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Comment: Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (Score 1) 301

by rioki (#48425903) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

I don't get it. I have seen the health care system in the US(before obamacare), France, Germany and the US (now with obamacare) and can conclude, socialized health care is always cheaper. Free market self corrects* many things, but health care is not one of them. For example in Germany, I am above the highest income bracket and I pay less than I would in the US. That is less than when I would be single, but I am not my insurance covers my child and wife. You may pay less, because you are young, but wait until you are older.

* In the case of healthcare there is no free market, it is an inelastic market. If there is treatment that can save your life, no mater if it costs $7 or $70000 you will find the money to pay for it. As a result normal free market dynamics do not apply. With socialized healthcare the insurances negotiate on your behalf and they have leverage because the span the entire population or large parts. They pit different providers against each other, which reintroduces free market forces.

Comment: Re:I think (Score 1) 313

I think we are VERY FAR from robots that really autonomously make a kill decision. This is the basic AI fallacy that imply that we will soon have systems that can "decide on their own". But that will probably happen never or not very soon.

You need to look at real practical implementations of weapon systems (i.e. killer robots). Any weapon system will be integrated into the command and control structure of the army. The system will have different operational modes (simplified), such as stand down, engage specific target, engage all non friends and engage everything that moves. The key here is a robust friend / foe detection systems, something that is already almost perfectly solved for aircraft. Sure you could try integrate an effort to include combatant / civilian detection mode, but since that can probably be easily fooled, it will be an optional feature that will be disabled once the enemy tries to fool it.

This philosophical pondering "can a robot make a kill/no kill decision" is as you point out meaningless, since humans can not make this decision either reliably. The real question is, can we design a robust friend / foe system? That is a solvable engineering problem.

Comment: Re:Heh... (Score 0) 99

by rioki (#48424771) Attached to: The Software Big Oil's PR Firm Uses To "Convert Average Citizens"

On what is there exactly consensus? That the climate is changing? That pumping huge amounts of CO into the atmosphere has an effect on the climate? That is the only thing they can agree on. But even then consensus is meaningless. If there is no "consensus" on the nature of the universe, why do we need consensus in climate science?

The things that they can agree on are the obvious things. The climate is changing, as is obvious if you look at an aggregate of historical weather data. Pumping huge amounts of CO into the atmosphere has an effect on climate, is simple physics a rise from 300ppm to 600ppm has approximately 1.2K rise in temperature. Most skeptics also agree to these basic facts, since anything else would be nonsense.

The things that climate scientists don't agree on are the how feedback mechanisms behave exactly and on how to model them. The IPCC report aggregates multiple models that are widely all over the place. That is why we get predictions all over the place ranging from +6K (catastrophic) to +3K (mild) (300ppm - 600ppm). In addition to the seemingly inability to actually predict the climate. The current slump was totally not predicted, let us hope that the revised models fare better.

When divergent hypotheses (e.g. cosmic rays) are denied publication, because "consensus", then we really have a problem. Divergent hypotheses should be published and discredited based on data and peer review and not clout of the professors favoring the leading theory. The current state of scientific publishing is somewhat broken, where conflict of interest is not money, but possibility of loosing face. That there even was this half bogus* 97% report and that it keeps being parroted over and over tells you almost all you need to know.

* half bogus, because the sample and sample size where very biased. It's like asking if Windows is awesome on the Build conference.

Comment: Re:Nuclear Power has Dangers (Score 5, Informative) 473

by rioki (#48424661) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Except that you are missing the fact that a nuclear battery is not the same think like a nuclear reactor. You can build a nuclear battery with something around a cup full of material, whereas a nuclear reactor needs a significant larger amount of material. Also it is funny how you mention Fukushima, the health effects in this incident where rather minor. There are chemical industrial accidents with significant higher casualty rates than that. If you mentioned Chernobyl you may have had a point, but not with Fukushima.

Comment: Re:Real-time market approach (Score 1) 485

by rioki (#48366869) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

I rather doubt that people will actually react to electric prices changing. Unless there are discernible and predictable patterns most people will not notice a change in the price. Even if there is a big fat indicator of the current price visible, do you really think people will turn of the TV and turn down the heating?

Comment: Re:Home storage (Score 1) 485

by rioki (#48366809) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Having batteries at home still makes a lot of sense because you can charge them up at night when demand is low and electricity is cheap

Except that with a high solar power capacity in the network, it tends to be inverted. At night little capacity is available and the price tends to go up and at daytime with high capacity the price tends to go down. The good news is that basic demand follows the same curve as solar capacity over a day. The tricky times are during dusk, dawn and early evening, where you still have relative high demand but little capacity. Then again, I don't think solar power (fotovolatic) is a good idea.

Comment: Re:Use the money you save (Score 5, Insightful) 485

by rioki (#48366769) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

You know bio diesel exists? Just use that as a fallback with ye olde diesel generator. I see totally no reason why infrastructure should collapse in a blackout without fossil fuels. Now there are good and valid concerns why you don't want to use wide scale bio diesel use, for example in cars, but that does not mean you can't use it as an energy buffer for critical infrastructure. Batteries are almost never a good idea, they are expensive and quite nefarious for the environment when at their end of life. You only really want/need batteries as a buffer until the generator kicked in.

Comment: Re:Are renewable energy generators up to task ? (Score 1) 485

by rioki (#48366733) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

This is Denmark, yes? You know, the country that is surrounded by oceans that have some of the strongest tides? I think Denmark could produce almost all of it's power though tidal power plants. The only real trick is how to buffer the power during the lull of high and low tide.

You are mostly correct solar (fotovoltaic) is a dumb idea, but there are more renewable power sources than solar and wind.

Comment: Re:Trolled by Soulskill (Score 4, Insightful) 827

by rioki (#48359873) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

Except for a few superfluous platitudes you appear to have no real clue. Now I don't really claim to know what gamer gate is about, but I know that in the current situation both (extreme) sides are up their ass and the TFA is more part of the problem than the solution.

I don't really have an investment in either side, I don't care much, but I saw what happened first hand from day one. To refresh your mind this all started with the "five guys" post. In this post Zoe Quinn was accused to having affairs with 5 different guys while in a relationship with the posts' author. The reason why people started talking about the issue was, that at least two people where closely related to gaming press. Honestly I was not very surprised in general, since I assumed that the some game developers where figuratively in bed with the press, that this instance it appears that this literally is almost meaningless. Nevertheless few people went ballistic about it, this partially because of previous polarized debate surrounding depression quest.

But what came next was unprecedented and actually eclipses any ethical issues surrounding Zoe. During the first day many mysteries surrounded the issue, maybe the "fives guys" post was not correct, who knows. People started to talk about the issue, some reasoned, some less reasoned and suddenly all discussion was suppressed. Entire subredits where deleted any thread on 4chan about the issue was deleted and banns where handed out generously. This pattern permeate many gaming forums. But the starkest was the disruption of 4chan, a place where racism and chauvinism is part of the community's makeup and the response not, "you can't say that, they can be nice people" but "U dimwitted retard" or Spiderman. When even reasoned debate is silenced, something wrong. As it turned out there was collusion between the sites and any moderator that disagreed was culled. That day 2/3 of 4chan's and a large number redit moderators where shown the door, simply for not suppression the topic.

Honestly would it not have been for the attempt at suppressing discussion, the issue with zoe would probably be mostly forgotten. But the real shit storm happened after the rather failed attempt at suppression. The suppression was fuel to the fire and granted the more radical elements started to become unpleasantness. (I don't support their actions, but I understand where they came from.) At the same time suddenly "feminist" voices where starting to get heard that gamer gate was a concerted effort to drive women out of gaming. At the time it made absolutely no sense. (It still doesn't, but at least it started to look plausible.) That suddenly many game journalism sites started to run articles "anti gamer", like the "Gamers are Dead" article definitely did not diffuse the situation.

I don't know where we can go from here. Harassment never was OK, but that applies to both sides. (No you don't get a "tone argument" free pass.) I will continue to mostly ignore the entire issue and continue to have fun playing games. Ignoring the trolls is almost always the best solution, no matter what banner they appear to be waving.

Comment: Re:The Pentagon is more important than climate cha (Score 3, Insightful) 163

by rioki (#48349659) Attached to: The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

I would rather put it an other way, if you only hear one side of the story and you can't really be bothered to research the subject, why should you have an other opinion? Do you know how boring most news is? The special problem in the US is that it appears that there is collusion between news sources. In most western countries there are multiple news sources, yes they all push an agenda to a certain degree, but they are in competition. In addition a well informed individual will look at multiple news sources from different countries. But in the US, unless you really go out of your way you will not get different points of view, because the same point of view will be parroted over and over. Most people do not want to spend that mental effort...

Comment: Re:Or, to put it another way... (Score 1) 217

by rioki (#48324609) Attached to: The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality

Do not require or are designed to not require a high number of objects? If I get a dollar for each time a designer or artist bitches about them reaching the polygon/object budget, I would be rich. If you would let them they would cram the levels and geometries full of stuff and most gamers would love it. The reality is that the scenes are carefully designed to not tank. Granted More's law has helped, but more efficient code will always make people happy. But if your script code just sits around an waits for it's next tick, you cam make it inefficient, but you will bitch if your collision test takes "forever".

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell