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Comment: Re:You can replace Windows... But not the battery. (Score 1) 101

One can buy a far better desktop machine and a UPS for that money. And it would be user-serviceable and upgradeable.

A bit harder to transport to a client's office, though.

These machines are obviously aimed at a particular niche that full desktop workstations can't cater for.

Comment: Yeah, no. (Score 5, Insightful) 228

by fyngyrz (#49765031) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Except that the opinion of people like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk is definitely worth more than any "majority" thinking differently.

Nosense. That's just hero worship mentality. Very much like listening to Barbara Streisand quack about her favorite obsessions.

Bill Gates' opinion is worth more than the average person's when it comes to running Microsoft. Elon Musk's opinion is worth more than the average person's when building Teslas and the like. Neither one of them (nor anyone else, for that matter) has anything but the known behavior of the only high intelligence we've ever met to go on (that's us, of course.) So it's purest guesswork, completely blind specuation. It definitely isn't a careful, measured evaluation. Because there's nothing to evaluate!

And while I'm not inclined to draw a conclusion from this, it is interesting that we've had quite a few very high intelligences in our society over time. None of them have posed an "existential crisis" for the the planet, the the human race, or my cats. Smart people tend ot have better things to do than annoy others... also, they can anticipate consequences. Will this apply to "very smart machines"? Your guess (might be) as good as mine. It's almost certainly better than Musk's or Gates', since we know they were clueless enough to speak out definitively on a subject they don't (can't) know anything about. Hawking likewise, didn't mean to leave him out.

Within the context of our recorded history, it's not the really smart ones that usually cause us trouble. It's the moderately intelligent fucktards who gravitate to power. [stares off in the general direction of Washington] (I know, I've giving some of them more credit than they deserve.)

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 360

I think the challenge with the current system and shared Euro currency isn't that a nation loses control of its own policies on things like taxation and trade, its that whether those policies actually work is significantly influenced by the equivalent policies set by other nations that share the currency. As we've seen in recent years, if some nations screw up their own economies due to poor management, corruption, or for any other reason, it does have a serious knock-on effect across the whole currency group.

So, although a shared currency doesn't in itself imply shared tax and spending policies, I suspect that more centralised government (and therefore necessarily less autonomy and sovereignty for each member state) will follow in practice. To a degree, it already has, with the nations that struggled worst after the crash effectively being forced into unpopular austerity policies by foreign influences in return for bail-out money or even having their entire governments replaced by technocrats for a while.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 360

The mostly-unspoken underlying question here is whether the people of Europe actually want to bound together in that way. Some people do see a United States of Europe in the future. Generally speaking, the people of the UK don't, or at least don't want to give up our own national identity to become part of such an umbrella organisation, any more than Canada wants to be the 51st state just because some Canadians speak the same language as most people in the US and they share a border and some broadly similar political views.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 360

[Free movement] just needs to be worked out, not abandoned.

In principle, I agree with you.

However, "working it out" when you're starting with the level of disparity between countries like the UK and Germany on the one hand and the "new Europe" nations on the other is a generational problem that will take many years to solve. It's not something that can be finished in a matter of months with a quick treaty or two.

In the meantime, if you immediately establish tight integration as something like joining the EU does, you have artificially increased the pressure on both the weaker and the stronger nations. Consider that Greece -- which was already an EU member and part of the Eurozone -- is still in serious economic trouble today, coming up to seven years after the big crash. There are still serious political frictions there over dealings with Europe, and there are still serious political frictions in nations like Germany, where they have been picking up the tab for all that time.

One possible alternative is to provide humanitarian and economic aid to less fortunate nations without such close formal ties. For example, the UK has a government department responsible for international development. It has thousands of staff, and now sends over £10B per year in aid funding, mostly to nations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This makes the UK the #2 provider of official development aid (after the US) in absolute terms, and the #5 provider (after Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Denmark) relative to gross national income.

So again, if the UK were no longer part of the EU, this doesn't necessarily mean the UK would no longer support the economic development of the "new Europe" states. A cynic might also point out that unlike the EU, there are also actual accounts showing where the money for UK overseas aid is really going and robust mechanisms for reporting and shutting down fraudulent claimants.

For the near future, this kind of arrangement might be more beneficial to the nations receiving the aid and impose a lower risk on the nations giving it, without the mechanics of shared currencies and the like clouding the issue. So again, looking at the big picture, I don't see much of an argument for the UK becoming more tightly integrated with the EU and in particular joining the Eurozone given the current economic disparity among member states.

Comment: Re:That's recklessly endangering America! (Score 1) 133

by fyngyrz (#49761711) Attached to: NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate

You are crazy. Here is an example of the democratic process working, yet you desperately have to search for some conspiracy theory to continue your irrational hatred of the USA.

No. It's an example of a republic not working. What history books tend to call "decline and fall" when it's happened in the past. It is what happens when governments completely lose sight of, and concern with, and respect for, the principles that brought them into being.

This is real life, not a Tom Clancy novel.

Oh, we know. In Clancy's works the US TLAs are the good guys. That's not been the case for decades now.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 360

This only works as long as everybody is equal.

Precisely. And since, in terms of economic strength, everybody in the expanded EU most certainly isn't equal (please note that this is not intended as any sort of insult, merely a statement of fact) the free movement principle does not work well.

In particular, what has really happened in certain cases, for example with Poland and England, is that most of the movement has been one way. This puts strain on English services, but it's important to recognise that it also means many of the people who would be best placed to help Poland develop its own economy are among the most likely to find working in richer European countries more attractive and/or lucrative, creating a "brain drain" effect back home. In the long term, both nations could end up worse off because of the imbalance.

In principle, freedom of movement is a good idea, for both business and pleasure purposes. But on the business side, it does require reasonably balanced parties so the traffic at least roughly cancels out. This was the case in the early days when there were far fewer nations in the shared European machine, but with the expansion to nearly 30 actual or aspiring member states with much more diverse economic conditions, the same logic no longer holds.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 2) 109

by Richard_at_work (#49760309) Attached to: Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit

Because there might have been other things going on behind the scenes that are yet to come to light? Perhaps this filing is just the latest action in a series, most of which happened in private between the parties? Not everyone launches into a lawsuit without trying other redress first - especially if contract cases are likely to be thrown out if lesser mediations have been skipped in the first place.