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Comment: Actually a Great Step Forward (Score 1) 91

by DumbSwede (#48620875) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

Computer learns to pick out salient features to identify images. Then we are shocked that when trained with no supervision the salient features aren’t what we would have chosen.

I see this as a great ah-ha moment. Humans also have visual systems that can be tricked by optical illusions. The patterns presented while seemingly incomprehensible to us make sense to computers for the same reason our optical illusions do to us -- taking short cuts in visual processing that would fire on patterns not often or ever seen in the real world. Which BTW means even as is, this type of visual identification is still useful, since the random images generating false hits aren’t just any random images, but ones that have visual features similar to the targets identified, even if we humans can’t see the similarities or even if they look like white noise.

Now that we know what computers are picking out as salient features, we can modify the algorithms to add additional constraints on what additional salient features must or must not be in an object identified, such that it would correspond more closely to how humans would classify objects. Baseball’s must have curvature for instance not just zig-zag red lines on white.

Comment: Re: Disruptive If We Say So Ourselves (Score 1) 55

by DumbSwede (#48493253) Attached to: Martin Jetpack Closer To Takeoff In First Responder Applications

(been on vacation)
Sorry to have been snarky.

But if the contraption can't lift both responder and victim out (like the basket can), then I really think this has limited use. I suspect the weight of two people and the geometry of the contraption make impractical for evacuation -- which is the most common rescue work I imagine.

Comment: Disruptive If We Say So Ourselves (Score 2) 55

by DumbSwede (#48420807) Attached to: Martin Jetpack Closer To Takeoff In First Responder Applications

"The Martin Jetpack is a disruptive technology, much like the helicopter was when first developed, with substantial capabilities which will be very complementary to our solutions we can offer our customers," says Avwatch

Uhhh, I don’t think so. This is like an extremely small helicopter, there is little I can see it doing a helicopter couldn’t. What few things it might be able to do a copter couldn’t, remote control drones will soon be able to do.

I don’t think the 60’s jetpack dream will ever be truly realized.

Comment: More Smoke and Mirrors (Score 1) 107

by DumbSwede (#48418275) Attached to: Head of FCC Proposes Increasing Internet School Fund

I’ve never understood why taxes for things have to come from oddly tenuously associated sources for the things they fund. Here in DC the Dulles metro extension is mostly funded by tolls on cars on the Dulles tollway, why do the residents in that area get the privilege of subsidizing travel for DC to Dulles whether they would use the metro or not? Why should phones be taxed to fund internet for schools? Shouldn't school infrastructure funding come from some from a mix of property taxes, state funding, and federal funding?

Sometimes taxes need to go up. If not, then don’t hide the fact that they went up with all the damn smoke and mirrors. Storm sewers here in Maryland need funding, so now we are going to get a rain tax proportional to acreage. Of course it won’t mater if your property is next to a stream and has no impact on the storm sewer system. If infrastructure needs fixing then just raise the damn property taxes -- larger estates will end up paying more anyway.

Comment: Re:How many gas stations were there... (Score 1) 194

by DumbSwede (#48405989) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

I may be shortsighted, or... there is no advantage to this car over conventional electric or hybrid at this point and will likely stay that way. Sure internal combustion engines (ICE) took off, but how many other inventions since then haven’t? Are you still riding around in your Stanley Steamer?

The 5 minute fueling is no advantage if there is nowhere to refill. Hydrogen is notoriously hard to contain, should these become common no doubt we will start to here stories about hydrogen leaks and is unlikely they will be able to add an ordorant as it may poison the catalyst.

Not everything succeeds, cars are expensive, make wise choices, not just OMG it’s cool and green.

Comment: Not For Me (Score 1, Insightful) 194

by DumbSwede (#48405707) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Let’s see, my Volkswagen Passat, which I paid 18K, for will go 450 miles and refuel just about anywhere.

Green is nice and all, but why even bother rolling something out that is obviously not ready for primetime? At least Hybrids can refuel anywhere even if over priced. I’ll go all electric or hybrid once the economics are in place, and I have no problem with early adopters, but getting one of these seems to be for masochists only at this point. Give me a range of 500+ miles, or the ability to fuel at home (maybe natural gas to hydrogen conversion – though that somewhat defeats the purpose).

Remember, Hydrogen is really just a battery when you think about it, the power still has to come from somewhere else like coal (though ideally wind or solar). In most cases hydrogen is generated from natural gas, generating, you guessed it, carbon dioxide in the process.

Comment: Here we go again (Score 1) 226

by DumbSwede (#48405235) Attached to: Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

I don’t recall seeing boot camps for Electrical Engineers or boot Camps for Medical Doctors. I remember back in the late 70s when I first started coding on an Apple ][ people regarded me with awe for being able to write a print statement in a for loop. In those days everyone probably could learn to code simple text based game and recipe organizers, but they didn’t. Now that we need stable object oriented code that actually takes some discipline to write we’ve decided everyone should do – it is the path too quick riches after all.

I’m not saying our discipline is too hard for a person with an average IQ, but it deserves the same respect as any other technical field. There is enough bad code to fix from people that spent 4-8 years learning to code, I don’t think boot camp graduates will write better code. If anything we should be toughening the academic standards for writing maintainable code and take the time to be sure the lessons have sunk in, not shortening the time we learn to code – I can only imagine that leads to a quick and dirty solutions.

Of course maybe this is not really about true web development, but about just being able to fire up something like Cold-Fusion and churn out volumes of similar looking websites -- you know to keep costs down.

Comment: Ignore away (Score 1) 642

by DumbSwede (#48403203) Attached to: Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

So your point is you would ignore the list, so it shouldn't be available to anyone? Or because you think people like parents who may not agree with your stance on violence might use it -- again removing their role as a parent, because evidently gamers in the Slashdot community know better.

I could have thought I specifically said as long as it is not censorship. So why bring in Australia's practices to this discussion? Rating will lead to censorship? Not sure that follows.

Comment: And you probably not a parent (Score 1) 642

by DumbSwede (#48402883) Attached to: Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

The things you mention should be covered in gaming review sites. Now maybe you think the magazines should just list these elements as well, but here is the situation, my 8 or 10 year old has requested I buy some innocuous sounding racing game. I’m at the store, I but it. We get it home and there are big busted ladies jumping around and possibly occasionally losing their tops.

Now you may have decided I’m a prude and that it’s OK for my 8 or 10 year to see these things, but really that isn’t your call. I didn’t ask for censorship, I just asked for informative labeling on the product similar to food.

How to achieve that fair labeling may be neigh-on-impossible, but there is nothing I see wrong with the goal.

Of course you may worry that if these elements are labeled then people like me might hurt sales of games with titillating sex and violence thus making for fewer of these available – because a pretty good number of Slashdotters think people should be mature enough to handle nudity, sex, and violence at all ages and that parents isolate their children too much, or that the parents should invest time researching a game before buying (which I concede to some small degree as a fair point). Still I would contend we should make it easier for people to make informed decisions, especially parents.

Comment: Whole list of possibly offensive content? (Score 3, Interesting) 642

by DumbSwede (#48402113) Attached to: Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

I would give Negative grades for each of the following:

Racism/Stereotyping (including slights to LGBT society)
Culturally insensitive
Religiously Intolerant
Religious Indoctrination
Politically Driven Agenda
Historically Inaccurate

Positive Grades for These:

Social Responsible
Mentally Stimulating
Historically Accurate

And an overall aggregate score

Granted things like Politically Driven Agenda would be hotly contested every time and couldn’t possibly work in the real world, but this would be a near ideal list. As long as it isn’t censorship what’s wrong with full disclosure. If a game would be embarrassed to be labeled Sexism Level 4, then maybe they need to dial back the bikini babes at the race start. I wouldn't want to get too carried away with categories, others may suggest a few more, but if we keep it to under 20 that shouldn't be too over the top, more like a list of ingredients in prepackaged food.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys