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Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 349 349

What the heck? Is it improper to even describe the issue? I'm 'white', which is ultimately a silly name, since I'm actually some variation of pale tan. The word 'black' to describe people isn't exactly uncommon or inappropriate. Race is a constructed thing, but that doesn't mean people don't use it, and on average, being 'black' implies skin colors that range from light to dark brown, but almost never total obsidian black or grey. As GP mentioned, the point is that the color balance looks off in the initial image anyway. These colors matter because they're reduced to a floating point number that becomes an input features for the (likely) neural net.

Can you explain why GP's statement is wrong? The scope of 'we' clearly includes everyone, black and white. If you thought it was awkwardly phrased, that's one thing, but jumping on the GP seems to indicate you gave him no benefit of the doubt in the first place. I mean, it's the Internet. If we can't start from the assumption that people are posting in good faith, discussion here isn't going to work.

+ - Uber seeking patent on surge pricing->

mpicpp writes: Uber is seeking a patent for its "surge pricing," in which riders are sometimes charged exorbitant amounts at times of high demand.
The company submitted a patent application in September 2013. Uber initially had that application rejected by the U.S. Patent Office, but it is appealing that decision.

New guidelines announced by the Patent Office just last week could change the way the office rules on its application, according to a patent expert. The new rules seek to strike more of a balance between rewarding innovators and promoting free commerce, said Michael Messinger, a director at the law firm Sterne Kessler.

The Uber case is the type of case that could show how the Patent Office implements those new guidelines.

The surge pricing is one of the innovations that separates Uber from traditional taxi services, which charge a fixed rate that is generally set by a city's taxi commission. Uber argues the surge prices can attract additional drivers to handle periods of peak demand.

But it came under harsh criticism just last week when it was charging as much as 200 Australian dollars ($165), to passengers who wanted to flee central Sydney as a hostage crisis unfolded in the city. In the face of the criticism for those prices, the company offered refunds and free rides.

Link to Original Source

+ - Uber Drivers Can Charge You For Rides That Never Happened

An anonymous reader writes: I decided my trip to San Francisco last week would be a fitting time to finally give Uber a go. It wasn’t a very good first experience. After a four-hour flight delay, the last thing I wanted to deal with was getting charged for a ride I never took. Yet that’s exactly what happened. I never got into a car, because I never saw it. Nonetheless, the driver decided to charge me anyway.

Comment: Re:Stone Age diet ? he wants to live all 20 years? (Score 5, Interesting) 441 441

The paleo diet might end up being silly, but just once I'd like to see this discussion without the kneejerk "20-30 year life expectancy".

If you made it to 15 years of age or so in a hunter-gatherer society, you might reasonably expect to survive to 60. As an infant, you are highly likely to fall prey to disease or poor care, pushing the life expectancy at birth way down on average even though those deaths usually had nothing to do with the diet of a mature adult in the community. Adults didn't usually drop dead at 30 from poor nutrition.

Comment: Re:Diet causes change in those microbes (Score 5, Informative) 297 297

Diet doesn't really change the microbes.

That is not what recent science indicates at all.

"Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome", Nature 505, 559–563 (23 January 2014) doi:10.1038/nature12820

"Here we show that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. "

Comment: Re:That totally won't work. (Score 1) 479 479

This assumes you're getting hired at a consultant position in an MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) style firm because that's what the GP was suggesting. By "consultant" he means management consulting; the major firms in that field actively recruit Ph.D's, and definitely not for the sales skills.

It's a very distinct suggestion from being a consulting computer scientist, which the GP was never suggesting.

Comment: Re:But its cooler here... (Score 2) 552 552

The ozone layer is regenerating because the use of CFCs was regulated. If we had continued to pump more, it would overcome the sun's rate of production. Therefore I'm not sure of the point you're making; it's a success story for regulation. If we just forgot about it and didn't regulate, it wouldn't be regenerating fast enough.

Comment: Re:Another comic book gimmick (Score 1) 590 590

Neither of those examples are gimmicks. A gimmick would be an extraordinary occurrence just for the sake of having a female character. If it's an ordinary replacement and it happens to be female I don't see how it's a gimmick.

In the former, it's been established that the "Robin" position gets passed around frequently. There's half a dozen of them. What's gimmicky about one of them being female?

In the latter, Peter Parker was replaced in the Ultimate universe because he *died*. This might be gimmicky in the normal Marvel Universe, where the status quo remains forever, but in the Ultimates universe, iconic heroes die all the time and stay dead. Beast drowned, the Wasp was eaten by the Blob, and so on. Spider-Man wears a mask and is easy to impersonate, what's gimmicky about any random kid with spiderish powers taking up the name?

Comment: Re:Useless coins (Score 1) 753 753

Actually, can you explain to me the benefits of a $1 coin to the user? Fine, it's more durable; I don't really care, I rarely accidentally destroy $1 bills, so that benefit accrues solely to the mint.

I get the odd comment from European friends about how silly the dollar bill is, which I don't understand. In practice, my experience in the Euro area and in the UK is that my pocket gets so frigging heavy and awkward. Meanwhile I can get a weightless stack of $1s as change in the US. Sure, they could make the dollar coin tiny, but now it will be confused with a dime or nickel, requiring an entire reset of the whole coin system relative sizes and weights.

Comment: Not exactly green (Score 4, Insightful) 139 139

I'm all for eliminating waste, but if the net effect is that we're removing plastic from landfills and emitting it as CO2, that's not terribly different from digging up crude oil and emitting it as CO2.

Now, I'm sure there's some sort of multiplier here that makes it a bit better - perhaps the plastics are a cleaner source and less energy will be used to process it - but currently this carbon is sequestered in an inert if unattractive form whose dangers are mostly localized.

Comment: Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (Score 4, Informative) 147 147

A little bit pedantic, but it certainly matters as they vary as different powers of the radius. Having 2.3 times the radius would be almost 12.2 times the volume. If the volume was only 2.3 times the Earth's volume, then the radius would only be 1.32 times larger.

Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 305 305

Let me guess, you only ever play sandbox games?

The summary questions are essential questions to answering what kind of game you want to design, and you explained the consequences of ignoring them perfectly in your commentary. A game is a combined experience and challenge. That experience needs to fundamentally be finite, if only because you have finite designer time. What you have to do is make the experience finite without throwing arbitrary restrictions at the player when possible. Yet I wouldn't want EVERY game to be set in a featureless canyon rather than a city just because I can't open every door.

Sandbox games aren't bad, per se; it's a good design challenge. Frankly though, I've never played a sandbox game that didn't feel a little soulless (Nethack, GTA, Minecraft, etc.). I prefer games with some narrative thread or plotline, and that inherently will mean balancing the experience and interactivity you want to provide. If I can't open a door that I think I should be able to open, that is a failure, but it's not simply that they shouldn't have put a door there or built a room.

Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol