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Comment Re:This guy should be a lawyer (Score 1) 202

I thought to myself: What is a person good at that a computer is terrible at?

Pattern recognition.

So I thought to myself, what incidents, while driving, have I been in where pattern recognition came in to play?

I thought of numerous bad weather scenarios and several vehicle ahead scenarios that I had been in but the one that struck me the hardest was the little boy on the bicycle. I felt truly justified with my thinking that day.

Do I care that you do not personally believe that it happened to me? Not really.

Do I have any idea what you mean by straw man? I know the meaning of the term but I have no idea what you are talking about.

Are you saying that kids do not ride bikes on the sidewalk? Are you saying that it is not possible to see that they are clearly VERY new at riding and could have troubles? Are you saying it is impossible to go from the sidewalk to the front right tire of a car in a moments notice? I can not quite figure out where the straw man is. I am weary of playing Where's Waldo. Enlighten me with an actual argument or just shut up.

Comment Re:This guy should be a lawyer (Score 1) 202

Exactly not this. Perhaps in the situation that a child suddenly darts out in the road from behind an obstacle, the computer will react faster and better; however,the human brain is a VASTLY superior pattern matcher and can recognize that there might be a problem long before a computer even begins processing what to do about the problem.

Example: I am driving through a neighborhood moving at 20 mph. There was a child, perhaps 3, on a bike riding on the sidewalk. I saw that the child was unsteady so I slowed down even further, to perhaps 12 mph. Sure enough, as soon as I did that, the child lost control and dove straight in front of my car from the sidewalk.

A computer would have been going 25 because that was the speed limit. It would have reacted a few milliseconds faster than I did. I preplanned and only had to stop a multi-ton vehicle from 12 to 0. The few milliseconds that reaction time bought for the computer would be vastly overridden by the slower speed I was going. I saw a pattern that a computer would not.

To be fair, almost any other person would have ended up hitting the child too. I happen to have taught lots of children how to ride bikes and I could intuit what was about and what could happen. That child was super lucky that day.

Comment Re:CEOs gone wild (Score 1) 325

But the thing you learn about groups of people over time is that not everyone can or wants to be equal all the time

You almost got it right. Out of any group of people, you will have X% who can be given a goal and they will work towards it. The other percentage of people generally need lists of specific tasks in order to be productive.

My personal experience with X is that it is usually below 20 percent. 10 percent is about average.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

technically it's non-trivial

As they say - rocket science isn't exactly rocket science...it's easy bordering on trivial, but might be a tad expensive.

As far as nukes go, why would they be dumb?

Generally because blowing the blasted thing up isn't really going to help much. However, your question shows you have not read up on this stuff. You should. A tug is far easier, and has far less unknown side-effects.

Comment Re:Cheap you say? (Score 1) 208

Hell, I used to do that with Infocom games back in the DOS days, because every command would hit the floppy to return the appropriate response.

Solution: RAM disk the same size as the floppy (320K), copy the whole disk to RAM to play, save games to the B: floppy. Game actions were stupidly fast for the most part.

Comment Re:Benefit to end users? (Score 1) 686

Except it isn't because two long term, well respected contributors have left not because of code, quality or merit but because of the toxic mailing list.

Except Linux got to where it is with Linus being the way he is. Perhaps a kernel is no place for non-toxicity?

It does not matter. We shall soon see what the best way is. Perhaps the two who left can collaborate and have a nice politically correct team who are not overly harsh on everyone and succeed at writing a technically correct kernel that everyone can trust.

Comment Re: Waaaahhhhh!! (Score 1) 686

Some people find it easy to be offended by certain language patterns. Some people just don't care about certain language patterns.

For myself, I would rather the communication be direct and unambiguous. If that means using slang and colloquialisms, then so be it.

In this specific instance, I am not particularly bothered by penises nor the thought of someone sucking them; however, the message is crystal clear: The code in question does not belong in the kernel as the ONLY entity it would satisfy is Microsoft. Furthermore, it is annoying that anyone would even bring this topic up so just drop it. Now.

He said it in fewer words and more clearly. *shrug* Either way, I am not particularly offended. Are you?

Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 686

I am surprised that you did not provide any links to back your assertions. How can anyone take you seriously if you do not provide examples?

It should be noted that all of the examples that I have seen (the most public ones) have not bothered me in the least.

Maybe the kernel dev environment is not for you... without links, we will never know.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

Deflecting an asteroid is anything but trivial.

Technically it is trivial. It will have a significant cost, but compared to losing a major city, the cost is going to be trivial. We can deflect very large masses at a cost significantly below the cost of the Iraq war. In some cases, as someone pointed out, "painting it white" could be sufficient. The only important factor is detection. Given enough time we can move just about anything that is likely to impact us. The easiest wold be to increase (or perhaps decrease) the objects orbital velocity a tiny amount. Putting a somewhat dense object in front of the asteroid moving at a slightly higher velocity is probably the easiest way to do it.

We really don't know the best way to do it.

We have one or two alternatives, but increasing orbital velocity is probably the easiest. Solar sail. A "rocket" with some weight "pulling" it by just staying in front of it. There are a few good alternatives. Anything involving nukes is probably dumb.

Comment Re:How do they define GM? (Score 1) 330

The fear is not that the GMO crop will kill a person. The fear is that the genes will begin spreading and affecting non-GMO crops.

Why would that be a problem? Because nobody knows how the new genes will interact with different strains. The GMO corn may be perfectly healthy with the strain of corn it was spliced in to but it may not be healthy with another strain of corn. Or it may introduce weaknesses into other strains of corn and all corn crops except the GMO one might get wiped out.

In summary, there are lots of unknowns about GMO crops and being wary of artificially modified organisms appears to be wise; especially when it is a corporation pushing it.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.