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Comment: Re:something tells me... (Score 1) 173

by Panoptes (#47735275) Attached to: Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

I presume that the simulation programmers are US-based and will create scenarios of American traffic conditions. For real-world testing, just put a few of these vehicles in a downtown Jakarta rush-hour and see how many survive. Here we've got every motoring madness know to man - and then some. I'll be first in the queue to buy any driverless car that can get from north to south Jakarta unscathed.

Comment: Re:The slippery slope (Score 1) 391

by Panoptes (#47727327) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

The British police have long since crossed the Rubicon of public trust and support. It is tragic to see a once respected and admired group of public servants become a venal, corrupt and despised bunch of bully-boys, despotic and arrogant beyond belief. In my more cynical moments I reflect that post-Thatcher Britain has at last got the guardians it deserves.

Comment: Re:Self Serving Story? (Score 1) 267

by Panoptes (#47692803) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

"It's not really that alt coins destroy bitcoin's credibility, it's that bitcoin itself has no credibility in the first place"

So 'real' currencies have intrinsic value and credibility? In the modern topsy-turvy world of economics, all debt is magically transmuted into credit, and duff debt is magically turned into 'sub primes'. It's all a financial sausage factory.

Comment: Re:Expert:Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People A (Score 1) 390

by Panoptes (#47604833) Attached to: "Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

"And while many of its people and countries are not well off at all, there are some nations that are doing quite well financially, and should be able to create the infrastructure (including organizations and facilities) necessary for such research."

Have you ever lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa? If you had, I don't think you'd be asking this question.

Comment: Re:Ads are good for the internet. (Score 1) 418

by Panoptes (#47491993) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

"People seem to forget, the internet RUNS on advertising money."

Only people who have been successfully brainwashed believe this Big Lie. In olden times businesses had budgets for marketing and promotion which included advertising. Selling yourself and your services was an overhead cost.

Along comes the Internet. Personal interest, hobbyist and fan sites then come along, and tech sites that share their knowledge and expertise altruistically, for the common good. Then we hear the magic word 'monetize', and all hell is let loose.

Next is born that spawn of the devil, the notion that businesses have a God-given right to force us to watch advertisements, and fight tooth and nail to stop ad-skipping, ad-blocking, and the like. So don't feed me any crap that 'the Internet runs on advertising money'.

Comment: Re:I wanted to like it.... (Score 1) 75

by Panoptes (#47386207) Attached to: Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

" I get the impression they just have a list of possible ways of phrasing the translation of a phrase." Yes, that's one way of doing it - but long-winded and slow to develop.

I write tests and quizzes using Moodle. Regular expressions are an economical and elegant way to parse short answers and award part-marks until an acceptable threshold of correctness is reached. And very simple to edit when exceptions need to be added.

Comment: Re:I wanted to like it.... (Score 1) 75

by Panoptes (#47381811) Attached to: Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)
I just signed up and had a crack at the French lessons. My reaction? It's interesting, but limited. On the positive side there's some very nifty use of regular expressions in parsing the input answers - but on the negative, quite a few of the recordings are fuzzy and unclear. One example: the word 'diner' was completely unrecognizable. Its main limitation is that it's not communicative; everything is chunked into simple expressions without context. It's mechanical learning. I could see a use for it in my own teaching as a remedial/diagnostic tool, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary means of learning French.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham