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Comment: Re:Funny, that spin... (Score 1) 402

by LateArthurDent (#49767811) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Question: What role do people who think that AI research is dangerous hold in the field of AI research?

Answer: None...because regardless of their qualifications, they wouldn't further the progress of something they think is a very, very bad idea.

Asking AI experts whether or not they think AI research is a bad idea subjects your responses to a massive selection bias.

Yes. Nobody who worked in the Manhattan Project had any reservations whatsoever about building the atomic bomb, right?

Experts work in fields they're not 100% comfortable with all the time. The actual physicists that worked on the bomb understood exactly what the dangers were. The people looking at it from the outside are the ones coming up with the bogus dangers. You hear things like, "the scientists in the Manhattan project were so irresponsible they thought the first bomb test could ignite the atmosphere, but went ahead with it anyway." No, the scientists working on it thought of that possibility, performed calculations the definitely proved it wasn't anywhere near a possibility and then moved on with it. People outside the field are the ones that go, "The LHC could create a black hole that will destroy us all!" The scientists working on know the Earth is struck with more powerful cosmic rays than the LHC can produce regularly, so there's no danger.

It's just that they don't work in the field of AI, so therefore they must not have any inkling whatsoever as to what they're talking about.

Which is a 100% true statement. They're very smart people, but they don't know what they're talking about in regards to AI research, and are coming up with bogus threats that most AI experts agree aren't actually a possibility.

Comment: Re:What does it say about you? (Score 1) 461

You'd have a point, if AOL was irrelevant.

The address most certainly is irrelevant to everything else you said. You haven't needed to have AOL as your ISP in order to have an e-mail address for over a decade. You're the guy that points to every German he meets screaming, "Nazi! Nazi!" World War II is over, and so are the days that you used to spend an usenet dreading that post that signaled a member of the masses just got access to the net. The masses are now the majority of the net, and they use gmail too.

What do you think of people who use Facebook as their primary online contact?

I don't really give a shit. I don't personally use Facebook, but I'm the weird one, not them. I recognize that I make people's lives more difficult when they ask me to get in touch with them via Facebook, because it really is the default these days, and I apologize while asking for a secondary contact option.

Comment: Re:What does it say about you? (Score 4, Interesting) 461

Nothing on the internet says 'I'm a blithering idiot, please abuse me.' as quickly and concisely as

I consider judging people based on irrelevant categories to be far more damning.

Shortly after gmail came out, every other free webmail provider upped their storage amount in order to compete, including aol. Gmail at the time didn't provide imap access. You could access your mail via the web interface or pop. Aol, on the other hand, did provide imap, along with a ton of storage space, which allowed me to check my personal e-mail via my PDA's email client (remember those?), instead of its horrible browser.

I had a perfectly technical reason to switch to an aol address while everybody was switching to gmail.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

Unless, of course, we're all free to say we believe in any random thing as our religion and are therefore entitled to tax-free status.

Well, that's my point. That is the case. Anything else in unfairly promoting specific religions, which is constitutionally prohibited.

So, either prevent all religions from having tax exempt status, or accept that anything can be a religion and grant any organization (as long as it is a non-profit organization), tax-exempt status. I don't care which one you pick, but I think only those two options can be fair.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

Sorry, but it's awfully hard to take it seriously as a religion ... it has about as much credibility as being a Jedi or a Pastafarian.

Which is the same amount of credibility any religion has, considering what makes something a religion is the taking of certain axiomatic principles on faith rather than evidence.

Which I don't have any problem whatsoever with, mind you. I just don't like people using age of a religion as a way to discriminate against others. "My religion says the reason humans die is because they allowed themselves to be fooled by a talking snake" sounds exactly as weird to me as, "My religion says we were brought here from intergalactic worlds on DC-10's and were trapped in volcanoes where they set off atomic bombs." You want to believe either of those, I'm going to defend your right to do it.

Now, I know Scientology has done some pretty illegal stuff, and I'm fine with us going after them for that. I don't like that anyone would want to define what gets to be an acceptable religion and what doesn't though. I'm sure plenty of people really and truly believe in the Scientology stuff, and as far as I'm concerned they have the right to do so. I will, in fact, defend their right to do so, even though I don't believe any of it. Same as I would defend the right of anyone to be a Christian even though I'm not one.

Comment: Re:Probably Xamarin (Score 3, Insightful) 96

People who want cross-platform on iOS and Android have had it since day 1. Write your logic in C or C++. Its how cross-platform has been done for decades. Then write a wrapper in whatever language the platform uses for the UI.

The problem is that most phone applications are typically 95%+ UI code. If you do that, you're not exactly going to save much time and effort.

Comment: Re:Probably Xamarin (Score 1) 96

That's how they got cross platform for iOS and Android.

Actually, they've been pushing Cordova. Xamarin is an option, but the free starter edition that will work with the Community Edition of visual studio still looks far too limited for seriously development, while the business edition is unreasonably expensive.

The visual studio 2015 preview includes cordova projects targeting android, though.

Comment: Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

If you buy an expensive watch you're buying the skill and craftsmanship of the watchmaker.

Except that modern manufacturing process can beat a skilled craftman any day. People buy expensive watches because they're expensive. It's a status symbol. They have something that other people can't afford.

For that reason, the $10k edition of the apple watch will sell plenty. Like the old "I Am Rich" app

Comment: Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

And back in 2007 you'd be telling us the iPhone would present no threat to BlackBerry.

No, personally I always thought that the BlackBerry sucked so much that any alternative at all that would let people have mobile e-mail would instantly replace it, no matter how much it sucked. BlackBerry was the phone you went, "goddamnit, I need to replace my nokia or motoralla with this shit, because of my need to send and receive e-mail anywhere!"

And before that you'd have told us that the iPod would pose no threat to other mp3 players.

That one I'll cop to. In fact, I still don't understand it. The ipod is the worst music player I've ever seen. Back when it came out, I had a Windows PDA, and I thought that worked better.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 3, Informative) 255

by LateArthurDent (#49179965) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Isn't satire supposed to be funny?

Actually, no. Satire can use humor, but it's not a requirement. It can use any other tools available, as long it is used to criticize a topic:

Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 4, Insightful) 255

by LateArthurDent (#49175769) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

"Satire" doesn't mean "Different".

In a reddit AMA, Khan explained what he wanted to show was the nature of how society finds violence acceptable in a kids show versus what they consider adult themed. He said the major difference between his short and the original power rangers cartoon was that when characters get shot, red liquid spurts out. Plus he showed titties. Other than that, it's the same type of fighting, with people hurting or killing others. But one is a kid's show and the other is "gritty".

It absolutely fits as satire and valid commentary.

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 2) 531

by LateArthurDent (#49142305) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Isaac Asimov's books and stories were about why his laws were bad. The three laws are bad, wrong, and do not work. As illustrated by the man himself.

You don't know much about Isaac Asimov. He has stated in several occasions and at the foreword of many of his books that he created the three laws as a response to all the evil robots of science fiction. That it is insane to assume they would turn against us, that we'd have safeguards which would keep us safe, and that we should absolutely build artificially intelligence once we had the technology to do so. Here's one quote on the subject: "One of the stock plots of science fiction was that of the invention of a robot--usually pictured as a creature of metal without soul or emotion. Under the influence of the well-known deeds and ultimate fate of Frankenstein and Rossum, there seemed only one change to be rung on this plot.--Robots were created and destroyed their creator; robots were created and destroyed their creator: robots were created and destroyed their creator-- In the 1930's I became a science-fiction reader and I quickly grew tired of this dull hundred-times-told tale. As a person interested in science, I resented the purely faustian interpretation of science."

The three laws were written with ambiguity not because he wanted to show rules didn't work and our ego of thinking that we could create such rules would be our downfall (the Faustian interpretation he decried above), but because he wanted to make sure there would be some sort of conflict for his stories. However, the rules worked. Most of the time the conflict was a result of the imperfection of humanity: the robots were doing the right things, but we wanted to do something stupid/selfish/prejudiced.

At no point were robots meant to be feared. When their three laws appeared to fail, the moral of the story was always that they hadn't and were working perfectly well. That there was method behind the apparent madness. When a robot appear to lie, despite being ordered to tell the truth (thus apparently disobeying the second law), it lied because it determined the truth would be emotionally harmful to you, and it couldn't disobey the first law.

Comment: Re:Same error, repeated (Score 1) 309

by LateArthurDent (#49126287) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

I know quite a few people who have started using GPG via the Enigmail plug-in for Thunderbird lately. The length of the man page is irrelevant and they never publish their keys so are effectively invisible to the statistics. That doesn't mean that it isn't an extremely useful, valuable piece of software though.

Now more than ever we need GPG, and I bet adoption has gone up a lot in the last year.

Why use gpg instead of s/mime, which has native support in most e-mail programs, with no need for plugins? Thunderbird included.

Comment: Re:Oh look, it's the Java killer... (Score 1) 253

Not this time, the new guy has decided that selling Windows is no longer the lock-in platform that makes us all buy Microsoft stuff.

Now, the Microsoft stuff they want use to all buy is services, and that means they have to supply said services across every platform possible.

So, open source .NET in the hope that it'll be cheaper to port it (ie you'll do it for them) and then all those lovely .NET apps that use things like Azure and Microsoft Ads will be ported to Linux and Mac and Microsoft can reap the revenue from more people consuming their services.

Its the same story really, only this time the lock-in has shifted slightly away from Windows.

That's not lock in. You described a company doing what it takes to extend the market in which they can compete in. That's fantastic. Of course they have a plan to make money out of this move, but that's a perfectly legitimate and ethical way of doing so.

Comment: Re:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 288

by LateArthurDent (#48958415) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

No, no, no, a thousand times no, don't use DOSbox. DOSbox is for games and games alone. Don't believe me? The developers say it themselves:

Well, they don't want to support it, and I don't blame them. Plus some idiot is going to try running mission critical software on it.

The truth of the matter is that if it runs games, it runs other things. I run Windows 3.11 on it. I run several applications both DOS and 16-bit Windows on it. Works great for me.

That said, don't take that as me disagreeing with you. I also often find things that catastrophically don't work. As in, they can corrupt the files they're opening/saving to. If you can't afford trying stuff out (and keeping backups of anything your software will interact with), then don't. If you can, it's worth a shot. Just don't go crying to the developers if something goes wrong, and all is good.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.