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Comment: My wife's had our son in the hospital (Score 1) 164

by swb (#48683957) Attached to: Facebook Apologizes For 'Year In Review' Photos

...hooked up to an EEG machine.

The backstory is that I had gone to roust him out of bed because he's chronically late but found him in the bathroom, unconscious and not breathing. Somehow he had passed out, fell, and landed on a trash bin and the bin liner had blocked his airway.

He spent four days in the ICU, the first day in a propofol-induced coma with an EEG connected. It was a horrifying experience and my wife posted the image two days later basically as a way of letting people know what had happened and why we had gone silent to everyone for a few days.

She was annoyed by the image of him presented as "what a great year" but I don't think much more than annoyed.

I think the entire feature is lame and I've marked all of them (my own suggested one and every other I've been presented) as "I don't want to see this". Trying to block my own suggested one in the Facebook IOS app consistently crashed the app.

My takeaway on this is that Facebook's image analytics suck. As good as they seem to be at identifying faces for tagging you might think they would be able to train their system to identify smiling faces so that when they suggested images they would tend to show ones more likely to be positive and reject others.

Comment: How fast is just too fast? (Score 4, Insightful) 110

by swb (#48668907) Attached to: US Internet Offers 10Gbps Fiber In Minneapolis

Assuming you're not running major data service out of your house, what's the point of diminishing return for connectivity?

I'm making the assumptions that the link speed you're sold is actually the speed you get and that there are no resource constraints, artificial or real, that would stop you from utilizing the maximum bandwidth.

Do most web sites have per-connection caps on how fast any one connection can download files or data? Could you mount a file store on AWS or any other cloud storage provider and use it like a local NAS disk?

Comment: Re:That seems strange (Score 1) 185

by swb (#48660339) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

While a zoo may seem like a comfy environment some animals just don't do well in captivity.

I believe this is generally true, but at the same time I think there's also an undercurrent of anthropomorphization here about animal psychology that can get dangerous. Too often it seems like we talk about what animals "want" and "don't want" when in a lot of cases things that would bother humans just don't matter to animals because they lack the kinds of emotional processes unique to humans.

Comment: Re:Butt Ugly (Score 3, Informative) 90

by justthinkit (#48656563) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype
A good point. The Cd is just one part of the Fd. And in the Fd equation, Cd (inversely related to A) is multiplied by A so that the frontal area is removed entirely from the final equation. There should be a (Cd * A) term (although even that would not be quite right...Reynolds number being yet another factor).

It should just be Fd...

Comment: Re:That seems strange (Score 4, Insightful) 185

by swb (#48654267) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

I think there's probably a reasonable argument to be made that a move to a foreign location, even one nominally more "native" than a zoo, is a definite hardship on an animal who has become habituated to a specific environment.

Now, if the "zoo" in question is a 10x10 concrete room with bars, then maybe the quality of life in a larger and more natural (in the sense of less confinement and concrete) environment is worth a temporary disruption.

But what about zoos that give primates large, outdoor spaces with natural accommodations like ponds, trees, shelter and primate experts who ensure their physical health and mental stimulation? A "natural" environment may be at best an equal trade and in some instances worse if it comes with a change in the fellow-species population (change in social status, loss of familiar animals or mates, etc).

I'm not always sure that "natural" spaces really are as natural as their made out to be unless it means putting the animal back in its native environment -- sure, their animals but they can become as habituated to a captive lifestyle as any animal. My dog may love to run free outside, but he seems pretty well adapted to sleeping on the couch and probably wouldn't like being made to live outdoors 24x7 after living his life indoors.

Comment: Re:However... (Score 1) 83

by swb (#48653717) Attached to: How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market

My dad had zero engineering or technical ability, which I can attest to through the two lawn mowers "inspected" for problems that ended up being thrown away after too many parts were removed for inspection to reassemble, and all the shit that never got fixed around the house.

But that man could level a parked motorhome like he was Apollodorus of Damascus so we could run the refrigerator. I was always impressed with the newer motorhomes we saw on our trips that had hydraulic jacking systems built-in and could self-level, but dad always felt all you needed were a stack of 2x scraps and a fine accelerator touch. I'd swear he would occasionally use stacks of 2x4s and I'm not quite sure how he managed to get a 26' Winnebago on a stack of 2x4s.

Comment: Re:Disingenuous at best. (Score 1) 153

by swb (#48647515) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

I can only guess that this a veiled threat to help limit their capabilities or risk being collateral damage in any responses that may target assets in China linked to North Korea.

It's also a way of engaging the segments of the Chinese leadership sick of getting caught up in North Korea's antics. The NY Times had a piece this morning highlighting an anti-NK article written by a senior Chinese army officer.

Comment: Just like speed traps (Score 3, Insightful) 281

by swb (#48644441) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

They always seem to put speed traps where it's easy to catch speeders versus where speed control would improve safety, such as places with high levels of speed related accidents.

The latter are often difficult to place speed traps or don't offer good cover for squad cars and the former are often places where it's easy to go faster or where the speed limits are artificially low.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie