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Comment: Re:Economics (Score 3, Informative) 132

by Shakrai (#49340141) Attached to: First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

You can push for the design output, but only at the expense of maintenance, and there's a glowing lump in the Ukraine that demonstrates what happens then.

Chernobyl had nothing whatsoever to do with maintenance. It happened as the direct consequence of an ill conceived experiment, which deliberately bypassed safety protocols, with the added bonus that the experiment was moved at the last minute from the day-shift to the less experienced night-shift crew.

Comment: Re:Youtube? (Score 1) 197

by Teancum (#49339597) Attached to: Pixar Releases Free Version of RenderMan

It doesn't even need a watermark. Simply a tag in the data stream. Yes, I know a clueful user could strip this out, but most people don't know enough about data streams to properly remove such tags, especially if there is a checksum or some other feature that needs to be recalculated. Such tags are commonly passed on when used in most editors, so it isn't even a new feature.

This isn't time consuming at all. YouTube and other similar channels commonly scan for tags as well for other kinds of meta data, so adding a simple if clause that flags the video as lacking proper licensing is enough to kick it out. YouTube in particular does processing of all videos uploaded into its own proprietary data format for internal storage and does other kinds of processing like scanning for copyrighted content. This is literally trivial in comparison.

Comment: Re:that's sad (Score 2) 56

by Teancum (#49324899) Attached to: NASA's Abandoned Launch Facilities

The problem is that they are sitting in the middle of a wildlife refuge, and doing any demolition would actually cause far more damage to the local environment than simply leaving them in place. This is both in terms of simply hauling the demolition equipment in and trying to "rehabilitate" the land in some fashion after you have cleared away the mess.

Besides, there is always the possibility that some of those sites could still be reused, and concrete poured in the past for a launch pad is often very useful for subsequent launch site. For instance, the landing pad site at KSC that SpaceX is using to recover the Falcon 9 1st stage components is a former launch site that SpaceX got permission from both NASA and the USAF to clear away the metal on the site and set up the other things (like a radio beacon for the core to find) that needed to be put into the site as well.

Otherwise, the land is not really all that useful and can't be used for anything other than a place to study wildlife or launch rockets. Certainly no commercial businesses or homes can be built in the area unless it is directly in support of launch vehicles themselves. There is nothing else for it to do other than rot away, which has other very useful value in terms of trying to see what actually stands up to the environment of Florida over time and what doesn't.

Comment: Re:How quaint, a new Windows SDk (Score 0) 126

by Teancum (#49324813) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 10 SDK

Yup, the motto of Microsoft truly is:

We take yesterday's technology one step closer to today!

The problem is that betting against Microsoft has generally be a bad thing, especially in the operating system software realm. I've been trying hard to avoid using Windows, but it keeps coming back from the dead each time I try to kill it and switch to Linux due to various kinds of issues. This might be the final nail in the coffin for me though as I may just weld shut any attempt to use Windows in the future.

Comment: In Finland, teacher spots are hyper-competitive (Score 5, Informative) 213

by Dr. Spork (#49317935) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"
Check out these facts about Finnish teachers, and weep (if you're American) (source):

Becoming a teacher in Finland is as competitive as getting into an Ivy League school, and Finland offers no other route into the profession. So, there is no Teach for Finland. To teach in Finland requires a five-year master's degree in education. Admission to a teacher preparation program includes a national entrance exam and a personal interview. Only one of every 10 applicants is accepted into a teacher preparation program in Finland; competition to become a primary school teacher is even tougher, with 1,789 applicants for only 120 spots, for example, at the University of Helsinki in 2011-12. Only eight universities offer teacher preparation programs in Finland, which allows the country to ensure consistency from program to program. Contrast that with Minnesota which has about the same population as Finland (5.2 million) but about 30 colleges that offer teacher preparation programs.

I also remember reading that about 90% of Finnish teachers graduated in the top quintile of their class. In the US, that figure is more like 4%. American students of education typically get the worst SAT and GRE scores of all the majors. We cannot ignore these facts when we're comparing educational systems. In the US it's easier to get into med school than it is for a smart Finn to get into teacher school. The quality of the people who make it through means that pretty much every innovation they try is bound to produce satisfactory results, because highly their best and brightest are in charge.

Comment: Re:What's the point of the NSA knowing everything? (Score 1) 568

... I doubt that these are the needles they [the NSA] are seeking.

Yeah, but why not? This sort of thing obviously undercuts national security by tying up our cops, making them complicit in some asshole's prank, and causing potentially deadly danger. And compared to the effort and expense of mobilizing and deploying a freaking SWAT team, it is a comparative trifle for the NSA to answer a call from the cops asking for the malicious report to be traced to its source.

Comment: Scarier than humans being beaten at chess (Score 1) 90

by Dr. Spork (#49293731) Attached to: Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is the Best

Facial recognition and object recognition was always thought of in the AI community as a "pattern interpretation" skill, and we suspected that human brains have special magic gears for "effortlessly" succeeding at these sorts of tasks, while AI coders struggled to emulate our success.

Now we're seriously talking about computers already being better at these tasks than we are. This is one of those milestones in AI research when we have to cross off another item from the list of "things that keep AIs from matching or exceeding human intelligence". For now, there are still many items on that list, but I wonder which ones will be crossed of next, and how soon.

Comment: Re:People (Score 1) 216

by Shakrai (#49285667) Attached to: France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

I was actually referring to all immigrants to Europe, not Muslims in particular, though they certainly seem to get the double whammy of "you're not from around here, are you?" combined with hostility towards their religion.

Europe is traditionally a place that people leave so it's not surprising that they haven't figured out how to assimilate immigrants.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."