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Comment: Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509

by IronChef (#49638995) Attached to: What To Say When the Police Tell You To Stop Filming Them

I have done several ride-alongs and it WAS really eye-opening.

I had a cop tell me about the time they were in a gunfight with someone, firing into a building. Another cop rolled up, the cop jumped out of his car, and he started firing in the general direction of his colleagues. "Guys, what are we shooting at?" he said. The story was recounted as being hilarious, not horrifying.

I had a cop tell me about the way that when he found an asshole, he offered him a beating instead of an arrest. "You'd be surprised how many people take the beatin'," he told me.

I had a cop tell me about the time he visited a house for some kind of domestic complaint, and ended up banging the mom, and shortly after, banged the daughter. "You get more ass than a toilet seat in this job," he told me. "It can destroy some men."

Based on my experience doing ride-alongs I decided not to pursue a career as a cop.

Comment: Re:Honestly ... (Score 5, Informative) 342

by IronChef (#49470841) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

I worked for years in a slot machine company, and the scenario you propose would be difficult to execute. That sort of thing was easier in the old days when machines used socketed ROMs ... but today it's increasingly server managed and cryptographically signed and there is simply no way for the owner of a machine to flip a switch and rig the game.

A game will have several payout selections, like 95.6%, 98%, etc. and you can choose among them, but that is about it.

Slot manufacturers are under the microscope and will not jeopardize their licenses by making it easy for owners to rig games--at least in the US. The industry is HIGHLY regulated and multiple third party labs are involved in certifying the products.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 1) 1081

by IronChef (#49261941) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

You don't need nitrous oxide. All you need to do is displace oxygen with an inert gas like nitrogen. A scuba rebreather can malfunction in this way, and it leads to painless and unexpected unconsciousness. (That's why they have multiple oxygen sensors, and why you replace them on schedule if you're smart.)

You would not want CO2 in the execution process, as the feeling of asphyxiation is caused by inability to dump CO2, not a lack of O2. If you can keep exhaling the CO2 that you produce into a large volume of an inert gas, you'll pass out without discomfort.

All you need for effective and humane executions is nitrogen. There is no medical mystery about how to do the job. There is no need for drug cocktails and contraptions. There *is* a need for some new legislation, or court rulings. If we're going to keep executing people, we can at least stop torturing them to death.

According to wikipedia, Oklahoma has made inert gas asphyxiation legal, but the ABC news citation link is busted and I can't find a primary source.


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.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759