Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 420

Automotive software engineers working on developing, testing and homologation of power-trains refer to humans as random input generators.So yes, real-world conditions, lead footed drivers, people who carry a lot of heavy cargo, tow trailers, or granny drivers who don't put enough load on the engine or spend a lot of time at lower speed are inevitably outside the limited testing parameters.

Comment Re:Don't worry! (Score 1) 417

In 85 years we'll have flying cars, submersible habitats, colonies on the moon, we'll be terraforming Mars and flying around in spaceships.

Course, all that was supposed to have happened - well, now According to the "experts".

Even Ted Danson predicted that the Oceans would be dead in the 1990's (dead before 2000).

Can the folks who predicted this latest disaster be held accountable?

Ted Danson the actor is an "expert"? Unless there is an actively researching and publishing climatologist or oceanographer that has the same name. We do have flying cars by the way. Technology has been there for a while. It was just the failure mode is unforgiving for a population that can't turn signals most the time. Experts tend to be right about predictable things such as technological progress and modelling of the natural world. Humanity though, not so much.

Comment It'll be counter intuitive. (Score 2) 692

We've reccently radically extended human life span 2.5x what it was for all human history and the result has actually been population decline due to falling birth rate in the parts of the world that people live longer. Countries like Japan and Germany were first to having aging and shrinking populations and the rest of the world is playing catch up. So I think we need to see evidence this is going to cause a population problem because so far the outcome has been counter intuitive. If we can eventually stall and reverse aging, we may have the problem of not enough babies and declining human population. Immortality will be upon us before we know it and before we've had a chance to debate the ethical issues. Like a lot of technological achievement it is a long chain of small advances that pass quietly until we are at that level. Quite simply when the pace of progress out paces the rate at which we age, we can live long enough to receive the next ever better treatment. Long term the politics of immortality self-reinfocing because people who aren't supportive of it will tend to die out. It'll be the best thing to happen to humanity. But we'll sure miss children.

Comment Always buy spares when you get a new phone: (Score 4, Informative) 131

A tip: When you get a new smartphone these days, buy one or two spare batteries while they are widely available, and well before the device is deprecated and hard to find a good battery for, let alone an official one. Store your spare li-ion batteries with a half charge, and/or just alternate use of the batteries. Spare accessories are also a nice selling point if you upgrade and want to sell your old phone on ebay, or to a friend.

Li-ion batteries lose about 20% of their lifespan every year, I've had plenty that die faster, perhaps due to much more intense cycling and usage. Having spares you rotate means you'd still have most of your battery range after a year of ownership.

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

The Fermi paradox baffles me because it is quite easy to solve. The simplest explanation in my mind, is that faster than light travel is either just not possible or if possible requires astronomical amounts of energy that it just isn't worth it for the scientific gain (because you are not going to do battles or trade over that distance the only reason to travel is curiousity).

Thus no matter how full of life the universe is, it just almost never gets to meet up for a party.

Comment Re:Bad syllogism (Score 1) 426

Baloney. What a stupid argument. Here is it, summarized: 1. Here is one mathematical model of a way that memories could work. 2. This method would be computable. 3. But that would mean memories degrade the more you remember them 4. But memories don't degrade the more you remember them. 5. Therefore memories are not computable.

Assignment for the student: find the flaw in this argument.

On point 3. is this not how pretty much any volatile memory in any computer biological or artificial works? Our brains are not exempt and seemingly have to re-inforce/re-write memories as accessing them probably does indeed cause them to degrade.

Comment Re:Ghost in the machine? (Score 1) 426

"Non-computable" does not mean "non-copy-able". In other words, consider the sort of consciousness associated with recognizing oneself in a mirror. Humans are not the only animals that can do that. Among those that can are quite a few other primates, dolphins, elephants, some species of birds (certain parrots), and even the octopus. So, think about that in terms of brain structure: Birds have a variant on the basic "reptilian brain", elephants and dolphins have the "mammalian brain" extension of the reptilian brain, chimps and gorillas have the "primate brain" extension of the mammalian brain, and the octopus brain is in an entirely different class altogether (the mollusk family includes clams and snails). Yet Nature found ways to give all of those types of data-processing equipment enough consciousness for self-recognition. And after you include however-many extraterrestrial intelligences there might be, all across the Universe, well, anyone who thinks "no variant of computer hardware will ever be able to do that" is just not thinking clearly.

Personally my guess is consciousness is an inevitable emergent property of any sufficiently complex information system that is highly integrated in a certain and special way. It's an advantageous property so evolution naturally selects for it. Ergo it pops up in multiple places in the evolutionary tree.

This research merely seems to be setting some bounds. You can't reduce human experience in to something convenient to compute, at least not without losing a lot of fidelity to be useful, you still need to build an equivalently complex brain.

Yes anyone thinking clearly sees it isn't ruled out computer hardware cannot achieve the same feat. It's just shortcuts have started to have been ruled out. It seems some people are interpreting this research as evidence against machine awareness, which I don't think as supportable, it stems from the faulty as assumption the human brain is somehow special and privileged with physical law that don't apply elsewhere in the universe.

Comment Re:Ass time (Score 1) 499

Cooking is more a test to your capability of organisation and laziness than having the time.Many meals are simple to cook, or then take your ipad or TV to the kitchen, and cook while you watch idols or Game of thrones. The problem with cooking real food is that many are lazy, and others the parents already didnt do that, and they dont really are not used to do it. The culture of buying everything already made is very pernicious when we are talking about what we eat.

Cooking itself can be a fun and rewarding task itself. I find it quite relaxing way to de-stress after a hard days work behind a glowing screen, to be able to throw stuff around a 3-dimensional space and engage senses of taste, feel and smell. I can crank out a tasty meal from fresh produce quite quickly. It's cheaper than anything out of packet, is going to extend mine and my families live and prevent debilitating disease suffering and death, and I feel pretty ace when I've nailed a new technique.

The major problem is people have become too accustomed to reward for no or little effort. Open a packet, push buttons microwave, ding ding and your done. I ponder if, partly, we over eat portion wise where the food is too accessible, simply because the reward factor of acquiring and preparing the food is missing.

Food just tastes better when you've put some effort and flare in your self. The whole process needn't be a chore at all.

(This perhaps explains why some useless cooks seem to think their own food tastes good to them, despite others not quite agreeing.)

I humbly present the solution: gamification of food.

Comment Re:When will he be arrested? (Score 2) 666

No, highway speed limits, at least federal interstates, have speed limits for the purpose of generating revenue.

Reckless driving is a criminal offense, not something you're fined for. Speeding fines are there to provide some disincentive to doing stupid things prior to going to jail for it.

And revenue. As minor speeding isn't really much danger at all, but a lucrative cash cow authorities have become accustomed to suckling the milky teats of.

You'll find speed cameras and cops hitting motorists hard in places where people are likely to speed, and there for generate maximum revenue. But conspicuously absent at notorious deadly accident blackspots where there isn't a high volume of traffic.

If the primary goal was to save lives by slowing people down. Using first principals, where would you decide to put a speed camera?

Comment Re:Same as last time (Score 2) 559

When the Prius first got popular the same thing was said about it. Was soon proved false.

Indeed. The massive environmental impact of the battery pack was part of that criticism, but this is also where electric cars win, if one is being honest about the numbers and don't have a anti-electric car axe to grind: The NiMH battery pack of early hybrids is pretty much 100% recyclable. Li-ion and Li-po etc isn't properly 100% recycled at the moment but that's a infrastructure problem - theoretically 100% recyclable. (I would imagine some years down the track used battery packs would be quite valuable scrap). You just cannot say as much for the hydrocarbon fuel going through the tank of a regular automobile.

Comment My Criticism of hovercraft (Score 1) 66

Why hovercraft never caught on:



Perform this search experiment with Hoverbike/Concept Hoverbike as your search term and the disparity is worse - the real world things, even the expensive ones always look like they've been made in some back yard.

Comment Re:Why light bulb form factor? (Score 1) 314


(1) you don't have to pay an electrician to remove and reinstall a lamp, but you do a fixture (2) you don't disrupt the flow of business and it takes a shorter time to re-lamp than replace a fixture (3) if you find that the LED sucks, you can go back to what you know works (4) In 10 years, when one (or more) of the 30 year life fixtures dies and they don't make that model any more, I can replace a lamp and the fixture will still look the same. If I have to replace a fixture, then I have an oddball looking spot in my ceiling. Not everything is a warehouse where aesthetics mean nothing.

Oh, and there are a good number of older consumer fixtures which either (a) anticipate a certain light pattern or (b) actually use the lamp as the structure to hold the shade. I you think it's hard to convince people to buy a $20 lamp instead of a $1 one, it's even harder to get them to buy a new $60 fixture to put it in.

But even with the same socket type and it's dimension limitations why does it still need to be round and bulb like? A spherical bulb is the worst case scenario for heat dissipation, other shapes would perform better. Many LED bulbs have a cluster of LEDs often with some lens over the top of them. To me that allows a lot of freedom for heat dissipation considerations. But it's not a lack of imagination from manufacturers, they are just are playing it safe by assuming consumers won't accept odd shaped lights.

I find LED spots and floodlights have less of a problem as there is room for a heatsink. Yet MR16's get so hot it scares me.

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).