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Comment: Time for a Rant (Score 1) 297 297

I once tried to back up my windows 7 laptop to a external hard-drive. It continuously failed with no good explanation as to why. Turns out The external-drive which was 2 TB had a different sector size than the laptop’s 200 MB. WTF Microsoft?!? You can’t bother to be more explicit that you need to have the right sector size before a huge backup that several hours later fails??? And even then doesn’t tell you why it failed?

I lost several hours trying to find the cause of the problem, and never did do the backup because I lacked a small or properly formatted drive. Yes this could overcome I’m sure with some re-partitioning – but why should an operation that Microsoft so shrilly reminds you to do, be so hard to do?

Comment: And Yet... (Score 2) 80 80

While not "Officially" Codified as a Capital Crime, it is often sanctioned and applied by the state.

Apostasy in the Islamic Republic of Iran

From Wikipedia on Apostasy "Iran – illegal (death penalty)"

The catch here is it is often applied under the broad umbrella "blasphemy."

What else makes my journal entry a rant? Who is being more intellectually dishonest here?

Do you stand corrected that the death penalty is often given in Iran for apostasy, or do you have some evidence to the contrary proving that the hundreds of links from sources like, et al are Western propaganda?

Rant implies it is not a well justified set of accusations and denouncements. As stated in the letter I have no truck with followers of Islam who allow those around them to believe and live as they want.

Comment: Eventually this will be the Norm (Score 1) 125 125

Surgery is a scary thing. Having robots or remote surgeons makes us nervous because it amplifies the unknowns. We are already very good at imagining bad what-if scenarios in these situations.

Likely if lag times become too great the machines will go into a safe mode until a better connection is restored, and yes there may be unlikely/unlucky scenarios where the patent dies from not being able to receive timely treatment/intervention because no qualified surgeon is close by. Of course thousands if not hundreds of thousands (millions?) already die from less than ideal surgeries at the hands of all too fallible doctors. All doctors are fallible, it is a spectrum of very competent (and yet still human) to incompetent.

Likely autonomous robotic surgery and remote surgery (and various hybrids of the two) are the wave of the future. A future many don’t want, but largely for naked fear of the unknown. Ideally quality of care will go up, access to care will go up, cost will go down (though not initially while we work out the kinks) .

Ideally automated (and largely infallible) robots will conduct the majority of surgeries and an elite squad of human surgeons will be on stand by to take over if the robot gets into trouble (though this will still be done remotely). Longer term the elite surgeons will be needed less and less until unneeded completely.

ER facilities will morph into prep-banks to stabilize patents just long enough for them to be worked on by the remotely guided or autonomous robots they keep nearby. Stabilization my include emergency cooling the body (induced hypothermia) so the patent can live long enough to receive remote care.

Patients with deadly communicable decreases will be able to receive surgery without major risks to hospital staff.

It will all be quite unnerving to witness, but what surgical intervention isn’t? If statistically lives are saved, then this is the way to go. Doing the right thing in medicine often involves overcoming a yuck factor.

Comment: Truth is almost certainly more complicated (Score 2) 361 361

I didn’t RTFA, but I suspect the truth is more complicated than the summary. I was a child in the 60’s and didn’t pay attention to music back then. Somewhere in my 40’s I was like Whoa! Why wasn’t I paying attention to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin when it was on the radio??? I liked disco and still do. I liked New Age in the 80’s but now I’m like WTF was I thinking. Current music seems pretty good to me especially groups like Maroon 5 and OK Go. I even find my foot tapping to Katy Perry.

Different genres seem to have different peeks in different years to me. Funk was at its best in the 70s and 80s., Rap the late 80’s early 90’s. Blues and Jazz seems good in all eras. Hard Rock 60s and 70’s. Heavy Metal 80’s and 90’s. Techno from 90’s through today.

  My dad on the other hand only liked Jazz and thought Rock was fad even in the 80’s and 90’s and opined several times that he thought its age was almost over (seems Rock has out lived my dad).

Comment: Semantics (Score 3, Interesting) 216 216

How can you not be "self directed" if you are compensating for "movement of the target". It has been given a target and actively modifying its flight profile in flight. There must be some intelligence and/or sensing and/or feedback to do this. Seems like an exercise in semantics to call it not-self-directed (at least in flight).

Is this a disclaimer to avoid getting these bullets confused with things like autonomous killbots? Though it is pretty easy to assume killbots will overwhelming choose these bullets as ammo :-)

Comment: Can't Fight the Future (Score 1) 279 279

It might be useful to inform an admin to look at suspicious postings, especially if they can get the accuracy higher. BUT I hope no one uses such algorithms to automatically stop suspected trolls. This can only lead to unforeseen consequences and stifling of free speech (unless of course stifling is not an unforeseen consequence, but an intended one).

Many Slashdotters already complain about the Lameness-Filter, this has the potential to be a hundred times worse.

The technology will of course be developed, let us hope its impact isn’t too negative.

In a somewhat related note, have you noticed how the automated answering at phone centers is getting more aggressive keeping you from a real representative and wasting huge amounts of your time when it doesn’t know how to process your query? Even hanging up on you when your issue is not resolved. My last experience with Verizon was a nightmare in this respect last time dealing with a technical problem with our phone. The more these things can be automated, the more they will – customer friendly or not </vent spleen>

Comment: Clarification (Score 1) 210 210

My home computer.

To clarify. It was HR that alerted my Manager. I said the next day, but I may have been looking a few days, a week at the most, though I had probably posted inquiries the night before. It was quite sudden, unexpected, and intimidating. This was probably 5-6 years ago. As stated I am with the same company, outside this incident they have treated me well. I don't consider myself a star employee, their concern seemed more of the "Oh my gosh, we really hope you are happy here" kind. Still it caused me to stop looking. I have been coasting on my skills for several years now. I worry that should I leave this job I might find myself under-qualified for what comes next, that and that fact I am well over 50. So yes, I have let fear rule me in this instance. For those who would fault me for this, I am a family man, and at this stage in my life security and stability are greatly valued.,

Comment: Hits Home (Score 4, Interesting) 210 210

This type of monitoring makes me nervous.

I have a job where a few years ago I looked at some job opportunities on a Job Site. The very next day my manager came to me asking if I was happy with my job, which in general I was, but I was unnerved that they knew I was looking at the other options. I suspect they used a honey pot job listing. I decided my job security at that time was more important than looking for other opportunities so I stopped looking altogether. If I was to job hunt to today I would do so much more surreptitiously and under a pseudonym, at least initially.

I am well compensated at my job, but dislike the idea that they are aware of my activities outside of work.

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson