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Comment: Re:how does it handle atypical situations? (Score 2) 465

Here is the interesting thing in my eyes. My guess is that while most of those are actually pretty solvable it is almost certain that there will be situations that trips up the computer whereas a human would have no problems. Even still, the comparison isn't between computers and humans in particular situations, but computers and humans overall.

Imagine if we lived in a world with computer driven cars and someone suggested humans start driving themselves. Imagine the itemized lists people would create that described all the ways that humans slowness, distractibility, and limited data collection capabilities would lead to danger. Humans and computers are good at different things. The issue is which is better on average.

The problem remains though that even if it is safer overall to let the computer drive, are people really going to give up control when, inevitably, there are highly publicized cases of humans getting injured or killed in situations that a human driver could have easily avoid?

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 2, Informative) 411

by medlefsen (#39786689) Attached to: Firefox 12 Released — Introduces Silent, Chrome-like Updater

I mean, you can do what you want obviously but your logic is terrible. Firefox updates don't actually break computers (at worst they could break the browser causing you to... use a different one for the few hours before the fix comes out) and people really do get viruses which really do break their computers or, in the more likely case, turn their computers into bots and steal their financial information.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 5, Insightful) 411

by medlefsen (#39786089) Attached to: Firefox 12 Released — Introduces Silent, Chrome-like Updater

I don't give a crap about new features and I haven't had plugin issues in a very very long time. I just want bug/security fixes and the latest standards support. Speed improvements are certainly welcome though.

For something as important as a web browser the updates have to be automatic and in the background. Most users are so afraid of doing anything to their computer they never install updates and then we end up with a bunch of vulnerable web users (who are also holding back newer web features).

Yes, it does require a bit more care on the part of the vendor to make sure they don't automatically break everyone's computer but that is a necessary risk.

Comment: Re:An agenda (Score 1) 420

Ah yes of course, because you say so!

Bottom line. We depend on science (the method and the global community) to give us the best predictions available to us. It's not perfect but it doesn't have to be to still be the best. Climate researchers and departments exist at prestigious and respected universities all over the world and there has never been a reason given other than "We don't like their conclusions" for why we shouldn't listen to them.

Given all of that: The global climate scientist community says climate change is happening, that's it due to human activity, and that there could be dramatic negative consequences to not trying to slow it down. That's it. That's the end of the argument in terms of what facts we should consider when forming public policy. It really is that simple.

If you have some stunning evidence or argument to the contrary then get involved and publish a paper but until it's accepted as true by the majority of climate scientists public policy shouldn't be affected. I'm sorry if you wish it were otherwise.

Comment: Re:An agenda (Score 5, Insightful) 420

by medlefsen (#39230869) Attached to: Virginia High Court Rejects Case Against Climatologist Michael Mann

Tell that to the computer you're using which depends on two centuries worth of scientific advancement. The goal of science is to account for bias and get closer to truth in spite of it, and it's obviously worked. The same system that brought you electromagnatism, antibiotics, and plastic has now brought you climate change. You can bet against them but history isn't on your side.

Comment: Re:Orgy of stupidity (Score 1) 181

by medlefsen (#38859163) Attached to: How Will You React To Twitter's Regional Censorship Plan?

Thank you, this whole thing is such a monumental embarrassment. I was feeling quite proud of the community over the whole SOPA thing and now we've exposed ourselves to be semi-illiterate morons.

Guess what folks, there isn't really such a thing as a completely censorship free country. Even in the western world we have laws against posting copyrighted material, denying the holocaust, state secrets, certain types of pornography, etc... If they didn't comply with these laws they wouldn't be allowed to operate in the country. Unless you think it makes sense for twitter to get shut down/arrested/blocked/sued into oblivion in the United States and Europe, this policy is the best that can be done. This doesn't affect whether they follow the laws of China or other oppressive governments. Let me know when they start infringing speech beyond what is currently accepted in the first world.

I even saw someone comment on that horrible Forbes article about this that if Twitter was announcing when they censor stuff, wouldn't that mean that they were informing on people to their oppressive governments. /facepalm

Comment: Re:But not in VA (Score 1) 413

by medlefsen (#38659268) Attached to: Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

The law is giving one company a competitive advantage over another for no good reason. Now, under this agreement, they are treated the same. Where's the problem? Why exactly does Amazon deserve to have artificially lower prices than B&N? This has nothing to do with the Man holding down the productive class (or whatever).

Are you just suggesting that there shouldn't be sales tax? If that's the case you should just say it because what you did say was melodramatic and silly.

Comment: Re:Gouging (Score 5, Insightful) 275

by medlefsen (#38272756) Attached to: Discouraging Playstation Vita Details

So what should a free individual do when they don't like what a company is doing? Maybe refrain from purchasing from them? Maybe tell friends and advise them to not buy from them either? Maybe even go on to a web site and post about it? Tell me when I start suggesting something unreasonable.

I'm not sure how this happened but at some point poeple got confused and started thinking that because companies are set up to always maximise profits we shouldn't be allowed to criticize any of their attempts to do so. There is a difference between wanting government regulation and using your right as a free person to criticize the actions of a company.

Sony is being anti-consumer and as a consumer that pisses me off. Other companies have found ways to make money without resorting to the lock-in BS that Sony prefers. I will not buy from them, and I will say why very loudly so that they and everyone else knows exactly why they aren't getting my business.

Comment: Re:Use Firefox (Score 1) 574

by medlefsen (#37755688) Attached to: No Tab Relocation Coming For Chrome

I just don't get the whining. Not only are there multiple high quality browsers for every major OS, but two of the top four of them are open source. Each team is going to have their own vision for their product and that's just part of life. If you want a level of customization that Chrome doesn't provide, Firefox with it's huge extension database seems like a good match.

Comment: Re:Halting Problem (Score 1) 204

by medlefsen (#36966656) Attached to: Escaping Infinite Loops

This doesn't seem right to me. For example, imagine I make a "Magic halt detector" turing machine that limits the amount of memory used by the input program to a finite amount.

After each instruction is executed, I can look at the total state of the finite tape, the position of the tape head, and the current instruction, and store it in a set of all seen states. If that state has been seen before, then I know it's an infinite loop. If not, then I simply add it and the execute the next instruction.

Given a finite program with a finite alphabet and a finite memory, there is a limit on the total number of unique states. Eventually, either the program will have to repeat a state, or halt.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.