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Comment: Re:Australian Gun Laws are STRICT! (Score 1) 880

by IronChef (#48601021) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Thank you for explaining the details of the system.

I am curious, how do they track your participation in events? I understand the goal of the law but it seems like activity tracking could be a huge bureaucracy all by itself.

In the US, if we had a system like that there'd be a per-event and per-shot tax required to build a new block of office buildings full of a thousand Federal workers shuffling papers.

Comment: Instead of a crappy blog link, here's the source (Score 1) 38

Wait, wait!! Let me do this Slashdot style, and find the worst possible source for the material... Here's a Gizmodo link which references the RedOrbit article which links to JPL:

Can it get worse? You bet! Let's go deeper into the brown web... a vast sea of crappy auto-generated content.

Comment: Re:Flawed, 'cos... (Score 1) 454

by IronChef (#48444931) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

> *Someone* has to own the rush hour fleet.

A lot of our problems seem to stem from the peak demand problem.

What if there was no rush hour, or a greatly lessened one? Rush hour is in large part an artifact of our requirement to get to an office at a certain time. If we changed the way we worked and eliminated that requirement wherever possible, peak demand would drop and that would help with a lot of transportation problems.

A lot of information workers don't need to be at the office. It's tradition that keeps them there. We can build new traditions that keep them working at home, or close to home. We already have the tools to make it possible.

It isn't a panacea. A lot of people need to be present at their workplace. There are still events that will drive peak demand. But it would have to help.

Comment: Re:I've worked at a Fortune 50 for the last 2 year (Score 1) 185

by IronChef (#48334185) Attached to: Big Data Knows When You Are About To Quit Your Job

> Also, giving you a 10-20% raise is NOTHING to the company.

I see us waste literally millions of dollars a year--just flushed right down the drain--but raises are rare as hen's teeth. Promotions, too. They apologetically explain that there are policies which must be followed.

They can't promote you from a Level X to Level X+1 until you have enough direct reports. It's policy! Oh, your group is small enough that you will never have any direct reports? Unfortunately, you can therefore never be promoted. So sorry... but it's policy.

I assume it is made this way to reap the same benefits of "zero tolerance" policies in schools. When there is a policy, no matter how toxic, you just follow it, and you are protected.

Meanwhile the rules are different for new hires. We must attract top talent! Big titles for everyone new! There are policies in place for this too, and a budgetary structure which explicitly supports this divisive system.

Comment: Re:Redistribution (Score 1) 739

by IronChef (#48279353) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

> ACA helps because when you switch jobs, you know that you can get reasonably priced insurance afterwards.

Depends on your definition of reasonable. My wife an I are in our early 40s. Catastrophic coverage which will help if we get hit by a bus, but offers nothing short of that due to a giant deductible, is about $500/mo. Health care which isn't quite as good as the typical white-collar job benefit I currently have would cost about $800/mo.That's more than it costs to lease a base model Tesla.

Those values do not feel especially reasonable, and they do keep me less mobile as a worker. Maybe things are cheaper in other states.

Comment: Re:Comment from an AI researcher (Score 1) 583

by IronChef (#48242551) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

I have a question about "strong AI" that you might be able to answer.

I've always been under the impression that should "strong AI" in the sci-fi sense become a reality, the machines would be complex enough that we would not understand every last bit-flip in their operation, at least not up front. The machine would be loaded with concealed information--weights in neural networks that themselves were the output of other algorithms, that kind of thing. We could figure out any aspect of it on demand... but we wouldn't know it all if we didn't go looking.

In a biology analogy: we might learn to grow a brain, and teach it things, and talk to it, but we wouldn't understand the total function of every single chemical signal that crossed every cellular membrane until we started cutting it up.

This is the opposite of a CPU, where an engineer planned every single P-N junction on the wafer. Sure, some of it may have been placed by computerized tools, but it is all understood in advance, down to the movement of electrons.

Is my impression that "strong AI" will be an inherently obfuscated system valid? Or is it just more of the same kind of software complexity that we already deal with?

Thanks if you have time to post something!

Comment: Re:I HATE multiplayer (Score 1) 292

by IronChef (#47917375) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

You don't have to take orders. You don't even have to listen to them. Turn off all the voice comms, and treat the other players as bots. That's how I play TF2 (my only MP game) and it works just fine.

I suppose if you landed on the wrong server you might get kicked for not communicating. I have never had that happen yet, though.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 3, Interesting) 502

I am not sure even gamers need sound cards any more... at least not those who don't use headphones. I have a 7.1 movie surround system hooked to a PC, and the Windows itself magically mixes sound bits into the HDMI stream coming from my Nvidia GPU. In games, I get as many discrete sound channels as the game software supports, plus I can push most any kind of bitstream (including DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD) from media files.

With a complete digital path, what does a sound card have to offer me? I guess AMD is making some sound co-processor stuff that might make neat effects at low CPU usage, but I'll need to see some really killer apps for that before it looks remotely attractive.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.