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Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 39

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Freedom is cheaper and safer in the long run. (Score 1) 103

So many /. posters won't do this eminently sensible thing. A story comes out about how copyright term extension hurts Americans and lots of people who read /. know that Disney was a big push behind the Sonny Bono Act, but /. won't stop giving Disney their money anytime a Star Wars movie comes out. Paramount alienates their core audience by not only not making more Star Trek TV show episodes but working to restrict or shut down fan-made shows. /. readers won't stop seeing Star Trek movies in the theaters (and probably already paid CBS in anticipation of the next Star Trek TV show). They also won't run free software because it might get in the way of their gaming. And I'd bet most of them own trackers (cell phones, mobile phones) despite the non-freedom and constant tracking. Privacy, security, and not handing over sovereignty to corporations are all things to be given lip service to here but not actually acted on by making wise choices and having the spine to say "no" on principled grounds.

Comment No, he wasn't (Score 2) 714

Assanage's offer was always empty, given that the US isn't after him, at least not publicly. Now he contends that the US wants to get him in secret, though he's presented no evidence of this and of course one would have to question if they'd agree to a public deal for something secret.

Assanage is wanted by Sweden and the UK. Sweden for a sexual assault case, and the UK for skipping bail in that case. The US has not filed any charges against him, though I'm quite sure they don't like him. If he left the embassy he would be arrested by the UK and shipped off to Sweden. Or they might not send him off, since he's broken UK law by skipping bail and try him there for that crime, then ship him off once she's served his sentence.

So this was always a stunt.

Comment This. (Score 1) 156

I have close knowledge of one project in which a codebase performs an action using an initial human-supplied table of data, then records the result as either a positive or negative outcome and adds that result back into the table. Then it performs another action based on the table data, records the result as a positive or negative, and adds that back into the table. Over time, of course, the table entries with the highest positive rate rise to the top and influence the actions that are chosen. It's CS101 stuff on a fairly mundane dataset.

But the codebase is hosted on Amazon and it's a marketing-led company, so they went to press with "Our innovative new artificial intelligence system uses a deep machine learning algorithm running on new exascale computing platforms to determine the best course of action to take in each case."

The engineers in the room were not happy about this. The marketing person said, "Don't sell yourself short. You developed a system that records data about what has already happened, remembers it, then makes decisions about what to do next based on what has already happened. I call that artificial intelligence."

One of the engineers shot back with, "When I was in college, we just called that 'computation.'"

Comment Re: Note that what's large... (Score 4, Informative) 82

Venus has multiple "tropopauses" and "stratospheres", depending on how you define them. The atmosphere is like a layer cake with multiple convection zones (like Earth's troposphere) separated by areas of dynamic stability (like Earth's stratosphere). And again, ~50-70km is an awfullly long way from the surface, and surface winds are weak. But, there's a lot about Venus that we don't understand.

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