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Comment What scares me here (Score 4, Insightful) 36

is that reading and exploiting data that's a mere 25 years old requires almost archeological-like recovery and reconstruction techniques. Compare that to a thousand year old book that's usually pretty much readily readable today.

I think modern society is on a scary path towards massive amnesia in the not-so-long term...

Comment Not OK. (Score 1) 66

I like Apple. I think that Apple does a lot of things right, and that a lot of criticism of Apple is motivated by historical grudges (on the part of techies) and petulance (on the part of business types.)

That said, this is a stupid, bad mistake. Happily, it's a hiccough, and not likely to have long-term technical ramifications. Unhappily, it's a really, really stupid oversight that should be basically automated--if not by a script, then by a business process.

I believe that walled gardens are an important part of a computing ecosystem where the vast majority of the population consists of casual users. That said, you can not afford to make stupid, easily avoidable mistakes in maintaining it.

I've made my peace with the fact that devs are expected to make an extra slog to get our stuff into the walled garden, and I understand why that is. We do that so that our users can live in a space that they don't need to cultivate themselves any more than they want to. But if we're willing to put up with that extra slog ourselves, It's not okay for our users to have to deal with this sort of thing, too.

Comment Re:That's nothing (Score 2) 258

The issue is, human drivers have a strong instinct of self-preservation. Someone who has to decide between the parade and the tree in a split second will probably avoid the tree out of sheer instinct.

Now then, you might think the cool-headed computerized car will make the right decision and kill its occupant. But I can just imagine the following court case: "Your honor, my father's car killed him wilfully. I therefore sue Toyota/BMW/Honda/Google for murder, and for 100 kajillion dollars in damage".

One such court case - especially in the US - will do enormous damage to the entire industry, and might kill it off entirely. And no, the argument that autonomous car create fewer accidents overall won't fly, because somebody's property isn't supposed to kill its owner on purpose. You can bet emotions will run high, and emotions aren't good for rational debates.

Not to mention of course, people will have second thoughts about buying a vehicle that they know can decide to put them in danger for the greater good.

Comment Re:That's OK, I only care about bar crawls (Score 1) 258

As long as the car can drive me home after the last bar in the line, I'm happy.

That's called a taxi, and it's cheaper than an autonomous car. The only downside is, if you barf on the back seat, the cab driver might smash your teeth in - something the autonomous car won't do.

Comment That's nothing (Score 0) 258

The real test of artificial intelligence will come when the self-driving vehicle will have to decide between plowing into a crowd of people to protect the driver, and smashing into a tree to protect the crowd of people - but killing the driver, when the accident is inevitable.

Computers just aren't good at all at that sort of thing. You can make them drive any car in any environment quite reliably eventually, I suppose, but deciding who gets to die? Hmm...

This day will happen. I can't wait to see the legal and moral discussions that will ensue after the first such accident occur.

Comment Re:Honest suggestions from new'ish parent (Score 1) 170

...and yet here we are, my wife, daughter, and I, the three of us happy, loving, and well-adjusted. Thanks in no small part to her early and routine exposure to lots of other kids her age, our daughter has a natural comfort interacting with her peers that my wife and I lacked at her age. Her math and reading skills are several years ahead of her age group, thanks in no small part to the well-designed curriculum of her day care center. She's inquisitive, adventurous, kind, thoughtful, and boundlessly energetic; we love each other more than we could possibly have imagined; and we couldn't be more proud of her.

You seem not to really understand what day care is. You also seem to think that our decision to place our daughter in day care predicts a hostile end our loving, devoted, fifteen-year marriage. That doesn't really make any sense to me.

Comment Re:Honest suggestions from new'ish parent (Score 1) 170

For it to be "right" for your kid, s/he must have liked day care more than being home with mom and dad. You might want to ask him it if was "right" for him, or if he would have preferred to be home with you and your spouse. My guess, your idea of "right" and theirs is not the same.

Goodness yes, my wife's and my idea of "right" is decidedly different than that of a preschool child! I mean, even today my daughter would vastly prefer to not go to first grade in favor spending her days riding bikes with dad, baking with mom, painting, playing with friends, and visiting grandma and grandpa--but abandoning her schooling to satisfy these desires would be a pretty dumb thing for her parents to do, yeah?

Woe to the parent who uses their two-year-old's wants as a compass for determining what's good for them.

Again, go back and actually read what I actually wrote; that you called my daughter "he" suggests you haven't really done so. I'm not saying that stay-at-home parenting is the wrong decision. I'm simply saying that it isn't the only possible right decision, and that daycare was the right decision for our family.

Comment Re:Honest suggestions from new'ish parent (Score 1) 170

Here is another thought.

Stop pursuing money for gain while you have kids under 60 Months of age. Whatever you spent on daycare it wasn't worth it. Your kids would rather have you, than the things the second job affords.

For us, that would have meant either:

  • My wife abandoning her Biochemical, Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD about18 months before completing it, or
  • Me abandoning my career and us selling our modest house to move into a studio apartment, as PhD stipends don't make good sole incomes for a family of three.

We put our kid in my wife's school's day care center, which effectively cost us as much as my wife earned at her PhD program. Our kid thrived there: she got some outstanding early education, grew socially, blew past developmental markers, and still had two loving parents to come home to at the end of the day. Today, Doctor Mom is doing valuable schizophrenia and bipolar disorder research, Dad has earned a few promotions, and kiddo is in effervescent, inquisitive, caring first-grader. We moved into a nicer home, we have more financial security, more free time, and we both feel like we're great role models for our child.

We have no regrets about putting our kid in day care. It was absolutely right for our family--mom, dad, and kid alike. I continue to be bemused by people who believe that the One True Way To Rear Children requires a constant, dedicated parental presence. For us, doing that would have led to a worse life for all three of us.

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).