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Comment Re:blackouts, lack of channel choice, forced hardw (Score 1) 167

sports blackouts

OMG yes. I bought my wife an MLB.tv season pass because she loves watching baseball. What do you get for $109.99? Every game on TV except the ones in your home market. You can watch the Twins suck any time you want, so long as you don't live in Minnesota. Oh, and no postseason: that's a separate subscription.

Who the fuck came up with those ideas? I'll be damned if MLB ever gets another penny from us.

Comment Same for small plane crashes (Score 1) 228

The media are all over small plane crashes much the same way, giving a highly distorted view of just how safe aviation is. Aviation organizations like AOPA have started to get on the media's case about this.

If they reported car crashes with the same enthusiasm the "news" would be nothing but car crashes.


Comment I feel the same way. (Score 1) 235

And the question wasn't addressed in the video.

Can this function like a normal tablet? Will I be able to remove the controller modules and carry it around and read email, use Chrome and Google Now and Microsoft Office apps and snap photos? Or is this a dedicated gaming machine that's just modular?

If the latter, I wouldn't buy it. If the former, I'd buy it to replace my current 8" tablet, as a tablet PLUS gaming experience. But I need a tablet, and I don't want to have to have TWO tablets just to get slightly better gameplay on one of them.

If it's a one tablet concept (would have to be Android, I assume, to have the ecosystem) then great. If it's just a game console with fancy industrial design? Pass. I have good enough gaming on my current tablet.

Comment Re:Gibberish (Score 2) 70

Not exactly... A neural net is just a function that takes an input and produces an output. At training time the weights are adjusted (via gradient descent) to minimize the error between the actual and desired output for examples in the training set. The weights are what define the function (via the way data is modified as it flows thru the net), rather than being storage per se.

The goal when training a neural net is to learn the desired data transformation (function) and be able to generalize it to data outside of the training set. If you increase the size of the net (number of parameters) beyond what the training set supports, you'll just end up overfitting - learning the training set rather than learning to generalize, which is undesirable even if you don't care about the computing cost.

The use of external memory in a model such as Google's DNC isn't as an alternative to having a larger model, but rather so the model can be trained to learn a function that utilizes external memory (e.g. as a scratchpad) rather than just being purely flow thru.

Comment Don't confuse the worst and the best. (Score 1) 97

"[F]raud, cheating, plagiarism, etc." in *low-end* research, which we also have in spades in the U.S. and in the West more generally (it's really bad in a lot of the also-ran European countries). At the top end, Chinese research is every bit competitive with other players in serious global research, and they have more resources available to them, which they can apply to problems without nearly so much systemic overhead thanks to their particular governing system.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

Like Boost, too much simple sugar.

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali). Less than 0.5% of: Nonfat Milk, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Carrageenan, Salt, Ferric Phosphate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

The closest would be Boost Plus, which still comes in short on calories and way too much simple sugar. Look at the ingredients!

Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Canola, High Oleic Sunflower, Corn), Milk, Protein Concentrate, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, and Less than 1% of: Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Gum Acacia, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Citrate, Inulin (from Chicory), Soy Lecithin, ...

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

First, you're not realizing what I bill those customers. I don't want to wave money around on Slashdot but I assure you, you too would drink an unoffensive bottle of Soylent for that much. The main thing it buys me is freedom, and there is no shortage of pleasure coming from that. I can work on what I want most of the time, or not work, if I just keep a few of those customers.

Second, you can't have any of the real pleasures in life without your health. You are evolved to be attracted to foods that would have been infrequent windfalls throughout most of the evolution of human beings. Now, you can have them for every meal, and your body is sending you the signals to do so despite the fact that those foods will ultimately be detrimental to you. If you are still compelled to eat them, there's a pretty good chance that's the addiction talking.

Comment So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

I have some customers in San Jose, and live in Berkeley. Given the horrid traffic and the lack of good trains with little hope that BART's Silicon Valley extension will be done within a decade, I get up at 5AM when it's necessary to work at these customer sites, hit the road by 5:30, and head home around 1 PM.

Obviously, that doesn't leave time for a leisurely breakfast. So, a cold bottle of Soylent 2.0 just out of the 'fridge is about my best option while driving. Warm Soylent doesn't actually seem that much worse, and I've used that during long drives when the alternative would have been fast food.

Yes, I get paid enough to compensate for all of this.

Soylent 2.0 tastes OK, but not so good that you'd eat it just for the taste. It takes care of physical needs and doesn't do anything nasty to my gastrointestinal system. I do not attempt to use it as a total food replacement.

Consuming Soylent, though, leads one to think about how food flavors and other characteristics of food are evolved or engineered to manipulate us, and how this is a dependence or addiction and perhaps the largest cause of health issues in our lives.

Comment Polished turds (Score 1) 291

I don't think I've ever come across a modern in-car GPS/entertainment system that is *not* a polished turd. The GPS navigation software is always terrible - slow, counterintuitive and annoying to use with an unresponsive UI meaning you're not sure if it actually accepted the touch screen input, difficult and costly to have updated, and if it allows over the air updates requires a contract (more cost). The system will also be hilariously dated before the car is even a third of a way through its expected lifetime. Often they are hilariously dated the day the car rolls off the production line.

I'd rather a car came with an entertainment system that had just one thing: a decent Bluetooth audio system and nothing else. That way the updates are on whatever device I use.

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If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson