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Comment: Re:Dark? (Score 1) 106

by penguinoid (#47571401) Attached to: The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

I mean, why dark matter? Why not, "we don't understand gravity yet"?

Because "we don't understand gravity yet" contains no data and makes no predictions (ie, it may well be true but it is unscientific). I think of dark matter as a list detailing exactly where and how much we don't understand gravity or cosmological particle physics. When someone wants to test a new theory of gravity, they will know where to check for discrepancies with GR by looking at where dark matter is; alternately, when someone wants to test a new theory for cosmological particle physics, they can test whether it produces dark matter in the appropriate places.

Comment: Better than zombie drivers (Score 1) 149

by penguinoid (#47570917) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Even if the system requires babysitting, it will probably improve the performance of impaired drivers. Think sleepy, drunk, or old people with poor attention, perception, and/or reaction time, narcoleptics, diabetics who got careless about blood sugar, "indestructible" teenage drivers, Mr I-Can't-Leave-My-Cellphone-For-Five-Minutes, parents with cranky kids, Mrs I-Can-Eat-Drink-And-Put-On-Makeup-Whlie-Driving, Mr I-Talk-With-My-Hands-And-Always-Make-Eye-Contact, folks who like to gawk at accidents/scenery/girls, folks having a sneezing fit/heart attack/seizure, and a few others.

Comment: New flash: This is about liability, not safety (Score 1) 149

by penguinoid (#47570821) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

The human at the wheel is there to take the blame in case something goes wrong. The requirement of having a human at the wheel will also soothe the fears of passengers of both autonomous* and manually driven automobiles, a measure that should help the adaptation of autonomous vehicles and thus save lives.

* Google, putting the "auto" into "automobile" since 2005.

Comment: Re:Experience outside the valley (Score 1) 342

by gbjbaanb (#47568789) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Yeah, so I hope and expect Jesse Jackson to really kick off and promote the workforce equality such that it is truly representative of the local population's ethnic ratio.

If that means more white workers have to be hired then I expect him to be promoting more white guys.... won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen though!

Comment: Because hacking doesn't work that way (Score 3, Informative) 167

Why dont these places have malware files spread out in their data files, hide them in a zip file or something.

All malware is data until you tell your computer to run it. If you get hacked by careless people, then I suppose having malware that reports them might work, but they'd have to run it or open it with a compromised program, and on a computer connected to the internet.

Comment: Re:Who does the NSA report to? (Score 1) 173

by penguinoid (#47561989) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Don't the NSA report, directly or indirectly, to the President? So if executive branch support a measure to limit bulk surveillance, couldn't they, of their own initiative, direct the appropriate agencies to cancel or modify the mass surveillance programs?

Doing that would eliminate almost all support for passing a bill to prevent domestic spying. What happens after he leaves office?

Comment: Re:OKC's match algos suck (Score 1) 160

by penguinoid (#47554165) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

Findings include that ... suggesting a bad match is a good match causes people to converse nearly as much as ideal matches would.

All this means is that OKC's match algorithms suck: there's only a weak correlation between match scores and real-world compatibility (like with every other dating site).

No, it means that:
1) People trust OKCupid's rating system enough to try harder when it suggests a good match
2) OKCupid has to take into account their stated match rating, not just length of conversation, when trying to use conversation length as data to improve their algorithm.

Comment: Graphene is awesome! (Score 3, Insightful) 33

by penguinoid (#47553787) Attached to: New Findings On Graphene As a Conductor With IC Components

Except for when it comes to actually building stuff with it.

The potential is there, obviously... but compare to how long it took to roll some up into simple tubes in an economically acceptable manner (ie, nanotubes are only just getting some actual use). I'm sure graphene as a computer component will be totally awesome -- but not until someone finds an *easy* way to build it, at most only 100X the cost of the equivalent in silicon.

Comment: Re:Equality (Score 2) 165

by penguinoid (#47551907) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

The laws should be identical to the extent possible, between different forms of currency.

So, your average C-Store should be required by law to accept Japanese Yen or the Sudanese Pound?

I don't really think it's the government's business to tell merchants what they must accept in exchange for their goods. For example, they shouldn't be forced to accept the $10,000 US dollar bill, even if it is legal tender, nor whatever flavor of credit card. I'm sure the merchants can figure out for themselves what to accept in payment if they want to have customers.

That aside, doesn't the Federal Government get to decide what's money and what's not? Didn't think it was the business of State governments to be regulating money....

They may think so, but it is people who decide what is money and what is not. People have burnt money as fuel in the past, when it was cheaper than coal or wood.

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 30

Why is using idle machines of other people (he's used only machines whose load was under a certain threshold), more unethic than to torment and kill mice in the name of science? I don't think that, when used responsible, latter is unethic, but I wonder why do they put things above biological life?

Well, because now we can cure even the most obscure diseases that afflict mice.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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