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Developing the First Law of Robotics

shadowrat Re:So, a design failure then. (144 comments)

Not only that, but the stories in I Robot and asimov's use of the 3 laws were not about laying an actual groundwork for how robots should function, but to illustrate that there are always unintended consequences to the laws. While the stories are really about the unpredictable outcomes of the interplay of those 3 constraints, it is kind of fitting that someone going down the road of trying to realize just one law would not quite get what they were hoping for.

the real genius of the stories of course, isn't that robots should have these laws. it's that he was able to so accurately describe the process of debugging software right up to that a-ha moment where you realize that it's actually doing exactly what you told it to do all along. the guy wrote that stuff in the 30's and 40's and i'm still having those irobot moments every day.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

shadowrat Re:Time for new terminology (588 comments)

this is the most rational statement i've ever seen presented on the matter. well done.

2 days ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

shadowrat Re:Who would have thought (193 comments)

I think the part about other drivers was the dmv claiming that failure to navigate a roundabout is not grounds for failing a human applicant. This report does more to illuminate how low the bar is set for any driver, machine or human.

5 days ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

shadowrat Re:Who would have thought (193 comments)

I don't expect fully autonomous cars on day one. I'd expect to have to pay attention and take control from time to time, and I can live with all of that. Having to upload my planned routes to google for approval a month ahead of time doesn't really live up to my expectations though.

5 days ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

shadowrat Re:Great news (268 comments)

My hypothesis is the human's genetics will imbue them with more intelligence than the dog's genetics. My prediction is that the human would be smarter than the dogs. Experiments so far have backed me up.

5 days ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

shadowrat Re:Great news (268 comments)

Clearly genetics has a very large impact on intelligence. Human DNA seems to yield far more intelligence than any other sequence we've yet encountered.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

shadowrat Re:The war that no one wanted (471 comments)

i drew my line at $100 bucks also, but i added another axis, it's got to be rugged and waterproof enough that i would use it surfing and sailing. I'd also like it do do cool stuff without my phone present.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

shadowrat Re:So what exactly is the market here. (729 comments)

maybe it's just me, but i don't like wearing anything on my wrist for any activity where i bend my wrist. I've tried even low profile devices like the fuel band and just don't like it. maybe for jogging it's ok, but i can't wear it skateboarding, or biking, or lifting weights. it's not that i can't see uses for it. I can. i like racing sailboats, a timing app would be great, but apple didn't say that my $350 toy is going to survive a dunk in the bay so there's no way i'm wearing it for that. Likewise, I can think of more cool uses for surfing and skating and biking, but again, it just seems to expensive and too vulnerable.

about a week ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

shadowrat i'm shocked (261 comments)

shocked i tell you that California didn't think to mandate this first! we are slacking.

about three weeks ago
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

shadowrat yeah, i'm not interesting in going to space (109 comments)

bone density plummets, muscles atrophy, eyes degenerate. Are we telling this to kids that go to space camp? Being an astronaut is as bad if not worse for your health as playing in the NFL. Of course, i find the former more interesting to follow from the comfort of my armchair.

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

shadowrat Re:The worrisome part (233 comments)

They can cut off phone service in this and other countries but the theft is going to china etc that does not care or the be broken down to parts.

The chinese have iphone parts. They assemble the parts into iphones and sell them to the US. the iphones are then stolen from the US and returned to china. They are broken back into parts and it starts all over again!

What an intricate system! If it's not evidence of intelligent design, i don't know what is.

about three weeks ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

shadowrat Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (257 comments)

sometimes automation is preferable to human interaction. I bet comcast would be lauded if they had a phone menu with the option of "press 1 to terminate your service."

about three weeks ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

shadowrat Re:The real crime here (465 comments)

Offender: [sobs pathetically] "How am I going to pay my rent or car payment or buy food now? I guess i'll have to start mugging people."

FTFY

about three weeks ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

shadowrat Re:The real crime here (465 comments)

No, the real crime is punishing a non-violent civil offender with violence (i.e. forced into a cage). It only takes a moment of critical thinking to realize that punishing non-violence with violence is a product of injustice, not justice.

no, the real crime here is a misleading title that implies he was given 33 months solely for the act of filming a movie with a camcorder.

about three weeks ago
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51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

shadowrat Re:Logged in to email? (117 comments)

If anyone knows of any app that keeps the phone locked out (so you need to enter a password to get into your apps) but which enables easy dialing of 911 (or selected people on your contact list). I'd be more than happy to hear what they are. That would be the perfect balance between securing your phone and keeping it easy for my kids to use to call 911 or relatives who live close by. (Not that those lock-screen passwords are perfectly secure, but they're better than swipe-to-unlock.)

yes. it's called iPhone. there is an option to make an emergency call from the lock screen. I'm pretty sure the same thing exists on most android and windows phones.

about a month ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

shadowrat Re:They are clueless... (232 comments)

I can see a benefit to this arrangement. The traditional email system puts responsibility in the hands of the recipient. It kind of encourages this fire and forget mentality that just shoves the work down the line to the next poor SOB.

I've been in situations where teams communicated effectively over email, and i've been in situations where the sales team just constantly ran around in a tizzy peppering the engineering team with questions. Now, a breakdown seems to happen here since the speed of sales is not the speed of engineering. Sales people are always on the go. They are always pursuing the next big client. It's not uncommon for their requests to simply be a stream of, "stop what you were doing for that last request because i've got an even bigger fish."

That's not a bash on salespeople. It's just how the job works. That's manageable on a day to day basis. I get what they are doing, but i also recognize that there is usually a half-life of 1 or 2 days to these "urgent and important" requests. Most of the time coming back from vacation, i'd sort of breeze through these things, not really looking at them in depth. I didn't want to miss something actually important, or still relevant. I'd kind of like to know that the person with the actually important issue was maybe going to pick up a bit of the load rather than just spend 5 seconds blasting an email out and then claim, "hey. i did everything i could to get that client."

about a month ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

shadowrat Re:Database? (371 comments)

The joke: Software "engineers" as the title is widely used in the tech world aren't Real Engineers. Unless your four year degree has the word "Engineer" and is from an ABET/EAC accredited institution you are not an Engineer, end of story.

uh oh! sounds like someone's a little bitter. Here's a little more salt to rub in your wounds. i went to art school! didn't even graduate with a degree and i get senior engineer in my title!

about a month ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

shadowrat Re:hum (109 comments)

He has no idea how to even use the thing he's invented?!?!

To be fair, the engineers behind the x-1 had chuck yeager use the thing they invented. I'm not sure how many could actually fly a plane.

about a month ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

shadowrat Re:Now this is funny. (109 comments)

Yeah, I can't imagine who (in my admittedly small circle of friends) would really need or want this. It seems like it's great for transcribing speech, or any situation where you are trying to parse a stream of language and the rate of the stream isn't dictated by you. I don't really think WPM is the bottleneck for other endeavors. As a programmer, i just assume it's not really suited to all the punctuation in my favorite languages. More than that though, my typing speed isn't a bottleneck. The bottleneck is envisioning the idea and subsequently debugging the resulting code.

I'm not a writer, but i imagine that's similar. Is anyone really being held back from writing the next great american novel because they only type at 90 wpm? Or is it just that they don't really have a good idea.

about a month ago
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WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

shadowrat Re:First.... (183 comments)

Thanks! I was hoping people would enjoy it! I feel like i really bettered the world today!

about a month ago

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