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Comment: Re:Shall we play a game? (Score 1) 91

by Kiuas (#49468523) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave

A land mine is an autonomous weapon, that has the following logic: 'Is trigger depressed? If so, detonate'.

A land mine is not autonomous anymore than a hole covered with leaves and a sharp stick at the bottom is "autonomous". A land mine is a mechanism, a trigger, which will do one thing if acted upon, ie. if stepped on. The landmine will not suddenly move on its own, or decide that it will not explode if the person stepping on it isn't an adult etc.

Autonomy implies the capability of a weapon to affect its own behavior, a mine has none of that.

Comment: Re: We already have these (Score 4, Insightful) 112

by Kiuas (#49325757) Attached to: Bring On the Boring Robots

today we'd like to give these jobs to really expensive machines instead of people

The machines are capable of working 24/7/365 (minus the maintanance hours) for no pay. In the long run, the reason menial jobs are being replaced by machines is that in many cases the machines are capable of doing the same job with far less cost per hour, and in the end that's what matters, not how much the machine costs out front.

right at the moment when jobs for people are disappearing

Jobs for people aren't disappearing, they're changing. The demand for low-skill physical labor has been going steadily down since the 1700s because as I already said: if you can do the job with a machine, chances are it's going to be cheaper and faster in the long run. At the same time as many jobs have disappeared, new ones have emerged and keep emerging.

we'd rather interact with machines, because you don't have to say "Thank You" to a machine.

Thank you has nothing to do with it. The two possible scenarios for me to charge my local travel card (ie. train ticket) here in Helsinki are as follows:

1) Go to a kiosk or a store, wait in line, hand the card to the person and state the amount of money/time I want entered, wait for the person to do that, then pay and take the card
2) go to an ticket vending machine, put the card in, press literally 4 buttons to renew my last purchase (I usually buy a month at a time), slap in my debit card, punch in the pin and be done

The fact of the matter is, there's usually way less waiting in line at the machine, and the actual buying itself takes less time. I've no problem telling thank you to the sale's lady, but in most situations using the machine is just more handy unless I happen to have some other business to take care of at the store at the same time.

The same is true for many, many services that used to be handled by clerks: I'll rather do my check-in at the airport or the harbor via a machine because it's easier and quicker, no need to go stand in line to buy concert tickets as I can buy them online and print them out or just have 'em read the QR-code from the phone screen, etc...

So unfortunately no, I cannot agree with this" you don't have to thank the machine" -BS. The machine gives me the exact same end result as I'd get from a person, except it usually does it faster. Unless the product/service I'm buying is so complicated that I need a guy there to help me figure out what I need to get, having a person there brings no additional benefit for me as a customer.

Comment: The reality (Score 2) 213

by Kiuas (#49319063) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

As others have already mentioned, the summary is blatantly wrong. What's actually happening is that as of 2016, this sort of topic-based teaching will become mandatory for all elementary schools for at least once a year and the schools get the freedom to decide how long these projects will last. So yes, while this is a rather big change in a way, it's not like they're doing away with subjects altogether, not at all,

Comment: Re:a "COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuf (Score 4, Insightful) 91

by Kiuas (#49231803) Attached to: Turkish Ministry Recommends Banning Minecraft -- Over Violence

Are you sure, it's the COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuff - and not its (elected) government?

The elected government is a result of the people. Turkey is a mostly functioning democracy and they have voted Erdogan into power twice now (well, he wasn't voted for rpime minister but his party was, and later he was elected presisent despite his actions as prime minister). Now, as someone who used to date a secular liberal Turkish woman (who at the time lived in Turkey) a few years back, trust me, I'm more than aware that not all of Turkey or its people support such policies, but unfortunately at this point it seems that most, even the majority does (although in fairness sake, he won the presidential elections with a very narrow margin, just over 51 % if the votes, so the country was/is split on the middle

Erdogan has gained popularity because he has done some good to the Turkish economy and improved general infrastructure etc. This is all fine and well. Unfortunately the man is also religious bigot and a conservative who's doing his best to slowly dismantle the secular basis which Turkey has maintained ever since Ataturk. There was recently a case of a woman being jailed for having the audacity to stand on a quran. A guy was jailed and is facing charges for (literally) "insulting the president".... Not to mention he handled the riots, the attempted banning of youtube etc etc.... He's an authoritarian through and through when it comes to social issues and rights.

So either the majority of Turks living in their native country do not realize this, do not care about this, or are actively in favor of it (and outside the larger cities there are still large areas were this sort of conservative islamic rhetoric is popular as hell). Either way the populace is not entirely to blame for his actions, but when you have over half the people voting in favor of a guy who has a track record of favoring banning things he does not agree with, well the country is not exactly blameless either.

Comment: Re:Bitstamp hack..... (Score 2) 114

by Kiuas (#48753175) Attached to: Hackers Steal $5M In Bitcoin During Bitstamp Exchange Attack

Gold is market money, it has intrinsic value first of all, before it is even money

The idea that anything has "intrinsic value" is so badly flawed I don't know why this myth persist. Gold and other metals have practical uses, which gives it some additional value yes, but assuming that gold will retain its value, or in fact have any value whatsoever, under all conditions is false.

USD used to be a meaningful reserve currency before 1971

I don't know exactly what your definition of 'meaningful' is, but approximately 60 % of the world's currency reserves are still in USD, with the Euro being the only one coming even close. I'd call that rather meaningful. So yes, the dominance of the dollar has shifted a bit (which mind you, is not an altogether negative thing either), but dollar is still the go-to reserve currency of the world.

Comment: Re:So get protection (Score 5, Insightful) 92

by Kiuas (#48735049) Attached to: Finnish Bank OP Under Persistent DDoS Attack

They're not cheap, but they work, and banks tend to be able to afford it.

Well, 2 things here: The Finnish banks are rather tiny compared to large international banks and national banks in larger countries. There are only 5,4 million people in the entire country. Secondly, this is the first time to my knowledge that a DDoS attack has done anything to any bank here. All the banks use 2-step verification process, so even in a hypothetical worst case scenario in which somehow attackers would manage to get their hands into some login info, that would not compromise the funds of the customers. Not that that would be possible with a plain DDoS attack.

In the end it comes down to the cost-benefit ratio: sure i'd be nice to have protection from DDoSing, but unless this starts to become so commonplace as to actually start costing them significant amounts of money/customers, I doubt it will happen.

Comment: Re:No matter how much lipstick you put on it... (Score 1) 127

by Kiuas (#48711863) Attached to: Bitcoin Gets Its First TV Ads

Think of deflation as a sale. For example, 1% yearly deflation is equivalent to a 1% off sale starting a year from now. Would you wait for one?

That's a terrible analogy. If deflation is happening, it occurs whether one waits for it or not. It s not an "either or" choice. Under a system of 1 % deflation, everyone's money would be worth 1 % more in a year's time. Now, for a singular consumer your money being worth more is of course a positive thing, but think about what it does for the system overall: repeat this for five years and supposing that wages are not increased or decreased the value of money will have increased i,01^5 = 5,1 %.. But this doesn't occur in a vacuum: the price of anything - even money - is determined on the market by supply and demand. So for deflation to occur either the supply of money is going down or demand is going up.

So when economists say deflation is bad they say so because deflation signals that the economy needs more money than is currently available in it - and if something's not done to mitigate this, it will lead to businesses suffering which in turn leads to unemployment rates rising up which in turn makes things even for people overall.

Economy is a system of production and distribution. If people are demanding less, they should put less pressure on economy, not destroy it.

But deflation is a sign of the opposite: people are demanding more money than is available to them which is what is causing its price to go up.

Comment: Re:Russia has been turning into a fascist state (Score 4, Insightful) 878

by Kiuas (#46507473) Attached to: Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

The fascist-like regime wants to expand and dominate. It is that simple. The fascizoids can never be stopped by appeasement. The appeasement did not work before WWII and will not work now. The only argument they understand is raw power. For them, politeness and tolerance are signs of weakness and met with derision. Maybe, I hope, one day the Russian people will kick the fascists out of power but for the forseeable future this is wishful thinking.

Agreed. Putin is basically doing "blitzkrieg" on the world political stage and currently has the ball. He's constantly been referring to "the situation in Ukraine" and "the situation in Crimea" as being something that justifies the actions of "pro-russian militias" (note: the Kremlin denies that they have any direct control over the troops occupying Crimea, officially they're supposed to be militias regradles of the fact that they're using equipment thus far only seen in service with the Russian special forces). Putin's playing the victim card to the west, and the nationalistic chest-beating "for the motherland" -card to his own citizens - all the while giving a strong signal to people like me living next to his country (in my case Finland) that any Russian promises regarding the respect for international law and sovereignty are better used as toilet paper.

West should better wake up and start doing something.


If raw power is the only thing that can stop the bad guys, raw power we must accumulate.

The west does not need to accumulate power. The west (that is the US/NATO) already controls the largest military force in the history of mankind. We have power, we need the will to use it. If we let this slip Russia will keep chiseling ex-USSR nations piece by piece using the same lame "we're just protecting out citizens" -excuse as the west re-enacts the 30s and tries to appease a man who clearly doesn't give a shit about talk. The west can "condemn" the actions as many times and as "harshly" as we want, but until a line is drawn and it is made clear to Russia that the crossing of this line will lead to military action, Putin will keep controlling the ball.

Comment: Re:"probably" much higher? (Score 2) 196

by Kiuas (#46149753) Attached to: EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion

$1,000. When I got home, I read a medical journal article about my knee problem. They said that x-rays aren't necessary. I wonder how much the private insurance industry loses to fraud. I'd like a calculation made by somebody who isn't a lobbyist for the private insurance industry.

No, what you'd actually like, is a system of health care in which the price of the simplest medical procedures is not gigantically inflated by profit margins. There is no way an xray costs a thousand dollars.

I work on the in the health care system of Finland, and even though I don't know about xray pricing here, I can tell you that if the figures I've seen from the States are anywhere close to correct, patient transfers via ambulance for example are anywhere from 4-8 times cheaper here than they are in the States. The main reason for that is that even though private for-profit companies are used here as well to supplement the capacity during rush-hour, the bulk of the transfers is handled by the hospital district themselves and done with no profit-margin attached. In addition, the private operators are chosen based on their prices, so anyone trying to charge something extraordinary will not get a contract.

So I'm not saying that competition is bad, or that private contractors are bad. What I'm saying is that the current insurance-based 'free market' model is the prime reason the US is spending more money on health care per capita despite being probably the only OECD country with millions of people without access to it,

Comment: Re:hypocrisy (Score 1) 415

by Kiuas (#45772669) Attached to: Alan Turing Pardoned

We are better than those assholes living 50 years ago.' Well you aren't. Sure you would not castrate someone today for being a homo, but you would surely say that pedophiles need to be castrated.

Except that I wouldn't. I don't believe it's right for anyone to castrate anyone against their will, criminal or not.

Human nature does not change. It cracks me up when every generation thinks they are better more tolerant than those racist thugs who polluted society 20 - 30 years in the past.

Who said we need to change human nature? Human nature may not change, but societies certainly do. A few hundred years back we were still burning women as witches. Human nature did not change but we got rid of that. A hundred years ago we didn't burn witches anymore but it was illegal in most of western democracies for women to vote. Again human nature did not change but society did.

Yes, people are tribal by nature and are easily lured into harshly opposing whatever it is their tribe deems wrong. But the mistake of your argument is assuming that we need to change human nature to change our morals. We don't. Only an ignorant person would be able to claim that societies nowadays are not more tolerant and open than they were hundreds of years ago - or even half a century ago as this story proves. Progress has been made, and is being made; a hundred years from now, being gay (or bisexual or transgendered) will hopefully be seen just as normal as interracial couples or being a woman who votes nowadays

Those racist thugs that you hate so much are yourselves.

No, they're not. Don't get me wrong, I dislike a great many groups. I could even go so far as to say I hate some fundamentalist religious groups. But the difference between me and the racist is very clear: I do not advocate for the use of force in to silence/punish the people and groups I dislike, no matter how much I may not like them.

This is why I am more tolerant than those people.

Comment: Re:Lets get out all of the bitching before it star (Score 1) 174

by Kiuas (#45633315) Attached to: How a Bitcoin Transaction Actually Works

Blah blah blah ponzi scheme
Wank wank not real money
warghaghgahgahl... money laundering

Have I missed any?

Yes, you have missed the point that with the possible exception of money-laundering all of those are in fact valid points that have yet to been answered by the pro-bitcoin people. You also confused inflation with deflation.

Bitcoin is most certainly not a real currency at this point. It's a commodity that a very limited set of mostly online services accept as a form of payment. And it is by design such that it tends to to increase in value over time, which means hyper-deflation not hyper-inflation as you claimed. This makes it almost useless as a currency (hyper-deflation is even worse for a currency than hyper inflation) but at the same time, very lucrative as an investment, especially for those who got onboard while it was possible to mine millions with regular desktop CPUs/GPUs. The early adopters are certainly at a very distinctive advantage. While this does not directly mean that BC is intended to be a malicious Ponzi scheme, it does share quite a lot of features with those schemes.

As for money laundering, that's something that I don't see as such a large issue, as BC is not really anonymous. That is, the exchanges of cash into BC and vice versa are traceable, so any large scale money laundering can be spotted.

As for everything else, to this day I still haven't heard a good reason to use BC as anything else than a speculative investment target. I see zero benefits in using it for purchases. If I want anonymity, I'll be better off sticking with cash. At least with that, in addition to being truly anonymous compared to the pseudo-anonymity of BC wherein anybody can see who paid what to whom (a feature, not a bug), I also know that the money I give to my friend will be valued roughly the same (or a tad less) in a few months time and that my currency is secured even if my bank goes down - 2 features I see as essential for any real currency, and 2 features sorely missing from Bitcoin in its current state.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin hype over? (Score 2) 305

by Kiuas (#45571035) Attached to: Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

People have to **USE** Bitcoin or Bitcoin dies...until you can directly exchange Bitcoin to currency this will just be an elaborate hoax.

The ease of exchange is not nearly the only problem with BC. Let me list a few others:

1. Deflation. Because there's a set cap on the total amount of Bitcoins that can ever exist (made worse by the fact that it is possible for coins to disappear permanently, limiting the supply even more), the currency is by nature deflationary (this does not however mean that it cannot go down in value but I'll get to that later). Deflation is of course good for those who use BC for investment/speculative purposes, but very bad for anyone wanting to actually use it for trade. For the consumer, having currency that looks like it will be worth more next week than now does not really encourage spending in any way. Pricing is difficult as hell because of the deflation since you have to keep adjusting prices down because of the deflation (and people have to convert the amounts to standard currencies anway, because saying something is worth "0,02 bitcoins", doesn't really tell you anything unless you go and check how much the current rate is)

2. Useability: let's be honest: what's the one thing people use BC for at the moment in addition to speculating? Paying for suspicious goods or services online. And I know there are other things you can get with bitcoins as well, but the main reasons people exchange their regular currencies for bitcoins is because even though BC is not anonymous (unlike some people think), it's the closest/most used equivalent we currently have for cash in the online world, making it the currency of choice for those who want to order something which they do not want to get caught buying (not just drugs btw, gambling is also a big thing with BC).

Now, these two factors are entwined: currencies only have value because people expect that they will be accepted (ie. retain their value) later on. In the case of bitcoin, the reason the value has shot up as fast as it has, and what makes it so lucrative at the moment for speculators, is the 'quasi-anonymous' nature of it - and services such as silkroad. That is to say, in a completely hypothetical scenario wherein drugs would become legal to buy and sell online using 'old fashioned' currencies the price of the BC would likely plummet fast. Now, while such a scenario seems rather unlikely, it's just meant to show how dependent BC currently is on such sites/services. For reference, this is what happened to the exchange rates of bitcoin when silkroad was closed. Which gets us to the third point:

3. Volatility. Right now BC has been fairly steadily increasing in value, as people have become more interested in it, but there is no guarantee that this situation will continue. In fact, looking at the rather massive increase in value and comparing it to a classic model of a bubble (got the links from a recent BC story and its comments here on /. but unfortunately I no longer remember the original poster) one cannot help but to wonder how long it will keep rising before it eventually comes down. How hard and how fast it will come down is another question, and I'm not saying it will necessarily crash and burn over night but there is no reason to assume the rise will continue indefinitely. If the early adopters start dumping their coins, if more popular BC based sites are shut down by the officials, or if someone develops a new, more anonymous/easier to use 'online cash' type of currency or a number of other things happens BC will lose its value quickly.

You're right, people need to use bitcoin or it dies, but the essential question is: would you be confident in having large sums of money in a form which makes it very hard to predict how much it will be worth in a couple of months, and with which you can buy hardly anything outside certain online products and services, and even in those the only benefit you'll get from using bitcoins compared to regular currencies is that it makes it harder (but not impossible) to trace the purchase to you. Even if stores started accepting BC at large tomorrow, I'd still prefer to do my shopping in Euros because it would be easier, and even though regular currencies are by no means stable either all the time, I have more faith in government backed currencies maintaining their value in the long run than in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not a total hoax, because it does have its uses. Nevertheless, looking at the way it is build and its current state, it's closer to a pyramid scheme than an actual working currency model.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain