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Comment Re:Brought about by the internet? (Score 3, Interesting) 473

I'm pretty sure Germany's had laws about denial of the holocaust since well before modern internet culture was around.

Sure, but that didn't cause much conflict with other cultures. German laws only applied to Germany. But with the Internet, it is common to find forums that mingle people from different cultures, and different legal jurisdictions. One of the big differences between cultures, is how they deal with the tradeoff between "freedom" and "order". Americans and Germans see that tradeoff from very different historical perspectives, and make very different tradeoffs. As an American, I believe that people should be able to express even the most odious opinions, and suppression of those opinions causes more problems than it solves. The Germans see it differently.

... then they came for the Nazis, and I did not speak out because I was not a Nazi.

Comment Re:Because this will be unlike Biosphere 2 how? (Score 3, Insightful) 59

They should have done it under water

No, that is a terrible idea, because it would make it even more obvious that they aren't doing anything new, and are just repeating what crews on nuclear submarines do on a routine basis.

Comment Re:Time investment (Score 5, Interesting) 179

Curious: what prompted Max Rossett to spend hours solving programming puzzles before being even given the opportunity to submit contact information for a job consideration?

Maybe he thinks solving programming puzzles is fun. Some people actually enjoy exercising their brains.

Comment Re:The problem with neural networks (Score 1) 44

... since the software needs to be verifiable ...

The software does NOT have to be "verifiable". It just has to be thoroughly tested, and in practice, shown to be better than humans. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be an improvement.

Only trivial programs can be mathematically verified. Even for mission critical programs that make life and death decisions, very few can be proven correct. And even then, are you sure you trust the proof?

There are techniques for making ANNs more reliable. One technique is "boosting": Independently train two neural networks to solve the same problem, then train a third network on the sample cases where the first two disagree. Then use 2-out-of-3 voting. This can reduce the error rate by a factor of 10.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 311

But it's ALSO true that government subsidies can accelerate the development of practical cost-effective technologies

It's ALSO true that government subsidies can slow development by pushing inferior technologies into mass production before they are ready. Subsidies can occasionally be justified, but in the case of solar, the billions spent on subsidies would have been far better employed on R&D to find technology that made economic sense, rather than mass deployment of technology that did not.

Comment Re:Wise move? (Score 3, Informative) 59

Is this a good way for Tesla to spend its investor's money, or are there better places to spend it when you have cash flow challenges?

They aren't spending much. My wife has a Tesla, and it came with a charger, which we installed in our garage. There is absolutely no way that thing costs $750, as the summary claims. It probably cost Tesla less than $20. It cost us about $200 to have an electrician run the 220v line, but Tesla doesn't pay for that.

Note: I am assuming these are "normal" chargers, and not superchargers, since there is no logical reason to put in a supercharger if you are going to be staying overnight anyway.

Comment Re: Just call a taxi... (Score 1) 249

... which makes the problem of lack of maintenance even worse. Eventually people start dieing and the people demand regulations.

Nearly all crashes are caused by human error. Very few accidents, and even fewer fatal accidents, are caused by "lack of maintenance". If you skip changing your oil, your motor will wear out sooner, but that doesn't make you crash. Also, you don't save money by skipping maintenance.

Comment Re: New time reference (Score 1) 138

I have flashbacks to the 80s. Someone standing in a computer room, saying

"Oh c'mon, nobody's going to use those programs in COBOL still when 2000 rolls around, and certainly not for anything critical!"

... and they were basically right. Some companies invested a lot in preparation for Y2K. Far more companies did absolutely nothing. Neither had any significant problems.

Y2k was predicated on the assumption that programmers had stored years in two bytes instead of four. But that was nonsense. I have never encountered a program that did that. What early programs did instead, was store the year in one byte, and then add it to 1900. So the overflow will happen in 2156 not 2000.

Comment Re: New time reference (Score 1) 138

Far less than that. Actually, the next big computer problem is to happen at January 19th 2038.

Only for very small values of "big". Nearly all computers are already using at least 64 bits for time. The number of computers still using 32 bits in another 23 years will be very small, and it is unlikely they will be doing anything critical.

Comment Re:No Way In Hell. (Score 4, Informative) 198

Could you explain why? Since the ISP supplied the modem and your packets all travel through their tubes anyways, what additional vulnerabilities do you have by using their router?

All packets don't travel through their tubes. If I access a shared disk, or a wifi camera, the packets go through the router, but not the modem. If the two devices are combined, the ISP has potential access to everything.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 3, Insightful) 184

Literary porn is still porn.

Sure, but it is also literature, while photographic porn is anatomy. If a girl can improve her reading comprehension and strengthen her vocabulary by reading trashy novels, that that is a good thing.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal