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+ - The first self-driving semi is tested in Nevada->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior writes: Freightliner has been given a license to test out its autonomously driving tractor-trailer truck in the state of Nevada. The big-rig manufacturer already has such a truck in operation and will now begin test driving it on public highways. The trucks can only drive on their own in highway situations — a driver will take control in suburban and city situations.

(Note from OkianWarrior: There are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in the US.)

Link to Original Source

Comment: Help me out here! (Score 0) 248

by Okian Warrior (#49622875) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

There is enough similarity between programming languages that there really is no point in learning any more than what you need. If you find yourself in a position where you need to learn a new one, as long as you have a pretty broad background it usually only will take a couple of days to get going and a couple of weeks to get really good.

But but... I was just scolded a couple of days ago about the differences between languages!

I was told that different languages will force me into different modes of thought!!!

I'm so confudded, I don't know *what* to think any more.

Comment: Re:Stop calling it AI. (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by Okian Warrior (#49612907) Attached to: AI Experts In High Demand

It's a series of complex rules with some pattern recognition

That is also a pretty good description of what a brain does.

That's a pretty-good description of what an *adult* brain does, but it's not a good description of intelligence - artificial or otherwise. Your adult brain learned the rules from its environment with no assumptions about what those rules were.

Try writing an algorithm that can learn to play either chess or checkers, depending on what game it sees.

Make that same algorithm be able to play asteroids, or drive a car, or OCR.

Make that same algorithm be able to recognize a tune ("row row row your boat") even if it's played in a different key, at a different speed, with variations in tempo, and even variations in key.

Any time you know beforehand what the rules are you are not simulating intelligence - you are simulating the *results* of intelligence. You are just writing down whatever it is that the intelligence in your head has decided.

The intelligence never makes it into the program - it stays in your head.

Comment: Elites and plebes (Score 2) 234

This isn't an errant bill or anything. The person called long distance that much in two months.

And AT&T waived it after it was pointed out. So why freak out about this?

Finally, I'm really ashamed of slashdot approving an article which refers to an AT&T spokesperson as a "spokeshole" for no reason. Georgia Taylor didn't do anything to deserve that.

Show some maturity, slashdot.

Well, let's see here.

Firstly, there's no immediate feedback on phone charges. A running faucet or light left on will get noticed and turned off - people *want* to be sensible about their expenses.

Imagine a running faucet going unnoticed for 4 weeks. Phone services are like that.

Secondly, when the user does nothing different and suddenly gets these charges, can you really blame the user?

Imagine you work adjacent to the waterfront district, the Queen Mary happens to be docked there, and your phone calls are picked up by their tower and considered an international call - you've just racked up several hundred dollars for no apparent reason. Is it the user's fault?

Thirdly, there's no safeguards or limit switches in the system. You can't say to the phone company "I want service capped at $100 per month, alert me if it goes over".

You put the phone back in the cradle and the plunger switch doesn't disengage properly, the phone is still "off hook", and you go away for the weekend. When you get back, you've had a line open for 76 hours and will be billed accordingly (depending on your service plan).

And finally, and the one that gives people a burn about these issues, there's the issue of elites and the plebes.

You see, he *only* was able to get things straightened out because an elite was kind enough to help him. When he tried to straighten it out the phone company blew him off, but when an elite got involved it was sorted out immediately.

This sort of customer service - where the customer doesn't have to fight tooth-and-nail for everyday consideration from a big company, isn't available to you and me.

It's a perk of the elites.

Comment: Re:Haskell? (Score 0) 135

by Okian Warrior (#49588525) Attached to: Paul Hudak, Co-creator of Haskell, Has Died

The others bring almost nothing new to the party. Lisp, Erlang and Haskell all brought something new. Python, PHP and Rust didn't. Being functionally proficient in Lisp, Erlang and Haskell gives you skills that vastly improves your Java/C++/Whatever. Being proficient in Python and PHP gives you no new skills other than Python or PHP and perhaps some hipster cred.

I've got a 'kind of bingo card that I use to keep track of languages. I place checkmarks for each language depending on how it's different from all the other languages.

Help me out. Does Haskell require or not require a block after an "if" statement? Is the block introduced by brace, bracket, "then" or something else?

Or... does it use some completely lateral way to specify an "if" statement?

I may have to update my bingo card to accommodate.

Comment: Re:Capital always competes with labour (Score 2) 49

by Okian Warrior (#49582365) Attached to: Fetch Robotics Unveils Warehouse Robots

After the crash? You make sure you have lots of guns and your food is locked down. Then lock n load because all starving impoverished libtard SJWs will be desperate and ready to kill anyone to stay alive. Well their fantasy will have dissolved right before them and it will be society's duty to "clean up the parasites"

Apropos of nothing, I note that we are in a deflationary cycle right now, for the first quarter of 2015.

Surprisingly, this little tidbit made hardly a ripple in the mainstream news outlets.

So... is this the recession that causes the crash, or will that be after the next recession?

Comment: Re:Chrome will remember a "scrambled" version (Score 4, Funny) 71

It's sad how far Slashdot has fallen.

It's sad how smugly superior the tech nerds are here.

It's sad that non-tech people waste their time visiting a site advertising itself as "news for nerds" and then complain when someone wants the site to cater to nerds.

It's sad how entire families can be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 2) 353

Sure, it would be best if everything were publicly funded and every bit of data published on the Internet, but it is arguably better if some 'imperfect' data is used rather than the very limited amount of data that is openly published.

You're assuming nothing else will change. If this bill goes through, there will be an enormous push to make the private data public, and probably most of it will.

So... you're assuming the worst possible situation based on this change and everything else staying the same.

One might also argue that this change will encourage other changes, and the end result would be better.

I'm in favor of having information publicly available (for all departments, not just the EPA) and the argument about policy being made on secret information is compelling.

Comment: Re:Quick question (Score 3, Insightful) 70

by Okian Warrior (#49573991) Attached to: The Next Generation of Medical Tools May Be Home-brewed

Well, we can complain about the FAA all we want, but I can't remember the last last time there was a serious airline wreck in the States.

I think that's a false association. You might just as well say "well, my anti-tiger rock seems to be working".

I've already noted that it's the aircraft manufacturers who ensure safety, at great expense and effort in addition to the certification process.

Considering the expense of certification and that it's largely needless, don't you think the expense and effort should be directed towards a more useful goal? At the least, don't you think the regs should be changed to encourage safety?

And from a completely economic perspective, since the cost of compliance is so high, are useful solutions which would make us safer being ignored because the price of entry is so high? (For the longest time there were no updated Cessna designs because they couldn't afford the certifications. The older designs went for *decades* without modern updated electronics.)

I complain about the FAA because their system is worthless. You support them because their pointless system hasn't caused an accident.

Your anti-tiger rock could be put to better use.

Comment: Quick question (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by Okian Warrior (#49573809) Attached to: The Next Generation of Medical Tools May Be Home-brewed

Aircraft instrument designer here, I've got a quick question for you.

Avionics certification require a lot of paperwork and documentation as well (DO-178B), but my impression is that it's mostly "paperwork for the sake of paperwork".

The FAA makes a big deal about things which have no impact on safety, make a big deal about things that have little impact on safety (coverage analysis), and leave the device testing completely in the hands of the manufacturer.

In short, if you have a process and paper trail, you can get certification. The aircraft manufacturer is the one that actually requires safe design practices, and this is lateral to the certification process.

Is it the same in the medical world? Are the requirements mostly about paper trails and accountability, or are there some actual safety regs there? What proportion is about safety?

For example, we hear all the time how medical devices have no security, that they can be easily hacked, pacemakers can be reset in the wild by a hacker, and so on. Is device security not part of the regs?

(I complained about the lack of common-sense safety regs in the FAA, and was told that it's bureaucratic safety, not human safety. The FAA people want deniability of blame, so they worry about procedure and regulation rather than actual safety.)

I wonder how much of the effort actually goes into making a safe device. The FAA system is still stuck with 1970's guidelines for software safety, for instance, and has never updated with modern theory. (I could give you a list...)

So... how much of the medical certification process actually keeps us safe?

Comment: Bozhe moi! (Score 1) 129

by Okian Warrior (#49565291) Attached to: Holographic Principle Could Apply To Our Universe

We present the analytical calculation of entanglement entropy for a class of two-dimensional field theories governed by the symmetries of the Galilean conformal algebra, thus providing a rare example of such an exact computation.

Bozhe moi!
This I know... from nothing.
What I'm going to do.
I think of great Lobachevsky and I get idea - haha!

(NB: Lobachevsky developed the mathematics of non-Euclidean geometry with negative curvature.)

+ - Tesla to announce home battery-based energy storage->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers.

The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home.

In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California.

The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Bayes prior (Score 5, Interesting) 409

It doesn't look like he was under the influence at the time, but the term "driving out of his lane" does kind of give reasonable cause for drug use, but maybe thats profiling.

The problem with this logic is that it fails the "prior probability" test.

Suppose a policeman searches and finds the suspect carrying a large amount of cash, say $4000. That's consistent with a (supposed) drug purchase, so the cash can be confiscated under asset forfeiture laws (assets used in the commission of a crime).

Suppose a policeman notes a youtube video of a chemistry experiment showing a balance scale, some beakers, and jars of chemicals. Those are consistent with "meth lab", so the policeman can search and confiscate all the equipment in the poster's house (this has happened).

The problem with each of these, and your position, is that there is significant prior probability that the behaviour in question is *not* indicative of criminal activity. You are reversing the conditional probabilities.

To put it in words, you are equating "probability of driving out-of-lane, given that he's on drugs" (quite high), with "probability that he's using drugs, given out-of-lane driving" (actually, quite low).

People temporarily drive out-of-lane a great deal to avoid animals and small obstacles, and people temporarily drive out-of-lane because they're distracted. The number of people out-of-lane because they're on drugs is vanishingly small.

Taken to extremes (and we know the police will do this), pretty-much *any* behaviour can be considered consistent with drug use.

In the case of the home lab above, it doesn't matter that the poster is missing key components, nor that he only has some of the ingredients. "Meth makers use glassware, he's got glassware, therefore he's a meth maker".

You see where this leads?

If a policeman observes a crime, take the appropriate action - that's fine. If he *observes* another crime while dealing with it, that's fine too.

But that's not a justification to rummage around in a person's rights just to see what can be pinned on the suspect.

If he doesn't observe a crime, he shouldn't go looking for one.

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