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Comment Re:Asking questions solves this "problem".... (Score 1) 86

Oh good. I thought this was an impossible problem of accessing a bunch of existing, disparate data and entering it into a system. Nothing as simple as a team of minimum wage drones could accomplish with a massive budget.

Instead, I find self-driving cars are limited only by natural language processing, and the ability to cross-reference natural language with what's happening in the physical world.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The 2016 Hugo convention 1

(Version with photos and without slashdot's patented text borking is at My web log)
I had more fun this weekend than I have in years! Patty and I attended this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.
Patty had said that she would be at my mom’s house in Belleville around one, and I got there a little before.
She got caught in constru

Comment Or the other reason.... (Score 3, Informative) 265

The fact the whole state is a river flood plain and only stupid people build homes in a river flood plain?

Global warming may have cause the weather pattern changes, but it does not change the fact that if you build in the low lands, you have to expect flooding because it will absolutely happen with a 100% guarantee.

Comment Re:Stagnant? (Score 1) 117

I was just looking at this article which points out that Apple's R&D has gone up many times over since Job's passed on...

The thing is, that's usually a bad sign. It means that your development teams are growing very quickly, which has two effects:

  • The median age/experience level drops precipitously, resulting in poorer output quality.
  • The amount of effort required to maintain the products designed by more people grows by the square of the number of people involved.

Eventually you reach a point where every additional person makes the product worse or more delayed, rather than better or faster. These days, I keep getting the feeling that Apple passed that point a while back, and they just haven't noticed yet. This is one reason why innovative ideas almost invariably come from small companies, not big ones.

The other reason is that the larger Apple grows, the harder it will be to innovate, because the breakage caused by doing so will become an ever bigger problem as the code base increases in size. At some point, it will be necessary for Apple to start over from scratch—probably by buying a company that creates some innovative alternative. At that point, it will have fully become Microsoft or IBM. And that's okay. Eventually, somebody else will come along and become the next Apple. It's the circle of life.

Comment Re:Sterilized long ago (Score 2) 173

In our solar system only moons are tidally locked to planets, but no planets to stars.

Mercury comes pretty close with its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. It spins 3 times for every 2 orbits. That's close enough to being tidally locked that the difference is mostly moot from a "cooked on one side" perspective.

Comment Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 3, Interesting) 225

Government procurement contracts pretty much preclude the government obtaining goods and services on the open market. Instead it must rely to a large degree on contractors and vendors who have the capability of handling all the special paperwork and requirements.

So if you're on a procurement committee you don't have much choice. Once you discard the vendors who (a) can't absorb the amount of money to be spent on schedule and (b) jump through the statutory federal contractor hoops, what you're left with is a rogues gallery of usual suspects.

Comment Re:Or... (Score 5, Insightful) 74

Someone doesn't know their history. its you. Look at the wars america was in before 1940. For example- the Spanish-American war. Basically caused because we wanted some of Spain's stuff in the Carribean, and trumped up on an explosion in port that ended up being an accident.

The Mexican American war- because we wanted to move our southern border to the Rio Grande.

The War of 1812- multiple causes and may have happened anyway, but at least part was a desire to annex Canada.

The Indian Wars- all undeclared, but we took each tribe's land one at a time.

The US has been an imperialistic war monger from the beginning. We just kept it to our own continent until the 1900s.

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