raise money for its military, wants to sell nearly a million antique M1 rifles that were used by U.S. soldiers in the Korean War to gun collectors in America.
The Obama administration approved the sale of the American-made rifles last year. But it reversed course and banned the sale in March ââoe a decision that went largely unnoticed at the time but that is now sparking opposition from gun rights advocates.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/01/obama-administration-reverses-course-forbids-sale-antique-m-rifles/"

Link to Original Source

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