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Comment: Re:Simulations are limited by imagination (Score 1) 150

by Carnildo (#47733933) Attached to: Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Are you sure the car won't spot the dog, mistake it for a child (remember, the quality of information from the front camera is reduced), and perform an emergency turn to the left? Are you sure the presence of the car won't mask the presence of the dog, or vice-versa?

It's easy to say "when in doubt, maintain heading and come to a halt". It's much harder to define "doubt" in a way that's useful to a computer.

Comment: Simulations are limited by imagination (Score 3, Insightful) 150

by Carnildo (#47733829) Attached to: Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

The problem with simulator testing is that you can't test scenarios that you didn't think of. This is particularly important to find problems arising from multiple simultaneous situations. For example, you might test the scenarios "front camera obscured by rain", "car ahead of you performs emergency stop", and "dog runs into street", but that doesn't necessarily tell you how the car will respond to a combination of the three.

Real life is far more creative than any scenario designer.

Comment: Re:Let us redefine "progress" (Score 1) 106

by Carnildo (#47716685) Attached to: World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost.

Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the left half of the home, and one carrying the right half. A bit of maneuvering to align them on the foundation pad, a little work connecting things up, and the family can start moving in that afternoon.

Or if you prefer a non-standard shape, how about two trucks: one carrying a collection of prefabricated floor, wall, and roof sections, and one carrying a crane and a construction crew. Takes a bit longer to assemble, but it can still be done in less than a day.

Rapid construction of houses is nothing new. I watched a neighbor's house go from foundation pad to final painting in less than a day back in the early 80s, and it was old tech even then.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 1) 436

by Carnildo (#47699931) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Roads could be improved incrementally. A railroad that only connects two cities still has value. Any large, flat field could handle an early airplane, as long as you moved the cows out first.

The problem with this "storage-less" renewable grid is that no partial implementation is adequate. It simply cannot function on anything less than continent scale, and may require a global-scale grid to average out the fluctuations enough.

Comment: Sleeping patterns? (Score 4, Interesting) 106

by Carnildo (#47633895) Attached to: Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

I don't think there's ever been a proper study of astronauts' natural sleeping patterns in space. There are always more things people want astronauts to do than there are hours to do them in, so everything (including sleep) is very tightly scheduled. Nobody's ever said "spend the next week doing nothing but keeping your spaceship running, and do it on your own schedule".

We don't know what effect, if any, the freefall environment has on sleep patterns. It may be that astronauts are so sleep-deprived because Mission Control has been scheduling things wrong.

Comment: Re:How should this poll converge? (Score 1) 267

by Carnildo (#47618373) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Slashdot is male dominated, so it should have more colorblindness than a random population sample. If we know the sex ratio on /., maybe we could predict how the poll converges.

The problem with this is that many people with red-green colorblindness (especially with the milder forms) are unaware of it. There's a reason why colorblindness as a disorder wasn't recognized until 1798...

Comment: Re:Why do people even use this garbage? (Score 1) 353

by Carnildo (#47618307) Attached to: Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

You know how they work their way up with drugs? By offering reduced charges/reduced sentences for providing evidence. For example, a drug user will be offered probation/dropped charges for ratting out his dealer, who in turn will have a "possession with intent to distribute" reduced to mere possession for saying who his supplier is, and so on up the line until they find someone big enough to go all-out against.

The police can't do that with CP. There are no lesser versions of possession, and dropping charges will get a prosecutor crucified by his opponent in the next election.

Comment: Re:Request to remove or alter content (Score 2) 81

Requests to fix errors come in all the time -- and are forwarded to the community, who decide if the request is reasonable or not. In such cases, the Foundation merely acts as a conduit for the request, rather than granting or denying it.

The denied requests come about when someone demands (and it's almost always a demand) that the Foundation use their powers as operator of the website to make a change to an article.

Comment: Re:Drilling through mud mixed with rocks. (Score 1) 101

by Carnildo (#47603789) Attached to: Fixing a 7,000-Ton Drill

whatever is above them in downtown Seattle.

Five city blocks (low-rise -- doesn't look to be anything over eight stories tall), a quarter-mile of the Alaska Way Viaduct, the entrance to the downtown ferry and water taxi docks, and two entrances to one of the larger docks at the Port of Seattle. If the tunnel is deeper than I think, or the soil is more liquid, add another seven city blocks (also low-rise), one park, the ferry docks themselves, part of the Port of Seattle dock, and maybe the football stadium.

Yes, disassembling from behind would be cheaper, if it worked. If anything went wrong, it would be far, far more expensive.

Comment: Re:Good Thing (Score 1) 195

by Carnildo (#47602795) Attached to: Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

I calculated from the other end: assuming that the Bitcoin market represents an efficient market (ie. sale prices are only slightly above production prices), and that the marginal cost of mining hardware is 0:

- A bitcoin sells for $584
- Mining a block generates 25 bitcoins
- 144 blocks are mined per day
- 63000 transactions per day

584 * 25 * 144 / 63000 = $33.37 per transaction.

Comment: Re:Good Thing (Score 1) 195

by Carnildo (#47585399) Attached to: Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

And do you perhaps think point-of-sale systems and credit/debit card systems or wire transfers require none?

The Bitcoin network uses about $35 worth of energy to process a single transaction. Now, I don't know how much energy a single credit card transaction uses, but given the transaction fees that processing companies charge, I'm willing to bet that it's far, far less than $35 worth.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

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