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Comment Re:Poor example (Score 1) 435

They may be fine in Arizona, but they're all kinds of fun to navigate when the road is icy, making every time you turn an invitation to start sliding. Did anyone not notice that roundabouts are a continuous turn? (Which is why I saw lots of accidents at the roundabouts I had to regularly use during an Idaho winter.)

Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 613

One theory is that Smith was writing a fantasy novel (tho from what else I've read, his own grasp on reality was a trifle suspect... so as to whether he believed it??) Thus:

Structurally, the Book of Mormon is in line with other fantasy manuscripts of its era: publishers didn't think readers would buy that a crazy adventure was happening to the narrator in realtime, but a secondary narrator relaying the adventure via a framing story was acceptable. Given that structure, the angel Moroni showing Smith the tablets is the framing story; the rest is the fantasy.

As an example we know for sure was meant to be fantasy, E.R. Eddings' The Worm Ouroboros also uses this framing story structure (tho the author drops it after a few chapters and tells the story directly, tho I got the feeling he'd gotten caught up in the story and flat forgot to use it).

Comment Re:This pretty much sums up IoT ... (Score 1) 147

Back in the nineties...

The Internet isn't even a thing, it's wishful thinking, and a bunch of random crap "visionaries" with no business plan are all pushing as the Next Big Thing.

It's marketing hype by people trying to cash in, but who otherwise have no idea what it's good for. ...
Instead it's just a bunch of bullshit and lies about how unfinished tech with no actual value is going to revolutionize the world.

Every idiot who says "Yarg, teh internet " should get swiftly smacked in the head. Because other than they want a piece of the action, not a single one of them can tell you what it is and why you actually want it.

Getting suckered into spending public money to allow some idiot to let you help him figure out what this crap is for is a sure sign you're not doing enough due diligence.

I'm glad to see people like this starting to say "go away and leave us alone". Because there's nothing there yet, just some speculative crap.

It's a solution in search of a problem, and a bunch of people trying to get other people help them figure out the business plan and what this stuff is for.

Comment Re:Feynman and Crichton (Score 1) 255

Acutely summed up in this quote from the Crichton lecture:

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

Comment Re:The problem with neural networks (Score 1) 45

That's what the GP proposed.

For a human, a skill test is OK, because we already know he's a human, and cities are built around humans. We can expect him to behave in a certain way, and we kind of know his possible range of abilities and limitations, even if not in a formal way.

There's a reason why we require other things, like a minimum age, because being a responsible adult is precondition to the test.

What they are doing right now is different. Still a black box test, but much more comprehensive. They are going to gather so much data that statistics are going to start kicking in, bc they should be able to somewhat "prove" that these cars are safer than regular cars.

Comment Re:HOSTS file (Score 1) 425

I'd noticed long before Win7+ that once in a while my HOSTS file seemed to get ignored. Don't recall specifics offhand, but at least back as far as Win98 (at least, once TurboTax forcibly applied IE5.5, which also fucked up Win98's resource management. -- That was also the last time I bought TurboTax.)

Comment Re:Bureaucracy (Score 1) 275

Or maybe Sgt.Burke is really saying, "Not all of us want to store your data forever. But some do. So we compromise by dragging our fiscal feet to make it difficult to retain more of your data."

Let's see what happens at the next budget appropriations session in Oakland... then we'll find out who's on the side of privacy or bureaucracy.

Comment Re:The problem with neural networks (Score 1) 45

That's just not true.
Humans, specially urban dwellers, are known to have a certain set of capabilities, in general.
Also, they are known to behave in a certain fashion, and to abide by certain rules.
For example, a human with tendency to kill everyone in his path, would just not be able to apply for a drivers license, he would be in jail, dead, or something similar.
That black box testing is only verifying very specific knowledge and ability. It doesn't do a great job at that, but its task is a lot easier than testing an AI from scratch. You could do that, if there was some "human like" validation test, you could take prior to getting a license.

Comment Re:I remember ..... (Score 1) 284

In my latest testing spasm, I found that there's far less customization available (at least as offered by the distro's tools) in KDE5, to the point that I could not get things sufficiently restful to my eyes, and that launcher-style menu just pisses me off. Didn't crash on me, but I only had the thing up an hour or so on the test box, running off a LiveCD (well, LiveUSB). Crashy would get it nixed here real quick too, tho.

I like KDE4 for the most part, and ... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Comment Re:The problem with neural networks (Score 2) 45

You make a very interesting point.
With automation, it's a lot easier for us to accept a given amount of understandable failure, than a much smaller amount of inexplicable failure. That might be a roadblock against some forms of automation.

In any case, there's also economics, which do like statistics, and will make you choose the strategy that fails less, overall. For example, insurance companies might favour driving algorithms that crash less often vs ones that crash a bit more often, but for better known causes.


More Cities Use DNA To Catch Dog Owners Who Don't Pick Up Waste 175

dkatana writes: For many cities one of the biggest cleaning expenses is dealing with dog poop. While it is impossible to ask the birds to refrain from splattering the city, dogs have owners and those owners are responsible for disposing of their companion's waste. The few who shirk their duty create serious problems for the rest. Poop is not just a smelly inconvenience. It's unsanitary, extra work for cleaning crews, and in the words of one Spanish mayor, on a par with vandalism. Cities have tried everything from awareness campaigns with motorized poo videos, to publishing offenders names to mailing the waste back to the dog owner. In one case, after a 147 deliveries, dog waste incidents in the town dropped 70 percent. Those campaigns have had limited effect and after an initial decline in incidents, people go back to their old ways. Which has left many cities resorting to science and DNA identification of waste. Several European cities, including Naples and one borough in London, are building DNA registries of pets. Offending waste will then be tested and the cost of the analysis charged to the dog owner, along with a fine.

Comment Re:There needs to be a standard device (Score 1) 236

Right now policemen are able to stop cars, no device needed.
Autonomous cars should be able to match current driver behaviour. There's room for improvement, but they don't need a better solution in all regards, to replace drivers, only to be as good as them.

Comment Re:Here's the thing though... (Score 1) 236

It's not really that hard for a bad guy to buy a cop costume. Humans can't tell them difference between the police and some random jackass. Also, if a guy is standing in the middle of the road signaling you to stop, you're gonna stop just to not run him over.

I think self-driving cars should be treated as taxis. Just like you can't expect your taxi driver to disobey a cop, nor can you expect your SDC to.

Good point, but that's a driverless taxi, not an autonomous car. An autonomous car would be a car you own and you command, that does what you ask it to do. Like a car, but instead of driving it, you tell it to go places, and override command _whenever_ you want it, not when it's lawful to do so.

I think that autonomous driving will probably be best applied to public transportation, because an automated taxi is a better taxi, while an autonomous car is a lesser car, after you take this kind of things into account.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"