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Comment Re:Why aren't space pictures better? (Score 2) 62

If we were really there, the comet would look black, black, black and more black. And the shadows would be slightly, but probably imperceptibly, darker. The images are extremely enhanced to exagerrate the tiny variations of deep black.

The question of colour is interesting. Space probe cameras don't have RGB sensors, they're monochrome with lots and lots of switchable filters for specific purposes, like seeing seeing specific gases like nitrogen monohydride or a mineral like orthopyroxene, and many are in UV or IR. It's a bonus if the science lets you make more or less true colour images too.

The resolution will be much better when the probe gets close to the nucleus as the narrow field camera won't be able to see all of it at once. What I've seen so far seems to be only part of the full frame.

Comment Re:It was nice (Score 1) 132

Data harvesting only adds value if it can be used to predict something which Google finds useful, what feeds you've got in common with someone else apparently wasn't useful enough in presenting, for example, search results.
But without Reader, I wouldn't have gotten a Google account. At least not then.

Comment Your face may have been sculpted by junk DNA (Score 2) 68

Interview with Kayser ("we've only found the first five genes"): http://www.scientificamerican....
In short: Hair and eye colour prediction: 0.9, height: 0.75, everything else "much lower" than 0.75 with 0.5 being totally random.

And from the article itself: "The next step is to run larger studies in different populations to confirm that the variants found so far are statistically reliable." which explains why there aren't any more test examples.

A bit about how it works ("Fine Tuning of Craniofacial Morphology by Distant-Acting Enhancers"): http://www.evolutionnews.org/2...

Comment The Trolley Problem (Score 1) 937

The interesting question is: What do cars think of the Trolley Problem?
It's not when software or hardware fails to do as intended that is the big problem when assigning blame. Nor when the car does something because it's been told to. It's the usually hidden and unused ethics which makes this difficult and interesting. Rules and duty versus utility and consequences.

It's most likely wrong to think that all self driving cars will act the same when faced with a necessary choice of who to kill and who to save. Unless governments require all such software to be written to very exact specifications about how to deal even with situations nobody has thought of, of course.

Should the cars' ethical system reflect their owners' views on the trolley problem?
Should cars be forced to use a specific ethical system contrary to what some owners would like?
Should cars learn by experience and adapt their ethics?

If you ride in your self driving car when it is, would you like it to kill you to save five others or the other way round?

Comment Re: Probably more to it (Score 1) 439

"Downgrade" data-link isn't exactly right: It was a replacement of the Swedish with Link 16. Which doesn't have all the features the Swedish did 20 years ago but has the important feature that it's NATO compatible. The problem was (is?) that there's not space for both in a Gripen, so suddenly the C/D version wasn't compatible with most data-link resources in the defence force, but the older A/B version was.

Comment Re:google translate (Score 1) 215

I just tried that with a couple of paragraphs: Google Translate returns the exact text including mis-spellings even though it had correctly identified what the mis-spelled words actually should be.
This suggests that there are language independent methods of "identifying" writers.

Comment Official how? (Score 2) 64

"Sweden's" official account? I didn't even know about it until now. But they got BBC to write about it, even though there's really no news content apart from "innovative marketing approach", which probably helped increase the number of followers from 8000 to 18000 but I wonder if the extra 10000 are interested in Sweden or in how this will work (and if it's really amateurs writing) and if any of them had any trouble telling Sweden and Switzerland apart before.

Comment Some sources says it's not CHAdeMO compliant (Score 3, Informative) 359

This source also has some more technical details, like charging current, how much current the charging station will draw from the grid (20kW), that the charging station has twin batteries with different properties, that car makers need to adopt new battery types for it to work:


Comment Re:Yes I Do Want (Score 1) 213

No, the resolution isn't the only problem.

One other is saccadic eye movements. Anything shown via these would remain fixed relative to the eye, but as our eyes constantly shift the exact direction we look in, each "pixel" would appear to jump around.

One more is the very small field of view our eyes have sharp vision in. A single projected image (I'm not clear on whether they intend to project the light from each LED to a spot on the retina) would be VERY small. To simulate a larger (7+ characters?) image you'd have to have orientation sensors in the contact lenses (which also would help with the previous paragraph).

I really wonder if they or anyone else have put semitransparent letters or whatever on a contact lens to determine how information dense it really can be as a static display.

Comment Re:Open source (Score 2, Interesting) 1747

If you can falsify any of the theories by experiment, people will pay attention to you, regardless of politics.

I'd like to see you "Design an experiment" that falsifies the global warming hypothesis. Go out an get yourself a model Sun and then figure out how to simulate an experimental and control version of Earth. My understanding is that entropy/chaos and imperfect assumptions in any such model can lead to spectacularly divergent results. So until a realistic Sun/Earth computer model exists, a true "global warming experiment" can't be run.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito