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+ - Slashdot beta sucks 9

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An anonymous reader writes "Maybe some of the slashdot team should start listening to its users, most of which hate the new user interface. Thanks for ruining something that wasn't broken."

Comment: Re:Yup, and it doesn't matter. (Score 2) 722

by CanadianRealist (#45245303) Attached to: Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

I also think that autonomous vehicles will be much safer than human-driven vehicles. We can keep making them better based on experience while on the other hand we would keep adding new inexperienced human drivers. I'm sure that we can correct any problems that we may find with early autonomous vehicles. I doubt that we'll ever be able to correct human distraction, emotional reactions, bad judgement and general stupidity.

Do you have any stats on the percentage of accidents caused by physical wear and tear on brakes rotors and axles? Or on the "other thousands of extraneous factors" that you've considered? How do those compare to the percentage caused by any sort of human error?

The following claims human error is the sole cause 57% of the time and a contributing factor 90% of the time, while mechanical fault is the sole cause only 2.4% of the time.

Comment: Re:Not shared by him doesn't mean a thing (Score 1) 220

by CanadianRealist (#45165723) Attached to: Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files To Russia

TheRaven64 says there are a million people with the same clearance level and asks what are the chances that none are Chinese agents. You counter by making them all sysadmins who are all* stealing other people's credentials. And you think he's using hyperbole?

The opposite of none is at least one, not all of them.

* I know you don't use the word "all" but it is clearly implied in what you wrote. Compare the following: "There are a million people who have cancer." and "There are a million people, some of whom have cancer."

Comment: $3.6 Million Bitcoin Seized (Score 3, Interesting) 620

Will the government try to redeem these bitcoins? Wouldn't that be like saying that they accept that bitcoin is valid? (Of course they could be hypocrites and say that bitcoin is completely invalid and redeem them anyways.)

It would be neat if all the seized bitcoins could be identified and recorded as being worthless now.

Comment: Re:news media has lost interest? (Score 3, Interesting) 513

If the CEOs were really interested in reporting on this they could make their own news with a sting operation. Plan to do a few "embarrassing" searches, document them ahead of time with a few high profile lawyers then do them. When the NSA acts, you reveal it all on your news programs.

Comment: SWATH doesn't require power (Score 4, Informative) 43

by CanadianRealist (#44780563) Attached to: New Ship Will Remain Stable By Creating Its Own Inner Waves

Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) is a design that minimizes the effect of the waves. Most of the volume that supports the ship is below the level of the waves, making it very stable. The stability comes from the hull design, so it doesn't require any power and the stabilization isn't prone to failure like an active system.

Here's a short video of a SWATH ship in rough seas, with a regular hull ship for comparison. I'm pretty sure this is the one that I saw in a documentary about the design. They showed a glass of water sitting on a table in the SWATH ship, not spilling. I'm pretty sure that the glass would go flying in the other ship.

Comment: Re:For the love of Junior Johnson... (Score 2) 325

Airbags are passive: drivers don't have to do anything at all, they just work.

Automatically. Which is the point that was being made in the post that you originally replied to.

The question of active or passive is a separate issue and is complicated by the government's way of defining it. (Which seems backwards to me.) I would expect active/passive to refer to the device itself, rather than the user's interaction with it. The way the government defines it a self driving car is pretty much a passive device. A rock is an active device - it doesn't do anything unless you pick it up and throw it. Imagine a fully automatic predator drone that takes off, locates a target and attacks completely automatically. That would be labelled a passive device. I don't think those labellings match the usual interpretations of those words.

Comment: Re:For the love of Junior Johnson... (Score 1) 325

Red herring. Airbags are passive safety devices, not a device to automatically do something the driver had to do previously.

Sounds more like red herring argument to me. Deploying automatically, at high speed, at the instant an accident occurs is not at all passive. A seat belt is passive, once the driver attaches it. (At least the older style fixed ones were. Modern ones which lock only in response to a sufficient pull are questionably passive.) And as for not being something a driver had to do previously, they could have been set up as such, but I'd bet they would almost never have been used at the instant when needed since human reaction time is pretty poor. It would probably have been better for the human to try to avoid the accident in the first place.

Comment: Re:nature and consumers (Score 1) 358

by CanadianRealist (#44408033) Attached to: GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It

Are you sure you replied to the correct post? I said absolutely nothing in favour of GMO plants and I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything that calls for the hostility in your post.

I was commenting on the difference between wild plants versus cultivated ones. That was the point of the GP of my post, but missed by the parent post which compared two different cultivated plants - the heirloom versus the mass produced one.

Comment: Re:nature and consumers (Score 1) 358

by CanadianRealist (#44407647) Attached to: GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It
He said very clearly what he was talking about:

Show me a wild tomato that can grow without human cultivation and is as tasty as any modern tomato.

Heirloom tomatoes are modern, just not mass produced. They are still the result of people using selective breeding to improve on what they found in nature. Wild means what grows naturally, on it's own. Consider for example wild bananas from which people cultivated modern bananas.

Comment: Re:Implicit Association (Score 1) 446

by CanadianRealist (#43823941) Attached to: Med Students Unaware of Their Bias Against Obese Patients

I can really only answer for myself, which is what that statement was about. I found out that I had biases that I was not aware of. At least some associations gave me much more trouble than other ones did, and I don't have any other explanation for that. For some I didn't even need to see the reported times, I was aware of the difference while doing the test.

Maybe everyone else is aware of their biases and is simply not willing to admit them, but I doubt that. I suspect that for these biases:

reality > what people will admit > what people are aware of

Comment: Re:Compassion (Score 1) 446

by CanadianRealist (#43823911) Attached to: Med Students Unaware of Their Bias Against Obese Patients

With all due respect, you may still be missing the point about unconscious bias. You sound completely sincere and your attitude about professionalism is commendable and I completely agree with what you say about how a doctor should behave.

But what if you have a bias that you are not aware of? Have you ever taken an implicit association test? Are you sure that you could counter a bias that you are not even aware of?

As mentioned in another post, I have taken such tests and was surprised by some of the results. I found out that I had biases that I was not aware of. Even after learning about them I was not able to alter my results.

Consider the issue of using double blind studies when testing new drugs or therapies. Do you believe that double blind studies are necessary or are single blind studies ok as long as the person conducting the study is aware that they may be biased? Does that awareness allow them to be objective? How about "no blind" studies if the test subjects are properly informed about the placebo effect?

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