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Comment Re:Freedom to discriminate == no protection ... (Score 4, Insightful) 1168

One example I heard about on NPR was a bakery that made fancy cakes somewhere in Colorado. The baker formerly made wedding cakes in addition to regular cakes for things like birthdays and such. The baker currently does not offer the wedding cake service any longer because if he can't turn down people with a particular sexual orientation he is legally bound to turn down everybody. It ultimately hurts choice. It is bigotry and shame on the business owner for not being comfortable enough as a person to tolerate all sorts of different sexual orientations, but is this really the arena that people of that particular sexual orientation should be taking a stand with respect to their rights? The "denied access to see their partner in the hospital" circumstance tugs on more heart strings than "no wedding cakes for anybody until we can get this mess sorted out".

Comment Re:They're killing the wrong brand (Score 1) 317

I'd have to agree that the "Internet Explorer" in "Microsoft Internet Explorer" isn't the part the causes me not to trust it.

On the plus side, Microsoft still can't figure out how to compete with the big boys in the Mobile platform environment so they are successfully relegates to backend server infrastructure, offices, and home environments for people who aren't compelled to care to much about running competing software (i.e. Mac, Linux, OpenOffice, Mozilla, or Google). I do admit to dealing with Microsoft in these three environments... I'm still glad they are virtually locked out from Mobile, though.

Comment Re:Reputation (Score 1) 266

I'm surprised that anybody believed Lenovo had a good reputation dating back to when they took over the IBM Thinkpad brand of laptops (in 2005) since IBM didn't want it anymore. Prior to that, I haven't heard of Lenovo. After that, I knew of Lenovo as a Chinese company. 'Nuf said.

Comment Re:More non-fiction now, for complicated reasons (Score 1) 164

For example, a while back I read the Song of Ice and Fire books. The first few were great! Dead center in the venn diagram overlap between non-challenging and good. But as the series progressed, the books started to get more ... well, bad. The most recently one, while still not challenging, was also not very good.

If you've read it you should be able to call it A Dance with Dragons instead of "the most recently (sic) one" unless you're talking about one of the ASOIAF side projects? There is a lot going on in Martin's five core ASOIAF books. If you do enjoy them, they stand up very well to multiple passes through. Certain events are foreshadowed much earlier than they occur and minor events seem to fit better into the grand scheme of things the second time through. At a minimum consider re-reading Storm of Swords since it has more action and less slow-paced intrigue development than any of the other four... which seems to be what you want with "Non-challenging, high quality".

As far as the side projects, I don't really have much experience with them.

Comment Re:Fukushima run by idiots... (Score 1) 166

Efficiencies are a major issue with Wind and Solar. I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation a few years ago for powering the state of New Jersey with Solar and estimated that the size of the Solar Panel arrays for this implementation would be approximately the size of the entire state of New Jersey. It could be that solar is 5-10x more efficient than they were at the time I did my guesstimate, but even at those levels Solar doesn't scale like that.

FYI... I recall reading at the time that nuclear powers 4,000 MW in NJ and accounts for 50% of NJs power consumption at the time. So I scaled up the Length X Width of a solar panel that could deliver 8,000 MW and came up with something like 50 miles by 180 miles. I provide no warranty about this memory of the data... but encourage anybody to correct me if I'm wrong.

Comment Re:Why the overreaction? (Score 1) 166

I had the opportunity to hear Nancy speak a few years ago. Something that resonated with me that she said was that errors/accidents (mostly?) occur because people/systems with imperfect information make reasonable (but bad) assumptions... so the only truly "safe/reliable" system is the one where perfect information is being given to the feedback loops to the people/systems who are making operational decisions (obviously not possible for complex, new systems).

Comment Re:Easy to follow rules. (Score 1) 155

Chess has the maximum amount of rules for a game.

As in... unique movement mechanics with few exceptions for 6 different types of pieces and no more than 16 different objects in play for each player at a time? Honestly I think chess is the best example of "simple rules, tough to master" but I must disagree that it has the "maximum amount of rules for a game".

There are games that are far more complicated than chess that are still great. I would submit "Magic: The Gathering" as an example. But really, if you take the time... there aren't too many popular games that are "too complicated".

Comment Fight Crime... but (Score 3, Funny) 307

I would have picked "Automate basic jobs" except for the added caveat "so I don't have to talk to humans". Why the fuck would I be bothered to get robots to do repetitive, boring, time consuming tasks if I wanted to spend less time talking to other people? I want to get robots doing the boring, trivial stuff so that I have MORE TIME to spend talking to other humans. Where the heck is that option?

Comment Re:I appreciate you not labeling yourself (Score 1) 551

I picked the top option, though I identify as Independent. It wouldn't take much for a Republican to get my vote... but with the majority of candidates spending most of there campaign dollars on mudslinging I'm not likely going to be changing how I vote anytime soon. To clarify -- I agree with the parent about being in favor of smaller government unless the cuts that get made end up hurting the middle and poorer classes. And I'm in favor of government regulation of businesses that are seen as abusing their customer base with monopoly practices (i.e. Internet/Cable/Telecom).

Comment Re:Not really true AI we should be worried about. (Score 1) 583

I'm going to jump in here because this is the sort of discussion that fascinates me. Science fiction calls this type of thought experiment world "Post-scarcity" which is a counterpoint to 1984 which was more of a regulated scarcity economy. My thought is that when the world goes "Post-scarcity" there will still be things that are scarce such as ocean-front property or awesome tickets seats to see a live performance. The things that will NOT be scarce are food, water, electricity, comfortable sleeping quarters, wireless network bandwidth, clean clothing, and advertizements on the video program platform du jour. This is by no means a correct list, but to answer the question, "what do you do when you only need 50% (or less) of the available people to actually work?" my answer would be to ensure that they have the minimum "Post-scarcity" list and that in their free time they aren't causing trouble. Since a lot of these people will cause trouble, though, the alternatives are to stick them in jail or make some kind of fulfilling occupation available to them. So yeah, certain jobs that robots replaced humans would revert back to the humans. The economics basically becomes a muddle at this point.

"If all those things could be provided to me without working, I wouldn't work." There is a degree of leisure activities that becomes available if you stop working. You'd have time to do more things in your newly found spare time - some free like running outside - some not free like playing a round of golf. So if you wanted to golf, you'd still need to work (i.e. earn money) so that you can trade with the golf course to reserve your tee-time (this example works because I think there can never be a high enough supply of golf courses to meet the demand is playing a round is free and people have infinite free time).

"If you make it too low, they will be unable to survive." I think the greatest threat is making it so low that they organize, rebel, and destroy the companies who shifted from human labor to robot labor. It is tough for me to imagine a scenario is a 1st world country where technological advancement leads to people who are displaced gracefully exiting the human race.

Comment Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (Score 1) 786

I can't tell from your message tone if you think fewer women in CS is a problem that should be solved or if you think it is ingrained in human nature for men to be to majority of CS workers. I feel like it is on the human nature side of things, but mainly I just wanted to post this link which illustrates Female/Male occupation splits by percentage and shows CS somewhere in the middle of occupations that are male dominated.

Comment Re:Space Loonies (Score 1) 219

Money is basically created out of nothing.

The emphasis you putting on being crushed by debt is in discord with this other statement that you made. Allocation of resources - including the time of scientists and the hundreds of thousands of acres in the Midwest - can cause to new resources to be made available or it can backfire. I have to disagree with the general tone of your thoughts since it seems like you may believe that all of the major allocations of resources over the past decade or two in America has somehow backfired and gone up in a puff of smoke... which is not the case.

Comment Re:I give the Chinese 30 years (Score 1) 219

I think you're right about ~30 years, but I went with the Price Is Right strategy of taking the option that is +1 more than the others and picked "Sometime after 2050" since narrowing it down to a specific 5 year interval seemed petty. I think Unsuccessful manned missions could very well happen before that, though. I think the greatest hurdle we face is blasting enough cargo into space to sustain men and women permanently on Mars (Let's face it - There and Back Again is not a winning Mars strategy at all). The temperature control systems and air-quality monitoring system alone are going to be very expensive in terms of weight since a successful Mars mission will invariably necessitate some kind of under ground biosphere enclosure.

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