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Comment Robots are Distributed Systems (Score 1) 164

Unless you build a robot with no connectivity at all, robots are distributed systems. For example, If your robot runs Robot Operating System (ROS, then it's distributed. Everything is held together by ROS_MASTER, which is a TCP port somewhere. If you create a VPN on the internet your robot could be composed of two identical machines either side of a border. Perhaps having an import license, such as you would have with cars, weapons and other potentially lethal items, would be the correct thing to require.

Comment Re:And nothing will change ... (Score 5, Informative) 138

Police lying about how they obtained evidence (because they obtained it illegally) is called "parallel construction". Amazingly, US law enforcement treat it as just another tool they can use, rather than a method for committing perjury and circumventing the Fourth Amendment.

Comment Re:Another proprietary mess - a pity. (Score 1) 111

Disclaimer, Chat team member here. Chat is based on the Distributed Hash Table DHT and Arvid Nordberg, the head engineer on this project, has just released our DHT bootstrap code as open source on github. At the start of this project, we frequently ask ourselves why anybody should trust us over any other group. The only answer that we could come up with is increased transparency.

Comment Parallelism obsoleted the supercomputer (Score 2) 123

There are not many problems these days that cannot be parallelized and split up to be run on a large number of off the shelf hardware. It is much easier to grow a Beowulf Cluster to add performance than redesigning to eke out every bit of capability of top-of-the-line hardware. Much easier also, to redesign your problem so that it can take advantage of parallelism. I agree that this was probably a boondoggle by a politician wanting to get some publicity for himself.

Comment YouTube is a business (Score 3, Insightful) 278

Hosting a video that is solely intended to cause outrage is bad for business and YouTube should remove it if it causes trouble. What does YouTube gain by hosting this video? This is not a US First Amendment issue, since the producer of the film is quite welcome to have the film hosted and published by some other means. Put it on vimeo your own web site or even host it via The Pirate Bay. Free speech does not mean that a company has to help you to spread your message.

Comment Discrimination Happens, But Not Always (Score 1) 375

I've been working at a bunch of companies in my career and I'm well over 50 and now have decided to work only for startups until it's quitting time in a few years. It's like riding a roller coaster - after one exits, I just want to get back on the next one. One before this, Flip Video, was great, but we all ended getting laid off. In my subsequent job search I encountered a fair amount of age discrimination in hiring by companies large and small. However, at the startup that I currently work for I didn't get that at all. The interview was as tough as any other, but I didn't get the some of the negative vibes I did at other interviews. When I joined, I noticed that there were a fair number of crusty old guys like me, right along side of the kids right out of college. The common thing about us is that we are all good at our jobs. The company has no problems with terminating people who can't deliver. Discrimination exists, but not everywhere. The smart companies realize that discrimination in any form cuts down your pool of talented people and is therefore counterproductive.

Comment Vulnerable if not 100% effective (Score 1) 238

No matter how many accidents that the MIT technology prevented, if this technology fails to prevent an accident the makers of this technology will get sued. The lawsuit's reasoning would go like this: Joe's standard of driving, just like everybody else's, is way above average and his super-fast reflexes were handling the traffic situation fine, but MIT's defective technology overrode his highly skilled actions and actually caused the accident. Unless the auto manufacturers and the technology's inventors could prove that the accident would also have happened with the same or higher level of damage they will be held at least partially responsible. I worked for a few auto companies and such accident preventing technology would always be put on trial when it fails to 100% prevent an accident and they would be perpetually in the courtroom defending it. This is why this kind technology rarely makes it into production.

Comment Hard to get apps published. (Score 1) 299

I worked on a product that had app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. It took months to get a app approved for BlackBerry, much more than the iOS app store. We went through a couple of versions of Android and iOS, before RIM got around to approving our two-generations old version. Rather than give users an old and clunky version that no longer fitted the way we were doing things, we pulled the BlackBerry app and dropped BlackBerry support.

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