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Comment: Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 386

> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.

What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!

> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.

Nature did it. We can do it.

> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".

This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.

> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs ...

Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.

Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.

Comment: It's more than that (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by Phroggy (#48231853) Attached to: The Problem With Positive Thinking

Positive people are dangerous. Because they assume everything is going to be fine, they fail to plan for things to go wrong, and then after you're stuck cleaning up the mess they caused, they sweep it all under the rug and act like everything went smoothly - so not only do you get no recognition for your heroic efforts to fix everything, but they're fully confident in their ability to handle the next situation just as well as the last.

But nobody wants to listen to the pessimists, because they're so negative.

Comment: UNIX certification (Score 1, Offtopic) 13

by Phroggy (#48217587) Attached to: SMART Begins Live Public Robocar Tests In Singapore

The article makes a big deal of Mac OS X's UNIX certification. Although it didn't hurt, the certification really had nothing to do with the rise in popularity of the Mac. Using open source code certainly allowed Apple to take advantage of (and then build upon) the cool stuff we've enjoyed on Linux for years, but what broke Microsoft's stranglehold on the consumer mindset was really the iPod, and later the iPhone. That's what made people think that buying a Mac might be a viable alternative to Windows. Of course once they made the switch, users were able to see that the technology really works, but without the iPod, most people would never have considered the Mac as an option.

There were other factors at work too:

  • Poor support for Vista when it launched made people desperate for an alternative
  • The rising popularity of Firefox made web developers stop building sites that only worked in IE on Windows

Comment: Re:Janitors and landscapers next? (Score 1) 134

by Phroggy (#48080229) Attached to: Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

Not sure, but I think Google does hire its chefs directly. I thought I saw a job posting for one once on Google's careers website, but I could be wrong.

I once met a guy (at OSCON) who said he was on the hiring committee for Google's chefs. I certainly got the impression they are employees.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 2) 197

by NanoGator (#48030483) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Thank you! You've given me reason to sit up and pay attention when 3 rolls around, I appreciate that.

I would recommend against showing the more diehard Photoshop fans that link, though. It won't get you anywhere because what it really needs to be is a list like this:

- GIMP has a plugin/feature for automatically generating normal maps from elevation data.

- GIMP has a perspective correction feature that is superior to Photoshops in that it...

- GIMP's 'save all layers' button saves all of the layers in your file into seperate files.

.. or something like that. In the list you gave me, points 1 through 4, and 7, are irrelevant if somebody already has Photoshop. Given its de-facto marketshare, that is likely.

5 is horribly overrated. Lots of artists can script, but few (if any) can make actual plugins or modify the source code. (Even if they do dig in to the code how do they maintain those features when a new version of GIMP comes along?) I do want to mention, though, that there's another reply to my original post that seems to have covered the scripting point. I haven't checked it out yet but given that scripting is something I do, I'm certainly interested in trying that out.

6 needs an extra line, something like: "its better than Photoshop's Batch feature because...."

10... actually this is a really good one. In fact, just before this thread started, I went and found the portable version and downloaded in. Why? Welp, if the scripting that Culture20 posted a link to turns out to be worthwhile for me, coupling that with a portable version of GIMP is *awesome*. What that means is I will be able to automate certain tasks AND keep a fresh install on my DropBox account so I can even use it off-site. This is 1 out of 9.5 (I gave partial credit to the source-code bit) and, as you can already see from other replies you've gotten, most are refutable.

I'm a little worried you might read my post and think that I'm trying to perpetuate the GIMP vs. Photoshop debate. I'm not, instead I'm trying to explain what needs to happen explanation-wise to get more Photoshop people to try GIMP out. I think there's this mentality that people should switch to GIMP and that's simply not true. If you got the professional Photoshop users to start using GIMP for certain tasks, you may find that some studios may find it worth their time to invest some development time into improving it. Given how Adobe has been dicking around with the licensing, this would be a good time to get that ball rolling. Start touting the unique features it has that shave man-hours off a project. If those features don't exist, then the team needs to start talking to people like me and finding out what else they need.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by NanoGator (#48029179) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Care to run off a list of ways that "GIMP doesn't come close"? If it's really so bad, it shouldn't be that difficult to name at least a dozen or so... In actuality, I expect that enumerating the shortcomings of GIMP will not be in quantity, but in terms of a relatively small number of particularly desirable features that many may perceive as critically important in such software.

Hi, professional artist here. Your latter point, at least from my perspective, is correct. I know Photoshop really well, but since I make my living doing this work I am not biased in a way that'd prevent me from using a free tool. Let me be extra clear: It would hurt me to be fanboyishly loyal to be any particular app. I do pick up and mess with GIMP from time to time, but it has two critical omissions from Photoshop that make it unusable in my field. First, it lacks adjustment layers. Second, it lacks Smart Objects.

These are both features intended to do non-destructive editing of imagery. Let's say you have a tree with green leaves. You can create a Hue/Saturation 'adjustment layer' that will turn all the green pixels beneath it blue. If you put a picture of a different tree below that layer, its leaves would turn blue, too. If you took that tree and made it a 'smart object', you'd effectively be snapshotting that image and every operation you do causes it to regenerate itself. In other words, if you shrank a Smart Object down, then scaled it back up again, you'd get all its original detail back.

If you're creating imagery it doesn't take long for these two features to change your workflow in such a way that you gain a HUGE time savings. In fact I have created several templates to speed up the generation of images I do that I just plain cannot do in GIMP. Realistically speaking that is enough man-hours lost that I'd actually make a greater profit paying for Photoshop than I would saving the cost of the license in favor of GIMP.

With that said, I'd be *very* happy if you told me that version 3 would add these features. I'd also be very happy if somebody could tell me what GIMP does that Photoshop doesn't. It's free. if it shaves man-hours off my work, then load me up with the tips. I ain't gonna switch, but I ain't above using both.

Microsoft

Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-the-grade dept.
snydeq writes The future emerging for Microsoft under Nadella is a mixed bag of hope and turmoil, writes Woody Leonhard in his review of Nadella's first fix months at the helm of Microsoft. "When Nadella took over, Microsoft was mired in the aftermath of a lengthy and ultimately unpopular reign by longtime CEO — and Microsoft majority shareholder — Steve Ballmer. Given the constraint of that checkered past, some might argue that Nadella hasn't had enough time to make his imprint on every aspect of Microsoft. Yet there have been many changes already under Nadella's watch, and patterns are certainly emerging as to the kind of company Microsoft will be in the years ahead." Leadership, product lines, financials — Nadella's scorecard shows strong strategic leadership, particularly around the cloud, but Windows and devices are murky at best, with Microsoft employees "taking it in the shorts, and not only in Finland."

Comment: Re:same as vote by mail (Score 1) 190

by Phroggy (#47587707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

What bullshit. That lady was high and basically doodling if your read the follow ups. It was not some high level fraud perpetrated on the masses by the Illuminati.

I live in Clackamas County. She wasn't doodling, she was tampering. On ballots where the voter had not voted for any candidate, this woman marked the ballot for the Republican candidate. She acted alone, she didn't affect the outcome of anything, and she was caught. However, she should never have had an opportunity to tamper with the ballots, so while this was not a high level fraud, there was some high level incompetence going on.

Somebody screwed up and should at a minimum be fired for allowing this to happen, but even with an incident like this, vote by mail is still completely awesome. There are enough checks in place that even when people working at the elections office try to tamper with ballots, they're still not able to affect the outcome of the election. This incident is NOT just one more example of a widespread problem; this incident is the ONLY example of a problem with the system that I've heard of (although I admit there may have been other minor incidents of which I remain blissfully ignorant). Basically, voter fraud in Oregon just doesn't happen.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 225

by Phroggy (#47520429) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

"Highly skilled" does not necessarily mean "highly in demand". Given that there are highly skilled Americans that can't find work, yes I will argue they're bad for America.

This hasn't been my experience. It's hard to find qualified people - they've all got decent jobs already. It's the unskilled workers that are struggling with unemployment (and underemployment).

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears

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