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Comment: Not really a technical problem (Score 1) 472

by Celarent Darii (#45043843) Attached to: How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

I think the technical problems of driving a car by computer can be engineered far within safety requirements. In many factories robots perform much more hazardous work with impeccable precision.

However, driving a car is not just an engineering problem. There are many more problems to solve than just the software for the computer:

1/ Who is responsible for the eventual accident? Will it be operator of the computer or the programmer?
2/ Even if the computer is flawless, it does not guarantee that the OTHER DRIVERS will be flawless. Shit will happen. What happens if an automated car crashes into another automated car? Who decides whose algorithm/program is at fault?
3/ Who is going to be sued if the automated car kills someone? The computer programmer, the one who installs it, the one who builds the car, or all of the above?
4/ Who is going to insure an automated car? The only reason an insurance company will insure something is that SOMEONE is responsible for monthly payments and they can vindicate someone else if something goes wrong. I have yet to see an insurance company insure a computer program.

When it is all said in done, the problem with driving a car is above all a human problem, not a technical one.

Comment: Lack of Empathy (Score 1) 209

by Celarent Darii (#44397717) Attached to: Would You Let a Robot Stick You With a Needle?

One thing about a human doctor though is that they often know what it feels like to be in pain. A robot doesn't as it only has an algorithm. A nurse, when she sticks the needle in, will notice how you react, whether you feel pain or not. I would think the robot would need to have some manner of sensing if it is doing something harmful or painful to the patient.

However, I have had doctors and nurses that are completely insensitive to their patients, so if the robot can get it right each time it might be a better alternative. I've had sessions where it took 4 tries for the nurse to get the intravenous in correctly. It was not a very pleasant experience. I'd let the robot give it a try after that.

Comment: Getting rid of data? (Score 1) 60

by Celarent Darii (#44368599) Attached to: Supercomputer Becomes Massive Router For Global Radio Telescope

From the article:

before being streamed across 500 miles of Australia's National Broadband Network to the Pawsey Centre, which gets rid of most of it as quickly as possible.

Get rid of data? Don't you mean routing the data to its destination? And you would hope the Pawsey Centre actually DID something with the data and not just get rid of it.

Comment: Fans "migrate", workers adapt (Score 1) 413

by Celarent Darii (#43576341) Attached to: My most frequent OS migration path?

Seriously, an Operating System is just an instrument to get something done. A craftsman can get stuff done even if the tools aren't the best. You change tools when you have different work to do. No need to migrate unless you somehow put your home on your computer.

But I guess people do live in their OS nowadays. Sad times when people live more in their computers than in their communities. Does explain a lot of the tribalism on Slashdot though.

There is a missing option by the way, as you didn't mention Emacs. I can get work done with that no matter what the operating system.


+ - Solve The Riemann Hypothesis With A Quantum Computer ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A new quantum algorithm allows the computation of a range of prime number functions to be computed well beyond the limits of a conventional computer. It is even possible that it could solve the million-dollar Riemann hypothesis. The best known of the prime number functions is Pi(x) which gives the number of primes smaller than or equal to x and we currently only know its value up to 10^24, By preparing a quantum state consisting of an entanglement of the primes José Latorre of the University of Barcelona in Spain, along with Germán Sierra of the Autonomous University of Madrid can compute Pi(x) an many other functions very quickly. As well as providing information on the distribution of the primes, a fundamental, it could also disprove the Riemann hypothesis as this predicts how close Pi(x) should be to its best approximation. The good news is that while real world tasks such as factoring needs a 1000 qubit machine only 80 qubits are needed to go beyond conventional computation."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:in other news ... (Score 1) 409

by Celarent Darii (#43180599) Attached to: Solaris Machine Shut Down After 3737 Days of Uptime

I don't think Stonehenge can claim that it is operating though. They still don't know what it was used for. The Pantheon on the other hand is still used as a church. It's a very impressive structure - a dome with a hole in the roof. I'm really curious how they pulled off that engineering trick without heavy machinery,

Stonehenge is just a bunch of rocks standing in a field. It's like comparing CPM with a Symbolics Lisp Machine, no comparison.

Comment: Well one good thing (Score 1) 431

by Celarent Darii (#43175131) Attached to: EU Car Makers Manipulating Fuel Efficiency Figures

Well one good thing this shows is that gas economy is at least seen as an attractive quality. They wouldn't falsify it if they didn't think their customers valued such things. I remember not long ago when people didn't care anything about gas mileage. But now it is important, so in this sense there is some progress.

But human nature is what it is - so much easier to cheat than to work at making something good. Hopefully the government steps in and punishes the offenders.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun