Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: definition of 'open' (Score 2) 63

by lkcl (#49567339) Attached to: Imagination To Release Open MIPS Design To Academia

Microsoft has an "Open License" which allows you to look at Windows NT source code. it's "open", yes? pay them $USD 1m per year, you get an "open" look at the source code of Windows NT. but if you ever dare to use it, talk about it, or do ANYTHING other than *read* it.... they will sue the fuck out of you.

bottom line: can we PLEASE stop using the word "open" in context with these types of stupid, stupid proprietary arrangements? it really isn't helping.

there are plenty of *LIBRE* licensed implementations of MIPS out there: many people have pointed that out (in comments i can see above this one), they're on http://opencores.org/ - there are at least eight MIPS core implementations that i can see, there, possibly the best one (most complete) is this: http://opencores.org/project,m... which has a 5-stage pipeline and a harvard architecture.

so please, stop using the word "open" to refer to proprietary, restricted and patented material.

Comment: Public domain? (Score 2, Interesting) 309

Does anyone know if *any* work has become public domain in the last few years in US and Canada? From what I see it just sounds like anything that's was copyrighted will now forever be copyrighted as copyright gets extended by X years every X years (with X=20 here).

Comment: machine consciousness (Score 1) 197

by lkcl (#49522991) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

the issue that i have with "artificial" intelligence is this: there *is* no such thing as "artificial" - i.e. "fake" or "unreal" intelligence. intelligence just *IS*. no matter the form it takes, if it's "intelligent" then it is pure and absolute arrogance on our part to call it "artificial". the best possible subsitute words that i could come up with were "machine-based" intelligence. the word "simulated" cannot be applied, because, again, if it's intelligent, it just *is* - and, again, to imply that intelligence is "simulated" is, again, a direct falsehood. so we have a bit of a problem, there.

the other problem is this: if those who are creating intelligent machines are themselves of insufficient intelligence to recognise the existence of intelligence, then how on earth would they know that it had actually been created?? it's the "million monkeys" problem in a subtle new light.

but i think people are beginning to confuse "intelligence" with "consciousness". we already have intelligent networks - the next phase is CONSCIOUSNESS. self-awareness. and here we begin to get into interesting territory, not least because we have the very pertinent question "how can scientists who are themselves not truly consciously aware even of themselves possibly begin to *recognise* consciousness when they've created it??"

the problem is highlighted by the example of a friend of mine who refuses to help create machine consciousness. he's a researcher into the concept of consciousness, so he knows what goes into it - how to recognise it, and, by inference, how to make consciousness "happen" so to speak. and when i approached him about helping to make machine consciousness, he said, "sure i can help... but only if you can guarantee that the resultant beings would be in bliss (i.e. happy) rather than being permanently tortured".

and there you have the key, that anything that is self-aware and conscious - anything that has the ability to communicate and feel - *automatically* gains the right to freedom of expression and all the other rights that we *believe* humans - as the arrogant self-appointed "top of the food chain" - should also have... ... and until the arrogant quotes artificial quotes intelligence community recognises that and fights *IN ADVANCE* for the right of machine consciousness to have the same rights as humans, nobody who is a truly conscious and intelligent being is going to help that scientific community to create such advanced conscious beings, because the risks associated with such conscious machines being tortured - just because the scientists think they can - are too great.

Comment: Read "Outliers" (Score 5, Informative) 385

by lkcl (#49500295) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

this is nothing new: i believe the same study was the basis of the famous book "Outliers", which is a fascinating study of what makes people successful. if i recall correctly, it's completely the opposite of what people expect: your genes *do* matter. your attitude *does* matter. your circumstances *do* matter. working hard *does* matter. and luck matters as well. but it's all of these things - luck, genetics, circumstances *and* hard work - that make for the ultimate success story. bill gates is one of the stories described. he had luck and opportunity - by being born at just the right time when personal computing was beginning - and circumstances - by going to one of the very very few schools in the USA that actually had a computer available (for me, that opportunity was when i was 8: i went to one of the very very few secondary schools in the UK that had a computer: a Pet 3032).

so, yeah - it's not a very popular view, particularly in the USA, as it goes against the whole "anyone can make it big" concept. but, put simply, the statistics show that it's a combination of a whole *range* of factors, all of which contribute, that make up success. just "being intelligent" simply is not enough.

Comment: Dear NSA (Score 1) 212

Dear NSA,

I would love to design the phone that you are asking for. please pay the sum of $USD 30 million into my bank account and i will organise it straight away. also, please sign a contract that you will subsidise the cost of every single phone sold because in order to add the extra encryption that you are expecting it will push up the price, and in a competitive business world nobody would buy it without subsidies.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Signed, Luke Leighton
(Libre and FSF-Endorseable Hardware Design Engineer)

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 1) 662

by lkcl (#49346231) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred,

... actually... my understanding is that it was *not* unprovoked, but not possibly in the way that involves "direct provocation". james may explained that the team had been out the entire day, since early morning through to extremely late in the evening. by all accounts that would be well beyond a standard working day: without decent food it's fairly safe to conclude that their blood sugar levels and many other indicators would have been pushed well past normal acceptable limits.

  i've seen this happen before (both in myself and in other people). you get tired, then shaky, you feel pretty close to exhaustion, due to lack of sleep and rest your body's building up toxins it can't cope with, you're utterly stressed but are simply too tired even to express that, you can't sleep yet which would be the normal way for your body to recover and clear itself of toxins.... and then someone does something unexpected (or doesn't do something that you know will help, that you were counting on)... it's not *their* fault... but they're just the trigger for an outpouring of quite literally uncontrollable but perfectly forseeable emotion.

  my point is: the BBC should *never* have allowed these circumstances to occur. they should have had a full-time nutritionist on the team, advising them when to take breaks, when the exertion that the team is going through is beyond acceptable levels, what the consequences are and so on. this is a team that's been to some of the most hostile places in the world, so it should be a no-brainer that they'd need an expert consultant on nutrition.

so expecting someone to work 16 hours without proper food, running them well beyond their physical limits, then firing them as a direct result of them being put under far too much stress and pressure... *that* sounds like a recipe for a lawsuit.

Comment: Re:Prototype (Score 2) 126

by museumpeace (#49323599) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology
good question. If you have a laser strong enough to instantly ionize a patch of air between you and an exploding munition [we are talking milliseconds for the whole show here!] that itself must create a shock wave as the super-heated air expands more or less into what we would perceive as an explosion. I am hoping the Boeing Boeing engineers have some proof the cure is better than the disease, so to speak.
If you can shape the surface of the discontinuity in gas density by this method, you could cause a lensing effect that redirected the shock wave but you cannot get rid of energy by adding energy to it. If you manage to create an underpressure that coincides with the overpressure of the munition, that will happen at a certain point and will require an energy density on a par with the munition if you mean to protect by a cancellation of superimposed pressure waves. And watch out for your side lobes...the cancellation would be localized while elsewhere in the battle an addition would occur.

Comment: Re:electricity only (Score 1) 317

by lkcl (#49319383) Attached to: Costa Rica Goes 75 Days Powering Itself Using Only Renewable Energy

the difference is that costa rica is not considered to be a first world country, it's part of the emerging markets. also, all the other examples given (USA, Canada) are still using non-clean energy sources. the story is that this is an *entire country* running on *renewable energy*, 100%. that's a big hairy deal.

Comment: Re:Then ID would be required (Score 1) 1089

by jmv (#49301619) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

Having lived in Australia for a few years (though not a citizen), I have to say I wish we had that voting system back in Canada (both compulsory voting and preferential voting). What most surprised me in the elections that were held when I was there was that the day before the vote, the candidates would still be campaigning "normally" rather than just trying to convince people to actually get out and vote like they have to do in Canada (and I assume the US too). I also don't recall hearing "A vote for [3rd party] X is a vote for Y [because it divides the vote]", which is also a good thing. Of course, it didn't prevent you guys from electing Howard, but I guess nothing's perfect :-)

Comment: Re:Battery tech on 2500 and 3500 pickups? (Score 1) 229

First, electric motors provide their best torque at near 0 RPM, which is quite useful.

electric motors provide their best torque at 0 RPM because that's called "stall torque". the penalty for doing so is a whopping EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT energy loss in the form of heat. to even remotely consider that as a practical option would involve some serious heavy-duty water-cooling.

Third, for farms, it might be economical to have the trucks charge and run on batteries, as it saves on fuel.

unfortunately, like many people, you misunderstand the nature of EVs. batteries are a *storage* mechanism, not a fuel. the energy has to come from somewhere, and you (usually - unless you have on-site wind, solar or hydro power independent infrastructure) have to pay for it.

many people also believe that moving the charging out to the national grid is a "good thing": this is not true, either, because of the logistics of power generation. the oil, coal and nuclear plants may only operate efficiently once up to temperature, and they *may not* be shut down... if they are it can take weeks for them to get back up to cost-effective optimal efficiency. that means that all the lovely wind and solar systems, which are critically dependent on nature.... these are the ones that have to be shut down during off-peak hours! i know for a fact that the companies who run the wind turbines in the area of scotland i used to live in are PAID to NOT provide electricity! they make sure that the turbines still turn, so as to deceive people into thinking that they're generating electricity: they're not. one or more of the turbines is run as a brake for the others, it's why you see them running at different speeds and blade angles.

other than that, the idea of allowing farmers to plug in to an on-board generator is a fantastic idea.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

Working...