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Comment Re:Polish... (Score 2) 221

According to the article, there are 37 exceptions out of 230 languages. Tea, with its two principal words, is actually above the average compared to a typical word for something that was unknown to the world at large until early modern times.

Well, tea was considerably earlier. Quoting a few Wiki snippets: "As prices continued to drop, tea became increasingly popular, and by 1750 had become the British national drink." vs "Prices of aluminium dropped, and aluminium had become widely used in jewelry, many everyday items, eyeglass frames, and optical instruments by the early 1890s." so it's early 18th century vs late 19th century. Late 19th century would be around the time you started having rapid long-distance communication via telegraph and telephone. Literacy, letters and newspapers were far more widespread so it'd be much more useful to have a common, global term than in centuries past. Post-radio and post-Internet even more so, unless you absolutely want your own word for cultural identity or language purity.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 45

Chinese government only has access to those servers now, and you can opt-out like you always could of iCloud services - the iPhone is not tied to it in any way other than user convenience.

For now..... until the Chinese government starts looking into the people who have an iPhone and don't use iCloud and tie that or active use into the loyalty score somehow. As far as I know you can only turn it off, you can't fake using it. That's really the end game here, make most people give up their privacy without anything seemingly bad happening so the remainder stand out in a crowd. I mean 99% of what goes on at Facebook is meaningless drivel, the question is who's not on Facebook and what's not being posted to Facebook.

Comment Re:Take the average of the desires of the voters (Score 2) 496

Down side is that for those who already feel like voting is like busy homework, this will add to the load.

If they think picking red or blue every few years is too much effort, maybe they're better off staying home. And honestly that could actually bring people out to vote primarily on a particular issue they care about rather than vote for Hillary vs Trump. Because I can see how neither would be particularly appealing....

Comment Re:Of course not (Score 1) 275

What if a gorilla walks across the road in front of you?

You know, I've never been in that situation. Probably never will, unless I go driving in Africa or one escapes from a zoo somewhere. I kinda assume that I'd hit the brakes like if it was a elk or bear or bison or elephant or giraffe or gazelle or any other large animal on the road ahead of me, more on instinct than anything else. That's roughly what I do with cattle and sheep, anyway. Which is why I'm not really all that concerned, because the situation and response is so generic and pretty much universal.

If there is a concern it's when the car should do some kind of action that's against the norm, but contextually right. Like say there's a steep hill ahead of me, down the hill comes a big truck at high speed blinking the lights and sounding the horn. If you stand still you get flattened by 50 tons of truck ramming/crushing you. I'd violate pretty much any traffic law, go off-road or even cause a minor accident to dodge a fatal one. I don't see a computer going to those extremes, even if it'll prevent most "mundane" accidents.

Comment Re:Easiest Solution: Kids Do Not Need Smart Phones (Score 2) 48

Wow! It's like somehow I was in the immediate vicinity of a responsible adult at all times and my parents knew my safety was ok. Mind-blowing isn't it?

You must have been a dull kid. Me and my buddies, we were on our own a lot. Not neglect-like a lot, but shooting hoops at the local basketball court. Or going up to the nearby lake. Or collecting list golf balls at the local golf court and selling them back to golfers. Or walking my buddy's dogs. Or playing in the woods. We had a wrist watch and a time to be back. And we were back on time, because otherwise they'd really worry. And that was probably more control than my grandparents had over their kids. If your metric is safety and control, there's no doubt my parents had less. If there was a genuine emergency we didn't have a cell phone, not to call mum and dad, not to call 911, nothing. You could of course imagine all sorts of terrible things happening to us, but none of them did.

What it did learn us was independence and responsibility. Of course the governing theory today is that you should fake it and secretly know where they are and what they're doing anyway while pretending not to. To me it seems like a scary proposition, because once you're caught doing it you've violated the trust you pretended to give and said I don't really trust you anyway. I know this happened with my mom and some money that disappeared from my wallet, I knew where it went because I repaid a friend for something, candy or whatever but clearly she didn't know that. She clearly knew I had less money today than yesterday though. And I was like WTF mom you're rifling through my pockets now? Maybe with age I can see that as an attempt at parenting but back then I didn't see it as anything but betrayal.

Comment Re:Talk about a captive audience (Score 2) 232

... Sit in big city rush hour traffic for hours?

So what do you do today if your car has some sort of mechanical failure? Sensors and processing is for the most part passive units, they'll probably have quite high durability and uptime. With some redundancy and error correction they'll probably not be significantly worse off than human-driven cars. A bigger concern is that the sensors are fine, but the AI doesn't understand where to go. But I imagine there'll be some form of remote driving capability built in to resolve that, assuming you're in good range of a cell network.

Comment Re:GPU shortage (Score 1) 217

Not just the GPU.... SSD prices have been flat for like ~2 years. RAM prices are actually way up. I think for the first time in history you don't get a significantly better PC by waiting. It's not like last year's Ferrari is this year's BMW and next year's Kia anymore. I have a GTX 1080 TI, bought at roughly MSRP at launch because apparently it wasn't a very good mining card and for some reason the most expensive card I've ever bought is the one to stay the best in value. I'm just really sad that I didn't take the opportunity a while ago and bought 4x16GB RAM. Right now I see some of the value RAM has literally tripled in price. The CPU market is a little better but only because Ryzen has been pretty disruptive. But even there the poewr/watt, power/$ don't change as much as they used to. Basically it's becoming a normal market where the car from 10 years ago is roughly as fast in practice as the one you buy today.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 260

"Thank you" doesn't cost you a dime, there is absolutely no drawback at all whatsoever to say "thank you". I fail to see the problem.

Who said it was? In any case these things are highly temporary, I'm pretty sure many start with "Siri, please remind me to buy milk tomorrow" but drop it after a little while. You might have said "Thank you" and "Have a nice day" to the bank teller but nobody talks to the ATM. Neither will they talk to the pizza bot after a little adjustment. People just feel they should say something, same way these people feel it should respond. In fact, hearing the exact same impersonal "You're welcome" recording 2-3 times in a row would probably kill it as fast as not saying anything at all.

Comment Re:Landing on Mars is not easier (Score 1) 83

Landing on Mars is more challenging than on the moon. High gravity and a thin atmosphere means you need a heat shield to deorbit, but you still can't ltouch down using parachutes.

Technically it's more challenging, but the result is considerably cheaper in terms of delta-v. Compared to a hypothetical Mars without atmosphere the heat shield and parachutes pay off well. Though parachutes are most viable for small payloads anyway, for large payloads you pretty much have to land propulsively. Yes, you can airdrop even a light tank here on Earth but not coming in hot and fast from space. Fortunately we have this guy with some experience in that area, landing rockets in a much denser atmosphere than Mars... too bad he's not working a Mars mission or anything like that.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 252

Former, withdrawn charges shouldn't be grounds for arrest.

I think you're wrong, secondary crimes related to your arrest and incarceration should not automatically be expunged simply because the arrest or conviction was in error, invalid or dropped. Resisting arrest, causing a car chase, jail break, contempt of court, parole violation, skipping bail... attempting to evade the justice system should be a crime, even if you are innocent. If you try to escape jail and kill a prison guard it's still murder even if the rape case you originally served time for is later cleared by DNA evidence, it doesn't magically turn into a kidnapping where killing the kidnappers to escape is okay. It's just not how it works or how it should work.

Comment Re:Fast second language (Score 1) 223

Learning a third language is easier when you know a second language. Hungarian kids somehow learn Esperanto and then English like 40% faster if they learn English only to the same eventual English fluency. Go figure.

Well Hungarian is not part of the Indo-European language family meaning English is as foreign to them as Chinese or Japanese. Esperanto is a good mix of Germanic, Romance and Slavic but all firmly rooted in the Indo-European tree. And to learn a second language you need to learn about and be able to map between different language constructs. You might say you go from one to two languages but you go from zero to one translations and then it's easier to add more. So easier yeah, is it worth the detour if the goal is to learn English? Probably not. Same way it's easier to pick up an OOP-based Programming language if you know another, but it's not worth learning C# if the goal is to learn Java or Swift.

Comment Re: FBI now providing free marketing! (Score 3, Informative) 348

Except after rebooting, panic lock, or 48 hours the PIN is required to unlock the phone first. If you think someone is gonna take your phone for bad purposes, shut it down or panic lock it quick. Then the facial/fingerprint recognition is useless.

Or just disable the damn thing if you believe there's any reason the police would want to go on a fishing expedition using your phone. You don't have to use it...

Comment Re:Once the price comes down, anyway (Score 2) 137

The Villages referred to in this article is in Florida. It says so right in the summary. The rest of your comment is correct. The Villages is not populated by poor retirees.

Apparently they have many different locations called "The Villages", even in the summary they mention "the smaller San Jose Development".

Comment Re:Once the price comes down, anyway (Score 4, Interesting) 137

Most senior citizens donâ(TM)t have copious amounts of spare cash - so this first really needs to filter down to the low end of the automotive market.

But you don't need "most", you need a market that has moderate wealth and who'd desperately like to get back to the freedom of having a car. I think my parents would be a good case, they lost their driver's licenses involuntarily - okay my mom gave hers up, but only because it was obvious she wasn't fit to drive anymore - and they have a down paid house and comfortable economy. They could take taxis and occasionally they do but it's to them different, it's like not their car, driven by a stranger and for some things like going to their cabin it feels awkwardly expensive even though that's more psychological. I mean let's say they'd probably have a $30k car each if they could drive, together plus extra "I want it" factor... I think they'd pay $100k for a self-driving car.

Not that this sounds like anything like that, it's a slow-moving ride with a safety driver meaning it's basically just testing of the kind Google has been doing for many years. This seems to be more of a novelty, but I guess they're hoping to be bought by someone trying to jump on the SDC bandwagon. I'd be very surprised if this is the path to market dominance. But they, the more the merrier I just wish they'd get there... they've barely started to put the safety driver in the back seat, much less kick him out entirely.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 1) 121

It's more like you took over a franchise restaurant but it still has the same name and the same product it's just "under new management". For many people it's still "the place that was full of rat turds", to be honest I don't quite understand the value of tarnished brands but it seems the whole marketing world disagrees with my valuation so maybe they're on to something. I'd probably say okay let's take the system, users, code and all that but let's make a brand do-over, this is not SourceForge anymore it's a new service run by different people and we'll treat you better. I mean kudos for wanting to "restore" the SourceForge name to honor but I'm not sure it was worth saving. But hey it's your money I'm just playing armchair quarterback here.

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