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Comment: Not a fix... (Score 5, Informative) 53

..but an improved workaround.

If I read the article(s) correctly, problem was caused by failure of a small 2nd laser used for range finding. It seems that failure wasn't solved. Permanently out of action? Who knows.

Workaround was to take several shots at different focus settings, and have home base sort out the data. Improved workaround is to take several shots at different focus settings, have software on-site figure out which are the best, and only send that data back home.

Comment: Minimum specs? (Score 2) 45

by Alwin Henseler (#49742185) Attached to: Rate These 53 Sub-$200 Hacker SBCs, Win 1 of 20


Whether something is worth my money or not, depends on what value the thing has to me, in cases where I am spending the money. For whatever reason. Note that "specs" isn't even mentioned in that sentence.

Apparently for you, anything under quad core / 1 Ghz / 1 GB = no value. For others though, that may be different (again: for whatever reason).

Comment: Re: 23 down, 77 to go (Score 3, Insightful) 866

by Alwin Henseler (#49680653) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

People who are religious are idiots and should be treated like second class citizens.

For a moment assuming that were true: "insanity is just another view of reality".

Who are you to claim your view of reality is any better than anyone else's? Because you have all the answers? Because I sure as hell don't. Even though I'm not religious, and a firm believer in the empirical / scientific method. There is still a lot about the universe we live in that we don't know. I'm just accepting that "as is" - there's gaping holes in our knowledge still, and that's okay. I don't need some divine being to fill those gaps.

But I've long ago stopped 'judging' people if they feel different. If they feel they want/need a different explanation for the world around them, power to them.

Where my tolerance ends (and ends real quick!), is when those with worldview X try to brainwash the rest of society that their worldview is the only, true, valid one. And try to impose/enforce that vision (and any or all rules that come with it) on others. It's exactly that behavior which has been, and continues to cause so much shit in this world. Regardless of "X".

My reason for being non-religious is a simple one: in general, I think the world as we can see it, feel it, measure it, derive (physics) laws from it, reason about it etc (aka the scientific method), is the simplest explanation for how our universe works. Even though it's far from complete. Bring in a divine being, and all you've got is a more complicated explanation for the same (see Occam's razor).

But that doesn't mean you can't hold a different view, or someone else's view is less valid simply because it doesn't line up with yours (remember that to some degree, religion and science are not mutually exclusive!). Just don't interfere with me having my view, I won't interfere with you having your view, and we're cool. Comprendre?

Comment: Re:Math prodigy? Srsly? (Score 2) 157

the equation is just n^2+n = n but you need to be a math prodigy to do the visualizations on your own without a computer.

The number crunching part isn't hard or even difficult to understand, people from all backgrounds have done it on lowly 8-bit machines running at a few MHz. All you need is time:

A Bunch of Rocks

Comment: (R)evolutional progress & what people make of (Score 1) 101

by Alwin Henseler (#49474713) Attached to: Fifty Years of Moore's Law

From the summary:

But the doubling time for transistor density is no guide to technical progress generally. Modern life depends on many processes that improve rather slowly, not least the production of food and energy and the transportation of people and goods.

A lot of progress depends on information technology, though. For example our understanding of biochemical processes. Or the capability of satellites that monitor what's going on with our planet. Or our understanding of quantum effects in semiconductor materials, in turn the basis for IC's, LED lighting, and a whole slew of other applications. Our use of smartphones & related communication technology. Or even something as "low-tech" as logistics.

Make computation cheaper, and progress that hinges on compute power, can steam ahead faster.

Another thing: as people in general get used to faster technological progress, chances are they'll be ready earlier to welcome what's coming next. When you've lived in the steam age for 50 years, electric lighting is a big thing. But when you've witnessed 10, 100, 1000, 10,000x increases in storage capacity over a few decades, a leap to 100,000x or 1000,000x is just the next step on the scale.

So the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" is very appropriate here.

Comment: Expensive? NOT (Score 1) 181

by Alwin Henseler (#49455011) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

I will never own a self driving car.

1. Too expensive

If you consider your time worthless, then yes a self-driving car might be seen as a car + expensive (?, to be determined) self-driving capability.

But suppose you're using that car to drive between workplaces, you can do real work on the way (a la work from home), and your hourly rate is considered $10 worth (or whatever arbitrary number). That's a choice between:

  • * Not do that $10/hr work you could have done, and 'waste' it on driving.
  • * Do $10/hr worth of work, while your 'robot driver' does the driving.

I'm willing to bet that as the technology matures, the latter option will be preferred by many people, real fast.

Note that the added cost of your 'robot driver' can be spread out over the car's lifetime, or at least over the time you spend in the car, driving around. Given the amount of time some people spend in their car every f***ing day, that buys you a lot of robot / electronics / software / whatever. So don't be surprised if that cost dives under your hourly rate - that happens all the time with other jobs that people used to do. Heck, maybe they'll build a robot that'll drive your car the old fashioned way, then doubles to help you with household chores @ the end of the day.

Of course, paid work is just one of useful / valueable / worthwhile things you can do in a car, while getting from A to B.

Comment: Re:Why the bad rap? (Score 1) 111

Methane is neither the principal part of a fart nor the smelly part.

Methane is known as a powerful greenhouse gas. Thus, it's generally assumed that releasing it into the atmosphere contributes to global warming, and all the negative effects that go with it.

So when someone farts, it's considered "socially undesirable" not because it smells, but because it's bad for the planet. Got it?

Now you may ask: why do people make such a big deal out of it when someone farts in an elevator, but not when it happens in the open air? Ultimately the methane makes it into the atmosphere anyway! Tbh, haven't figured that out yet. People are weird.

Comment: Re:Buggy Whip (Score 3, Insightful) 119

by Alwin Henseler (#49333287) Attached to: GNU Nano Gets New Stable Release

Even modern, GUI based systems have tools that work outside the GUI, or in a text-mode terminal of some kind.

Maintaining such tools is just as needed as maintaining other parts of a system. Or creating new bits, for that matter. If not done, it would only be a matter of time before you'd have (badly) broken bits of software all over the place. To the point where a system becomes unusable to do real work. Text mode editors are just one of many components of modern systems (and imho, not in the "buggy whip" department anyway).

Besides: many people use it. Among other reasons, probably because it saves them time, or does some jobs better than other editors. As long as there are enough users, that alone makes developer's time well spent.

Comment: Progress can't be stopped (Score 1) 366

by Alwin Henseler (#49289487) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

I wonder if this will backfire and people will want to support the underdog.

Somehow I doubt that... But the mere existence of services like Uber will open the public's eyes, to the fact that (beside public transport & taxis) there are other ways to get from A to B.

The free market & modern communication technology has enabled services that -from passenger's point of view- is more efficient, and/or preferable over what the establishment provides. Of course that establishment will fight to protect the old ways of doing things, but at some point they'll either have to adapt, or be left behind. Which is how it should be.

Questionable business practices aside, if Uber helps make that progress happen: power to them! (and f*** the establishment).

Comment: No "Yes" option? (Score 1) 192

by Alwin Henseler (#49220455) Attached to: Will you buy the new $10,000 Apple Watch?

Hell YES!

If for some unforeseen stroke of luck I'd become a biljionaire overnight, then SURE! I'd buy one, and toss it into a drawer until some friends come over that I could show it to.

Meanwhile, in the Real World, fat chance I'll spend money on Apple hardware when products with better price/performance ratio are out there. Especially products with questionable utility where customers serve as beta testers.

Comment: Re:Only 3G? (Score 3, Informative) 112

The summary says 3G only on the x3 and x5 models. You only get LTE on the x7 model.

Reading fail...

The summary says:
x3-C3130: integrated 3G (HSPA+) modem
x3-C3230RK: integrated 3G (HSPA+) modem
x3-C3440: integrated LTE modem
x5 and x7: no integrated modem, but support for Intel's next generation XMM 726x and 7360 LTE modems

Comment: Re:He will only act alone (Score 3, Interesting) 87

by Alwin Henseler (#49154001) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

But when he's using the NSA to spy on you, he blames Congress.

"using the NSA" ?!?

I doubt anyone is "using" the NSA @ this point. Other than as a source of info - for those who have access.

More like the NSA is an 'entity' that operates on its own. With money flowing in from a variety of sources, some government, some non-government, some legit, some non-legit. Doing whatever it's doing without much oversight, possibly continuing to do some things even if declared illegal by a court of law.

I assume there's some people in that organisation that take orders from the US president directly, other employees may get note of what the US president wants & to some degree try to make that happen. But overall? A big-ass train that keeps on steaming ahead in whatever direction(s) it's going.

Of course the proper response would be to cut funding, bring people doing illegal things to justice, and strengthen oversight until the NSA does answer to those authorities it's supposed to take orders from. Fat chance that's going to happen in a climate where the "War on terrorists! War on drugs! Think of the children!" fire is burning strong. :-(

The ideal voice for radio may be defined as showing no substance, no sex, no owner, and a message of importance for every housewife. -- Harry V. Wade