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Google Apologises For Photos App's Racist Blunder 350 350

Mark Wilson writes: Google has issued an apology after the automatic tagging feature of its Photos apps labeled a black couple as "gorillas". This is not the first time an algorithm has been found to have caused racial upset. Earlier in the year Flickr came under fire after its system tagged images of concentration camps as sports venues and black people as apes. The company was criticized on social networks after a New York software developer questioned the efficacy of Google's algorithm. Accused of racism, Google said that it was "appalled" by what had happened, branding it as "100% not OK".

Comment: Re:Security team (Score 1) 515 515

I think you grossly overestimate the power consumption of a modern desktop. Modern PCs only use a couple of watts at idle, under 20. In most cases the display backlight is using more power than the PC. You would have to raise electric taxes to incredible rates for companies to change their policies.Not to mention the fact that power overnight is off-peak generation which is effectively free.
If you look at US power consumption, it's been flat for the last 15 years. This is due to advances in power savings in all electronics. The days of a PC that burns up 100+ watts and people who leave their 250 watt 19" CRT monitors on all day and all night with the screensaver running are over.

Comment: Re:Still too expensive (Score 1) 249 249

Jackies Brickhouse. I guess they're technically in Kemah but there's about 10 cities that wrap around Clear Lake. And yes technically it's not coastal, thanks for being a fucking pedant about that. I sail offshore a couple times a year I'm aware, but for 99% of america, as far as they know, Houston is a port city on the coast of Texas so I just roll with it. Sorry to get your panties in a wad.

Comment: Re:Still too expensive (Score 2) 249 249

Slightly snarky but true: a lot of cities have special provisions for cars/vehicles that don't exceed 35mph and are banned from highways. They look like overgrown golf carts. There's a taxi service here in Dallas that operates a fleet of electric golf carts that seat between six and nine people, and a couple of bars in the Clear Lake (distant costal suburb of Houston) that operate a private (and free) electric car taxi service.
With a battery pack cosing about $7000 still, I don't think you can expect to make a highway legal chassis for $3000 with engine and tires. $10,000 is a nice round number but inflation is a thing so that number is probably closer to $12,000-15,000.

Comment: Re:Soo..... (Score 1) 333 333

No, just an extremely satisfied customer who lives in a walkable neighborhood and also lives just a $5 uber ride from the office. Since parking downtown is $5 and the rail station nearest to my house is 80% equidistant to downtown, once you factor in gas, insurance and maintenance, uber comes out ahead in price for me. Also it's super convenient for going to concerts downtown, etc. Taxis in Dallas won't pick up short distance fares and calling for a taxi usually results in a 45 minute wait. With uber I rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for a car to arrive, just enough time to feed and water my cats in the morning.

Comment: Re:Soo..... (Score 1) 333 333

Uber just pays the fine/bail and the driver is out in 90 minutes or less. This is a non-event everywhere where uber is "illegal". Personally I'm in favor of Uber over Taxis, if Uber stopped operating in my city, I would just buy a car and stop using ride services. Because Taxis are awful.
You have a lot of posts in this thread already.

Comment: Cathodes and Annodes (Score 3, Interesting) 134 134

The problem with metal nodes and Carbon Fiber (CF) tubes, as the Bicycle industry is now learning, is that if you have direct contact between the CF and metal nodes (as the first "Carbon Fiber" bicycles were made, back in the early 1990's), the CF will react with the metal, and given 15 years, become a rolling death trap. Lots of old "Carbon Fiber" bikes on Craigslist now as owners are seeing them fall apart during normal use due to corrosion.
That said, there's no reason why they can't build latticework connecting members that are 3D printed, rather than CF tubes which are not optimized to be dimensionally stable in the direction(s) they'll be loaded the most.


(Your Job) Is a Video Game 36 36

arctother writes: UberDRIVE—Uber's simulation/video game/recruiting tool—is, at best, just a poor copy of a much more interesting video game – driving for Uber. The main innovation of Uber, and other smartphone-enabled "e-hailing" car services, is the insertion of a new interface into the human-to-human, on-the-street interactions between drivers and passengers. Uber attempts to transform the cab-driving and -riding experience through the deployment of an allegorithm: the productive joining of a framing narrative (or "allegory") and software-mediated control (or "algorithm"). Understanding how allegorithms shape experience will become more and more important as they are increasingly deployed with mobile interfaces to reshape and "augment" social interactions. "Ingress," you are already thinking; but you should really think of "Uber."

Comment: Re:Yes, it's called redundancy (Score 1) 107 107

In our case, about 20% of our servers are outdated and not kept as well maintained, as they used to host some important service, but their new replacement was built and that service was migrated, but nobody's 100% sure if there were any other latent, less important services running on that machine. So it stays on because everybody has more important things to do than find out what else is running on there, and perhaps more importantly, nobody wants to be the guy who shuts down the server that's still running some process someone relies on. So one or two servers of each type stays on, indefinitely, or until extended support finally ends. And yeah we have some physical redundant servers but for the most part everything is a VM now and we just have a one or two redundant VM hosts at our DR site. And an idle old server doesn't consume much of anything besides a gig or two of ram.

Comment: Re:Secure Skype Replacement? (Score 2) 69 69

In theory you could run a mumble server on a private VPS. When I did it I used a VPS of the most minimal specs I could purchase at the time (1cpu, 1GB ram, linux) for about $7/month. I ran a mumble server for a community of about 3000 users for a couple of years and we would have 200 concurrent users with no latency issues. Voice and chat go over TLS. Mumble does not offer video chat however.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.