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Comment: The simple "hacks" are the best. (Score 2) 125 125

Dunno why, that reminded me of some of my own late 80's early 90's hacks.

I once had to take an X-Acto knife to the backplane of something (VAX or PDP-11 or vice-versa to get a card for the "wrong" one to work).

Another time, I needed 240V, but the office only had 110V, so I made a "two headed" extension cord - two normal plugs, and one 240V twist-lock socket.
Then All I had to do was find two outlets on opposite phases and I was in business. This item would probably NOT get UL approval.

Not really a hack; but as a software guy there was one problem driving me nuts, to the point that I had to figure out how to use the logic probe to prove to the hardware guys that the circuit board they layed out had flipped the upper and lower 8-bits of a 16-bit buss... I fixed it in software (until they did a new spin of the board and fixed it, as it was just a prototype).

That was back in days when the CAD program would take days to route a board, and PCs were expensive. We made a moderately priced PC into an expensive (faster) one by changing out the clock crystal - back in the day when "overclocking" was a hardware hack.

Best modern hacks? Root your Android phone and put Cyanogen on it, for crying out loud, stop whining about bloatware!

Also, not too long ago, my kid complained that the "windshield washer fluid" warning light was on all the time (older Camry), but there was plenty of fluid and it worked fine. So, rather than "fix" it, I figured out which wire needed to be snipped... problem solved. (Now you have to "manually" inspect the fluid level of the washer fluid - oh the horror.)

Comment: Re:Something I won't put on my resume (Score 1) 125 125

There are some bosses who are so self-important that they'd fire anybody who suggested that they can fix for themselves, and I agree that I'd not want to work for one, but that wasn't what I meant. I was thinking of the kind of boss who'd fire you for phrasing your suggestion the way I did; of course, following the link may help you understand my thoughts.

Comment: Re:Something I won't put on my resume (Score 1) 125 125

I think I'd have been tempted to tell him that he knows how to fix it if he knows how to whistle. Of course, a lot depends on his personality; if he's an arrogant stuffed shirt, you'll be looking for your next job before you know what's happened.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 349 349

People apologize when they, or the things they sell, make mistakes. Even if it was unforeseeable.

No, they don't. When everybody involved knows that they're looking at the spurious output of a young image recognition process, apologies don't, and don't need to happen.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 1) 349 349

To cite one example, ACORN staffer Clifton Mitchell was arrested and convicted (and did time) for creating fictional voters through thousands of bogus voter registrations. ACORN as an entity was fined $25k for its supervisory role in just his conduct alone. The entire organization dissolved itself while it was undergoing investigation for identical behavior in multiple states.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 2) 349 349

Over here we live in reality, and the reality I that getting one of those IDs requires taking time off from work that we frequently either don't get or can't afford to take

Really. What sort of job do you have that didn't involve showing ID in order to submit the required federal tax forms as you were hired? What sort of paycheck are you getting that doesn't involve you using an ID in order to open a bank account or cash a check? Please be specific about the people who are working full time, so hard, that not once in their entire life can they be bothered to get a form of ID. And, out of curiosity, how on earth did they find time to go register to vote, or find time TO vote? You're saying that these are people who will have their routine trips to the polling place, year after year throughout their entire lives, thwarted because they couldn't take five minutes to stop once for a free ID?

Voter fraud is a literal non issue, a nonthreat to the integrity of the election process

So, you're asserting that there are no elections that turn on a matter of just a handful of votes? You're actually going to say that the many local and state elections (which do things like put congressional and senate representatives into power) don't sometimes get decided by only dozens of votes? And then you're going to assert that papers like the Washington Post, who have reported on elections as recently as 2012 where in just one local review there were instances of local voters fraudulently voting twice ... that, what, the Washington Post is lying? Is that because you think the WP is part of some vast, racists, right-wing conspiracy, and manufactured the records that were produced by the election officials, showing the felony-offense fraud?

Your anxious need to trot out the ad hominem shows how much you're aware that you're BS-ing, so I don't really need to go on. You know you're looking to defend fraudulent practices that primarily favor the one party whose activists have been caught red-handed generating tens of thousands of bogus voter registrations. And you're complaining about the person who suggests it's a good ID to make fraud harder to commit. Your opening comments about how difficult it is for full time workers to stop and get an ID that the already have to have was hilarious, though, so thanks for the entertainment.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 1) 349 349

Which part? The part where left-leaning activist groups generate enormous numbers of bogus voter registrations? Among others, ACORN did just that (getting busted doing it was why they re-organized and changed their name so nobody would keep bringing it up ... and you're probably hoping nobody will remember actual criminal prosecution for those actions). Or are you saying that the coordinated efforts to talk out-of-state college students into double-voting haven't, despite extensive reporting of exactly that, occurred?

Or you could look to no less a bastion of right-wing win nuttery than the Washington Post, which reported on a review showing thousands of people registered to vote in multiple states, and in one local review, caught over 150 people crossing state boundaries just in the DC area to vote more than once on the same day.

One of the county election supervisors who took time to review information in that instance found an example of where someone had been crossing state lines and voting more than once on the same day in local and national elections for over a decade. He said that in a dozen cases he'd reviewed, the purposefulness of the election fraud was plain, and the actions were class 6 felonies.

In cases where congressional seats or governorships can turn on a mere handful of votes, it's no "pile of bull" to point out that people are deliberately, systematically taking advantage of weak ID requirements and a weak registration system in order to fraudulently corrupt elections.

Comment: Re: Really ? (Score 1) 246 246

The moon has no atmosphere.

I remember, almost thirty years ago, running across a book with that title. It was the story of a girl (about fourteen, I think) whose family relocated to a lunar colony because her father got a good job up there. The title is a bit of a play on words, of course, but both meanings were appropriate and it wasn't a bad book.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 2) 349 349

That said it is pretty obvious that the main proponents of voter laws are Republicans because they know it will benefit them in elections, and the main opponents of voter laws are democrats because they know it will not benefit them in elections.

Backwards. The Republicans know that the biggest source of bogus voter registrations, and the areas with the largest number of actively dead registered voters and turnout at polling places where the number of votes exceeds the eligible population, are in places where Democrat activists work the hardest to hold on to power. It's not that knowing people who vote are voting legally and only once isn't going to benefit Democrats, it's that such a process is counter to what liberal activist groups work so hard to put in place. Like huge efforts to get college students to register to vote where they go to school, but to also vote absentee in their home state. Stuff like that. When they pour so much work into it that it starts to show (like the thousands of bogus registrations routinely created by the former ACORN), you know they won't like having that work undone by basic truth-telling at the polling place.

If you're worried about people not knowing there's an election coming up, and not bothering to get an ID (really? you can't go to the doctor, fill a prescription, collect a welfare check, or much of ANYTHING else with already having an ID), then why not encourage the Democrats to apply the same level of effort they put into the shady practices described above, and focus it instead on getting that rare person who never sees a doctor, never gets a prescription, collects no government benefits of any kind, doesn't work (but whom you seem to suggest none the less are a large voting block) and, with YEARS to work with between elections ... just getting them an ID?

Comment: Re: Fails to grasp the core concept (Score 1) 216 216

I think you need to go back and revisit the history of speech recognition. It's not done using AI. It's done using brute force statistics. Chomsky's ideal of a universal grammar turned out to be a dead end -- language is too complex to get semantic meaning from grammar alone. In fact, AI still cannot consistently extract semantic meaning from everyday English sentences.

The breakthrough with speech recognition was to abandon AI and instead gather a huge corpus of actual sentences. These are tabulated, and with parallel processing can be quickly scanned to determine the likelihood of any particular word following another, regardless of grammatical relationship. Transcription is the process of mapping phonemes to words and querying the language corpus to find statistically likely matches. You don’t have to solve the Chomskyan problem of how language and meaning are structured. You just brute force it mathematically.

But you can't brute force what mosquito's do, because those task require true cognition. Learning is just one of the cognitive processes mosquitoes perform, and I earlier enumerated many more. It's true that a computer can perform some of these tasks computationally, one at a time, but it can't integrate the solutions simultaneously to achieve a goal. That requires cognition, and AI has never achieved cognition at any level.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 349 349

I wouldn't go as far as to say they are saying that black people aren't smart enough to understand the situation

Sure they are. Because the only people who could possibly take actual offense at this would be those who, having it explained to them, still can't understand it. Those who are insisting that black people be offended by this are insisting that black people can't handle the simple information that would remove any perception of malice from the narrative.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 4, Insightful) 349 349

It's called an "apology" - did you skip that day in kindergarten?

When the apology is a completely over-wrought bit of silly nonsense rendered in response to gleeful press releases from the Big SJW industry (who desperately NEED there to be events like this, whipped hugely out of proportion, in order to have things to get sound angry about), then it's not an apology. It's a forced sacrifice on the alter of Political Correctness gone (ever more) insane. There's nothing to apologize for here, because nobody at Google sat down to create a racist process or racist results. People who can't mentally untangle the difference between intent and coincidence should just shut up ... except, they're all media darlings now, because it's fashionable to be completely irrational on that front, now.

If Google tagged me as "albino ape" or "yeti" or "Stay-Pufft Marshmallow Man" I'd think it was hilarious. Those manufacturing faux offense at this bit of completely benign nonsense are the real racists. They are the ones who are saying that black people aren't smart enough to understand the situation. As usual, the racist SJW condescension is the most actually offensive thing in the room.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 5, Informative) 349 349

It isn't a racist outcome. It is the outcome of a flawed algorithm.

You're not paying attention. These days, outcomes that have nothing to do with intention, purpose, or simple transparent standards, but which happen to lean statistically towards results not in perfect balance with skin color as a function of population (though, only in one direction) ... the process must be considered racist. The whole "disparate impact" line of thinking is based on this. If you apply a standard (say, physical strength or attention to detail or quick problem solving, whatever) to people applying to work as, say, firefighters ... if (REGARDLESS of the mix of people who apply) you get more white people getting the jobs, then the standards must surely be racist, even if nobody can point to a single feature of those standards that can be identified as such. Outcomes now retro-actively re-invent the character of whoever sets a standard, and finds them to be a racist. Never mind that holding some particular group, based on their skin color, to some LOWER standard is actually racist, and incredibly condescending. But too bad: outcomes dictate racist-ness now, not policies, actions, purpose, motivation, or objective standards.

So, yeah. The algorithm, without having a single "racist" feature to it, can still be considered racist. Because that pleases the Big SJW industry.

It's the same thinking that says black people aren't smart enough to get a free photo ID from their state, and so laws requiring people to prove who they are when they're casting votes for the people who will govern all of us are, of course, labeled as racist by SJW's sitting in their Outrage Seminar meetings. It's hard to believe things have come that far, but they have.

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