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Comment Oh, really? (Score 2) 307

Bad code is already perversive, it is much more common than good code. So, you write an AI that takes various snippets of, more likely than not, bad code and combines them. And this AI is still written by coders who, more likely than not, are not the best coders themselves, so the sum will probably be even worse than the parts... If Microsoft has great engineers working on fancy stuff like that, perhaps they should instead throw a couple to the Skype team for example (I don't know what they are doing, but they are slowly degrading what was a useful service).
In any case, good coders already reuse libraries etc and end up doing the job of several coders that are inventing the wheel. And it is much easier for the non-technical person to communicate with a coder to describe the requirements, because an AI system would still need a specification language to describe things - it would just be a higher level programming language in a way.
I remember I was told that when SQL first came out (SEQUEL) there was the idea that business users would be able to communicate with databases so db programmers wouldn't be needed... yeah, right.

Comment Penumbral eclipse i.e. not noticeable, dim comet (Score 4, Informative) 28

Note that this is a penumbral eclipse, which basically means it is barely noticeable - the moon will very slightly reduce in brightness. For example, when we show full lunar eclipses in a time-lapse e.g. this nice one from 2015, we start from the end of the penumbral phase, when the umbra actually touches the disk, since the penumbral part is not discernible.

As for the comet, it is past its "prime", as it is quickly moving away from the Sun. Unlike the rest of the celestial objects, for a comet the best time to observe them is when they are closest to the Sun, since that is when they are at their brightest and bear the longest "tail" - of course you also need a combination with some proximity to the earth, but for this comet the best time was a month ago when it was near the Sun at magnitude 6 (7 times brighter than currently). Yeah, once again /. is a bit late at reporting ;) If you still want to catch it though, do it fast, it is quickly fading.

Comment Re:The old adage (Score 1) 112

It's the same for the other manufacturers as well. Some new models come out as duds and you don't find until much later. However, I didn't see anyone going around telling people don't buy a new model like the Pinto until you are sure it is safe. Why singling out Tesla when it comes to cars? You could say that the Tesla relies more on software, however it is the car that patches its software faster and much easier than any other.
I am not a "fanboy" but I sure as hell like to see disruptive technologies succeed in the automotive industry - I don't like being stuck with the same old crap (which people occasionally have to bail out as well).

Comment Re:Funny (Score 1) 660

You must be trolling. It works the other way around, my sister was an undergrad in the US and with straight 4.0's could not get the available scholarships, since they were for US students only. And she was paying the non-US rate.
I was a post-grad. So I was paying more than US students, but all programs were available to all, so eventually I got a research one.

Comment Re:I think H1b's are a missed opportunity (Score 1) 660

Yes, my company sent me to their immigration lawyer for a chat. There are some options that all have drawbacks, e.g. requiring quite some money or relocating to some non-popular place (I forget how that worked) etc. Putting all that effort and resources to stay didn't really make me feel "wanted" and I never stay where I don't feel "wanted" - so many other places to go.
Again, if the US invests in a person's education, and with the US universities being the best in many areas, it is silly to not want them to stay. It is even more silly if you remember that 99% of Americans are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.

Comment I think H1b's are a missed opportunity (Score 2) 660

I went to the US for my Master's in a top-25 state uni. I was good, so I didn't even have to pay after the first semester (research assistanship). I worked with an H1b for 3 years (at a competitive rate), but when I was close to renewal, we'd have to file on the first day and hope we were not late competing with all the outsourcing companies bringing free labor, then my wife who was also finishing her degree would have to get a separate H1b, because H1b's don't allow your dependents to work, so both would have to be timed perfectly... and if any of our employers ran out of business etc, we'd have to scramble to get another to continue our visa... at which point I said, yeah, right, screw that, let's go back to Europe, which is what several of my classmates eventually did...
So, why provide world-leading education and then send them away? Forget about setting arbitrary wage minimums - that doesn't even make sense given how much wages are dependent on location in the US. Give people who have post-grad studies in good US universities a way to stay without weird restrictions like being tied to a job, or dependents who can't work etc, instead of sending them away and instead importing low-cost unskilled labor.

Comment Correction... 2.5% of the federal budget (Score 1) 93

... would be approaching a national commitment approaching that of the "Man on the Moon" of the late 60s (~2.5% of the USA national GDP for 10 years - effectively 1 in 40 people).

I thought that seemed off, so I checked and it was ~2.5% of the federal budget, or 0.5% of the GDP - 1 in 200 people. It doesn't really have to do with the point of your post, but I thought it was worth a correction.

Comment Ehh, no. (Score 3, Interesting) 334

Ehh, no. You are talking about the definition of "metal" in chemistry, which is a category of elements. The "transparent Aluminum" (or Aluminium if you prefer) as established in Star Trek, is not some sort of exotic state of the elemental Al, but a compound that can be created (using technology that is not futuristic). In fact, "transparent aluminum" doesn't even fit the alternate, more "loose", non-chemistry definition of "metal", as it is neither opaque, nor shiny. So, we are simply looking for a very strong transparent compound based on Aluminum. Sapphire and ruby might fit the bill if they can be made clear, but, as I learned from another post, there is something called Aluminium oxynitride and marketed as ALON, which makes pretty good transparent armor and generally seems to fit the description very well.

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