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Comment Facebook: get a clue! your "groups" are important (Score 1) 91

Groups are a neglected feature of Facebook. They seem to not understand the "communities can come together" concept. They focus on "communities around the popular" rather than equal participation groups. If Facebook would, uh, lift a few ideas from group management and layout inside G+, the latter would die an ignominious death. If we could just merge and fork groups on Facebook we might have something...

Comment Re:Never gonna happen. (Score 5, Informative) 472

Ironically racing is probably a better defined operating environment so easier to successfully automate.

I work for a company that automates vehicles (ASI). We specifically target controlled operating environments like vehicle proving grounds, mines, and commercial harvesting operations. These places all have one thing in common: ten foot fences (aka, no toddlers in the vicinity).

The biggest struggle we have had is obstacle detection; it only works at distances less than 50m. The various vision devices aren't accurate enough beyond that range (or get lost in smoke, fog, dust, shakiness, etc.) And differentiating small objects (aka, 20cm cube) from standard terrain is neigh impossible with current technologies. The algorithms used to process that information can't run in real-time on embedded hardware.

I'm excited for a lot of recent progress in electronic vehicle control. Look for your favorite auto-manufacturer to introduce electronically controlled steering, transmissions, and throttle over the next few years. The pedals, knobs, and wheels will soon be fancy computer joysticks.

Comment Missing option: 3rd-party certification (Score 1) 461

Two options: ignorance or mandated information? Really? 3rd-party certification has been working great on gluten-free products. There's a huge market for non-GMO certifiers -- if they can get past the big corporations in bed with the legislators and the general apathy rampant throughout the world.

GMO food complications are not contagious. Therefore, it should fall to personal choice for me and my family. It should not be a part of government action one way or the other. (As I understand it, the main concerns are the potential of damaged proteins or partial bacteria DNA embedment -- both of which would trigger an immune reaction in many people. These are side-effects of how the genetic material is injected. We need better injection methods: go go gadget RNA rewriter.)

Comment Re:observing a lack is not proof (Score 1) 645

Observing an apparent deficiency in demographics is not proof of bias, it is merely an observation of what is.

No doubt, brother. The group that gets the most discrimination in the tech world is "women". Every other week the ACM publishes an article to the effect of "Where are all the women in tech?" Who the freak cares? Quit pressuring them. Maybe they don't want to do tech. Let's leave them alone. Maybe tech jobs aren't fun for them. Maybe their natural tendencies and talents take them on some other road. And I give the same criticism to the interracial tech concern.

Comment Re:Research Moneys! (Score 1) 575

As a Canadian, I wish our government would partner with the US to fund super awesome science mega-projects

Well, as an American I wish that the rest of the planet could understand this stuff should be done by private companies and organizations. If you want to do some awesome science, start the company yourself ask for donations to be received out of good will. Don't wine about the government's lack of initiative -- that's the last thing any government needs. Personally, I don't want is some government official pocketing my tax money in the name of science. I can do it better myself. It's not in the proper role of government as it has nothing to do with maintaining liberty and justice for all.

Comment Re:What other products (Score 1) 1019

The optimal way would be, of course, to use tax dollars to provide health care to everyone.

You're forgetting the other effects of that policy. First, you've brought in force. Everyone has to pay regardless of whether or not they want the service. Second, you don't get "health care", rather you get the "health care" that the public deems prudent to provide you at the time. In other words, you have no options. Third, when you take this decision out of the hands of the citizens, everyone suffers due to the general atrophy that overtakes society. We're already struggling with that in America. Read Bastiat's fantastic "Private and Public Services" for further arguments in that regard.

Comment Re:Transgender - 3 meds for the rest of my life (Score 1) 550

One of the original proposals by Obama was to follow the Dutch system where insurers cannot refuse to take on a client, that makes for a plain level playing field.

It also takes away the profit motive. In essence, it destroys the free market system that would drive down prices for the rest of us. It's favoring the few at the expense of the many. It's socialism at its worst: unlike schooling, the program requires no effort on the part of the beneficiary. It's robbery. It's legalized plunder. Read Bastiat to get a grip on the unseen effects of this stuff. His writings are free online.

Comment Re:Transgender - 3 meds for the rest of my life (Score 1) 550

This idea that insurance should cover standard doctor appointments and ongoing meds is where the thing is wrong. All insurance should be catastrophic coverage only (aka, I won't be out more that $25k for medical bills in a single year), but I don't want to use the force of law to mandate such. When insurance covers too much people quit using their agency to find the best deal and prices go up.

At most every company, if you opt-out of insurance the company will keep it's 75% of the premium. Insurance companies make these deals so that they can be profitable through diversifying over the company as a whole. I hate it. What kind of free market action could change this? My insurance covering my family costs $12k a year. The company pays 75% of that, $2k of which they put into an HSA. If I opt-out I lose that $9k, and I'd still have to pay $1500 a year for catastrophic insurance. At no time in my life have I ever billed more than $5k to insurance in a single year, and that includes my three children's birth years.

Comment Re:No one knows the day or the hour (Score 1) 585

"day or the hour" -- I suppose that leaves the year open for volley!

Here's may take on the biblical prediction:
1. We know that each seal in the Book of Revelation counts for 1000 years: http://lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/77?lang=eng
2. We know that Christ came in the "meridian" of time, meaning the fourth of the seven seals.
3. We know that his apostles were killed in the fifth of the seven from the description of it in the Book of Revelation.
4. Justin the Martyr was likely the last of the valid apostles called at the time.
5. That gives us a worst case of the seventh seal opening in 2165 AD.
6. The statement about "silence" for "half an hour" could also fall into the 1000 years of man is one day of God domain adding an extra 20-some years before things get exciting.

Of course I also appreciate the parable of the Olive Tree from Zenos, where he emphasizes that one bad branch at a time will be "burned". It's worth a study: http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/jacob/5?lang=eng

Comment Re:This phrase is the one that's stuck with me ... (Score 1) 1128

You didn't even mention the really bad stuff President Wilson did: created the Federal Reserve and the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution -- all of which have had awful consequences for America. Those three items right there define the commercialization and authoritarian footprint of congress. They opened the door to the lobbyist and inflation problems of the present.

Sticky Rice Is the Key To Super Strong Mortar 194

lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN