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Comment Re:It's a cheat. (Score 1) 186

Still, I have the same issue with that experiment (which isn't particularly surprising since it is Dawkins), in that you are starting with the end result and contriving a way to generate it. In that way, it isn't much different from an Intelligent Design proponent's argument. In this thought experiment, Dawkins is the intelligent designer, and it's a shame he doesn't see the irony in that. A better thought experiment would be generating five words, checking each for fitness against the list of ALL dictionary words, and seeing how long it takes to generate 5 words that if arranged correctly would match any 5 word phrase in the complete works of Shakespere. It's trivially easy when you prevent the computer/monkeys from arriving at a dead end, but the case of guiding the system away from those evolutionary dead ends ends up providing more weight to an ID viewpoint than darwinian evolution.
The Courts

Submission + - US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct 1

aesoteric writes: The explosion of blogging, tweeting and other online diversions has reached into U.S. jury boxes, in many cases raising serious questions about juror impartiality and the ability of judges to control their courtrooms. A study by Reuters Legal found that since 1999, at least 90 verdicts have been the subject of challenges because of alleged Internet-related juror misconduct — and that more than half of the cases occurred in the last two years. Courts were fighting back with some judges now confiscating all phones and computers from jurors when they enter the courtroom.

Comment Re:When is the ep where... (Score 1) 168

A) Earnhardt is probably contractually obliged to participate (because they pay him to do so).

Actually, Earnhardt had been sim racing in the old Papyrus NASCAR sims, back before they went out of business and were reformed as iRacing. Earnhardt would probably be racing there regardless, he's just an enthusiastic spokesperson because he was interested in the sim and company already. When they invited him to alpha and beta test the software, it's because he knew a developer, loved their sims, and already had a home racing setup.

Comment Re:When is the ep where... (Score 1) 168

Dale Earnhardt Jr. competes in the NASCAR iRacing series (won by a Brit, Richard Towler) and several other NASCAR drivers use the service as well (AJ Allmendinger ran a race live on Speed, for example). Also, about half the IRL drivers use iRacing, as well as a smattering of other racers. It's just not rare enough to be interesting anymore, but if you want to find it, there's plenty of video online of pros running iRacing.

Comment Re:Success (Score 1) 168

A car like this needs to be driven with confidence. For the wings to generate enough downforce to make the corner, you must be going fast. Some corners either need to be taken incredibly slow, or flat out in order to have enough grip. Heck, lifting off the throtle (especially in the first or last corners here) can send you into a spin as the car's weight transfers forward off the rear wheels. Without that confidence they either would have driven significantly off-pace or wrecked the car. That said, I agree that a test with a more beginner-friendly car might be reasonable. You could just look for Skip Barber racing school lap times for beginners, and check the time difference there (iRacing has the Skip Barber car, and all of the tracks they have a school at).

That said, the biggest difference between iRacing and other sims and games is that iRacing laser scans the tracks at 1mm resolution, so it has every bump and crack in the pavement, every tree as a reference point, and so on. Other sims get pretty close, but iRacing really does recreate every square centimetre of the track, not just something close based on GPS coordinates. It's good enough that many IRL drivers use it to learn and practice tracks, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. uses it to brush up on Infineon and Watkins Glen.

Comment Re:Marketing Wins Again (Score 1) 168

I'm not sure what this online racing sim uses as their codebase. It wouldn't suprise me if they both use the same codebase.

IRacing is led by Dave Kaemmer of Papyrus fame, and iRacing uses the NASCAR Racing 2003 code base.

And if you're interested in how in-depth the sim is aiming to be, here's a fantastic video on the upcoming tire model that Dave is developing currently. Basically, he's not aware if anyone else has tried to model a tire the same way, using physical model predictions, rather than curve fits to test data.


iRacing World Champion Gets a Shot At the Real Thing 168

jamie sent in a link to the story of iRacing World Champion Greger Huttu, who caught the attention of the Top Gear guys and got a chance to drive a real Star Mazda racer. iRacing is a realistic driving simulator that recreates the exact physics of race cars and tracks from around the world, and nobody is better than Greger. Top Gear wanted to see how the virtual champion would do with the real thing. Even though he was eventually unable to put up with the physical demands, Greger drove really well.

Comment Re:It's always refreshing (Score 1) 1090

one... does need faith to believe in God's compassion

Not if you've witnessed it. If God has shown himself to you, you need no more faith in his existance than you need faith in your dog's existence.

But there's a difference here. I was speaking of faith in the nature of something. I know dogs exist, but I take it on faith that they truly care for their owners. It's one thing to say 'my dog saved my life', and another to say 'I know my dog would save me from a fire, even if he knew it would get him killed'. That's the kind of faith I'm talking about.

Semantically, I would call what you are referring to as the belief portion of faith, rather than faith in its entirity. I can believe someone exists and believe what they say without having any faith in their abilities or sicerity.

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