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Comment: The argument for a sentient robot soldier (Score 1) 318

There is an excellent argument for sentient robot soldiers and that is in the realm of collateral damage.

Today's "smart bombs" typically have a kill radius of 30m and a maim radius of 50m. This means that for one "surgical kill", dozens of non combatant deaths are likely (and do) occur.

A smart sentient robot could, instead, enter an area, only killing to gain access, before assassinating the intended target. There may be nearly zero non combatant deaths. There would also be a lot fewer maimed and no unnecessary infrastructure damage.

Surely, a war with sentient AIs would be more humane than todays so-called precision bombings?

Comment: Not all projects have fared badly under Oracle. (Score 1) 288

by Antony T Curtis (#48943381) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Some projects, such as MySQL, have improved massively under Oracle's stewardship. Much more progress has occurred during the past year under Oracle than the couple of years under Sun or even the last year that MySQL was independent.

However, it is sad that VirtualBox's development has slowed. It's suffered from being "good enough".

Comment: Re:Cars got made (Score 2) 323

by Antony T Curtis (#48495641) Attached to: DOOM 3DO Source Released On Github

GM was bankrupt because of their union pension plans, full stop. The pension plans cost more than all the active union workers. Blame anyone you want to for that, the future of manufacturing is all robots anyhow.

Not true. They went bankrupt because they sold crappy cars which cost them a fortune in warranty repairs.

I purchased a GM car in 2005. By the time we got rid of it in 2009, it had received the following repair warranties:
2 wheel bearings, 3 steering columns, 2 ECUs, 5 replacement door hinges, 2 brake discs, 2 auto transmissions and 1 door window motor.

In compensation, we were promised a $400 check but we never did receive it and to be honest, I don't care. We don't have the deathtrap anymore.

With all the billable hours that the vehicle spent in the shop, the vehicle must have been a big fat loss. Given how busy they were fixing up other vehicles, ours wasn't a unique case. This is what made GM go bankrupt.

I have never had a vehicle which was so unreliable before or since. As a consequence, I shall never buy another GM vehicle.

Comment: Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213

In the late 70's and early 80's in the US, you could go into a big box store and buy a computer with BASIC for under $200. Heck, the Sinclair boxes were under a $100. Which computer fits that description today?

Raspberry Pi. You can get it, plus necessary cables, mouse, keyboard and SDCard for under $100. All you need to bring to the table is a TV.

Comment: Re:shift of blame. (Score 1) 419

by Antony T Curtis (#47579261) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

It has been around 20 years since I was in a shop environment but I remember that we were explicitly told by the shop's bank that the only valid and acceptable source for authorisation codes was the shop's bank itself and any other number will be invalid because the POS will accept any random number. The phone number to call is the same number as the phone number to call for authorisation when using the old-fashioned card impress when the POS machine was not working.

Comment: shift of blame. (Score 2, Interesting) 419

by Antony T Curtis (#47557765) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Once upon a time, the retailer would have to take the blame for this because it is the retailer who is supposed to make the call to the financial institution on the retailer's own phone line, not using the cardholder's phone or trusting the cardholder's ability to dial the number.

Unfortunately, the retailers are successfully using the police to cover for the incompetence of their staff.

Comment: The real solution... (Score 1) 210

The real solution is that:
1. More content needs to be accessible via peer-to-peer.
2. ISPs need to have content proxies and encourage their users to use them.
3. Don't use "transparent proxies" because they're frequently worse than useless.
4. Static data shouldn't be served via HTTPS but instead by some kind of GPG content encoding via HTTP so that it may be cached.

Just my 2.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein