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Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 860

by Anguirel (#49339347) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Yes, as long as they aren't causing a direct disturbance in the store or harassing other customers, I would. I might also make sure to get good pictures of them with the security system, and depending on how serious I thought they were (people talk about crazy stuff all the time when in stores that they don't actually follow through on), I might report it to the police and/or advise local synagogues that if they are victims of vandalism I might have relevant evidence for them.

Comment: Explained By Devs (Score 4, Informative) 80

by Anguirel (#49237623) Attached to: Watch an Original NES Run Netflix

As linked in an update to the article, the devs discuss it here.

"The video frames were converted to tilesets and stored in the rom image. For playback, the memory mapper (MMC3) is used to swap between the frames without having to rely on too much CPU." They intended to attempt a Raspberry Pi trick, but ran out of time.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by Anguirel (#48834305) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Imagine a button labelled "Push for Service". Assume I want service. If I see a person push the button and they get electrocuted, and then I see another person do the same with the same result, and then I choose not to push the button, have I not gained benefit from those others' experiences? If I had not been witness to those experiences of others, I would very likely have pushed the button.

Learning from others' mistakes is just as important as, if not more important than, learning form their successes.

Comment: Re:I thought evolutionists had it all figured out? (Score 1) 110

by Anguirel (#48805903) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

The mathematicians used to say that one plus one equaled two, and they made no reference to fractions. Meaning previously, they never said fractions were required for two to appear. Now these people are saying that one-half plus one-half plus one-half plus one-half equals two. Meaning that if there were no halves, there would be no two. So why did they say they had everything figured out? Were the mathematicians wrong previously? Were they lying? Are they lying now?

Comment: Re:This synopsis (Score 1) 130

by Anguirel (#48630113) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

Plenty of people have ideas for how to make a working general artificial intelligence. Some of them might even be correct. No one has the funding necessary for what some would call the "easy" versions, because they require a lot of research into things that aren't computers. If we study neurons to the point where we can simulate them reasonably accurately, we can probably simulate a brain, and have it work more-or-less correctly. However, we're not even that good at figuring out what a single neuron is going to do, much less clusters of them. Even if we did have that knowledge, we also don't have the raw computing power needed for simulating such a mind-bogglingly huge number of neurons to the degree of accuracy that would likely be required.

What we have here is similar to a sewing machine. Making a machine that simulates how we sew is incredibly difficult. Modern sewing machines don't sew anything like a single person with a needle and thread. They found a different method that works really well as a machine, but would be very hard for a human to manage (especially when you get into sergers and the like with 4+ threads running through them).

Wait, sorry, forgot where I was. It's like a car. Making a mechanical horse is really, really tough. They're still not that good at it yet, though some groups are getting much closer. Instead when they made the horseless carriage, they changed the methodology to accomplish the same task. They're trying to mimic aspects of intelligence to achieve some end result, not the whole thing, in a way that suits the hardware they have available right now.

Will this yield general AI alone? Of course not. But it might be a step to getting reasonably accurate visual recognition working. Another group is clearly working on natural language parsing and on-the-fly translation. We're already pretty solid with spatial processing, and getting a lot better at balance for ambulatory mechanical devices. If we can set up a device that balances and moves on two legs, uses visual recognition to form a spatial map, and can handle natural language processing and can respond in natural language, all using the same underlying database, that's starting to sound like a good general purpose android, and that would be another nice step towards something that could be considered general AI by some definitions.

Comment: Re:This synopsis (Score 3, Interesting) 130

by Anguirel (#48622725) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

There's also a tremendous gap between what we consider complex and what we consider simple. For example, the brain is complex. However, individual elements of our brains are incredibly simple. Basic chemical reactions. Neurons firing or not. It's the sheer number of simultaneous simple pieces working together that makes it complex.

Lots of simple AI algorithms all working together make the complexity. This isn't climbing a tree. It's one person poking at chemicals until they get high-energy combustible fuels, and another playing with paper to make paper airplanes better, and a third refining ceramics and metals to make them lighter and stronger and to handle different characteristics, and then they all get put together and you have a person on the moon.

The illusion is that you think we need to make a leap to get from here to there. There's never a leap. It's lots of small simple steps that get you there.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by Anguirel (#48613467) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

In the U.S., sure, citizen suspects (not necessarily criminals -- we don't even know if they've done anything wrong at this point, after all, that's what trials are for) would be protected until convicted in trial, and then still protected from cruel and unusual punishment. Non-citizen suspects have somewhat fewer protections, but most of that would still apply (I believe in some cases they can be deported with a minimal trial or no trial, but I'm not certain). However, this isn't happening in the U.S., so they'd have whatever protections those countries offered. Many of them where the CIA set up these prisons, offer little to no protection against those sorts of things.

So if they're suspects of being hostile forces acting outside the conventions of warfare (e.g. unlawful combatants), they're subject to whatever punishments are allowed, and whatever trials are required in the place they're captured, or the place they're detained. There's a reason they haven't brought those people to the U.S. itself.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by Anguirel (#48586479) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

I believe the point he was making is that defending your home against a foreign invader as a civilian does not catapult you into "enemy combatant" status; it makes you (at most) guilty of murder in self defense.

Whether we invade you or you invade us, if you shoot at the members of the military on the "us" side, you are an enemy combatant to the people of that "us" side. I don't see how this is even a questionable point. You aren't "guilty" of anything, you are labelled as something.

Here, I'll make a simple set of qualifiers:
* Are you in combat with someone? Yes? You're a combatant.
* Are you shooting at the people on my side? Yes? You're an "enemy" combatant to the people on my side.

Comment: Re: Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by Anguirel (#48586429) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

So they'd be lawful of they put on obvious clothes and stood outside so they could be systematically shot from above by drones? Nice logic right there. Of you want a perfectly fair fight, send in as many of your soldiers as they have, with the same level of weaponry and then see how it goes down. Calling them cowards because they don't fight a war on your terms, where you have drones and cruise missiles to kill from 100 miles away is, well, cowardly of you.

I didn't make any statements agreeing or disagreeing with the system, I was describing it as it exists currently. It was written well before those technologies existed, and was meant for "conventional" warfare.

Also, by your logic, pain clothes, undercover agents are fair game for torture when captured.

You still going to stick with that line?

Yes, espionage agents are routinely part of the black-ops "disavowed by their government" and fair game for treatment as criminals rather than as prisoners of war.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 4, Informative) 772

by Anguirel (#48560853) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Are there "lawful" enemy combatants and under who's law these ones unlawful?

Yes, there are. I'll explain in a moment. The Law in this case is International Law - the Geneva Convention, among others, is involved here.

And aren't they enemy combatants because a "coalition of forces" invaded their countries?

Yes, that is part of what makes them enemy combatants. The other part is that they chose to shoot at those invaders.

Ok, so some explanation -- there's some rules of war that the countries in power at the time put together. They include things like soldiers needing to wear a uniform with identifying marks for the country (or group in cases where you might not have an officially recognized country) in whose service they are fighting. If two of those powers went to war, they'd follow those rules (in theory), and soldiers of the other side would be lawful enemy combatants (or usually just enemy combatants, contrasted against enemy civilians).

If some of those soldiers stripped off their uniforms and did stuff against those rules, they could be disavowed by the other country -- they were out of uniform and therefore they were unlawful enemy combatants. The special rules regarding the treatment of Prisoners of War wouldn't apply. They could be held after the cessation of hostilities, for example, and could be tried by the country that captured them for their crimes rather than those acts (such as mass-homicide and such) being considered acts of war and therefore somehow perfectly acceptable.

So if these insurgent groups wore a uniform of some sort, and followed a normal command structure, and didn't hide in civilian populations, they could be lawful enemy combatants. They'd also be a lot easier to eliminate, which is why they don't do that. However, because they aren't playing by the Big Powers rules, that means the Big Powers don't technically need to follow those rules either. I still think we should, but that's a separate discussion.

That should hopefully help you understand where the term comes from, and why it gets used in reference to actions like this.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 772

by Anguirel (#48560717) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Yes, I actually suspect that is exactly the failure he means, and that he is not a Republican just blaming everything on Obama. Everyone is allowed to criticize the President, but especially former supporters when he fails to live up to campaign promises or even his own initial acts in office. That Guantanamo Bay is still open and the prisoners are still there without any formal or official charges or trials is a massive failure, for example.

This is another. The guy that ordered the torture not bothering to prosecute it? Understandable, if terrible. His successor failing to enforce the law and prosecute those responsible? A pretty big failure on that newer administration. If you're going to call it torture, press the case. Deeds, not words.

I supported Obama initially -- lesser of two evils (particularly after Palin was selected as the running mate), and I hoped even if he was only a figure head his rhetoric would set the tone for everyone working in government, and he definitely talked a good talk. He has since failed to deliver on those speeches (which was expected), but has also changed his tone and simply adopted his predecessor's as his own (which was not expected). Just because I supported him in the past, and feel his opponents are worse, that doesn't mean I am incapable of seeing that he has had many failures during his term. That you would blindly assume anyone criticizing Obama is a Republican doesn't speak well of you, or politics in general. No one should be safe from blame.

Comment: Re:I thought the lower receiver is the weapon.. (Score 1) 353

Which was my exact point. Nobody calls them nuclear arms. They're called nuclear armaments. Go look up the definition of "arms."

"1. weapons and ammunition; armaments."

They're the same word. There is no difference between "armaments" and "arms" when referring to weapons.

They were referred to as "Arms" by such entities as the United States and the Soviet Union when they signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It's the common noun used when discussing things such as the Nuclear Arms race. Of the two, I'd say "Nuclear Armaments" is less used. "Nuclear Weapons" is probably more common than either of those.

Comment: Re:I thought the lower receiver is the weapon.. (Score 1) 353

I can't bear a cannon, but I can have it pulled by a horse. You noted yourself that they were accepted and protected by the Second Amendment at the time the Constitution was written, and they would have been amongst the most destructive weapons known at the time. The context around it was that each township needed their own militia to protect against attacks as it could take weeks or even months for word of such an event to reach any central location. It was also in there because they felt they needed to be able to fight the government's army on equal terms should it ever be necessary again.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce