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Debating a Ban On Autonomous Weapons (thebulletin.org) 78

Lasrick writes: A pretty informative debate on banning autonomous weapons has just closed at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The debate looks at an open letter, published In July, 2015, in which researchers in artificial intelligence and robotics (and endorsed by high-profile individuals such as Stephen Hawking) called for 'a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.' The letter echoes arguments made since 2013 by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which views autonomous weapons as 'a fundamental challenge to the protection of civilians and to international human rights and humanitarian law.'

But support for a ban is not unanimous. Some researchers argue that autonomous weapons would commit fewer battlefield atrocities than human beings—and that their development might even be considered morally imperative. The authors in this debate focus on these questions: Would deployed autonomous weapons promote or detract from civilian safety; and is an outright ban the proper response to development of autonomous weapons?

Comment Re: So what should we do? (Score 1) 562

Old Japanese bikes can have weird places for neutral. They can have neutral at the bottom or top of the entire sequence. Really old bikes (before my time) sometimes had multiple neutral positions places in between various gears..

All the bikes I've actually ridden, has been the standard of first is down one, and everything else is up from neutral. I'm not sure when that happened, but surely there is some crazy transmission enthusiast that know the whole history of when it came about.

Comment Re:Solution? (Score 1) 128

Yaknow, I've been around enough British people and frankly I think that their 'sarcasm' is frequently not sarcasm at all, but bitterness and hate directed outward. Then, when called out on it, you just say "I was just taking the piss mate" and pretend to be offended. 30 seconds later, right back to making horrible comments. I really don't think it's sarcasm.

Comment Re:Never seen so many allergies in people (Score 1) 113

You realize that today even the poorest of the poor live like kings compared to Neanderthals? What were gay rights like under Neanderthal rule? How about women's liberation? Yeah, that's what I thought. Another left-wing fanatic who who won't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Comment Re:My what? (Score 3, Informative) 34

Way back in the primordial ooze of the early-mid 2000's, MySpace actually gained initial notoriety as a place for musicians and bands to congregate. That was one (small) reason why it always had good media functionality (for the time)... Auto-play MP3's, highly visual backgrounds, CSS, etc. (The other 85% of the reason was so that people could post sparkly glitter GIFs...)

When it got re-purchased after Facebook took over both the upper and "lower" classes of the internet social media space, MySpace decided to try to get back to its roots somewhat as a band-catering destination.

Who knows if it'll ever succeed (again) at that, but the battle for general social media presence is long-since over, so they had to do something with it.

Comment No... (Score 1) 430

These are examples of really really dumb people not paying attention. if your GPS says, "drive 250 miles" to the hotel near your airport, and you blindly do it... you are an idiot.

Drive 2 days away... again, idiot level.

The problem is that all technology requires the user to have a modicum of intelligence. The examples in the story are of people that should not be allowed to drive a car let alone use a GPS.

Earth

Drivers Need To Forget Their GPS 430

HughPickens.com writes: Greg Milner writes in the NYT that an American tourist in Iceland directed the GPS unit in his rental car to guide him from Keflavik International Airport to a hotel in nearby Reykjavik, and ended up 250 icy miles away in Siglufjordur, a fishing village on the outskirts of the Arctic Circle. Mr. Santillan apparently explained that he was very tired after his flight and had "put his faith in the GPS." In another incident, a woman in Belgium asked GPS to take her to a destination less than two hours away and two days later, she turned up in Croatia. Finally disastrous incidents involving drivers following disused roads and disappearing into remote areas of Death Valley in California have became so common that park rangers gave them a name: "death by GPS." "If we're being honest, it's not that hard to imagine doing something similar ourselves" says Milner. "Most of us use GPS as a crutch while driving through unfamiliar terrain, tuning out and letting that soothing voice do the dirty work of navigating."

Could society's embrace of GPS be eroding our cognitive maps? Julia Frankenstein, a psychologist at the University of Freiburg's Center for Cognitive Science, says the danger of GPS is that "we are not forced to remember or process the information — as it is permanently 'at hand,' we need not think or decide for ourselves." "Next time you're in a new place, forget the GPS device. Study a map to get your bearings, then try to focus on your memory of it to find your way around. City maps do not tell you each step, but they provide a wealth of abstract survey knowledge. Fill in these memories with your own navigational experience, and give your brain the chance to live up to its abilities."

Comment Re:The U.S. is much more civilized (Score 2) 39

Thanks for taking an interesting topic about a fascinating country and changing the topic to America. Again. Seriously, you people are not always first on the agenda so SHUT THE FUCK UP WHEN ADULTS ARE TALKING ABOUT ADULT TOPICS. Sheesh, it's just embarrassing how single-issue you uneducated people are.

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 39

In the Islamic Republic of Iran (that's the country's name, folks!) the Islamist candidates are legitimately popular with the lower classes. "It helps the iranians remember whom to elect." how utterly snobbish. As if there are right and wrong choices in a free election. There is only "agrees with me" and "doesn't agree". The people of IRI like their government and support it.

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