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Comment: Re:I disagree w/ his predictions (Score 3, Insightful) 308

by Pinball Wizard (#34381140) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism

A) It's not that big of an assumption. The exponential curve in computing power doesn't just go back to the advent of computers, it goes back as far as we could perform simple arithmetic. It's an assumption based on our long history of improving methods and fabricating machines to compute. Unless we have capped our ability to invent new methods of computing, it's a fairly safe assumption to make. Our ability to compute is probably not limited by the number of transistors we can pack on a silicon disk.

B) given a large enough knowledge base and a set of really good AI algorithms, one should be able to create intelligent machines. There's nothing to prevent them from replicating, either. However, I don't think that they will ever be truly sentient. Even so, careful design will be necessary to ensure Asimov's laws of robotics are strictly enforced.

C) I don't believe Kurzweil has ever claimed NP-Hard problems would be solved by the exponential increase in computing power.

Comment: Re:Untrusted certs should not raise an alarm (Score 1) 286

by Pinball Wizard (#34321310) Attached to: SSL Certificates For Intranet Sites?

Why the above tripe was modded insightful is beyond me. Certificates are the oldest and most reliable way of anonymously verifying identity between sites or otherwise anonymous users.

Nobody expects certificates to perform on the fly authentication. Authentication is performed before the certificate is issued, and thereafter one has the assurance that the certificate is being held by a previously authenticated authority. You might as well complain that authentication itself is a scam because it is not 100% reliable.

Where the F have you been for the last 15 years, anyway? Essentially, you're making the ridiculous claim that assymetric public/private key based encryption is worthless, when it has been proven to be anything but.

Comment: Re:Linux has the same drag as Mac in business (Score 2, Informative) 1348

by Pinball Wizard (#33932784) Attached to: Desktop Linux Is Dead

Open Office Base does have a form builder. It's not as slick as MS Access, but it does work. The main issue I had with Base the last time I used it was that the query designer only supported select queries - no inserts, updates, or deletes. So you could use the form builder, but you'd still have to hand code the SQL for most of the work you'd be using forms for. Not particularly a big deal to me, but if you're used to the Microsoft drag and drop sort of programming, I guess it could be an issue.

Comment: Re:What is your name? What is your quest? (Score 2, Insightful) 298

by Pinball Wizard (#33601562) Attached to: Race Pits Pigeons Against Poor UK Rural Broadband

Well, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is 11 meters per second. African or European.

http://www.style.org/unladenswallow/

However, as soon as you strap a memory card to the swallow, it is no longer unladen. By definition.

Therefore, the bandwidth capacity of an unladen swallow is zero.

Comment: What is the justification for allowing HF trading? (Score 1) 411

by Pinball Wizard (#32681008) Attached to: Flash Crash Analysis of May 6 Stock Market Plunge

I remember reading an article about Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone last year by Matt Taiibi. Ah yes, this is the one:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/12697/64796

He describes them as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." That quote really stuck with me since then, and I've often thought about these huge trading businesses on Wall Street that somehow are so valuable they provide their workers with luxury working conditions in highrises in downtown Manhattan and millions of dollars a year in salary and bonuses. But I can't quite figure out what value they actually provide anyone. Last quarter they reported they made money every single trading day. Uncanny that they can ri^H^Hpredict the market so accurately. Is there a purpose for letting people suck money out of the stock market the way they do? Or are they really a giant vampire squid as Taiibi describes them to be? Seems like all this could be doing is hurting the people who actually do provide goods and services and actual value to the economy, but what do I know, I'm certainly no Wall Street master of the universe.

Comment: Re:MapReduce = map + reduce (Score 1) 166

by Pinball Wizard (#25867923) Attached to: Google Sorts 1 Petabyte In 6 Hours

But its the distributing part that is special, not the map/reduce part.

You're basically just dividing up a huge list and sending each part to a different machine. Tacked on to each list are the map and reduce functions themselves so each machine knows what to do with the list.

Its the parallelization of the problem that is the hard part. Map does not mean the mapping of the problem to thousands of machines - it means the mapping of a function to a list, and that is not a terribly difficult problem.

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

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