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Comment: So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (Score 0, Insightful) 247

by jnaujok (#47202363) Attached to: Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding
This "Anti-PAC" is just a PAC supporting the two largest Democrat campaign finance bills which are more properly termed the "Silence Dissent Acts" or "Incumbent Protection Act" then any kind of real campaign finance reform.

So, all they are is another Democrat PAC masquerading under a fake name. Oh, they claim to support three other bills with bi-partisan support, which are bills sponsored by four back-benchers (Tom Petrie anyone? 30+ years in Congress and I don't think he's successfully sponsored one bill.) that will never make it out of sub-committee.

So, two hyper-left (Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Dianne Feinstein type) proposals, and three non-events.

Anti-PAC, it's another way of saying "Democrat".

Makes you wonder why they feel they have to lie about their intentions.

Comment: Re:It's all about ME, ME, ME. (Score 1) 255

by B'Trey (#47056727) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

The irony is that he's 180 degrees off from the main problem with his story, which is that he thinks robots are magic too. The reason robots will not be making ethical decisions is that they can't, not only because getting them to reason ethically would require us to agree on a system of ethics for them to follow, but because even if they had such a system, they don't have enough data to act on it with the degree of accuracy that would be required for the premise of the article to make sense. The author essentially assumes that these car-driving robots will be omniscient, or that they will be able to trust the omniscience of the robots in other cars with which they are communicating. The first supposition is nonsensical; the second is unlikely to be true, for the same reason that video game cheats are a problem.

He does no such thing. He assumes that the programmers who write the algorithms that control the robots will consider various possible responses to an emergency situation and will use ethical decisions in deciding how to code their algorithms. There may indeed be circumstances where the robot does not all of the data available that would be needed to make a valid ethical decision. Robots will certainly not be omniscient. Their sensors will not be infallible, nor will they be able to accurately discern all of the factors in all of the cases. But that doesn't mean there are no cases in which ethics will play a factor. A robot would almost certainly be able to tell the difference between a bus and a small passenger car, and it's reasonable to assume that the bus carries more passengers than the car, even if there are some cases where that would not be true. If a bus turns left in front of you when you have the right-of-way and the robot calculates that it is unable to avoid a collision altogether, should it hit the bus or swerve into the next lane, hitting the passenger car there? That's a scenario where some variant will almost certainly happen if self-driving cars become common, and it's one the algorithm should take into account. It doesn't at all mean the robot-cars are capable of thinking, of calculating ethics, or are omniscient. The question is how the programmer's writing the algorithms should code the decision making tree.

Comment: Re:Summary. (Score 1) 301

by B'Trey (#46718445) Attached to: Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

True, they did not, but I would put that at the level of mistake rather then being unreasonable.

I'm reasonably certain that the OpenSSL team did not do this on purpose. It likely wasn't a sabotage by a malicious developer. I seriously doubt someone paid the team to intentionally install the bug. You're almost certainly right that it was a mistake. But arrogance, ignorance and other weaknesses lead to mistakes which should not be made, and when they do, it's jake to point the finger. Just because it was a mistake doesn't mean it was out of their control.

Comment: Maybe... stop growing food in a desert? (Score 5, Insightful) 545

by jnaujok (#46444911) Attached to: Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty
In case no one has noticed, California is a desert (or nearly one) for most of its area. Before the farm subsidy act of the 1950's, no one grew food crops in California, and no one raised cattle. Then, after subsidies were based on your distance from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where they get 30-40" of rain a year, suddenly California became *the* address for raising food. When you can raise dairy cattle at a loss, milk them at a loss, and produce a gallon of milk for $6, and still sell it for $2 wholesale -- and the government ensures you're making a profit by handing you a $5 a gallon subsidy, of course you're going to raise cattle and farm in California.

California has to drain the Colorado river, and the showsheds of something like 1,000,000 hectares of mountains to even get close to their water needs on a good year. In the meantime, farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and the rest of the heartland are all collapsing into bankruptcy, unable to compete with the ever-increasing subsidies bought by the legislatures of California with its 50+ congressmen and electoral votes.

+ - Snowden rebuts Feinsteins statement that NSA spying is not surveillance->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Note to Eds: Entire Ars Technica story pasted here, edit as you like...

by Cyrus Farivar — Oct 25 2013, 12:17am +0200
National Security
NSA leaks
US official handed over 35 foreign leaders’ phone numbers to NSA
Germany accuses US of spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone
France angered by new revelations of NSA surveillance
Snowden’s NSA post in Hawaii failed to install “anti-leak” software
The top 5 things we’ve learned about the NSA thanks to Edward Snowden
View all

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden went into a relatively long silent period after being charged with espionage and fleeing to Russia. But it seems that he is becoming more comfortable about speaking out. Today, new Snowden comments emerged in which he directly took on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who last week defended the NSA spying programs in a controversial op-ed in USA Today.

“We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance,” Snowden wrote in the statement, published today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.”

In her October 20 op-ed, Feinstein argued that the “call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” adding that “[t]he Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.”

Snowden called on his supporters to join the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other groups who will be holding a rally called "Stop Watching Us" at Union Station in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 26, at 12:00pm local time."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Oh noes.... (Score 1) 358

by jnaujok (#45086627) Attached to: 90% of Nuclear Regulators Sent Home Due To Shutdown
Assuming, of course, the Captain Planet model of industry, where the moment the Federal Regulator steps away, the CEO pulls the lever to dump the toxic waste into the nearby river.

Or, maybe the guys running the plant (and likely living nearby) don't want to die in a nuclear waste spill either.

I'd think that one regulator on-site, one shift a day, would be more than enough to catch any worrisome behaviors. Maybe with a surprise inspection once a week on an off-shift time if you really think "Mr. Slimeholio" runs the plant.

Comment: Oh noes.... (Score 1) 358

by jnaujok (#45085685) Attached to: 90% of Nuclear Regulators Sent Home Due To Shutdown
The article says 90% of employees is 3600 furloughed. Which would say the remaining 10% would be 400 workers.

To monitor 100 plants.

That would mean you could have one regulator on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week (That's 21 eight-hour shifts for the math challenged) or 5 shifts per person, with one overtime shift.

At every plant. 24/7 surveillance, with 10% of the workforce. What the hell were they doing before that? 10 regulators per plant, 24/7?!?!?!

Comment: Re:Anyone know a good viewing area? (Score 3, Informative) 33

by Psion (#44735763) Attached to: NASA's LADEE Rocket Mission To Launch September 6
The visitor's center view of the launch facility is now blocked by a stand of trees that has grown considerably over the years. One recommended viewing area is on the causeway between Chincoteague and Assoteague Islands.

Another possible site was a location I scouted out last weekend where Arbuckle Neck road dead-ends into Oyster Bay. That gave me this view of the launchpad area. The rocket pad itself is the last tall building to the right of the water tower.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl