Forgot your password?

Comment: Resurrection (Score 3, Funny) 70

I see the plot of a new Micheal Bay (or maybe J.J. Abrams) movie: The US military, unable to get qualified recruits to fight the new Zombie wars, takes a cue from the Zombie playbook and develops the technology to bring life old soldiers. After a bit of a difficult start, the program exceeds all expectations until the previously dead soldiers revolt at being put back in the grave and bring Washington to it's knees by filing for Social Security benefits.

Comment: Re:Who do they think they are? (Score 1) 85

by ultranova (#47425593) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

All countries conduct espionage to the extent that they prioritize their capabilities, and against targets where they perceive threats and/or opportunities.

All countries keep an eye on their neighbours, just like all people keep a general awareness of their surroundings. All countries don't tap the phones of their neighbours's leaders, or install malware on equipment sold to them, or even spies over. Morals aside, taking hostile action tends to backfire, as the US is learning. Reputation is a resource, and it's stupid to waste it.

The problem with Machtpolitik is that even if you win a few rounds, you can't stop playing without giving away all your ill-gotten gains, and sooner or later you lose. And when you do, you don't get back what you've lost, even if you quit. And sometimes the house wins and everyone loses big time. And the Devil's the dealer.

The US is a good case study: the country is hopelessly in debt and the infrastructure is crumbling, yet it's going to be spending $ 1 trillion for a new fighter. It's madness, but that's the price US pays for the way it fought the Cold War. Ruthlessness doesn't go away and leave you alone just because whatever enemy you conjured it up to win has. That's why it's foolish to ignore morality, even in international politics - especially in international politics, since there's no nice constable to run to if you manage to get in over your head.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 1) 258

by nine-times (#47424239) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

I think more to the point, at least as far as I understood it, the Turing test was not meant to be a real test for whether an AI was actually intelligent.

The point of the test was essentially this: If a machine becomes able to imitate intelligence well enough that we can't tell the difference, then we may as well treat it as actual intelligence. As much anything, Turing was making a philosophical point from a pragmatic point of view. It doesn't make sense to ask whether a machine is "actually intelligent", but only whether it's capable of behaving as though it has intelligence.

So it's not really about fooling a certain specific percentage of people, or having the test go on for a specific point of time. Those are just issues of how you might hypothetically conduct an actual test, but what you're testing for is whether the effects of the machine "intelligence" have reached a level of being indistinguishable from human intelligence.

So really, the point was to have something like a "blind taste test". You say you can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, but if I pour Coke and Pepsi into identically glasses, can you tell the difference? If not, then maybe you shouldn't express a preference. Similarly, if I can put a series of questions to a person and a computer, and no matter what questions I ask, I can't tell the human's responses from the computer's responses, then maybe we shouldn't think that the computer is less intelligent than the human.

Comment: Re:Australian Wheel Patent (Score 1) 35

On closer inspection the Australian patent that was granted is less absurd than it seems, as it was more of a quasi-patent:

Innovation patents last for a maximum of 8 years, whereas standard patents last for maximum of 20 years

... which is why the article quote "I discovered today that the Australian patent office has — quietly — revoked the patent it granted, in the year 2001, for the wheel" is even more absurd. It expired in 2009. This was "revoked" in the same way that the moldy cheese in the back of your fridge with a best-by date in January has been "quietly revoked".

+ - Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped A Politician's Son

Submitted by Rei
Rei (128717) writes "As was previously reported here, the Russian government has accused the US Secret Service of kidnapping the son of ultranationalist LDPR MP Valery Seleznev in the Maldives. The son, Roman Seleznev, stands accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations, with others charged in the affair having already been convicted; however, Roman had until recently been considered out of reach in Russia. Now the Maldives has struck back against these claims, insisting that they arrested him on an Interpol Red Notice and transferred him to the US, as they are legally required as an Interpol member state to do. “No outsider came here to conduct an operation,” president Abdulla Yameen stated. “No officials from another country can come here to arrest anyone. The government has the necessary documentation to prove it.”"

Comment: Re:Is "tyrant" now the opposite of "activist"? (Score 1) 290

by jandersen (#47423207) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

A judge should be free to question a law, yes.

AFAIK, a judge is still allowed to state his political opinion as a private person. However, the job of a judge is to judge according to the law, full stop. The probing and questioning of legislation is the job of Parliament, not least the House of Lords, as well as common citizens. This is how society is intended to work - separation of powers and all that - which is why judges and police are not allowed to ignore the law (or make up the rules as they go along).

If you, as a citizen, feel that a law is wrong, it is your right, and IMO your duty, to come out and say so in public, and even to campaign for a change; this is probably the main purpose of your freedom of speech: to allow you to express your political opinions, so that legislations does not move too far away from what people think is just and fair.

+ - IBM to invest $3 Billion for Semiconductor Research->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A few decades ago the news of IBM investing billions in research did not even raise an eyelid, because that was what IBM did, and what IBM was good at

However, IBM has changed so much that nowadays when IBM wanting to invest $ 3 Billion in semiconductor research it hits the news headlines everywhere, from Bloomberg ( ) to WSJ ( ) to CNET ( )

Is what happening to IBM a reflection of what is happening to the American technological front ?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I live in Montana. I'm looking forward to it. (Score 1) 336

by jandersen (#47423073) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Well said :-)

Of course, the problem we have now is not whether we can avoid climate change - we can't - but whether we can avoid running completely off the tracks. Even if we were to stop burning fossil fuel right now, we are still looking at continued climate change for a least a couple of centuries, and the best we can do is to try to limit the damage. We can adapt to the changes that are already unavoidable, but we would be very hard hit if whole ecosystems were severely disturbed all over the world.

But I really don't understand the hysterical denialism; to me it looks like there are massive opportunities - when there are big changes afoot, there are always more opportunities, if you are clever enough. Isn't that what being American is all about?

Comment: Re: (Score 2) 365

by Rei (#47423005) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

He said ice sheet. So we're supposed to ignore what he actually said and assume he meant something completely different? Um, no.

"I am not well read in this department" - wait a minute, you can give exact cites for research papers on sea ice, but don't even have a *general* conception of what percentage of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining versus what is losing? Something tells me you're just grabbing cites you've never even read from denier websites.

Let me help you out with ice sheet. Pretty much all of the East Antarctic ice sheet is gaining, while pretty much the only area losing is the Antarctic peninsula and surrounding areas in West Antarctica. Now, they're losing *mass* a lot faster per unit area than the east is gaining mass, but in terms of area, the overwhelming majority of Antarctica is gaining ice. Because it almost never gets above freezing there, even in a warming world.

The 2010 paper was evaluating the failed CMIP5 predictions

If you'd actually read the paper, which you clearly haven't, you'd know that they themselves did the CMIP5 runs, it's not CMIP5 runs that had been done earlier. Do you even have a clue what CMIP5 stands for? Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. As in, "there were four freaking phases that came before this one". CMIP5 is comprised of all of the latest models from all over the world. They didn't even start planning CMIP5 unitl September 2008. Your notion that this is some sort of review of old climate predictions just shows how terrible your understanding is of what you're talking about and how you don't actually read the papers that you cite, that you're just simply grabbing them from whatever denialist trash websites you read.

Comment: Re: (Score 1) 365

by Rei (#47422677) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

First, that's a paper from 2010. How was a paper from 2010 supposed to be "predicting" anything about what scientists in the past thought?

Secondly, and more importantly, I had been responding to Archangel Michael, who was talking about the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet, not Antarctic sea ice. So your link about pack ice is totally irrelevant.

But hey, let's switch topics totally and talk about sea ice, since you seem to want to. Here's how the IPCC sums up all papers on the modelling of antarctic sea ice, including this one:

Whereas sea ice extent in the Arctic has decreased, sea ice extent in the Antarctic has very likely increased. Sea ice extent across the Southern Hemisphere over the year as a whole increased by 1.3– 1.67% per decade from 1979–2012 with the largest increase in the Ross Sea during the autumn, while sea ice extent decreased in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Sea. The observed upward trend in Antarctic sea ice extent is found to be inconsistent with internal variability based on the residuals from a linear trend fitted to the observations, though this approach could underestimate multi-decadal variability. The CMIP5 simulations on average simulate a decrease in Antarctic sea ice extent , though Turner et al. (2013) find that approximately 10% of CMIP5 simulations exhibit an increasing trend in Antarctic sea ice extent larger than observed over the 1979-2005 period. However, Antarctic sea ice extent variability appears on average to be too large in the CMIP5 models . Overall, the shortness of the observed record and differences in simulated and observed variability preclude an assessment of whether or not the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent is inconsistent with internal variability. Based on Figure 10.16b and (Meehl et al., 2007b), the trend of Antarctic sea ice loss in simulations due to changes in forcing is weak (relative to the Arctic) and the internal variability is high, and thus the time necessary for detection is longer than in the Arctic.

Weak trend, short observed record, and high internal variability in the simulations. Which shouldn't be surprising, sea ice is a lot harder to model than ice sheet thickness, which really only has three main parameters - snowfall, melt/sublimation, and outflow, and the short observed record is due to how few people historically have navigated antarctic waters vs. arctic.

But again, to reiterate the primary point: the conversation you jumped into was about ice sheet thickness, not sea ice.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 1) 101

by ultranova (#47422463) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

You seem to think that double entry bookkeeping doesn't require extra work (significant increase in costs),

No, it doesn't. Entering the numbers into a cell in Excel spreadsheet or to the field of a bookkeeping software require the exact same amount of work.

Also, this is plutonium. It sits in storage and gets moved around only occasionally. And when it does, accounting is the least of the expenses - or do you simply send it in mail?

that it wouldn't reduce usability (far more difficult to produce reports on wider issues),

This is a thoroughly bizarre statement. How is a software specifically designed to handle this type of task less usable than a generic spreadsheet? What "wider issues" does it keep you from reporting?

or that it would make system immune to human errors.

No system is immune to mistakes, but some are inherently more resistant than others.

You are incorrect on all accounts.

And you are making such bizarre statements I doubt you know what double-entry bookkeeping means.

Comment: Re:Forcing some of the costs on others (Score 1) 290

by dbIII (#47422403) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere
Personally I think it's like the Sea Sprite (and tank with too short a range to be useful to Australia, and torpedoes that are not made any more and don't fit) rushed deal all over again. A new and naive bunch that see US representatives as rock stars are swallowing whatever deal is shoved down their throats without listening to their own experts.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS