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Comment Re:Or, alternately ... (Score 1) 389

You don't need to replace every car for disruption to happen. In fact you only need to replace cars driven by professional drivers.

- They do the most mileage. Replacing a small percentage of the global fleet would have a big impact.
- Most of the actual cost is labor, so the incentives are huge to get rid of the drivers.
- They are replaced fairly frequently
- As long as you don't have to pay a driver, in many cases it doesn't matter if they go slower.
- They tend to go through the same route most of the time. You only need the vehicle to be able to handle that route. They can start with specially simple routes.

Once a significant (if small) percentage of the vehicles is automatic, the incentive for anyone paying a driver is to get rid of him. Competition.

Comment Re:Barking up the wrong tree? (Score 1) 498

Please mod parent up. Your life is yours and only yours. You should be entitled to end it. People around you may suffer or you may be alienated enough that nobody would care much, but that, again is your decision. In my country the suicide rate goes way up on people over 80. They have had enough and want to end their lifes with some dignity and spare themselves all of the suffering of terminal illneses and isolation depending on a health system that only sees them as a number.

What is wrong with that? only the idea that your life belongs to God and you should accept whatever level of suffering life brings to you just so you can be "saved" and go to "Paradise". All this suffering caused to people that positively knows there is going to be more negative than positive during the rest of their lifes should be enough to understand the cruelty of religion.

People should watch: "The Ballad of Narayama" from Akira Kurosawa.

Comment Re:We've redefined success! (Score 5, Insightful) 498

So it is forbidden to make a decision about your life. WTF?

I am allowed to marry the wrong person and ruin my life at the drop of a hat. I am allowed to have kids where I may not be qualified to provide a decent life. I am allowed to sign a mortgage that I know I can't pay. I am allowed to try to climb the K7 if I am 70 years old, wich is very close to suicide.

But I am not allowed to take my own life.

Bollocks.

Comment FDA == slow progress too (Score 5, Insightful) 80

Seife suggests the FDA is trapped in a co-dependent relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, and needs strong legislative support to end its bad behavior.

This is clearly the case, and this not only means that some drugs that should not be on the market are approved. It also means, and in my mind this is more important, that the big Pharma are using the FDA as a barrier of entry against startups. Getting a new drug on the market costs an average of $2.558 billion in 2013 dollars.

This days are the early days of the biotech revolution where we will gain enormous control over our health are just starting, and progress is slow due to regulation capture. If some of this money would be given back to researchers instead of lawyers and bureaucrats, we would get better treatments available sooner.

As an example, big pharma companies get old drugs whose patents are about to run out, change their chemical formula and improve them just a bit and then go to market with them so the can reap huge margins with basically the same compound. This is safer business than trying to produce a breakthrough with a completely new compound. And the reason for this is the way the FDA operates. This results in very valuable resources being used with little benefit to the public.

Comment Re:Cheaper option, Google Cardboard (Score 2) 74

When Google's Project Tango is ready and the hardware is shipped in phones, Google cardboard will have positional tracking. And since it has a camera, you can use it both for virtual reality and enhanced reality apps. You will be able to run around with the headset (as opposed to Occulus Rift where you are tethered).

If your phone has Project Tango hardware and a good amoled screen with high resolution, and if the manufacturer implements a high refresh rate, you will have a lot of what the Occulus Rift has in terms of image quality, but without the limitations. And you have to have a phone anyway this days, so it is just a matter of dropping a few more bucks for the extra hardware.

Comment Re:The longer you live...Cancer could be your rewa (Score 1) 273

Agreed,

And even if completely defeating cancer is not possible or achieved quickly (progress in partially defeating cancer is business as usual), the set of technologies they are seeking would allow us to live healthier, longer and more productive lifes until the cancer (or whatever) takes us away. This would be a huge deal for anyone.

Comment Re:Doesn't really matter if they do patch it (Score 1) 629

I guess if Google were to fix it, Cyanogen would pick up the fix and back port it to their old versions. Then you could root the phone and install cyanogen. It would not only be more secure. It would also remove all of the carrier and manufacturer crap and work better than the original.

Comment Re:Image quality (Score 2) 141

I think the point here is that with 3D comes the ability to better understand the images. Don't think about producing content. Think about gathering information from the environment. A phone or tablet will always know where it is, even if GPS doesn't work, just by processing the input from its camera (see Google's project Tango). And eventually will understand what the objects it sees are. Think robotics, enhanced reality and many more applications...

For those applications image quality is not relevant.

Comment Re:This silly person has no idea what will happen. (Score 2) 688

1. Humans are able to do physical work. This was automated away.
2. Humans are able to do repetitive manually skilled work. This is being automated away.
3. Humans are be able to do repetitive intellectual work. This is starting to be automated away.
4. A subset of humans are able to do highly creative / complex intellectual work. This will start to be automated away in about 20 years from now.

Then what? I mean, as long as you define work as "something useful that needs to be done in order to solve some problem or improve the situation" all of it will eventually be automated so we can achieve the goal in a more efficient way than using humans.

But even if 4. takes a very long time to arrive, what do you do with the rest of the people that can't do intellectual work? do you starve them? do you designate them as "underclass" and keep them on charity forever? do you share the available wealth in a mostly equitative way?

I would go for the last one, if anything because all of us are going to be in the "underclass" eventually, when our level of ability can be matched by automatic tools.

Comment Re:This is not the problem (Score 5, Interesting) 688

In fact, we may be experiencing this trend right now. Economic growth is not needed anymore by the elites to increase their wellbeing, where it used to be neccesary.

The elites used to need an army of servants to clean their clothes, cooke their food, keep their houses, drive them around, manage their wealth and most of all, work on their factories... This is all being automated, and the new luxury is not based on people laboring for the elite, but on technology and resources available to the elite. The fact that labor was needed, and the unionization of workers, forced some redistribution of wealth during the past century. But it may be that in the history of humanity the past century is an exception and the "natural" state of society is to have a higher concentration of wealth than what we had in the sixties.

This would allow the elites to escape the general economy. They will build their luxury cars on automated factories, clean their houses with robots, be driven by robots (when they feel like not driving), manage their wealth with software and highly automated consultancy, shop on the internet... so what it matters that the economy is contracting as long as the luxury part of the economy grows? they don't need the goods made by the general economy as much as they used to. They will only need the highly skilled workers that produce new technologies, lay out new automated factories, build new medical procedures, manage their wealth, entertain them and teach their children.

They can be wealthy without having to spend a dime on other people, just on technology. This leaves the door open to a split in society where the wealthy people achieves "escape velocity" and they become a different class, or even a different species. The can manage the underclasses with the very powerful media and manipulation tools they have. They have all of the details about each one of us and the analytical tools to process them so they will be able to find the soft spots that can be used to convince a statistically sufficient part of the rest of us that "this is the only way it can be".

And we may be seing the beginning of this already...

Comment Translation (Score 2) 28

The head tracker API returns a 4x4 matrix from the sensors:

public void getLastHeadView (float[] headView, int offset)
Provides the most up-to-date transformation matrix.
Parameters
headView An array representing a 4x4 transformation matrix in column major order.
offset Offset in the array where data should be written.

I wonder how reliable the translation information is. The angle seems to work quite well from the apps I have checked, but no app is trying to use translation information. Having it available, if it is reliable enough, would enable a whole lot of new cool applications.

Did anyone test this?

Comment Re:Censorship (Score 4, Interesting) 183

You are right,

And in a way, this can be seen as a reaction to the raise of a political party in Spain: Podemos. It translates into "we can" and it is made up of young people that are trying to rethink the whole democracy thing, turning it into a more direct democracy. It has gone from not existing to being the first in the polls in a period of two years. It has the old traditional parties panicking.

This seems to be the answer from the old elite. Censorship and personal attacks. And it is backfiring. With each of this actions, they show how corrupted and misguided they are, and podemos raises in the polls. People do not trust the traditional media (TV and papers) anymore and seeks information directly from other sources on the web.

I don't think podemos will end up governing the country. They are far left, at least they were at the beginning, although they are moderating their statements as they become wider. But this is causing lots of changes for good on Spanish politics, with the traditional parties not being able to turn their head anymore on corruption, corporate tax evasion or undehanded lobying.

Variables don't; constants aren't.

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