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Comment Underweight layperson (Score 2) 108

Therefore, balancing calories in to Calories out is not so stupidly simple as it seems to the underweight layperson.

What about the previously slightly obese person and currently healthy weight person (by BMI measurement)? Because that's me. And even during the obese period, I never had any delusions about it not being as simple as balancing calories in and out. It was a matter of changing my mindset so that I was actually serious about the work involved.

Are they right that the number of calories you take in isn't exact? Of course. It's even harder to measure the number of calories out. Does this matter? Not in the least. They're good enough rough approximations. If you're trying to match your calories in to your calories out to a net -5 calories, you're doing it wrong. Aim for at least -500. Even if you're wrong by, say, 400 calories, you're still negative -100 and in the long term will lose weight. Sometimes you'll be wrong in the other direction and will be negative even more that 500 calories for that day. Chances are, in fact, that the long-term average will approximate what you're aiming for.

Comment Re:"the FAA should do the same" (Score 2) 131

>And with good reason. Isn't the whole point of the registry to be able to contact the owner of a wayward quadcopter and hold them responsible for whatever has caused it to be in your possession.

Yes, but not directly. If somebody knocks out your mailbox with their car, you take down that license plate number, and give it to the police, who then run the plates and get a warrant. You can't directly get the name of who owns that license plate number and show up at the dude's door, and nor should you.

If somebody did something illegal that caused you to be in possession of their wayward quadcopter, then you can call the police and report it. Then let them figure out who the owner is. That prevents you from harassing a guy who was doing something perfectly legal that you think ought to be illegal.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 1) 402

Why this change? It's not reasonably discoverable.

As stupid as that reasoning is, that's the point.

There's a fad among certain UI people that you shouldn't confuse users with options, and give them only what they need. The small number of people who need to do more stuff than the majority of people, should either not do what they want to, and adapt to what the interface presents you, or go through a painful process to figure out how to do it. The idea being that if you're computer savvy enough to do something different than the majority of users, you're computer savvy enough to google and go through the extra process. If it's easily discoverable, the non-computer savvy user will come across it and get confused / perform an action he didn't mean to and doesn't know how to do undo.

I can't emphasize enough how stupid that is, but the gnome people have always suffered from it. I like their window manager a lot honestly, this is my one gripe. Options are good, people.

Comment Re: Oh the Irony..... (Score 1) 735

Apparently it really depends on your definition of mass shootings. By the most broad definition I could find (4 or more people shot in a single incident) there were 353 mass shootings in the US in 2015 by November 23rd. So about one per day on average.

Fair enough, but whatever definition you use, the question is whether it's getting better or worse if you use consistent definitions year-to-year. And the person you're replying to is right: it's getting better, gun homicide is significantly down from past decades. source

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1) 818

He didn't follow their advice and continue to wonder around the school with it, not obeying other instructions, which could be seen as suspicious.

You don't arrest people because you're suspicious. This culture of fear is a terrible thing and it really needs to stop.

You see a kid with something that might be potentially dangerous, you approach him and ask him, "what's that?" He shows it you, tells you it's a clock. You look at it, you let him explain it to you. At that point, you said, "cool" and leave him alone because it's clearly not dangerous. There's no reason he should put it away, there's no reason he shouldn't have it on him. The next person who sees it and is concerned should simply follow the same procedure and ask.

Doing anything beyond that is completely unjustified. If he tried to pass it off as a bomb, that'd be another thing, but everyone who asked was told it's a clock. He deserves a settlement for the shit he was forced to go through. I don't know about the amount, but that's all up to the lawyers.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 1) 108

Like seizing Tormail and using it to install malware in Tor users browsers? I agree, the FBI should be putting some of their own in federal prison for these crimes the same as anyone else would be. If anything police should be punished more severely for breaking the law than anyone else.

I'm not familiar with that case, but if they did so without a warrant, then yes, absolutely. I agree entirely with your sentiment, I do think law enforcement should be held even more strictly to the laws than everyone else.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 1) 108

What are your thoughts on warrantless use of stingray?

That's a very good analogy, and I had to go read about how it works in order to answer your question.

I think I'm ok with the use of stingray to intercept communications as it happens today, but think it should be treated as a security flaw and the method shouldn't work in the future. It works by forcing nearby cell phones to connect to it, but in order for the call to be completed it must also connect to a legitimate cell phone tower in a man-in-the-middle attack.

Ideally, the cell phone companies should fix the protocol with stronger authentication between phone and towers, to prevent such attacks. Then, in order to operate a stingray in this mode, a warrant would be required that would compel the mobile company to provide the police with a valid key for use by the stingray device for a particular tower, for a given period of time.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 4, Insightful) 108

'Consultants' perform wide-scale, warrantless, attack against large number of individuals not even suspected of wrongdoing on behalf of FBI under the guise of 'research'(probably not IRB approved); FBI thanks them for their assistance and introduces the fruits of an operation that would have been dubiously legal in scope even with a warrant; much less without one.

I'm the first to complaint about warrantless search of Americans, but I don't think this qualifies. If you're going to install software on computers you don't own in order to capture information, you need a warrant. If you're going to ask a private company to hand over data on their users, you need a warrant. If you're going to capture information that passes through your own hardware, even if it's encrypted, that's fair game. If you find a way to break the anonymizing network by creating your own fake relays to do it, as far as my judgement goes, the data was yours to play with, because it passed through your relays, and the research was legitimate, because you did find a flaw on the network.

The only thing I see wrong with this entire operation is that we have laws against what people can or can't take. It's their life, their bodies, their decision, and the FBI is wasting resources going after people who pose no danger to society (at least as far as Silk Road 2.0. The first Silk Road had the guy in charge trying to hire a hit man. Definitely not just a drugs thing. The investigation was legit, the research was legit, and it gives the Tor Project something to think about as far as improving their network.

Comment Re:Ancient Aliens? (Score 2) 339

When there is no scientific evidence to back up one's wacky and complex idea, we should consider simpler and more plausible explanations (occam's razor)

That's not actually what Occam's Razor says. What Occam's Razor says is that we should consider all explanations that haven't been proven false by evidence. When two explanations give the exact same predictions, and therefore can't be differentiated through observation of evidence, then you assume the simpler one. Not because it has a higher probability of being right, because given nothing to differentiate between the two theories, you can't make that claim. Simply because even if the more complex explanation is right, the simpler explanation is clearly an excellent model for it.

In this case, there's a perfectly natural explanation that seems to fit the case. By all means, let's not assume that it's aliens and make decisions based on that conclusion. The dominant theory at the moment should be debris by a large planetary collision. That said, we have nothing to falsify the partial Dyson Sphere theory, and it does give some different predictions than the natural explanations. So it absolutely means we should dedicate some telescope time and see if we can gather more evidence for or against all possible explanations. That's how science works.

Comment Re:Theora is two generations back (Score 1) 145

Theora, based on VP3, is roughly H.263-class technology comparable to Sorenson Spark (FLV) and MPEG-4 ASP (DivX and Xvid). H.264 and VP8 are a generation ahead of it in rate/distortion performance at Internet bitrates

That's mostly true, although Theora has been improved to the point where it is closer to H.264.

That said, Xiph has also been working on Daala, which is intended to compete with H.265.

Comment Re:Key points about AI (Score 1) 236

1) Real AI will NOT be directly controlled by it's original programs. That is not AI, that is a well simulated AI.

Why should artificial intelligence be any different from natural intelligence? We can't act outside our programming, why would AI?

Intelligence tells you how to get what you wants. How you're wired tells you what you wants. Who you're attracted to, what foods you like and dislike, what activities you find enjoyable...your conscious self has zero control over those things. All you can do and decide how to go about getting in the things you're programmed to go after and avoid the things that you're programmed to dislike.

Oh, sure. Intelligence can help you draw complex conclusions. You want to eat a ton of crap, but you don't want the consequences of being obese. Intelligence lets you make the connection between overeating, obesity, and the consequences of it that you've been programmed to avoid. But you can't choose these things, you can't choose your end goals, and neither will AI.

Comment Re:No, she didn't (Score 1) 851

She got way more than she paid in.

Why does that matter? If she was allowed to opt out of the system, then asked for it in her later years when she realized she needed it, then you'd have a point. But she participated in the system the same as anyone who agreed with it. To not partake in the benefits after you've paid into it makes zero sense.

Everybody except the rich does.

First, that's not necessarily true. My father died this year at 65 years old. Do you think he got more than he paid in?

Second, why is it justifiable to take from the rich? It is their property, so if they're not benefiting from it, how do you justify taking it from them?

I actually am in favor of social security, but let's be honest and use valid arguments, shall we? First, a society that allows people who can't take care of themselves to suffer is a very cruel society, and not one I'd want to be a part of. Second, the rich do benefit from social programs, because a large number of homeless individuals in the society they live in isn't conducive to business and it will hurt their bottom line. Example: I have no children, but I bought a house near a place with good schools. My property taxes pay for that school, and although I don't benefit from the school directly, my property value appreciates at a greater rate as a result of it, giving me an indirect monetary benefit.

Comment Re:Defective (Score 1) 392

The driver should never use a feature of a car that can make it move in a way that it can hit a human.

Except for features of a car that are designed to function without a human. The entire point of moving to self-driving / self-parking cars is so you don't have to do it.

Now, we're not at that point yet, and I agree that in this instance it's the driver's responsibility. However, it's not defensible or ethical for Volvo to sell the pedestrian-detection feature separately from the self-parking feature anymore than it would be for them to sell seat-belts as an option. They know idiot drivers exist, they know the feature could save lives. If you don't offer a self-parking system with that capability, that's fine. However, if you have done the R&D to develop it, you better include it as a selling point of your improved self-parking system over other manufacturers, not as a separate feature. Doing otherwise is simply not ethical.

Comment Re:Funny, that spin... (Score 1) 421

Question: What role do people who think that AI research is dangerous hold in the field of AI research?

Answer: None...because regardless of their qualifications, they wouldn't further the progress of something they think is a very, very bad idea.

Asking AI experts whether or not they think AI research is a bad idea subjects your responses to a massive selection bias.

Yes. Nobody who worked in the Manhattan Project had any reservations whatsoever about building the atomic bomb, right?

Experts work in fields they're not 100% comfortable with all the time. The actual physicists that worked on the bomb understood exactly what the dangers were. The people looking at it from the outside are the ones coming up with the bogus dangers. You hear things like, "the scientists in the Manhattan project were so irresponsible they thought the first bomb test could ignite the atmosphere, but went ahead with it anyway." No, the scientists working on it thought of that possibility, performed calculations the definitely proved it wasn't anywhere near a possibility and then moved on with it. People outside the field are the ones that go, "The LHC could create a black hole that will destroy us all!" The scientists working on know the Earth is struck with more powerful cosmic rays than the LHC can produce regularly, so there's no danger.

It's just that they don't work in the field of AI, so therefore they must not have any inkling whatsoever as to what they're talking about.

Which is a 100% true statement. They're very smart people, but they don't know what they're talking about in regards to AI research, and are coming up with bogus threats that most AI experts agree aren't actually a possibility.

Comment Re:What does it say about you? (Score 1) 461

You'd have a point, if AOL was irrelevant.

The aol.com address most certainly is irrelevant to everything else you said. You haven't needed to have AOL as your ISP in order to have an aol.com e-mail address for over a decade. You're the guy that points to every German he meets screaming, "Nazi! Nazi!" World War II is over, and so are the days that you used to spend an usenet dreading that aol.com post that signaled a member of the masses just got access to the net. The masses are now the majority of the net, and they use gmail too.

What do you think of people who use Facebook as their primary online contact?

I don't really give a shit. I don't personally use Facebook, but I'm the weird one, not them. I recognize that I make people's lives more difficult when they ask me to get in touch with them via Facebook, because it really is the default these days, and I apologize while asking for a secondary contact option.

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