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Comment: Graceful degradation (Score 2) 250

by thisisauniqueid (#49600003) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power
The plane's control systems should have several levels of degraded-mode operation, so if one system stops working, the plane still hobbles along the best it can without the non-working system. Google's self-driving cars have something like 7 layers of nested failure modes, each with slightly degraded functions relative to the next higher level. It's almost impossible to trigger enough failures to completely shut the system down, which is a good thing if you're traveling at highway speeds. It's very concerning that a company like Boeing didn't catch this before product release, but even more concerning that they didn't design the system to be resilient against this sort of failure.

Comment: Re:Even worse. (Score 3, Interesting) 289

It's much worse than that. The president, by himself, created and enacted a law which carries a criminal penalty.

I agree that is bad. I don't know if the alternative is worse though: Congress has effectively become completely useless, because no bill on any issue can ever get pushed through Congress these days without major blockades from the non-sponsoring side, and (usually last thing on a Friday afternoon) without large amounts of unrelated legislation (riders) being stuffed into the bill after hundreds of pages of fluff so the riders won't actually be read by anybody before they're signed into law.

Comment: Pales in comparison (Score 0) 198

The amount of energy used by game consoles in sleep mode across the world pales in comparison to how much energy is wasted running VMs and JIT compilers on Android phones around the world. And that pales in comparison to the number of Petawatt hours (Exawatt hours?) of electricity is wasted per year running Javascript in browsers across all devices. Seriously people, higher-level languages that aren't easy to compile (or don't compile into efficient code) are ridiculously wasteful.

Comment: Re:People are creative (Score 1) 498

by thisisauniqueid (#49237815) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide
The impact of a suicide goes far beyond delaying a few hundred people's commute by 3 hours. My friend is a nanny for a family whose daughter knew the kid who jumped in front of the train. This girl was biking past the tracks when the mother of the suicide victim showed up, and subsequently got to watch the reaction of shock and grief of the mother when confronted with the result of this horrific act.

Suicide is always an incredibly selfish act. You think you're just ending your own pain and suffering, but instead you are bringing a lifetime of pain, suffering, shame, unanswered questions and grief to a lot of other people that care about you even if you think they don't.

Comment: People are creative (Score 3, Insightful) 498

by thisisauniqueid (#49223151) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide
This feels pertinent to me because this morning I was woken up at 6:45am by a loud helicopter hovering overhead for over an hour. A teenager had jumped in front of the CalTrain by where I live in Palo Alto in an apparent suicide. Turns out this is the 8th such CalTrain suicide so far this year, up from 8 suicides total (10 deaths) over the whole year last year. Locals are loudly requesting for the crossroads to be made into underpasses, and for improved fences etc.

On the one hand I keep thinking that if someone is determined to commit suicide, they'll find a way. (There was a police guard posted at the crossing after previous suicides to prevent this, but the teenager simply jumped the fence 200 yards from the crossing and jumped in front of the train there instead.)

On the other hand, I see the wisdom in trying to make the world a place where it's in no convenient way to commit suicide. As Banksy tweeted this morning, "Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse, suicide eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better."

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