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Comment: Re:Maybe not a bad thing (Score 1) 580

by geekopus (#39968051) Attached to: Only 22% of California 8th Graders Pass National Science Test

/not sure if serious......

But, if you are, I'd say you actually have a good point. Probably less than 22% of those educated in the California public school system will actually go on to USE basic science in any meaningful way. That same principle could be applied to any other public or private school system.

I used to the type to think that educating every single person in every single subject was a good idea, but as I've gotten older, I'm not so sure of that anymore. Trying to expect every student to be above average (yes, that's impossible) in every subject is simply a demoralizing exercise, and my personal belief is that it causes kids to have either a) unrealistic expectations of what "successful" means or b) they are utter failures at everything they try.

Comment: Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 164

by geekopus (#39135399) Attached to: Is It Time For NoSQL 2.0?

I've not used a NoSQL system (meaning I'm *perfectly qualified to speak*! :-) ), but I would assume that there are abstraction libraries that can apply ORM type mapping on these things.

My co-workers think I'm nuts, but I have for years said that I would only use stored procedures, triggers, functions, what-have-you when I absolutely have no other choice. The reason is that it smears application logic into your database, which most of the time means that all of the fancy, gee-whiz tools you use to write, maintain, version and otherwise manage your code are nearly useless. It's also more difficult to scale that code (you can make copies for sure, but if you've ever had to do change management on a sizable Oracle cluster, for example, it can be painful).

Scaling application logic across cheap hardware is also easier than scaling your database.

So, for me, assuming that I have access to an abstraction layer, I can't see a downside (apart from strict ACID compliance) to a NoSQL system.

My $0.02. And I've been called a crochety old man before, so if you disagree with me you wouldn't be the first. :-)

Comment: Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (Score 2) 87

by geekopus (#37984430) Attached to: Spotted Horses May Have Roamed Europe 25,000 Years Ago

GP is right though: The fact that there were drawings should have tipped them off that maybe their analysis was incomplete, rather than drawing the unwarranted conclusion of "Well, they must have just made them up".

This is the scientific equivalent of those idiots that drive off of cliffs because of what their GPS tells them rather than what they see with their own two eyes.

Comment: What's the alternative? (Score 3, Insightful) 944

by geekopus (#37729690) Attached to: Occupy Wall Street Protests Go Global

I'd love to see something better, but the rhetoric sounds a WHOLE lot like the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. How'd that work out?

In fact, as often as it's been tried, none of them have worked out.

Listen, I understand that you're mad, but you have to provide a solid alternative. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, and no matter how badly you want something to not be so, still it remains. These revolutions have a history of plunging their respective people into the dark ages.

Comment: Re:Ubuntu + VMWare Player (Score 2) 622

by geekopus (#36678106) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Easiest Linux Distro For a Newbie

You know, I'm really tired of hearing this. This was MAYBE true for Win95/98. It's simply no longer true, and likely never was. (Try putting your average user in front of a prompt asking them how they want to partition. LVMwhat? Encrypted? Manual mode?)

For the record, I've been using Linux since 1999 and FreeBSD since first computer was an Amiga. I'm a developer and have developed for both *NIX and Win32, as well as web apps. I'm hardly an MS fanboi.

Come on man, come up with a new meme. Folks around here are beginning to look like caricatures of themselves.


Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-can-only-end-well dept.
quaith writes "Dario Floreano and Laurent Keller report in PLoS ONE how their robots were able to rapidly evolve complex behaviors such as collision-free movement, homing, predator versus prey strategies, cooperation, and even altruism. A hundred generations of selection controlled by a simple neural network were sufficient to allow robots to evolve these behaviors. Their robots initially exhibited completely uncoordinated behavior, but as they evolved, the robots were able to orientate, escape predators, and even cooperate. The authors point out that this confirms a proposal by Alan Turing who suggested in the 1950s that building machines capable of adaptation and learning would be too difficult for a human designer and could instead be done using an evolutionary process. The robots aren't yet ready to compete in Robot Wars, but they're still pretty impressive."

Factorials were someone's attempt to make math LOOK exciting.