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Comment: Re:How fitting (Score 1) 332

I'm not really sure about that. It could be that men and women felt a different amount of dislike for the shock. It was my understanding that men and women have different pain thresholds (men's is higher, even though women like to use the whole childbirth thing against us, which... is fine by me).

Comment: Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 332

I think it would be interesting to see what % of people actually didn't mind it at all, and did it correlate with any other personality traits or, um, professions...

I also don't think it would bother me at all, but I know it would really bother my wife. I know she can't be "alone with her thoughts" or they quickly turn negative. I've never really understood that. I'm constantly wanting to turn off the radio if we're in the car together so I can think, and she insists that we keep it on. The thing is, she's not depressed or anything. It's some kind of normal response that I completely don't understand.

The other thing that comes to mind is that in prison the really bad punishment is solitary confinement. It always seemed to me that if I had to go to prison and be stuck in a building with hundreds of possibly violent convicts, then please sign me up for solitary! I think they do have writing instruments and books, etc. too. Weird.

Comment: Re:Detroit calls Google arrogant? (Score 1) 236

by RobinH (#47351141) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

For that matter, although we've talked about it enough for the last two or three years to make it seem less insane, there's a good argument that even attempting to solve a problem as hard as a fully automated car requires tremendous arrogance. Except that they actually seem to be succeeding, which I guess changes it from arrogance to confidence.

I don't think there's any evidence that Google has actually "succeeded" in coming up with a car that's marketable to the general population. It's easy to say you're succeeding when you've solved 90% of the problems, but if the 10% remaining include nearly insurmountable obstacles without some more technological breakthroughs, then I don't think we can call it success. It won't be success until regular people are "driving" them.

Comment: Re:What logic! (Score 2) 139

by RobinH (#47335803) Attached to: Norway Scraps Online Voting
Electronic voting (i.e. voting machines) has its own set of serious issues, but this is about Online voting (i.e. from a home/office computer) which adds way more problems than just electronic voting, not the least of which is vote-selling. How might an employer treat two employees differently if one of them could prove that he/she voted the way the boss liked? What about a spouse? Why not just sell it to the highest bidder?

Comment: Re:Concerns about online voting (Score 2) 139

by RobinH (#47335721) Attached to: Norway Scraps Online Voting
Just to be clear (even though you may be trolling), we're talking about online voting here, not electronic voting. I do believe that electronic voting (i.e. with voting machines in a private booth) might be able to work, but it still has to generate a paper ballot which you then insert into a cardboard box on the way out. The only difference to a paper and pencil ballot is that it should provide a way of tabulating them really fast, but there still has to be a way to do a manual recount (and there should be manual recounts at a random sampling of polling stations every time).

Comment: Concerns about online voting (Score 5, Insightful) 139

by RobinH (#47335255) Attached to: Norway Scraps Online Voting

I'm surprised there isn't more concern about the serious and fundamental problems with online voting.

That blog post makes two points, one about vote selling and one about security. I don't see how any online voting system could ever stop you from being able to sell your vote, and that was one of the major reasons for a secret ballot. That pretty much makes online-voting a non-starter right there.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 139

by RobinH (#47186527) Attached to: Parents Mobilize Against States' Student Data Mining
The idea of having an "open" society is that you know what I'm doing, I know what you're doing, and I know what the president or prime minister is doing and what Mark Zuckerberg is doing, etc. The way things are going is *not* towards this kind of open society. Just because Facebook knows a ton of stuff and sells it to the government doesn't mean we have an open society. Secret surveillance is not open.

Comment: Re:So that you don't have to RTFA (Score 1) 286

by RobinH (#47165111) Attached to: How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets
I don't know about in the UK, but over here in North America, whenever you encounter bad design, the knee-jerk reaction isn't to fix the design, it's to put the onus on *everybody* to change their behavior to adapt to it. This is reinforced by a general public that loves to point out when other people do things wrong because it makes everyone else feel good about themselves. "Of course you got a ticket! What kind of idiot parks in front of a fire hydrant?" Seriously, a guy cut the end of his thumb off here at work, and rather than looking into the root cause to see if we could reduce the risk of it happening again, everyone literally made fun of him to his face for being stupid. So it's a cultural thing.

Comment: Re:rediculous parents to blame (Score 1) 1198

by RobinH (#47111671) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds
It's hard to believe that some parenting activity like never letting your child experience a negative emotion is actually causing a increase in violent crime, especially since, from everything I've heard, overall violent crime is down significantly. Also, if there are lots and lots of kids getting this type of parenting, we certainly aren't seeing a cause-effect relationship here, because otherwise there would be millions of murderous little bastards running around, and we just don't see that. Seems much more likely that there are (and have always been) some people with mental illnesses, and some of them are liable to do nasty things that most of us would never do. Your argument is nothing more than the get-off-my-lawn variety (and I'm an old guy who likes to push my kids to experience failure once in a while).

Comment: Compared to? (Score 3, Insightful) 200

by RobinH (#47100111) Attached to: Wikipedia Medical Articles Found To Have High Error Rate
The only useful comparison would be against a print-edition encyclopedia. What percentage of medical articles in a typical encyclopedia contain errors? The other thing is, just because it contains "an error" doesn't mean it isn't useful. We get through most days with a fairly flawed view of reality (most of us anyway).

Comment: Re:3 laws deleted (Score 4, Insightful) 180

Stop with the "3 laws" nonsense. Asimov's "laws" were never intended as actual laws, they were a plot device, and they're certainly not something you "delete" because they were never there in the first place. We already have regulations about machine safety (I work with them every day). The laws govern the control of hazardous energy in a system, with various guarding and interlocks being required to protect humans from injury when they interact with the system, and design constraints determined by how likely certain safety critical component failure is, and redundancy, etc.

Nobody building a killer robot is going to be worrying about any laws, pretend or otherwise. They're worried about how many units they can sell.

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