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Comment: Re:Required understanding (Score 1) 303

by Yosho (#49786287) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

Is all of that for an entry-level job, though? Most college CompSci degrees that I've seen don't even touch things like smart pointers, newer language standards, or boost. I've seen several fresh college graduates who have never used exceptions because one of their professors told them that exceptions are evil and you should never use them, and I've even seen a few who thought that Notepad was an acceptable IDE because their lab computers still had Visual Studio 6 installed on them, and they were at least smart enough to realize that VS6 was terrible, but didn't know there were other options available.

To be fair, pure CS isn't really about programming, but "entry-level" is still a very low bar.

Comment: Re:Hyundai Hack? (Score 1) 86

by Yosho (#49776447) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

I'm not convinced Android belongs in any vehicle, given the security issues.

What security issues are you talking about? How would they affect a vehicle? Are you thinking of specific security issues with the particular firmware Hyundai is using, or are you making generalizations based on other versions of Android?

Am I wrong.

That statement is vague enough that it's not even possible to tell whether you're right or wrong.

Comment: Re:And? (Score 3, Interesting) 294

by Yosho (#49761793) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

(unless she's a drug addict or something, then *maybe* - only maybe - the father might get custody)

Nope. I know a guy who is divorced; he's a perfectly decent guy, has a steady job, and loves his daughter, but is only allowed to see her for a few weeks a year. His ex-wife is a jobless drug addict who depends on her new husband for income, and she's even shown up to court high before. But she gets custody of their daughter, because she's female and therefore is obviously a better caretaker.

Comment: Re:471 million? You may want to think about that. (Score 2) 247

by metlin (#49756021) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

471 million potatos is a lot of potatos.
471 million .2mm bits of plastic is enough to cover in plastic all of the living rooms in California.
Wait - no - one living room. Or about a dinner-plates worth a day.

Every day. That's the difference.

Even assuming that it's a dinner plate sized amount of pollution, over two decades, you are looking at 7300 dinner plates. Only, broken into little chunks, easily consumed by aquatic life and smothering plants, clogging pipes etc.

Comment: Re:How does one tell the difference? (Score 1) 103

It can be difficult to tell the difference between rocks that have been modified by people and rocks that have been shaped by natural processes. That being said, there are things to look for.

First is material. From the photographs in the linked article, it appears that the purported tool is made from some kind of fine-grained silicious material (high in silicon, rather than magnesium and iron, as evidenced by the color), whereas the surrounding rock appears to be basalt (mafic, therefor darker in color). If you work in an area, you get to know the geology of the region, and where rocks come from. Seeing rocks far from their sources often indicates human curation. That being said, it seems unlikely to me that anyone would bother to curate a general tool like the ones photographed, so that probably isn't going to be a huge factor in this case.

Second, after seeing hundreds or thousands of stone tools, you get good at identifying them. It is kind of like chicken sexing---it may be difficult to quantify *exactly* why something is a tool, but people get really good at it, none the less. Again, this isn't the whole story, but it gives you an idea about why one might pick up a rock in the field. People who have a lot of experience and training are more likely to recognize potential tools.

Third, there are morphological indications of human modification. Rocks that fall and break naturally tend to have random patterns of flaking, whereas intentionally modified rocks will show flaking that is concentrated in a particular place. This isn't foolproof (indeed, there were purported pre-Clovis tools found in California a few decades ago that, upon closer examination, turned out to be naturally formed), but, again, it is an indication.

Fourth, it is often possible to tell a tool from other contextual clues: is it near a hearth? a pile of animal bones? other easily identified tools? Again, given the age, this is unlikely to be useful in this context, but you asked a more general question, so this is part of a more general answer.

Finally, there are lab tests that can help. One can check for residue (i.e. blood or plant reside that might indicate use in preparing food), or microflaking that might indicate use, for example. These are things that you can't see in the field, and almost certainly can't see in a photograph that was taken in the field.

Comment: Need to understand it's not a memory typewriter (Score 1) 302

by WillAdams (#49728633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Skills Do HS Students Need To Know Now?

The problem for how most people use technology is that they accept the defaults, then laboriously, manually, at each necessary point, alter things by hand so as to achieve the desired effect.

Understanding how to set up:

  - style sheets (even in a basic word processor)
  - macros (yep, word processors have these too)
  - piping commands at the command line
  - semantic tagging

will go a long way towards making them more productive (and me much happier when I get book manuscripts which are properly set up).

Hint, if you find it necessary to turn off the viewing of special characters 'cause of the visual noise, you're doing it wrong.

Comment: Re:is there a simple android edit/add client? (Score 1) 25

by SuperBanana (#49723589) Attached to: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Responds In Nepal

So there's eight or ten clients for android that support some sort of editing, which is precisely why I asked. Which of them actually has a usable interface for simply and quickly adding POI's?

I'm not going to go through the trouble of installing almost a dozen clients just to answer this question.

Comment: is there a simple android edit/add client? (Score 3, Insightful) 25

by SuperBanana (#49722677) Attached to: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Responds In Nepal

On a slightly related note: I wanted to add minor resources like bike repair stations and water fountains in my city, and figured there MUST be an android app that would make this about as simple as "hold your phone over it for a bit to get an averaged position, now click this and then "water fountain".

Nothing that I could see was remotely this simple? Even the web editor is a nightmare of trying to figure out exactly how to do things...and the wiki didn't help much, either, with poor documentation on the various properties one can assign to an object.

Comment: Re:Three words... (Score 1) 615

by Yosho (#49708911) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Because you have to work to eat! Anybody who works less than 40 hours a week is a freeloader who doesn't deserve a dime. I'm not paying taxes to the government so that it can feed and clothe people who are too lazy to get full-time jobs! They can starve to death in the streets if they're not willing to work hard enough to get a college education after we've automated away all of the unskilled labor.

* Note: I personally do not agree with that line of thought, but that is how a lot of people, including politicians, feel.

Comment: Re:It simply won't work (Score 1) 615

by Yosho (#49707201) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Ever notice how much skill is involved making those tight turns?

The funny thing is, so much of that skill is necessarily because a mere human has very limited awareness of the space and obstacles around such a large vehicle. It requires a lot of intuition and practice for a human to be able to do that reliably... but not so much for a vehicle with a couple of LIDAR units and stereo cameras that knows exactly where everything around it is to within a few centimeters and can use a pathfinding algorithm to figure out the most efficient way to maneuver into a given position.

Sometimes the trucks have to move over into the left lane just to get turned to the right. Will a computer-controlled rig do that?

Yes, why wouldn't they be able to? Lane detection and predicting how wide an arc you need to turn are easy.

And sometimes even the most skilled driver gets his rig into a spot where he has to back up several times and try again and again. Can a computer even come close to that kind of skill?

Yes, and because they can calculate the exact angle they need to turn at and how far they need to move, they'll be able to do it much more efficiently than a skilled human driver.

Can a computer back a truck into the dock behind your local supermarket when space is barely available to maneuver? Even some truck drivers wince at doing that.

Yep. Again, the reason it's hard for a human driver is only because they don't have persistent knowledge of the world around their vehicle and the ability to predict exactly how the vehicle will respond to any given input.

I get the notion that whoever comes up with these hair-brained ideas hasn't.

I get the notion that the people who spend five minutes thinking about things they think will be hard for autonomous vehicles to do and then post it on Slashdot don't realize that there are teams of people who have been working on these problems for well over a decade now.

The hard things for vehicles to deal with are poor terrain (like an old dirt road overgrown with tall grass, or a road completely covered in snow) and unpredictable human drivers. The logistics of "how do I maneuver efficiently through a tight space" are the easy part. Maneuvering through a city is tough, but it's because of all of the human drivers that zip unsafely back and forth between lanes without signaling, don't leave enough space for other vehicles, blow through stop lights, and so on.

Still, keep in mind that the vast majority of time spent driving a freight truck is on the interstate. Even if it's a while before trucks can operate autonomously within city limits, it'll be easy to have an unmanned truck drive between cities and then just send a driver out to get in the truck at the city limits and drive it the rest of the way. That will still be enough to shred the truck driving industry.

Comment: it's about taking control of the story/keywords (Score 2) 54

by SuperBanana (#49694947) Attached to: United Airlines Invites Hackers To Find Security Vulnerabilities

> Translation: We can't afford (read: won't pay) for real security personnel,

Eh, not really. I guarantee you they have a lot of "real" security personnel.

This is about taking over control of the story; it's a sort of "pay no attention to the thing we don't want you to hear about" (ie the fact that their onboard infotainment/networking and satellite uplink systems are ludicrously insecure) and "pay attention to this other thing."

Now when you search for "united hacking", you'll get a billion stories about the bug bounty, and few about the original problem - that a passenger was able to walk all over stuff he shouldn't have been able to. It's already starting to work, a few hours in:

It also helps them look, to shareholders/the market/the public, like they're "responding" and making an effort to "improve security."

Comment: Re:Pressuring the majority? (Score 1) 866

by Yosho (#49694725) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Fortunately, these restrictions are all unenforcible.

Only if, after you've been discriminated against and filed a lawsuit, your case goes before a judge who interprets the constitution that way. There are plenty in the states in question who would say that the law doesn't constitute a religious test if it doesn't specify which supreme being you have to believe in.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich