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Comment: Re:US South (Score 1) 187

by dasunt (#49656655) Attached to: Interactive Map Exposes the World's Most Murderous Places

So much for theory of gun states having less crime.

When I looked at the estimated per-capita gun ownership rates by state, and the per-capita homicide rates per state, I didn't find a clear correlation.

Interestingly, it does appear that states with a higher gun homicide rates also have a correlation with higher non-gun homicide rates.

Comment: Re:Herbivores dying out? Not cows I hope! (Score 5, Interesting) 146

by dasunt (#49608037) Attached to: Empty Landscape Looms, If Large Herbivores Continue to Die Out

Though they never explain how every planet in our solar system is warming if it is humans who are causing climate change

Credible citation needed. This claims otherwise:

The basis of this argument is that the sun must be causing global warming and in fact, warming throughout the solar system. There are several flaws in this line of thought. Firstly, the characterisation that the whole solar system is warming is erroneous. Around 6 planets or moons out of the more than 100 bodies in the solar system have been observed to be warming. On the other hand, Uranus is cooling (Young 2001).

Secondly, the theory that a brightening sun is causing global warming falls apart when you consider the sun has shown little to no trend since the 1950s. A variety of independent measurements of solar activity including satellite data, sunspot numbers, UV levels and solar magnetograms all paint a consistent picture. Over the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been moving in opposite directions.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 628

by dasunt (#49602551) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Context

I'm seeing the context of the "Lena" image as being a standard test for image processing.

As for art, a lot of it appears to have a sexualized component when it was created (some of it very explicit), but in the context of a class, it's being studied for its place in art history.

So what am I missing? Tell me how a cropped Lena picture is any worse than (say) Goya's The Nude Maja, which Wikipedia notes was probably created to hang in a private collection, and whose subject, just like the Lena photograph, looks directly at the viewer (and unlike the Lena photograph, "Nude Maja" tends not to be cropped).

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 3, Insightful) 628

by dasunt (#49602139) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Computer vision scientist here.Yes, I've taught such a practical as a postdoc, so no I had no control over the content. Yes Lena was used. Sooner or later someone figures out where the image is from and everyone, well the guys, all have a good laugh.

So yes it does create a hostile environment. I'm afraid that your armchair logic and reasoning are going to come in second to those who have not only witnessed it, but been a part of the whole thing first hand.

How exactly does it create a hostile environment?

For bonus points, explain how nudity in classic art (paintings, sculptures, etc) does not create a hostile environment in the classroom.

Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 140

by dasunt (#49568193) Attached to: New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

Yeah, that's what it says on the tin. In reality they just eat up a lane of traffic that could otherwise be used to alleviate rush hour congestion.

You'd think more lanes would mean less congestion, but the data doesn't always agree. It seems that humans are programmed to spend a certain amount of time on trips, and if congestion is removed and the average speed increases, people just end up driving for greater distances. That concept is called "induced demand", and has been compared to fighting obesity by buying a bigger pair of pants.

After all, who's going to get into a car with a bunch of strangers, and not have a vehicle when they reach their destination?

Don't bus riders do this every day?

Comment: Re:But But But It's the Handouts That Are Bankrupt (Score 4, Interesting) 370

by dasunt (#49421755) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

Actually, there was a real welfare queen that fits the details of the urban legend.

Her name was Linda Taylor. And welfare fraud was probably among the least of her crimes. It's a fascinating story.

Now obviously, she's the exception, rather than the rule. Most people on welfare aren't creating multiple fake identities in order to bilk the system. And most sure aren't involved in possible kidnappings and suspicious deaths.

Comment: Re:Which is it? Very different cases. (Score 2) 143

Anyway, once a place is burned out, harvested, and so on we plant new trees there anyway. The forestry industry here is amazingly good at creating an entire harvest, burn, plant cycle.

I've walked through tree farms. They are about as close to a natural forest as a field of wheat is to a prairie.

Comment: Re: So What (Score 1) 324

by dasunt (#49379365) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

That may be so, but certainly not because they'd miss Big Gov.

Nobody in the 1930s would miss a government-provided social safety net? They wouldn't miss food stamps, housing and heat assistance, medical care for the poor, or unemployment insurance?

Just what do you think the economy was doing in the 1930s?

Comment: Re:Cruise control? (Score 2) 287

by dasunt (#49334947) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

We've already tuned out. Try riding a bicycle or motorcycle - as a non-typical vehicle on the road, more drivers won't notice you and you'll have more close calls.

We just aren't wired to be diligent over the many hours we drive in our lifetime. We get used to things. We run on our own autopilot already. And that can end up being deadly.

Comment: Re:Why isn't public transport 'free'? (Score 1) 198

If there is a lot of traffic regardless - say in a downtown area during rush hour - buses generate significantly more pollution than cars. Unless each bus is completely full, the emissions benefit may not cover the number of vehicles on the road.

Assuming that the average car gets 25 mpg, and the average bus gets even 5 mpg, and that idling emissions are proportional to the gas mileage, wouldn't it take just five passengers on the bus to equal one automobile with a single driver?

I'm not sure where you are at, but when I took the bus to work, I don't think I was ever the sole passenger.

Comment: Re:Define "Threatened" and "Unwelcome" (Score 0) 765

by dasunt (#49316789) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Basically there's a war on men being men.

How do you define "being men"? There's facial hair, greater average strength, and other miscellaneous changes, none of which I'm seeing as being warred upon.

to sell out their gender

I suppose the bigger question would be how you can sell out your gender (penises taken from unsuspecting men and sold on eBay?) But there seems to be also an assumption that one should have more loyalty to their gender than, say, people who share their eye color.

Comment: Re:Use it or lose it (Score 3, Informative) 144

by dasunt (#49308671) Attached to: Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates

So, as with many of the bodies abilities; it's just a case of use that distance vision, or lose it when your eyes adapt to shorter ranges.

Except according to the article, that isn't the mechanism. It's the intensity of light that causes the body to prevent myopia due to changes in dopamine levels.

Not only that, but in animal studies, if chicks were given a drug that inhibited dopamine's effects on the eyes, they'd develop myopia in the same conditions that the control chicks would not.

So it's not "use it or lose it". It's "you need bright light".

Comment: Re:From another article... (Score 1) 341

As someone who has spent a career working on safety-critical real-time systems, I can assure you that it's not in any way "much easier than people think". Quite the opposite. Sure, driving a car down a well marked highway on a clear sunny day with little traffic and no system failures is easy. But if you obscure the lane markings in any of a number of ways, add inclement weather, throw out random obstacles, random system failures, etc. the problem gets monumentally harder.

The criteria shouldn't be "a perfect AI" but "a better AI than a human driver".

Human drivers tend to be a pretty low bar.

Comment: Re:Well, I guess I've got to watch it now. (Score 2) 356

It's also a country where most people will rather buy a slightly more expensive phone than replace their outhouse with a running water toilet.

Is this a problem? I'm not sure about outhouses in India, but I've used them in the US. A flush toilet isn't that much of an improvement from a personal use perspective - the main advantage is that it can be inside the house. So the trade off is "having to walk outside" versus "having to walk to a room inside".

Contrast that with a fancy phone which provides communications and internet as well as apps. That trade off is involves having internet access and making it easy for friends, family, and employment contacts to reach you.

I'd make the decision for the phone myself.

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