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Comment: Quantum Co-Processor? (Score 2) 156

by Reteo Varala (#38341078) Attached to: World's First Programmable Quantum Photonic Chip
Before mathematical capability was baked into the main processor cores, motherboards used to have mathematical co-processors, which could handle the advanced math in a computer. Even if a quantum chip cannot compare with a classical chip's calculation performance at this time, just how feasible would it be to include a quantum co-processor on a classical motherboard for quantum calculations? Would the two combined provide any benefit that either by itself could not?

Comment: Advances in Input (Score 1) 72

by Reteo Varala (#36630642) Attached to: Future Actions Predicted From Brain Activity
So far, I haven't seen anyone mention one very useful application of said technology: Advanced input devices. Think about it. If a computer could predict your actions even a second before you do them, then the system can use this data to keep pace with your actions. Who needs a tablet interface, when one can draw on a piece of paper, and the desktop reacts accordingly? What's the point of a touchpad or mouse when one can just move a finger or two over the tabletop next to the computer? Any monitor can be used as a touchscreen, as there is no need for a sensitive layer.

Comment: A feature to bring it to the top (Score 1) 145

by Reteo Varala (#35497296) Attached to: GNU Free Call Announced, SIP-based VoIP
The one feature I have not seen on ANY of the VoIP programs, game, phone, or otherwise, is a nifty little system called JACK. To have a VoIP client with the ability to connect with other JACK clients would be downright awesome; this would especially be the case for broadcasters, podcasters, and other types of people who work with sound for a living.

Comment: Re:so let me get this straight (Score 2) 145

by Reteo Varala (#35448528) Attached to: In Isk We Trust: the <em>EVE Online</em> IskBank Exposed

I've played a number of MMORPGs. I've found that most of them make grinding a part of the game. There's some strategy, but it starts to look pretty shallow about 100 missions in or so. You get stuff, but you're limited to which stuff you can use based on choices you made at the beginning of your game. The map is pretty static; nothing really changes unless the developers decide to change something on the map, and any player- or team-owned locations are more likely than not to be instances rather than part of the standard world map.

In this game, there is far less grinding for money or skill, which means that the playing can be done for other reasons; and with the corporation/alliance structures, as well as the ability to control star systems in nullsec (or lowsec, depending on how you roll), there are some definite benefits to play that won't involve grinding, but still include doing stuff.

Comment: The idea makes me nervous (Score 1) 219

by Reteo Varala (#35352768) Attached to: How Cyborg Tech Could Link the Minds of the World
Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but there are three things the mind allows us to do, think, act, and stay alive (involuntary reflexes maintaining the body).

Now, in terms of thinking, this could allow other people to intentionally, uncontrollably interrupt my thoughts without first having direct physical access to me. I don't know about you guys, but I rely heavily on continuous thought, and can't do squat with discrete thought (think long-term focus vs. multitasking). Having an interface that can interrupt my thought process by another would be a bad thing. It might not be so bad if the wire could be pulled, but if the work being done needs information pulled from remote locations, it can be a very risky proposition.

Additionally, even now, people can operate with incorrect thoughts, but they are acquired through the normal inputs and outputs, and must pass through a reason filter in order to be integrated into the mind. The idea of there being a way to bypass that filter scares me to no end; imagine someone being able to plant a suggestion, telling you to do anything they want you to do. Maybe you'd still have the presence of mind to resist stuff you wouldn't normally do, but I've done enough technical work to know that not everybody has this presence of mind, especially when threats or enticements are used ("your computer is infected, download a security upgrade to fix," vs. "You have won $1,000,000, please provide your bank information to have it transferred to your account"). Believe me, it's not just the savvy that would want such an implant.

Next, action. Our minds determine what actions we will take, even if most of the steps are handled by nerve-based autonomous processes known as reflex (you don't have to consciously think about how to walk, you just walk). If I were to be rendered unconcious, so that an attacker could make use of my body, there's no telling how law would apply; I was unconscious at the time, I performed the action, but someone else is responsible. And that's not taking into account...

The health aspects of such a thing is probably the most frightening thing about having such a device in the mind. Every part of the human body has some basic activity that can be harmful if it stopped, even for a short time. A healthy nervous system allows the proper timing signals to be received by the involuntary muscles in the body including heart, lungs, and digestive tract. Without these, neither nutrients nor oxygen would make it to the cellular tissue, especially the muscles themselves. The body would break down, eventually dying as a result.

We do have diseases, but right now, they are limited to physical infections which are localized, and usually contained and expelled by a healthy immune system (autoimmune diseases notwithstanding). Having a direct access to the brain, however, opens up the risk for a much more dangerous form of infection; imagine some really antisocial people coming up with a virus program that can alter the signals going to the heart muscles, such as, say stopping the heart, or maybe increasing the rate to even more dangerous levels. Imagine something that can force the adrenal glands to keep producing. Or perhaps stop the pancreas, inducing a state of diabetes in anyone. Or perhaps disable dopamine production, leading to a number of frightening diseases.

The point is this, if you set your brain up to be affected by computers, then it'll be just as well-protected as any computer is against attack. And unlike a computer, this cannot easily be reformatted, nor can an alternative OS be installed... at least, not without you no longer being you.

Comment: Re:What does that even mean? (Score 3, Informative) 506

by Reteo Varala (#35072890) Attached to: Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable
There are no beginnings or ends to a circle. However, there are circumference and area. The idea behind the "size of the universe" theory is that the Universe size exists in a similar manner, three dimensions bent in such a way that they are circular in nature. In such a state, one can't determine where is specifically ends, but one can get a clearer idea of the scope of what's there based on a similar model.

Comment: Re:ISPs only (Score 1) 236

by Reteo Varala (#34567404) Attached to: Fourth Amendment Protects Hosted E-mail

The worst Google could do to me is market out personal information. I can ignore marketing with the well-known circular file.

The worst the government can do is fine me, lock me up, make me "disappear," and/or possibly kill me in the color of justice, depending on what they find, and how they interpret it. This is especially the case if my political views are too "radical" for whoever finds them, in which case, they could use their loopholes to call me a criminal, inciter, terrorist, traitor, or any other number of names that simply mean "someone we don't like."

So, yeah, I'm more comfortable with Google knowing my information than Big Brother.

Comment: Re:Time for a rant... (Score 1) 178

by Reteo Varala (#34157690) Attached to: How To Profit From Planetary-Scale Computing
Ruining the stock market =/= ruining the market. The stock market is simply a way to trade ownership in government-regulated organizations, big hulking behemoths that only want one thing... more money. They will make substandard products, cut corners like crazy, perform unconscionable acts to do so, and lobby to alter the laws to benefit them. It is because of this system that copyrights have gained an order of magnitude in length, software patents exist, the US has been waging wars for oil, and all manner of large-scale ecological damage has been produced. It is because of this system that rampant consumerism exists, buying things that will fail for a short period of time in order that more things are purchased, only to see them fail in a similarly-small time period. The only problem is that the transition involved would be a very devastating blow to people who have come to depend on it.

Comment: Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (Score 1) 841

by Reteo Varala (#34071668) Attached to: Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'
That's an interesting set of premises there, but to get a better picture, you need to put them together, and expand a bit.

* Amtrak's purpose is to provide public transportation.
* Public transportation requires moving people about.
* Moving people about requires devices that can move themselves that people can occupy(trains).
* Devices that move themselves need power.
* Devices that move themselves need maintenance.
* Power must be generated.
* Maintenance requires staff.
* Power generators require constant resources (fuel) to generate.
* Staff are people.
* People will work if motivated.
* Survival is a motivation.
* Survival requires several resources.
* Money can be traded for generator resources.

# Therefore, money is required for power for transport devices.

* Money can be traded for survival resources.

# Therefore, money is required for maintenance staff.

# Therefore, Amtrak requires money to provide public transportation.

* Amtrak was unable to bring in enough money to provide fuel and motivation for its staff.

# Therefore, Amtrak's supply of public transportation was not constant.

* Demand for public transportation is constant.

# Therefore, Amtrak was not able to supply the amount of public transportation needed.

# Therefore, Amtrak failed on both counts.

Comment: Re:Losing battle (Score 1) 96

by Reteo Varala (#33957790) Attached to: Hacker Business Models

The mainstream media has screwed this one up for years, but it's embarrassing to see hacker and cracker ...

The *only* people that differentiate between the two are the Slashdot crowd. To *everyone* else, an hacker is a hacker is a hacker.

First, keep in mind that the bulk of the Slashdot crowd happens to fit in the broader "hacker" category, and so would be much more aware of the distinction than the ones using the term as a blanket statement.

Second, keep in mind that times always change. To everyone else, once, geeks were geeks too. Now it tres chic to call oneself a geek when they know how to install and configure desktop applications in Windows.

Third, as times change, so do generations. I've seen enough evidence that the "hacker" label is starting to get positive connotations not to give up hope just yet... mostly because of the fact that the newer generations of people are growing up with these boxes, and are becoming familiar enough to self-apply the "hacker" label once they find out what it means; the primary "hacker is hacker" crowd are the older-school types who didn't get their first taste until the mid-90s, and the 1337 k1dd13z who refused to learn more than it took to pwnz0r a box.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.

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