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Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 551

And if no one ever determines that the innocent person is innocent, then their life is completely wasted in prison, in my opinion.

New technology like DNA, deathbed confessions, evidence found or witness statements withdrawn years or decades later can show a ruling, no matter how correct it seemed at the time to be wrong and without there being any active investigation. Sure if I've been ensnared by unfortunate circumstances or framed I'd rather you find the truth straight away, but I'd rather be wrongfully imprisoned than wrongfully executed. As long as there's life there's hope that I'll be a free man again and you can't conclusively say it won't happen until I'm dead.

Sure, it almost certainly won't happen but proponents of the death sentence is using the likely outcome to justify the means. It's like basing a warrant on the assumption that you'll find something to justify the search. Yes you've lost the presumption of innocence, but when humans make decisions on worldly evidence and testimony there'll always be a smidgen of doubt left. Posthumously clearing a name might not matter much to the dead, but it matters to friends and family and helps prove the system isn't perfect. And though it can't get better it won't be perfect and we can't turn back time, but we can give the innocent every chance they can get. And that ought to be enough.

Comment: Re:Still works, just not the way people thought (Score 1) 89

by Kjella (#49507375) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works

It both increases the number of drivers dealing with a surge when a surge is happening and also decreases the people asking for rides. No, it won't increase the number of drivers total, but so what? It increases the drivers working the surge, which is the point.

The point is that you work the surge by making the service worse everywhere else. You're not able to deliver more passenger miles, you just charge more for the same fixed-ish supply. It's good business but it's questionable if the users in aggregate are better off. Then again, it does create a flash mob which may eliminate the outliers which depends on how you value waiting time. If you wait 3x5, 1x60 minutes it's less than 4x20 minutes but the latter is often preferable, since you often have to make room for a "worst case" travel time in order to be there on time.

Comment: Re:The Search for Life (Score 2) 55

by Kjella (#49506487) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

Seems like this could have drastic effects on how we search for life. Not only are we looking for planets in the Goldilocks zone, but we now know that if we see too much water it could be a sign that there an absence of life.

I don't think we'd have any clue how much water there "should be" since that depends on the stellar material that created the planet, asteroid impacts and so many other factors we wouldn't know. So practically no, I don't expect this to affect how we search for planets with life and we don't have nearly enough information to consider probabilities. For all we know ocean worlds might be the norm, no life as we know it survives without water so the most obvious place to find life might be in water. Land seems a lot less essential, really.

Comment: Re:Searching (Score 1) 260

by Kjella (#49502441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

and nothing else.

Stop adding 'features' to things that don't need them!

YMMV, but that's one of the reasons I really like google. For example converting units, what's 53F in C again? I could get a thousand hits that could give me the formula or a conversion table or whatnot but just "searching" for it saves me a step or two. I often use it instead of the built-in calculator just because it's already up. I suppose it could go overboard with Clippy-isms but I haven't felt that has been the case.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by Kjella (#49502397) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

TETRA or P25 on a power for power basis with older analogue equipment works well over 3 times the distance where analogue becomes unintelligible.

Outside. I know particularly the firefighters have complained about poorer coverage inside buildings, which is usually where their life-saving work is done. Details...

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 382

by Kjella (#49502287) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Some ten or fifteen years ago, Scientific American published an article about the positive correlation of "general intelligence" with virtually every measure of success in life. Like earning enough money to be comfortable, having the emotional intelligence to have a successful marriage, etc.

It's rare to find an objective measure where being stupid is a good thing, unless you're the cop who figured out the criminal mastermind's plan and got assassinated or similar corner cases. Even if you're not in a position to excel you're not going fail and I'd argue it's just as much your objective successes like a steady job and organized life that puts you ahead of the deadbeat drifters when it comes to finding a mate, tests show your EQ can suck despite a high IQ.

Obviously the lack of material goods can cause unhappiness, but most of us have the basic needs covered. The rest is pretty much a state of mind, are you happy? I'd be happier eating junk food if I didn't know all the crap it does to my body. I'd enjoy T&A more if I knew it wasn't a biological preference to easy child birth and ample breast feeding. And it certainly doesn't get better if you end up where it doesn't matter because you and everyone you knew will be dead and building a pyramid for a tomb is just stroking your ego.

I generally find my happiest moments are when I'm too preoccupied or suitably intoxicated not to think too much. Just existing in the moment, feeling good, having fun, enjoying the ride, savoring the taste. If you "pierce the veil" more or less and realize you're playing an RPG to get level+1, skills+1, armor+1, weapons+1 to fight monsters+1 or lather, rinse, repeat what used to be fun just loses all interest. I guess you can call it a more general form of suspension of disbelief, the suspension of further intellectual inquiry. If you're happy, stop thinking. You're only going to ruin it.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 5, Informative) 281

by Kjella (#49502115) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Ooh, found my answer, "20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio." So 80% aren't. I think 80% of people are going to not like this once it happens.

That doesn't even begin to cover it, many people have an FM radio that they occasionally use for example at cabins or whatever, more than 80% will probably have to replace some radio. And note that they asked for "digital listeners" not "DAB listeners" meaning if you use your smartphone or tablet or PC to listen to radio, you get counted in favor of DAB even though you don't use DAB.

Actually this (Norwegian) is the truth, in 2014 about 64% of the population listened to radio daily and only 19% on DAB. There's no numbers for it but even less exclusively used DAB. I don't have a DAB radio. It sucks for any kind of battery-driven device, meaning just the kind of remote places and mobile appliances where you'd want radio. We'd do better just upgrading so we'd get 3G/4G coverage everywhere rather than DAB.

Nobody else is phasing out FM or even planning to phase out FM. This is just Norway going off on its own crusade urged on by commercial interests of 10+ new channels, fuck whether it makes sense to throw out millions of radios. On the bright side, I expect this to lead to a massive interest in building out 3G/4G coverage as ex-FMers give DAB the middle finger. Streaming with Spotify + offline playlists is likely to be the new "radio".

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 1) 129

by Kjella (#49493901) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Sigh, where to begin.

AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!

Not .28nm, just 28nm and Broadwell is made on the same 14nm process as Skylake.

Only saving grace is ATI graphics. If nvidia gets a hold of .17 nm chips then it's game over too.

They haven't called it ATI graphics for 5 years, but now I'm quibbling. What's important is that both AMD and nVidia makes their GPUs at TSMC and so have access to the exact same technology if they pay.

I was a loyal AMD user too. I tried and stayed til last year. It is frustrating but an i7 4 core with 8 virtuals with hyperthreading really sped uo my games compared to the 6 core./

Hyperthreading has little to do with it, the step down with pure quad-core (i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i5-4690k) has usually been far more cost effective for gaming. Four Intel cores simply beat eight AMD Bulldozer cores.

AMD needs to leave [x86] and go all ATI to stay solvent.

They're in the same boat on graphics, the last major new architecture was GCN in 2011 and it's way overdue for a replacement. So that depends, have they actually invested in a new architecture? With their R&D money going everywhere else, I don't see how.

Comment: Re:We all need to realize... (Score 1) 129

by Kjella (#49493467) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

...we need AMD. Because if AMD goes away, Intel has zero competitors in the x86/64 market.

AMD gave up on the markets I care about in 2012 so I don't really care, what's worse it that without AMD there's really no competitor to nVidia in the high end GPU market either.

If AMD goes the way of the dodo bird, so do our cheap processors.

That's what smartphones and tablets are for, you only need x86 if you're doing anything CPU intensive and anything CPU intensive you shouldn't be doing on a cheap CPU in the first place.

Moreover, we'll likely lose a great deal of software freedom as what Intel says becomes law across the whole board. UEFI and TPM?

AMD supports all the same DRM standards as Intel.

What used to be the "traditional" AMD has already imploded, if anything they'll exit the consumer market and become a pure specialist/custom player but they're not recovering to compete with Intel/nVidia. They got $17 million left in stockholder equity, losing both on revenue and margin every quarter and way behind on both CPU and GPU technology. I don't think they can be saved in a way that matters to us.

Comment: I wonder why he bothers... (Score 1) 113

by Kjella (#49489599) Attached to: An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure

In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag."

Anything he leaves for more than 0.5 seconds is going to be reported, retweeted, screenshotted and several articles posted. Just google "musk stiction biprop" and you get plenty hits, no real "undo" button for such a public figure.

Comment: Re:Students + Anonimity (Score 1) 232

by Kjella (#49486421) Attached to: Can Online Reporting System Help Prevent Sexual Assaults On Campus?

Indifferent is not the right word, but they're looking to see if there's a reasonable chance whether an investigation could result in a conviction and that's far from just rapes. I've had my car vandalized at night, no witnesses and really just reported it for the insurance claim. I've had a pair of brand new shoes stolen at the gym, no cameras pointing in that direction, I just reported it for the statistics so they know how much crime is really going on.

They come into the police station thinking now I'm going to get him caught and punished, but what they often end up hearing is essentially "So you were raped and from what you're telling me he's going to get away with it" and that really hurts. The standard of evidence often feels unreasonable, like what do you expect a written confession or a video recording? That's the flip side to the justice system, if you know you've been the victim of a crime but the perpetrator gets away with it the illusion that the law will protect you shatters.

Which is not to say that the gun nuts are right, it wouldn't have stopped my car from being vandalized or my shoes stolen and if she wasn't in any condition to put up a fight she wouldn't have been able to get hold of and fire a gun either. What you're really experiencing is that bad men will be able to do bad things to you and there's really no sane way of making 100% sure it doesn't. The justice system makes a difference, but it won't make things right and fair. And I'm pretty sure heaven and hell is a fairy tale for adults.

Comment: Re:Valve needs to use their clout (Score 1) 309

by Kjella (#49481955) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

Their goal is to sell games.

Indeed and their goal with Linux is to have a gaming platform independent of Apple and Microsoft, from their perspective you have a choice of nVidia (closed), AMD (open and closed) and Intel (open) covering all the bases. I don't think Valve feels the need for more choice for Linux to be a choice.

Comment: Re:And this is news... (Score 2) 309

by Kjella (#49480511) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

But why? It seems counter to business interests. The more people using your hardware, the better, yes?

A common misconception, with complex products there's always so many environments and conditions you never get all the corner cases worked out. So what you want is ten million people playing GTA V on Windows (7/8/Vista), not all these niche users finding subtle ways to break it on their special snowflake of a Linux setup. It costs time and money, hurts your brand and most companies would rather just sell to the 95%+ doing mainstream tasks.

Comment: Re:Economics would be the problem (Score 1) 362

by Kjella (#49472063) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Complete loss of human knowledge is also a common trope in post-apocalyptic fiction, but I think that too would be unlikely. I doubt something is going to completely fry every single circuit and book. The entire content of wikipedia fits on a thumb drive. I've got one. And while no, wikipedia itself is not the same thing as having every technical journal, you can get a pretty good idea of the concepts that drive our technological society from it. Not having to re-derive Maxwell's equations is a huge leg up.

And how long will it last? WWII lasted six years and after the war there was rationing on everything, I imagine an apocalypse like that only bigger and worse. Power will have been out for years, generators don't have fuel and people will be too busy doing what the illiterate masses has done for most of human history, surviving. There won't be any replacement parts so when your machine fails it's dead, assuming you got clean power to begin with. And they need something useful at their current level of technology.

I don't think you understand how much of a downward spiral we'll have simply because the infrastructure and division of labor is collapsing. I'd probably be out in the fields trying to make food and firewood for the winter and sorry but if I had kids that's the kind of thing that'd be my first priority for them too. Learning what I know about computers wouldn't even rate as nice-to-have because it'd be bloody unlikely they'd see a transistor made after the apocalypse anyway. Life span would probably drop to what they were 2000 years ago because there's no industrial production of hygiene, sanitation or medical products. And when I'm dead and the computer's dead, yes maybe there's some books on a shelf... but it's a long, long way to recovery.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead