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Comment Re:Rename it ... (Score 1) 218

Rename it to something like Copilot or Driver Assist. They can say what they want about how Autopilot should be used but the name suggests otherwise.

A variety of autopilot systems in airplanes differ in complexity, many of them not doing anything more than the Model S autopilot does. Hold this heading. Need to change heading now? Let me dial in the new heading...ok, now hold that heading. Exactly analogous to the Model S. Hold this lane and speed. Need to change lanes? Let me press and hold the turn signal button...ok, now hold this lane.

By contrast a copilot can actually take over for you. You transfer the pilot-in-command job, let them hold the yoke, and they go nuts.

I think the problem is that people don't really understand autopilots in airplanes. They think the pilot can just say, "take me to LaGuardia" and the thing will do it. Although the more advanced autopilots of the today in commercial airliners can land the plane for you, it still requires the pilot to go through the pattern, get on the final leg, dial in the ILS frequency for the runway in question, and THEN it can go through the motions of controlling speed, keeping the plane lined up, and flaring at the appropriate height. Autopilots are not replacements for pilots.

Comment Re:People will get lazier and dumber (Score 1) 440

Remember when I said that? Remember when I got mocked for saying that? Are you going to remember I said that when it turns out I'm right? Of course you won't.

I still mock you. Because nobody arguing for self-driving cars every argued they wouldn't get into an accident. We simply argue they'll get into *less* accidents than human beings. Your irrational and fearful arguments display a profound lack of understanding of statistics and a blind trust in human ability.

Tesla's autopilot isn't there yet. It's not a self-driving system, people who are putting too much trust in the system are being careless. It is, however, an important step toward getting us there. We just had the first accident that was caused by a problem with the software (it was most definitely the fault of the autopilot. The camera didn't get a clear view of the truck because of the sunlight, and the radar signal from the truck was being purposefully ignored by the algorithm designed to ignore overhead signs. It's terrible someone lost their life as a result, but you know what? The engineers just learned of a flaw. This flaw will be fixed. No other car in the Tesla fleet will ever fail in this exact way again. Will other accidents happen? Of course. Will more drivers die? Of course. Will any other driver ever die because the autopilot mistook a radar signal from a truck for an overhead sign? Nope.

I don't know what kind of driver you are, but I'm willing to assume you're a great driver. Most people sharing the road with you are not. Statistically speaking, 3000 other people died on the roads on the same day this person using autopilot died. And yes, that's because there are many more cars on the road, because that statistic includes motorcycles and drunk drivers, etc.; not because autopilot is safer than a human as of yet. However, all the causes for those 3000 other accidents? They've happened before, the exact same mistakes. And they will happen again. You cannot eliminate an entire class of mistakes from the human species when one of us make a mistake. You can when it's a computer algorithm.

So yes, human beings will get more distracted behind the wheel when a computer is doing the driving for them. That's ok, because the goal is that eventually there shouldn't even be a steering wheel in the car. The windshield shouldn't even exist, instead it should be an lcd screen that will show you video of the outside traffic when you want, or a movie for you to watch so you can be entertained while your car takes you to work. In the meantime, while the system is still not designed for that, some of these distracted drivers will pay a heavy price. Some innocent people will also pay the price, when the autopiloted Tesla crashes into a manually driven car, or hits a pedestrian, or otherwise kills a person that wasn't the distracted driver. But that's no different than when a drunk driver hits an innocent. It's no different than when someone texting while driving hits an innocent. It's no different than when someone who didn't get enough sleep ends up shutting their eyes and hits an innocent. The difference is that every time the autopilot does it, it's the last time it will do it, while for as long as there are human drivers, there will always be tired drivers. There will always be alcohol or other drug-impaired drivers. There will always be careless drivers.

Comment Re:If shove came to push... (Score 5, Funny) 412

Far more likely that the NSA would eliminate him.

They'd try, but it's ok. Captain America wouldn't stand for that anymore than he stood for SHIELD's bullshit.

I mean, if we're going to talk about the fictional pop-culture portrayal of the NSA, Captain America is fair game, right?

Look, I don't like what they're doing anymore than you do. They're way exceeding their authority, they shouldn't be allowed to collect any data domestically. But they're not fucking assassinating political candidates or office holders. If we start using that type of hyperbole, we stop getting taken seriously when we complain about the shit they ARE doing.

Comment Re:And then those employees burn down your restaur (Score 1) 1023

If the wage continues to stagnate they will still buy the robots and dump those workers!

Of course, eventually, because as the technology improves, it also gets cheaper. But they're not going to do that for as long as human labor is cheaper, which is the entire point people don't get, you're accelerating the process toward automation. Wages are a result of competition. They're low because you're competing with other people who are willing to take the job for that wage. And the moment that technology improves to where automation can do your job, you're now competing with the cost of the machine.

Personally I think robots are the worst thing they'll ever do...

You might be right, and then those costs will be factored in when companies decide whether to automate or not. That said, all your examples are terrible, because they're solvable with replacing the jobs they're talking about and adding one human security guard. Still comes out cheaper.

Comment Re:I know it when I see it (Score 5, Insightful) 527

I'll start by saying that I agree with your post about 100%. My only point of contention is that I actually don't doubt the sincerity of the plaintiff or the validity of the religion. Specifically:

"there must be a line beyond which a practice is not 'religious' simply because a plaintiff labels it as such. [...] The Court concludes that FSMism is on the far side of that line."

He is right — in this case.

I disagree that he is right. The judge correctly identifies Pastafarianism as satire designed to make a political point but then proceeds to make a ruling making that political point invalid. The issue members of the FSM church try to bring to light is that members of religious groups get special treatment all the time. You can't wear hats for your driver's license picture. Wait, your religion says you must wear one? Ok, then you can wear one. Everybody else has to follow this rule, but you can't. Or, in this case, people in jail who are religious get to wear clothing the others aren't allowed to, they get to congregate at special times when others aren't allowed, etc. All the FSM church members want is that whatever rules you create apply equally to everyone. It's not even to remove those privileges from the religious. If there's a reason why inmates shouldn't be allowed these things, that reason doesn't disappear if they're religious. If there's no reason why they shouldn't be allowed these things, then there's no reason it should be banned for anyone.

The judge makes the point that members of other religions truly believe, while members of the FSM don't. But even that's not really true. Members of the FSM truly believe in the tenets of their religion: they truly believe that making special exceptions to the rules to accommodate someone's religion is unfair and unethical. Their practices are designed to bring this perceived injustice to light and are central to their moral code.

Comment Re:They're asking the wrong question (Score 3, Interesting) 585

The right way to ask it is "Do you think Apple should help the FBI, even though it helps Russian hackers get into your phone?"

Except that's not true. This battle has been phrased as the encryption backdoor battle, but they're not at all the same. After all, adding an encryption back door now, wouldn't help the FBI with a phone encrypted before the backdoor was added.

What the court order has asked Apple to do is to create an OS version, to be installed on this one phone to which they have a warrant to, that will remove the feature to automatically delete the contents if the phone if more than ten incorrect password attempts are made, and to allow software to brute force it. Since by default only a 4 digit PIN serves as the key to the encryption, 10,000 combinations shouldn't be a problem.

The government isn't asking Apple to weaken its encryption. In fact, their current software allows you to disable "simple passcode", and you could have a long, complex password. If you do, Apple can provide everything the government is requesting, and they're still not going to get your data, because they're not going to be able to brute force it. It's up to you to decide whether you want your phone to be encrypted strongly enough to sustain such an attack, or you want the convenience of a short password with content erase policy which will be good enough protection against the average phone thief. For this court order, the government isn't trying to take that right away from you. If they were, I'd side with Apple. As it stands, I think they absolutely have the right to what they are asking.

Comment Re:Here we go. (Score 1) 432

Please explain fully just what you mean. Or are you one of them guys who thinks no really means yes? I ask a women for a date she says no thanks. I ask her the next day she no thanks and please don't ask me again. I would say sorry for having bothered you and move on..YOU...??

Personally, I wouldn't even have asked the second time. It's called respecting boundaries and it leads to less conflicts in the workspace. However, there's a huge (and there should be) gap between social and cultural norms and legally actionable harassment.

I think asking said woman out every single day she comes in to work is incredibly crass, annoying, and makes you look like a pathetic loser. It's not harassment until you imply she may face consequences if she continues to say no. That she'll be fired, looked over for promotion. Or until you physically touch her. Or you start stalking her instead of just taking opportunity of being at the same place at the same time because you both work at the same place at the same time.

The law isn't a way of enforcing etiquette.

Comment Re:BTRFS is getting there (Score 4, Interesting) 279

I don't why so many in the Linux community are so hooked on ZFS. BTRFS has a feature set that is rapidly getting there, its becoming more a more mature in terms of code that is already in the upstream.

Why not just put your energy there?

As someone who uses both zfs (for file server storage) and btrfs (for the OS), my reason for using zfs is raidz. If btrfs implemented something similar, I'd drop zfs.

Comment Re:Let's just humour them (Score 2) 235

You fail to understand what scientists know versus what they speculate about.

Not really. They're very clear about that. It's a requirement of science that you enumerate all of your assumptions, and quantify uncertainties whenever possible.

Making the assumption that they are even somewhat accurate about the big bang (unlikely)

For example, that's not an assumption. The general idea behind the big bang, that the universe was once infinitely small and it expanded, can be used to make certain predictions regarding what you expect to see when you look out in all directions, what you expect to see in the CMB, etc. You can precisely measure how accurate those predictions match up with experiments, and it's really, REALLY accurate.. Check out the text that goes with that graph: "Graph of cosmic microwave background spectrum measured by the FIRAS instrument on the COBE, the most precisely measured black body spectrum in nature. The error bars are too small to be seen even in an enlarged image, and it is impossible to distinguish the observed data from the theoretical curve."

What that boils down to is that your statement about how unlikely it is that scientific theories are "even somewhat accurate about the big bang" is provably an incorrect statement, based on our best available measurements. If you want to make an argument for your case, you need to bring something more to the table than, "I personally feel like scientists are speculating and can't possibly have a high likelyhood of stumbling upon what actually happened." The people you're criticizing have data. You have a feeling. You need to bring in some data, at which point I and everybody else will be glad to accept that our previous theories were wrong. The Lumineferous Ether was accepted theory, but when Michelson and Morley couldn't detect it using their inteferometer, and Einstein showed up with special relativity as an alternative with supporting data gathered from the 1919 solar eclipse, the Ether theory was destroyed. Scientists do not fear being proven wrong. However, you do have to bring evidence with you.

Everything is just speculation from unimaginative scientists who think they know what happened 14 billion years ago at some random spot that they can't even point their finger in the general direction of.

See? You're criticizing a theory that you don't even understand. Scientists can point to you the spot the Big Bang happened, exactly. So can I. It happened where I'm standing right now. At the exact spot that I'm standing. It also happened at the exact same spot you're standing. And at the exact center of the Andromeda galaxy. And exactly at whatever spot you pick at the edges of the milky way. Or any spot at all in the universe: Every spot in the universe is the center of the universe. The Big Bang isn't matter spreading into existing space. The space in which matter exists is expanding. Check out that video, it explains it really well.

That does not mean that space was not infinitely large while at the same time infinitely small, its all a matter of perspective. Outside looking in, its infinitely small, inside looking out its infinitely large.

This right there is the difference between speculation and scientific hypothesis. "Something that looks small from one perspective can look big from another perspective, so whose to say what's infinitely small or infinitely large" is hand-waving. Scientists don't do that. They tell you what they mean by small, and when. At roughly 10^-43 s after the Big Bang, the universe was 10^-35 m. That's the end of the Planck Epock. During the Inflationary Epoch, the universe grew to about 10 cm by 10^-32 s. These numbers are, admittedly by everyone, highly speculative, because there's no good theory of quantum gravity at the moment. However, using the laws of physics as we currently understand them, those numbers are arrived at. With actual formulas, with numbers arrived at through actual measurements. What do you have for your hand-wavering?

Note: We can't get an accurate police report 20 minutes after the event with 20 eye witnesses, but many are dead set that we KNOW what happened during the big bang. When you think about things like this, use your head and think about the police report.

That's because eye-witness report is highly unreliable. It's the worst way of gathering evidence in existence. Human memory is malleable, it's flawed. That's why when we convict people of crimes, we try to gather evidence using science. Recorded video, fingerprint dusting, DNA matching, ballistics. Those scientific tools are actually highly reliable. You know, the same tools we use to probe the origin of our universe.

Comment Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

Although I've been a pro for 3 decades, I wouldn't want to be called an expert. The latest fads...

Expert doesn't mean all-knowing, nor does it mean you encompass knowledge of every last detail in the field. What it does mean is that you have the training and experience to be relied upon for advice by your peers. That's it. An understanding of what you don't know is a prerequisite for being an expert. Otherwise you'll give bad advice instead of saying, "that's not my area of expertise, go ask someone else."

Are you someone your peers go to for advice, and is your advice considered reliable by them? Congratulations, you're an expert.

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