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Comment: Re:Hell No Hillary (Score 4, Insightful) 676

by HangingChad (#49459571) Attached to: Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid

Please don't vote for Hillary just because she is a woman.,

This election won't be about gender or any substantive issues. The only choice is going to be between Crazy and Not Crazy and Hillary wins that going away.

The GOP doesn't have any policies to run on, they've turned into an endless fountain of negativity. Benghazi! Tax cuts! Email server! Job creators! They're anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-everything except starting another war in the Middle East.

No one that isn't as batshit crazy as they are is going to vote for a GOP presidential candidate.

Comment: Re:Never (Score 4, Informative) 181

by HangingChad (#49454719) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

3. Dangerous

What's dangerous is 3,000 pounds of metal being controlled by a driver who is impaired by alcohol, drugs or messing around on their phone. Around here the greatest impairment is age. A good third of the people on the road around here can barely see. Self-driving cars don't have achieve some lofty safety record to become the standard, they only have be better than humans and that's already within easy reach compared to the technical hurdles already overcome.

4. No one controls when and where I go

That may be the dumbest excuse to oppose technology I've ever read. If you fly, ride the bus, train or cruise ship, other people control where you go.

I remember people in a video forum in 2004 telling me they'd be shooting film the rest of their lives. That was just 11 years ago. In just that short time span video has not only rivaled film but surpassed it. Long before video surpassed film in terms of quality, video displaced film on the basis of cost and ease of workflow. The technical hurdles in 2004 for video to replace film were huge and it happened in less than a decade.

Cars are not only going to rival human drivers but surpass them, and definitely a lot sooner than you think. It won't be that long before people who insist on driving themselves become the hazards on the road and I don't think your right to seize the steering wheel is going to trump the lives of other drivers.

Comment: Re:Why the bad rap? (Score 1) 111

True, though it could well impact the estimates of methane emissions worldwide. If there's some unexpected source of methane, there may be more. Or it may indicate that if some sources are producing more then others are producing less, or that that methane atmospheric lifetime is different than we thought.

So it's scientific curiosity, but it may well end up having an impact on our understanding of climate change due to greenhouse gases, beyond the immediate production at this site.

Comment: Re:Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

by HangingChad (#49421519) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

Air France 447 was one of those incidents.

But who's to say a remote pilot would have done any worse? Everyone died on that flight, so how much worse could the remote pilot have done? Air France 447 isn't the only crash to take place because of clogged pitot tubes. There was also Birgenair 301 and a couple others.

There seems to be a perception that a remote pilot would somehow do a worse job than someone on the flight deck. Until there's actual experimental data to support that claim it's not a valid argument. Right now you're all going on your perception as someone sitting in the passenger seat. The airline pilot's union is hardly a disinterested third party, it's their jobs on the line.

And what about accidents cause when the flight crew was distracted or confused? That's a long list there.

Automation shouldn't need to reach some ridiculous extreme in safety to be considered the superior alternative. It should only have to be +1 better than human pilots. Anything else is irrational.

Comment: Re:Web sites (Score 1) 277

That's partly Amazon's fault. They nag you to provide reviews. And not just star ratings, but reviews; IIRC you can't submit the star rating without at least a few words. So at least some people end up writing crappy reviews just to turn the nag off, and hoping that they're helpful, even though ones like this obviously aren't.

Comment: What I can't figure out (Score 1) 258

by HangingChad (#49410605) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

With the push for autonomous vehicles what I can't understand is why cargo ships still have a crew? It seems like shipping would be a far better candidate for automation than cars. You'd need a harbor pilot to steer into port, just like you do now, but it seems like the other 98% of the time cargo ships, with the proper tracking technology would be a slam dunk for automation.

Still, when it comes to cars. If a self-driving car was available I'd definitely buy one.

Comment: Re:Cutting edge has unknowns! Who would have thoug (Score 2) 47

by HangingChad (#49396673) Attached to: Costs Soar on NASA Communications Upgrade Program

SpaceX reaches for the sky and they manage to stretch their budget to work on a reusable booster.

If NASA is anything like the gov projects I used to work, there are too many people billing time on too few projects. But I noticed a tendency for people to reflexively defend NASA instead of asking hard questions about the budget, contract costs and staffing.

Comment: Anyone mention Ada yet? (Score 1) 232

by Archtech (#49378603) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology

No, thought not. IMHO a classic - almost, in fact, the canonical - example of boring technology that's good because it's boring. Look at all the criticisms of Ada, and you will find that most of them boil down to, "It's not so much fun and doesn't make me feel so good". But that depends on what makes you feel good. As many qualified people have remarked, if you are flying in an airliner you really want the avionics to be written in Ada, not C++ or Ruby or Python. Why? Because you're a lot more likely to survive. Almost unbelievably, it boils down to a matter of professional pride. What gives you a warm feeling - coding something marvellously clever that you yourself won't understand in three weeks, or creating something that works reliably and does exactly the job it was meant to do? One is an amateur attitude, the other is a professional attitude.

Comment: Re:Let's see (Score 3, Informative) 442

by HangingChad (#49366321) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Isn't Florida supposed to be underwater ?

Since you obviously haven't been here for a while, many parts of Florida are underwater at high tide. In Palm Beach and parts of Miami storm drains flow backwards and boat docks are underwater. Just across the inlet, West Palm Beach has a massive project going on to raise sewer lines so toilets will confinue flushing and there are several similar projects in Miami. They're also spending hundreds of millions to reinforce the well casings in the wells Miami gets its freshwater.

Florida is fighting that losing battle quietly. It's not like an area dependent on tourism and investment can announce they're sinking and there's no way to stop it but that's the reality.

Climate deniers are the most ignorant fraction of our society.

Comment: You have got to be joking (Score 1) 158

by Archtech (#49362417) Attached to: UK Licensing Site Requires MSIE Emulation, But Won't Work With MSIE

"How can a government department concerned with security not get this sort of thing right?"

Very funny.

When did a government department of any kind ever get anything right? Especially when it concerns computers. Triply when it concerns security. See for example:

etc., etc. passim.

The truth of the matter is that politicians and civil servants tend to be highly non-technical, and very much focused on high-sounding (but misleading) talk. This is the exact opposite of the attitude you need to accomplish anything with computers. But they are also very arrogant, and committed to the belief that - since they don't understand computers - programming and the like must be extremely easy.

Comment: Maskirovka (Score 1) 269

by jfengel (#49357937) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

So much so that they even have a name for it: Maskirovka. The term was originally used just for camouflage, and the uses of it seem entirely in keeping with ordinary warfare. The disinformation campaign around D-Day would have been a brilliant example of maskirovka.

But the Russians do it before a war, and even during active hostilities as a way to demand that they be treated as if they were non-combatants. It's going on right now, pretending that they aren't engaging in war against Ukraine. It's so traditional in the culture that it's not even really something we can blame them for, exactly. But it means that our actions and reactions have to be calibrated around the fact that this is part of the way they view the world.

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds