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Comment: Re:DARPA SJW (Score 1) 80

by Waffle Iron (#49375177) Attached to: Robots4Us: DARPA's Response To Mounting Robophobia

If it's acceptable for machines to be playground equailizers than all schoolchildren should be issued sidearms and be given training on how to employ deadly force to stop bullying.

Projectiles from your puny weapons will simply bounce off my armored playground robot.

Now, hand over your weapon and your lunch box to the machine.

Comment: Um, Yeah... (Score 3, Interesting) 269

by Greyfox (#49372755) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead
Crashing through a gate where there's a guy armed with a machine gun is a really good way to get shot, a lot. It annoys the guy with the machine gun, and he has a tendency to shoot things that annoy him. And he's not using the cheap Wal*Mart bullets, either. The last thing to go through your head, I mean, before bullets, would probably be "Wow, those are really some high quality bullets that guy is shooting me with!" I seem to recall that this sort of thing was fairly common back in the 70's and 80's with the hippies trying to disrupt the SAC air force bases. We seem to be having a spike in the crazy/stupid lately, where people seem to think that if you go crashing through a gate with a guy with a machine gun, they'll be nice to you or something. Nope. Not the case at all.

Comment: A social scientist translating for them (Score 2, Informative) 386

by aussersterne (#49366895) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

What they're trying to say, using the usual feminist sociology over-loquatiousness is:

For some on the planet, keeping it under 2 degrees will preserve a relatively familiar or at least acceptable quality of life.

For others on the planet, quality of life can only be preserved by keeping it under, say 1.5 degrees, or even one degree.

The first group (that can live with a higher threshold) are those in the upper portions of the global economic scale, and it's an acceptable rise for them because they can also afford technologies and tools (getting crude, say, air conditioners, new home materials, new kinds of agricultural output, etc.) that make a 2 degree rise tolerable.

The second group (that can't live at the 2 degree threshold, and really need a lower one) are going to tend to be in the lower portions of the global economic scale, who won't have access to the technologies and tools that make a 2 degree rise livable for those at the top of the scale.

Policymakers and scientists tend, by virtue of their privileged position, to be in the first group, and have thus set the 2 degree rise in connection with thinking of their own, best-case lifestyles, rather than—say—a member of one of the globe's largely impoverished equatorial populations without access to much in the way of resources, tools, or technologies already.

It's a good point: the effects are not uniform, and if 2 degrees is the upper bound for the people who are the globe's *most* comfortable, then it's probably a bad upper bound in general, because it will "cook" (even more than already occurs) those that are the *least* comfortable.

It was, however, bad language and clarity—which is a sin that social science commits far too often.

Their point is well taken:

Comment: Re:Still photos (Score 1) 435

by Waffle Iron (#49365231) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

A compromise could be the use of still photographs..

Why compromise?

All the city bus drivers in my area are on video surveillance. We routinely get to see footage of accidents and altercations with crazed passengers on the local news.

If it's good enough for a bus, it should be good enough for someone responsible for the safety of a 500mph $200M machine.

Comment: We didn't need this space station, either! (Score 1) 147

by Dr. Spork (#49363017) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station
The ISS was a huge waste of NASA money, costing as much as all of NASA's "space exploration activities" combined (source:). This prevented, killed and neutered many missions that would have produced genuine science. It was simply a mistake. So hooray, let's make a bigger one!

Comment: Re:Need the ISS (Score 1) 147

by Dr. Spork (#49362979) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station
Do you really think there are going to be humans in LEO turning bolts with hand-held wrenches, and that's how the Mars ship will be built? Did you not notice that even in the safety of Earth's factories, humans aren't really doing that kind of stuff anymore? By the time we get around to building a Mars ship, I doubt our automated manufacturing machines will be worse than now, and unlike humans, these machines can actually be designed to perform optimally in space.

Comment: Re:Not really needed (Score 1) 40

by Waffle Iron (#49349923) Attached to: MIT Debuts Integer Overflow Debugger

If his garbage causes you take take a different flow of execution, however, that provides him a way to reach bugs in the little-used parts of your code.

The different flow of execution triggered by an overflow trap should almost always be a simple call to "abort()". At this point, your program has already failed and should be stopped.

I disagree with your premise. Garbage input values should be checked and rejected in software before the overflow ever occurs. The hardware overflow check should be a last resort to enforce this at every instruction step, and in the worst case it converts privilege exploits into less serious DOS attacks.

Allowing "garbage output" as you propose just creates more opportunities for attacks when that output gets consumed somewhere.

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