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Comment Re: What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 407

Oh... I forgot to mention... the delay could actually caused by a capacitor, the controlled time it takes to charge being determined by the value of a resistor in series with it. There are any number of resistor-capacitor combinations that you could use to achieve a three second delay, and I would expect that it might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, or be determined by product availability. Once the capacitor has a sufficient charge, it exceeds the ttl threshold of a "high" signal. which is then relayed through a pair of transistors with a secondary RC network that actually turn the power supply off. I've built one of these in my electronics class that I took in university in the 1990's, and although the one that I built was not specifically for PC's, there's no reason that PC's would use something any different. It's cheap, easy, and has virtually zero possibility of failure.

Comment Re:Simplicity can only go so far (Score 2) 407

If this rumor is true, it is one of the few legitimately infuriating things Apple will have done with their products.

(Raised eyebrow)


I'm not sure if you're trying to be deliberately ironic or what....

I can't recall the last time Apple made a change that actually turned out to be a good one. They've probably done it at some points in the past, but I can't think of any offhand.

Comment Re:The problem with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 422

Depends on how you define "worth having"... if you define it in terms of minimizing the total number of otherwise preventable casualties, then it all comes down to which numbers are lower. Considering alone just the number of times each year that crimes are committed with stolen guns, at least *some* percentage of those would be preventable due to the reduced availability of guns that anyone other than their registered owner could use. Consider also the number of shootings each year that are caused by children, who while you can go ahead say that they shouldn't have had the opportunity to even hold a working gun in the first place, the reality is that curious kids figure out ways around the limits that parents might have... and if the gun is kept too secure, then one defeats most of the purpose of relying on the gun in an emergency situation in the first place. There are probably dozens of other entirely realistic situations that I could come up with where fingerprint verification to fire a gun could result in saved innocent lives, not lost ones. Without actually deploying this technology on a large scale, the only real challenge to solving this is to figure out which number is actually larger... but by far an even greater challenge to deploying this tech on a large scale in the first place is people like yourself, who have blindly decided that they would not trust it.

Comment Re:The problem with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 422

It doesn't take a few seconds to pull a trigger a second time... perhaps a second, at most. Yes, this can be fatal... but what percentage of the time would it be, and how does the number quantitatively compare to the number of lives lost every year due accidental gun firings or shots that would not have otherwise occurred if this tech were in place?

Comment Re:Easy Solution (Score 1) 112

Perhaps what you really mean to say is that if you need glyphs that are not part of ascii to express something, then perhaps /. isn't the platform you need.

Referring to a textual glyph as an "image" is not really accurate. Heck, the classic smiley icon is more of an image than a thorn is, and you can type that using plain ascii.

Comment Re:The problem with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 422

But you seemed to miss the point I was making... which is that if that number is less than the number of accidental deaths that could be prevented by this kind of tech (and that number is entirely quantifiable, right now, as measured by how many people die every year from a gun fired by someone other than than gun's registered owner), then while the loss of life is always unfortunate, it's still a net win.

Comment Re:The problem with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 422

The use cases for the military and the police are quite different from the real world use cases for members of the general public, so a fair comparison could not be made just restricting a study to those groups. There are a known number of accidental gun deaths each year that could certainly be prevented with smart gun tech. If that number is less than the number of times that guns fail when they are supposed to, then obviously the tech doesn't help... but if the number of times that the gun fails to fire is small enough, then as I said... it's still a win.

Comment Re:The problem with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 422

Where do you get that 1% of the time the gun might not fire from?

I'm not saying that this wouldn't ever happen, but can you actually quantify the amount of time that would actually end up being fatal for the user?

It's a serious question, not a rhetorical one. I don't know if any studies have been done to figure out the number, but if it is any less than the number of people who *actually* get killed because someone other than the owner of a gun was using it, then it's still a win.

I believe the same argument is made for autonomous driving.... if it can save lives, it's a win.

Comment Re:AI is not real thinking (Score 1) 210

The only AI's that have to appear human are AI's that are *intended* to pass for human. AI is artificial intelligence, that is, intelligence that happens to be artificial. Full stop. Nothing more, nothing less. Any human-like characteristics that we desire to assign to an AI are entirely independent to what AI actually is, by definition, and are only circumstantially related to it in the sense that an as-yet unprecedented sophistication level of AI would need to be achieved to implement many of those characteristics.

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