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Comment: Re:No, they just need reliable Linux distros. (Score 1) 69 69

Maybe it's okay if systemd and PulseAudio fuck up your single Ubuntu workstation. That's not a luxury that these admins have. They need their Linux systems to work reliably all of the time.

Or maybe it's okay if systemd fucks up all the servers running RHEL 7. After all, nothing important runs on that. So let's check, is Red Hat Inc. tanking and considering backtracking? Hell no, they're growing strong both in revenue and profits in the year that's passed since. So if a $14 billion dollar company can make systemd work for them, it probably can't be that bad. Or if it's bad, well then rip out the bad parts like write a non-binary log because how hard could it be to take the binary messages, printf and log the text in addition to/instead of a blob? Sometimes it sounds like the only two options is to drink the kool-aid or nuke it from orbit.

Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 69 69

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re: It's an algorithm (Score 1) 158 158

One could point out that there are fewer instances of white males being miscategorized.

White males are just about the easiest faces to categorize. They tend to have short hair that doesn't obscure facial features or create oddball shapes that confuse the classifiers. Their skin tone makes photographing them and finding edges extracting features easier than it is with darker skinned people. White people have a greater variety of eye colors that can be used to distinguish among them. "White guy face" is just about the optimal case for this problem. If I had to come up with a worst case that was also a photo of a fairly "common" person, I'd go with "dark skinned, brown eyed person wtih long hair and facial hair." That's a pretty clean sweep of all of the variables that make this a hard problem.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 158 158

Good decisions? Sorry, but releasing poorly tested software like this was obviously a bad decision. The bad outcomes were a direct result of their poor decision making.

How good does the cutting edge of object recognition need to be before it's not "poorly tested" anymore, especially when it's for a silly photo app and not a medical or military application? I never hear this type of thing from people who have actually had to solve these types of problems. The reality is that objects are going to be confused with other objects. Lots of them, once we're talking about hundreds of millions or billions of samples. Some cases will fail with great regularity and patterns. The unfortunate fact here was that the pattern happened to coincidentally have really embarrassing cultural connotations.

This is one of the things I don't miss about working in machine vision. We'd run our algorithm over a zillion images and it would correctly handle all of them save a small handful and that small handful would be filed as bugs. OK, maybe we'll be able to handle that small handful at the expense of a smaller handful next time around. But the pass/fail criteria for the tool is in its overall results, not in the outliers.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 1) 158 158

The developers building vision algorithms don't typically create their own datasets. They purchase archives of images, and a lot of these problems stem from how many samples of each type are in those archives. The Google team likely has a giant database of human faces that it works with, and the ethnic frequencies are probably either the result of choices made by whatever origanization compiled it (and for whatever reason they compiled it) or the ethnic breakdown of the userbase of some app they used to grab the data. It's extremely unlikely that either of those will produce the same number of samples of every ethnic type.

It's also one thing if this was a program just designed to distinguish between different people. But it looks like it's trying to recognize objects of all sorts and distinguish between people and just about everything else. That's a hard problem, and the only response to this sort o thing is to take a regular failure case and feed it back into the training data so you can hit the next regular failure case. Hopefully it will be less coincidentally embarrassing, but it will definitely be there. Perhaps confusing bald men with balloons or something like that.

But I also think people underestimate how much skin color affects machine vision problems. I spent years in the biometrics industry and one consistent fact is that people with darker skin just don't provide as much easy-to-recognize detail as people with lighter skin. There will be more misclassifications as long as the image is taken using the visible spectrum. To a computer extracting features, dark skinned people and gorillas are both human-ish face shapes with a particular color range and somewhat indistinct geometry due to weak contrast and shadows. Distingushing between those two sets just isn't as easy as distinguishing between fair-skinned blondes and gorillas. You can make that decision just by looking at the color histograms and not even bothering with geometry.

Comment: Re:What happened to the scientific method? (Score 1) 144 144

Actually, science came about after the world was determined to be round, and science has always been against witchcraft.
It was conservative religious nut jobs that push concepts of flat earth and witchcraft.

Scientific method came about in 17th century.

But hey, do not let facts get in your conservative religious nut job approach.

Comment: issues with liberals and scientists as well (Score 2) 144 144

Look at the nuke issue. Scientists want to continue building new nuke plants. Why? Because we KNOW that global warming is a REAL ISSUE that needs REAL SOLUTIONS.
However, Liberals, like conservatives, put their head in the ground and ignore the fact that new gen IV reactors can NOT have the issues that we seen in these gen II and gen III reactors.

Comment: Re:Once Again (Score 1) 104 104

You know whats worse than todays pilots flying ancient airplanes, a brand new extravegantly expensive F-35 that cant match an F-16 or F-15E built in the 80s, planes built for a fraction of the price.

The F-35 might be an OK successor to the F-117 as a mostly stealth small bomber, but all indications are its completely worthless in a close in dogfight, you just have to read the leaked report from a recent test against an ancient F-16.

The F-35 simply doesnt have enough power, cant turn fast enough and bleeds off to much energy. The pilot found one manuever he could use to shake the F-16 but it consumed so much energy he had to run away and try to get the energy back.

The F-35 will also be horrible in the close air support role at which the A-10 excels, again at an even smaller fraction of the price tag.

F-35 is a classic jack of all trades and master of none.

There might have been a place for a few hundred of them but for the U.S. and every allied air force to think they are going to use one horrible design to replace every fighter they have is complete insanity. If it ever reaches full deployment, one accident or problem and the entire western world will have no air force. At least the Navy has the sense to keep the F-18 alive.

The F-35 is a tribute to the extent Lockheed has seized total control of Congress and the Pentagon, they could literally sell the Air Force actual turkeys for a hundred million a pop and get away with it.

Those B-52â(TM)s still flying today is because Northrop, has also seized control of the Air Forces generals made the B-2 so expensive and so few in number the Air Force canâ(TM)t afford to risk it in combat.

Besides the U.S. has been fighting people living in mud huts who have no air force and air defenses for over a decade, B-52â(TM)s and A-10â(TM)s work incredibly well in that role.

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 144 144

Could not one of average intelligence yet above-average perseverance perform an experiment building on another's experiment and be called a "successful" scientist.

Maybe, but they still have to write it up and get it published, and that's where the above-average intelligence comes in. There are drones in science, like in every field, but they don't get "successful" without publishing. And often that means working with others, and working with others requires above-average intelligence.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake