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Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 1) 398

"But the public? Find out how many of them would be well served by a car, how many should not be buying trucks and giant SUVs."

And this is why I didn't bother to reply to the rest of your message. This is activism. Some people - many people - WANT trucks and SUVs. And it's their right to buy them. You need to realize that you're part of a tiny minority of people who cares about this thing - what exactly you care about I can't say for sure, but it's not something the majority of people care about. Most people - I may say, NORMAL people - want a thing, and that is a valid commercial end in itself. Proselytizing them into buying your particular flavor of holy grail needs to be recognized for a religious conversion activity it is. I repeat what I said in my original post: activists think that the population will find these devices magical IF ONLY THEY CAN BE MADE TO BELIEVE. Problem is, there is no reason for anyone to believe what you want them to believe.

Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 0) 398

"The average commute is under half an hour."

This irrelevancy is the crux of the problem here. That's true. But people don't JUST use their car for commuting and therein is the issue. Electric cars are unusable for anything *OTHER* than your daily commute. They can't be used for the family road trip, for hauling purchases from that exciting little Amish sale 200 miles away, or for anything else. Hence my comment that they are not general-purpose vehicles. They are very specialized hive vehicles.

Gasoline vehicles are available in a huge variety of styles and capabilities, such that a consumer can make an intelligent selection of a vehicle that will cover most of his/her use case decently well - as opposed to the one or two EVs on the lot, which can do a fairly good(ish) job on one use case, and are totally useless for all others.

Electric vehicles are activist novelties.

Comment This is a nonsequitur (Score 1, Flamebait) 398

Car manufacturers, apart from those couple of specialized boutique electric-only manufacturers, DON'T particularly want to sell electric cars. They want to sell *cars* period. They make electric cars for two reasons: a) to game their CAFE numbers (and for this, it doesn't matter if the cars go straight into a shredder off the production line - they only have to be manufactured, not sold), and b) so they can issue press releases saying "we make the greenest car in the world, here's a 15 second video of polar bears frolicking on the snow to show our veracity". Even those car dealerships that are directly between a hemp sandal store and Whole Foods don't see a huge percentage of people coming in off the street asking for an electric car - electrics still aren't a good general-purpose solution in almost all of the United States.

This whole bleating rant is a lot of noise from a tiny minority of vociferous hippies who think that alternative cars would JUST BE MAGICAL if only PEOPLE WOULD BELIEVE. They want dealers to *proselytize* electric running shoes, not simply be knowledgeable about them.

Comment Missing the point of an Ex Libris (Score 1) 149

You can get RFID tags for $0.25 ish that include the antenna in a small self-adhesive patch; look at TI's starter kits for instance. But this defeats the purpose of an Ex Libris. The purpose of the marking is not to be a SUPER SEKRIT mark that Hercule Poirot can use to pin a crime on an unwitting murderer. The purpose of the marking is so that anyone can open the book and, without special equipment or knowledge, see that it's yours. But it's more than that. It's a personalization of a book from your personal collection, an attestation that you found this volume worthy enough to reside on your limited shelf space, a statement that you found the book interesting enough to acquire it for your permanent collection so that you could ponder it. It's not an antitheft measure.

If you are asking "how can I secretly mark my books so I can prove my asshole friends steal them" then there are many answers from UV-fluorescent pens to RFID tags to serial-numbered DNA taggants. Depends how much effort this is worth to you.

Comment Re:Asking about capture or storage? (Score 2) 174

You know, I'd fucking love to. I have no fucking idea how the fucking fuck to fucking insert them on fucking slashdot. Carriage returns aren't fucking honored. Fucking HTML tags appear verbatim without any fucking parsing. If this fucking posting system wasn't fucked up/undocumented/whatever, my posts would be divided into fucking paragraphs. Fuck? Fuck. Fuck!

Comment Asking about capture or storage? (Score 2) 174

I hope my wife doesn't read your post - I'm 40, and have been telling her for several years now that it is too late, and I am too old, to become a dad. Anyway: It's not clear to me if you're asking the question "what is the best technology I can use to capture the most information about this object" or "what is the best/safest means I can use to store these images, once recorded, so that they have the best chance of surviving many years". On the first question, it absolutely doesn't matter. By the time this creature is old enough to be looking at these images, the technology you used to capture them will be long obsolete regardless of what you use. People our age grew up with scratchy, poorly-exposed 35mm color prints and Super 8 film of ourselves. Our parents grew up with some black and white photos, some color. The thing you have to keep in mind is that unless you happen to be a president, serial killer or rock star, these recordings are of absolutely no documentary interest whatsoever to the world at large and have no intrinsic value. The only purpose they serve is to remind you, and the kid, and potentially a few family members or friends, of the occasion that is being recorded. The quality of the recording is immaterial because it's just a stimulus to unlock a memory cascade in you, the viewer, who was present at the event anyway. And those memories will be much higher quality than any recording you can make. You could create a daguerrotype, use a brownie box camera, or aim a hand-cranked silent movie camera with B&W film and the pleasure you get from watching the result at a later date will be absolutely identical to that you'd receive from a 3D IMAX recording with octophonic sound and Feelarama(tm). TL;DR: don't sweat the tech, because it won't matter. 10 years from now you'll look at whatever you recorded and think "that ancient tech was so quaint", regardless. The second question is more interesting. There is no storage medium of high enough density for your needs that will last "indefinitely", and you also have the fun problem that codecs evolve. You should absolutely not use any file format that doesn't have an open-source decoder (not that there are many of those in common use these days). And as for the physical storage of the bits, you'll have to keep rolling them from media to media. Since most people can't be bothered making offsite backups, etc - I'd advise picking two disparate technologies for your backup strategy, e.g. writable DVDs and hard drives, and refresh them regularly. If you're comfortable with it, paid cloud storage is also an option (again, diversity is your friend - one copy on amazon and one copy on google and you can be fairly sure a single disaster won't wipe out both). Frankly, you probably don't feel this way right now, but if you think back objectively to your own childhood, you'll know that 99% of these irreplaceable memories sit in shoeboxes from the moment shortly after they were developed to the moment they're rummaged through while people are sorting your estate. So, don't over-invest in this.

Comment It's impossible (Score 2) 373

It's ironic that this article appears just a few slots above the "the network is untrustable" article about AT&T's support of hacking. The process of keeping an Internet-facing machine safe is a more or less daily battle of 0day patches. This isn't, has never been, and likely never will be possible for consumer electronics because it imposes too much cost on the manufacturer. Automotive software doesn't get updated with the same frequency as desktop software for a bunch of reasons, and it also doesn't get updated indefinitely because there's a distinct end-of-lifecycle for it. TL;DR: The only safe-ish automotive electronics, both now and in the future, are electronics that have no connectivity. It's impossible to feel safe about connected electronics of any sort, and in a realtime control environment like a vehicle, it's frankly irresponsible to permit such connectivity.

Comment Re: Do they have a choice? (Score 1) 312

It's hard to tell. You could certainly be right - but, I have to ask, from an "optics" perspective - is that better, worse or meh? To me, it seems silly to entertain the idea of getting up in arms over the output of an algorithm for choosing which ads - that I'm blocking anyway - get shown to different groups of people. But I think the same racism/classism/*ism complaints would be raised in your geolocation scenario by people saying "We've been classified as ghetto residents", right? TL;DR - people self-identify as persecuted victims of large corporations. Which they are, but just not in the ways they're complaining about.

Comment Re: Do they have a choice? (Score 1) 312

I don't argue with anything you say, except to note that for the frozen NN you mention, I can't predict what output Y will result from input X, unless I already tested input X. It's not like a deterministic algorithm where output = input + 3 for all input in {-MAX_INT ... MAX_INT-3}. I need an exhaustive map of allowed inputs to expected outputs for the NN case. And product management never gives me one ;)

Comment Re:If race doesn't exist, how is this possible? (Score 1) 312

There's an utterly rabid response for you. For the record, I'm white. Completely white, for at least the past few hundred years of fairly complete family tree tracing. Baltic white on my maternal side, and British Isles on my paternal. And I suspect I know a metric shitload more about my family (and racial) history than you know about, well, anything much really.

Comment Re: If race doesn't exist, how is this possible? (Score 1) 312

I'm not sure what you're asking here. The generally accepted view is that the human race - almost certainly of dark skin color - originated in Africa, and radiated outwards from there. Through glaciation and tectonics, various populations became isolated from one another. For whatever reason, the populations that stayed closer to home kept their melanin. The populations that wound up in colder climates lost theirs and became whiter of skin. And various mutations related to hair color and texture and eye color also occurred. Due to the aforementioned isolation, there was no interbreeding possible with the humans who remained closer to our origin point. So, divergent races that - after a few generations - didn't know anything about each other any more, until they developed long-distance sailing technology and started killing each other for fun and profit.

Comment Re:If race doesn't exist, how is this possible? (Score 1) 312

You completely misread what I wrote. I was stating that after a long period of the populations being separate (in fact, long enough for two initially identical populations to diverge enough that they have radically different average albedo), when white people met black people, it was a case of whites as invaders and blacks as the invaded. I don't recall any stories of clipper ships sailing from sub-Saharan Africa to raid Finland. It was entirely the other way. Fucking plate tectonics, man.

Comment Re: Do they have a choice? (Score 1) 312

Well, I'm a QA guy for a company that makes software used in hospitals. So, to me "knowing the expected output for a given input" is closely correlated with "reliable" and "trustworthy", and so yes, I tend to refer to deterministic algorithms positively. I realize the pressures on an advertisement-selecting algorithm are not the same. However I *ALSO* think that the DNA signals Google (or rather Google's advertisers) would be looking for are the less ambiguous things that are more easily detected with a simple deterministic algorithm. Yes, broader conclusions can be reached by letting a neural let look at a bunch of stuff. But an oncology clinic is going to be more interested in yes/no answers to questions like "does the searcher have DNA markers A,B,C,D,E [which are easily searchable deterministically]", and won't actually ask - or will rather assume the answer to - the underlying statistical question "do markers A,B,C,D,E correlate strongly to a predisposition to conditions that we can charge money to treat"?

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose