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Comment: WTF is all this shit? (Score 2) 209 209

What is all this babble about?
- a modern mentalist
- how to curry favor
- Dunbar numbers
- Fitbit
- Jawbone
- Mint
- Waze
- It’s about all of these, together

What kind of parallel universe do you come from?

I usually don't mind looking up a new term or name on Google or Wikipedia, but this author just keeps throwing up, and it doesn't look appetizing.

Comment: Re:10x Productivity (Score 1) 215 215

You have to see those people to believe, but they do exist. It is not like they "bang out" more code. They take it smarter and make life better for everyone.

Instead of writing 10x as many random publish/subscribe plugs, they will create a unified processing architecture where the data is routed automatically. Instead of writing 10x as many boilerplate model classes, they will build a code generator.

You've got to have a certain level of proficiency and the right attitude to see such possibilities, to suggest, defend and implement them.

Comment: Translation workaround (Score 1) 55 55

What if I translate someone's book, and release my translation into the Public Domain immediately? Would an alternative Project Gutenberg of liberally licensed translations work?

At least the Berne Convention says that "Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work."

Of course the translation is not the same thing. Also, it is more complicated than that. The authors (quite reasonably) have some protection and control over translated versions. Still, even if only some parts of the world, and even only for a selected subset of all good books, could wait less than 50 years after the author's death to easily access his works free of charge, I believe that would be a good thing.

One could imagine both "open source" and "crowdfunding" approaches to building such a library.

It would be ironic to see the author's native language readers having more restrictions than the rest. Maybe such reduction to absurdity could fuel an argument for a worldwide copyright conventions reform for the digital age.

But if history is any indication, they would just make tighter restrictions for the translations.

Comment: Life + 50 years almost everywhere (Score 5, Interesting) 55 55

I quickly checked Wikipedia, and most countries seem to stick with at least "Life + 50yr" term. That is a great achievement of the lobbyists.

Some island nations seem to have no known copyright legislation, but they are still usually parties to some limiting international treaties, and also have similar restrictions under other names ("unauthorized copying", etc.)

Seriously, is there no place on Earth with more reasonable terms?

Comment: Ridiculous and sad (Score 4, Insightful) 55 55

Of the individuals who died in 1965 and whose work will enter the public domain next January

This says so much about our culture...

Are there jurisdictions where one could legally and openly operate a Project Gutenberg clone with more recent works?

Comment: Re:We had a good run (Score 1) 583 583

I think the singularity, by some definitions, has already arrived. It is already hard to keep track of the technological progress, and even harder to predict the future, even on short scale. You can no longer assume things will be about the same in 30 years, because you look only 10 years back and you see drastic changes.

I try to follow at least top news, but I still get caught by surprise sometimes by some 5-year-old technology (like solowheel). Normal consumers are getting used to expect magic and do not try to understand when or how it happened.

We still did not merge with the computers, or produce an artificial consciousness, but that also looks close, and seems to come in small steps to catch us by surprise. For example, Watson and Google can now extract knowledge from raw texts with very minimal help.

Comment: Re:Comment from an AI researcher (Score 1) 583 583

As you asked directly for moral advice...

If you discovered something, then most likely someone else will do the same soon. These things happen when the time comes. You cannot keep it under your control. And the other person may be less careful or outright malicious.

So as a morally responsible person, the best you can do is make it available to several parties, in order to keep some balance, and to collaborate with other responsible researchers in order to try and keep the applications safe.

Another moral consideration is all the benefits the humanity could get from a friendly AI.

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis