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Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 94

I'm suggesting if Google is driving, and the passengers are passengers, then why the hell would anybody pay for things like liability insurance for an AI?

You are going to need basic liability insurance no matter what, but it should be a lot cheaper in a car that you're not allowed to drive, because you won't be able to cause an accident.

Could it be because it's still going to have a "fuck it, you drive" mode which passes responsibility to the human so Google can claim they're not responsible?

For the foreseeable future, cars are going to have a human-driven mode, so you're going to need liability insurance for that. If you're willing to let your insurer into your car's data, perhaps they will give you a discount if you don't actually use it.

A self driving car becomes useful when I can have no controls, and be asleep in the back. I don't pay liability insurance on a bus, train or taxi ... why the hell would I pay it when something created by Google is in charge of driving it?

Mechanical failure. Again, your rates should go down if you're not driving, but there will still be opportunities for failure.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 78

It's like, 7 billion people on the planet, 742 million in Europe, 33 million in Morocco, and a 6,178-acre plant supplying 1.1 million people with electricity.

That space of land could feed over 6,000 people if properly arable, or house 2.8 million people. That second figure holds a lot of weight: to go all-solar at this efficiency, 72% of the land must be solar, assuming densely-packed apartments filled with families (New York apartment projects).

To supply power for Europe, you'd need around 4.2 million acres of land, or approximately 5.3 times the land area of Rhode Island. That's bigger than Connecticut; in fact, it's CT and RI put together. It'd be more than half the land area of Belgium, and more than a sixth of Portugal.

You can probably do it in half the space using parabolic dish collectors instead of photovoltaics. Nuclear takes a lot less, about 1/10 the land area.

Comment Re:If it's "settled", it ISN'T "science" (Score 1) 496

Polar Ice Caps:

Hurricane Lull:

Greening of Africa: http://news.nationalgeographic...

These are "facts", and the "speculation" from the "Global Warming" nuts is also clearly documented. Here are a few good articles on exaggerated claims that never panned out:

Please go ahead and make excuses as to why nearly 97% of all Global Warming Projections are wrong : http://www.westernjournalism.c...

Or perhaps you'll simply parrot someone else who doesn't actually know anything, or continue to believe "consensus = Science"

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 4, Interesting) 69

This is a war on your ability to have secrets from the government they're not allowed to access by going to a third party

Its not "a third party" its "any party at all".

Other than the contents of one's own mind, we've never actually had that ability until recently.

The very best you could do was put your one time pad in a safe which they could open with a warrant and several hours with a drill.

Digital didn't take away your ability, it actually for the first time, gave us something new... places to put secrets that COULDN'T be easily broken into by law enforcement. This is new for them.

Of course the idiots out there are proposing nonsense like backdoors, or banning encryption etc which are never going to end well if they came to pass. But the adults in the room should be able to have a real conversation about it. Do we treat the contents of securely encrypted systems as an extension of the mind, and vastly increase the total amount of data that is effectively untouchable to law enforcement short of coercion/torture (which is itself illegal).

And on the flip side, what happens if they develop a method of pulling secrets directly from your mind that isn't invasive/destructive. Will that suddenly create a situation where they can get a warrant for the contents of your mind? The 5th amendment is a pragmatic one, you have the right not to testify because they can't make you talk short of torture... but what if they could simply read your mind remotely? And pluck your passwords out. Sci-fi / fantasy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Another possible future is the augmentation of the mind itself directly... imagine an SSD for the brain, *IN THE BRAIN*. What would the legal status of that be in terms of warrant access?

Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 2) 128

North Korea is more rational than most people tend to believe, but not rational to the level that, say, Iran is (and they're far more rational than people tend to believe). They do believe the world is out to get them, but they also know enough not to pull the trigger themselves unless there's no other choice--though that may include taking the nation down with them if someone tries a coup.

Absent an enlightened successor to Kim Jong-Un in about 30 years, any shift in that impoverished country is likely to be bloody, violent, and involve a lot of carnage outside its borders.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 454

It doesn't matter what you want, the most modern automatic transmissions (e.g. ZF HP9) already don't have a linkage. They are too complex to operate with a hydraulic valve body, even for limp home mode. Consequently, where it is used (which is practically everywhere) there is already no drawback to a pushbutton interface. Pushing P while moving could select N, and apply the EPB (electronic parking brake) automatically when the driver comes to a stop, then shift into park. Pushing N would do the same, sans brake and autoshift.

Comment Re:Nerve connections for muscles (Score 1) 81

In my research of nootropics, I came across Noopept.

Noopept is considered one of the most powerful nootropics, a thousand times stronger than Piracetam. Among other things, Noopept increases BNF and BDNF in the brain. These chemicals power neurogenesis, encouraging the formation of new brain cells and greatly increasing neuroplasticity.

What does "greatly increasing" mean?

Scientists test rats with many apparatuses. Most of these are repetitive tools, like a pool of water with a few small, hidden platforms (you drop the rat in to drown, and it panics and seeks out the platform; then you repeat the trial, leaving or moving the platforms, reorienting the device, or whatnot, to see if the rat can recognize environment cues or apply an efficient search algorithm). One of the most useful tools is a simple T maze, in which corridors abruptly meet a wall with a choice of left or right alternate path.

Rats navigating the T maze eventually find food at the end. In repeated trials, rats learn the topology of the maze, eventually running to the end of the T maze by the most direct path. This essentially tests rat memory.

Rats run on a wheel for 10 minutes before and after running a T maze *consistently* learn the maze in half as many trials as a control group of rats kept lazy in cage.

The source of this increase in learning speed? An increase in BNF and BDNF in the brain.

Bicycling, running, jumping jacks, whatnot. These things will exercise you. The exercise temporarily increases BNF and BDNF levels measurable in human blood serum. Like the rats, the humans become significantly more intelligent.

This study doesn't surprise me. I already knew this shit.

Comment Re:Math is a Chore (Score 1) 207

*shrug* I can pass all three of Mensa's exams. I've always been good at tests, even on subjects I'm unfamiliar with, as long as the questions expose enough about the subject for me to pick out appropriate answers. If you want to test someone's knowledge, use open-ended short answers; but multiple choice tests can be graded by machines, so nobody does this anymore.

Again: it's the way you operate the brain. It's like handing someone a $3,000 Nikkon camera: they take shitty pictures; then you show them how photography works and they start taking these unbelievable photographs with an iPhone, much less a professional-grade DSLR. This sort of wizardry makes people think you have talent or intelligence they can't possibly posses; then you pass high school with a 14.6 GPA, perfect grades in Statistics and Calculus, and, 4 months later, an Associate's Degree from a local community college, and everyone acts surprised. They don't realize this can be taught.

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