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Comment Re:enough already... (Score 1) 276

Normally I tend to think Dawkins is bit of a dick (And I say that as someone who is also a rusted on atheist) but yeah.

A lot of liberals seem terminally worried about offending with religion , but its not clear whos getting offended.

Most atheists , me included, take a live-and-let-live approach to religion. Its fine as long as its not going after me. The muslims are 99% of the time completely OK with christianity (Seriously, Jesus is their second most important prophet) , Jews are non evangelical and pretty much dont bother with brow beating gentiles. Hinduism and Sikhism are totally into religious pluralism, its kind of in the DNA of their religions. So whos left? Pagans? (Hippies). Eh....

Theres no war on christmas, except in the minds of nutty conservatives and confused liberals.

Comment Re:Yeah, I've worked with a few of those (Score 1) 488

In my opinion, their description of religious and terrorist merely means that engineers are more likely to be *religious terrorists*.

Your right, although largely left wing terrorism isn't really as big an issue as it was in the 70s. I mean other than the odd punch up with cops and the rare instance of a morally confused environmentalist lighting something on fire, how often do you see marxists blowing things up these days, compared to neo-nazis and religious nutters blowing things up and killing people.

Comment Re:Security theater (Score 1) 151

Smedley served in world war I, and that war really *was* a racket. It was everything wrong with 'war' in concept and practice. Empires colliding fighting over which shitty monarchy gets to rule which shitty land. It was poor against poor whilst the rich raked in the rewards.

So you can probably forgive him if he treated the battle cry of yet another global conflict with a degree of suspicion.

I have no idea if any of the "Business plot" stuff is true. There was definately *some sort* of funny business going on but maybe it was exagurated, but he's not wrong about war. Even WW-II, the one where pretty much everyone agrees the nazis and the empire of japan needed to be smashed (And they did) was ultimately just a mass grave for the poor, even though in the balance it was better that it was fought than it wasn't.

Comment Re:or... (Score 1) 75

...Or they're just casting a wider net.

Somewhat ham-fistedly.

One of these days, they are going to find themselves accidently threatening a russian mafia boss, hells angel commander, mexican cartel boss or something to that effect, and they will find themselves very very dead.

Comment Re:Why 'scientists' are nothing but arseholes. (Score 1) 49

A torp launcher, cruise launcher, a heavy assault launcher, a heavy launcher, a rocket launcher, a light missile launcher, a shield booster, an armor repairer, a hull repairer, a 1MN afterburner, a 10MN afterburner, a 100MN afterburner.....

So you just whacked any old shit on your ship and decided it should be invincible. Good god, read a wiki or something before undocking.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 3, Interesting) 132


Masonry and carpentry is an apprenticeship. I wish that more people in the software business realised that software is too.

Once upon a time many of the sciences where too. Back around the second world war, my grandfather who was around 14-15 started an apprentiship with the local national science organization (Cant remember if it was the CSIRO back then) as an industrial chemist. Because university places where largely for the wealthy, as a working class lad his only option was to work as an apprentice chemist and work his way up. Eventually he worked up to becoming a qualified chemical engineer (And yes, they actually awarded bachelor degrees, but they where not as prestigious as ones from a university) , and ultimately ended up at BP designing process control systems for oil refineries.

Personally I think for practical programming that makes a lot of sense. Of course theres still a role for the research side of it , that still belongs at a university, but there really isn't anything in programming as a tool that precludes it being taught in the same way an electrician learns his trade.

Comment Re:Lebanon (Score 1) 101

Sometimes I wonder if ISIS has become something of a psychopath magnet. Not allowed to murder and torture people at home without ending up in big trouble for being a serial killer? Fly to sunny Syria where you can rape murder and torture to your hearts content with fellow like minded sociopaths from around the world.

Comment Re:How is this even a question? (Score 1) 153

The problem is , its a question that has institutional meaning that can have effects in quite significant ways.

As Art, it is speech, and thus owed protections under the first ammendment. If its not art, then its hard to argue that its anything more than an industrial product.

As Art. its eligible for arts development grants that can be vital to starting indy game devs towards being financially self reliant.

As Art, we recognize it as a legitimate topic of review and critique, and as something important to societies internal dialogue about itself.

And so on.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 4, Informative) 262

Apple has been generally pretty good with that. Older iPhones will still run newer software, although in some cases its debatable if its actually a good idea to do so, if the software is written under the assumption of a more performant processor. At least with the laptops, my Macbook 2011 is running the latest and greatest OSX at a cracking pace, and my GFs iphone 5 is fully updated and running well.

Comment Re:TECHNOLOGY SOLVES EVERYTHING (Score 3, Insightful) 184

If they have no problem trampling on people, why would they have a problem with ignoring a computer telling them to speed up or slow down?

Clearly you've never been in a crowd stampede. I have, at a festival about 15 years ago,. Nobody *wants* to trample or be trampled, its the panic that sets into the crowd that starts turning thousands of individually rational responses ("flee the danger") into a very irrational crowd ("lets all run into each other"). Nobody is individually making a decision against their own interest or against others interest, its just whats happens when a lot of those decisions collide with each other.

Comment Re:now it needs to play other computers to impress (Score 1) 95

To some extent neural nets do model what happens in a human brain, but they also do things that we're fairly sure human neurons dont, most notable being back propagation, or at least not in the format we do it with neural networks. Thats not to say there are analogous mechanisms, in fact there *must* be one (how else to explain the elasticity of inputs). But there are critical differences.

Now that doesnt mean of course that a computer neural network is stupider. In fact cell for cell our neural networks out perform the shit out of biological neurons , its just the brains have so much more , both in terms of mechanisms and sheer neuron count + connectivity.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.