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Comment Re: We'll be fine. (Score 1) 201

It is not just pure numbers.

I recently drove a Model S, P100D. In ludicrous mode, the acceleration is mind-boggling, but it feels completely safe. None of that Porsche "the car is trying to kill me" attitude.

At the same time, assistance features that even a few years ago were reserved for luxury cars are now in mid-range cars (e.g. the Hyundai Ioniq). The automotive world is changing fast, and things that mattered one generation ago will be unimportant tomorrow, either because nobody cares anymore, or because everyone has them.

Comment Re:Somebody is confusing AI with robotics (Score 1) 201

AI may be advancing with giant strides, but robotics is still far, far away from doing anything remotely similar to a Terminator, even the simplest models ;-)

Musk and many others are not thinking that AI is already dangerous. They are thinking about something called the singularity - the point at which AI can improve upon itself, creating a positive feedback loop where AI evolution outpaces our ability to follow, understand - or stop it.

The tipping point is not "when will the first computer achive sentience?" - that is ill defined and it might not ever be sentient in a human sense, but instead in a different way. The tipping point is "when does machine evolution decouple from human understanding?". As some systems already evolve, and some systems already do things in ways we don't understand, that point seems near. And once AI has reached that point, given the massive processing power available, it could advance away from us, and be permanently not just one but two, three, ten, one hundred steps ahead of us. And then if it decides it doesn't need humans anymore, it won't be like in the movies. We won't even understand what happened. It will have watched all those movies and make sure it doesn't make any of the mistakes those movie AIs made.

When the technology is there, maybe you actually can legislate it away, but it won't matter anymore. The only point where you can stop this is before the runaway effect starts.

Comment Re:The sky is falling (Score 1) 201

Even IF we outright banned it, do you think other countries will adhere to the will of the US in such matters ?

There's this thing called "international treaties". Maybe you heard about it? It's how the world got together and agreed that biological weapons are a really stupid and dangerous idea and we'd rather not have them.

Imagine if we had banned Science and Math outright early on in our history because of the potential for what it could be used for.

We would still be living in caves and hunting with spears.

And if we didn't talk about the dangers of some inventions, say, nuclear weapons, we would already be back at living caves and hunting with spears.

Comment Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score 1) 505

lets just hope they don't end up killing the show because as we have seen people are REALLY getting fucking sick of being preached at and if the show becomes nothing but left wing politics and virtue signaling? I don't even see hardcore Dr Who fans wanting to tune in for their weekly dose of Who if it becomes nothing but propaganda.

Thanks for that. It might be the reason I stopped watching, without even realizing why. Yeah, the Doctor became less of a timelord and more of a preacher. That definitely was at least part of the reason for me.

Comment nah, gone already (Score 1) 505

With Capaldi, my interest in Doctor Who somehow plummeted. I can't even say why. I was a big, big fan of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. While Matt Smith was ok, I felt he was already a step down from Tennant, and I never warmed to Capaldi.

That's why I would've been outraged had they made The Doctor change gender at the 12th incarnation, but now it's just one more reason not to watch the show anymore.

Why? Because it's forced. It's an obvious deviation from the character development for no reason at all except submission to feminist outcry.

But hey, maybe the next Wonder Woman can be a man? It's not about gender, right? Of course it is about gender. We are human beings. Gender is one if not the first thing we notice about another human being, instinctively. There is nothing that is not about gender. Let's stop pretending that the sky is yellow and pigs fly. Doctor Who is a male character, and that is a part of who he is, just like him having two hearts. Gender is not some random biological detail that you can change like a hat. Any biologist can tell you that its effects on the body go beyond primary and secondary sex organs. Its effect on the mind are less clear, research is ongoing, but nobody with any knowledge on the matter would claim that there are none.

To change the gender of the character is to make him another character. And that's total bullshit in a series named after its character. They could've made a spin-off with a female doctor, a different character, and that would've been completely fine. I probably would've watched it. Or a spin-off based on River Song or Idris or even on Missy.

But hey, let's wait for the Wonder Woman movie starring Orlando Bloom and we'll see what all the people now shouting me down with "gender doesn't matter" will say then. :-)

Comment language can be a bitch... (Score 1) 325

Look, we call it "laws of nature", but they are nothing like the laws that are written into law books. It's just an unfortunate choice of words that causes confusion in some minds that take things too literal.

But have fun compensating for that silly law of gravity with a new  in your countries law books...

Comment Shipping is COMPLICATED (Score 1) 187

My wife and I run a small business (we sell a modest number of laser-cut models online). The cost of shipping our product is about 30% of our sales price - so we must work hard to minimise postage charges. USPS is vastly cheaper than UPS/FedEx/etc...and we avoid USPS "Flat Rate Shipping" because it's three times the price of doing it the traditional way. We always tell the post office desk staff "Ship the cheapest way possible" (no tracking, no insurance, no nothing) because the number of "shipping failures" is negligible and paying for these items isn't cost-effective.

But some of the ways USPS operates are ludicrous. We COULD do all of our shipping work online and just drop the packages off at the post office - but they charge MORE for doing that than handing a pile of ~100 packages to the desk clerk and waiting for them to painstakingly enter the Zip code for each one - then stick THREE labels onto each envelope and finally, use a little rubber stamp to mark them "First Class". I try to go to the post office when there isn't a long line ahead of me - but you can be 100% sure that when I'm done, a long line has built up behind me. I'd be in and out in under a minute if they didn't charge me so much for doing the work for them! But spending 40 minutes watching the desk while they do all of this is very cost-effective for me.

This is doubly stupid because our $100 label printing machine automatically looks up the Zip code we get from our customers and converts that into a kind of bar code that it prints at the bottom of every label...so a simple hand-scanner would reduce the time it takes them to enter the data considerably...and having their label printing contraption put ALL of the data onto one sticker rather than three (plus a rubber stamp) would also streamline the process immensely.

Amazon has clearly negotiated a way around these crazy rules - but small businesses can't do that. I'm quite sure that much of the $1.46 that Amazon is costing us could be eliminated by simply giving all small businesses the ability to pay online WITHOUT the huge up-charge.

Comment Re:The real story: fake users. (Score 1) 78

You'd think so, but that is a very classic piece of selective perception. Since we almost always (unless we are involved) see only the affairs that come to light, we assume that most if not all affairs do, eventually.

But what is your guess about the number of affairs that nobody except those involved ever finds out about? You seriously think that is a low number? Got any evidence for that except wishful thinking?

Comment I've heard from both sides (Score 4, Interesting) 657

I know someone who was the victim of a purse snatch. Purse found in a back alley just a few blocks away, and all the perp took was cash. I also know a family member who had his debit card stolen and about $1,200 of purchases racked up on it in 24 hours. (Yes, he only had $50 in liability, but he said the time spent on jumping through every phone call and piece of paperwork was a pain.) Your money is just as much at risk in either scenario.

As for me, I hardly ever carry cash. Not because I'm afraid to, but because it's a lifestyle choice. If I have cash in my pocket, I'm far more likely to spend it, as well as spend it on unnecessary things, and not keep track of how much I have left. Though, I know many who say the same about debit cards.

So, I guess, to each their own.

Comment Re:WHAT DO WE WANT????? (Score 1) 126

I think you may be a bit confused about this.

WITH NetNeutrality - every end user who connects to the internet pays the same amount to their ISP, regardless of what content they transfer. They might pay more if they use more bandwidth - that's not covered by Net Neutrality.

WITHOUT NetNeutrality - the ISP can charge you more for visiting some web sites than others - they can effectively shut out websites who compete with them (imagine what Cable companies who are also ISP's might do to YouTube and NetFlix) - AND they can charge website owners for transferring data from their websites to the end users.

What you wrote in your post is nothing to do with the issue at hand here.

Think of this as if it were "Phone company neutrality" instead. We currently have "Phone Neutrality" - the charges for phone calls depends on distance - but nothing else. If we abolished "Phone Neutrality" then the phone company could notice that you call your Mom a lot - and that these are longer than average calls. They could legally charge you extra for calling your Mom than for equally long calls to (say) your best friend.

We have "Phone Neutrality" because the phone company is regulated as a "Common Carrier" - which means that they are paid to transfer data and that's all. They aren't allowed to filter content or mess with quality.

Just in case you don't think they would if they could - it was common practice before the common carrier rules for phone companies to deliberate reduce the quality of signals coming from phones operated by their rivals. Don't think your ISP wouldn't stoop to the same tactics...."Oh no...is your NetFlix stream dropping out AGAIN! Oh what a shame! Maybe you should just give us another $120 a month to give you cable TV...and then you'll be able to enjoy all of our lovely adverts too!

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