Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Crowd source the egress (Score 1) 100

If the address of your door is a "wildly different address", then why isn't that just your actual address?

To add to the other reply:

I used to live in a house in a row of terraced houses. My address was a the number of my house along that street and the street name. There's only one problem: there were two ways to get to my house and neither of them was from that street. The houses were all a bit above the street, with their front gardens raised above the street and the only way to the front door of the first 9 was to go around the corner at the end of the street then walk along the footpath that ran along the front, parallel with and above the street that gave us our address. My neighbour had a flat at the back of one of these houses and also had an address on that street, yet the only access to her flat was via the back door, which opened onto a street with no name. People would periodically ring my doorbell and ask where her flat was.

Comment Re:Crowd source the egress (Score 1) 100

A slow off-the-shelf chess computer from the '80s can beat well over 90% of the population at chess. In the chess club when I was at school, I think that there was only one person who could beat it on its hardest difficulty setting, and he was the under-13s UK chess champion. The fact that it took Deep Blue to beat the best human player in the world is irrelevant: self-driving cars don't have to be better than the best possible human driver, they just have to be better than most human drivers to be a big improvement.

Chess is also an irrelevant comparison, because the problem is very different. In chess, you have 16 pieces at the start. Once you've made a few moves and they're all free to move, each one has multiple possible moves. Let's simplify and assume that each one has only one possible move. At the end of my turn, there are 16 possible board positions. At the end of your turn there are 16 possible combinations for every one of mine, so that's only 256, but after another round we're up to 65,536 different positions. 16,777,216 after three rounds and so on. Almost all of the difficulty in chess is working out which part of this space is worth exploring. Your goal is to reach an end state dozens or hundreds of moves into the future that meets some conditions.

In contrast, when driving there the other cars have few options (speed up, slow down, turn) as do other obstacles. Your model only has to run tactically, not strategically. You don't have to worry about every step in the game, only that in the next round you become closer to your destination and you don't crash. You only have to model a few seconds into the future. As long as you are heading in the right direction and you can safely stop if one of the obstacles that you're tracking has a comes into your projected path then you win that round and you continue to the next.

Comment Re:Can you handle the truth? I didn't think so. (Score 1) 195

There are a lot of different kinds of pollution, but most of them have very local effects. Spill toxic chemicals into a river and that's local and observable. As nations get richer, there is a natural tendency to regulate this kind of thing, because you're damaging your own assets if you continue to pollute. In contrast, things like carbon dioxide and CFCs rapidly disburse in the atmosphere. There's little incentive to reduce your production of them if no one else is, because your contribution only increases the net amount of harm by a little bit and you only suffer a small proportion of the total. You need a global agreement to make any impact. In terms of tail-pipe emissions, compare carbon dioxide and lead: the former quickly spreads out and there's almost no local impact, the latter is inhaled, builds up in teeth and bones, and collects on the roads. If you live in the USA, lead in petrol in China has no impact on you, but carbon dioxide from burning petrol in China does.

Comment Re:Surprising --Not! (Score 1) 195

Volcanoes throw ash a lot higher than most fires (the Icelandic volcano a few years ago threw up enough ash that it was dangerous to planes even at their normal cruising altitude of a few km up). The ash reflects the sun, so has a cooling effect. They also produce carbon dioxide, which has a warming effect. Which of these will win out varies quite a bit between eruptions. In contrast, smallish fires only throw ash a few metres up (if that) and it quickly settles, whereas the carbon dioxide disburses into the atmosphere.

Comment Re: The anti-science sure is odd. (Score 3, Insightful) 195

And yet that's precisely what the original poster was complaining about. Climate scientists have progressively refined their models over the last few decades as more data became available and as computational power increased to the level that they can run simulations on a desktop that would have needed a supercomputer in the '80s (and far more complex ones on modern supercomputers). When they refine their models and obsolete some of their old predictions (or those of other researchers - there's nothing an academic enjoys more than proving another one wrong) then you grumble about the wrong predictions. When the new models predict some of the same things as the old, then you complain that they're not adapting their hypothesis.

Comment Re: Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 2) 195

Because of 1), much more energy will be spend on air conditioning, while many buildings in today's colder climates don't need much heating even during winter season, because they are built as low energy houses, where just the short sun period during the day is sufficient to heat the house enough for the inhabitants.

To add to that:

Air conditioning works by pumping heat out of buildings. There was an article in The Guardian earlier this week pointing to a study that had found that use of air conditioning had raised the temperature of some cities by 2 degrees (centigrade), which meant that people ran their air conditioning more, leading to a vicious cycle.

In contrast, keeping a house warmer than the outside is much cheaper. Humans with no technology are 100W heaters. All other machines that we put in a house generate heat as a waste product. With modern insulation, it's very easy to reduce the outflow of heat. Heating a house for a day can easily consume less energy than cooling it for a week.

Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 4) 195

but if you asked every parent if they'd want a safer world for their kids and grandkids etc, they would all say "yes"

They'd all say 'yes'. Around 90% of them would actually mean it (you'd have thought that sociopaths would be a lower percentage of the population of parents than the general population, but apparently not). Of those, a very small percentage would honestly be able to say that they also want a safer world for everyone else's children. If your children are going to inherit a survivable part of the world, then why should they care that if a billion or two other people that they've never met will suffer and / or die? Herd mammals did not evolve to have an emotional response to that (and, for the most part, that's a good thing - you couldn't function if you had an empathic response to all of the suffering in a world of over 6 billion people). That's why appeals to emotion in things like this are a waste of time.

Comment Re:Mobile Web (Score 1) 79

It wasn't just designers. Ad companies like Google were big culprits in subverting this vision. If your content is delivered in a structured form, then it's trivial for the receiver to just not display the bits that are adverts. On the other hand, if you get a big glob of executable code that produces some output then it's a lot harder to identify which bits are real content and which are cruft.

Comment Re:Jobs is dead (Score 1) 371

No one objects to the MacBook having a USB-C port. People object to it not having any other ports, which means that you need a dongle for basically anything. Even having two USB-C ports (one for power, one for other stuff) would have been a big improvement. The other annoyance is that no one - not even Apple - yet sells a monitor that connects with a single USB-C cable, provides power to the laptop and exposes USB, GigE and maybe eSATA ports.

Comment Re:Correction (Score 1) 182

It doesn't matter. I'm not sure why this is news, because Facebook has sold a service for quite a few years based on this. They know which constituency each of their users live in (even if you don't provide a real address, the IP that you connect from most frequently and the location of your phone if you install their app give them a good idea). They have a good hit rate for identifying the undecided voters and, importantly, what issues they consider important. They will sell parties the ability to run ads targeted at people in a particular constituency based on the issues that they find important. If you pay more, they will even sell you the names, addresses, and key issues for these voters so that you can send people around to canvas, briefed with exactly the right talking points.

It doesn't matter that Facebook has a few outliers like yourself, they still have enough information to have a disproportionate amount of influence on the political process.

Slashdot Top Deals

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

Working...