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Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 1) 170

There used to be a web page called "Your Eyes Suck at Blue". You might find it on the Wayback machine.

You can tell the luminance of each individual channel more precisely than you can perceive differences in mixed color. This is due to the difference between rod and cone cells. Your perception of the color gamut is, sorry, imprecise. I'm sure that you really can't discriminate 256 bits of blue in the presence of other, varying, colors.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 5, Insightful) 170

Rather than abuse every commenter who has not joined your specialty on Slashdot, please take the source and write about what you find.

Given that CPU and memory get less expensive over time, it is no surprise that algorithms work practically today that would not have when various standards groups started meeting. Ultimately, someone like you can state what the trade-offs are in clear English, and indeed whether they work at all, which is more productive than trading naah-naahs.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 2) 235

I won't pull over for ANYONE in a dark alley or in the middle of the boonies.

Absolutely correct. Officers are (normally) trained that they need to allow the person to travel to a location they feel safe, which can mean a lit area or a populated area. Similarly if you are are on a bridge or somewhere with no shoulder, you can turn on your hazard lights, slow down, and continue to a safe area. If someone in the vehicle has a cell phone, they can call 911, describe the situation, and tell dispatch they will stop in a location with light and other people. You can also call 911 to verify the person is a real officer.

If you decide to do that you should slow down, pull to the outer lane, and turn on your hazard lights so the officer can see your intent.

Once stopped you can also keep your doors locked, roll down the window only enough for the discussion, and ask them to show you their department issued ID card, which has a photo and contact details, which you can verify with 911 if you want.


Having a self-driving car that obediently directed itself into a dark parking garage based on a masked stranger in uniform, that faithfully recorded the screaming of the passenger as the car stopped and opened for a group of masked people in uniform, recorded the passenger getting beaten, bound, and gagged by those same people, then faithfully returned home... well, that would be a problem.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 235

as Google causing a dozen accidents can attest to.

Citation needed.

Last I've seen, there were 14 crashes since they started open-road tests in 2009. Only one has had injuries, the rear-ending in July. They state that all of them were caused by the other vehicles (and their human drivers), and that they have evidence to prove it.

Of the 14, 11 were rear endings from when a car behind them failed to stop, 1 was a t-bone where someone ran the intersection and hit them. The other two were unspecified, but assuming we take their assurances that the crashes were not the self-driving car's fault, that really only leaves sideswipe crashes (someone entering their lane).

Comment Be a manager, not a programmer (Score 1) 87

The accountant has been placed in a role of management. You can be a manager without knowing the details of the tasks for the people being managed.

Unfortunately for your friend, he is being thrown into the project management with no experience in project management. That by itself is a near-certain guarantee that the project will fail. So his first action should be to hire or contract someone who knows how to manage a project

That said, assuming he's going to foolishly wing it...

There is a pretty good book on the subject, "How to cheat at IT project management". I'm sure there are many others, too. He needs to hit the books. Still not as good as having someone who knows what they are doing, but sometimes it takes a baptism by fire and reading will help.

There are many keys and guides to being a good manager. Middle managers buffer the roles between those above and those below. They don't need to know how to do the tasks above them in the org chart, they don't need to know how to do the tasks below them in the org chart. And that's okay, because their position is in between the two. The person -- in this case your "accountant friend" -- needs to know enough technical details to communicate with the people he is managing, and needs to know enough business details to manage upward, or to communicate with his bosses who expect progress and accountability.

The roles that your accountant friend will have in managing others is many faceted. They must remove roadblocks and enable the team to do their best. They must manage expectations and communicate clearly to those up the chain what they can expect, the progress that is being made, and present positive, realistic overviews of status. They must also communicate expectations downward, negotiate what success looks like, and understand the difference between tasks that can be completed and tasks that have no hope of being done on time no mater how many experts are thrown at them.

Without experience that will be extremely difficult, as experience shows what to look for to recognize when a project is in the earliest signs of drowning. If you spot the signs and symptoms a struggling project can be corrected if spotted early enough and the right actions are taken. Spotted too late, though, and the project is doomed no matter what heroic efforts you apply.

Wish your friend good luck. He'll need it. ;-)

Comment Re:Making promises for backdoor deals (Score 2) 253

The odds of this happening in 2-3 years are 0%. They have no real competition, why would they?

They DO have competition... in some cities. They are pushing to make it a headline as an attempt to keep people from moving to the competition.

Right now in my area Comcast has an ad campaign going. They take a sound bite of a competitor's ad offering 60Mbps with geographic restrictions, then say "With Comcast we don't have geographic restrictions, we guarantee 25Mbps everywhere in our network"... They make a big point of saying the speed is available to everyone on the network, never pointing out the speed is less than half of what is available elsewhere. Then I've got billboards for another service that is pushing out full gigabit to some residential areas and 100 gigabit for businesses in the city. They're growing slowly, but they seem to have faster adoption rates after every neighborhood they hit.

Lately there have been huge armies of comcast workers going door to door offering a slightly higher speed than their previous standard offering -- bumping from 20Mbps to 25Mbps -- that comes with a two year contract.

They keep coming by: "It is just a two year contract.", "If someone else comes along, you can sign up with them after two short years." "We're not asking you to stick around forever, we want to earn your business, this is just two short years."

Every time I ask them if they can meet my current vDSL speed of 80Mbps, and they say no, but they do have a great deal on 25Mbps cable. Then I ask about some of the fiber options going in, and again "we're installing fiber some neighborhoods, when it comes to your neighboord you can be the first to upgrade!"

Comcast has competition in some markets, and customers are leaving in droves. This type of marketing is an attempt to stop hemorrhaging customers in these regions.

Comment Re:Same agencies. (Score 1) 127

Except climate models do a poor job of predicting climate, which is what they are intended to do in the first place. None of them account for the 19+ year pause in warming. So they have to move the goal post after the kick, something you aren't allowed to do in science.

Comment No expectation of privacy = no search (Score 1) 211

violating the Supreme Law of the Land

Well-settled con law: No expectation of privacy = no search = no Fourth Amendment rights implicated.

How does a cellphone thief have a right to right to privacy on a cellphone he just stole? That's ludicrous on its face.

Comment Re:No, not economics at all (Score 1) 185

I don't have to apologize for national fiat currency, it's silly too, and I don't keep my assets in cash. My problem with Bitcoin is that it is even less credible than "the faith and credit of the United States government", which has been the justification of the Dollar since it was allowed to float. It seems to be nothing but "wish and it will come true".

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the small-aircraft owners aren't at risk of messing up their avionics. They are, however, consciously messing up the cellular network for everyone else. You see, you are supposed to be in range of just a few cells when you use your phone, so that we get frequency reuse between cells. If you are at altitude, you are in line-of-sight communications with all of the cells out to the visible horizon on all sides. And the frequencies you are using are probably locked out from reuse over that entire vast area. It would not take very many phones at altitude to disrupt the entire system.

Comment No, not economics at all (Score 4, Insightful) 185

People who received a play-money system from a mysterious unknown person and actually convinced themselves that it has value are now facing a schism over the money market failing to grow without bounds. Unless, that is, the software is modified in a way that might, over time, disincent people from playing the game.

I can't be the only one who is thinking that the only problem is that these folks believe bitcoins have value.

Hell, I thought that the fiat currency of nations was a bad deal. This is an order of magnitude worse.

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