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Comment: Other side of the story. (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by pavon (#47892839) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

When Arstechnica ran that WP story about corruption in the USPTO, several current and past patent examiners posted comments that are worth reading. Two key ones in particular are this and this.

Short story is that USPTO has stupid counterproductive performance metrics, so everyone games the system to look good by the metrics (we've all seen that before). Some managers recognize this and don't want to be assholes about time charging rules because of it, as long as employees are doing good work. Others get upset that the rules are being broken and assume it is blatant time card fraud, and blew the whistle to the news outlets.

Comment: Re:difference between driver and passenger? (Score 1) 364

by pavon (#47871113) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

They are evaluating different technologiess, some of which are implemented on and affect a single phone, others implemented with hardware in the car and affect all phones in the car. But even if it disables all phones in the entire car, I am completely fine with this. Yes it is inconvient, but it's not like it is being required as standard equipment on all cars all the time. It is only being applied to cars of people who broke the law and put others around them at risk. You want to keep using your phone when you are riding with a friend/spouse; then give them shit about texting while they are driving.

Comment: Reading comprehension. Do you have it? (Score 1) 221

by pavon (#47780815) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

A recent survey of scientific education and attitudes showed the Canadian population to have the highest level of scientific literacy in the world, as well as the fewest reservations about the direction of scientific progress

They measured multiple things! The statement "We depend too much on science and not enough on faith" was measuring attitudes about science, and neither the article nor the report present it as an example of scientific literacy. Here is what the article stated as proof of scientific literacy from the article:

Among the most striking results from the survey is that Canada ranks first in science literacy, with 42 per cent of Canadians able to read and understand newspaper stories detailing scientific findings.

The executive summary of the report goes on to list some tests as an additional assessment:

Average score on OECD PISA 2012 science test: 525 (10th out of 65 countries)
Average score on OECD PISA 2012 math test: 518 (13th out of 65 countries)

Comment: Re:TFA bad at math? (Score 1) 146

by pavon (#47778399) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

Commenting to undo accidental moderation. But since I have to say something anyways...
It makes since that they would draw 9-5 on the graph, for easy comparison and that they would label it the standard workday, since that is what is traditionally been considered as such. But I have no clue how they could look at that graph and come to the conclusion that most people still work from 9-5, as the article text claims.

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 506

by pavon (#47759255) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Sure, I assume that all cars will have something like that. Heck, since the car will be doing navigation it will likely have found a gas/charging station and pulled over long before it even got to that. But regardless they will never be perfect. What if it sprung a leak and couldn't pull over in time because it judged that there was no suitable shoulder (mountain road, narrow bridge), and this info wasn't in it's database to enable it to plan ahead?

We have been mass producing cars for over 100 years, and by all reasonable measures they have never been as reliable as they are today. Yet they still break down on occasion. Self driving cars will have all the same mechanical and electrical problems that we have today, with software problem on top of that. You can mitigate some of these hardware problems with additional sensors, and fault-tolerant design of the driving computer, but only to the point where the sensors and software are significantly more reliable than the hardware they are monitoring, and only for the situations that are programed for.

There always will be situations where things break down in unexpected ways that the car isn't capable of handling on it's own. And based on the historical rate of reliability improvement, those situations won't be uncommon for quite some time.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 4, Insightful) 506

by pavon (#47758513) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

They may never be removed. Everyone is focused on the split-second decision scenario when talking about this issue, and on that I agree that humans will cause more problems than they solve. But there are many more situations where manual override is needed and beneficial. What happens when the car runs out of gas/charge and you need to push it to the side of the road out of traffic. Or the computer is malfunctioning somehow (software bug, squirrel chewed halfway through a wire, dead battery/alternator). Or when I need to move the car somewhere off-road that the AI refuses to recognize as a valid driving path. There are plenty of not so time critical scenarios where some sort of manual override is needed and those aren't going to go away even when we trust the software to do all the driving. Once we admit that they don't have to be intuitive for split-second reactions, then they don't have to retain the traditional layout, nor be designed for comfortable everyday use, but some sort of steering, brake control, and neutral gear select will always be needed.

Comment: Re:Stop being such a drama queen. (Score 2) 158

by pavon (#47757841) Attached to: A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

such as people who clearly don't understand basic science drawing conclusions from unfiltered scientific data.

Those people come to their predetermined conclusions with or without the the raw data, but removing restrictions on distribution of data does help real researchers.

Or statistics? How many people are easily manipulated by presentations of statistics that they don't even understand?

Again those presenters would be manipulating opinion with or without openly available data.The fact that the statistics are openly available is the only chance people have to prove them wrong.

So neither of the examples of negative aspects are actually negative. At best the open information gives other groups the opportunity to debunk the lies and correct public knowledge, at worst people will ignore the facts for the opinions they prefer which is no worse than before the facts were available.

Comment: change.org != change.gov (Score 2) 239

by pavon (#47725447) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

change.gov and change.org are two completely different sites. The .gov site is the official petition website for the US government. The .org site is like wordpress for petitions. Anyone can go an create a petition for any reason, and it has about as much weight as a wordpress blog does, which is to say most are completely meaningless, but on occasion once actually gets some momentum, and it is that momentum (not the petition itself) that matters.

Comment: Re:Ethernet still the best (Score 1) 260

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47721329) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

It still raises the question of exactly what you plan to do data-wise that will require 40Gbit Ethernet. While I admit nobody knows what the future holds, we can make reasonable extrapolations. Word and Excel documents aren't going to magically ballon in size. It's highly unlikely you run a 100TB database on your home server. MP3's and even FLAC audio files aren't magically growing in size, and even some new fangled HD audio format an order of magnitude bigger wouldn't stress GigE. Your Internet connection isn't going to be 40Gbit anytime soon (and even if it was, your ISP is unlikely to provide an upstream link that isn't woefully oversubscribed). Netflix 4K streaming already works fine over typical 20Mbit Internet service. And as I stated in earlier posts, even Blu-ray's, which are the higest definition standard media currently available for sale (with no real successor in sight) peak at 40Mbit/sec with average bitrates well below that.

The only conceivable thing that's even remotely close to logical would be uncompressed 4k video editing. And most people do that off high-speed local storage array or, if you're a big boy, a Fibre Channel array. If you've got the need for a FC array at home...well, my hat's off to you. You're unique.

Comment: Re:Ethernet still the best (Score 2) 260

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47721249) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Seriously, unless you plan on having the need to stream uncompressed 4K video to every corner of your house, Cat6A is ridiculous overkill. The average Blu-ray video stream is well under 40Mbit/sec, and that's decent HD for almost anyone. 4K could maybe quadruple that (depends on codec) but you STILL have plenty of bandwidth for something like that in plain Gigabit Ethernet. Hell, you could put perhaps 6-8 4K streams on GigE and still be fine.

And there's really no logic in trying to future-proof your home network for something that's not going to be remotely affordable until maybe 10 years from now (have you priced 10Gbit gear lately???). In that time frame, lots of things can and will change and the likelihood of you still wanting AND being able to use that Cat6A for its original purpose is dubious.

Comment: Re:Sad Puppy Slate (Score 1) 180

by pavon (#47721047) Attached to: The 2014 Hugo Awards

Thanks for posting a link that actually mostly explains the issue. Much more helpful than the summary that posted a link to a huge list of links, and of the ones I clicked, half weren't applicable to the issue, and the other half were just opinion pieces that assumed you were already familiar with the controversy. Horrible editing.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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