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Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 269 269

But, aren't there enough 'morally flexible' drone operators available that it doesn't really matter?

There are, but drones are only a small part of the armed forces easily reached by radio requiring powerful jammers that would be easy targets and they're usually support for people on the ground - not necessarily your people but affiliated forces. If you want to do a door-to-door search it would be extremely hard to do that by droid remote control, no matter how many operators you have. The goal of autonomous robots is genuine remote warfare, where you have the ability to run an occupation without having boots on the ground. Apart from AI sci-fi stories we do expect somebody to give the robots commands and accept their behavior even though the robot is working out the details of who to shoot itself.

Comment Debian on an Ultra 5 (Score 1) 138 138

The standard desktop at the company I work for used to be a Sun Ultra 5, and when the company imploded I picked an Ultra 5 with a fast processor (400 MHz), put some more memory in it, took it home and put Debian on it. It worked fine. Entirely decent interactive performance, like a fast Pentium 2. Not a box for video editing or other high-CPU/bandwidth activities, but fine otherwise.

I was amused to note that it wasn't a Windows box, so it was immune to Windows attacks. It wasn't an x86 box, so it was immune to x86 attacks. I guess I amuse easily. :-)

We had a pile of 32 bit SparcStations. We (literally) couldn't give them away.

...laura

Comment Re:The important details: Slower and over 540$ (Score 1) 75 75

Anyone paying $300-540 for a processor is not likely to cheap out and ONLY use the integrated graphics. These i5 and i7 processors are turning into a pretty big disappointment. You can get far better graphics with just about the lowliest available sub $100 graphics card, but the options ditch the graphics and get a couple more cores explode in price.

Well if you are gaming when are you ever CPU limited with a 4+ GHz quad core? It would be nice if they dropped the integrated graphics and sold it for less, but the six/eight core processors are typically for people who do video encoding, 3D rendering, lots of VMs or some other semi-pro use. Even GTX 980 Ti in SLI should run fine on an i7-4790k, I guess for triple/quad-SLI you need the extra PCI lanes but then you're extremely far out of the mainstream even for gamers.

Comment Re:I don't think it's a ho-hum (Score 2) 245 245

Actually, most European countries are divided as well but we typically have a proportional representation with a 4-5% minimum which means we have more than two choices which creates an entirely different dynamic. Now naturally it divides itself into blocks it means there can be 2-3 different directions and 2-3 specialist parties that support their side and their relative strength matters. I'm guessing with a European system you'd have Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, Christians, Tea Party, Libertarians and Greens. Suddenly you're not losing just a few swing voters, you can lose voters in any direction.

Forming a new party actually has meaning as a 30% party and two 25+5% parties have the same power, unlike the US system where starting a party competing for the same voters spells doom for everybody. I used to think our system was worse because of all the compromises and coalitions and in-fighting, but really all the US system does is bring all those warring factions together in the same party. All the bargain-making is just done between factions in Congress, not between parties.

And the voters don't get to be a part of that process, here there's different shades of red and blue that shift far more easily in the polls. If the voters think the conservatives aren't being very conservative or the liberals very liberal or don't think you're doing a very good job, there are other parties with similar politics that would be happy to take over. The politicians have to work all the time to convince the voters that their party is the right one, there are relatively few genuinely safe votes. Typically only 50-75% will vote for the same party twice in a row.

So I think it's the system, of course the only way to change the system would be getting an amendment through Congress so.... yeah, you're pretty much stuck with a two-party state that will flaunt a few divisive political issues while making sure their campaign contributors are happy. They're quasi-monopolists on each half of the political spectrum, they got no reason to want to change and the third parties don't have the power to change anything.

Comment Re:Twitter-its (Score 3, Informative) 140 140

Every thing you write (in US at least) is copyright-en by default. So every thin you post (even this post) is copyroght-en. If Twittwe yanks Tweeks over one copyright, then they need to do it for all, or get sued for illegal copyright distribution.

Which is why /. relies on its terms that among other things say:

By sending or transmitting to us Content, or by posting such Content to any area of the Sites, you grant us and our designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers), assignable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to link to, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), adapt, create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally perform or otherwise use such Content in any media now known or hereafter developed. (...) Further, by submitting Content to the Company, you acknowledge that you have the authority to grant such rights to the Company.

The catch is of course that the last part might be false, I could be pasting someone else's copyrighted text into a /. comment. Since I can't give a valid license, /. won't have a valid license so they'd have to take it down. Can a 140-character phrase be copyrighted? Yes. absolutely. The courts have found that the phrase "E.T. Phone Home" was infringing when used to sell unlicensed coffee mugs. Though copyrighting a joke sounds like a joke, I can understand wanting credit but not trying to license it.

Comment Re:Why do we need H.265? (Score 1) 179 179

You're mostly right, but JPEG2000 is the format specified for digital cinema encoding. Look inside that big MXF file, and it's a bunch of JPEG2000 stills. Been to the cinema lately? You're watching x frames per second of JPEG2000.

True, but at such massive bitrates (up to 250 Mbit/s) that pretty much anything will look good and in bandwidth-challenged areas they do physical distribution. And they only premiere a handful of movies each week, size is not a big deal. Since wavelet encoding is heavily patented I'm guessing DCI got a waterproof deal before choosing it as the digital cinema standard, with patent holders hoping this would spur adoption. Obviously it didn't and since then better formats have appeared, so it's never going mainstream. Right now BGP seems to be the superior choice and since it's a subset of HEVC if you license it for video the photo format should be "safe" to implement, which means it might get camera support. Having "native" support without going via RAW would be a big deal.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 455 455

First off the article linked was poorly written. It is only their professional services arm that has these new restrictions. R&D does not. Secondly who cares?

Try wearing a business attire and tell a tech person what to do. Then wear a tech attire and tell a business person what to do. I've worked both sides of the fence as a consultant and if you don't show you understand the relevant dress code nobody will take you seriously.

Comment Sounds like Wesnoth alright (Score 1) 56 56

Quite a few years ago I was using Linux as my primary desktop, cool. Wesnoth was a semi-clone of other TBS fantasy games, cool. Played it, got stuck, didn't want to spoil it by looking for solutions, eventually gave up and learned that due to a game engine change the main quest was impossible. I was seriously pissed, why bother spending all that time and effort when all you're going to get is a proverbial "fuck you". Games are not like productivity software where you're talking degrees of functionality. It's either fun and gives you positive return or it's shit and gives you negative return. Wesnoth is in my "it's free but not worth it" category.

Comment Re:Intel's linux support is impeccable (Score 1) 61 61

Not sure why AMD and nVidia keep dragging their foot. It makes no businesses sense

Whaaaaaaaaaaat? AMD and nVidia has a quite well optimized proprietary OpenGL engine following the latest standards, Intel has not. Intel is doing it open source because who could possibly benefit, Matrox? They have about 0.00% market share these days. AMD and nVidia already has engines doing it better. They got nothing to lose and a fair bit to gain from doing it open source. You have to be pretty deaf, blind and dumb to not see that AMD and nVidia has a competitive advantage they don't want to give away. Mesa is about 5 years behind OpenGL, in terms of hardware sales that's forever.

Comment Re:84 US ISPs offer ***RESIDENTIAL*** gigabit acce (Score 1) 116 116

Your problem isn't the capacity, you have more than enough. You just need to prioritize access to the network.

That's the wrong end to start in, if removing the resource limitation is trivial that's a better solution than any resource management system, whether good or bad. At least if you're fixing this problem for you and not rolling out a resource-gobbling solution to a million devices. Before lots of applications running at the same time would trash the disk, with an SSD I just don't care since at >10000 IOPS it serves everything at once. The side effect is of course that I'm becoming more indifferent to inefficient solutions, but as long as it doesn't make a difference in practice I don't care.

Comment Re:i haven't bought a car in a while... (Score 2) 252 252

Admittedly I haven't bought a car in 8 years, but ... are those tasks somehow considered "difficult" such that it makes any degree of sense whatsoever to add expense to the vehicle to perform them automatically?

YMMV but personally I hate parallel parking with my no assist, no camera, no proximity sensor car. I hate trying to predict through the mirrors how far I got left until I bump into someone, mostly I'm overcautious meaning it takes me way too many cycles of back and forth. And even minor superficial damage is very expensive if they get need to get it fixed through their insurance company, which I'm either paying out of pocket or suffering a big bonus loss.

I've tried using more modern cars with sensors/cameras, honestly that makes it quite easy. But once you're there it's not really a big step cost-wise to just let the car assist you, though I do consider a bit useless half-step. I'd rather have a fully automatic system, but I guess they're not ready for that quite yet. I guess it's coming sooner than the self driving car though.

Comment Re:No steering column? (Score 1) 252 252

Why wouldn't it have a steering column? What do you do in an emergency when the car doesn't know how to handle itself?

Like a tram or train or whatever you pull the emergency brake.

Also, why would a car suddenly start getting more usage rather than sitting in the driveway. Are they also assuming that when cars become autonomous, that we will no longer own them, but just call for one when we need one?BR? I am not in favor of a world where i can't own a car

My guess it means you'd buy the kind of car you need 90% of the time, in my case that'd be a one-seater with ~20 miles of range. When the whole family is going to the cabin, I call and get the big, long range vehicle and it'll deliver itself to my doorstep. And once I'm done, it'll return itself. Most of the annoyance of renting a car today is the overhead, secondly it's the insurance and any scratches or fender benders. With robot cars they shouldn't really be your fault, more like going on public transport where it's their problem if the bus hit/got hit by something.

Comment Sounds like Unreal Engine (Score 1) 85 85

The whole source code is available on GitHub once you sign up. You can share improvements with Epic or other licensees of the engine, but nobody else. Though I guess you'll have to replace the "if you make money you owe us royalties" bit, since science doesn't usually make money with something suited to who you want to pay. Just don't pretend it's open source, because it's definitively not.

Comment Re:Crown and Mail Lands Major Ad Campaign (Score 2) 173 173

Not to take away from your point that Monsanto is paying for branding via a newspaper, but the amount ($400k) is pretty miniscule. Last I checked the G&M annual revenues were over $250 million. They've written off CAD$400,000 accounts receivable without batting an eyelash. I'm not sure how much influence $400k will buy.

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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