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Comment One data center to rule them all (Score 1) 146

I don't want a smart car. I want ONE smart device that rules my car, my house, my friends... I do not want to learn and master five ecosystems. My life is already complicated enough.

Also, IBM found a false dichotomy in its "developing vs mature country" division. Actually it should be "drives a car vs doesn't drive a car". Anyone who already drives doesn't want a perpetual argument between car and phone and smart street signage and home server.

This is the problem with Apple Play now. My car offers maps. So does my phone. My car offers live data feeds and situational apps. So does my phone. Do I really want a greater barrage of constantly updating competing data sources from more apps, not just from my phone, but now also from my car? And from friends & family?

Nobody who drives a car every day in real world traffic would want this. Only someone who lives in a poor country and *doesn't* drive could think this is a good idea. IBM: don't drink Watson's Kool Aid.

Comment Philly news reported he'd heen hearing voices (Score 1) 343

"The man, 30-year-old Edward Archer, also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group when he was questioned after his arrest in the shooting late Thursday, police said. Archer's mother, Valerie Holliday, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he had been hearing voices recently and had felt targeted by police and the family asked him to get help."

Way to NOT pay attention Mr Rubio.

It's worth noting that you said nothing when another kook dyed his hair orange and murdered two dozen kids near Denver. The only difference was, James Holmes claimed to be the Joker, not a member of ISIS.

Shouldn't we arrest Bob Kane too?

Comment Bandwagon (Score 4, Insightful) 311

Most people refuse to think for themselves, and instead adopt someone else's opinion as their own because they want to belong to that gang more than understand the question or devise a useful answer.

But correlation == causation is rampant too. To escape this, you must experimentally validate your cause (or identify another who did), which few do.

Comment Re: Deep Learning (Score 1) 123

Very nice pointers. I also recommend the other two intro ML courses at Ga Tech on supervised and unsupervised learning (that precede the reinforcement learning course you recommended). IMHO these three are perhaps the most comprehensive and in-depth video intro to ML available.

Another great resource is the intro to ML video series (course) from Tom Mitchell at Carnegie Mellon. His textbook remains my favorite intro to ML for those who aren't math whizzes.

Comment As a geneticist, Church knows zero about ageing (Score 2) 385

Geneticists like Church know a lot about gene blueprints, less about their expression, a lot less about development, and they know absolutely nothing about ageing or disease. Their work doesn't touch on 95% of disease in any way, including ageing (a phenomenon that is unrelated to genetics).

Church should be ashamed for spouting such clueless hyperbolic fantasy. My respect for him just dropped through the floor. He's just another snake oiler.

Comment Judicial appeal is too slow (Score 3, Interesting) 318

Traditionally, gov't misconduct are redressed through lawsuits and repeated judicial decisions and appeals, until a high court ends the cycle. In the slow motion days of horses and buggies this process used to work reasonably well. But today, with the high speed prosecutorial activism of modern US presidents (from both parties), and the rapid rise of new police technology, this sort of crap has spun out of control. The appeals process simply takes much too long (years or decade). By that time a whole new round of activism and spy tech has arrived and been abused, and The Rule of Law falls even further behind.

Obviously adding more kangaroo courts like FISA to deter presidential/police abuses before they arise doesn't work. So what will?

Comment Could be worse (Score 1) 363

Larson: $279

Poole: $274

Williams: $206

By contrast:

Strang: $66
(Intro to Linear Algebra, 4e, 2009)

But also:

Strang: $322
(Linear Algebra and its Applications, 4e, 2005)

Of course what makes this racket even worse, there's been nothing new in the field of Linear Algebra for over 100 years. A textbook written in 1915 would be just as usable as one written today.

Comment Time to cut the USAF budget by $60B (Score 1) 237

The mission of this aircraft is idiotic. If we use this thing to bomb Russia or China we get nuclear war. Period. As such, the mission of any long range stealth bomber's can be achieved equally well by our simply nuking ourselves. Since we already can do that now, let's cut the USAF budget by $60B and declare "Mission Accomplished".

Comment Does he wear a watch? (Score 1) 161

I also think he's unlikely to adopt a new device, but if he already wears a watch and you can switch it for one of the new smart watches, that might work.

The watch would have to do three things:

1) Generate an audible reminder when it needs to be recharged. You could write an app that measures battery charge and when low, the watch shouts in a loud female voice (travels farther than a male voice) that the watch needs to be plugged in for recharge.

2) Navigate to and from the dining room. This will NOT work with GPS, which requires a clear line of sight to the satellite. But you might be able to combine a timer that knows the interval between each turn with the inertial sensor in the watch to tick off the seconds betqween turns as long as he is moving. If he stops, the timer should stop. That might work pretty well in reporting when to turn. The watch could show an arrow to point out the desired direction and a voice that speaks "turn here" and then say aloud the direction and maybe even say how much distance / steps (or time) to the next turn.

This nav mode should be easy to turn off, perhaps verbally or with big control buttons on the display (on / pause / end).

3) Be a watch. It should look like whatever timepiece is preferred and legible, digital or analog, in whatever color combo works best.

Finally I would emphasize, despite your best efforts, this person almost certainly will not use the device. Few at that age like electronic gadgets, even when their brains are fully operational. If you do this, it will largely be for your own peace of mind, to help you feel like you did your best to help.

In the last couple of months of my 80 year old mother's life, I built a nice little web portal for her laptop that would help her navigate her favorite radio station, TV channel, web sites, and a TV guide. But she never used it. Good luck.

Comment Re:The girl next door. (Score 4, Informative) 200

Agreed. Playboy also brought glamor photograpy to a fine art form. Pompeo Posar, Richard Fegley, Suze Randall, Kem Marcus and others rewrote the book on representing the ideal female figure. Their artistry refined our awareness of fashion's evolution through the years (and their readers' journey to adulthood). In their case, they captured not merely styles of attire but the female form itself, in presentation, fitness, demeanor, and more.

Yes, much of the magazine's appeal was superficial, but for perhaps 40 years its writing ably reflected and refocused the deep changes that befell America's postwar mores and priorities, especially among adult males, and it seldom failed to entertain and illuminate in doing so. No magazine since has earned a comparable iconic status for either gender of reader. Credit Mr Hefner for that. No small feat.

The fact that Playboy's heyday also accompanied the women's revolution of the 1970s made its role as social observer all the more central to the discussion. Fortunately the magazine also attracted many of the best writers of the day, making its contribution to the discourse more than merely a feast for men's eyes.

Farewell dear female fantasy. Your simpler times may be lost but they're not forgotten.

Comment Roddenberry was a child of the Great Depression (Score 1) 563

Born in 1921, Roddenberry's lower middle class childhood must have made him deeply aware of the importance of money and jobs and the hardships that arose from their absence. In inventing a new world order for StarTrek, no doubt he wanted to turn our attention away from such age old Earth-based strife to instead focus upward and outward... to be starry eyed.

Likewise, the timing of the StarTrek series made it a child of the 1960's. It aired only 3 years after the death of Kennedy's Camelot. And it co-ocurred with major reforms like Johnson's Great Society (and Vietnam) and King's civil marches. And only 20 years had passed since the global destabilization that was WWII (and the counter culture engendered by Kerouac and Ginsburg). Hopeful change was in the air.

Repeatedly, StarTrek's episodes dealt with many of the 'social rethink' topics that dominated the 60's (racism, the Vietnam War, democracy and constitutionalism, Nazism and its postwar, totalarianism, rule of law, NASA's race to the Moon, etc). Short term thinking and corporatism had yet to overwhelm America's world view. Thus in 'looking beyond' to seek 'a better world' sought by so many in that post WWII generation, money and the status quo were very much something to rise above.

Thus it was natural for the man and his fantasy world to put worldly travails like money and the trials of a job far behind them. But as to the viability of StarTrek's post-scarcity economic model... that's a fantasy of another color entirely.

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