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Comment: Re:A sad world. (Score 5, Informative) 268

by zebidee (#38123110) Attached to: Plate Readers Abound in DC Area, With Little Regard For Privacy
The problem isn't the state doing this tracking - it's private corporations. Gas stations in the UK perform number plate recognition in order to avoid "drive-offs." But if you're then using your store loyalty card with your gas purchase then they've tied your number plate to your purchase history/patterns. On top of that the store can easily access the DVLA records [dailymail.co.uk].

In the UK we also have a system called TrafficMaster [trafficmaster.co.uk] which analyses traffic flow for their satnav services. There is, however, nothing to prevent them working with the stores to cross-reference number-plates against traffic flow. So now the store can find out exactly where you're driving as well.

That kind of information is something I never signed up for & one of the reasons I'll never have a store loyalty card.

Comment: Re:A technical question... (Score 2) 293

by zebidee (#35202314) Attached to: Watch IBM's Watson On Jeopardy Tonight

Yes.

Watson is given the "answer" (remember it's Jeopardy) as textual input at the same time as it is read to the other contestants. It then figures out all the likely questions along with the likelihood of each of them being right. Only once it's figured out which answer it's actually going to answer will it buzz in.

It won't use the additional time which a human has after they've buzzed to continue to think about the problem - unlike the human competitors.

The thing about Jennings is that in the end he just buzzed for everything because he was so confident he knew he could figure it out during the thinking time. Consequently if Watson is to win it's got to come up with the right answer in the time it takes for the question to be read and the reaction time the other competitors will take to buzz. This'll come out at ~ 3 seconds.

When you think about the problem like that, all of the crap people are spouting about "it gets the question as text rather than _hearing_ it" and "it's got a huge database to search" becomes moot since it's got to so much to do in just 3 seconds!

Earth

Utah Assembly Passes Resolution Denying Climate Change 787

Posted by kdawson
from the still-snowing-here dept.
cowtamer writes "The Utah State Assembly has passed a resolution decrying climate change alarmists and urging '...the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and withdraw its "Endangerment Finding" and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated.' Here is the full text of H.J.R 12." The resolution has no force of law. The Guardian article includes juicy tidbits from its original, far more colorful, version.
Open Source

Myst Online: Uru Live Returns As Free-To-Play 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the uru-is-dead-long-live-uru dept.
agrif writes "Shorah b'shemtee! Uru Live has been released for free, as a first step towards opening its source. This game, an MMO released by the makers of Myst and Riven in 2003, has been canceled, zombified, resurrected, canceled again, and is now about to be released as open source to its dedicated fan base. Massively has written a brief newbie guide if you're unfamiliar with the game."

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