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Comment: Re:Future? (Score 1) 451

by MorePower (#49292991) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future
I've already seen self-driving forklifts in some factory environments (they've existed for at least a decade). The process lines summon them when a large roll/bin/whatever is almost complete and they (slowly) drive over just as it finishes and take the product over to the warehouse. The vehicles automatically stop if you get within about 2 feet of them. When not summoned anywhere in particular they drive themselves over to a designated out-of-the-way spot and line up in a neat queue to wait for orders.

Comment: Re:Storage (Score 1) 197

by MorePower (#49168989) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK
Wait what? Gas (combustion) Turbines have way higher efficiency than steam turbines, mainly because they operate at much higher temperatures than steam turbines.
Gas turbines these days are getting close to 40% efficiency, and close to 60% if you put them in combined cycle (where you use the exhaust heat to boil water to run a steam turbine).

Comment: Re:Correlation is not Causation (Cliche) (Score 1) 305

by MorePower (#49031699) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits
Count me in that group too. I used to be all uptight about alcohol, but I got over it with age. Now that I'm theoretically ok with making oneself stupider, I've tried to take up drinking. But I find that all the alcoholic beverages I've tried to drink taste horrendously bad. I've so far been unable to drink enough alcohol to notice any effects on myself (it takes me about an hour and a half to choke down a bottle of beer). I don't know how you all manage to consume that stuff.

Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next? 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-actual-foxes-made-of-fire dept.
trawg writes: It's been more than 10 years since Mozilla released version 1.0 of Firefox, one of their first steps in their mission to 'preserve choice and innovation on the Internet'. Firefox was instrumental in shattering the web monoculture, but the last few years of development have left users uninspired. "Their goal was never to create the most popular browser in the world, or the one with the best UX, or the one with the most features, or the one with the best developer mode. ... It would be foolish to say a monoculture will never arise again (Google are making some scary moves with Chrome-only web applications). But at this point in time while Chrome is the ascendant browser (largely at the expense of Firefox), Mozilla’s ability to impact the web in general is greatly reduced." Perhaps it is time to move on to the next challenge — ensuring there is a strong Thunderbird to help preserve a free and open email ecosystem.

Comment: How does deflating even help? (Score 1) 239

by MorePower (#48954413) Attached to: NFL Asks Columbia University For Help With Deflate-Gate

What I really want to know about "deflate-gate" is how does it even work? What's the advantage of an under-inflated ball? It seems like it would be harder to throw an under-inflated ball accurately. It might help you grip a ball better, but how often do NFL players fumble (enough to really make a difference?)?

And how would the Patriots keep the other team from getting the same advantage? The deflated balls would end up being used by both sides right? Even if the Patriots were stealthily deflating them on the field wouldn't the other team get the same ball after the next turnover?

Or do they change balls after every turnover? If so, how would the Patriots rig it so only they got the deflated ones?

United States

Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three) 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the small-steps dept.
jfruh writes Last weekend, Tim Berners-Lee said that the UK needs more members of parliament who can code. Well, the most recent U.S. congressional election has obliged him on this side of the Atlantic: the number of coders in Congress has tripled, with the downside being that their numbers have gone from one to three.

Comment: Re:Automation and jobs (Score 1) 720

I don't see how you could possibly not believe that. The entire history of humanity, both individually and collectively, has been to drive ever closer to this ideal.

Individually, we all work toward the goal of retirement (hopefully early retirement). Collectively, the entire history of technology has always been to make it possible to achieve more with less effort.

Seriously, what other ultimate goal could we possibly have?

Comment: Re:Not a surprise, but is it just one ingredient? (Score 4, Interesting) 422

by MorePower (#48182443) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
I think the problem is that 2 different anti-HFCS campaigns reached the public conscience at about the same time.

One was the Passover Coke crowd, they were complaining that sucrose tastes better than HFCS in Coca-Cola. They were calling for sucrose to replace HFCS for taste (and nostalgia) reasons.

The second was the HFCS is causing obesity crowd, who were against HFCS because it was being added to everything, even stuff you wouldn't expect to be sugary. They were really calling for an end to adding sugar to everything, HFCS just happened to be the type of sugar that was being added. Their point was not that HFCS was somehow worse than sucrose, but rather that HFCS was AS BAD as sucrose (which you should only be eating as an occasional treat). They wanted the HFCS (and any other added sugars) removed from food and not replaced with anything.

These 2 movements collided in the public consciousness and led to people thinking "HFCS makes you fat, and it should be replaced by sucrose."

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 506

by MorePower (#47759507) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels
I'm not the original poster but - um what?

Do I lay down on an empty train/bus? No because its in public and people would stare.
Do I lay down in the office? No, because that's considered unprofessional.
Do I always lay down at home? Abso-fracking-lutely!
Do I lay back in my chair in front or the TV or while using my laptop? Well, I usually lay on the floor, not in a chair, but yes.
Laying down is the only position I find truly comfortable, and I generally do lay down either in bed or on the floor as much as possible except when eating (as that gets too messy).
Furniture is for guests.

China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Apologizes For Unauthorized Data Access 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
SpzToid writes Following up an earlier story here on Slashdot, now Xiaomi has apologized for collecting private data from its customers. From the article: "Xiaomi Inc said it had upgraded its operating system to ensure users knew it was collecting data from their address books after a report by a computer security firm said the Chinese budget smartphone maker was taking personal data without permission. The privately held company said it had fixed a loophole in its cloud messaging system that had triggered the unauthorized data transfer and that the operating system upgrade had been rolled out on Sunday. The issue was highlighted last week in a blog post by security firm F-Secure Oyg. In a lengthy blogpost on Google Plus, Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra apologized for the unauthorized data collection and said the company only collects phone numbers in users' address books to see if the users are online."
United States

When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You 120

Posted by timothy
from the we-may-or-may-not-have-done-that dept.
The Washington Post reports in a short article on the sometimes strange, sometimes strained relationship between spy agencies like the NSA and CIA and law enforcement (as well as judges and prosecutors) when it comes to evidence gathered using technology or techniques that the spy agencies would rather not disclose at all, never mind explain in detail. They may both be arms of the U.S. government, but the spy agencies and the law enforcers covet different outcomes. From the article: [S]sometimes it's not just the tool that is classified, but the existence itself of the capability — the idea that a certain type of communication can be wiretapped — that is secret. One former senior federal prosecutor said he knew of at least two instances where surveillance tools that the FBI criminal investigators wanted to use "got formally classified in a big hurry" to forestall the risk that the technique would be revealed in a criminal trial. "People on the national security side got incredibly wound up about it," said the former official, who like others interviewed on the issue spoke on condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity. "The bottom line is: Toys get taken away and put on a very, very high shelf. Only people in the intelligence community can use them." ... The DEA in particular was concerned that if it came up with a capability, the National Security Agency or CIA would rush to classify it, said a former Justice Department official.

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann