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Comment: Re:summary as i understand it: (Score 1) 183

by Curunir_wolf (#49616595) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

we either have

1. another cold fusion debacle

2. groundbreaking fundamentally new science

do i understand the em drive status quo correctly?

Not exactly. The cold fusion debacle led to a lot of failures right away. There were people trying to replicate the cold fusion that got nothing, and others that saw some results. It turned out it depended on your source of palladium whether you would see any results.

In this case, all attempts to replicate the machine have detected some thrust coming from it, and at fairly consistent levels (as far as the measurements go). So it's clear in this case that the claims are correct and the EM works. There are lots of questions, the answers to some of which will mean it is not a viable engine for any practical use. But it's not really comparable to the "cold fusion debacle".

Comment: Re:bye bye rand paul (Score 1) 437

by Curunir_wolf (#49593475) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

" The Lawful Content clause in the rules is setup to ensure only lawful content is transmitted over the Internet. In order to determine if your data/packet is lawful, the government will have to analyze your data. In order to do that, they will only allow an encryption to be used that they can quickly decrypt (similar to what they did with Fax machines -the clipper chip). This will still allow encryption to perform email and internet transactions to keep the tech and private security companies happy.

This is the launch board to end private encryption, and will finally allow government to have free and open access to all data transmitted on the internet. Because of this, all devices that connect to the Internet will have to follow the same guidelines, this being phones, printers, tablets, PC’s etc. This will end all debate about companies providing devices that government cannot easily gain access.

This clause is much larger than just making hate speech - opposite political views, etc, unlawful content, this is the purpose to gain access to all the Internet data traffic."

Comment: Re:bye bye rand paul (Score 1) 437

by Curunir_wolf (#49593315) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

While I think the reaction to the nipple flash at the Superbowl was way over the top there is a substantial difference between something that is broadcast over the air with no control over who can receive it vs. something sent down a wire at the specific request of the receiver.

There may be a difference to you, but that doesn't mean there is a difference to the regulators or politicians. After all, there are children on the Internet - have to protect the children from all those "dark corners". The difference in the past was that Internet content was not controlled under a regulatory scheme (like broadcast TV). But now it is. And only "lawful" (that is, explicitly allowed) content and protocols are covered. Everything else is subject to censorship and blocking.

Comment: Re:bye bye rand paul (Score 1) 437

by Curunir_wolf (#49586687) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

People who are against net neutrality are for the internet as it is and has been since it entered the mainstream. People who are for net neutrality are trying to fix something that they think might be broken in theory because they are afraid of corporations and don't understand market forces.

It's worse than that, actually. It clearly looks like a effort to bring the Internet into a regulatory scheme like broadcast TV. Note all through the regulations they point out that only "lawful" content is protected. Not "legal" - "lawful". It's an important distinction. For instance, if I want to show some nipple during a performance, that's perfectly legal. However, if I do it during a superbowl show on broadcast TV, it's not "lawful", and I will face a half million dollars in fines. And the "lawful" moniker applies not just to content, but protocols and "transport mechanisms" as well. Is that protocol "lawful"?

Some of the champions of net neutrality are now starting to question whether they really got what they wanted - or if it's going to be something else. There will be endless challenges in the courts, and some companies have already promised them. And, of course, the FCC has still not release the 300 pages of regulations, so nobody really knows the details yet.

Comment: Re:Infosys, Really? (Score 1) 88

by Curunir_wolf (#49586185) Attached to: White House Outsources K-12 CS Education To Infosys Charity

It's even worse, the company had already had gone over budget almost two billion in doing a database for the Canadian government. Not a great track record, but still chosen above tons of qualified companies in the US.

That's consistent with the track record of most of these outsourcing companies. HCLA, for instance (Indian-based IT company), famously spent years writing the software for the Boeing Airbus. At the end it didn't work, failed FAA certification, and Boeing had to kick them out and hire a new team to do a re-write. HCLA has done the same on other projects.

You would think that at some point these companies (and government agencies) would figure out that they are wasting money on these low-bidder foreign companies, and stop using them. But no. They must be good salesmen, is all I can figure. They are certainly NOT good software engineers.

Comment: Re:Free Markets 101 (Score 1) 88

by Curunir_wolf (#49586091) Attached to: White House Outsources K-12 CS Education To Infosys Charity

Because we've seen the work of those H1-B workers. Somehow, companies keep hiring them even though it's clear to most of us that they are NOT getting their money's worth. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that much of those salaries are being sent somewhere else, instead of being spent at home, so other businesses suffer, too.

Comment: Is this the ob luddite post of the day? (Score 1) 108

First, to criticize the computer marking of exams one has understand the human process. In the human process readers are trained to use a rubric to award points for the presence of certain attributes. On objective subjects like maths and science, the readers will generally train until everyone gets the same score for the same work. On less objective tests, some variation is tolerated. For instance on my GRE essay, I receive two different scores that were averaged. It was the same essay, and from an assessment point of view the variation in grade is purely attributed to the personal preference of the reader.

Therefore the only task of those who write software to grade essays is that the variation of the machine is no worse that the variations of the humans. There is some success in this. Edx has a module that will grade essays. As far as I know the value in this is quicker and more uniform feedback for practice essays. Of course humanities majors, who have generally have minimal understanding of advanced technology, hate it. This, of course, includes journalists.

This is not to say that computer graded essays are going to be as good of an assessment as human graded essays. However, it may be good enough, and better than other objective measures, such as fill in the bubble tests. In fact anything that minimizes the cost of open ended free response assessment is going to benefit anyone. Securing multiple guess test is very expensive, and the value of them are highly questionable. They tend to overestimate the value of student how have vague passive knowledge, and underestimate the value of those who have an ability to actively apply knowledge.

Comment: Re:flashy, but risky too. (Score 1) 83

by fermion (#49578053) Attached to: Uber Testing Massive Merchant Delivery Service
There is a lot of counterfeiting as well. While insurance, if Uber has it, will protect the consumer and vendor, the consumer will not be protected from counterfeit bags.

I even doubt there will be suitable insurance or bonding, as one reason Uber can be so cheap is because they externalize most costs to the driver, which means consumer do not have the protection they normally expect. I mean if something happens on the trip, or to a product, who are you going to sue? The driver who doesn't even hold the title to the car? The driver's insurance company that specifically is not going to cover commercial activities?

Even with proper insurance and bonding, it still leaves the consumer open to receiving counterfeit property. The driver substitutes the counterfeit for the original, gives the authenticity card to the customer, and end up with an authentic $2500 bag for the costs of counterfeit.

Comment: Re:typical college class... (Score 2) 353

by fermion (#49570611) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
While TAM Galveston is above the level of a community college, it is not up to the level of the more legitimate universities in the State even though it shares a name with some. Also, it has a reason to exist apart from the greater system, namely a maritime emphasis. That said, the flagship universities do have a tendency to shift less desirable students to these outlying branches. Students want to go to these education not for the education, but so they can say they went. The universities encourage this by have 'former student associations' instead of 'alumni organizations'

In any case I am sure these problems exist a the colleges that occupy the space between community colleges and legitimate universities, where such problems are much less dominate. That is why it still makes a difference where one goes to school, and why some schools can charge a premium.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 1) 634

by Curunir_wolf (#49569221) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

When they put equal effort into increasing the number of men as journalists, authors, teachers, lab technicians therapists, editors, librarians, public relations officers and insurance underwriters then, and only then, will I believe they are sincere in attempting to balance the genders in STEM. However before then they look like hypocrites to me.

Maybe first they should be trying to provide a little more "equality" in college admissions and graduation. Women are dominating right now, and no one seems to care that there is a significant and growing gender gap in higher education.

Comment: Re: Google Streams (Score 2) 359

by Curunir_wolf (#49563043) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

That's not the market solution. They have to care for everyone due to regulation. That raises everyone's else prices due to economics.

No, the market solution is to let the people too poor to afford medical care die of their illnesses and injuries. Just as the market solution to poverty is starvation. Do you need me to explain why that does not work out well in practice?

Because there are too many of those little dregs and not enough security for the elites to keep their heads.

Besides it's far cheaper just to send them some food stamps and a check every month than to try to educate them in a public school or teach them about running a business - just tell them to get a "job", and when they can't find one because nobody wants to hire some poor minority kid indoctrinated in a state-based/union-driven "feel-good center" where they learn to blame all their troubles on "the man", just offer some free health care and send them back to their Social Justice Government Housing.

Don't give them a place to live near the businesses, though, they'll just trash the neighborhood - there's some space down there between the railroad tracks and the city dump where you can build some brick boxes for them to live in.

Comment: Re:the endgame is ironic here (Score 1) 289

by Curunir_wolf (#49556293) Attached to: Robot Workers' Real Draw: Reducing Dependence on Human Workers

Agreed - there is an appropriate amount of regulation. That amount is neither zero, nor infinite regulation. But anyone that thinks that businesses would just do the right thing if only they were free to do whatever they want hasn't read their history.

History shows that businesses only need to look after their own self-interest. With all players acting the same way, there are, in fact, many checks built-in to a free market system. Intervention is only needed for things like, businesses that attempt to cut corners in dangerous ways by, for instance, using melamine-contaminated fillers for pet and baby food, or dumping toxic waste into the rivers or air.

The worst of monopolistic abuses, regulatory capture, and cronyism are actually side-effects of a run-away regulatory bureaucracy.

Comment: Re:the endgame is ironic here (Score 1) 289

by Curunir_wolf (#49554541) Attached to: Robot Workers' Real Draw: Reducing Dependence on Human Workers

However, the assertion that taking away the regulation will have better results than fixing the regulation is based on a fiction

Same old fallacy. Supporters of unlimited central government always try to claim that the only choice is all the regulation or none at all. Of course there is also such a thing as too much regulation, which causes more problems than it solves. So of course if a regulation isn't working, you just need a new regulation, and a new one to fix that, and a new one to fix that, until there are so many it becomes an albatross.

Anyone that thinks there are no regulations that need to be removed in the US has NOT been reading the Federal Register every quarter.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android