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Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

Rear-ending is something that always comes up in /. discussions about driving, especially by US drivers (the site is rather US centric).

If it helps you feel any better about US driving habits, I was rear ended by a police car in California when I came to a full and complete stop behind the limit line at a stop sign in a grocery store parking lot. The officer was anticipating that I would either not-stop or perform a rolling stop (slowing and not fully stopping) and was ready to pull me over for it, so was looking up my plate data on his in-car computer when he hit me.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

There is, perhaps, an edge case in freeway driving: someone changes lanes in front of you, then slams on their brakes, but that isn't really relevant to approaching a stop sign.

Sadly this is an intentional insurance fraud item. "Swoop and squat" or "swoop and stop" is a common scam in a number of places. Notably, with the telemetrics from an Autonomous vehicle, that kind of scam would be impossible to pull off successfully. Besides the fact that the 360 awareness of the vehicle would show the obviousness if it succeeded, the autonomous vehicle would very likely react in sufficient time to avoid the front collision, though it still may be collided with from behind.

Comment Re:Bank Tellers knew my face and name... (Score 4, Interesting) 161 161

Perhaps the difference in this case is that that example involves the person having a business relationship with the bank and interacting with the teller, voluntarily giving their name for the person to connect to the face.

What is being considered and fretted over here are such events as the following lovely bit of near-future (possibly not) fiction...

It was a lovely day as Jack Smith strolled down the street. He glanced at the sign on the bus stop as he passed by and the sign, recognizing who he was, displayed advertisements for fresh strawberries at Hole Dudes Market. He never shopped there, but he did buy strawberries at Wallyworld every Monday, so they knew.

There was a buzz from his smartwatch and he glanced at his wrist. WatchU sent email informing him that the bus he normally took had broken down on the interstate and he should turn left at the next light to grab a different bus. It would only make him get to work ten minutes late instead of thirty. Oh, and they'd already emailed his boss to let them know he'd be late. Wait... Who was WatchU? He'd never signed up for such a service. Besides, he was taking a day off today and heading somewhere completely different. Why did they email his boss? Well, because they knew.

Shrugging the thought aside, he tried to enjoy the day. Thinking about strawberries, his mouth started to water, so he headed into Samba Juice for a smoothie. It was a new establishment that he'd never been in before, so he wanted to see how it stacked up against other places.

"Hi Mr Smith!" the cashier said as he approached her, taking the cue from her register. "Would you like a Strawberry Stratosphere in mega-size today?"

"Um, sure," he said. He looked at her, unable to place her, and finally curiosity overcame him. "Do I know you?"

"Oh, we know all our customers, even if they are brand new," she exclaimed. "We're tied in to the system. Working a few bugs out though." She looked at the screen and blushed. "Oh, and a coupon popped up. When you head back to the Lover's Lace escort services, ask for Margarette. You'll get a discount on all personal services." They knew.

Jack winced at that and mumbled thanks, then headed to wait awkwardly for his smoothie. The cups had advertisements printed on them based on marketing data for the customers, and he was shocked to see a code to scan on his phone for half off bulk adult diapers. That was insulting! Why did they think he needed such a thing?! Ah... right... because the camera had seen him unloading a truck while volunteering at a retirement home. They knew.

So yes... Meat popsicles have limits on who and what they know and know about who. This system, as people want it, will have no limits.

Comment Faulty Logic Alert (Score 2) 145 145

"We haven't seen any attacks work therefore it must be 100% effective."

1: A lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack.

2: I have this wonderful Ticklebang repelling charm. Nobody wearing it has ever been stolen by Ticklebangs.

Notably, no explanation of how it determines what I/O is "Authorized" versus "Unauthorized".

Comment Re:If it's published, it must be true? (Score 1) 174 174

At the same time, just like in any group, there are "bad" researchers and "good" researchers, and the ones performing due diligence and trying to be upstanding can still have a bad day.

The primary focus was to point out that even a scientific journal is not without fault, and there are even some that have been known to accept and promote complete drivel that was created intentionally to point out how flawed the scientific journal system can be in some places.

The general idea is not to make the researchers seem malicious. The intent is to point out that just because it's published doesn't mean it's true, and in this case it's taking it even further than the prior shows of failure that occurred with "Pay to be published" journals.

Comment Bad summary! No cookie! (3D Computer vision) (Score 5, Informative) 141 141

This is definitely a case of picking the worst summary of the source article possible. When I looked at the /. summary, I immediately thought "3D is going out in movies and TV, and haven't we been there with the HTC Evo 3D?". Obviously a lot of other people did too.

So I clicked on TFA. Ahhhhhhhh... Now it makes more sense! From TFA:

We're used to our gadgets being passive objects. They respond to typed or tapped commands, but we don't expect them to be aware of their surroundings.

... As our devices have more and better sensors, they're going to be increasingly aware of the world around them, and will interact with the world and with us in more sophisticated ways.

So other than the really gimmicky "personal drones that can take breathtaking aerial shots", this is primarily talking about computer vision, such as gesture recognition, local environment evaluation, etc.

Comment Re:They'll have to get a LOT better much faster (Score 1) 405 405

Except a decade ago, you got 95% on a powerful desktop computer. Today you get 95% on a cellphone.

If I sit in a quiet room, and enunciate carefully, with slight pauses between words, I can get way better than 95%. Also, if voice recognition is integrated with a camera focused on the speaker's face, accuracy can go way up.

Well, of course. A cell phone now is the same power as a powerful desktop computer back then for the most part. But wasn't "Natural speech recognition" the big goal? They did call it "Dragon Naturallyspeaking" after all. However it still sits in a state where the computer needs to have a perfect environment to achieve something partially as good as a human being.

I counter-propose that humans will be helping computers more in the future.

Comment Re:...the same company that predicted that OS/2... (Score 2) 405 405

Are you implying their predictions have as much clarity as an obsidian crystal ball in a sewage treatment tank? As much fidelity as a wax cylinder on a 120 degree day in Arizona? As much accuracy as somebody trying to blindly roundhouse kick the Andromeda Galaxy? And hold as much water as a clogged ink jet nozzle? If you are, I agree.

Comment They'll have to get a LOT better much faster (Score 1) 405 405

With voice recognition still doing well at 95% accuracy when trained (an average of one in twenty words wrong? Sign me up!) - which was about what it was back a decade ago - and the essay grading systems being very good at what they do (Sarcasm alert), they'll have to improve things a lot faster than they have been for the machines to take over 'knowledge work'.

Comment Re:Whatever happens... (Score 1) 191 191

I'm the technology manager at a school but beholden to a larger "Management" company for a lot of my processes. In our case, we can't afford to issue laptops or tablets or Chromebooks to students, however it is absolutely true that we have access to everything everybody does on school computers. This includes students and to some portion, teachers. We tell everybody straight out with big, bold text that we have access, but people do stuff anyway.

Tuesday, a new employee got onto his computer for the first time and within five minutes I had an alert that he'd downloaded a "flash-installer.exe" infection when he'd managed to find a porn site that wasn't blocked by our filter. He was fired within five minutes, because a trace showed that it was obvious intent, not accident.

On the student side of things, we are required by law to report things, and it is not often thankfully, but we have been alerted by monitoring software that a student was being solicited by an adult for illegal activities. The student logged into their personal GMail account from school and typed in a reply. All captured and monitored and observed. More common is catching online bullying.

In general, it does show just how much access we have and why we have such extremely strong language in our alerts to say "Yes, we can see EVERYTHING." Also one of the reasons we are reluctant to issue take-home equipment to students because of blasted cameras and no desire to even tempt anybody.

Comment Re:My proposal (Score 1) 113 113

I propose storing it in a new medium. A "molecular chain", which should withstand the effects of EMP, right?
A name for it. Hmmm. How about the Destroy-Not Archive, or D.N.A. for short.

But then cosmic rays and ionizing radiation and other things will still introduce errors.

So we would further need a method to reliably store the chains themselves and that could replicate the data to ensure there was a high chance of accurate data surviving. Little cartridges with all of the necessary environment and materials to power the reading system and maintain the chain and that could, as needed, replicate the data into new cartridges. The second versions, Contained Environment II (CE-II) work decently.*

(*Hey, I couldn't think of anything with L. I guarantee I gave it at least four seconds of thought too!)

Comment Re:The comment. (Score 1) 112 112

That's because you are most likely an intelligent person working for a company that is unlikely to pull dumb stunts and so the mere concept of the depths of the stupidity that some companies harbor in the name of "RoI" and "Risk vs Profit" is completely foreign to you. Hopefully you will be able to continue to stay unknowing, as the reality is ruddy scary.

Here is a small example: "Let's give WORSE customer service. We will make them wait for one hour on hold for very basic tech support, then anything that can't be handled in under five minutes will wait another hour. During all this time, we'll push fixing for them if they pay us. That way we monetize support of our product!" "Won't that make us lose customers like blood from a femoral artery?" "Yep! We've already gone down from seven million customers to four million!" *Six months later* "We're at two million customers, we've made a killing off 'premium' support, and we've remained profitable by massaging the books to write off the losses, and now we completely reverse it, doing everything really well." *twelve more months* "We're at eight million customers now. But instead of that being a 14% increase in customer base from 1.5 years ago, that is a 400% increase in customer base from one year ago! And because the 75% loss was within a certain frame, we didn't have to report any loss in customers. Watch the funding roll in, guys! This is what I'm talking about!"

Sad. But true. Which makes it even more sad.

"History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions." -- Ted Koppel

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