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Comment Re:The problem is depth perception (Score 1) 56

Not just that, the data from radar or lidar is rather different from visual information. But if they are going to train cars just on what they can see with a single cam, I have a way more fertile training ground for self driving cars: Russian dash cam vids on Youtube. Endless dangerous situations and vehicular asshattery to hone AI driver skills on.

Comment Re:Potential to be quite the powerful lawsuit! (Score 1) 84

Only if he actually wrote down the purchase history. At a glance there is no difference between remembering such data and storing it on paper or electronically, but in practice there's a reasonable limit on what a clerk can remember... and shoppers would be suitably freaked out by a clerk who has perfect recall of each customer's history; it's probably not going to be a big selling point for the store. Another difference is that the clerk's memory cannot be mined or stolen.

But I am sure some legal eagle can come up with a much better demarcation. No need to quibble over semantics.

Comment Re:Potential to be quite the powerful lawsuit! (Score 4, Insightful) 84

Time for a complete ban on collecting information about minors and targeting them with marketing, a complete across the board ban.

How about it's time for a complete ban on collecting information about anyone without consent. Make it opt-in. If targeted ads are better and really lead to "an enriched and engaging experience that customers will enjoy interacting with", as all privacy-averse marketing drones claim, then people will opt-in en masse in order not to be stuck with the boring old untargeted ads.

Comment Re:That's going to be tought to prosecute (Score 1) 369

I don't know the particulars of applicable US law, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to be punished for knowingly spreading classified materials. If you don't have a security clearance, didn't sign an NDA, and wasn't sworn to secrecy, there's probably still some articles that apply. A quick google turns up 18 U.S. Code 798

Comment Re:Of all the problems that needed $9 million... (Score 2) 168

That's one of the nice things about Kickstarter: you can pitch your idea and gauge the market before spending or raising a dime, but those who say they'll buy it if you build it will have to put their money where their mouth is. And apparently thousands of backers did think having a lot of cards was a problem worth solving. Ages ago I too had a thought that it would be nice if I could clone all my cards onto a single one, but over here things have been moved to chip & pin for years now.

Comment Re:It happens (Score 2) 168

It's not always the unknowns and setbacks in turning new hardware into a product that trip up these projects, often it simply comes down to inexperience with the process. Time, effort and cost to go to manufacturing are underestimated, and sometimes entire steps are missed. "It costs how much to have an injection mould made?". "Oh right, we need FCC, EC and GOST certification to sell in these markets... how do we get these?" Even making a simple product like the Plinth turned out to be a struggle (the guy posted every single bit of progress (or setback) back when this was a kickstarter project).

Comment Re:Sour Grapes (Score 1) 81

it's a bit difficult to move this data off to another service because you loose all data integration with other processes

And this is why, in general, tight integration across processes and functions can be a horrible,horrible liability as well as an asset (hello SAP). One where the downsides of lock-in and migration issues far outweigh the benefits of being integrated (hello Sharepoint). When there is a huge data migration effort involved in moving to the new environment, that's a hint that moving off the platform may well be even more painful.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 352

The good ones from brands like Jura or Krups easily beat Keurig or Nespresso, especially if you use quality beans (which still comes out cheaper than the prepackaged cups), but they are not as good as manual espresso machines. I can taste the difference but a manual setup is too much trouble; I can barely manage a croissant and egg in the morning, so I'm not going to try being a barista, and I'll stick with the "good enough" automatic.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 352

Automatic espresso machines are as easy to use and less wasteful: you only need to keep the water and bean reservoir topped up, and empty the coffee grounds bin every now and then. In terms of convenience, when you stumble down the stairs half asleep for a cuppa, all you need to do is push a button twice (once to wake up the machine and start the heater, once to have it brew a cup of coffee), same as the Keurig. Decent machines are not that expensive anymore, and the price per cup is hard to beat. (Currently on Nespresso until I get around to fixing my espresso machine...)

Comment Re:Question? (Score -1) 102

Not all last names derive from a profession or a location, some of them might have been nicknames. Over here there are some surnames that describe physical appearance or character: de Lange (the long one), Braafheid (goodness), den Dikkeboer (the fat farmer), de Kwaadsteniet ("a decent fellow"). Sometimes it's the name of a father, or lack thereof: Vaderloos (fatherless). Some are just weird, like Naaktgeboren (born naked) or Riool (sewer). In English I've come across Dangerman and Stranger. So why not Goodenough?

Comment Re:Recycle! (Score 1) 129

Besides standards, there are probably a lot of technical and economical issues to deal with if you take an incremental approach ("working towards"). Having factories up there for recycling old satellites isn't enough, you will also need to somehow bring those satellites to one of the factories (or bring the factory to the satellite), which isn't free. Now suppose we've gotten to the point where we're able to recycle some less complex components, like solar panels, radiators, etc. Now you can build and launch your satellites without those and have them added in an orbital factory. Even assuming this gives a benefit in launch costs and doesn't add costs due to more complex engineering or the transfer to the orbital factory, you'd still need to move the sat from the factory to its intended orbit. With all that, it sounds a hell of a lot simpler and cheaper to add a de-orbiting mechanism to each satellite.

Maybe it'll be viable if we could improve recycling and manufacturing to the point where we could build a satellite "containers" in orbit: a standardized structure, solar panels, wiring for power, plumbing for heat management, perhaps some shielding. These could be relatively large and weak since they never have to go through launch. Operators would then launch only the functional guts and plug them into a container of the right size once in orbit. Technical challenges aside, I'd like to know if this would at all make economic sense (would you save 90% of payload weight or 10% or what?)

Comment The Digital Group (Score 1) 857

Anyone here had one of those Digital Group machines? (not DEC)

My dad got one around '75 or so, I was in elementary school at the time. The thing came in boxes filled with PCBs and tubes of ICs, but not the fancy case shown on that website; my dad built one himself. Z80, loads of memory (I think 64k), and a twin fully automatic tape deck that functioned more or less like a floppy drive with a directory and a simple load command to get the program you wanted. An old teletype served as a printer. It must have cost a fortune, perhaps half a year's wages or so. I still remember him spending an evening winding the transformer torus.

That's the machine I learned to program on, first BASIC, then assembly. My dad made it a point to teach us first before letting us get our hands on that shiny new toy, about how a computer functions, CPU registers, memory, etc.

What I miss most about those days is the trade shows. Back then there was no such thing as a "computer store"; you got your gear by mail order, perhaps from another hobbyist running a little business out of his living room... or trade shows. Going to a trade show meant seeing all the cool new stuff for the first time, seeing hobbyists show off their homebrew creations, and perhaps coming away with a few new friends or goodies of your own.

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