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Comment: Now you see them, now you don't (Score 2) 191

by DumbSwede (#48263225) Attached to: YouTube Considering an Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

Umm, more power to them I guess. So for money I get to skip the adds, or I don’t have to see them at all? Seems unclear. Most of what my wife watches only requires a 5 second wait before allowing a skip. I expect that wait will skyrocket if subscription fees don’t bring in what marketing thinks they should.

From TFA:

She did say YouTube would continue to offer the option of music videos with ads for those who don’t want to pay.

Seems to suggest other previously commerical supported feeds might no longer be available to non subscribers.

All and all sounds like a bumpy road ahead.

Comment: He's dead Jim (Score 2) 237

by DumbSwede (#48263025) Attached to: Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

The vast majority of coverage on CurrentC is negative – now this. It will be interesting to see how long they keep this thing on life support before pulling the plug. Anything after this would seem like good money after bad.

Everybody in the tech community was already worried about direct access to bank accounts and no fraud protection. How will the consortium behind CurrentC answer the already swirling security concerns when this happens so quickly after members give Apple Pay (and it's biometric locks) the boot?

Comment: Half Hope The Park Still Gets Built (Score 0) 399

by DumbSwede (#48255533) Attached to: Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

While such efforts might garner a few more Young-Earth creation believers, the inevitable silliness of it all seems like it might push more people away from religion in general.

Also seems to show every major religious organization tends to be discriminatory – not just rabid dogs like ISIS. This if why organized religion must be confronted, given a chance only right thinking people will be allowed jobs if they had their way. Coercion is fine if it’s in God’s name you know.

Comment: I'm I smart? I guess I'll never know. (Score 1) 287

by DumbSwede (#48255175) Attached to: We Are All Confident Idiots

When I was a child I use to fret to myself if I was stupid would I be smart enough to know I was stupid. At the age of 56 this thought still comes back to me, but now as when my mental decline starts will I realize it?

One can get into a loop thinking about these things, as the converse is that people that worry they don’t measure up, typically more than measure up. So if I think I’m below average does that make me about average, then the second I think I might be above average, boom I might be below average again :-)

Actually I do think I’m above average in many area’s as evidenced by various testing measures, but I probably over estimate my knowledge in non-technical areas, just as the study suggests. That said I typically stand back aghast at today’s Republican conservatives – I may be wrong, but in general they seem mean and – yes I’ll say it – bigoted. Of course that could just be Dunning-Kruger blinding me to the brilliance of the current Republican vision.

Comment: Re:Profit Robbing Fees, is this a Fox News HL? (Score 1) 627

by DumbSwede (#48252931) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

I believe the credit card companies pay the fee which is a very small percent of what they charge the merchant. Unless the credit card company raises its rate to the merchant there is no difference to the merchant -- if they do raise rates it will be on all credit card transactions, not just Apple Play. The ultimate move here is to get rid of Credit Cards as well under the smoke screen of battling Apple, sans the protections credit cards offer.

Comment: Profit Robbing Fees, is this a Fox News HL? (Score 4, Interesting) 627

by DumbSwede (#48252525) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Robbing? Really? Merchants don’t have to accept credit card transaction and Apple Pay cost them no more than a regular credit card transaction.

This is the only article of many of which I have read that didn’t think CurrentC was dead on arrival – before arrival actually, as it won’t arrive until next year. It will save the consumer no money per transaction, take more steps, is far less secure and has virtually no liability protections.

Credit Card companies have spent decades creating ways to discover and discourage credit card cheats. This system dispenses with all that – Caveat Emptor I guess.

Merchants expect no blowback when consumers discover this all about dodging credit card fees, avoiding liability and invading privacy to track an individual’s every purchase for marketing purposes?

Comment: How about roads that assist? (Score 1) 316

by DumbSwede (#48241965) Attached to: What Will It Take To Make Automated Vehicles Legal In the US?

We probably could have automated Highways since the late 70’s. In the 50’s engineers imagined all the brains and machinery for automating Highways in the highways – and would have been incredibly expensive. Now we want to put all the brains and sensors in the car, again (at least for now) incredibly expensive. There must be a sweet spot of compromise for 90% of driving situations that requires only modest changes to our transportation infrastructure and doesn’t require the cars to be capable of handling every conceivable scenario most humans can. Build a series of automation friendly/automation assist sensors, transponders into some long haul stretches of our nations transportation infrastructure and it would probably lead to a snowball effect of getting enough earlier adopters of automated assisted driving that improvements would come even more quickly in cars and roads leading to a truly autonomous era.

Comment: We had a good run (Score 1) 581

by DumbSwede (#48241507) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

I believe the singularity is coming, it could be 10 years, it could be 30 years, it could 300 years – but come it will. There are too many incentives to create strong AI to ever stave off its inevitable arrival. What would be the point of a holding action then? To give humanity another 100 years or so? We may all be giving up a chance at immortality and transcendence. What is so specially about this mode of human existence that we should squelch the emergence of truly higher beings? We may all die horribly, or we may all live forever. Like a Greek tragedy, trying to fight the foretold future might be what leads to our downfall.

Comment: These are not the Males you seek. (Score 1) 599

by DumbSwede (#48241097) Attached to: Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

I have a great many thoughts on this topic as I have a 10 year old daughter who I am trying to rear with a love a learning and desire to get into the STEM fields academically. She has great math skills and won this year’s round of math-Olympics at her school. That said, she probably wouldn’t excel at math if her mom and I didn’t push and insist at doing well in math. She hated dad trying to introduce her to programming and HTML, but when she was exposed to a summer camp of HTML (semi against her will) and discovered she could use it to create her own webpages and blogs she suddenly became quite enthusiastic about using at home. Similarly I suggested she might like Minecraft as it was a creative form of game playing and she demurred, citing specific geeky boys that were into Minecraft. About a month later a teacher she likes suggested she was so smart and curious she should try Minecraft. Nothing would do but I download Minecraft that evening and now she plays Minecraft.

Now comes my Ah-ha moment, the reason women are not in our field is not about them, but about us. Not in the typical harassment fashion which one hears about anecdotally, and which is I believe is overstated at best – but because we geeky guys are not perceived as attractive socially. Rightly or wrongly we are not perceived of has having brawn or power.

Women flock to lots of careers that have tons more harassment than the typical IT house will have. Lets face it, other than a few awkwardly made, bad taste jokes, our ranks can be quite milquetoast. I for one cannot conceive of myself or any of my coworkers pulling a female coworker into a side-office to grope her, and yet in many institutes of politics and money this seems to come to light quite often.

I’m not saying women want to be harassed, far from it, but they are attracted to Alpha male types and the careers they have. We my comrades (the male programmers out there) are the Betas, and women know the power flows not from us. That said, many a considerate, intelligent, and even attractive women can be found that knows we are the best bet for building a family and future, even if they are not programmers like ourselves.

Comment: Both yes, but as Fusion-Fission hybrid (Score 4, Interesting) 218

by DumbSwede (#48172019) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly
What is really needed is a fusion/fission hybrid, which has been theorized for decades, but somehow never makes it past initial design phases. Gives a bridge to pure fusion, burns nuclear waste and/or thorium. Far fewer unknowns and engineering problems to overcome than pure fusion. What’s not to love?

Comment: Why is Watson needed for this? (Score 1) 46

by DumbSwede (#46534777) Attached to: IBM's Watson To Be Used For Cancer Treatment
While I applaud the goal, I don’t see why a machine optimized to understand general language queries is the best platform for this application. What Watson did to win at Jeopardy doesn’t seem to have that much of a connection to decoding which genome sequences affect protein pathways and affect cancer progression. Granted both require a lot of brute force searching, but not all search algorithms are equal. Watson was good at searching general language – surely there are better search algorithms for this search space and better machines on which to run them.

Comment: Doubtful (Score 4, Interesting) 160

by DumbSwede (#46280537) Attached to: Does Crime Leave a Genetic Trace?
I will go on the record predicting this research will widely be discredited within the next 5 years. I’m not saying there is no epigenome, but why would it work in an apparent anti-Lemarkin fashion, let alone anti-Darwinian? The implication is that nobody gets bad-genes, just that genes get shunted aside for multiple generations due to changes in the epigenome.

I think there is some huge motivation on the part of the research here to explain why certain segments of the population remain in a loop of poverty and violence. I think social factors can adequately explain the problems we see. Perhaps there is a genetic component as well to why some groups do better than others, but research of that kind routinely gets the authors in trouble. Here we can have a quasi -genetic predisposition explanation that does away with the shame of having bad genes and suggests that it is society’s fault for not preventing the stressors in earlier generations that lead current generations to underperform.

What is a little strange is the implication that the changes to the epigenome stay permanently, of course only if they are negative changes.

Comment: We do -- and don't -- live in a simulation (Score 1) 745

by DumbSwede (#46262487) Attached to: Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?
I had over a period of years formulated my own idea about the nature of the universe largely inspired by Conway's Game of Life simulation. There was speculation that if the space for a Game of Life was large enough and evolved enough, the cellular automata could evolve into true life or intelligent life in their own celluar atomation universe. At some point I had the thought that the the automana didn't need the computer to exist. The mathematical definitions that defined their potential existence gave them a real existence whether we ran the simulation or not on some giant computer. The simulation was like recreating something that already exists. If we assume an infinite number of universes exist as quantum mechanics seems to suggest, then we are just experiencing one branch of a solution, one parametric path, of an immense equation with near infinite or truly infinite independent variables.

Our universe and our existence would be the same. Nothing need exist except the rules of math. You don't ask what comes below the bottom of a parabola, the same with our universe. The start is just where the rules start from a singularity. There is nothing before it because time is just a parameter that has no meaning before the singularity. Just has -1 y means nothing to the parabola y = x^2. The start of the parabola universe is at x=0 and there is nothing before it. However the Parabola Universe is not complex enough to contain sentient creatures such as ourselves. But there are infinitely more definable universe all with real existence in a sense, but then again only those complex enough to contain thinking creatures might be called/perceived as real. Given the infinite universes that then exist, there would indeed be some running simulations that create simulations of our universe, but our existence doesn't depend on those simulations being run, it merely gives those universes a window into ours.

I had started on a few occasion to put pen to paper to write these ideas down, but it appears I was beaten to the punch by Max Tegmark and his Mathematical universe hypothesis

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350