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Comment Re:Only one solution (Score 1) 387

United Airlines (just to pick one) prohibits all radio receivers and transmitters.

Well, that web page says that, but that web page is demonstrably wrong. In fact, that page contradicts itself! By ignoring what else it says and cherry picking that one statement from a list you become wrong, too.

First, they also say that pagers can be used at any time. A pager is a receiver. Strike one. Second, they say that you can use cellular services when the flight attendants say you can. Strike two. Third, United is going the absolutely stupid path of removing in-seat entertainment services from much of its fleet, replacing it with Wi-Fi services. Wi-Fi is ... both a transmitter and a receiver. Strike three.

Nothing better than an information page that contradicts itself, huh?

Comment Re:Insurance (Score 2) 112

With the current state of software warranties, I could not imagine how insurance against hacking events could possibly exist. The initial assessment actively threatens the employment of IT staff, they are being judged and make no mistake, first on the audit list, fire and hire. That also plays out to the rest of staff, as any employee with access to at risk hardware can trigger a security breach.

Sure I could imagine fly by night insurance who take premiums and never make payouts, using lawyers to fend them off for as long as possible whilst still collecting premiums and hugely inflated executive salaries and who bail to tax haves just before the company goes belly up (don't scoff in the era of rising sea levels that kind of insurance will appear for every coastal city on the planet, they'll set up subsidiaries they can extract profits from and then set adrift in a sea of underwater front bankruptcy).

Comment Re:It Makes Perfect Sense (Score 1) 95

your ideology supports as being the highest moral standard

Why are you claiming I hold that bizarre belief?

FWIW, to the degree I'm interested in environmentalism, it's merely to keep it relatively nice for people to live in. I couldn't care less about cockroaches, except to the degree that they contribute to my quality of life, and I don't really think that they do. I do kind of like having other plants and animals around; many are useful, many are interesting, some are just plain cute. But that's really neither here nor there, because my comment had nothing to do with environmentalism. I was just correcting your misunderstandings of evolutionary theory.

Do you think that anyone who cares about the correct understanding of evolutionary theory must be a "humans are awful" environmentalist? If so, you should examine your own assumptions.

Thanks, but I will stick to my twisted reasoning.

That was bad phrasing on my part. "Twisted" has negative connotations that I didn't mean to imply. What I meant to say was that you were reasoning evolutionary outcomes that couldn't possibly have been related to the supposedly-evolutionary pressures that you were citing. Perhaps "confused thinking" would be more on target.

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 434

Hold on," I said. "If a single piece of dust lays the whole computer out, don't you think that's kind of a problem?"

No, the problem is in buying an Apple product in the first place.

No, I think the bigger problem is a tech blogger who thinks that a space bar that spaces twice is "lay[ing] the whole computer out". Learn the sequence "space backspace" and you'll be fine. Or just live with double spaces and let the word processor you are using fix them for you.

Comment Re:Only one solution (Score 1) 387

Turning off GPS wouldn't make any sense at all. GPS is passive and doesn't transmit.

You are wrong. GPS is an active circuit. While it does not intentionally emit RF signals, EVERY electronic device that operates at RF frequencies emits some. That includes your laptop computer and your GPS.

There are no direct sampling receivers for GPS, which means there are none that directly digitize the incoming GPS radio signal without converting it to an intermediate frequency. That conversion requires a local oscillator, and if it is a dual or triple conversion receiver that means there are two or three local oscillators. Every one of the local oscillators can be radiated and cause interference.

Further, even if the receiver is direct digital sampling, the computer circuitry that converts that sampling into data uses at least one and more likely two or three clock circuits for the digital processing units. Those clocks, too, can radiate.

I've already told the anecdote about the GPS in my car that covers a local 2M repeater. I have others about "receivers" that have caused interference. One was a TV/DVD combo that put out a signal on 121.5MHz that was so strong the SARSAT could pick it up. Another was a receiver for 121.5MHz that blocked us from hearing a channel that New York ATC was talking to us on.

So no, "receiver" does not mean "no RF emissions."

Beware, though. There are a lot of people who don't know anything about tech,

The irony of this statement is pegging the meter.

Comment Re:Drug Design and Climate models (Score 1) 108

"Remember folks, "neural network" in the sense of AI is a marketing term, it does not in any way imply that it functions in a manner similar to how our brains work."

Neural network in the sense of AI is in fact at it's core an implementation of a mathematical replication of at least part of how our brains work.

"If anybody claims to know, then please ask them to describe in detail how memory is encoded in our brains, and have them demonstrate by altering a memory in a predetermined way."

We can't even do that with AlphaGo. All we can do is poke, test, replicate, and model pieces and when some pieces are simple enough maybe reverse engineer them, the same as our own brains.

Comment Re:Only one solution (Score 1) 387

You said, "which is required by law", then pointed to an FAA regulation, which is not the same thing.

Actually, 47CFR91.21 is a law. It is not just an FAA regulation, it is a law in a section of the code that is allocated to the FAA.

And on top of that, it references that it's a carrier decision, making that a fairly worthless thing to point to without fully examining carrier restrictions.

Until recently, the carriers opted on the side of safety and did not allow use of personal electronic devices (PED). I've actually had the waitresses, I mean stewardsesses, I mean flight attendants tell me to turn off my noise cancelling headphones because they saw the little red light on them. This ignores the fact that those headphones operate only at audio frequencies (no RF interference) and allow the passenger the ability to actually hear and understand the cabin announcements (like the safety briefing). So, I covered the red light with a bit of tape and they left me alone after that.

Now they allow small devices during all phases, and larger devices (like laptops) above 10,000', but still no cellphone service. Some are putting in local cells, but I've not come across that yet.

The problem is, the law he referenced does NOT say what he claims it does. It does not mandate that "airplane mode" disable the GPS. It says nothing about "airplane mode".

Your bolding for the United statement also missed the previous word, which is radio. Nowhere on the United page does it cover GPS,

GPS is radio. How do you think the signals get from the satellites to your cellphone?

that doesn't overlap with any of the more common definitions of radio being shortwave, AM, FM, etc.

I'm sorry, but "radio" does not mean just "shortwave, AM, FM". It means "radio". And in 91.21 terms, it doesn't say "radio", it says "electronic devices". The REASON behind "electronic devices" is based on RF interference from radios.

I'll also point out that although the frequencies that GPS are transmitted on doesn't mean the receiver cannot generate interference on many frequencies in many bands. I have a GPS installed under the backseat of my car that I cannot use because it emits interference right on top of a local amateur 2m repeater channel, making that channel useless.

Comment Re:Only one solution (Score 1) 387

FAA regulation 91.21, which punts it to the airlines :-)

Wrong. 47CFR91.21 says nothing about airplane mode on a cellphone disabling GPS, it talks in very broad terms about the use of all electronic devices on board an aircraft. That would include the use of the cellphone for any purpose. Try again. There was a very specific claim: "[ Or thought about Airplane Mode, which is required by law to disable GPS. ]" What regulation mandates that airplane mode on a cellphone disable GPS?

Wait, so you entered Airplane Mode (which disables all the radios) and then you clicked a button saying "Enable GPS" and you are shocked that . . . GPS is enabled?!

I did not say shocked. I was surprised that a mode which appears to put the cellphone in a state that would comply with 47CFR91.21 does not actually do so. And it is confusing when activating any of the cellphone radios does not turn airplane mode off. If "airplane mode" means anything at all, and if it turns all radios off when it is enabled, then it should not be possible to have any of the radios on when airplane mode is on.

This seems like crystal clear UI to me, but YMMV.

The UI seems clear to me, too. Airplane mode turns the radios off. If airplane mode is ON, then the radios are OFF. But they aren't necessarily off. So what does airplane mode mean, then?

Comment Re:This is cool, but I'll be more interested when. (Score 1) 108

This is one of the problems in the AI world. They should have targeted playing as well as the average human. There is minimal benefit in being the absolute best Go player that could exist. Difficult and complicated intelligences have to be far more general than that. There is tremendous value in developing an intelligence comparable to normal humans without need for it to be capable of defeating humans who've dedicated their lives to a single obsession at their own game.

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