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Comment Re:What Clinton did (Score 1) 558

She took bribes from Russia for selling them US uranium.


I trust you're calling bullshit when Democrats talk about Trump's business ties to Russia then, yes?

Is someone said they knew for certain he had ties to Russia I'd call BS.

But probable ties? Probably. And he could easily disprove business ties by releasing his taxes.

She failed to follow government guidelines for record retention.

True, but very common.

Very much horseshit, to be technical. She is the only SoS to use a private email server exclusively. And starting a mere two years after she publicly blasted the Bush Administration for their private servers.

Yeah, she was hypocritical on that count. Also not unprecedented in a politician.

She also deleted tens of thousands of emails with the same authorization she had in setting up her server (none) which would have had her serving a few decades in prison for obstruction of justice, if her name was Hillary Smith.

Actually she's in the clear there. The law explicitly gives the official the right to identify official correspondence in their personal records, deliver it for retention, and then delete the rest. It was the responsibility of the law firm to properly sort the emails.

That only refers to information you know you have, she didn't realized classified info was on the server.

Pure sophistry. Hillary knew full well that the information she was dealing in was born classified. Think about it for two seconds: if the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan sends an email about the state of nuclear tensions between that country and India, does it have to be marked classified before it is treated as such?

So do you want to imprison the ambassador then?

Other people have been sent to prison for far less - just ask the Navy man serving time for taking a few selfies on an unsecured, unauthorized cell phone.

You mean the guy who was sneaking around the sub in off-hours to take photos of things he knew were classified, possibly to sell to a foreign government?

What about the guy who sent classified information with foreign governments without authorization? I don't think he got punished... in fact I think he just got a new job.

Comment Re:Online Poker Turing test? (Score 1) 152

However, if the algorithm's play becomes so human-like that it defeats all attempts to distinguish it from that of an actual human (essentially passing the Turing test), would it still have an advantage over a human?


Not all humans are equal, if my algorithm's play is indistinguishable from a really good human then I'll still make a lot of money.

Comment Re:Online Poker Turing test? (Score 2) 152

The online poker sites have software that does its best to prevent bots from playing. It's also against their terms of use. It doesn't stop everyone, but it does prevent a lot of bot play.

Have two machines running side by side. Input game state from the poker site machine into your bot, and enter the moves from your bot into the poker site machine.

It's pretty much impossible to prevent unless you can algorithmically detect computer style play, or simply decide a user at a certain level is too good to be human.

Comment Re:All about the fight (Score 1) 447

a huge part of the post-election conversation is trying to understand why the left lost touch with the white working class.

I hope you're right. I have seen very little in terms of tone change since the election. In fact, I've heard the opposite stated a few times, that it would be akin to giving in to racist coercion to have a more straight-up populist message with less of the identity politics.

It seems to me from the voter turnout perspective, it wasn't so much that Trump and Republicans turned out huge numbers, but that Hillary and the democrats failed to turn out the Obama coalition and didn't woo a significant number of new Latino voters. I think it speaks more to lacking a charismatic leader at the top or perhaps hubris by democrats due to all the expectation that the election was in the bag.

I think a big factor this time was Sanders playing the populist card to capture a majority of the most outspoken progressive voters.

Even when he conceded he couldn't reverse the damage to Clinton's brand, and even though those voters still supported Clinton they did so grudgingly and didn't really defend her against attacks. And that's what let the stream of scandals bring her popularity down to the point where the EC and a poorly timed FBI announcement could swing the election.

Comment Re:IMHO (Score 3, Insightful) 159

Donald Knuth is an elitist. It is not necessary to have a background in mathematics to write software. I taught myself PHP and I certainly don't have any kind of mathematics background whatsoever. It isn't dumbing down as he claims. It's about creating opportunities. If you can code and you can do it well without mathematics, so be it. The math side is for those that want to do research. I work in the real world ....

There's a lot of jobs for coders who don't know math, but there's a ceiling on how good a programmer you can become.

Fundamentally all programming is research, you have a problem and you need to develop a robust solution on how to solve it.

Sometimes those problems don't involve math, but sometimes they do. You might need to implement a specific calculation (and understand how to verify and debug it), if you have a large data base you need some math for your queries to return quickly. And for any non-trivial problem where you need to design your own algorithm you need to have enough of a mathematical mindset to write it efficiently.

Think of it like race car driving. Driving a race car has a lot of special skills useless for 99% of of driving in a city. But someone who trains with race cars is probably going to be better at that 99% because they push past their limits. And the 1% where those special skills do come in handy they'll see a drastic difference.

Comment Re:It's a tax (Score 1) 447

by pissing off people concerned about global warming.

Why shouldn't they? When have "people concerned about global warming" shown them anything but hatred and contempt and enmity?

Simply put the left is yelling at the right because the right is refusing to accept AGW and reduce emissions.

The right is yelling at the left because they got yelled at.

Comment Re:All about the fight (Score 5, Insightful) 447

And the problem with the left is that they can't compromise and won't evolve.

Have you been sleeping the past 8 years? The right refused compromise on principle.

I was just listening to Bill Maher from last night, and all the liberals encouraging the audience to fight, disrupt, oppose, insult(*), and combat everything the right wants to do.

I didn't see the segment in question, but I'm pretty sure he was talking about Trump, a character so dangerous the GOP spent most of the primary desperately trying to stop him.

Nowhere did anyone say "we have to become better". Nothing about making better policies, making more intelligent arguments, doing things voters want, making the country better, or anything that could be considered noble.

The left talks about that constantly, a huge part of the post-election conversation is trying to understand why the left lost touch with the white working class.

But as to "better policies" and "intelligent arguments", a huge part of the criticism of Sanders was that his policies weren't robust. The right has spent the last few year using high deductibles as a major criticism of Obamacare, all the while selling high deductible coverage as their replacement.

Trump's speeches were warm and inclusive, saying essentially "we're in this together, we can win, we can do better".

"Warm and inclusive" is an odd description of mass deportation, immigration bans based on religion, promises to imprison your rival, and the constant demonization of the media.

I don't think anyone on the left has a clue how ineffective their campaign of crying, whining, and insulting is.

It can be very effective, whiny insulting campaign speeches won Trump the election.

Comment Re:It's a tax (Score 4, Insightful) 447

Or more accurately, a backlash against subsidies - $10 per megawatt hour.

It's a middle finger to progressives.

This is the problem with the political right at the moment. They're not trying to correct the market or protect local jobs, they're trying to rile up their base by pissing off people concerned about global warming.

Comment Re:Short-term numbers versus long-term (Score 1) 162

One would expect that. Even a bad computer program with a dozen eyes is likely to be better than a bag of meat with only two.

I'm more concerned about the long-term secondary effects. Do drivers who get used to this technology become dependent on it, and thus have higher accident rates when driving rental cars that lack this technology?

That's a concern, but my bigger worry is the seat belt effect. That in response to the perception of better safety people start to take more risks.

That's also the major reservation with this data set. These are all users relatively new to the auto-pilot, I know if you installed an auto-pilot in my car I'd be pretty damn paranoid for the first few months and my accident rate would plummet too. I'm not certain they're measuring the safety benefit of the auto-pilot or just their own drivers being extra careful while using it. Similarly drivers might start getting really careless as they start to trust the software, ie changing lanes without a shoulder check because they expect the Tesla to catch it.

Additionally, I'm less than convinced by the use of a single number here. To be meaningful, you need at least two numbers: the number of crashes avoided because of software intervention and the number of crashes caused by driver inattention. After all, if the system saves a bunch of lives because of things that a human driver couldn't have predicted, but costs a small number of lives because some humans depended too much on the vehicle to drive for them, then it is great from a statistical perspective, but that's little comfort for the families of people who died because the autopilot lulled them into a false sense of security.

I've been really critical of Tesla so far and their previous "statistical" safety claims have been ridiculous.

But other than sample size and the reservations I mentioned I think this is the proper test. Comparing "crashes avoided because of X" is a really arbitrary and hard to judge standard, plus it avoids secondary effects such as driving conditions and changes in behaviour.

The proper test is the total accident rate for Tesla drivers with the auto-pilot vs without, with proper controls to handle confounders. But this is a data set that needs to be continually monitored since both the auto-pilot software and drivers are moving targets.

Comment Re:What Clinton did (Score 1) 558

So did Trump's nominee for Secretary of State.


We'll I'll admit there's one big difference.

When Trump's nominee said something that was untrue to congress he almost certainly knew it was untrue.

When Clinton did the same she probably thought she was telling the truth.

or something that's been done by high profile member of the incoming administration.

See above.

GOP shenanigans do not excuse Democratic shenanigans, and vice versa. Case in point, you probably didn't give Trump a pass for being a sexually harassing womanizer during the election last year, because Bill Clinton did it first.

Fine, I'll go through point-by-point:

She took bribes from Russia for selling them US uranium.


She took $600 million in bribes for directing State Department mandates.


She failed to follow government guidelines for record retention.

True, but very common.

She stored classified information on unsecure servers.

True, but also very common.

She had a non-cleared house cleaner go into her secure room and get secure faxes for her.

True, but again I suspect it isn't unprecedented.

She failed to turn over all classified information she had after finishing her term.

She failed to report mishandling of classified information.

That only refers to information you know you have, she didn't realized classified info was on the server.

Her classified information ended up on Anthony Weiner's laptop.

Unknown... and a really confused statement which actually reveals a bunch of misconceptions about the whole scandal.

Hillary Clinton did not use Anthony Weiner's laptop, her aid Huma Abedin did, likely with her official State Dept email address.

IF there was classified information on the laptop, it's because it was sent to Huma's official email, probably by another person who wasn't Clinton, and this other not-Clinton was probably using an official government email address.

And this scenario, where two government employees sent each other emails containing classified information using their official government email addresses, is exactly the same thing Clinton is accused of. The fact that Clinton's email address was on a private server is irrelevant.

The reason why the GOP focused so much on the private email server is because it you just focus on the actual crime, sending classified information over unclassified channels, they'd look ridiculous when it became clear that a huge portion of high level government employees were guilty of the same crime.

Comment Re: News for Nazis (Score 1) 1525

I think less of people like you because you watched an adult mock a disabled person in front of a crowd and still supported him.

I don't believe you.

Then I have a bridge to sell you because the fact he was mocking the disability is really, really, really obvious.

Just because you like Trump doesn't mean you need to defend every obvious lie he makes.

Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 1) 1525

It amazes me that people continue to believe Trump is impulsive. There's nothing impulsive about anything Trump does; it's all extremely calculated. If I didn't know better I was say the press were in collusion to spread that myth in order to make people underestimate Trump, but as usual Occam's razor applies and the press are just full of idiots.

And you think this because he won, likely due to a very poorly timed announcement from the FBI, against the second most unpopular candidate in history while still losing the popular vote by 3 million.

And now he's going into office with by far the lowest inauguration approval rating in history and a transition that's massively behind schedule because he purged his first transition team (not to mention his first two campaign managers).

If that's all calculated I'd hate to see him screw up.

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