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Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 4, Interesting) 513

That is a good point, and in the age of smartphones, we should be able to solve this finally: require food to be labeled with a bar or QR code assigned by the FDA or USDA (whoever is the appropriate regulator), which will be used by independent information brokers and inspectors maintaining a database of all of the information about all of the items. The databases themselves should be curated for correctness, but no valid information should be disallowed. The appropriate regulator should make available inspection information on each product, indexed by the same codes.

With unlimited "packaging space" available, GM products, for instance, should be able to include why the product was GM'd and what benefits or harmful traits it is proven to express.

I suspect people will be more willing to buy genetically modified foods that are more nutritious than their "natural counterparts" and will probably also be happy to save money on foods that have been modified to have higher yields and be less costly to produce.

Comment Re:NYC taxi system could DESTROY uber (Score 2) 210

They're both regulated. The regulations are not the same, nor should they be. Dispatched rides are also rationed, and for some reason the ration books (i.e. medallions) are transferrable between private parties, raising barriers to entry for newcomers and allowing a cartel of entrenched speculator/investors to control the industry, to the detriment of both drivers and riders.

Comment Too many activists (Score 1) 156

Tried the "ages 6-10" pathway, and a positive thing I can say is that it uses the a MIT Scratch-like programming language for the coding challenges (giving credit to Harvard and Berkley...), which I think is a great idea for introducing coding concepts to people not familiar with the traditional languages yet.

There are 15 levels and every few levels there is a video message from someone involved in star wars talking about the movies (nice ad placement, btw) or about javascript (which makes no sense to include on the "ages 6-10" visual code based track). There is even a button to show the "underlying code" which shows some javascript commands that don't quite implement the same thing that the user has created in the block-based language.

Worse, it's not a game of puzzles of slowly increasing difficulty that must be solved by increasingly clever code. Instead it's 15 challenges of almost zero difficulty, used as a tutorial for a small number of code elements before dumping the user into a sandbox to "create their own game."

It's clearly written to appeal not to 6-10 year-olds, but to education activists in the education activist conference circuit (i.e. not actual educators in actual classrooms).

I realize it's only an hour, but wouldn't "getting kids interested in code" be better served by creating more games that rely on "code-thinking" to solve? A game like "Human Resources Machine" but with a shallower difficulty ramp-up (and a concept of functions, and disguising some of the tasks to have more rewarding results) would, I think, be far more enticing to children of varying exposure to programming than an overblown Disney/Javascript ad. As would a Scratch-based update to the classic robowar-type games (codecombat.com does something somewhat similar with javascript, which I think is too text-y for young children), but without exposing new users to an online community of already-mature robot designs.

Comment Re:What about volume? (Score 1) 242

I'd be cool with commercials being way higher in volume, if DVR manufacturers are prohibited owning any copyrighted video content. I figure "sound level" would be a pretty easy trigger for commercial skip algorithms, and if the DVR makers weren't in league with the people putting out the commercials in the first place, the'd compete on who has the best commercial skipping.

The more prominent ads are, the easer it should be for machine filtering to remove them from your experience.

Comment Re:Shows may vary. (Score 1) 242

They're not just some indie channel struggling to get by. They're part of a huge conglomerate that owns dozens of channels and puts ghost-hunting wrestler shit on all of them.

How about differentiate your channels a bit and if a science fiction channel can't cut it vs. the house-swap channel, then eventually just drop it. If they need cheap material on the sci fi channel, then bring back the Forbidden Planet and Gamera, etc. re-runs that they originally built the audience with.

Comment Re:Yes they are hashable! (Score 1) 242

I think he's saying that at each accuracy-level you're cryptographically hashing something, and then when you do the compares, you do the same thing.. cryptographically hash at the different levels and compare those to the stored hashes and the best one that matches defines your confidence in the match.

Comment Re:Why should they? (Score 1) 187

your speed limit example is actually a perfect example of how laws DO in fact need to keep pace and don't.

  especially as we move towards autonomous vehicles, but in fact applicable even with today's vehicles.

a high performance sports car can easily handle higher speeds and sharper turns than a semi hauling two trailers.
yet both are given the same 70mph limit, even though its rather too much for the double semi, and rather below the sports cars safe capability.

so why shouldn't they have different legal limits on what's safely acceptable?

On an open road with no other drivers, this makes sense. However on an open road with no other drivers, who are you protecting from unsafe operation of either the truck or the sports car? If there is no traffic, then maybe you don't need the limits at all.

On a road with lots of other vehicles, though, a few vehicles traveling at significantly different speeds increases the risk and damage in accidents and due to the extra attention that must be paid and the maneuvers needed to accommodate the slower/faster drivers, causes traffic, which ironically reduces throughput to below even the slow-driver limit.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.