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Comment Theatre curtain (Score 1) 80 80

I have a hard time believing that the heads of state aren't already very aware of the surveillance other countries perform on them. If Merkel and Hollande really thought they weren't being spied on by their allies they're clueless gits.

So once it becomes public what do they do, express feigned outrage and use it to pass some new law that doesn't address the issue but does give them some nifty new powers.

Comment Re:Statism is the problem (Score 5, Informative) 940 940

I don't think it's as simple as rent control, it's property value and population density. For example:

San Francisco, median income $81K, median house cost $900K (according to Forbes), population density 17K/sq mi (20th in country)
Houston, median income $60K, median house cost $180K (according to Forbes), population density 3.5K/sq mile. (88th in country).

Property costs substantially more in San Francisco because there's nearly 5 times the demand per square mile. Similar factors hold true for Boston, New York and other densely populated areas.

Comment Re:Musk is a busy man. (Score 1) 169 169

If the CEO needs to make real time minute by minute decisions he's not doing his job.

So what if he's old ? What's the risk, that he'll die ? Life is ultimately a one way trip and at that point in his life he doesn't have that many trips left, might as well make it a big one.

Comment Re:Interesting. Ants have very poor memory (Score 4, Interesting) 37 37

They may have crap memory but they have good pheromone receptors. All she was doing was forcing the ant to strengthen the path signal.

On a random side note, we have fairly large ants (1/2 inch) around here that make these 6 foot diameter circles cleared of all material. 30 or so years ago I sat with a six pack and watched them for hours on end. It was kind of fascinating.

Some percentage (presumably >50%) of the ants seemed to be driven to take material from inside the mound and deposit it outside the mound.
Some percentage (presumably 50%) seemed to be driven to pick up some material from outside and deposit it inside (probably MBAs).

Some were lazy and would either drop or pick up material just a few inches from the hole, some a few feet and some adventurous souls would wander 10 to 20 feet away.

The result was a net movement of material from inside the hole and a distribution of material that was maximized around the whole and tapering to nearly zero about 3 feet from the hole. Given monsoonal rains that tapering pretty much ensures the hole is high enough above the local ground level that flooding is rare.

Bloody inefficient but they got there.

Comment Re:Fanstastic! (Score 2) 37 37

A fitness function would be meaningless in this case. The methodology is for each robot to independently mimic as precisely as possible what it observed given the imperfections in it's imaging system.

The goal isn't to train the student robot to perfectly mimic the teacher the goal is to let (and I can't believe I'm about to use this term) nature take its course and see what new memes arise and how they cluster.

Comment Re:Fanstastic! (Score 1) 37 37

You say no shit as if it's self evident and I agree it does indeed appear to be self evident but what they showed was that the hypothesis (you'd get clustering) was born out by the study (they got clustering). If you watch the video they even state that it's a testable and verifiable hypothesis.

If you're omniscient it's probably ok to just skate by on assertions but us mere mortals need to start with a hypothesis and devise a test which either appears to support the hypothesis or clearly refutes it.

Comment Pulled back veil (Score 1) 47 47

To expose a burka.

What a singularly uninformative article. I guess if you've been living in a cave the past 10 years you might not know that Google has a lot of computers and needs a lot of networking and had a project called Firehose (that didn't work) and one called Jupiter which apparently has.

I'm not intrigued by your ideas and I don't want to sign up for your fucking newsletter.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"