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Comment: Re:Awwwww crap (Score 1) 206

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48918837) Attached to: Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc
And do such devices actually use glibc anymore? I thought that stuff like uClibc or musl has become common in that area. Plus like a few other people here, I'm surprised that gethostbyname is still being used. I concluded that its use was dangerous even in principle something like seven years ago.

+ - Google apologizes for homophobic slurs in its translator

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Google has apologised after it emerged that its translation tool has been replacing the word ‘gay’ with homophobic slurs. Google introduced a fix to the software and offered an apology yesterday (January 26) after an AllOut petition calling on the company to address the problem amassed over 50,000 signatures. When translating ‘gay’ from English into Spanish, French or Portuguese, Google Translate had been offering words like ‘faggot,’ ‘poof,’ ‘fairy’ and ‘dyke’ as synonyms. When the Russian word for ‘gay’ is translated into English, some of the results shown included ‘pansy boy’, ‘fairy’ and ‘sodomite.’ “Imagine learning English and being taught to say hateful insults instead of neutral language for ‘gay’. Google Translate – used by over 500 million people every month – was suggesting slurs as synonyms for the word ‘gay’, AllOut said in a statement. Google translate is based on the Google Brain, using AI which has recently been enhanced by the purchase of DeepMind Technologies."

Comment: Re:That's a lot of lifetimes (Score 1) 58

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48914335) Attached to: "Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

Well, what I had in mind was a flyby of an object of a roughly comparable size, and I'm pretty sure that ~0.5-1km sized objects have been mapped pretty exhaustively. So, yeah, there will be a lot of flybys before 2027, but the flybys of things we don't know about yet are bound to be somewhat less significant.

The interesting thing here is the somewhat skewed shape of the size distribution of known NEAs, which suggests to me that the skew due to detectability happens somewhere below the ~300m region. That's what makes me think that most of the ~1km sized stuff has been already discovered.

Comment: Re:yes, programming, like poetry, is not words, un (Score 1) 205

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48911171) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

Yet reading and writing, basic literacy, help billions of people who are neither authors, nor poets in doing their everyday job. Literacy enabled a huge revolution in the workforce, and life in general.

That's what I understand to be the aim of the HtDP project - to put a decent number of people into some reasonable place between the alphabet and Shakespeare.

Comment: Re:We need better software, not more programmers (Score 3, Insightful) 205

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48911145) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy
I'm not quite convinced that your analogy is completely accurate. Do we need better programs? Of course we do. But we most definitely need good ways of connecting those good programs together, otherwise you'd have islands of good functionality connected by people cutting and pasting stuff for no good reason. Granted, that's largely what we do in the physical world: the warehouse "program" and the truck "program" aren't automatically connected either, people have to either manhandle stuff or at least operate forklifts, significantly decreasing the efficiency of the compound system relative to the ideal value. However, computers have this tremendous benefit of allowing people to automate these connections much faster than we'd be able to do in the physical world (you can write a pipeline in shell much faster than you can design and build a robo-forklift). This very technical possibility is perhaps why our expectations are a priori higher when it comes to computers. Unfortunately, this process of effecting computational processes by means of connecting primitive operations by means of composition operators and abstraction operators is called "programming". That applies even to those cases in which the "primitive operations" are whole independently-useful programs. And a lot of these scenarios can't be predicted in advance.

Comment: Ugh... (Score 2) 205

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48911093) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

To achieve this, it seems like all we need is to show people how to give the computer instructions, but that's teaching people how to put words on the page. We need the equivalent of composition, the skill that allows us to think about how things are computed.

Ugh...if only we had something like this...we could call it "computer science" or something like that. We could even write textbooks about it! But that's just a pipe dream, right?

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl