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Comment Re:no (Score 1) 437

Would you consider it wise to give passengers in an airliner the ability to take over in case the pilot makes a mistake? Such a feature is far more likely to cause a disaster than avert one. Once cars get to the point where they can be operated more safely than aircraft (which are already safer than cars are today) then taking control of a car in a crisis will just be getting in the way of the proven driver: the machine.

No, but I would require that airliners have a qualified pilot on board in case the autopilot makes a mistake.

Comment Re:Math? (Score 1) 323

there's a whole bunch of "if-like" things in mathematics ... multiplication over GF(2) for one such example. Haskell can be considered an alternate syntax for System F. In other words, that "programming code" that you see is isomorphic to a "pure mathematical formula" written in a particular variety of lambda calculus. It's just written in a format that is easier for programmers to digest.

Comment Re:Desktop CNC (Score 1) 258

$500 for a machine that can cut aluminium and mild steel is neither impossible nor a research project. In fact I have one on my workbench right now.

Seig-X1 micro-mill (used to be available from Harbor Freight, grab it with a 20% off coupon next time they get a batch in) - $350

3 surplus 200oz/in steppers (Alltronics) - $60

surplus 30v PSU (HSC) - $30

3-axis stepper controller (ebay) - $40

Total: $480, leaving some left over for cabling and a cutter.

Cuts steel (0.003 per cut skims) and aluminium (with spray bottle coolant) at 1-2 ipm, delrin at 5-8.

Comment Re:question (Score 2, Insightful) 265

I'm fairly pro the "a deal is a deal" view of things, but it's likely that a land line company would be running cables through public land, and the wireless companies route signal through public airspace.

They can, of course, be charged market rate for use of said airspace or land, but part of the price they pay can always be additional legal obligations.

Comment Re:Society Expands Up to Constraints of the System (Score 1) 452

Not true - numerous examples exist of civilisations large and small that have outgrown their resource base and crashed horribly. In fact, pretty much EVERY SINGLE CIVILISATION before ours has collapsed horribly. We would be different why?

That wasn't my claim. The post I was replying to claimed that faith in technology to deliver results was "exactly equivalent" to faith in religion. My point was that science has delivered more often than god (any flavour), not that it's always got it right.

Comment Re:Society Expands Up to Constraints of the System (Score 4, Insightful) 452

Inevitably, some Slashdotter will claim that yet-to-be discovered technology will always provide a fix for the problem. Believing that yet-to-be discovered technology will be discovered (and will be the salvation) is exactly equivalent to believing the numerous claims of religion. Often, the same Slashdotter who is atheist does not hestitate to believe in yet-to-be discovered technology. A hypocrite, a fool, or both?

The difference is that those people who believe that technology will allow the human race to overcome its limits have been proven right multiple times over the historical record. Those people who believe that $deity will come down and make everything right for us have less of a track record of successes.

Comment Re:Indeed, this isn't the '90s anymore (Score 1) 447

Why legislate ourselves back to the days of broadcast advertising and a stateless web?

Though I disagree with the idea that legislation is the solution, I have to say that I found the "days of broadcast advertising and a stateless web" far less annoying. All you needed then was something to turn off animated .gifs and the web became a tolerable, usable, content-rich environment.

Comment Re:Where's the... (Score 1) 507

If this really is genetic, wouldn't that be an argument for the death penalty as a method of selecting against that gene? Seems to me that giving such a light sentence is counterproductive here, if in fact it is genetic.

Wouldn't the smartest response to his genetic defense be "Ok, we'll let you out early, but we get to chop your dick off first. Deal?"

Comment Re:Well Then (Score 1) 754

That's correct -- all of those are insufficient to show causality. That's why all of the scientific theories you refer to were confirmed by substantially more thorough experimentation than you suggest.

As I understand it, causality is impossible to prove. (c.f. Hume et al)

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