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Comment: Re:Considering Bush did this... (Score 1) 215

by OrangeTide (#47427171) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Because Obama is the current President, and is responsible for the current policy?

The nutcakes are the ones living in a fantasy land where we don't hold our currently elected representatives accountable. Hope and change, still waiting for the change. (I've given up hope)

Comment: Re:What we don't know... (Score 1) 556

Babies are unconscious then are some point they are. That's the mystery, and why my use of the word initial is appropriate. How do I trigger the process of consciousness, does it occur automatically once all the pieces are present, perhaps, or does it need a bootstrap or pilot light. Interfering with part of a brain to cause unconsciousness is super interesting, but by itself it doesn't give us all the answers. (nothing ever does)

If you want to talk about mechanisms, like recursion, then we're going into theory. Theories which I don't have the resources or capabilities to test on my own, so I don't really wish to speculate too deeply there. Maybe it emerges gradually, maybe it is quick like waking up. No idea, but it seems that part of what happens is testable. Should be an interesting future when we find out more.

Comment: Re: Entrusting our lives to complex software (Score 1) 464

The parent wasn't quite right, in reality software flies your airplane 100% of your journey right now.

Modern Boeing and Airbus designs are pure fly by wire. 100% of the time you fly it though software. The engines are FADEC (full authority digital engine controls).

Comment: Re:Power? We dont need no stink'n power! (Score 1) 464

Autoland has been a thing since the early 70s. The first aircraft to have it, the Hawker Siddeley Trident 3 (an aircraft similar to the Boeing 727 in layout - three engines at the back of the aircraft and T-tailed) was flying autolandings in pretty much zero visibility decades ago.

Comment: Re:Power? We dont need no stink'n power! (Score 1) 464

Since all modern large airliners are fly by wire, you're screwed anyway.

Airliners have multiple redundant power buses. Each engine has a generator, and there is also an APU (auxilliary power unit) which has a generator. If all three fail (for example, because the plane ran out of fuel, it's happened, or flies through a flock of Canada geese and loses all engines and for some reason the APU won't start) there is a ram air turbine that sticks out into the airflow and powers a generator. There is also a mandated amount of reserve battery power. Talking of losing all engine power, the Airbus A320 that went in the Hudson has purely electronic controls, and remained controllable after a double engine failure.

Comment: Re: Failsafe? (Score 1) 464

That's not how it works at all.

Airliners pretty much since the jet age have had at least some measure of "envelope protection". In the 60s this was pretty simple - just a stick pusher to prevent stalls since stalls in many airliners can easily become unrecoverable. Airbus's envelope protection is much more sophisticated than just a stick pusher.

However when there's a systems failure the Airbus systems will automatically drop to a different control law that effectively works like basic stick and rudder flying.

Boeing uses fly by wire now too by the way.

Comment: Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (Score 4, Insightful) 526

by JanneM (#47404693) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

But an assembly line manned by robots? Why should that be cheaper in China? Is capital that much cheaper?

Even if wages and other costs were equal, the location advantage is substantial. It's not that it's cheaper in China, but that it's cheaper in the huge manufacturing hubs. You have suppliers and manufacturers for just about every single component you need without long-distance shipping, and a deep pool of design and manufacturing expertise working in the area.

That's not to say you can't manufacture efficiently elsewhere (we have plenty of recent examples such as the Raspberry Pi), but that the advantages has as much to do with the concentration of resources as with the cost of labour and regulations. And of course, as this inudstry becomes ever more automated, it no longer matters much for jobs where it happens any longer.

Comment: Re:What we don't know... (Score 1) 556

Oh I agree it's being worked on. But it sounds like a very familiar article, as in I think I read similar articles in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. But the mechanism that triggers initial consciousness is, to the best of my knowledge, still a mystery. It will one day be solved. maybe the article you read really does have it figured out, the ones I've seen were just speculation with theories that could not be realistically tested without interfering with the process.

Comment: Re:What we don't know... (Score 1) 556

Oh and understanding what needs to be simulated and the initial state of the human brain. How is consciousness born? We've wondered that for centuries, we don't have the answer yet. Will we eventually know all of this and have the capability to duplicate human intelligence? I don't doubt it one bit! Will we be there in 30 years, at least down the path you suggest? Extremely unlikely.

"No matter where you go, there you are..." -- Buckaroo Banzai