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Comment: Re:None (Score 1) 259

by BStroms (#47760443) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Why would I use my cell phone's internet when I'm home? Computer makes for a much better experience. I honestly don't even have my own WIFI password programmed into my phone. As for the 3DS, I turn my WIFI on briefly for that if I need to to access the internet with it, but I think that's only happened a couple of times. Most of the time I keep the WIFI turned off and just have everything wired.

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 5, Insightful) 550

by BStroms (#47524763) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Also the fact that it won't prevent future changes to vision. I'm thirty now, and my vision still continues to slowly get worse. I fear I'd be paying for a 5 year reprieve from glasses and then be back to wearing them with side effects I also have to live with for the rest of my life.

Comment: Pretty close to that myself. (Score 1) 268

by BStroms (#46423605) Attached to: It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

People never want to believe that, but I've never much cared for music. I think music can enhance the mood of another form of media like movies or video games, and I can enjoy the lyrics to a funny song, in same way I enjoy hearing a good joke but don't want it told to me over and over again. That's as far as it goes. I don't listen to any music for the sake of listening to music. The only music I own at home are sound tracks that came with video games I've purchased, none of which I've ever used.

I find music annoying when it's playing while I'm doing something else. It really does bother me when it's playing at random places like bowling alleys or stores, serving no purpose but to make it harder to talk with other people. The louder it is the more it drives me crazy for that reason. I've never even downloaded a song, legally or otherwise, and would never turn the radio to music station when driving.

Still, it's not that I don't like music. It's just that the enjoyment I get from it is so low that I get much more entertainment just getting lost in my own imagination, an activity for which I find music to be an unwanted distraction. So even with nothing else to do, I'd rather sit there in silence than listen to music.

Comment: Re:That doesn't seem right. (Score 1) 628

by BStroms (#46025265) Attached to: 200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

Perhaps I should be avoiding discussing too much into an area the physics of which I'm rather fuzzy on. If the sound occurs at the same frequency, you're absolutely correct that there would be no additional information, as the wavelength would be all that increased due to the faster speed of sound. Now my uneducated assumption was that the underwater environment would have adapted dolphins to using higher frequency sound as a result of the increased speed of sound to get similar wavelengths to what would be used in air and allow for much higher data per second rates as a result.

This would seem rather crucial, as I believe wavelength is very important when echolocation is involved. Longer wavelengths would give a much poorer picture of the object generating the echo.

It's also possible I was completely wrong about the it being related to the amount of data in the first place, and it's some other factor, such as the long wavelength itself that's issue. But the bottom line is, I'm just trying to come up with potential explanations for the results reported in a study I read a year or two ago, and it really comes down to whether or not their results were accurate. A fact I'm beginning to doubt myself due to my complete inability to find it again.

Regardless, there's a wealth of other information questioning dolphin intelligence. http://blogs.discovermagazine.... gives a glimpse into some of it.

Comment: Re:That doesn't seem right. (Score 1) 628

by BStroms (#46024115) Attached to: 200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

But it is bandwidth in addition to latency. If it's traveling 4 times as quickly, you'll be receiving four times the data in a given second. It's the same reason why drag increases at the square of velocity, because not only are you hitting air molecules at twice the velocity, but you're hitting twice as many of them. As for sight vs hearing, that's a bit apples to oranges, with completely different methods in the brain for interpreting it. Dolphins still use the same basic brain functionality for interpreting sound that other mammals use, it's just highly specialized for their environment.

Beyond that, it's not so much a matter of you or the researchers speculating. We've had the technology to monitor what parts of the brain activate during certain activities for a long time, and I'm pretty sure they used actual testing to determine that a much larger portion of the dolphins brain is used for hearing than in humans.

Comment: Re:That doesn't seem right. (Score 2) 628

by BStroms (#46018767) Attached to: 200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

With the bats, don't forget that the speed of sound is four times greater in water than in air. I'm not expert, and only reporting what I read, but the claim was that handling this increased data resulting from the effect required a significantly enlarged and specialized section of the brain. And yes, it largely does come down to how you define intelligence how the rankings go.

Still, no matter what metric you use, I think you'll be surprised by how many animals not thought of as especially intelligent in the animal world can accomplish or surpass them in that feat. There really has been no evidence I've ever seen that dolphins are anything extraordinary in the animal world in terms of mental capacity, and I attribute to just another case of an idea catching on an gaining a life of it's own. Dolphins are cute, and friendly, and people like the idea of them being intelligent.

Whereas birds such as Rooks and Ravens that have demonstrated some incredible feats that few animals can duplicate don't make nearly as attractive a story. I mean we consider birdbrained a fairly strong insult.

Comment: Re:That doesn't seem right. (Score 3, Informative) 628

by BStroms (#46016945) Attached to: 200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

Actually, I've seen research that indicates the extreme intelligence attributed to dolphins is largely myth based on brain size. And most of the larger dolphin brain is simply focuses on their echolocation. The speed of sound is much greater underwater, and processing all that information requires much more brain devoted to it than our own sense of hearing.

In most intelligence tests dealing with items such as problem solving and the like, dolphins are not only far below humans, but below many animals people wouldn't think of, such as several species of birds, and I believe ferrets. But my memory as to the exact rankings is a little fuzzy.

Comment: Re:seems like we have an identifiable pattern. (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by BStroms (#45338805) Attached to: Oil Recovery May Have Triggered Texas Tremors

Don't forget, there are just as many chicken littles as there are big business coverups. For every "smoking isn't bad for your health" there's a "vaccines cause autism." Both scenarios can lead to terrible things. In the particular case of fracking, the studies I've seen tend to lean my opinion toward the chicken little side of things. Even assuming all those studies are nothing but frauds paid for by corporate interests, fracking is already in widespread use.

If it's really half as terrible a danger to the drinking supplies as it's made out to be, where are all the cases of environmental catastrophe and illness that should be endemic by this point? Putting out fake studies are one thing, but it'd be hard to suppress that kind of event for such a hot button issue in this day and age.

And forgive me if I'm not overly worried about potentially causing earthquakes up to a 4.4 magnitude.

Comment: Re:Too expensive (Score 1) 403

by BStroms (#43006227) Attached to: Is the Wii U Already Dead?

It's hard to predict what would happen if MS went with the cheap low tech Nintendo style option, but I don't think that's going to happen.

My prediction is that Sony wins this next generation handily. With the current generation, the PS3 came out a year later, at a significantly higher cost, but was still comparable in hardware specs. It was also much harder to develop for. Despite this, on average it's been outselling the 360 slightly and has nearly caught up to the 360.

In the upcoming generation, they won't have an expensive new optical format to jack up the price, and they're not letting MS get a full year's headstart on them. The prices should be close, especially since the release seems to time pretty well for the yen collapsing back to more traditional levels. And if anything, Sony may beat MS to the market. They've also built it from the ground up to be much easier to program for.

Any final analysis will depend on what MS has to show off, but every dynamic shift from the last generation I can see looks to favor Sony.

Comment: Re:Why I doubt driverless cars will ever happen (Score 1) 604

by BStroms (#42109769) Attached to: How Do We Program Moral Machines?

This is my exact reasoning why flying cars will never take off (pardon the pun). People keep their cars in terrible condition. If your car has an engine failure, worst case scenario, you pull over to the side of the road, or end up blocking traffic. In a flying vehicle, if your engine dies, It's very possible that you will die too. And if you are above a city, it's not impossible to imagine crashing into an innocent bystander.

I imagine the same will be for self driving cars. It will never happen because if the car is getting bad information from its sensors, then crazy things can happen. People can't be bothered to clean more than 2 square inches from their windshield in the winter. Do you really think they are going to go around cleaning the 10 different sensors of ice and snow every winter morning? Sure the car could refuse to operate if the sensors are blocked, but then I guess people would just not want to buy the car, or complain to the dealer about it.

It's a self-driving car. It could take itself to the dealer for maintenance. (Granted that won't help with the ice on the sensors thing, but we'll have some time to figure out a heating system to melt that off.)

Comment: Re:But that's not the real problem. (Score 1) 1651

by BStroms (#41525041) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

In the US the rules regarding whether bicycles are allowed on sidewalks is generally determined by localities, although I'm sure there are some state level laws as well. Where I grew up, it was legal, and in fact was how I was taught to ride whenever there was a sidewalk to use. Of course whenever you came upon a pedestrian, you were supposed to hop off and walk your bike past them.

That wouldn't work in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic, but as spread out as things were where I lived, you didn't have to hop down very often. I don't have any studies, but I'd wager that is safer than biking on the road, even if it can end up being much slower and more troublesome depending on how many people there are, and completely pointless to even bring the bike in a major city.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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