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Comment: Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 337

> 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.


The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots 337

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-destroy-all-the-remaining-copies-of-Battlebots dept.
Jason Koebler writes: If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won't look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It's likely they won't be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way. Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper "Alien Minds," written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think.

Comment: Re:Quite possibly the stupidest vulnerability ever (Score 1) 116

by dissy (#48629893) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

"Oh no, Linux includes a "wheel" user group by default that grants superuser privileges to users in it! And someone could possibly add themselves to that group and gain root access!"

Or put another way:
"Oh no, Windows includes an "Administrators" group by default that grants superuser privileges to users in it! And an existing administrator could possibly add themselves to that group and gain administrator access!"

Agreed, stupidest vulnerability ever.

Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 173

by AJWM (#48589013) Attached to: 3D Printer?

The "hot glue gun" is just a tiny part, namely the extruder hot end. Add to that a precision (computer-controlled) feed mechanism for the "glue", temperature regulation to work optimally with different feed rates and "glue" types, and a precision, high-speed, XYZ positioning mechanism for that "glue gun" (and optionally, additional "glue guns" so you can switch materials in mid print), together with a computer and firmware to drive all, and you're approaching what even the lowest-end consumer 3D printer does.

"Glorified"? Yes, and it is glorious. Perfect? Of course not, not any more than a cheap consumer Epson or Brother printer is compared to an Espresso Book Machine.

Comment: Re:Missing option: CNC Router (Score 1) 173

by AJWM (#48588943) Attached to: 3D Printer?

If your southern California car dashboard is hitting the 200+ Celsius temperatures needed to melt typical printer filament materials, I'd say you probably have worse things to worry about.

But sure, for some things you need material properties that just don't work well with fused filament deposition.

Comment: Re:subtractive technology (Score 2) 173

by AJWM (#48588919) Attached to: 3D Printer?

The PLA (polylactic acid) filament used in many printers is actually made from cornstarch, not petrochemicals. It prints at a slightly lower temperature and doesn't need a heated bed the way ABS* does.

Of course you could probably make a case about the amount of petrochemicals (fuel, fertilizer, pesticide) typically used in growing the corn in the first place.

*And some of the more exotic (for now) filaments like polycarbonate or nylon, which require even higher temperatures.

Comment: The real geek gift guide (Score 1) 113

by Powercntrl (#48588307) Attached to: 2014 Geek Gift Guide

For most people, gift buying breaks down into three categories:

1. People you're willing to splurge for. Close family, offspring, significant other, etc. Since these are the people you interact with the most, not being clued in to what they wanted for a gift is an epic fail. No gift guide is going to help you here.

2. Good friends, extended family. These people are the reason gift cards were invented. Sure, some people may argue that it's not personal enough, but screw that. Everybody loves a free meal at a restaurant or a few free app downloads.

3. Cow-orkers, that guy you added on Facebook and can't remember why, your kid's teachers and anyone else you're giving gifts to as a matter of obligatory holiday procedure. These people get shit from the bargain bins at your local drug store (while you're there buying gift cards).

You could also always change your faith to one that doesn't celebrate holidays involving gift giving. That's probably cheaper, too.

Comment: Re:What, what? Something's wrong here. (Score 1) 66

by dissy (#48586289) Attached to: Possible Dark Matter Signal Spotted

It's a goddamned wonder that half the posters here don't have Nobel prizes in their back pockets.

Well I did just happen to come by one of those at a recent auction.

While my original thought was to have a bronze statue of myself constructed to display it I suppose I can keep it in a back pocket instead, though it might present an obstacle being in such close proximity to where I usually pull my slashdot posts from...

Comment: Re:its not as if american cops have anything to fe (Score 1) 515

by dissy (#48582379) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

How about you keep your opinion to yourself until you stop being a hypocrite about it.

You are currently at this very second resisting arrest. If you feel so strongly that fact should mean you must die, then you have to put your money where your mouth is and actually die before your viewpoint will even be considered. Anything less means your actions show you don't at all believe what you said, so why should we?

So are your actions going to follow your words and you kill yourself?
Or are your actions going to be hypocritical and the exact opposite of your words, and you post a reply instead?

Comment: Re:Like hell I'd allow an iPhone on my network (Score 2) 53

by dissy (#48576243) Attached to: Apple, IBM Partnership Yields First Results: 10 Mobile Apps

I've been using Meraki MDM for a bit over a year now for managing my own devices, and have been quite pleased so far.

Sadly about a year back Cisco acquired them so there have been some changes in pricing and scope, but the free standard version is still available even if slightly hidden (most 'try now' links go to the enterprise signup page)
It now manages Cisco APs, Cisco switches, MDM, and a bit more random stuff.

Their main page is:

MDM specific info is at:

Standard version signup is at:

Note that they now offer two versions, standard and enterprise. Feature wise they are pretty identical except for technical support.
Standard is free for up to 50 devices, then device 51 and after will run you $1/device/month.
I've no idea the pricing details on enterprise, other than the 30 day trial involves them sending you an access point that works with it. I assume even device #1 has a monthly cost.

If you run Spiceworks, their latest major-version provides basic access to MDM for free through IBMs MaaS360.
They have a free version that adamantly doesn't have near enough features, and a paid version that is $3/device/month.
The paid version has all the features of IBMs branded version, but is a little cheaper per device.

If you want free and DIY, check out the "iPhone Configuration Utility" (mac/win versions available from apple) that let you create your own policy files - but you need to get them onto each iPhone "manually".
By manual this can be as easy as an email attachment or wifi-portal webpage download or something.
For devices you purchase and allocate to staff this is usually fine, but BYOD can be a problem without incentives for the user to install the profile themselves.

I used this method at work since I only had two profiles available then.
To get on the wifi network you needed to install our wifi profile, which grants access to the network and then enforces the network policy.
They didn't HAVE to install this policy, but then no wifi access at all.

I have a second profile to setup Cisco VPN client settings for users with VPN access, but my profile is more akin to a .PCF config (shared secret and IP stuff users don't need to worry about) and nothing else, so it just saves some typing for them. Not much arm twisting needed here.
(Download links at the bottom of this wiki, or just use Google)

Sadly all other MDM platforms I evaluated over a year ago either no longer exist or in the 'rather expensive' category.

The list I used at the time for the higher end providers was

I found 2-3 good gems in that list at the time (Meraki and MaaS360/Spiceworks being the best priced then)
Might still be worth a look for you.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie