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Comment: Re:Africa (Score 1) 318

by gman003 (#47939671) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

You do realize judging the entire country of Africa by the most notorious problems is like judging North America by Haiti and West Virginia. Ebola isn't even that deadly at a population level - it's killed fewer people, total, than the recent Gaza war. The real killer diseases in Africa are the ones we've already solved in the developed world - malaria and the ilk.

Anyways, build a modern healthcare infrastructure, modern farms with GMO crops, stop all the pointless wars and rein industry in a bit, and Africa will be fine.

Comment: Re:So then they get another warrant ... (Score 1) 502

by gman003 (#47939275) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

Better idea then - they get a warrant for one guy that forces Apple to roll out an update that removes *everyone's* encryption. Because otherwise they're obviously harboring terrorists/pedophiles/satanists/communists/anarchists/Tories/heretics/witches/whatever.

The guy offered to do the development in lieu of the overly-broad request, and the government refused it.

Comment: Re:So then they get another warrant ... (Score 4, Insightful) 502

by gman003 (#47937997) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police


Remember Lavabit? They got a warrant to seize his private SSL key, so they could hijack connections from every user. The warrant only covered one person specifically but the order was for the SSL key itself, giving them the technical ability to read everything the users read. He even offered to modify his code so it would do it for just that one user, and they refused. The warrant even came with a gag order preventing him from talking about it.

Comment: Valve already made this mistake (Score 1) 609

Way back in the day, when Steam used that ugly vaguely-military olive drab color, any free apps just showed up in everyone's accounts. There weren't that many - a few demos, all for Valve games. The entire Steam library was only like thirty or forty games at this point.

And then PopCap joined. They basically doubled the list of paid games, but also added demos for at least two dozen games (I recall the list was so long I actually had to scroll). People were understandably furious, because that made it a lot harder to pick out the games you had actually bought from the demos that just popped into everyone's accounts. I think this was before there was an option to show only installed games, which would have made things much worse.

Valve fixed that pretty damn quickly. And I thought everyone would have seen and learned from that. Sadly Apple refuses to learn from their own mistakes, let alone the mistakes of others.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 3, Informative) 194

by gman003 (#47885655) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

You're making the assumption that any situation the car cannot handle is both an immediate danger, and a situation that can be handled perfectly by a human.

When I try to think of situations where an automated car would fail, most tend to be ones where a response of "come to a full stop, don't do anything until the human orients himself and takes charge" is a perfectly valid one. Traffic lights not working? Let the human figure it out. Bridge out ahead? Let the human figure it out. Conditions so bad you can't see the road markings? Let the human try to do better, and if he wants to sit on his ass until it clears, that's probably a good idea anyways.

Sure, there are situations where an AI might not be able to avoid an accident an alert human would. Let's say a trailer detaches from a truck in front of you, but not in your lane. As it skids, it suddenly tumbles into your lane. An automated car might have ignored it until it was too late, while an alert human would have slammed on the brakes as soon as they saw it.

But how many humans would have been that alert? Even if they weren't on a phone, or sipping their coffee, or fiddling with the radio, most drivers end up in a sort of trance, doing things automatically. I've seen people crash just because they weren't paying attention - not distracted by anything, just driving without conscious thought. Automated cars won't have that problem - they don't *get* bored. Even if they can't dodge a freak accident, they'll be avoiding plenty of routine accidents. Net gain for people who don't like car wrecks.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 194

by gman003 (#47885551) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada
Or let's see if it could handle the commute I had this morning: There was a power outage. Seems to have affected at least two blocks, including the traffic lights. I was trying to make a left turn, onto Main Street. For those whose traffic laws may be different, in this jurisdiction, a downed traffic signal is treated as an all-way stop sign. Or at least, it's supposed to be. Traffic coming from the left refused to stop. They just blew right through it, most didn't even slow down. Traffic from the right stopped occasionally (they had passed through other downed lights to get there, so I guess they had a few seconds to think), but that didn't help me. I eventually had to turn around and find a different route, specifically one that would not hit any traffic lights. I wonder if automated cars would have done better. Would they have stopped, as they were supposed to? Would they recognize it as a dangerous situation, stop and hand control back to the driver? Would they just plow right through it like all the dumb humans? The first is obviously correct behavior, the second would be tolerable, and the third would be merely no better than humans were doing. What if my car was automated? Would it have stopped? I sure hope so. Would it have realized that humans are morons and that it would never be able to make that turn? Would it plan a backup route that avoided all traffic lights, or would it continue to be surprised every time humans failed to remember an obscure driving law? What if a policeman had been directing traffic? Do Google's cars know how to obey hand signals? People can usually figure them out even if they don't remember them, since they're fairly intuitive to us, but that has no bearing on whether it makes sense to a machine.

Comment: We need more of this (Score 5, Insightful) 275

by gman003 (#47875893) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews
We need more penalties just for trying to include illegal terms in a non-negotiable contract. It's not enough to simply say "well, the courts will toss it out if they try to enforce it" - because that relies on people being able to fight a legal battle that they shouldn't have needed to fight to begin with.

Comment: He's right (Score 4, Interesting) 266

by gman003 (#47858803) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter
I've got ideas for plenty of shooters that do things differently. Two have actually made it to playable prototypes, and confirmed that yes, the ideas are fun. I'd describe them, but I'm in talks to produce them so I'll keep my mouth shut for now. All the marketers think we want are "realistic" modern arena shooters, "realistic" modern open-map shooters, "old-school" twitch shooters, or maybe an occasional squad-level tactical shooter. In other words, a CoD clone, a Battefield clone, a Q3/UT clone, or a R6 clone. That's it. That's 90% of the industry, just remaking the same three games over and over with different settings or skins or variations on the same fucking theme. It's really quite infuriating, since half of them aren't even *good* clones.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead