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Comment: Re:Friendly AI (Score 1) 582

by Illserve (#48240649) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

If we want friendly AI, the key may be to ensure that the AI has more positive associations with people than neutral or negative associations. Mistreat a dog or a cat its entire life and it probably won't be friendly toward people. Mistreat people when they're young and you make it harder for them to trust others, feel a sense of community, or recognize any duty to society (which might explain why so many nerds find libertarianism appealing). Why would an AI be different?

That's not a reliable solution actually, since a sophisticated AI would be able to modify its own programming.

See also: Robocop.

Comment: Stopped reading after two big errors (Score 3, Informative) 296

by Nova Express (#48218029) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

1. "In 1991, Andrew Rapport declared Microsoft the winner in the PC contest because Microsoft and Intel had harnessed the Asian supply chain and dramatically undercut the cost of the eccentric Steve Jobs’s Apple Mac." No, by 1991, it was John Scully's Mac, as Jobs was ousted in 1985.
2. "When Apple’s first notebook, the Macintosh 100, wasn’t embraced by consumers because it was two big, too heavy, and too expensive" No, that would have been the original Mac Portable (1989), which was all of those things. The Powerbook (not Macintosh) 100 was actually a very light ultra-portable.

Since author Steven Max Patterson and his editors couldn't be bothered to perform basic fact-checking, I stopped reading at that point...

The Internet

Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide? 291

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-and-have-nots dept.
First time accepted submitter dkatana writes Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream. This is creating another "digital divide." Not having the virtually unlimited bandwidth of all-fiber networks means that, for these populations, many activities are simply not possible. For example, broadband provided over all-fiber networks brings education, healthcare, and other social goods into the home through immersive, innovative applications and services that are impossible without it. Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber.

NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders 781

Posted by Soulskill
from the advertisers-driving-culture dept.
gollum123 writes: Back in the day, computer science was as legitimate a career path for women as medicine, law, or science. But in 1984, the number of women majoring in computing-related subjects began to fall, and the percentage of women is now significantly lower in CS than in those other fields. NPR's Planet Money sought to answer a simple question: Why? According to the show's experts, computers were advertised as a "boy's toy." This, combined with early '80s geek culture staples like the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, as well as movies like War Games and Weird Science, conspired to instill the perception that computers were primarily for men.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48156033) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

No, smoking reductions absolutely are 100% definitely due to government intervention, and it's extremely instructive and important that that is so. Much of the initial critical medical research came from Britain, and Britain has a national health service; it's socialised medicine.

And the thing that finally has killed smoking as a thing in the West was passive smoking.

Passive smoking was something that was (in a loose sense) invented by government health agencies, specifically to kill smoking.

By invented, I don't mean that that it's not true that passive smoking is harmful- that certainly is true, it is harmful carcinogens, no, I mean the concept that passive smoking is harmful... AND SO it cannot be done in places of work.

That really, really put the kibosh on smoking.

And THAT's a regulation; it was specifically THAT regulation that enormously diminished smoking.

Before that regulation, smoking was hanging right on in there, the smoking companies were able to pretend that smoking wasn't extremely highly addictive, and that it was 'relaxing' or some such bullshit.

It really was that way around. And that's normal. Governments have a responsibility and genuinely are best placed to enforce regulations with respect to safety and fraud. Really, the tobacco companies were enforcing a fraud on the population that cigarettes are safe. Even the smokers didn't really believe it, but they were addicted.

I am actually pretty libertarian, but when right-libertarians try to argue that it's personal responsibility whether or not there's sugars of lead in my wine or not; I can only laugh at them and their efforts to explain how I could ever realistically test the products I buy. Governments of course don't routinely test products, but they do do random checks. And that smoking was morally unacceptable came from governments.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48153499) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Stopped smoking? No, but smoking rates are way down, and some of this is definitely due to taxation. People are driving relatively economical vehicles over here, where petroleum is more expensive. I have no idea what you mean by 'fair and balanced climate research' except I know that anthropogenic global warming is very, very real; because the hard science says that it is. If you really believe it isn't: you've been lied to.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 4, Interesting) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48138667) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Partly, but it's not enough.

When the wind blows very strongly, Denmark already, even now, generates more than 100% of their national electricity demand. That's because wind can vary by a factor of 3 or so above the average; so once you get to 30% or so, when there's strong winds over the whole country, it completely dominates.

Meanwhile, Norway has a lot of hydroelectricity. So when the wind blows hard they export the excess to Norway, and Norway shuts down their hydroelectricity- it holds back its water temporarily. When the wind drops they turn the hydroelectricity back on more and power Denmark off the hydro with the water they've saved. The overall result is a very even power supply, and no carbon produced.

Comment: Another Advantage for State Level Control (Score 1) 279

by Nova Express (#48137625) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

Without a top-down bureaucracy calling the shops, states can try 50 different methods to control the pandemic, and compare results to see who has the best one. They're not stuck mindlessly doing what Washington has dictated, even if it's wrong.

The CDC is swearing up and down Ebola can be transmitted by airborne infection, but what if they're wrong about this strain?

The federal government is much more likely than the states to continue a wrong course of action long after it's been proven a bad idea than the states. See also: Welfare, agribusiness subsidies, the food pyramid...

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 2) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48137239) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

The previous idiot was claiming that a wind turbine can produce 200% of its nameplate capacity; but by definition the most it can produce is the nameplate capacity.

Now, you, you're claiming that wind power requires a large spinning reserve. The information I have is that this is false. The reality is that there's very little spinning reserve used for that purpose; wind forecasts are used to predict wind power generation several days in advance, and generation is bought in and out as needed in the normal way they would when demand changes.

There are indeed some costs associated with warming up plants to bring them online when wind is predicted to drop, but they're much smaller than the value of the power produced by wind farms.

Incidentally, wind farms cannot lose synchronisation in the way you state; they typically use double fed induction motors; they cannot use simple synchronous generators because the rotor speed changes too much as wind conditions vary.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136787) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

I'm pretty sure that coal is already more expensive than wind- definitely for NEW power plants.

But basically, anything that is already paid off is dirt cheap.

This Wikipedia article covers this kind of stuff:

On the upside though, if something is paid off, it becomes easier to shut it down because it's done its job and nobody owes anything.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136699) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Yeah, but if the government taxes coal more, then they tax wind less, and it will be cheaper, and then the consumers will go for the power suppliers that use more wind and less coal, and then gradually that will come to be reflected in the actual power generators; they will build more wind turbines; and the coal plants will start to shutdown.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136619) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

I'm sorry, but you're very ignorant.

First, no powerplant is ever available 100%. Plants do fail sometimes. Any given baseload generator is supposed to be there with some probability, usually 95% or better; and then backup powerplant capacity is provided to kick in 5% of the time.

Second of all, wind turbines have a generator, and the generator has a rate power, known as the 'nameplate' power. The generator CANNOT generate any more than that; it would burn out. IT CANNOT generate 200% of the nameplate power. You may be thinking of the average power. The average power is the nameplate power multiplied by the capacity factor.

You more or less get the definition of base load correct:

But you don't seem to have understood how that relates to wind power and backup generators.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)