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Comment: Re:No programming? (Score 2) 200

by ashshy (#48401045) Attached to: A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

If you call copy-paste programming. They took an "executable", dumped it from the worm's brain, put it in a robot and found it acts like a worm. The behavior emerged through evolution and was encoded in the neurons by nature, not the researchers. If you could dump a human brain, put it in a robot and have it act like a human without ever "reverse engineering" it that would be most impressive.

All of this is true, but the inputs and outputs still have to be mapped to the appropriate endpoints. Unless, of course, mapping them at random still produces the perfect Lego/worm beast after a little bit of real-world action. The article doesn't talk about this, so I'm assuming the sensors and effectors were hooked up to the proper Lego tools by hand.

Which, in my book, counts as programming.

+ - What Will It Take to Make Automated Vehicles Legal in the U.S.?

Submitted by ashshy
ashshy (40594) writes "Tesla, Google, and many other companies are working on self-driving cars. When these autopilot systems become perfected and ubiquitous, the roads should be safer by orders of magnitude. So why doesn't Tesla CEO Elon Musk expect to reach that milestone until 2013 or so? Because the legal framework that supports American road rules is incredibly complex, and actually handled on a state-by-state basis. The Motley Fool explains which authorities Musk and his allies will have to convince before autopilot cars can hit the mainstream, and why the process will take another decade."

+ - Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

Submitted by ashshy
ashshy (40594) writes "Swedish Internet services run both cheaper and faster than American ones. For example, many Swedes can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. It's all powered by a nationwide web of municipal networks in direct competition with ex-government telecom Telia's fiber backbone. The presence of regional government in the Swedish data stream makes many Americans uncomfortable, to say nothing of the very different histories between these backbone buildouts. The Motley Fool explains how the Swedish model developed, and why the U.S. is unlikely ever to follow suit."

Comment: Re:International Copyright (Score 4, Informative) 172

by ashshy (#47918213) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

"Licensing issues" seems to be the standard reply. But, why would licensing in Australia be different from licensing elsewhere? Isn't a show streamed to Australia is just as profitable as a show streamed to Europe or America?

Yes, but Netflix must sign and *pay for* a license in each separate territory. The company pays per show/movie, per market, per year (or whatever licensing timeframe), and it doesn't make sense to roll out an actual service until you have the rights to a decent content library in that new territory.

Netflix is working on licenses for Australia, but doesn't have a service yet. And whatever agreements it did sign so far likely don't become active until Launch Date X.

So as usual, it all boils down to costs. Follow the money.

+ - Quickflix Wants Netflix to Drop Australian VPN Users

Submitted by ashshy
ashshy (40594) writes "200,000 Australian residents reportedly use Netflix today, tunneling their video traffic to the US, UK, and other Netflix markets via VPN connections. A proper Netflix Down Under service isn't expected to launch until 2015. Last week, Aussie video streaming company Quickflix told Netflix to stop this practice, so Australian viewers can return to Quickflix and other local alternatives. But Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford didn't explain how Netflix could restrict Australian VPN users, beyond the IP geolocating and credit card billing address checks it already runs. Today, ZDNet's Josh Taylor ripped into the absurdity of Quickflix's demands. From the article: "If Netflix cuts those people off, they're going to know that it was at the behest of Foxtel and Quickflix, and would likely boycott those services instead of flocking to them. If nothing else, it would encourage those who have tried to do the right thing by subscribing and paying for content on Netflix to return to copyright infringement.""

Comment: Perl, anyone? (Score 1) 387

by ashshy (#47862163) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

I'm still getting paid for some Perl 5 work. Learned some when it was still hot, built something with passing value, and now I'm pulling a small but significant monthly fee for supporting it.

It's still what I do best, thanks to all this regular practice. Coding is otherwise more of a hobby than a job for me. Can't say that I see a lot of demand for Perl code monkeys out there, though.

+ - Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed 1

Submitted by ashshy
ashshy (40594) writes "Following up on a recent Slashdot posting, The Motley Fool digs into another huge market for rechargeable batteries. Unlike the obvious battery needs for smartphones or electric cars, many consumers are unaware of the exploding need for enormous batteries as modern power grids bring a whole new set of requirements."

+ - How Argonne National Lab Will Make Tesla Cars Cheaper

Submitted by ashshy
ashshy (40594) writes "Argonne National Lab is leading the charge on next-generation battery research. In an interview with The Motley Fool, Argonne spokesman Jeff Chamberlain explains how new lithium ion chemistries will drive down the cost of electric cars over the next few years. Tesla Motors picked a terrific time to get into battery manufacturing."

Comment: Mainstream ain't what it used to be (Score 1) 65

by ashshy (#47630471) Attached to: Red Hat CEO: Open Source Goes Mainstream In 2014

Some commenters say that Linux and Open Source have been mainstream tools for a while. That's true -- in the tech world. Whitehurst mentions this, then goes on to explain that more traditional industries are accepting FOSS now. Things like railroads and power utilities, where open source remained a scary, newfangled, and unproven security hole as recently as last year.

RTFA, please.

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