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Comment Re:Oh goody! (Score 1) 289

Whee, another chance to beat our chests and gloat about how superior we feel to those rubes.

You have the amazing ability to share words with the entire planet... and you chose to squander it on the above.

We have someone charged with educating children. Her way of fulfilling that responsibility is to have pages torn out of textbooks.

In what universe does that constitute the legitimate fulfillment of her responsibilities?

Comment Re:Browser Apps are NOT desktop apps (Score 2) 195

Because of convenience. Updates and new features are added automatically, and the developers only have to deploy a single copy to know that everyone has the latest features and bugfixes, instead of having to rely on people updating their local copies. And as long as you have access to a computer with an Internet connection, you have access to the apps you're used to.

Of course there are downsides, but local software has downsides too. It all comes down to your user profile, and for most people, Google docs has all the features they need. For power users, you have locally-installed applications with larger feature sets and harder learning curves.

Also, with Google Docs I have full access to my content anywhere, on any device... and, again, all for free. Desktop software, in these respects, is hardly superior.

Comment The Smart Watch: A solution in search of a problem (Score 1) 381

At least, for now...

The general idea is appealing: An especially easy to see/access interface to one's phone, one that takes the role traditionally held by a wristwatch and builds on it.

But, given the cost, and given the limitations of a postage-stamp-sized interface, I just don't see any "killer apps" for smart watches that justify that cost.

Comment Re:What's the difference? (Score 1) 462

Because after a point you have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to being politically correct. I mean we already have to write "he or she put on his or her hat" where we used to just write "he put on his hat" when writing about an unknown person, because the later method might offend somebody when no offense was ever intended.

I mean what, now we have to go back and rewrite every personnel database management system to include every new form of gender that somebody can philosophically surmise in order to comply with anti-discrimination laws? Shit, every year somebody comes up with a new one.

Really, if gender is that unimportant to you, then just pick one of the two at random and let everybody else get on with their business.

You want the rest of humanity to put itself into the few boxes you happen to be comfortable with. Can you give us a good reason (aside from inconvenience for database maintainers... and no, that's not a good reason) why anyone should feel obliged to agree with you?

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 888

He couldn't be more wrong, the more likely scenario is collapse due to over population and limited resources.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: Do I passively let the collapse happen, or do I have the intellect, courage, and will to do something, however small, to fight for a better future? Will I light a candle, or curse the darkness?

Comment Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (Score 1) 888

Nobody says you have to work in a concrete canyon.

As for the OP, tl;dr summary: "Some day socialism will finally work when products magically appear infinitely cheaply."

You've got a few things wrong with your statement... Socialism is an economic system in which there is social ownership of the means of production, and co-operative management of the economy. What the Federation seems to be (they never have given a coherent picture of their economics) is more a post-Scarcity economy with a partly Democratic / party Anarchic political system... but it isn't Socialism. And, given the pace at which automation is replacing labor, there will come a time when there aren't enough jobs because the tasks that need to get done are getting done... without humans needing to be "in the loop." What will we do then? I vote for giving - yes, giving - everyone enough to give them shelter, food to keep them healthy, and access to medical care and education. We'll have enough surplus output to easily manage that. We can work towards the description of society given by Captain Picard in "The Neutral Zone":

"People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy."

Comment Re:42 (Score 3, Interesting) 600

The human concept of "a soul" is an emergent property of high order intelligence.

You know that the "emergent property" expression is technobabble, right?"

Emergent properties are phenomena which are a product of the characteristics of the set of entities which are interacting with each other and the structure of that interaction.

A water molecule doesn't have a snowflake hiding in it, nor does it have some quality of "snowflakeness".

Take a bunch of water molecules, have them interact with each other in the right environment, and you get snowflakes.

No technobabble needed.

Comment Re:my bet (Score 1) 94

If you seriously think government funded research projects are bad, go back to your Amish colony, and not bother using any technology developed in the last 60 years.

What. The private sector invests in tech, it's not gov or nothing. How do you conclude "armish" from this?

Gov research is a huge waste of money. Stop taxing coporations to pay for useless gov programs and you'll get plenty of privatly funded research.

Also, Solindra.

Tell me: which private companies are investing in pure research, where the payoff is unknown and may well be nonexistent?

Comment Re:You have to start somewhere. (Score 1) 354

"Is it your belief that human brains process information in some way that can't be replicated by a system that isn't composed of a network of mammalian neurons, and, if so, why?"

Not just mammalian neurons, but invertebrate neurons too. I think that until we surpass what MomNature has already bioengeineered and abandoning the VonNeumann/Turing model of how a computer is "supposed to be" that we will not construct anything AI that is more performant than what already exists in biological systems.

And that's the eventual goal of AI, harder/better/faster/stronger (to the tune of Daft Punk) than the biological model.

Neural networks aren't von Neumann machines. They can be run in software on von Neumann machines, or on custom hardware or FPGAs.

Are you having fun yet?