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Comment: Re:MUCH easier. (Score 3, Insightful) 238

Given a choice, I think autonomous cars at some point WILL be programmed with such a choice. For example, hitting an elderly person in order to avoid hitting a small child.

Congratulations. Your product just injured Senator Somebody in order to avoid hitting a Betsy-wetsy doll.

Senator Somebody has filed "lawsuit" against your company. It is super-effective. All your assets are belong to him.

Comment: Re:MUCH easier. (Score 2) 238

It doesn't have to identify all the objects in the area, it simply has to not hit them.

Which is an order of magnitude EASIER TO PROGRAM.

And computers can recognize an obstacle and brake faster than a person can.

And that is why autonomous cars will NEVER be programmed with a "choice" to hit person X in order to avoid hitting person A.

So the premise of TFA is flawed.

Comment: Will not matter. (Score 4, Insightful) 238

I wonder whether your insurance company would demand to know how you have set your car, and adjust your rates accordingly?

That does not matter because it won't be an option.

That is because "A.I." cars will never exist.

They will not exist because they will have to start out as less-than-100%-perfect than TFA requires. And that imperfection will lead to mistakes.

Those mistakes will lead to lawsuits. You were injured when a vehicle manufactured by "Artificially Intelligent Motors, inc (AIM, inc)" hit you by "choice". That "choice" was programmed into that vehicle at the demand of "AIM, inc" management.

So no. No company would take that risk. And anyone stupid enough to try would not write perfect code and would be sued out of existence after their first patch.

Comment: MUCH easier. (Score 3, Interesting) 238

From TFA:

Do you remember that day when you lost your mind? You aimed your car at five random people down the road.

WTF?!? That makes no sense.

Thankfully, your autonomous car saved their lives by grabbing the wheel from you and swerving to the right.

Again, WTF?!? Who would design a machine that would take control away from a person TO HIT AN OBSTACLE? That's a mess of legal responsibility.

This scene, of course, is based on the infamous "trolley problem" that many folks are now talking about in AI ethics.

No. No they are not. The only "many folks" who are talking about it are people who have no concept of what it takes to program a car.

Or legal liability.

Itâ(TM)s a plausible scene, since even cars today have crash-avoidance features: some can brake by themselves to avoid collisions, and others can change lanes too.

No, it is not "plausible". Not at all. You are speculating on a system that would be able to correctly identify ALL THE OBJECTS IN THE AREA and that is never going to happen.

Wired is being stupid in TFA.

Comment: sukmahp3n1s at twitter dot com (Score 4, Insightful) 235

by khasim (#47685379) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

try them as a business communication tool, email beats them hands down

Exactly. While "kids" may "flock" to whatever is "cool" today, eventually you do have to deal with other adults in structured environments.

With email, usernames can be assigned in a structured fashion. And potentially offensive combinations can be weeded out.

With closed systems, it is usually first-come-first-served from around the world (and that's not counting multiple accounts per person). So you might not be able to get johnsmith. And "sukmahp3n1s" does not work so well when dealing with other companies.

Comment: Mod parent up! (Score 4, Interesting) 198

by khasim (#47672423) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

As an admin/IT manager, what I'd like to see is:

1. Meaningful, specific error/log messages when something goes wrong.

Do this.

And make the error reports unique. No more "an unexpected error has occurred". Even "purple-monkey-dishwasher" is better than that. Make it easy for your users to report real problems to your developers. And that means making each error unique enough that the developers can search the code for it.

And have someone spend some time sorting through your forums (make sure you have forums) who can move threads and messages around while still maintaining the links to them. So someone with a "purple-monkey-dishwasher" error can see the other posts about that WITHOUT having to dig through unrelated "vitamin-can-hook" errors. Sortable by version. And by date.

Comment: Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (Score 3, Insightful) 298

by khasim (#47665371) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

Whether you agree with the politics of a particular site or not, the easiest solution is just to not enable posting graphics.

If someone wants to make an offensive graphic and host it somewhere, fine. But why would anyone running a controversial site allow posting such?

Imagine /. with goatse images.

Comment: If you didn't know what you were doing ... (Score 4, Informative) 145

by khasim (#47660949) Attached to: The Quiet Before the Next IT Revolution

Are things easier than they used to be? Perhaps for they basic system administration tasks.

But those have never been where the bulk of time and budget go.

They could be if you did not know what you were doing. Like I suspect the author of TFA did not know.

From TFA:

Where we once walked on tightropes every day doing basic server maintenance, we are now afforded nearly instant undo buttons, as snapshots of virtual servers allow us to roll back server updates and changes with a click.

If he's talking about a production system then he's an idiot.

If he's talking about a test system then what does it matter? The time spent running the tests was a lot longer than the time spent restoring a system if any of those tests failed.

And finally:

Within the course of a decade or so, we saw networking technology progress from 10Base-2 to 10Base-T, to 100Base-T to Gigabit Ethernet. Each leap required systemic changes in the data center and in the corporate network.

WTF is 10Base-2 doing there? I haven't seen that since the mid-90's. Meanwhile, every PC that I've seen in the last 10 years has had built-in gigabit Ethernet.

If he wants to talk about hardware then he needs to talk about thing like Cisco Nexus. And even that is not "new".

And, as you pointed out, the PROGRAMMING aspects always lag way behind the physical aspects. And writing good code is as difficult today as it has ever been.

Comment: That's you. (Score 2) 291

by khasim (#47651233) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

As a senior engineer today, ... those I got 15 years ago ...

That's because you are now holding the position of a senior engineer with 15 years of experience.

Look at what someone who is just starting needs to know. How much different is it than what you needed to know when you started 15 years ago?

Comment: Re:Some of us do still assemble, even now (Score 5, Insightful) 291

by khasim (#47651161) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

What's not modern about using assembler where it's appropriate to do so?

Because it is InfoWorld. Seriously.

Here's item # 3.

Developer tool No. 3: Libraries

Do you remember the first time you used a library? But they're new because programmers 5 years ago did not have libraries.

It gets better:

Developer tool No. 4: APIs

Yeah. That's a radical new concept there.

Fuck it.

Developer tool No. 6: Browsers

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1995.

And, finally:

The work involved in telling computers what to do is markedly different than it was even five years ago, and it's quite possible that any Rip Van Winkle-like developer who slept through the past 10 years would be unable to function in the today's computing world.

No it is not. Not they would not. Windows XP was released in 2001 and there are still people using it. That's 13 years ago.

InfoWorld sucks.

Comment: That's the key concept. (Score 1) 538

by khasim (#47649813) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Scientifically, it is OK to say that race is meaningless as a classification system while still accepting that traits are heritable.

And that is (excuse the capitalization) because VISIBLE PHYSICAL TRAITS ARE NOT SUFFICIENT FOR DEFINING "RACE".

Yet everyone who wants to talk about "race" usually resorts to visible physical characteristics.

Race X has visible physical characteristic A.
Race Y has visible physical characteristic B.
What happens when those races mix? What race is the baby?

Comment: Yes you do. (Score 3, Insightful) 538

by khasim (#47649723) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

This is not how real scientists react to the proposal of a false theory.

Yes it is because that "false theory" is being published as a book AND because it claims to cite those scientists.

Thus it is implying that those scientists support that "false theory".

And since the "false theory" is racist, it is implying that those scientists who are implied as supporting that "false theory" are also racist.

So a public condemnation of the "false theory" and the author and the work is entirely reasonable.

Comment: One simple answer. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by khasim (#47645255) Attached to: Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

There is one simple answer.

People (on average) are less afraid of things that they are FAMILIAR with and that they FEEL they have more control over. So people are comfortable driving to the airport but worry about the flight.

People are scared of "terrorists" killing them but are, statistically, more likely to be killed by someone in their own family.

So the scariest thing would be someone that you don't know who is planning to kill you or your child for a reason you don't understand.

But the reality is that if you're living in the USofA and you're white then you will die from the food you've chosen to eat and the exercise that you've chosen to skip. But since you have control over that (I'll start tomorrow) and it's familiar you won't worry about it.

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_