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Comment: Re:Keeps the brain sharp (Score 1) 170

He doesn't need to be imprisoned. We as a society need to accept that the desires of the people in our societies are very diverse. Rather than labeling and imprisoning such people, we should provide outlets that permit them to remain happy without harming others.

Urschel found his outlets. Other naturally aggressive individuals work as bouncers in clubs or brawl as ham-and-eggers in semi-pro fights. Unfortunately some of these frustrated warrior types just go out and start barfights for their kicks. Every time I look at MMA and think it should be banned as bloodsport, I think about what the idled MMA fighters would be doing instead.

Comment: Re:I hereby nominate ... (Score 2) 136

Or it was an intentionally lowball estimate of feasible mission duration so everyone involved looks good.

Mars is a cool, dry place; electronics and machinery love cool dry places. Drop a mobile surveyor on Venus and have it trundle around for 4000 days and I'll be considerably more impressed.

Comment: Re:title is wrong (Score 1) 237

by kylemonger (#49475219) Attached to: Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament

Someone could have stolen his phone and then given him food adulterated with a laxative a day prior to the tournament. They then launch the analysis app and plant the phone in the restroom and wait for it to be found.

I don't believe this really happened, but we're only talking about a moderate level of cunning to frame someone like this. Professional chess players are capable of much more devious planning.

Comment: Re:A Recognition Algorithm That Outperforms Humans (Score 1) 91

by kylemonger (#49467711) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave
True, but let's not make the perfect an implacable enemy of the good enough. Consider that we're already willing to launch a Hellfire missile at terrorist leaders and count the 10-15 "maimed and also deads" as collateral damage. Shooting only one wrong person in the head every fifty kills would be a huge improvement over the missile.

Comment: twitter = monkey cage (Score 1) 124

by kylemonger (#49367841) Attached to: SeaWorld and Others Discover That a Hashtag Can Become a Bashtag

On the other hand, it might be that PR people realize that by inviting attack on Twitter Seaworld can say they addresed their critics openly while basically mooning the monkey cage for all the difference the hoots and cries generated on Twitter matter in the real world. Who goes to Twitter to find out anything important about SeaWorld? I saw their advertising, had a free day in San Diego and decided to go see the whales and dolphins. There's lot of other cool stuff there, too.

As for the abuse claims, I see these beasts as working for a living. A killer whale or a dolphin is fully capable of drowning and/or eating its tormentors if it has had enough foolishness that day. Some of the people coming out now against SeaWorld predictably enough have books to sell.

Comment: Re:It's not censorship (Score 1) 87

It's one thing to see smog out the window day after day, it's another to find out how widespread the pollution is, or to see green beaches, exploded trees, and river water so polluted that it doesn't look like water. The U.S. would be where China is right now were it not for the people who raised enough hell fifty years ago that we have the EPA today.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 90

I can accept this analogy but it is not airtight. We do have elections, so we can change out the parts of the government that we don't like. So it is almost like having competitors for government; instead we have competitive ideas. Government is slow to respond because we have a largely apathetic citizenry that does not drive it to respond more quickly.

Sometimes, when I'm in one of my nastier moods, I think a solution might be for those who do vote to approve by referendum a $1000 per capita excise tax on all eligible adults who don't vote.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 5, Insightful) 362

by kylemonger (#49186087) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Forget about sensors for a moment: We don't deal with malfunctioning PEOPLE right now. Drunks, old people, and visual impaired people routinely climb behind the wheel everyday. We are already running over darting children, cyclists and pretty much anything else with the temerity to set foot, hoof or paw on the road. Old people ramming cars into crowds because they can't tell the brake from the accelerator are just the cost of doing business in a free society.

A self-driving system doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be better than what we have now when we scale it up. Given that you can give a driving AI the equivalent of millions of miles road experience in all conditions, I doubt that AI's will drive worse than human beings for much longer.

The insurance companies will need to be convinced for sure, but they will be when self-driving systems demonstrate their superiority.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine