Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re: things you wouldn't expect to hear from Micros (Score 1) 162

by HiThere (#49149515) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

That's all very nice, but MS is a software company. I'll admit I was thinking of cross-platform development environments, like their announced open source .NET, about which I know little, and I don't really count stuff they sell as end products. I will acknowledge that this is bias on my part.

OTOH, ... you actually use those things on a tablet? As other than file viewers? (You didn't say you did, so perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.)

That said, if I'd been thinking of consumer end-products I'd never have made that statement. MSOffice for Apple has been out for ages...and MSWord 5.2a for the Mac was the best word processor I've ever used. Far superior to any later versions, and it fixed a lot of bugs from the previous versions. These days it wouldn't be so good as, of course, it didn't handle unicode, but that's still the only improvement that I know about.

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 506

by HiThere (#49149385) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

While I agree that there's no good evidence that Jesus, per se, existed, there's some evidence that a person somewhat similar existed several decades before the time Jesus is supposed to have lived. Or at least someone who promulgated the doctrines that Jesus is reported to have promulgated. (Ignoring those of his disciples that diverge from the "red letter" text.)

It's been awhile since I looked at this so I can't be closer than "several decades", but it was somewhere between about 40 years and about 400 years. (Not a big help, I admit.) I think it was related to the Essenes.

Comment: Re:More of this (Score 5, Informative) 162

by HiThere (#49142217) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

To be fair, at the time MS adopted the CRLF line ending style there were *four* standards, none of them dominant:
CR, LF, CRLF, and LFCR (called line carriage return). They picked one existing standard, and Unix was already using another. The supporters of the other standards have died off, so there are only two standards left.

So don't blame MS for all the bad decisions. Only some of them. I still wouldn't want to use their software, though. Perhaps if they live up to their current "We love FOSS" line for a decade or so I'll change my mind, but currently it just feels like their latest lie.

Comment: Re:Kinda stupid since (Score 1) 506

by HiThere (#49141997) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Well....... if you'd said the point of human group organiztions is power, I'd agree with you, and as religions are human group organizations, that applies to them, but not any more to them than to the girl scouts or "Citizen's committee to suppor the libraries". The big ones are a bit more successful, of course...

The real questions are "How much effort do they put into accomplishing their ostensible purpose relative to the amount of power they have?" and "Are they a net benefit to humanity?" I wouldn't trust any member of an organization to honestly answer that about the organization he was a member of. Or even to realize that they were being dishonest.

Comment: Re:As a Developer of Heuristic AI ... (Score 1) 506

by HiThere (#49141863) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Any self-aware AI will be dependent on a large number of heuristic modules. I'm not sure what you mean by "the classic self-aware AI", but if it's a well specified concept then it didn't work out.

OTOH, you should be aware that *YOU* are dependent on a large number of heuristic modules. You use them to talk, to listen, to walk across the room, etc.

Comment: Re: One thing for sure (Score 1) 506

by HiThere (#49141707) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

I think it's that the religious rites involved things a lot more powerful than wine. (Mushrooms are frequently mentioned.) So I expect there may well have been a lot more direct religious experience. After all, if it weren't something the brain was capable of, nobody would experince it, so the potential is there. Also many "ecstatic saints" appear to have had some form of epilepsy (it comes in lots of forms).

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 506

by HiThere (#49141649) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

FWIW, that (and also Galileo) were more about politics than about religion. And I've got suspicions that the Inquisition was more about economics than about religion. But, and this is central, religion ENDORSED those abuses.

(That said, Galileo, at least, was quite abusive towards the pope, and there was no first amendment protection.)

Comment: Re:Inquisition (Score 1) 380

by HiThere (#49141485) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics

Well, clearly *SOME* hidden funding has been revealed, as mentioned even in the summary. Possibly not by that enquiry, but perhaps they just didn't look very closely.

OTOH, I *do* think that the sources for funding for *all* those who testify before congress should be revealed. And for any other favors or promissed favors also. There's nothing wrong with taking money from somebody who agrees with your findings, but there is wrong in hiding that you did so if they are used as a guide for public policy (or even the policy of some private group that isn't the one paying you).

Comment: Re:Oh? (Score 1) 135

by HiThere (#49141389) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

Well, one guess is that it could have formed *during* the big bang, and been force-fed at high pressure for a bit. (I'm no cosmologist, in case you couldn't tell, but I *did* warn you it was a guess.) External pressure could do wonders at increasing the rate of feed, and since it would thus grow more rapidly than expected, it would then feed more rapidly than expected when the external pressure was relieved.

Or possibly there was a universe here *before* the big bang, and the nucleus of that black hole predated the big bang.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe