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Comment: Re:Rain and snow? (Score 1) 282

by unimacs (#48214977) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

Cars will use LIDAR, ultrasonic, and video for first party sensing.

But a lot of sensing will come from their party. Other cars reporting their position on the road. Their intent and upcoming moves.Details about the environment that they sense. Additional the infrastructure can provide info. The roads can report if cars are present. If there is ice, etc.

Anyways, the issue isn't if there is ice or snow on it's sensors. That will be easy to mitigate. The problem is the ice and snow in the environment that it needs to see through.

How much time have you spent scraping ice off of a windshield where it's gone from above freezing and raining when you parked your car to well below freezing overnight and sometimes even well below 0 F? How many times have you had to dig a car out of a snowbank? If you've had to do it over the course of a few winters you'll know that it's often not so easily mitigated.

I think people either don't know or often forget what a hostile environment winter can be in the the Northern part of our country. How densely packed are the sensors going to be in the road to tell reliably where there is ice, whether the ice is smooth or rough, whether there is snow and how deep it is and whether it is packed or fresh? How long are these sensors going to last when the roads I drive on end up filled with potholes each spring?

I'm sure it would all work great in a laboratory setting when every other car, plus all the roads and traffic control devices can talk. I'm not so convinced that it will work when things are in some state of disrepair as they often are in the real world.

Comment: Re:Rain and snow? (Score 1) 282

by unimacs (#48209739) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?
Yes, but how badly does it degrade? Will it just stop if there is too much ice or snow on its sensors to "see" adequately. Will it just sit at a green light not knowing whether it's safe to proceed? Can it determine what the road conditions 10 to 30 yards ahead are and react accordingly?

Comment: Re:Retired developers (Score 2) 149

by unimacs (#48203367) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?
It sounds like the OP is looking for a long term solution to help the project move forward and attract new developers. A few of old timers might be willing to hang around and fix a few bugs or deal with security issues but that's just a slower death. And yeah, if these guys are currently getting paid by the company to maintain the software, they might not have any interest in doing so once they retire. Even if they are willing to maintain it, at any point on any open source project, there is nothing stoping anyone from deciding they're done. That's why you need new developers.

I personally have never worked on a single project that I was passionate enough about to want to make it a life long endeavor. Eventually I want to move on to something different. And I'm sure I'll reach a point in my life (or death) where I simply won't be able to do it anymore even if I wanted to.

And from maybe a more philosophical standpoint, one of the things I see as attractive about retirement is no longer having the burden of having to maintain anything. ;)

Comment: Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (Score 1) 761

by unimacs (#48198529) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders
I have no doubt that there are places where that kind of thing goes on, but certainly not everywhere. For what it's worth, my young daughter thrives on proving people wrong. She played on a boys football team. At the same time, she appears to be more interested in a medical career at this point. Nevertheless I'll be building Lego Mindstorm robots with her and my son... just in case.

Comment: Re:Solving the problem wrong (Score 1) 761

by unimacs (#48198185) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders
My experience has been a bit different. I was the only one among my friends or family to get a computer science degree. Though they have all done alright for the most part, I had the easiest time getting a job in my field and I was making good money while many of them still struggled.

As time has gone on, I've been better able to pick who I work for rather than having to just take whatever I could. I WAS in a company for awhile where ridiculous working hours for programmers were the norm, - but I figured out I didn't need to settle for that.

Comment: Re:Bonus pay for having NO KIDS (Score 1) 248

by unimacs (#48154787) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs
I would guess that most people who put off having kids until later end up having fewer kids anyway. If couples have two kids or less, statistically that will result in long term population decline. Looking at actual trends show that population is flat or declining in many parts of the world while exploding elsewhere.

Declining populations are problematic in several ways as well since many economic systems are designed around growth.

I don't disagree that unchecked world wide population growth isn't good, but draconian methods to keep women from having kids in regions where there is little if any population growth anyway isn't the answer.

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 3, Insightful) 248

by unimacs (#48152509) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

From this article on the subject:

"While still uncommon, egg-freezing allows women to remove and store eggs when they are in their prime fertility window, which often overlaps with prime career-advancement years. The quality of a woman’s eggs declines as she gets older, putting many women in a bind about whether to have children in their 20s and 30s. Egg freezing allows women to stockpile healthy eggs while advancing their careers or waiting to meet a partner with whom they’d like to start a family.

But the procedure is expensive, costing approximately $10,000 per round, and many doctors recommend two rounds to ensure the best possible batch of cells. In general, health insurance plans don’t cover the elective procedure."

The last sentence is key. You can bet we are inching towards this $10,000 elective procedure being mandated by American health insurance, which means men will be the ones paying for it through taxes as demonstrated here:

The sheer fact Apple and facebook are doing this is a "slippery slope". Give feminists an inch, and they will take a mile, and then blame you for not giving two miles. And the idea of giving $10,000 to a man to start a family? Nahhhhhhhh.

If a couple decides to delay having kids and takes advantage of this benefit, doesn't the husband (a male most likely) save $10,000 as well?

And last I checked, women were taxpayers too. ;)

Comment: Good in that it provides another option, but... (Score 1) 248

by unimacs (#48151903) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs
The reality is that balancing a career with being a parent is typically much more difficult for women. In most relationships, it's the woman that take's on the greater responsibility when it comes to child care, - whether she is working full time or not.

Given that, choosing to be a parent can have a bigger impact on a woman's career than a man's. Even as a man I've made career choices that I wouldn't have made if I didn't have my responsibilities as a parent to consider. It's worse for women.

So while I think it's great that companies are trying to give women more flexibility as to when in their lives to have kids, I question whether delaying it beyond their normal child bearing years is a good idea anyway. It just creates more problems later on. If you wait until your 40's to have kids, now you're approaching or are at retirement age when they are just getting out of college. This creates some potential financial issues if you're not careful. Were you saving for their college education and your own retirement? Also by the time they are having kids of their own, you are now approaching an age where they might also be helping taking care of you, - all while trying to juggle a career. Sucks to be them.

Comment: Re:You have to have an inexpensive wedding for 200 (Score 1) 447

by unimacs (#48129971) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage
Not Really. We had around two hundred people at ours. My wife got her dress from a consignment shop and the reception was a luncheon at a large restaurant rather than an all night thing. The wedding party handed out the cake rather than paying the caterer $1.00 a slice to hand them out for us. It was a great way to mingle and the guests seemed to enjoy it.

At some of my friends's weddings, the bride paid more for her dress than we paid for the entire wedding.

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by unimacs (#48068043) Attached to: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

So yeah, there's a whole set of skills to learn, but the idea that everything is all on the guy... is at least not true in many contexts. And women can fail just as hard, though there isn't a subculture about how men are colluding to control them by withholding the cock they have so obvious earned. There are a lot of skills for everyone to learn. No one is born knowing this stuff. And it takes work.** And while some people are more socially inclined, it's perfectly learnable with work. And I suspect if you (I mean the generic you) aren't actively putting yourself in a social situation in which you'll be interacting with folks you're sexually attracted to, you will never learn these skills.

The entitled whining just drives me up a tree. For that matter, the idea that if some random guy asks a random woman out, and she says no - oh, no, the trauma! Yeesh. I mean, first off, that's a pretty stupid set up. And yet, most of us have been through some variant of it.

* Especially when it was from relatively strangers who were clearly not part of my subculture. Major culture shock of moving to the midwest, random guys in suits would ask me out on the train. Or in the airport. While I was practicing martial arts forms in an empty terminal. *blink* ** Do not draw the conclusion from any of this that I was born socially adept, oh, no. I mean, I generally had more male friends because a lot of my interests (computers, electronics, RPGs) skewed that way, but, no. And then I went to college when I was 13 (well, the first time, it's complicated). But, y'know, hard work and paying attention - these things can be learned.

You are absolutely right, these are skills that can be learned. And rather than whine and complain that "women don't like nice guys", they need to get a clue that being nice isn't the problem. And it is rather interesting that a culture of men who will spend days and weeks mastering gaming or some computer related skill, won't spend time on such a key element to happiness.

However, I will still maintain that a shy, geeky guy is at a major disadvantage when it comes to dating. How many geeky males (shy or not) have random women approaching them in airport and train terminals? ;-)

Thing about it, you and a friend could go trolling for geeky guys with a reasonable expectation of success. It doesn't work that way for geeky guys.

That's not to say there aren't women who struggle with dating. I think a big difference is that these women will more than likely blame themselves rather than blaming all men.

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by unimacs (#48066669) Attached to: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline
I agree with most of what you are saying. I'm often surprised by the bitterness I see in comments from some of the men here (I'm also a guy). At the same time, while both sexes experience rejection, the whole process of dating in our culture is pretty stacked against nerdy male introverts. As you correctly point out, they often don't know how to interact with women but yet they do want to date. And frankly, an introverted nerd is not exactly the type that most women are interested in anyway. So what will happen is that they will ask out some woman who was just being friendly and she'll say no. Not because she's mean, but because she's simply not interested. And this can happen multiple times. How many women do you know that have asked out a guy and was rejected?

The differences between a nerdy guy and a more social guy is that the social guy can pick up on clues more readily. He will likely be more attractive to women due to his social skills anyway. He's is less likely to experience rejection in the same way. Either he knows he's on a fishing expedition and will take the rejection in stride or he'll have a pretty good idea if the woman is interested before he even asks.

It's funny that you mention 8th grade because my son just finished 8th grade last spring. Guys often make the mistake of thinking it's all about looks or how athletic they are. But you could see it in my son's class. The boys who were way ahead in terms having "girl friends" were not necessarily the best looking ones. It was the ones that knew how to talk.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky