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Comment: definition of 'open' (Score 1) 54

by lkcl (#49567339) Attached to: Imagination To Release Open MIPS Design To Academia

Microsoft has an "Open License" which allows you to look at Windows NT source code. it's "open", yes? pay them $USD 1m per year, you get an "open" look at the source code of Windows NT. but if you ever dare to use it, talk about it, or do ANYTHING other than *read* it.... they will sue the fuck out of you.

bottom line: can we PLEASE stop using the word "open" in context with these types of stupid, stupid proprietary arrangements? it really isn't helping.

there are plenty of *LIBRE* licensed implementations of MIPS out there: many people have pointed that out (in comments i can see above this one), they're on - there are at least eight MIPS core implementations that i can see, there, possibly the best one (most complete) is this:,m... which has a 5-stage pipeline and a harvard architecture.

so please, stop using the word "open" to refer to proprietary, restricted and patented material.

Comment: Re:Least common denominator (Score 1) 159

by plover (#49563093) Attached to: Has the Native Vs. HTML5 Mobile Debate Changed?

Connectivity is huge, but it's only one of the ingredients in making this decision.

If you want the app to work for them outside of the corporate WiFi, you have to host it on the public internet, where all attackers are equally welcome without regard to skillz or skripts. Are you sure that server is secure? What about tomorrow? Are you patching it? Are your users securing their devices properly? Uh oh, it's the new version of Heartbleed, go back three spaces.

You also have to consider performance. Is this something that your users will use constantly for their jobs, or occasionally for some rare piece of info? If it's going to add one second to every screen, and you're asking people to tap their way through 600 screens a day, the inefficiency is going to cost you 10 minutes worth of payroll per user per day. Maybe you make that up in hardware costs if you force your users to bring their own smartphone to work. Maybe the sluggishness just makes your users miserable throughout the day. Or maybe it simply costs you a lot of money.

On the other side, if it's used perhaps once or twice a day by 2000 people, poor performance and connectivity issues won't be nearly as important as savings on developer costs and time to market, Or if you have only a half dozen heavy users, perhaps you're willing to eat the payroll cost of an hour per day instead of spending them on development.

It's a question best answered by the money.

Comment: Re:But it doesn't work (Score 1) 63

Manning would almost certainly have been caught regardless. All those State Department cables could only have come from someone with access to the entire database. That's a reasonably short list of people, and everyone on it would have been grilled and inspected from head to toe.

His (her) talking about it just made the inevitable happen faster.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 593

by plover (#49562133) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

I'm much more cynical, and I don't think Pepsi is giving in to anyone. I think they're trying to exploit people's fears that "OMG chemicals bad". It's more like they're advertising "We're the only brand that dares to print arsenic-free on our products."

I think the real problem with Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max is that they taste more or less like regular Pepsi. Their advertising slogan may as well be "Pepsi - for when you can't afford actual Coca-Cola."

Comment: Re:Statistics (Score 1) 73

by plover (#49525567) Attached to: Networking Library Bug Breaks HTTPS In ~1,500 iOS Apps

They could maintain a list of third party library versions and identify versions of apps that link with them. But then what? As a user, I might not want Apple to shut off some random app I depend on -- just because they think it might be hackable doesn't mean my device is actually being hacked; and I might really need that app today for some important client presentation.

They could contact impacted developers and request they repair the damage, but what can they do if nobody responds?

Apple focuses on end user experience first. They won't want to inconvenience their users that much.

Comment: Re:280km (Score 1) 189

by JanneM (#49523715) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record

For the Osaka-Tokyo route, the Shinkansen made the difference between an overnight business trip or return the same day. That made it insanely popular. With the new train, you can not just make a set of meetings; you can do a full days work and still get back the same day (even more so for Nagoya of course).

Many people here get stationed at offices in other cities for months or years, and leave their families behind. They effectively do a weekly commute, and come home only on weekends. For a lot of people this would let them get home more often or even stay home and make this a daily commute. Expensive, but on the other hand the company doesn't have to pay for a second short-term apartment and the other costs of two households.

Comment: machine consciousness (Score 1) 197

by lkcl (#49522991) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

the issue that i have with "artificial" intelligence is this: there *is* no such thing as "artificial" - i.e. "fake" or "unreal" intelligence. intelligence just *IS*. no matter the form it takes, if it's "intelligent" then it is pure and absolute arrogance on our part to call it "artificial". the best possible subsitute words that i could come up with were "machine-based" intelligence. the word "simulated" cannot be applied, because, again, if it's intelligent, it just *is* - and, again, to imply that intelligence is "simulated" is, again, a direct falsehood. so we have a bit of a problem, there.

the other problem is this: if those who are creating intelligent machines are themselves of insufficient intelligence to recognise the existence of intelligence, then how on earth would they know that it had actually been created?? it's the "million monkeys" problem in a subtle new light.

but i think people are beginning to confuse "intelligence" with "consciousness". we already have intelligent networks - the next phase is CONSCIOUSNESS. self-awareness. and here we begin to get into interesting territory, not least because we have the very pertinent question "how can scientists who are themselves not truly consciously aware even of themselves possibly begin to *recognise* consciousness when they've created it??"

the problem is highlighted by the example of a friend of mine who refuses to help create machine consciousness. he's a researcher into the concept of consciousness, so he knows what goes into it - how to recognise it, and, by inference, how to make consciousness "happen" so to speak. and when i approached him about helping to make machine consciousness, he said, "sure i can help... but only if you can guarantee that the resultant beings would be in bliss (i.e. happy) rather than being permanently tortured".

and there you have the key, that anything that is self-aware and conscious - anything that has the ability to communicate and feel - *automatically* gains the right to freedom of expression and all the other rights that we *believe* humans - as the arrogant self-appointed "top of the food chain" - should also have... ... and until the arrogant quotes artificial quotes intelligence community recognises that and fights *IN ADVANCE* for the right of machine consciousness to have the same rights as humans, nobody who is a truly conscious and intelligent being is going to help that scientific community to create such advanced conscious beings, because the risks associated with such conscious machines being tortured - just because the scientists think they can - are too great.

Comment: Qualifications (Score 4, Interesting) 672

by srobert (#49510801) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on this. I'm a Professional Engineer in Water Resources in Las Vegas. But, I'm not a Hollywood actor, or famous or anything. Maybe we should just defer to our leaders, like Mr. Shatner, to determine what course of action we should take.

Comment: Intelligence is definitely a burden (Score 1) 385

by tgrigsby (#49505837) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Trust me it is. Have you tried arguing politics with a teabagger lately? They don't know history, the Constitution and its the Amendments, basic U.S. governmental function, basic economics, global politics, science, etc. They rant about their hatreds and fears but are unable to formulate a logical argument based on facts, instead blending in their religious beliefs and right wing sound bites as foundational arguments. It's all magical thinking and ignorance, and it makes being the intelligent one in the room a burden.

Comment: Read "Outliers" (Score 5, Informative) 385

by lkcl (#49500295) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

this is nothing new: i believe the same study was the basis of the famous book "Outliers", which is a fascinating study of what makes people successful. if i recall correctly, it's completely the opposite of what people expect: your genes *do* matter. your attitude *does* matter. your circumstances *do* matter. working hard *does* matter. and luck matters as well. but it's all of these things - luck, genetics, circumstances *and* hard work - that make for the ultimate success story. bill gates is one of the stories described. he had luck and opportunity - by being born at just the right time when personal computing was beginning - and circumstances - by going to one of the very very few schools in the USA that actually had a computer available (for me, that opportunity was when i was 8: i went to one of the very very few secondary schools in the UK that had a computer: a Pet 3032).

so, yeah - it's not a very popular view, particularly in the USA, as it goes against the whole "anyone can make it big" concept. but, put simply, the statistics show that it's a combination of a whole *range* of factors, all of which contribute, that make up success. just "being intelligent" simply is not enough.

Comment: Re:Incentive to Work Harder? (Score 1) 482

by srobert (#49487679) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

The "distorted" view I have of what constitutes a "good economy" is one in which there is widespread prosperity. An "improving economy", to me, doesn't merely mean that the GDP is growing, but rather that people's lives and well-being is improving. The Asian economies that you site as "doing well" are still conducted in places where large numbers of people think of indoor plumbing as a luxury. Is that honestly what you think we should aspire to?

The absent ones are always at fault.