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Comment Nuclear too expensive and too slow (Score 1) 367

Bringing a new nuclear plant online safely takes decades, and decomissioning one takes even longer if you include its nuclear waste. Nuclear is not an agile solution. This won't change in the near future, or perhaps not at all until "nuclear" becomes synonymous with fusion, not fission like today.

Nuclear is also an extraordinarily expensive technology which limits its uptake to only the more afluent of nations. Furthermore it is highly regulated for very good reason, and the politics of nuclear power again limit its global uptake. If we have to rely on nuclear to get us out of the CO2 mess then we are doomed, because it's a global problem.

But we don't have to rely on nuclear, we can just stop burning fossil fuels, and stop using so much energy overall. It would require an immense social adjustment to achieve this, but it has no roadblocks other than making people care enough to do it.

The main showstopper to controlling our current destruction of the planet is profit-seeking capitalism, because it would die in the absence of perpetual growth. Nobody has yet come up with a solution for dealing with that.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 334

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 281

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

Like Boost, too much simple sugar.

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali). Less than 0.5% of: Nonfat Milk, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Carrageenan, Salt, Ferric Phosphate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

The closest would be Boost Plus, which still comes in short on calories and way too much simple sugar. Look at the ingredients!

Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Canola, High Oleic Sunflower, Corn), Milk, Protein Concentrate, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, and Less than 1% of: Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Gum Acacia, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Citrate, Inulin (from Chicory), Soy Lecithin, ...

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

First, you're not realizing what I bill those customers. I don't want to wave money around on Slashdot but I assure you, you too would drink an unoffensive bottle of Soylent for that much. The main thing it buys me is freedom, and there is no shortage of pleasure coming from that. I can work on what I want most of the time, or not work, if I just keep a few of those customers.

Second, you can't have any of the real pleasures in life without your health. You are evolved to be attracted to foods that would have been infrequent windfalls throughout most of the evolution of human beings. Now, you can have them for every meal, and your body is sending you the signals to do so despite the fact that those foods will ultimately be detrimental to you. If you are still compelled to eat them, there's a pretty good chance that's the addiction talking.

Comment So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

I have some customers in San Jose, and live in Berkeley. Given the horrid traffic and the lack of good trains with little hope that BART's Silicon Valley extension will be done within a decade, I get up at 5AM when it's necessary to work at these customer sites, hit the road by 5:30, and head home around 1 PM.

Obviously, that doesn't leave time for a leisurely breakfast. So, a cold bottle of Soylent 2.0 just out of the 'fridge is about my best option while driving. Warm Soylent doesn't actually seem that much worse, and I've used that during long drives when the alternative would have been fast food.

Yes, I get paid enough to compensate for all of this.

Soylent 2.0 tastes OK, but not so good that you'd eat it just for the taste. It takes care of physical needs and doesn't do anything nasty to my gastrointestinal system. I do not attempt to use it as a total food replacement.

Consuming Soylent, though, leads one to think about how food flavors and other characteristics of food are evolved or engineered to manipulate us, and how this is a dependence or addiction and perhaps the largest cause of health issues in our lives.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

About 61% nationally of fatal crashes involve only one vehicle. The NHTSA says here that in about 70% of fatal single-vehicle crashes, the automobile ran off of the road. This is low-hanging fruit for computer driving to achieve a safety improvement.

98% acceptance? Probably 40 years from the first deployment of true autonomous systems. The rich and businesses go first. Just as luxury cars and long-haul trucks have always been the first to get almost any safety feature.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

So, California conditions other than the mountains. Not a problem for me, and an obvious good place to start.

Regarding cost, they're prototypes. If the system adds $30,000 to the cost of the vehicle, it would be cost-effective for a lot of people here. I doubt it has to add that much.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

Sure but computers have a long way to go before their weaknesses don't overshadow their strengths in a way that amounts to being safer than a human.

I am wondering. People are good at inferring data from context. A ball bouncing into the street is liable to be followed by a child. A wobbly tire might be about to blow out and cause another car to veer suddenly. That sound might indicate a train coming.

Are these inferences not trainable? For certain image classification tasks, computers are already better than people.

Obviously we have a way to go if we take the Tesla approach, and equip the vehicle only with sensors that do not interfere with the vehicle's appearance. But the Google approach, where the vehicle has a good enough radar to sense moving objects that people can't see, might be closer to being able to operate with human-equivalent safety in limited situations. It's still going to need to hand over control on some roads or if it approaches something abnormal. But I'd happily pay for one that handles the highway most of the time.

Comment Re: Why is it preposterous? (Score 1) 230

While there may be many drivers who have achieved a certain level of safety, people have certain weaknesses that computers don't. They don't have perfect attention. Their reaction time is significant. Most people can't look in even two directions at once and their multitasking capability is pitiful.

So at some point in the future we will see that computers achieve a higher safety level than any sample of human drivers, while remaining imperfect. At this point, it will probably become necessary to ban manual driving on highways, for the protection of the other people on the highway.

Comment Re:If you search one's trashcan you will find junk (Score 1) 205

This isn't junk at all. If you go back to Julian Assange's previous announcement:

So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates.

So, here's Wikileaks October Surprise. Hillary and her campaign staff are ignoring the alien invasion! The Lunar Ambassador is calling for help, and Hillary is ignoring him! Just as she's ignored the Zombie Threat!

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Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"