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Comment selection bias and general quackery (Score 5, Informative) 560

The usual Reefer Madness bad science of prohibitionists:

All data were obtained for analysis from a large multisite database, involving 26,268 patients who came for evaluation of complex, treatment resistant issues to one of nine outpatient neuropsychiatric clinics across the United States

But "people with serious neuropsychiatric people who used cannabis have low blood flow to the brain" is both less clickworthy and less politically useful than "OMG pot rots yr brain!"

And I love this: "As a physician who routinely sees marijuana users..." Yeah, that's called "a physician". Cannabis use is common, every physician has seen patients who has used it.

Both Amen and this methodology are poorly regarded. He's in the addiction treatment industry -- look at this is an old marketing pitch of his quoted in a Quackwatch article:

How your brain and soul work together determines how happy you feel, how successful you become, and how well you connect with others. The brain-soul connection is vastly more powerful than your conscious will. Will power falters when the physical functioning of the brain and the health of your soul fail to support your desires, as seen by illogical behaviors like overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and compulsive spending.

OHOH, Officials at major psychiatric and neuroscience associations and research centers say his SPECT claims are no more than myth and poppycock, buffaloing an unsuspecting public.

Comment Re:Time to create a distinction? (Score 1) 80

There are already AI programs that can create using Deep Learning Though. For example, they are some that can create paintings in the style of famous artists. It's true that there are more pattern recognition programs than creation programs, but they are there.

Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 1) 2837

They also need to understand that people were crying out for something different, but instead they stubbornly served up Hilary. I just hope the US doesn't go the way of the UK with half the population foaming at the mouth, stamping their feet and accusing the other half of being racist morons.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 2837

Leaving an economic union that we were always highly sceptical of was inevitably going to be on the cards at some point. The idea that leaving the EU is a far right and therefore dumb decision is very reductive and ignores history. People seem to forget that Labour was opposed to the EU (then the EEC) in the early 80s and left-wingers like Tony Benn never gave up their opposition. There is a whole left-wing argument against the EU that was never really heard during the Brexit debates, but nonetheless, many socialists did vote out. That the left would support the EU seems almost perverse given the EU's neo-liberalism, austerity-pushing and anti-democratic practices.

Comment Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 414

It's interesting to see how other countries view this kind of job threat. The opposition to H1B's makes perfect sense from the US worker's perspective, but here in the UK, particularly at the moment, it would be damned as motivated by racism and xenophobia. The narrative would be that Americans are being lazy and that those foreign workers are hard-working and deserve the jobs just as much as you do. We don't spend any time criticizing US workers in this way, but if we applied current UK "logic" to the US, that would largely be the point of view, not just of the left, but of much of the media. I don't see it that way. People will try to protect their jobs no matter what the threat. Ultimately the companies are the problem, but the battle ends up hurting everyone else while they rake in the cash.

Comment Re:They are Hiding Device Limitations (Score 2) 130

They do talk about light blocking technology in their patents but they haven't demonstrated it. Surely if they had that working, they would demo it. The best we can hope for is that there has been some mad rush to finish it and it will be ready at the 11th hour.

Comment They are Hiding Device Limitations (Score 5, Interesting) 130

The initial video demo for Magic Leap looked very impressive, but it was just a concept video and was quite misleading. The problem is that the video shows various virtual objects that are darker than the background, e.g. The dark red robot against the cream wall at 49 seconds in.

Unlike the composited lies of the initial video, all their subsequent videos are shot through their device and it is abundantly clear that they are using an additive light technology (much like you would get from bouncing an image off a piece of glass at 45 degrees). The first thing you notice is that all of the videos shot through the device are in rather dark rooms, some very dark indeed. If you look at this shopping demo you will see that the eyes of the weird yellow lamp creature are meant to be black, but the grey background shows through them. This is a limitation of additive light.

Now people who have used the device say they were blown away and I'm quite sure that if I saw their Star Wars demo in a conveniently darked room, I would also be amazed. The problem is that people who have experienced the device in darkened rooms might come away with the impression that it can show dark objects, or rather, realistically lit objects, in a normal well-lit environment. In an outdoor environment, or even a well-lit room, the objects could look very washed-out, or at the very least, very bright, glowy and unnatural. If you just want to shoot glowing space aliens or read some glowy text, that isn't an issue. However, if people are expecting to see realistic naturally lit objects that actually look like they belong in your current environment, I think they may be sorely disappointed. The additive light limitations could also be a big problem for shopping applications. After all, it's a bit difficult to see how that dark green couch is going to look in your lounge if the wall behind it just shows through. Google's project tango has the advantage there since it can just composite naturally lit objects over the video feed.

I'm not saying their device couldn't be really useful, or even pretty amazing in certain situations and environments, but I think the limitations will cause issues and may put a lot of people off buying one. I could also be wrong, and for some reason they have been refusing to show their amazing light-blocking technology in their demo videos, but that seems unlikely.

P.S. Although they have been more honest in their videos recently, I should point out that their website still shows concept images that misleadingly give the impression that they are able to show objects darker than the background. I should also point out that Magic Leap have been far more honest than Microsoft who seem to exclusively composite their videos to hide their crappy field of view and similar additive light limitations.

Comment Re:Make up your mind (Score 5, Insightful) 163

The problem is that rather than filling the non-lethal role they were originally intended for, these things often instead end up being misused. Tasers for example were initially introduced for use where lethal force would have otherwise been used. What happens then is that you get mission creep and before you know it, even unarmed passively-resisting protestors are viewed as fair-game. Taser-armed drones are likely to be no-exception.

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Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it. -- Heisenberg