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Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

jfengel Re:Also... (118 comments)

Nothing wrong with being wrong with confidence. Sounds like the majority of humanity the majority of the time.

Oh, it definitely sounds like the majority of humanity the majority of the time. I just don't think it's one of our more admirable traits.

In our case, it's necessary, because we evolved with mediocre brains. I'd like to see our successors do better. They aren't yet, which is what this article is pointing out. This promising system isn't ready yet. It's just not wrong for the reasons that the GGP post thought.

1 hour ago
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Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

jfengel Re:Also... (118 comments)

It's not just returning a matched image, though. It's also returning a confidence level, and in the cases they've discovered, it's returning 100% confidence. That's clearly wrong.

yesterday
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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

jfengel Re:Does Denmark... (184 comments)

You have to take nonbinding referenda with a grain of salt. It's easy to wave the flag and claim nationalism when you don't have to deal with the difficulties of actually running a country when you do.

I'm not saying that the Greenlanders don't genuinely want independence. I'm just saying that 75% is the high-water mark. At least 25% genuinely don't want independence, and that were it to come down to a binding vote, they could well find another 26% who get cold feet at the prospect of having to deal with the consequences.

If Denmark does indeed manage to win them trillions worth of oil, they may well decide to keep it all for themselves, and vote for that. And then the sticky wicket would be getting to a binding referendum, which the Danes would not permit easily. The easiest route to it would be to buy their independence by promising a fraction of that oil revenue.

2 days ago
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Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

jfengel Re:this is ridiculous (429 comments)

We have an odd kind of expectation of privacy even in public places. I'm not saying we don't; I'm just pointing out that the expectation strikes me as not obvious. The Fourth Amendment calls out "their persons, houses, papers, and effects", which notably omits anything outside your immediate control.

The expectation comes from a pre-technological age, and I certainly don't fault the Fourth Amendment for failing to see how technology would change the ways in which we expect to be private even in public. But I do think it ends up calling for a recalibration of both the law and our expectations.

Ideally, I'd like to see that codified in a new amendment. Unfortunately, given that even simple, popular legislation seems impossible to pass, I can't imagine getting agreement on something with even the faintest whiff of controversy past the rather higher bar of a Constitutional amendment. So I'd be happy for a decent national conversation on the topic.

Personally, I wouldn't have thought that the law extended to an expectation of privacy on your front lawn, since you already expect your neighbors to be watching. It's interesting to see a court disagree. I wouldn't be surprised if this is overturned at a higher level, though unfortunately, at this point I've given up thinking of the Supreme Court as anything other than an ideology engine, so really just figure out which side is which and assume that it'll go that way.

2 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

jfengel Re:this is something Google does a bit better (593 comments)

But I don't think they've fully integrated the software. Google Maps apparently gets "reports" from Waze, but they seem to otherwise still be separate. They generate different routes and different estimates.

Based on my purely anecdotal experience, I've found that Maps has smarter routing but that Waze does a better job of being current on traffic. So I use Waze when I expect traffic to be an issue (i.e. during rush times), and Maps at other times. (Maps also has a more pleasant interface. Waze's voice is especially over-talkative.)

3 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

jfengel Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (153 comments)

Why is ACH cheaper? What fee is involved in the A2A? I'd expect at the very least that they could eliminate a middle man and save money there.

3 days ago
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IsoHunt Unofficially Resurrects the Pirate Bay

jfengel Mmmmm... Old Bay (112 comments)

Download me some Natty Boh while you're at it.

5 days ago
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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

jfengel Re:Over to you, SCOTUS (378 comments)

At least one set of judges, the 9th Circuit, disagreed that the previous decision applied here. The current court disagrees (unanimously) with them, and what they say goes, but the fact that it made it to the Supreme Court at all suggests that there is real disagreement about the meaning and applicability of the previous decisions.

So there's plenty of blame to go around, but it includes all nine of the current justices as well as the past ones. And the current Congress, who could easily remedy this (to popular acclaim), but the leadership won't even try.

about a week ago
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California Sues Uber Over Practices

jfengel Re:Not "ridesharing" (137 comments)

I'm surprised this hasn't been put to the test already. There are about 200 accidents and 1-2 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Uber and Lyft must be closing in on that number by now, and since they're primarily about accident-prone city driving I'd expect it to be faster.

Surely something has happened by now that would have provoked the insurance companies' ire and make them start sending out warnings, but I haven't heard about it. Am I just missing it? Or have they handled it all in house so far?

about a week ago
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Google Releases Android Studio 1.0, the First Stable Version of Its IDE

jfengel Re:My experiences of Android Studio (114 comments)

Thanks! I literally just decided to get into this the day before this article was published, and your review is very helpful. Thanks.

about a week ago
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Book Review: Spam Nation

jfengel Re:So... did he have any tested? (82 comments)

Really? It's illegal just to run the test? (Or at least, too close to a gray area to even consider it?)

Wow, that sucks.

about two weeks ago
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Book Review: Spam Nation

jfengel So... did he have any tested? (82 comments)

I've read the review, but not the book, but a key element seems to come down to "Maybe it's real, but nobody knows". It seems a fairly simple procedure for him to order some of it and have it tested, and then he'd know. Yeah, that's a legal gray area, but it would make his case a lot stronger to be able to say "Yeah, I ordered a bunch of Russian Viagra and it tested out as 75% as good as the real stuff".

I know that means taking a risk of being prosecuted, but isn't that something we commend journalists for? At least, better than making allegations about what corporate execs and government employees are thinking without evidence.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

jfengel Re:Sounds more like technical short-sightedness (250 comments)

I really miss my iPod Nano, the 5th generation, the last one that was really a dedicated music player rather than an iOS device. It was very small and did one thing really well, which made it perfect for running.

But eventually I got a smart phone, and since I'd be carrying it on runs anyway... it's more cumbersome to use as a player, but at least it's able to update itself without having to go through iTunes. I suspect that iOS-based Nanos can as well, but I just didn't need a separate device any more.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

jfengel Re:not enough data (186 comments)

I'd also like to see it controlled against a pepperoni pizza, which practically everybody seems to like. (Oddly, except for me. I'm just not into fermented sausages. Not into salami, either. I'll eat pepperoni pizza, but I'd rather have sausage.) Once you exclude the obvious failures (e.g. vegetarians) I bet you could get 98% approval.

If that 98% figure means that they can differentiate vegetarians from non-vegetarians just by watching their eyes with near-perfect accuracy... that actually sounds like an interesting result all by itself.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

jfengel Re:Logic fail (186 comments)

Thanks for the tip. I do have a stone, and get tolerable pizza out of it, but your physics makes sense and I may have to give it a try the next time I'm feeling flush.

Meantime... we've got a place that brought a pizza oven over from Naples, and their pizzas do in fact come out in 90 seconds.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

jfengel Re:Logic fail (186 comments)

There's a lot of great cuisine in England. It's got some amazing chefs, like Heston Blumenthal and Fergus Henderson. The "gastro pubs" are serving some amazing food. The influences of south Asian cuisine are incredibly creative.

OK, they're not the French, who make great food an extremely high priority, so there's a lot of great food and very little bad food. The English got a bad reputation in the mid 20th century, having depleted their agricultural system to keep from being conquered, but that ended a while back, and they're no longer tolerating bad food. English cuisine is now on par with anywhere else in Europe or the US. Even Italy (where I've had some surprisingly mediocre pizza).

You can still get crap, of course, but it's not at all difficult to find really good food in the UK. (I'm not a resident there, just an occasional visitor and fan of food.)

about two weeks ago
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Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

jfengel Re:Sounds more like technical short-sightedness (250 comments)

iTunes remains an astonishingly bad user interface. It wasn't originally an Apple product, which explains some of it, but they took it over a decade ago, and it's still incredibly bad. (Caveat: I finally gave up on my iPod, so maybe it's gotten better in the last two years. But given how abominable it was, with massive and obvious bugs being ignored, for so long, I doubt it.)

I don't know why Apple has a blind spot for an incredibly bad user interface for a flagship product (I mean the music store, rather than the iPod), but it does. So any accusations of bad design rather than malice seem credible, even though in general that's a bad heuristic when applied to Apple.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

jfengel It's a Nutrimatic pizza dispenser (186 comments)

And I bet it delivers something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike pizza.

about two weeks ago
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Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue

jfengel Re:Single-pixel what? (81 comments)

Thank you for that incredibly lucid explanation. (Sorry, no mod points today, but you were at 5 anyway.)

about three weeks ago
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Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue

jfengel Re:Single-pixel what? (81 comments)

I got the impression that the idea was to use the breast itself as the scattering medium, in an attempt to focus on something inside the breast, namely a cancer. The chicken breast was used to simulate breast material, which would probably be pretty clever if it weren't so confusing.

Chicken breast is very different from mammalian mammary tissue, but it was probably the cheapest source of meat. It may also help that it's relatively uniform, to simplify things, while simultaneously being sufficiently random at the tissue level.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Executive order makes government data open by default

jfengel jfengel writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jfengel (409917) writes "Last week, President Obama issued an executive order titled "Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information".

Government information shall be managed as an asset throughout its life cycle to promote interoperability and openness, and, wherever possible and legally permissible, to ensure that data are released to the public in ways that make the data easy to find, accessible, and usable.

It relies heavily on a paper from the CIO, "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.", issued in February."

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Former Senator claims US government suppressing UFO evidence

jfengel jfengel writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jfengel (409917) writes "Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) says the White House has helped keep the truth about the “extraterrestrial influence that is investigating our planet” from the public. He was joined by five former Representatives. Paradigm Research paid each $20k to appear at a press conference, at which Gravel said:

“It goes right to the White House, and of course, once the White House takes a position, ‘well there's nothing going on’...it just goes down the chain of command, everyone stands toe. ... The smoking gun of the whole issue, which is when they saw hovering space craft in Wyoming and South Dakota over the ICBM missile silos that the missiles couldn't work.”"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Theater

jfengel jfengel writes  |  more than 11 years ago Just on the off chance somebody comes to find out who I am, I'll stick in a plug for my theater group, The Rude Mechanicals. We put on really, really good Shakespeare in Laurel, MD. Half the cast reads Slashdot, and you've never seen Shakespeare until you've seen it performed by computer nerds. The other half are English majors. This is serious amateur theater.

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