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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

vpness planes still have "steering wheels" (500 comments)

My understanding - perhaps reading on /. - about human caused crashes (Asiana, Air France) was that the plane did so much for the human, that the human was more out of touch with actually *flying.* A cautionary tale if we're thinking of handing over control of cars. Humans will get out of touch. Maybe the right place initially for driverless are paid express lanes with limited entrances and exits, and perhaps solely one lane, making a lot of the scenarios discussed by other posters less likely initially.

2 days ago

Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

vpness no one here apply for life insurance? (125 comments)

what a lot of posters strike me as missing, is that the DEFINITION OF WHATS HEALTHY IS ALREADY MADE, and when you apply for life insurance you AGREE TO SHARE ALL DR RECORDS AND GET RETESTED. So unless most of you just take the "cover your credit card debt and handle the funeral services" health insurance your company offers, then you've already crossed the 'share lots of specific health info, tied specifically to you' threshold. As someone who's off the bell curve in terms of body height, I'd welcome a more scientific and data centric definition of stuff like BMI. what ID challenge the crypto-smart folks on /. , is to come up with a way - or promote if it's already done - to create a way to guarantee authenticity of that the data is as a patient intended to contribute, whilst cryptographically ensure that the contributor is obsfucated.

about a month ago

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

vpness 18,000% growth in stock value since 97 (168 comments)

yes, eighteen thousand. Compare that to the dow, nasdaq and even the much maligned msft. Wow, I sure wish I'd put 1K or 10K into amaz stock and held. Sure, amaz is off its peak of 20,000 % profit recently, but ... so maybe amaz, and the longer term investors really, really do know what they're doing. For example, the amaz phone? my family members are looking at buying just for the mayday feature. Unlike probably most /. folks, mayday, for the 'rest of them,' is such an amazing feature.

about a month ago

eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

vpness eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, sure (116 comments)

sorry, old school here. But a sport involves the combo of physical exertion, and skill. Skill for gaming ? no doubt gaming requires a huge amount of skill. But physical exertion? come ON. and no question that gaming is going mainstream, when espn starts covering it ... expecting the mod downs ... waiting for em actually ...

about a month ago

Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment

vpness Monk, 65 in '82 , is still alive and active (55 comments)

What's amazing is that the "paper" was a celebration of Monk's already interesting career ... upon his supposed retirement age at 65. So yes for those who critiqued this as a slow news day, and yes for an old paper, and yes for perhaps obvious news. But how about a celebration of the life of this man, this person, who kept going, starting at 65! I for one hope I could be some small percentage as 'meaningful' for me when I reach the 65 through 95 range!

about a month and a half ago

The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

vpness Re:Absolutely Awesome (200 comments)

this is the most sane post on this subject I've seen. Like the internet, drones are still 'too new' to fall under legislation *which makes sense.* I remember seeing some silly rules regarding early automobiles coming to a cross roads, and the to be crosser having to discharge a weapon to first warn of their impending crossing. Just being curious, I'm looking for rules for proper operation of a drone. Comparisons to model airplanes, estes rockets, kites and hang gliders come to mind. Surely, just like stealing music from the internet is the same as stealing music from a cd in a store, it'd seem that existing rules on the books could be found? I'm not informed enough to propose a decent solution. And the comment of another poster about 'oops, sorry that drone got sucked into an engine, they can always turn around on the other one, why'd you want to limit something soooo cools as drones ?' was ... immature ? And, like this poster, the view was, amazingly stunning. Like CGI.

about 2 months ago

Linux Sucks (Video)

vpness can I mod up the original post? (293 comments)

this was very funny diatribe (and I have mod points). I have mod points ! no, really, I do !

about 3 months ago

The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

vpness Re:Overreacting, maybe? (111 comments)

good point, and fair enough. My position *would* require the cloud system to have some fairly rigorous controls (e.g. allow only the teacher to have the private key, with NO ADK) which in implementation, wouldn't likely ever get implemented.

about 3 months ago

The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

vpness Re:Overreacting, maybe? (111 comments)

fermion makes a decent point. Maybe another way to restate his point is 'what's the difference between a *teacher* monitoring where a student is struggling in a classroom, and a *teacher* monitoring the student struggling online. Also, if in aggregate, and if anonymous, if the cloud can analyze where students struggle, and can improve the content, or *ID the teacher laggards* I'm all in. IMO, what is different is when some remote 3rd party monitors the *student, and can personally ID the student.* *That* I have a problem with. and, sorry fermion, it's 'role' of the student ;)

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?

vpness it's never too soon to start working (309 comments)

a long , long time ago in college we had a co-op where we'd work for 6 months, go to school for 6. Having that real world experience interleaved brought me so much value in that my school became so much more relevant, and I also understood *why* I was going to school. so, go, start learning.

about 4 months ago

As Domestic Abuse Goes Digital, Shelters Turn To Counter-surveillance With Tor

vpness best use of TOR I've heard of (133 comments)

seems that the uses of TOR to date have been primarily 'negatively' for hackers, those avoiding the law in a number of ways (including true terrorists) and those who share (e.g. steal) copyrighted materials. 'Positive' use include or those who live in repressive regimes. This adds another positive use. How cool.

about 4 months ago

GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

vpness Re:Hero ? Hero ? really ? (236 comments)

why is this modded up? the poster said that they were guessing. Moded up as we cannot believe that an engineer was human, that they f'd up, then tried to cover it up? Granted, this sniffs correct, but the 'hero' label is waaay over the top. Would love some facts from some of the other posters who do/did work in the auto industry and GM: 1 - how often does a part get modified - like in this case it was off a smidge, but otherwise unchanged 2 - how often does a part just get modified without some QA oversight? (IOW, why didn't QA and all that 6 sigma crap get fired too ?) 3 - can an engineer just make this change, independently, and manufacturing or the OEM will now retool this silly little part and just do it? what I'd really want to know, tho: a) is were the engineers who made the change in design, aware of the accidents and death caused as a result of this bad design? b) we keep hearing it was a $0.20 part. But what were the recall costs?

about 5 months ago

The Graffiti Drone

vpness nothing new here, just easier then rappelling (126 comments)

I don't get the drone vs rappelling on rope issue. I'm open to being educated tho. What I see is that in the past, people defaced others property - public or private, up close and personal. Now with a drone, the defacer can deface others property without having to put themselves at risk. What's changed? Maybe there'll be a real issue when someone operating a drone defaces property and someone gets killed cleaning up as they had to rappel to sandblast the paint. This is similar to stealing copyrighted material from the internet vs stealing from a walmart. They're both stealing, the internet you can steal with much lower risk of getting caught. ----- full disclosure - perhaps I'm a hypocrite, but 'illegal' BASE doesn't bother me as much as there is (likely) no damage to property.

about 5 months ago

IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

vpness Nate ! We need you Nate Silver !!! (703 comments)

seriously, we do. When I hear 'cost billions' I'd like someone as amazingly sharp as Nate to look at the data through his analytic mind, and either call BS on those of you posting "it's FUD," or those of you saying "we're f'd !" I get my news only from The Daily Show - and of course /. - so cannot be biased by either FOX or NPR ... while I am not at all a warming skeptic - the math seems to support it - I cannot be entirely on board given the unknowns. Like in this report from the EPA, with all sorts of charts and scientific graphs n stuff, which predicted Ocean City MD underwater by now ....

about 5 months ago

Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

vpness can't get 200 passengers boarding a plane worked (273 comments)

this whole proposal is predicated on folks agreeing to not cut in line. Until you're ready to take a crane and literally remove cars who cut in line without a T in their plate, then this'll be broken the minute some 'ohhhh, i didn't understand person' gets in the line. saying this as someone who travels monthly, and EVERY TIME there's someone who's not a 2 tries to get into the 2 line. Every time. and some times the gate crew lets em. but maybe, the burning man attendees are all compliant and play nice and all ...

about 5 months ago

Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

vpness closer to reality of brutal environment needed (150 comments)

+ the post poking fun that they're doing this in Hawaii. I was immediately struck by the fact that the main part of the isolation is the realization that NO HELP CAN COME, and I AM STUCK HERE WITH THESE IDIOTS and I WILL DIE IF I GO OUTSIDE UNPROTECTED am wondering if they did this on the antartic, that might better simulate those more real impacts. I was going to write that the Europeans colonizing the Americas or Austrailia 400 years was a parallel, but it's not. Yes, help was delayed, and yes the outside was brutal, but the parallels just aren't the same in degree of impact.

about 5 months ago


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