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Comment The autonomous car is a myth (Score 1) 214

Let's face it, an autonomous vehicle would have to be an AI device.Seen any AI devices lately? And,... were you impressed? You don't hear the word 'AI' much these days. After decades of promises and verylittle progress outside some niche areas who dare to come out say he's in the AI field?

I saw a 'robot' this afternoon at a maker faire. Ridiculous. Driving a car through mixed traffic in a dynamic environment with pedestrians, children and old folks, unpredictable or incapacitated. It's impossible to do right with today's state of AI.

And if you *can* get it right then comes the problem of morality. What if the car's computer has to make a moral decision? What will you program it to do?

The autonomous car needs Asimov's three laws of robotics, but obviously it's too damn stupid to understand them.

My $50K state of the art plugin hybrid doesn't even understand someone would want to close the windows after shutting off the engine.

Comment From SLS to Slackware (Score 2) 136

At the time I had this big expensive intimidating Solaris box on my desk that I hardly dared to touch.

Linux seemed a lot more accessible.
I tried something called SLS (Soft Landing System) to installed it but failed.

A few months later I found Slackware (1.0) and I tried again together with a colleague, this time I was successful, kernel version 0.99 or something, that must have been 1993, 22 years ago...
I've been running one or more Linux boxes (usually headless) ever since.

Comment My toaster is racist. (Score 1) 388

Office thermostats are sexist?

Have I a story for you!!!

I put white bread in my toaster and it does not like that; the toaster makes the bread come out a darker colour. I can even put wholemeal bread in, and that is not dark enough for the toaster. Even when I put some of the bread back in the toaster after it has done its thing, it comes out even darker still. My toaster is definitely racist.

Comment The possible long "O" Pron[o]unciation (Score 1) 57

The pronunciation of the Australian long "O" is easy.

Say 'fuel'. Now, drop the "ee-you-eh" sound and instead just say the "oo". It comes out as "F'yool".

Say "foot". Now, say it like "soot" (rather that "sort".)

Say "roof". Now, say it not like a dog saying "ruff", but with the "ooo" of "rooof".

Say "kangaroo". Now, say it without as "Kang-gar-Rooo" with the capitals meaning a bit more emphasis (aka "Em-far-siss", as opposed to "em-FAR-sis").

That takes you along the road to speaking "strine" (the local contraction for "Australian", as in "a- Stine").

an Aussie


THIS IS A RACIALLY OFFENSIVE THREAD. DELETE! This thread is being racially offensive to Australian Aboriginals ("abos" / "abbos" / "abo"). For Americans, think what "nigger" means in your culture. For Asians and people from the UK, think what "Pakki" means. For others, you probably have something equally offensive that makes you cringe, even if you use the term. Slashdot SHOULD remove this thread. Please (as a white Australian)

Comment This **is** a highly politicised post. (Score 1) 57

This **is** a highly politicised post. And, I will make **no** comment on the 'political' outcome of, or machinations behind, this legislation.

It takes only a few seconds to see that the prism / microscope / binoculars / rose-tinted-glasses through which this story has been passed is distorting the image spectacularly into a politically charged version of what ever is the truth.

For someone from Australia, as I am, it takes about 1/10 that time, at most.

The authors have used no restraint in being 'political' in their framing of the post.

The SlashDot editors have used scant / little judgement in editing the two contributors' stories into one biased story. "Shame, shame, shame!"

Comment The summum of scientific stupidity (Score 1) 668

"it therefore seems plausible that the popularity of homeopathy can take a huge hit just by telling the public what it actually is."

This is a startlingly naive statement. If there were any truth in this there wouldn't have been homeopathy in the first place. People are not rational. Telling them the simple truth will only make them more stubborn in their ignorance.

To quote another Slashdotter (19thNervousBreakdown):

"The placebo effect from homeopathy is pretty neat, but on the downside you have to be a fucking idiot for it to work"

Comment Re:Future proofing (Score 1) 557

Last summer I spent in a renovated Italian cottage. The owners had done the electricity in what I assume was the 'old' Italian way. Thick insulated wires (separates wires visible) ran from the switches over the wall with standoffs up to the beams of the roof where they connected to the hanging armatures. Looked pretty interesting.

Looks like this kind of stuff:

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923