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Comment: Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 390

> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.

What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!

> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.

Nature did it. We can do it.

> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".

This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.

> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs ...

Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.

Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 2) 197

by NanoGator (#48030483) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Thank you! You've given me reason to sit up and pay attention when 3 rolls around, I appreciate that.

I would recommend against showing the more diehard Photoshop fans that link, though. It won't get you anywhere because what it really needs to be is a list like this:

- GIMP has a plugin/feature for automatically generating normal maps from elevation data.

- GIMP has a perspective correction feature that is superior to Photoshops in that it...

- GIMP's 'save all layers' button saves all of the layers in your file into seperate files.

.. or something like that. In the list you gave me, points 1 through 4, and 7, are irrelevant if somebody already has Photoshop. Given its de-facto marketshare, that is likely.

5 is horribly overrated. Lots of artists can script, but few (if any) can make actual plugins or modify the source code. (Even if they do dig in to the code how do they maintain those features when a new version of GIMP comes along?) I do want to mention, though, that there's another reply to my original post that seems to have covered the scripting point. I haven't checked it out yet but given that scripting is something I do, I'm certainly interested in trying that out.

6 needs an extra line, something like: "its better than Photoshop's Batch feature because...."

10... actually this is a really good one. In fact, just before this thread started, I went and found the portable version and downloaded in. Why? Welp, if the scripting that Culture20 posted a link to turns out to be worthwhile for me, coupling that with a portable version of GIMP is *awesome*. What that means is I will be able to automate certain tasks AND keep a fresh install on my DropBox account so I can even use it off-site. This is 1 out of 9.5 (I gave partial credit to the source-code bit) and, as you can already see from other replies you've gotten, most are refutable.

I'm a little worried you might read my post and think that I'm trying to perpetuate the GIMP vs. Photoshop debate. I'm not, instead I'm trying to explain what needs to happen explanation-wise to get more Photoshop people to try GIMP out. I think there's this mentality that people should switch to GIMP and that's simply not true. If you got the professional Photoshop users to start using GIMP for certain tasks, you may find that some studios may find it worth their time to invest some development time into improving it. Given how Adobe has been dicking around with the licensing, this would be a good time to get that ball rolling. Start touting the unique features it has that shave man-hours off a project. If those features don't exist, then the team needs to start talking to people like me and finding out what else they need.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by NanoGator (#48029179) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Care to run off a list of ways that "GIMP doesn't come close"? If it's really so bad, it shouldn't be that difficult to name at least a dozen or so... In actuality, I expect that enumerating the shortcomings of GIMP will not be in quantity, but in terms of a relatively small number of particularly desirable features that many may perceive as critically important in such software.

Hi, professional artist here. Your latter point, at least from my perspective, is correct. I know Photoshop really well, but since I make my living doing this work I am not biased in a way that'd prevent me from using a free tool. Let me be extra clear: It would hurt me to be fanboyishly loyal to be any particular app. I do pick up and mess with GIMP from time to time, but it has two critical omissions from Photoshop that make it unusable in my field. First, it lacks adjustment layers. Second, it lacks Smart Objects.

These are both features intended to do non-destructive editing of imagery. Let's say you have a tree with green leaves. You can create a Hue/Saturation 'adjustment layer' that will turn all the green pixels beneath it blue. If you put a picture of a different tree below that layer, its leaves would turn blue, too. If you took that tree and made it a 'smart object', you'd effectively be snapshotting that image and every operation you do causes it to regenerate itself. In other words, if you shrank a Smart Object down, then scaled it back up again, you'd get all its original detail back.

If you're creating imagery it doesn't take long for these two features to change your workflow in such a way that you gain a HUGE time savings. In fact I have created several templates to speed up the generation of images I do that I just plain cannot do in GIMP. Realistically speaking that is enough man-hours lost that I'd actually make a greater profit paying for Photoshop than I would saving the cost of the license in favor of GIMP.

With that said, I'd be *very* happy if you told me that version 3 would add these features. I'd also be very happy if somebody could tell me what GIMP does that Photoshop doesn't. It's free. if it shaves man-hours off my work, then load me up with the tips. I ain't gonna switch, but I ain't above using both.

Security

Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human 91

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the until-computers-improve dept.
An anonymous reader writes CAPTCHA services that require users to recognize and type in static distorted characters may be a method of the past, according to studies published by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Researchers focused on a broad form of gamelike CAPTCHAs, called dynamic cognitive game, or DCG, CAPTCHAs, which challenge the user to perform a gamelike cognitive task interacting with a series of dynamic images. For example, in a "ship parking" DCG challenge, the user is required to identify the boat from a set of moving objects and drag-and-drop it to the available "dock" location. The puzzle is easy for the human user to solve, but may be difficult for a computer program to figure out. The game-like nature may make the process more engaging for the user compared to conventional text-based CAPTCHAs. There are a couple research papers available: "A Three-Way Investigation of a Game-CAPTCHA: Automated Attacks, Relay Attacks and Usability" and "Dynamic Cognitive Game CAPTCHA Usability and Detection of Streaming-Based Farming."

Comment: Re:the joker in the formula (Score 1) 686

by GigsVT (#47219767) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

You are ignoring the fact that it seems like one highly intelligent and technology-developing species could probably not evolve in coexistence with another one on the same planet, at some point one would win and kill off the other one.

I'm sure it's been proposed/discussed many times before, but I don't know if this concept has an "official" name or not.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 4, Interesting) 686

by GigsVT (#47219707) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Directionality is a mostly irrelevant consideration.

The fact that an antenna is 9db or 30db higher in one direction quickly becomes irrelevant with the vast distances of space. Antennas don't work like flashlights. They are more like a light bulb with a two-way mirror on one side that reflects 50% of the light and lets 50% of it through out the back. At VHF and above, things like mountains act like mirrors that reflect signals straight up (among other directions), as well.

You are somewhat wrong about AM... at least broadcast band AM is mostly only directional in the sense that there's dead zones straight off the ends of the dipole. They are shooting quite a bit of signal upward. Our ionosphere does strongly reflect and attenuate what would make it out to space in those bands though.

This goes toward your comment about the 50s and 60s... we have far more powerful transmitters in operation now (some VHF TV the better part of 1 megawatt!), and in bands that aren't reflected by the ionosphere. If anything we are getting louder and louder.

Unfortunately the first thing they might see of humanity is free-to-air broadcast TV, and just assume that we are all complete idiots.

The first time, it's a KLUDGE! The second, a trick. Later, it's a well-established technique! -- Mike Broido, Intermetrics

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