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Comment: It's a spectrum (Score 1) 94

by conquistadorst (#49781607) Attached to: Russian Space Agency Misused $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced
For all the people comparing Russian corruption to other countries, particularly the US... We all have to realize it's present everywhere but there's also full spectrum of colors and subcolors that could describe types and severities. Certain types of corruption are far more rampant in some countries while negligible in another, and vice versa. Anyone who thinks there's a country that does not have any corruption is a devoted blind fool. Overall however, I would definitely put most "developing" countries (like Russia) on the upper echelons of said spectrum. I do always find it somewhat odd that Russia is considered a developing country by many economists though.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 609

by conquistadorst (#49729439) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

Source with nice graphs []. At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and at 2008 abortion rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.

I just want to point out the data source from the link indicates it's counting pregnancy-occurrences not people. So saying something like "three in 10 by age 45" is not just misleading but outright false. The same is also often true for the infamous reported divorce rates. It's far more challenging to track individuals than it is to track events. For example when I was much younger I worked with a woman who had 11 abortions by the time she was 19. Yes, it was a fast foot restaurant. If you've ever worked at one, you already know you meet very interesting people. Now I'm sure she's an outlier but she'd clearly be skewing the numbers. All that being said, it's really not hard to avoid pregnancy folks! You have 2 people that can control and prevent the natural result that happens there. It's sad to see people using abortion as a contraceptive.

If you think about it, the abortion debate really boils down to one questions. Do you consider the baby inside a woman to be a "person". If you say "yes" it becomes awfully difficult to rationalize. If you say "no" it becomes extraordinarily easy to rationalize. Both sides of the debate are well meaning people but they happen to believe something different on that single point which makes all the difference.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 4, Interesting) 609

by conquistadorst (#49724965) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
I'd be curious to see if the population of disillusioned independents is growing faster as well. I'd speculate most of them would be categorized as "moderates" which is a species rapidly disappearing, sadly from both political factions. I for one count myself among them, both parties have developed fundamental show stoppers that make it impossible for me to vote for either candidate in presidential elections. I don't at all consider my vote "thrown away". A vote for a 3rd party is a vote against both, it still counts and enough of them should garner attention for more moderates eventually.

Comment: Re:Not sure if smart or retarded (Score 1) 204

Sort of ironic the current botters were only banned for 6 months, I was perma banned for botting in WoW circa 2006. I didn't do it for gold, in fact I probably had more gold than 99% of the players on that server at the time from cornering the AH market on many items better than most could on my server. I was quite upset at the time since I had been hoping to sell my account as a just-graduated-student at some point for $3-4K... which was an enormous amount of dough for me at the time. My account was worth a lot not just for the characters I had, but the crafting skills and rare recipes I had collected. Foolish thing about it all was I only botted because I wanted a 5th and 6th lvl 60 and no longer had time to play as much as I wanted to spend more time with my then-gf-now-wife. In hindsight, getting banned was probably the best thing that could have happened to me! Minus the loss of money of course lol

Comment: Re:Auto-drive on treacherous sections? (Score 1) 341

Just got back from a trip to downtown Philadelphia. I ahd to get around parts of a wrecked car, a stalled truck, and then run a light that was on permanent red - after waiting for the other 20 people ahead of me to realize it was never going to change and do likewise. So how is Mr RoboCar going to do THAT? How long would it wait for a green light? Would it crash into a fender in the road or stop for a McDs bag?

Really? I fully admit computers can be dumb but for this to work they're not going to be that dumb. If self driving cars are to ever become mainstream everything will have to be integrated. In other words, on a highway of 1000's of vehicles, each vehicle will know the status, location, and conditions of the other vehicles present. Information could be relayed regarding any accidents or problems and traffic, communications to all other vehicles and likely will be instantly sent out in real time. Possibly even notifying service vehicles for clean up and municipal authorities to the problem to alter traffic light patterns to accommodate the situation. Yeah, that's right, we're talking about Borg collective sh**. This kind of tech may already exist in some theoretical shape or form today but it's not implemented anywhere in the real world today. Doing that part is a lot harder and expensive than anyone can imagine.

That being all said, we're still very far away from this today... but that's where we are headed. Maybe 25+ years.

Comment: Re:Auto-drive on treacherous sections? (Score 1) 341

we may someday just pass signs requiring drivers to activate auto-drive functionality for certain particularly treacherous stretches of roadway. So on the sections of road I'm going to be most terrified to navigate I should secede control to the computer? In principal, this makes sense, but in reality this is a pee-your-pants moment that even adrenaline junkies will probably say no thanks to.

A day is coming where people will trust autonomous driving ability more than human but that's not anywhere near close to being a reality today. More likely 30+ years from now. I imagine one day there will tracks of road that doesn't support self driving and instead those will become pee-your-pants moments for regular folks. Adrenaline junkies will still be doing their off road tracks for their kicks just like they do today!

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by conquistadorst (#49294075) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

You sound like a terrible, terrible driver. Why don't you take your toys to the track?

Actually, my driving record of MANY decades would beg to differ with your conclusion. I don't generally bother to look at posted speed limits, no..unless the cops are around or the radar detector goes off. That being said, I drive for what is safe in the current driving conditions. If it is raining, I slow down. If it is a nice road, especially one I'm familiar with, and there is very little to no traffic around me I go as fast as is possibly safe for what my car can handle. I drive based on the conditions around me at that moment in time. I don't care what the posted sign says, I go slower when warranted and go as fast as is safe for me when conditions are right.

If everyone did this 24/7 the only accidents would be occurring because of mechanical failures and we wouldn't even be having a discussion about this post lol.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by conquistadorst (#49293915) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

When SDC can scrape their own sensors free of ice (or even be able to function in snow/icy/wet conditions) I'll be impressed! In all seriousness though the worst human drivers are here to stay - if you thought gun nuts rage when goverment tries to restrict them just wait untill the government tries to say people "dont have the right to drive anymore".

Well the ice would only be a problem for optical sensors right? Not radar or GPS. Definitely need a solution for ice, water, and frost covering optic sensors unless they can find an alternative. The latter might be better. But I'm not sure it would ever become government restricted though. It's possible but I highly doubt it would ever come to something that extreme. I don't think it would need to be? I think the more likely set of possibilities may be something like:

  1. A) Pay significantly more premium on a standard automobile policy, maybe by several orders of magnitude, of course after it's proven via underwriting they're significantly safer
  2. B) Harsher penalties for causing accidents caused by non-self-driving vehicles
  3. C) All vehicles must have the feature equipped but can be turned off, with exceptions
  4. D) Densely populated cities banning non-self-driving cars within city limits where you'll then be guided to park in a designated area and then ride in on public transportation if your car does not have the feature available

I'm sure many others...

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by conquistadorst (#49293737) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

The first, the driver did not scrape his windows from ice and could not see any of the drivers around him

I see this being a huge problem in nordic countries when it comes to self driving cars as well. Perhaps the self driving car will refuse to operate if the sensors are covered in ice. This would be safer, but would lead to dissatisfaction from a lot of owners as they would have to carefully remove ice from the sensors hoping not to damage them in the process. Then you'd be driving down the road and get covered in spray (salt, dirt, water) from other vehicles and the sensors would become inoperational again. The driver would either have to take over, making the expensive self driving car useless, or pull over to the side of the road and clean the sensor before going on their way. I'd like to see how self driving cars handle snow, salty/dirty/muddy roads, and even a heavy rain. Could the sensors still actually discern what's going on, or do they require hot, dry, sunny, California type weather.

Yep, I think they still have quite a few hurdles to overcome. Last I've heard I don't think they've even mastered "driving in the rain" much less snow and icy road conditions! All of these conditions have to be mastered far in advance and allowed to mature before self driving cars ever hope to become widely adopted. For some folks oo say it's never going to happen though is a little backwards though.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by conquistadorst (#49293657) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

" The second, another driver decided to use the right lane as a passing lane in a 4 lane road, driving 55 while everyone else is going 35, denying anyone in the left lanes the ability to change lanes and make a right turn. Let me repeat, that was just today."

You call that risky behaviour? Go drive in Paris, Rome, Manilla or Shanghai and then we'll talk again.

Sure, of course, they're on an entirely new level of terrible driving. I've been to all of those places minus Shanghai, I've never been to Asia. The denser the city, the worse it gets. That's usually how it rolls. Hopefully you understood my point because what you said seemingly reinforces my point however your tone implies that you did not.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 5, Interesting) 451

by conquistadorst (#49290825) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

For what, +1 Irrational Fear? Seems like that should be -1 to me. You won't see ubiquitous self-driving cars until the system is better than meat-popsicle cars. Once that happens, the rational argument flips: "do you want some incompetent person driving a hunk of steel on a road near where your child plays? *shudder* Think of what would happen if that human had to react to something!"

Sure, you could say you don't think self-driving cars will ever be safer than meat-popsicle cars, but that's like saying "640 kB ought to be enough for anybody". Technology is advancing at a staggering pace, and these systems are only getting better and more reliable.

Amen, as long as avoiding risking behavior is a mandatory feature in autonomous driving software. I'd speculate a majority of accidents and road fatalities are nearly all avoidable, brought on by either poor choices, risky behavior, or bad driving habits. Case in point just today on my way to work I narrowly avoided two accidents. The first, the driver did not scrape his windows from ice and could not see any of the drivers around him - nearly plowing into me and others around him as he was changing lanes. The second, another driver decided to use the right lane as a passing lane in a 4 lane road, driving 55 while everyone else is going 35, denying anyone in the left lanes the ability to change lanes and make a right turn. Let me repeat, that was just today. Stuff like this happens everyday to millions of people. For myself, getting tail gated while I'm already going 10 above the limit is a regular *daily* occurrence. I'm barely even going to bring up the young, inexperienced, risk-loving drivers because all of the problems there should be understood without even saying.

I for one am eagerly looking forward to autonomous cars purely because of the minor few that make the roads dangerous for everyone else. But like the poster above, it's probably going to be awhile before they're reliable enough for use. But it will happen because technology will be improved over time. Changing, people's attitudes and driving habits? Yeah, far more difficult and expensive than technology with diminishing returns. Good luck on that!

Comment: Re:Smart people are jerks? (Score 1) 194

by conquistadorst (#49112293) Attached to: The Imitation Game Fails Test of Inspiring the Next Turings
Isn't that like saying modern car manufacturers don't have to thank Henry Ford for paving the way? Little bit of an understatement. I'm not even going to dive into the details in differences in resources between those groups, a small team vs. 1000's of code breakers. Anyway, they all relied on mistakes made by German operators, even the British bombe. They were just different in nature and complexity.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Even once we had airplanes, you have only a lifetime from 1903 to 1969, yet people in 1903 couldn't have dreamed of what the Saturn V would look like or how it would work.

There were rockets in 1903. They weren't as powerful, but the physics of rocket flight was pretty well known at the time.

The only difference between fireworks and the Saturn V is scale...more powerful fuel, stronger materials, etc.

Hell yeah, and the only difference between modern computers and the cryptological bombas used during WW2 is just electronics miniaturization! Stupid elementary stuff my friends! Yeah, it's not so simple my friend. There's a reason it takes *decades* and thousands of brilliant minds to advance technology step by step. The Saturn V is not simply a bigger, better version of "fireworks". You've been playing too much Kerbal space program.

Comment: Re:Bullshit Samsung (Score 2) 370

by conquistadorst (#49028493) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video
Yeah I lol'd too. "Oh look, we had a team of developers accidentally build out a fully functioning module into the TV's OS, tested it, worked out the bugs, published it, and it also just so happens to make our company more money. This is an outrage, how could this have possibly happened?".

Watch out everyone, software is now evolving on its own! It's beginning, machines are rising! Where is Sarah Connor!?!?

Comment: Regulations? (Score 3, Insightful) 129

by conquistadorst (#49025327) Attached to: HSBC Banking Leak Shows Tax Avoidance, Dealings With Criminals

The Sarbanes-Oxley act has been on the books since 2002. Dodd-Frank bill since 2010. So are they working to keep companies in check and increase transparency? Or just costing both the government and the companies it affects a bunch of time and money? On one side you can say this activity was finally caught. On the other hand you have to ask when large banks are subject to regular audits how do they get away with it from year to year?

From my own limited personal experience, the only thing I can say for sure is that those audits are usually pretty terrible. In theory they're looking for the right stuff, but the auditors themselves are usually green accountants who often lack the hybrid blend of accounting, technical, and IT skills needed to any proper analysis. They don't understand what they're looking at and don't know what to ask for. They usually just follow a sheet of instructions line by line and check those boxes to indicate their work is done. I don't think that quite captures the spirit of those laws.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov