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Comment: This is true (Score 1) 133

I use a number of products like that which really don't get much in the way of updates. Even so, at least your project has a maintainer that probably answers the very infrequent question and obviously addresses any bug reports in some fashion. Lots and lots of sourceforge projects never ever release code. I expect many die at the "I had an idea" stage, but others just never really sort out the organizational or "marketing" issues (IE getting people interested and trying the code so that something grows).

Comment: Read and learn then (Score 1) 190

by Giant Electronic Bra (#49266395) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

Clearly the LCOE for SPV and ST (even with storage) is NOW competitive with nuclear power. Its probably not yet competitive with NG, but again NG is getting a free pass on CO2 and other issues. Given that recent research suggests that the actual social cost of carbon may be as high as $1000/ton we're pretty sure at this point that SPV is a huge good deal. Why do you think it is growing by leaps and bounds?

Yes, of course subsidies help, but they don't even cancel out 10% of the subsidy that coal/gas/oil get. Just the EXPLICIT subsidies on fossil fuel use are on a par with ALL the subsidies for renewables, so it isn't even clear to me that in terms of incentive we wouldn't be best off just getting rid of everyone's subsidy, not even counting carbon costs.

Comment: Basic Facts (Score 2) 190

by Giant Electronic Bra (#49266353) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

The truth can be determined with FIVE MINUTES of looking, and invariably the people who are trotting out this "solar panels use more energy than you get" BULLSHIT aren't interested in facts. Its an outright lie that someone has perpetrated on the public and the people who continue to circulate it are either VERY ignorant, like they haven't read Wikipedia, or they're actively dishonest. There's no legitimate skepticism involved at this point. If someone had brought this up 20 years ago we'd have all scratched our heads and thought "well, that's a good question, sounds wrong, but we'll get back to you." Today, in 2015? Its just a scurrilous lie.

Comment: Re:Calculator? (Score 1) 177

by Giant Electronic Bra (#49243879) Attached to: Preferred programming paradigm?

Yeah, I had a National Semiconductor programmable calculator, forget the model number. It was pretty much the same thing, nice RPN with a big stack. All you had to do to program it was hit the 'start program' button and the 'save program' button when you were done. It was pretty slick. Thing lasted forever too.

Comment: Beyond that (Score 5, Insightful) 161

You're right of course, but that's the SIMPLE PART. The harder part is judgement. Even the stupidest human being has a vast amount of common sense, masses of rules of thumb which they have internalized and a deceptively deep understanding of context. How would a robot even know how to classify things as clothing or not clothing? Or more to the point washable or not washable? All but the stupidest humans would hesitate to throw piece of clothing with a large wet ink stain into a laundry machine with other clothes for instance, and said humans could reason this out from first principles (IE an understanding of how the washing process works, what ink is, etc). The level at which even the most sophisticated software operates is nowhere near robust enough make those sorts of reasoned decisions except in very carefully set up situations.

And then there are the higher level dimensions to the whole thing. When is it appropriate to wash things and when not? Which things do you have a RIGHT to wash and which things do you have a RESPONSIBILITY to wash? Since the 1950's people have gone on about the "3 laws of robotics", but Asimov would have been the first to point out that such things couldn't possibly ever be imbued into a machine. Its not even just the logical and epistemological limitations of those sorts of strictures themselves, but simply that we cannot define the situations wherein they would operate or determine when they were being violated. We can't make a self-driving car because we would have to teach it things like "Its better to run over the old man than to run over the baby when you cannot avoid them both." Obviously we'll live with robot cars that simply do one or the other by chance, but to imagine that anything short of a fully conscious general AI could make that sort of decision in a 'human-like' way is patently ridiculous, and we haven't got even the slightest idea how such an intelligence would be developed.

You say 20 years, but I say 100 years. We've barely set our foot on the first step of the path to understanding how to make something like that, and the most critical challenges involved have barely been imagined.

Comment: Re:Do people who post on lkml actually know englis (Score 1) 755

by Giant Electronic Bra (#49070383) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

No, you cannot 'unilaterally' create a condition between two groups of people. You can DO something unilaterally, "The introduction of systemd has unilaterally created a polarization..." is a misuse of the word. The EFFECT of what systemd did was a polarization, in which BOTH PARTIES moved further away from one another "towards opposite extremes." Polarization cannot, definitionaly, be unilateral. Its crappy writing. I suppose complaining about crappy writing on /. is like complaining about the smell of sewage on a particular day, but so be it.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson